Who are the only four thirty-somethings ever to beat Serena Williams? Can Li Na join them?
WTA Staff

ISTANBUL, Turkey - When the Top 8 players assemble in one city, not only are there going to be thrills on the court, but some great nuggets for all of the stats fans out there. This week wtatennis.com will bring you stats to chew on, from that day's matches to scenarios to some other Turkish delights...

Wednesday: Round Robin, Day 2.

(3) Serena Williams (USA #3) vs. (8) Li Na (CHN #8)
~ Head-To-Head: Williams leads Li, 5-1
~ The head-to-head may lean heavily towards Williams, but none of the pair's six matches have been routine, and Li actually has a pretty bright ray of hope - her only win came in their only indoor hardcourt meeting, in the early rounds of Stuttgart in 2008, right after Williams won the US Open and returned to No.1 (Li now has two wins over World No.1s, also beating Wozniacki in 2011)

Williams Notes
~ Williams has lost to 30-somethings only four times in her entire career: Tauziat at Paris [Indoors] in 2000, Farina Elia at Amelia Island in 2005, Craybas at Wimbledon in 2005 and Schnyder at Rome in 2009 (Tauziat and Farina Elia were 32 at the time while Craybas and Schnyder were 30 at the time)
~ Williams has won 44 of her last 46 matches (the two losses came to Razzano in the first round of Roland Garros and to Kerber in the quarters of Cincinnati)
~ Williams is playing her first indoor hardcourt event since Paris [Indoors] in 2009; she hasn't won an indoor hardcourt event since Paris [Indoors] in 2003

Li Notes
~ Li has won her last three matches against World No.3s, all in straight sets (all against Radwanska - 62 61 at Montréal, 61 61 at Cincy, 64 62 at Beijing)
~ Li is the only member of the elite eight not to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal this year (fourth round at Australian Open, fourth round at French Open, second round at Wimbledon, third round at US Open); the other seven players here reached at least two Grand Slam quarterfinals each this year
~ Li's coach, Carlos Rodriguez, has a 13-5 record as a coach at the WTA Championships (Henin was 13-5 at this event, her best results coming in her last two appearances, winning the title in 2006 and 2007); however he has a 6-8 record as a coach against Williams (Henin was 6-8 against Williams)

(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR #1) vs. (5) Angelique Kerber (GER #5)
~ Head-To-Head: Azarenka leads Kerber, 2-0
~ Both of their previous meetings have taken place this year, with Azarenka winning 64 63 at Indian Wells and 64 75 at the Olympics - after the Olympic meeting Azarenka said, "We had the longest rallies. At one point I just couldn't believe when it was going to be over during the point."

Azarenka Notes
~ Azarenka is a perfect 13-0 since the US Open (and a perfect 26-0 in sets - and she hasn't even been pushed beyond 6-4 in any of those sets)
~ Azarenka is a perfect 61-0 this year after winning the first set
~ Azarenka is 6-0 against left-handers this year (and 12-0 in sets)

Kerber Notes
~ Kerber is 0-6 against Top 2 players, never winning a set in any of those matches either (0-4 against World No.1s and 0-2 against World No.2s); her best win came against then-No.3 Sharapova at Paris [Indoors] this year
~ Kerber has beaten every other member of the elite eight except Azarenka
~ Kerber rose to a new career-high of No.5 this week, the fifth German ever to reach the Top 5 (after Graf, Kohde-Kilsch, Huber and Hanika)

(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS #2) vs. (4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #4)
~ Head-To-Head: Sharapova leads Radwanska, 7-2
~ Sharapova has dominated Radwanska in the big picture, but Radwanska did win their only 2012 meeting before this (in straight sets in the Miami final) and their only meeting on indoor hardcourts was extremely close (with the roof closed in the semifinals of Tokyo [Pan Pacific] in 2009, Radwanska went on a mid-match roll, cruising through the second set and building a 2-0 lead in the third set, with Sharapova coming back to win in the third, 63 26 64)

Sharapova Notes
~ Sharapova has a shot at the year-end No.1 ranking, but she needs to win this title with at least two round robin wins (and depends on Azarenka's results)
~ If Sharapova wins this match, she will assure herself of a Top 2 finish (current World No.3 Williams will not be able to pass her)
~ All three of Sharapova's WTA titles this year have come on clay

Radwanska Notes
~ Radwanska is playing her first indoor hardcourt tournament of the year
~ Radwanska has won titles in Istanbul before, winning the clay court event that was held here in doubles in 2007 (with sister Urszula) and singles in 2008
~ Radwanska has played 75 matches so far this year, the most matches she has ever played in a single season (she is 58-17)

BONUS STAT: Germans Beating World No.1s
When Graf beat Hingis in the dramatic final of the 1999 French Open, it was the last time a German would beat a World No.1 for almost 12 years; then along came Germany's Vier Musketeers - Petkovic, Goerges, Lisicki and Kerber - but while Kerber has gone higher in the rankings than all of them, she is the only one of the group not to get a win over a World No.1 so far:

Petkovic d. No.1 Wozniacki (Miami in March 2011)
Goerges d. No.1 Wozniacki (Stuttgart in April 2011)
Goerges d. No.1 Wozniacki (Madrid in May 2011)
Lisicki d. No.1 Sharapova (Wimbledon in July 2012)

... can Kerber join der club?

Watch live action from Istanbul on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!