Doha, Dubai WTA Tennis. Serena Williams And Venus Playing Dubs?

Written by: on 15th February 2014
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Tennis Australian Open 2014
Doha, Dubai WTA Tennis. Serena Williams And Venus Playing Dubs?

epa04029796 Serena Williams of the USA in action during her match against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in round four of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 19 January 2014. EPA/APRIL FONTI AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT  |

PRO TOUR NEWS

* Halep, Kerber to contest Doha final

* Errani/Vinci not only lose top doubles spots, they’re out of the Top Five

****** TODAY’S WOMEN’S NEWS ******

 

Doha

 

Singles – Semifinal: (7) Simona Halep def. (2) Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5 6-2

Talk about brutal — Agnieszka Radwanska was broken seven times. In the short term, surprisingly, it doesn’t make much difference. Radwanska had already earned the #3 ranking, and that was as high as she could go. But she loses her chance to reach #2 next week. Simona Halep is still at #10, but she’ll be #9 if she wins the title.

Singles – Semifinal: (6) Angelique Kerber def. (5) Jelena Jankovic 6-1 7-6(8-6)

Jelena Jankovic may have lost here, but the real loser is… Sara Errani. Jankovic had already overtaken the Italian. Now Angelique Kerber has done so also. Errani will fall from #7 to no better than #9. Kerber is up to at least #8, and a title would make her #6. Jankovic will rise to #7 if Kerber loses the final, or will stay at #8 if Kerber wins.

Doubles – Semifinal: (3) Peschke/Srebotnik def. (1) Errani/Vinci 6-2 3-6 10-7

When Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci fell, they fell hard. We already knew they would lose the top doubles rankings. But they still had a chance for the #3/#4 spots. Not any more. The top five will be Peng (guaranteed #1), Hsieh (guaranteed #2), plus Vesnina, Makarova, and Srebotnik, order to be determined (except that Vesnina will lead Makarova). Srebotnik is #3 if she wins the title, otherwise Vesnina is #3, Makarova #4, and Srebotnik #5. Kveta Peschke is up to #10; she’ll be #9 with a title.

Doubles – Semifinal: (2) Hsieh/Peng def. (7) Pavlyuchenkova/Petrova 6-3 6-2

At this rate, not only are Hsieh/Peng going to be #1 and #2, they will be #1 and #2 by a substantial margin. We currently show the Top Ten as follows:

1..(3) PENG ……………8240*

2..(4) HSIEH …………. 8120*

3..(5) Vesnina ……….. 7620

4..(7) Makarova ………..7421

5..(6) SREBOTNIK ……… 7420*

6..(1) ERRANI ………….7270

6..(1) VINCI …………. 7270

8..(8) PETROVA ……….. 5955

9..(9) MIRZA …………. 5525

10.(11) PESCHKE ……….. 5350*

****** TODAY’S FEATURE ******

 

Women’s Look Forward: Dubai, Rio de Janeiro

 

Sometimes it seems as if there just might be a little envy between the Persian Gulf events in Doha and Dubai. Did Doha have seven of the Top Ten? “Hah!” answers Dubai. “So do we. And we have Serena Williams!”

Serena’s presence is a genuine surprise, since she sat out Doha, and had said she would sit out Indian Wells, due to injury. But Dubai is an oddity. Although it is a Premier 700 (the bottom level of Premier events), it has a purse of two million dollars — in effect, the prize money of a higher tier. This doesn’t do it any good in terms of ranking points. But maybe it helps in buying a field.

Indeed, the field is so strong that Eugenie Bouchard, who is Top Twenty, and Flavia Pennetta, who is Top 25, ended up in qualifying! It’s not entirely obvious why, since some lower-ranked players are in the main draw, but it’s still indicative.

Serena is of course the #1 seed. Otherwise, the draw looks very like Doha — Serena replaces Li Na at the top, but the next seven seeds are all the same: Agnieszka Radwanska #2, Petra Kvitova #3, Sara Errani #4 and having the last bye (even though her rankings, singles and doubles, are sinking fast), Jelena Jankovic #5, Angelique Kerber #6, Simona Halep #7 (she is our last Top Ten player), and Caroline Wozniacki #8.

