10 Things To Know: Dubai & Rio
Published February 16, 2014 12:13
Every week on wtatennis.com we'll bring you 10 of the most important things to know - who's playing, where, upcoming milestones... this week the Road To Singapore is travelling through Dubai and Rio.
~ Li Na, Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-Wei officially make history this week. Li rises from No.3 to No.2 (the highest-ranked Asian, male or female, in tennis history). Peng Shuai rises to No.1 in doubles (the first Chinese, male or female, to reach No.1 in either singles or doubles) and Hsieh rises to No.2 in doubles (the highest-ranked player from Chinese Taipei, male or female, in either singles or doubles).
~ Victoria Azarenka drops from No.2 to No.4 this week. It's the former World No.1's first time out of the Top 3 since the week of October 24, 2011, and it's also the first time since the 2011 US Open fortnight that neither Azarenka nor Maria Sharapova are in the Top 3 (those two weeks it was No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, No.2 Vera Zvonareva, No.3 Kim Clijsters, No.4 Azarenka and No.5 Sharapova).
~ Seven Top 10 players are at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. They are Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep and Sara Errani. Also, nine of the 10 players in the No.11-No.20 range are in Dubai too - the cut-off for the event was so high that one of those players, Eugenie Bouchard, had to play in the qualifying draw.
~ Two-time Dubai champion Venus Williams is also in the field. Williams, who won this tournament the last two times she played it in 2009 and 2010, was given a wildcard into the draw last week - she was asked whether she was the one who persuaded Serena Williams to accept a wildcard too: "I totally want to take all the credit for Serena coming here," she said. "I twisted her arm really hard."
~ The Williams sisters are playing doubles in Dubai. A wildcard pair, the Williams sisters drew No.2 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina first round - the two teams have never played each other. The Williams sisters are seeking their first doubles title since winning Olympic gold in 2012.
~ WTA Trivia: Eugenie Bouchard is the No.1 teenager in the world this week. During the inaugural edition of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 2001, which was held the week of February 19, 2001, who was the No.1 teenager in the world? And no, it wasn't Serena Williams... answer below!
~ Klara Zakopalova and Francesca Schiavone headline in Rio. Zakopalova and Schiavone are the Top 2 seeds at the inaugural Rio Open - Paula Ormaechea, Alexandra Cadantu, Kurumi Nara, María-Teresa Torró-Flor, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Vania King round out the Top 8 seeds.
~ Hsieh Su-Wei is going from Doha to Rio this week. Hsieh, who rises to a new career-high doubles ranking of No.2 this week as mentioned above, is making the 7,152-mile trip from Doha to play in Rio, in both singles and doubles (with sister Hsieh Shu-Ying - they play the No.1 seeds first round).
~ WTA Live All Access Hour presented by Xerox was in Rio de Janeiro this week - watch it here.
~ Go to WTA TV developed by Xerox to find out where you can catch all the action on TV.