epa03424577 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia in their final match at the China Open in Beijing, China, 07 October 2012. EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG |
It’s rare a World No.1 goes six and a half months without winning a WTA title but it happened – but Victoria Azarenka put an emphatic stop to it in Beijing this past week, not losing a set, in fact barely losing any games, en route to the China Open title. She defeated Maria Sharapova handily in the final, 63 61, winning her fifth WTA title of the year and first since Indian Wells in mid-March. She now has 13 career WTA titles.
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won their first WTA doubles title together, and the Istanbul field was also set in stone,with Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Li Na completing the elite eight.
In 2013, American men fared historically bad at Grand Slams. Not a single one reached the fourth round of any major--not even at the U.S. Open. The jury is still out for the American contingent in Flushing Meadows this time around, but early returns are decent at best.
American women are off to a hot start at the U.S. Open, and a child is leading them. CiCi Bellis, all of 15 years old, upset No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 during first-round action on Tuesday afternoon. Bellis got a wild card into the main draw by winning the girls' 18s national championship.
Wimbledon sensation Nick Kyrgios is rapidly making a name for himself. But he came close to establishing a name for himself in the wrong way as he was just one indiscretion away from being the first player defaulted from a Grand Slam event in 14 years.
Second seed Simona Halep had to win a battle with wild card Danielle Rose Collins 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-2. The American upstart had only played 27 pro matches and just one at the elite level. French Open finalist Halep admitted that she was taken by surprise by a 20-year-old opponent without a current ranking.