Azarenka Wins & Qualifies For Doha
Published October 20, 2010 12:00
MOSCOW, Russia - Victoria Azarenka rebounded from a second set hiccup on Wednesday and reached the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup, as well as qualified for the WTA Championships - Doha 2010 elite eight.
Azarenka, the No.2 seed in Moscow, won a one-hour, 11-minute first set then lost her control of the match in the second set, but finished strongly to beat Andrea Petkovic, 64 26 61, in the pair's first career encounter.
With the win Azarenka joins Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Kim Clijsters, Samantha Stosur, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva in the season-ending elite eight field in Doha.
"I'm so happy. I'm so happy," Azarenka beamed. "It was a really tough match, very close games. I was a break up, break down, but I'm happy I got through and stayed strong in the end. Moscow is an important tournament for me.
"I was nervous because I really wanted to get into Doha. I tried to keep Doha out of my mind and stay focused but it was obviously hard. Now I'm there so I can relax! It'll be a little bit less pressure this week, but I'll still be fighting hard. I'm playing singles and doubles here and I hope to go all the way."
"I congratulate Victoria on qualifying for the WTA Championships. She is a very talented and exciting player to watch and it will be great to have her back in Doha competing for a coveted title," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Azarenka also qualified for Doha last year.
Earlier, No.8 seed María José Martínez Sánchez also rebounded from a second set hiccup to beat Alona Bondarenko, 64 16 61, and Dominika Cibulkova cruised past Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets, 64 61.
In the last match of the day, No.7 seed Alisa Kleybanova fired nine aces and edged Sara Errani of Italy, 76(0) 64. Errani was up by a break twice in the first set and once early in the second set but Kleybanova, with her home crowd support, was able to dig both sets out. Errani had beaten Kleybanova in straight sets in both of their previous 2010 meetings, at Miami and the US Open.