WTA Diary: Comebacks, Cars & Ducks
Published April 22, 2013 04:02
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.
Fed Cup Roundup
After staring over the precipice of elimination, an Ekaterina Makarova-inspired Russia roared back to reach the Fed Cup final on Sunday night.
Maria Kirilenko laid the foundations for a historic comeback with victory over Dominika Cibulkova in Day 2's opening rubber, before Makarova completed the job, defeating Daniela Hantuchova in a rollercoaster three-setter and then teaming up with Elena Vesnina to take the deciding doubles.
Russia are the first team in the Fed Cup's 50-year history to overcome a 2-0 semifinal deficit. Meeting them in the final will be Italy, who ended the Czech Republic's two-year dominance of the competition with a 3-1 win in Palermo.
Celebrating In Style
Italy celebrated their victory in typically understated fashion.
Back On Tour
Normal service resumes on tour this week with the European clay court season's first Premier event, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In addition to ranking points and prize money, the winner in Stuttgart traditionally drives off with a car from the title sponsor.
Last year it was Maria Sharapova who enjoyed a (slightly jerky) test drive around the Porsche Arena and on Monday she further strengthened her ties with the sports car giant by signing a three-year deal as their global ambassador.
Live All Access Hour
Maria discussed this new role, her recent birthday celebrations and plenty more besides in the latest edition of the WTA Live All Access Hour presented by Xerox. Don't worry if you missed it, though, you can watch a re-run here.
How To Win Tennis Matches And Influence People
What do Jay Z, Kate Middleton, Li Na and the Pope all have in common? They were all included in TIME Magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
"It's a great honor for me to be in the position of being able to help grow, promote and further build the sport of women's tennis around the world, especially in my native China," Li said. "I couldn't be more honored to be on the list that includes some of the most talented people in the world, and to make an impact on women and women athletes. I am grateful to TIME for giving women's tennis the recognition it deserves."