Azarenka beats Errani at WTA Championships
13:06, — Sport
Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka got off to a good start at the 2013 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships which features eight best tennis players in line with WTA rankings.
In the opening match Victoria Azarenka, world No.2, snatched a 7:6 (7:4), 6:2 victory over Italy’s Sara Errani (7). The opponents took each other’s serve in the beginning and this lasted for three games. Then Sara Errani claimed her service game for a 3:1 scoreline. The Belarusian answered by winning her own service, too. After this Victoria Azarenka made quite a few mistakes which almost cost her a set. However, the world No.2 managed to reduce the deficit and steal the tie-break 7:4. The second set was quite different from the first one as Victoria Azarenka’s opponent had to undergo medical treatment and could not continue the match in the same fashion as in the first set. After 2 hours and 14 minutes Victoria Azarenka eventually won the match.
Other participants of the White Group are China’s Na Li (5) and Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic (8). They will face each other on 23 October.
On 22 October two other matches were held in the Red Group. World No.1 Serena Williams of the U.S. did not have any problems winning against Germany’s Angelique Kerber (9) 6:3, 6:1. Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic (6) wrapped up a victory over Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska (4) 6:4, 6:4.
It is the fifth such tournament for Victoria Azarenka. In 2011 the Belarusian played in the final where she lost to Czechia’s Petra Kvitova. Last season she suffered a defeat at the hands of Russia’s Maria Sharapova and in 2009 and 2010 she failed to get out of the group.
Winners of the group stage and the runners-up from the White and Red Groups will enter the semifinal.
The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, which prize pot is $6 million, will conclude on 27 October. The player who wins all five matches of the competition (three group-stage matches, a semifinal and a final) gets $2.145 million.
The women’s doubles events will feature four duos: Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (Italy), Katarina Srebotnik (Slovenia)/ Nedezhda Petrova (Russia), Peng Shuai/Hsieh Su-Wei (China) and Yelena Vesnina/Yekaterina Makarova (Russia).
The first such tournament was held in Houston in 1971 and was won by Billie Jean King of the U.S. Martina Navratilova won the tournament eight times, more than any other player. At first she represented Czechoslovakia and then the United States. In 2012 Serena Williams lifted the tournament title after ousting Maria Sharapova in the final.
In 2014 the competition may change its format and location, with Singapore becoming its host country. Taking part in the competition will be eight players in the women’s singles and eight pairs in the doubles event. The duration of the tournament will be extended, too, from six days to eight.