WTA Diary: Monday, August 13, 2012
Published August 13, 2012 01:12
Every week there's a lot happening on the WTA - on the court, off the court, by the numbers, even a few tweets... catch up on it all in this week's WTA Diary.
Li Na has had an up and down kind of year, with promising patches of form punctuated by the odd surprising early round exit. In Montréal, there was plenty of the former as she cruised into the semifinals without dropping a set.
When Li trailed 5-1 in the final set of her semifinal with Lucie Safarova, however, it looked like she had peaked too early. Looks can be deceiving, though, and to prove it she promptly reeled off the next six games to complete the most remarkable of comebacks, 36 63 75.
Meeting Li for the title is Petra Kvitova. After an early wobble against Ksenia Pervak, Kvitova has looked back to her devastating best in Canada. Among her victims was World No.10 Marion Bartoli, who believes that on current form the Czech is near unplayable.
"I believe today her performance was extraordinary," Bartoli said after her 61 61 third round loss. "When she plays like this, it's almost impossible to play against her. I was under the impression I just couldn't play, she's able to play a winner from anywhere on the court and whatever ball you send her. She takes your control away."
Similarly extraordinary was this piece of brilliance, conjured up by the WTA's resident magician, Agnieszka Radwanska, against Chanelle Scheepers.
Female coaches on the WTA are something of a rarity. Galina Voskoboeva, who is coached by former player Alina Jidkova, is one of the select few and she believes having someone of the fairer sex hitting with her has its benefits.
"All the female coaches I've had might not hit the ball harder than men, but they don't do any mistakes either," Voskoboeva said. "When the men hit, every third ball is a mistake, while the women are like a wall.
"Anyway, I think it's not very important that your coach should play to a good level. The main thing is that she should coach on a good level."
Spicing Things Up
Wise words from Kazakhstan's finest, and talking of girl power, it may not have escaped your attention but the Olympics drew to a close on Sunday night with a medley of British music from across the decades. What was the highlight? Well, according to the WTA Twitter feed, it was the 1990s' guiltiest of pleasures, the Spice Girls.
What does it take to impress a four-time Olympic gold medal winner? Answer: a Flying Squirrel.