WTA Odds N' Ends... Vika Defends In Doha
Published February 18, 2013 10:11
While the story in Doha was Serena Williams securing a return to World No.1, it was the woman she replaced - Victoria Azarenka - who took home the trophy.
- Having also been victorious at the Qatar Total Open last year, it was Azarenka's second successful title defense. She also won the 2012 and 2013 Australian Opens.
- A year after starting the season 26-0, Azarenka is off to a 14-0 start in 2013.
- Azarenka snapped a nine-match losing streak against Williams, whom she is now 2-11 against.
- With then-No.1 Azarenka downing then-No.2 Williams in the final, World No.1s are now 70-39 against World No.2s in WTA history.
- With No.1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci also downing No.2 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik for the doubles title, this is the first tournament since Indian Wells last March in which the Top 2 seeds made the singles and doubles finals at a WTA event. In both cases, the No.1 seeds were victorious in both events.
- Not only did eight of the Top 10 players in the world make the quarterfinals in Doha, but the Top 4 players made the semifinals - the first time that has happened at a full-field WTA event since Stuttgart last April.
Accolades For Serena
As for Serena Williams, she can still take solace in the fact that she is 60-4 since the start of the 2012 season. And in ascending to World No.1 once again, only four players have had more stints at No.1 than she has:
Chris Evert: 9 stints
Martina Navratilova: 9 stints
Lindsay Davenport: 8 stints
Steffi Graf: 7 stints
Serena Williams: 6 stints
Williams is also the oldest No.1 in WTA history. Here are all of those who have been No.1 in their 30s, along with their age the last date they were No.1:
Serena Williams: 31 years, 4 months, 24 days (February 18, 2013)
Chris Evert: 30 years, 11 months, 3 days (November 24, 1985)
Martina Navratilova: 30 years, 9 months, 29 days (August 16, 1987)
Errani & Vinci Keep Rolling
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci secured their third straight title and 16th of their partnership at the Qatar Total Open.
- They won three straight match tie-breaks - in the quarterfinals, semifinals and final - to improve their match tie-break record in 2013 to 5-0.
- They improved their record to 17-2 on the year and their winning streak to 14 matches. It is the second-greatest winning streak of their partnership, having reeled off 25 straight last year, the best win streak by a duo since Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva won 28 matches in a row in 1994.
- They now have seven titles on hardcourts, along with 70 match wins.
Arruabarrena-Vecino Conquers Cali
At the first staging of the Copa Bionaire since it was upgraded from an ITF Women's Circuit event to a WTA 125K Series event, Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino downed Catalina Castaño for the title.
- Other than a three set win in her second round, Arruabarrena-Vecino did not surrender more than seven games in a match all week.
- In addition to her one WTA 125K Series title, Arruabarrena-Vecino also owns one WTA title, having been victorious in Bogotá exactly a year ago.
- Castaño also made it through to the doubles final in Cali, and won that event alongside fellow Colombian Mariana Duque-Mariño. The duo collected their first WTA doubles title in their last outing at Bastad last July.
- Victoria Azarenka's second stint at World No.1 ended with her having spent a total of 51 weeks at the top spot, good for 10th place all-time. Serena Williams is spending her 124th week there, which is sixth-most all-time.
- Cali semifinalist Elina Svitolina jumped 15 spots in No.87 in making her Top 100 debut. The 18-year-old Ukrainian is the third-youngest player in the Top 100.
- In climbing a spot to No.3 on the doubles rankings, Nadia Petrova matched her career-high - achieved in March 2005.