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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WTA goes fast from worst to best in Istanbul

Serena survives a bad day

In such tight and high-level competitions like the Year Ending Championships, generally one isn't allowed to have any kind of bad day, not even black-outs during matches as the quality of the opponents and the format of the round robin, can kick you out shorter than it seems.
But this time, it wasn't like that, or better, in tennis it's impossible for both player to lose, so one between Serena Williams and Li Na had to. Honestly the display of tennis in this match was probably one of the poorest ever in the story of this competition, with both players playing very far, not just from their best, but from an acceptable level for a top 10 player.
A scary number of shots landed out of the courts as if hitting inside was too main stream and the two challenged each other over who could miss more or in a worse fashion. No surprises then if the score was tight, but in such a terrible day for both of them, Serena at least could find a lifeline on her serve and that was the sole reason why she eventually won it 7-6 6-3.

Azarenka edges past Kerber in the best match of the year

World number one had to start her campaign here in Istanbul having already the duty to show all her skills in order to pass through the outstanding game of Angelique Kerber. Azarenka got inside the match with the knowledge that she was just a win away from finishing the year as world number 1, but she didn't let this put a bigger pressure on her shoulder and soon realised she had to fast find a good feeling with the court as "Angie" wouldn't give her an easy way to that accomplishment.
Kerber showed indeed a very brave attitude and really put a great effort to make her game work, she started to run over every shot from Azarenka before turning the defence into offence whenever she had the chance, producing incredible winners out of both wings and every angles.
On the other side of the net though, Vika wasn't keen on giving up and kept hitting the ball clean and strong and the two battled over every point as if it was the last one of a final producing such an amazing tennis that couldn't but lead to a tie break. There Vika started with a terrific rush that made her flow on a 6-2 lead, but Kerber didn't let this scare her and pushed on the throttle and with a couple of outstanding shots could even the score and the two then fought up to 11-11 when Angelique took her chances and closed the set.
The second set kept going with the extremly high intensity of the first, both players showed all their skills and heart, with grunts and screams that would but underline all the effort they were bringing in and the packed stadium can't but cheer for both of them.
On 5-4 Vika suffered another acceleration by the German who went 15-40 up on the world number one's serve, but at this very moment Azarenka would answer with a terrific raise of her game, that made her save those two Match Points and push the second set to the tie break.
The moment seemed to have switched to the Belarussian's side after the match points she saved and fast she took a lead of 6 points to 1, Kerber could save one set point, but didn't menage to re-make the first set's comeback and was forced to give the tiebreak to the world number 1.
In the thrid things seemed to finally go smooth for Azarenka as she early broke Angelique's serve, but after a little it was clear that the German wouldn't ever give up without fighting and so she came back levelling the score once again.
On 4-3 though, Azarenka could push her game a little over once again and broke Kerber in a very thrilling game in which the German cancelled the first chances of break by Vika with some brilliant winners, but in the end it was the Belarussian taking the game and going to serve for the match.
Once again Kerber took all the pride and energies left in her body and with a terrific effort broke back before Azarenka had any chance to close. Sadly for her, that burst seemed to have dried her out as in the very next game, Vika went up 15-40 and unlike what happened to Angie in the second, she could secure herself the win for 6-7 (11) 7-6 (2) 6-4 in over 3 hours of some of the best tennis of the season, if not of the past few years.

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