2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

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2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:57 am





Last edited by Gary on Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:34 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:11 am

Brisbane (Premier) Winner: Kaia Kanepi



Estonia's Kaia Kanepi won her second career title after a convincing 6-2 6-1 win against Daniela Hantuchova in the Brisbane International final.

From 1-2 down in the opening set, she won nine games in a row.

Kanepi, 26, was particularly strong early in the second set, dropping a solitary point in the first four games.

It was the biggest win of her career, adding to the title she won in Palermo in 2010, and ensures she will be seeded for the Australian Open.

The big-hitting Estonian had produced upset wins over seeds Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andrea Petkovic and Francesca Schiavone to reach the final and carried on that form.

Hantuchova should have been the fresher of the two players, having been granted a quarter-final walkover following Serena Williams's withdrawal and then winning her semi-final when Kim Clijsters retired during the second set.

But Kanepi won 82% of points on her first serve as she recorded her first victory in four career meetings with the Slovakian, finishing the encounter on her fourth match point.

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:15 am

Auckland (International) Winner: Zheng Jie



Unseeded Zheng Jie claimed her fourth career singles title and her first since 2006 when Flavia Pennetta was forced to retire injured in the third set of Sunday's ASB Classic final.

The 28-year-old Zheng was leading 2-6, 6-3, 2-0 when fourth-seeded Pennetta, who required courtside treatment to a back injury, indicated she was unable to continue.

It was Zheng's first title since 2006 at Estoril and the Chinese now has four titles from six final appearances.

Italy's Pennetta, who was bidding for a 10th career singles title, finished runner-up in Auckland for the second time, having also reached the final in 2010.

Pennetta had not dropped a set in reaching the final and looked in similarly commanding form Sunday when she took the first frame in 46 minutes.

Both players saved breakpoints in their opening service games but Pennetta took charge when she broke Zheng to love in the third game, then rallied from 0-40 on her own serve to lead 3-1. She broke again for 5-2 and served out the set at her first opportunity.

Pennetta broke Zheng in the opening game of the second set and seemed on course for a convincing win. But she began to look uncomfortable, particularly when serving, and was forced three times to call for medical treatment.

Zheng recognized her opportunity and began to play more aggressively, stepping into the court to take the serve earlier and making use of her strong, whippy forehand.

She broke back in the fourth game of the second set and gained a decisive break in the sixth game, and took the set in 42 minutes.

Pennetta dropped serve in the opening game of the third set and, after battling through the second game, elected to retire. The world No. 20 now heads to Melbourne for the Australian Open which starts Jan. 16.

"I'm still quite happy. It's been a good week for me and a good way to start the year," Pennetta said.

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:21 am

Hopman Cup (Team Sport) Winners: Czech Republic



Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych had straight-set singles victories over France on Saturday to give the Czech Republic its second Hopman Cup title.

Kvitova won the last three games of the first set and went on to beat Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1, while Berdych was perfect in a first-set tiebreaker and beat Richard Gasquet 7-6 (0), 6-4. The Czech pair were unbeaten in singles through three matches leading to the final.

The mixed-doubles match was not played because the championship was decided in singles.

The Czechs won the eight-country mixed teams title for the first time in 1994 when Jana Novotna and Petr Korda beat Germany in the final.

France has never won the Hopman Cup, a runner-up finish to Slovakia in 1998 its best showing. France has played 18 times in the 24-year history of the tournament.

Kvitova, who could overtake Caroline Wozniacki for the No. 1 ranking if she wins the Sydney International next week, beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova and Denmark's Wozniacki in round-robin play before defeating Bartoli on Saturday.

Berdych was playing for the Czech Republic at the Hopman Cup for the third time. He beat American Mardy Fish, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Denmark's Frederik Nielsen in earlier play.

"It couldn't be better, it was a great week," Berdych said. "I think that was the best final that we could have come up with."

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:25 am

Sydney (Premier) Winner: Victoria Azarenka



Victoria Azarenka emerged as a big noise for the Australian Open by winning the Sydney International title Friday while beaten opponent Li Na asked her supporters to stop shouting during matches.

"Maybe they think I'm stupid so they coach me," defending champion Li said after her 6-2 1-6 6-3 loss to Belarus's world number three at the Ken Rosewall Arena. "But I would like to say I'm not stupid.

"I can play very good tennis. I think if they come to see more tennis they will know not to shout. It is something I couldn't change. I don't have to listen to what they say. I have to focus on my tennis."

Any hopes Azarenka had of sneaking quietly into the Australian Open with a low profile and the focus on Denmark's world number one Caroline Wozniacki, Czech Republic's number two Petra Kvitova, French Open champion Li and serial headline act Serena Williams, disappeared.

The 22-year-old, who has a reputation for grunting on court, will be seen as a serious title threat when the first major championship of the year begins at Melbourne Park Monday.

