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WTA Odds N' Ends... Battle For Istanbul

Every week, will be serving up a summary of stats in WTA Odds N' Ends.

Published October 15, 2012 05:53

WTA Odds N' Ends... Battle For Istanbul
Abigail Spears, Raquel Kops-Jones

Breakthroughs, ranking movers and much more - every week will be serving up a summary of stats in WTA Odds N' Ends...

Doubles Race Down To Wire
While the last of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012 singles berths were booked two weeks ago, one doubles spot remains to be filled in next week's season finale. And adding more drama, both teams that have a shot at securing that fourth spot are in the field this week in Moscow.

Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova had just a 32 point lead on Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears at the start of the week, meaning Kops-Jones and Spears need to finish one round better than the Russians to qualify. Kirilenko and Petrova won their Moscow opener on Monday, so now the pressure is on the Americans. They have a tough first round clash against Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke, who are fresh off a title in Linz.

Interestingly enough, Kirilenko and Petrova and Kops-Jones and Spears could meet in the semifinals in a match that would determine the Istanbul berth.

As for last week's doubles action, Kops-Jones and Spears did not lose more than four games in a set in rolling to their fourth title of the year and sixth of their partnership in Osaka. It was Kops-Jones' eighth WTA doubles title and Spears' 10th. Groenefeld and Peschke also did not drop a set in netting their first title together. Groenefeld now has 12 WTA doubles titles, and Peschke has 24. Peschke broke a tie with Samantha Stosur for sixth place on the list of active doubles title leaders:
1. Lisa Raymond: 79
2. Cara Black: 54
3. Liezel Huber: 53
4. Paola Suárez: 44
5. Katarina Srebotnik: 30
6. Kveta Peschke: 24

Back-To-Back Titles For Vika
After going six and-a-half months without a title, Victoria Azarenka was victorious two weeks ago in Beijing, then secured another title the very next week in Linz with a dominant showing throughout the event.
- Azarenka tied Serena Williams for most titles on the WTA this year with six.
- Just like the previous week in Beijing, Azarenka did not lose a set all week. In fact, since the US Open she has not only gone 13-0 in matches and 26-0 in sets, but has not even lost more than four games in a set.
- Azarenka is up to a WTA-leading 67 match wins on the year and is one of just six players with 50+ wins:
1. Victoria Azarenka: 67-8
2. Angelique Kerber: 60-19
3. Agnieszka Radwanska: 57-17
4. Maria Sharapova: 56-10
5. Sara Errani: 54-20
6. Serena Williams: 53-4

- With her 14th WTA title, Azarenka broke a tie with Svetlana Kuznetsova for fifth place on the list of active title leaders:
1. Serena Williams: 45
2. Venus Williams: 43
3. Maria Sharapova: 27
4. Caroline Wozniacki: 19
5. Victoria Azarenka: 14

Watson Ends British Drought
Just three weeks after Laura Robson became the first British WTA finalist since Jo Durie at Newport in 1990, Heather Watson was victorious in Osaka - making her the first British titlist since Sara Gomer at Aptos in 1988. Watson had never previously been beyond a quarterfinal, and her 75 57 76(4) championship match triumph over Chang Kai-Chen was especially dramatic.
- Each player won 129 points.
- It lasted three hours, 11 minutes, making it the WTA's second longest final of the year. Here are the Top 5:
1. Hantuchova d. Kirilenko in Pattaya City: 3 hours, 14 minutes
2. Watson d. Chang in Osaka: 3 hours, 11 minutes
3. Sharapova d. Li in Rome: 2 hours, 53 minutes
4. Hsieh d. Robson in Guangzhou: 2 hours, 48 minutes
5. Paszek d. Kerber in Eastbourne: 2 hours, 45 minutes

- On top of that, Watson became the fourth player this year to win a title after saving match points in a final:
1. Paszek d. Kerber in Eastbourne: 5 match points
2. Watson d. Chang in Osaka: 4 match points
3. Kanepi d. Suárez Navarro in Estoril: 2 match points
4. Sharapova d. Li in Rome: 1 match point

Ranking Risers
- Just three weeks after making her Top 50 debut, Hsieh Su-Wei climbed from No.31 to No.25 in making her Top 30 debut.
- Osaka champion Heather Watson skyrocketed 21 spots to a career-high No.50, and not only made her Top 50 debut but passed No.52 Laura Robson as the British No.1.
- Roberta Vinci surpassed partner Sara Errani as doubles No.1, becoming the 30th player to assume the top spot.

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