WTA Odds N' Ends... Sara's Title Defense
Published March 04, 2013 09:40
- Errani now has seven WTA titles to her name, having won Palermo and Portoroz in 2008, Acapulco, Barcelona, Budapest and Palermo in 2012 and Acapulco in 2013.
- Errani is Acapulco's third two-time champion after 2001 and 2003 winner Amanda Coetzer, 2005 and 2008 winner Flavia Pennetta and 2009 and 2010 winner Venus Williams.
- The Acapulco final has featured at least one Italian for eight of the past 10 years, with an Italian champion four of those years.
- After going 29-4 in clay in 2012, Errani is 6-1 on the dirt so far in 2013. That gives her a 35-5 record on the surface in her past 40 matches - good for an 87.5% winning percentage.
- Errani has moved to the top of the WTA match wins leaderboard for 2013. Here are the Top 5:
1. Sara Errani: 18 wins
2. Agnieszka Radwanska: 17 wins
3t. Victoria Azarenka: 14 wins
3t. Mona Barthel: 14 wins
3t. Li Na: 14 wins
And though it did not involve Errani, the match of the tournament may have been the quarterfinal duel between Alizé Cornet and Lourdes Domínguez Lino. Cornet saved nine match points in her 36 76(10) 76(2) triumph over Domínguez Lino that lasted over three and a half hours.
Twice a runner-up in WTA events previously, Niculescu overcame Olga Puchkova in a tight three-setter in the WTA Brasil Tennis Cup final. However, her biggest challenge came in the first round, where she overcame three match points in the second set tie-break of her defeat of Anabel Medina Garrigues. The Romanian is the second player this year to save match points en route to a WTA title, the first being Marina Erakovic in Memphis one week earlier. Puchkova scored a semifinal upset of No.1 seed Venus Williams in reaching her first WTA final since 2006.
As for Pliskova, she also was a victor in three sets in the BMW Malaysian Open final over Bethanie Mattek-Sands - her 200th win as a professional. Before Kuala Lumpur, the Czech's best WTA outing was a quarterfinal appearance at Prague in 2008. And her last WTA main draw match win before this event was her opener here last year.
Mattek-Sands displayed the form that took her to the Top 30 in 2011 with a quarterfinal win over defending champion Hsieh Su-Wei and a semifinal win over No.3 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Her loss to Pliskova occurred in her first WTA final since Hobart in 2011.
- Florianopolis runner-up Olga Puchkova soared 30 spots to No.79, her highest ranking since November 2007.
- Kuala Lumpur champion Karolina Pliskova had the Top 100's biggest jump in going from No.127 to No.84 - her Top 100 debut.