RTS Update: Venus Movin' On Up
Published February 24, 2014 12:12
Venus, who won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this past week, got off to one of the best starts to the year - reaching the finals of Auckland in Week 1 - and after a bit of a dry spell won her biggest title in four years in Dubai, not even losing a set along the way. On this week's Road To Singapore leaderboard the seven-time Grand Slam champion shot up from No.36 to No.11.
Serena may not have won in Dubai, but by virtue of reaching the semifinals she made what was perhaps an even more significant move on the Road To Singapore leaderboard - No.11 to No.6.
Li Na, who didn't lose a match in the first month of the year en route to titles at Shenzhen and the Australian Open, and who is still in first place on the Road To Singapore leaderboard, spoke about the WTA Championships during her special IMG and WTA celebration event in Beijing on Saturday night.
"The WTA Championships is the last tournament of the season," she said. "Only the Top 8 players have the chance to play and qualifying is a goal for everyone. It's a bonus for great performances the whole year. And everyone is in the Top 8 too, so you have really got to raise your game there.
"You have to be in great form and great shape from beginning to end at the WTA Championships."
There were no changes among the four teams at the top of the Road To Singapore leaderboard for doubles, but after conquering Dubai together, Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova closed in on that group, rising from seventh to fifth place. They also won in Brisbane earlier this year.
"We've played really good tennis the last few months," Rodionova said. "When we got to the tournament we wanted to win it, and we did. It's not going to happen every week, but it's already our second title this year, and I'm really happy with the way we're both playing on the court and how well we're communicating. We're working on all our things and it's transferred very well on the court.
"We beat a lot of good teams this week, and we're just going to keep doing what we're doing."
Their goals moving forward? "As I said before, every tournament we play we want to win now. I mean, seriously, it's unrealistic to say that, but that's the intention," Rodionova said. "That's how we're going to go and play tournaments. Happens, it's great. Doesn't happen, we're happy with the way we work together on the court. We've already achieved a lot and I'm sure more good things will happen."
The pair has a very strong bond, one that goes back a long, long time.
"We've known each other way too long," Rodionova said. "We've been friends for many years - 10?"
"Anastasia was one of the first high-level players I actually had the honor to practice with back when I was like 16 and 900 in the world," Kudryavtseva said. "We've known each other a very long time."