Azarenka, Sharapova, Williams, Stosur Playing In Birsbane
epa03449000 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus returns the ball to Maria Sharapova of Russia during their semi-final match of the WTA Championships tennis tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, 27 October 2012. EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU |
The strongest-ever women’s field is set to battle it out at the Brisbane in 2013, with eight of the top 10 women confirmed for the event.
The star-studded field is headlined by world No.1 Victoria Azarenka, the inaugural winner of the Brisbane International, and includes Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova, Samantha Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki.
“I am really looking forward to returning to Brisbane. The city is beautiful, the venue is first class and I thoroughly enjoyed playing there in 2009 when I won the inaugural title,” said Azarenka.
“I am very proud to have ended the year as world No.1 and I am excited to start my 2013 campaign in Brisbane. I know I will get some tough matches against the world’s best there, which is perfect preparation leading into the Australian Open where I aim to defend my 2012 title,” the 23-year-old continued.
This will be Azarenka’s first visit to Brisbane since capturing the women’s singles in 2009 with a straight sets win over French woman Marion Bartoli. Her stellar 2012 has seen her win six WTA titles, including her first Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open.
Brisbane International Tournament Director, Cameron Pearson,said the women’s field is spectacular, it’s the strongest ever seen in Queensland with eight of the top 10 women set to start their 2013 season in Brisbane.
“In a battle between the top three, Victoria and Maria will be especially motivated to turn the tables on Serena, who dominated their matches in 2012, and this should make for some electrifying tennis.
Missing among all the great headlines at the Red Rock Pro Open in Las Vegas this week was how the 24-year-old worked her way through the draw without dropping a set, including a dominating performance on Sunday in a 6-1, 6-4 final win over rival Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal to capture the $7,600 winner singles check at the USTA Women’s $50,000 Pro Circuit event played at the Red Rock Country Club.
Rafael Nadal's first-round singles match against Richard Gasquet is not on Monday's China Open schedule, but the world No. 2 will be back in action in a different capacity. After being sidelined for three months with a wrist injury, Nadal is teaming up with Pablo Andujar in the doubles draw and they will kick off their campaign against Tomas Berdych and John Isner.
We exaggerate, slightly, but in all likelihood, this will be the week the WTA Race ends. Beijing is worth 1000 points, and it's mandatory, meaning that it's worth about twice as much to the players as every other event. And with the top nine players, minus Li Na, qualifying for Singapore, and a big, big gap between #9 and #10, chances are very good that things will be over after this.
Two familiar foes with a long history will meet in the Red Rock Open Pro singles final on Sunday, as American Madison Brengle will take on Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal. Brengle, the No. 4 seed from Dover, Del., ended qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko’s run of six consecutive wins in Las Vegas in a powerful 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory in the USTA Women’s $50,000 Pro Circuit event taking place at the Red Rock Country Club.
He's back! Yes, for the first time since Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal is playing tennis again. Always one of the best spots on the annual calendar, the Beijing-Tokyo week will be especially intriguing this time around. That’s because Nadal is returning to the court after being out of action for three months.