And every single one of them can expect to be challenged. (After all, even the qualifiers here could be Top 25!). Serena is likely to start against upset artist Ekaterina Makarova, one of the few top players here to have skipped Doha, so she should be fresh. Jankovic will open against a qualifier, then Sloane Stephens or Lucie Safarova. Kvitova is relatively lucky, but only relatively — she starts against Carla Suarez Navarro, who was hurting last week, or Nadia Petrova. Halep opens against Alize Cornet, then a qualifier or Kirsten Flipkens. Wozniacki will start out against Sabine Lisicki, who missed Doha, then Samantha Stosur or a qualifier. Errani starts against her doubles partner Roberta Vinci (yes, again!) or Sorana Cirstea. Kerber will face Ana Ivanovic first, then Venus Williams or Elena Vesnina, the last of our players to have missed Doha. And Radwanska’s opening match will be against Kaia Kanepi or a qualifier.

The week’s other event, Rio de Janeiro, is new, which usually means a weak event. At first glance, it might seem otherwise. We actually have a Top Hundred player in qualifying. It’s an interesting qualifying draw — there will be six qualifiers rather than the usual four, but only two rounds of qualifying.

But even though the qualifying is strong, the main draw is weak. No Top Thirty players. The #1 seed is Klara Zakopalova. Francesca Schiavone is #2; they are the only Top Fifty players. Paula Ormaechea, the hero of Argentina’s Fed Cup effort is #3; Alexandra Cadantu is #4. The lower seeds are #5 Kurumi Nara, #6 Maria Teresa Torro-Flor, #7 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, and #8 Vania King. There are very few noteworthy unseeded players, although we note that Cadantu might face Yaroslava Shvedova in the second round.

The Rankings

This week sees some pretty big calendar changes. Last year at this time, there were three events — Dubai, Memphis, and Bogota. Memphis is gone, and Bogota has been pushed back after Miami. In their place is Rio de Janeiro. So we have a lot more points coming off than going on. But Dubai is the biggest event. Last year, Petra Kvitova won it, over Sara Errani, with Roberta Vinci and Caroline Wozniacki semifinalists. The title at Memphis went to Marina Erakovic, over Sabine Lisicki, with Stefanie Voegele and Magdalena Rybarikova semifinalists. Bogota, which rarely has much of a field, was won by Jelena Jankovic (who was then ranked a mere #24), over Paula Ormaechea (then #198), with Karin Knapp (#133) and Teliana Periera (#156) the semifinalists. Jankovic, Ormaechea, and Knapp have made tremendous strides since then; Periera… hasn’t, although she is Top Hundred.

Erakovic has already fallen out of the Top Fifty; she might end up around #70. Ormaechea could end up below #75. Pereira could be around #115.

At the top… no move. Serena Williams will stay #1. Li Na will stay #2, with Agnieszka Radwanska #3. Victoria Azarenka will stay #4. Maria Sharapova’s #5 ranking .might be in danger if Angelique Kerber wins both Doha and Dubai, but she will probably be safe.

Petra Kvitova is in grave danger of losing the #6 spot, though; the rankings from #6 to #8 could end up in just about any order. What seems sure is that the final Top Ten spots will belong, in some order, to Kvitova, Jankovic, Kerber, Halep, and Errani. If we had to guess which one ends up at the bottom, we’d guess Errani. It will probably be Jankovic or Kerber at #6.

Caroline Wozniacki could fall a spot or two, but should stay Top Fifteen. Sabine Lisicki’s Top Fifteen spot may be in danger. And, with so many top players in action, just about anything could happen from #15 to #25.

******** THIS WEEK IN TENNIS ********

 

THIS WEEK ON THE WTA:

Doha (Premier Five/Hard). Defending Champion: Victoria Azarenka

NEXT WEEK ON THE WTA:

Dubai (Premier/Hard). Defending Champion: Petra Kvitova

Rio de Janeiro (International/Clay). Defending Champion: New Event

Rankings

Estimated WTA Rankings As of February 15, 2014

 

