Final group sets for WTA Championships
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic returns the ball to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on October 22, 2013 during a WTA Championships match in Istanbul. AFP PhotoWorld number two Victoria Azarenka will need a victory over Li Na to advance as the WTA TEB BNP Paribas Championships group games end on Oct. 25.
The Belarusian superstar suffered a shock 6-4, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Jelena Jankovic on Oct. 23, putting her chances of making a challenge for Serena Williams’s year-ending title in jeopardy.
Azarenka, who has one wins and one defeat from two matches in the White Group, will need a win to advance to tomorrow’s semifinals.
Jankovic will meet Errani, who now has two defeats in as many games, for getting the top spot in the group.
In the other part of the tournament, 2011 winner Petra Kvitova will meet Germany’s Angelique Kerber. In the Red Group, Williams cruised to victories and booked her place in the semifinals. After two defeats, Agnieszka Radwanska is almost certain to go out.
The tournament’s semifinals will be held on Oct. 26 and the final is on Oct. 27.
Azarenka, who was tipped to pose the greatest challenge for Williams prior to the tournament, said she was mentally tired at the end of a long campaign for her.
“What’s happened has definitely made me understand how to schedule things better,” former world number one Azarenka had said before the match. “It’s another learning experience for me.”
It was a tremendous result for Jankovic, who has only just climbed back into the top eight after two years following injury problems, and had not beaten seventh-seed Azarenka for four years.
experience, for as Azarenka’s uncertainty grew on a slowish surface she admits to not liking, she tried to push forward more and found she could not force enough attacks through.
Jankovic’s steadiness helped her make a good start, and the extra enterprise she has added to her game since suffering injury problems helped her capitalize.
The Serbian broke serve in the third game, lost the advantage, but broke again immediately, and then became impossible to shake off.
Azarenka tried to do that by forcing the issue much more, advancing to launch some imperious drive volleys, but Jankovic hung on bravely, and whenever possible tried to press to deny her more powerful opponent an attacking momentum.
The most important moments came in the eighth game which lasted ten minutes and in which Jankovic tenaciously saved two break back points.
An additional report from AFP was used in this story.