WTA Diary: Surprises, Streaks & Arrivals
Published October 04, 2012 11:00
There have been no shortage of surprises in Beijing and with the field now whittled down to the final eight, two unexpected names remain.
When the draw was made, few expected Carla Suárez Navarro and Romina Oprandi to still be alive and kicking at the end of the week, but a string of impressive performances - neither has lost a set - have seen them rip up the form book.
Suárez Navarro got the ball rolling, dumping out Petra Kvitova in the second round on Monday, with Oprandi following this by defeating Ana Ivanovic a few days later. Things are not about to get any easier, though; next up Suárez Navarro faces Marion Bartoli, while Oprandi takes on World No.1 Victoria Azarenka.
The title lifted the 30-year-old to No.14 in the world - her highest ranking for more than two years - and she is eyeing up even bigger prizes.
"There are a few players who have won Grand Slams after 30, and I feel like I don't want to walk away from tennis without accomplishing the same," Petrova said after the final. "If it's meant to happen it will, but if it doesn't, at the end of my career I'll know I've done everything I could."
And her run also drew a few warm words from another player who knows a thing or two about picking up trophies on the wrong side of 30…
@Martina (Martina Navratilova)
Well done Nadia Petrova in Tokyo!!! First time she beat three top Tenners to win a title - you go girl!!!
Sign Her Up
Martina may be on it, but, much to the dismay of her legions of fans, Samantha Stosur is still refusing to give in to peer pressure and join Twitter.
"I know a few people have said I should get on Twitter," Stosur said. "Casey Dellacqua tells me people always write to her telling her to tell me to get onto Twitter. I don't know - maybe one day. I'll keep everyone in suspense for a little bit longer about it though."
On A Roll
It has certainly been a year for win streaks on the WTA; first it was Vika's 26-match unbeaten start to the season, then Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci won 25 on the spin in doubles and now it's Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears' amazing Asian swing.
Okay, they didn't quite scale the heights of the aforementioned three, but 11 matches, two titles and two career-high rankings are stats not to be scoffed at. They are also still in the running to reach the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012. Talking of which...
The destination of that final invitation for the season-ending extravaganza remains in the balance; Li Na remains the favorite, although a run to the final in Beijing followed by another strong performance in Moscow could still see Marion Bartoli usurp her. It's all very complicated!
At times this year, Victoria Azarenka has been on fire, something one of her Chinese fans took quite literally.
Vika isn't the only WTA player to have been immortalized in, erm, felt-tip pen, Tamira Paszek got in on the act during her whistle-stop tour of Tokyo in the latest of edition of the Full of Surprises Travel Show presented by Dubai Duty Free.
... to Liezel Huber and her husband Tony who have adopted a baby boy, Joshua Jacob Huber.