WTA Diary: Surprises, Sochi & Sugarpova
Published May 01, 2013 11:57
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.
There have been upsets aplenty at this week's Portugal Open. Tuesday saw the demise of Marion Bartoli, Dominika Cibulkova and Julia Goerges, who succumbed to Peng Shuai, Ayumi Morita and Monica Puig, respectively.
And Puig, a lucky loser after Alizé Cornet's late withdrawal, proved this was no flash in the pan, following it up with an equally impressive win over former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone to reach her first ever WTA quarterfinal - something she was understandably pretty happy about:
Puig's latest win was all the more impressive coming as it did just a few days after Schiavone won an evergreen final in Marrakech to lift her sixth career title. The runner-up was fellow 32-year-old Lourdes Domínguez Lino, marking just the sixth time since 1990 that two thirtysomethings have contested a WTA final.
Mixing It Up
The Portugal Open is one of the smattering of non-Grand Slam mixed events on the tennis calendar, and the players have been doing their bit to improve inter-tour relations; Elena Vesnina took to the waves for a spot of sailing with Stanislas Wawrinka, while Svetlana Kuznetsova and David Goffin competed in a WTA versus ATP MasterChef challenge.
It's Coming Home
When she's not busy tacking and jibing, Vesnina is getting excited about next year's Winter Olympics, which will be taking place in her hometown of Sochi.
Talking of which, Maria Sharapova, who as a bid ambassador helped bring the Games to Sochi, hopes the event will put the Black Sea resort where she spent her formative years on the map.
"I'm very happy that we'll have the Olympics," she said. "When I'd just flown to America, I told everyone that I was from Sochi. No one knew about it. I hope the Olympics will change that, and that everyone will get to know another of Russia's wonderful cities."
The Olympics aren't the only thing coming to Russia. Maria is planning to take her burgeoning Sugarpova empire back to the Motherland.
Sara Errani celebrated her 26th birthday this Monday by joining partner Roberta Vinci at the top of the doubles rankings. They are the ninth team to share the No.1 spot. But who are the other eight?
While this has apparently been common knowledge for some time, if you've been wondering why Kateryna Bondarenko has gone AWOL of late, it's because her and husband Denis are expecting the latest addition to the Bondarenko clan.
There's Only One Li Na... Or Is There?
Li Na may be a Grand Slam champion and an icon in China, but she has plenty of namesakes vying for the public's attention back home.
"I can't say everyone recognizes me - and also there are a couple million people with the same name as me," Li said. "The funny thing is they can say Li Na was in TIME Magazine, but some people will ask, 'Which Li Na?' Even in the Olympics there were other athletes with the same name as me, one in cycling, one in diving - so whenever they would put 'Li Na' in their coverage, they would also write which sport!"