Rank &

Prior

Rank …Name …………. Points

1..(1) SWilliams ……… 12660

2..(3) LI ……………..6570

3..(4) ARADWANSKA ………5705

4..(2) Azarenka ………..5681

5..(5) Sharapova ……… 5206

6..(6) KVITOVA ……….. 4710

7..(8) JANKOVIC ………..4535

8..(9) KERBER ………….4490*

9..(7) ERRANI ………….4390

10.(10) HALEP …………. 4120*

11.(11) WOZNIACKI ……… 3200

12.(12) IVANOVIC ………..3155

13.(13) CIBULKOVA ……… 3056

14.(14) VINCI …………. 3020

15.(15) Lisicki ……….. 2820

16.(17) Suarez Navarro …..2685

17.(16) STOSUR ………….2605

18.(18) STEPHENS ………..2415

19.(19) BOUCHARD ………..2355

20.(20) FLIPKENS ………..2295

21.(21) PAVLYUCHENKOVA …..2240

22.(22) PENNETTA ………..2165

23.(24) Kirilenko ……… 2046

24.(23) Makarova ………..2011

25.(27) KANEPI ………….1991

26.(25) CORNET ………….1985

27.(26) CIRSTEA ……….. 1940

28.(28) SAFAROVA ………..1820

29.(29) Kuznetsova ………1617

30.(31) Hampton ……….. 1601

Draws

Doha — week of February 10, 2014

……………3R……………..QF…………SF………F

1 Li………..(1)Li

14 Stephens….Cetkovska(Q)…….Cetkovska

9 Ivanovic…..Zakoaplova

6 Kerber…….(6)Kerber……….Kerber……..Kerber…..Kerber

 

3 Kvitova……(3)Kvitova………Kvitova

16 Flipkens….Safarova

10 Cibulkova…Kleybanova(WC)

5 Jankovic…..(5)Jankovic……..Jankovic……Jankovic

 

7 Halep……..(7)Halep………..Halep………Halep……Halep

11 Vinci…….Beck

15 Bouchard….Niculescu

4 Errani…….(4)Errani……….Errani

 

8 Wozniacki….Wickmayer……….Wickmayer

12 Stosur……Cepelova

[Majeric(LL)]..Lucic-Baroni(Q)

2 A Radwanska..(2)A.Radwanska…..Radwanska…..Radwanska

 

STATUS OF SEEDS

1 Li……………lost 3R (Cetkovska)

2 A Radwanska……lost SF (Halep)

3 Kvitova……….lost QF (Jankovic)

4 Errani………..lost QF (Halep)

5 Jankovic………lost SF (Kerber)

6 Kerber

7 Halep

8 Wozniacki……..lost 2R (Wickmayer)

9 Ivanovic………lost 2R (Zakopalova)

10 Cibulkova…….lost 1R (Kleybanova)

11 Vinci………..lost 1R (Pironkova)

12 Stosur……….lost 2R (Cepelova)

13 Suarez Navarro..WITHDREW (replaced by Majeric)

14 Stephens……..lost 1R (Cetkovska)

15 Bouchard……..lost 1R (Mattek-Sands)

16 Flipkens……..lost 1R (Safarova)

Dubai — week of February 17, 2014

1 S Williams

–bye

Kleybanova

Makarova

Stephens

Safarova

Qualifier

5 Jankovic

 

3 Kvitova

–bye

Suarez Navarro

Petrova (WC)

Flipkens

Qualifier

Cornet

7 Halep

 

8 Wozniacki

Lisicki

Stosur

Qualifier

Cirstea

Vinci

–bye

4 Errani

 

6 Kerber

Ivanovic

V Williams (WC)

Vesnina

Kanepi

Qualifier

–bye

2 A Radwanska

Rio de Janeiro — week of February 17, 2014

1 Zakopalova

Duque-Marino

Soler-Espinosa

Pigossi (WC)

Piter

Haddad Maia (WC)

Pfizenmaier

7 Zahlavova Strycova

 

4 Cadantu

Pereira

Shvedova

Mayr-Achleitner

Qualifier

Goncalves (WC)

Qualifier

8 King

 

6 Torro-Flor

Qualifier

Larsson

Qualifier

Qualifier

Bertens

Qualifier

3 Ormaechea

 

5 Nara

Hsieh

Friedsam

N Kichenok

Babos

Scheepers

Dominguez Lino

2 Schiavone

******** SCORES ********

 

SATURDAY

Doha

Singles – Semifinal

(7) Simona Halep def. (2) Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5 6-2

(6) Angelique Kerber def. (5) Jelena Jankovic 6-1 7-6(8-6)

Doubles – Semifinal

(3) Peschke/Srebotnik def. (1) Errani/Vinci 6-2 3-6 10-7

(2) Hsieh/Peng def. (7) Pavlyuchenkova/Petrova 6-3 6-2

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