After ripping through the first set, she faded in the second before breaking her opponent at 4-3 and then serving for the match.

Azarenka had started the week reveling in the attention focused on the battle for the top ranking between Wozniacki and Kvitova, sneaking through the draw and receiving the bare minimum of publicity.

With nine of the top 10 women in the world playing in Sydney in a virtual dress rehearsal for Melbourne, Azarenka's win will have made her rivals sit up and take notice.

"It brings a lot of confidence," she said.

"But it's going to be a new week in Melbourne, a new tournament, so for me it's going to be starting from zero. I'm glad the way I played here through those battles that I went through, so I've really tested myself before a big event.

"I'm just going to try to keep going the same way with the same attitude, the same way I'm playing. There is nothing really better than I could have done this week."

On Li's supporters in the crowd, Azarenka said: "How many Chinese people are in the world? You know what? I just want to play the way that the crowd will start to love me. That's the thing."

She refused to nominate her favorite for the Australian Open, but hinted it might be her: "I think it's your job to predict and my job to deliver."

Li's failure to defend the title meant her ranking will dip from number five to number six Monday. Australia's Sam Stosur will move from sixth to fifth despite her first-round loss to Italian Francesca Schiavone in Sydney.

Asked whether losing in Sydney meant she would win in Melbourne, Li grinned.

"I wish. I mean, this is a really good wish. I don't think anything went wrong in the match. It was a very good final. I think both players showed their best tennis on the court. I don't think anything is wrong with my game," she said.

"I have nothing to worry about. I made the final last year in Melbourne so I think I should be okay."

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:31 am

Hobart (International) Winner : Mona Barthel



Qualifier Mona Barthel of Germany won her eighth straight match at the Hobart International, defeating top-seeded Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-2 Saturday for her first WTA Tour title.



The 21-year-old Barthel, ranked 64th, closed with an ace on match point. She had a first-serve rate of 82 percent in the final.

Barthel also beat second-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues, No. 4 seed Angelique Kerber and defending champion Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia.

Barthel, who won three qualifying and five main draw matches at Hobart, will play her doubles partner Anne Keothavong in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Monday.

"I have to relax now a little bit and of course I will celebrate," she said. "I've never been there (Melbourne Park) before, so I will look everywhere and see and then I will try to have a hit, try to get used to the courts."

She is beginning to believe in her ability to win big matches.

"I did it once now so I can do it maybe another time," she said. "I think I can go even one step further."

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:41 am

Australian Open (Grandslam) Winner : Victoria Azarenka



MELBOURNE, Australia - Playing in her first Grand Slam final and with the No.1 ranking on the line, Victoria Azarenka stepped up in a big way, recording a runaway 63 60 win over Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final.

With the winner of the final guaranteed to rise to No.1 next week, her first Grand Slam title wasn't the only thing Azarenka was playing for. And it seemed like maybe it was on her mind as she had a slow start, losing the first two games then falling behind 0-30 in the third - but she came alive from there, holding and then breaking back, then from 3-all going on an absolute tear, winning the next nine games in a row to polish off the one-hour, 22-minute victory.

Azarenka was by far the more solid of the two Saturday night - while they both had 14 winners, Azarenka had just 12 unforced errors to a whopping 30 from Sharapova, including a backhand into the net on Azarenka's first match point.

Sharapova took the podium first: "First congratulations go to Victoria. It was an honor to play against you. You have worked so hard for this over the years and earned this title," she said. "As in any sport, you have your good days and your tough days. Today things didn't work out for me. Victoria was just too good.

"This was a tough loss today, but there's no doubt I'll be back and performing in front of you guys again. Melbourne has been my home away from home over the last month, and I couldn't have asked for a better home than here."

A jubilant Azarenka followed with her champion's speech. "First I want to congratulate Maria. Thank you for such kind words. You had a great two weeks and did really well, and I'm sure there will be many more finals we'll perform in," Azarenka said. "I want to thank my team - you guys have been supporting me for so long, believing in me and making me realize I can believe in myself and can finally raise this trophy. I want to thank my parents, my friends, my boyfriend and my grandmother - the person who inspires me most in my life.

"It was an amazing month in Australia. It's a dream come true."

Azarenka is the first Belarusian to win a Grand Slam title and to rise to No.1 - her country's previous best results came from Natasha Zvereva, who reached one Grand Slam final (the 1988 French Open final) and made it up to No.5.

"Congratulations to Victoria on reaching the pinnacle of her career and becoming the WTA's newest World No.1," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the WTA. "It has been great to watch Vika grow as a player over the last few years and I'm thrilled she has achieved this milestone at such a young age."

It is worth noting that Zvereva was No.1 in doubles for 124 weeks and won 18 Grand Slam women's doubles and two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

Sharapova is now 3-3 in her career in Grand Slam finals, winning titles at Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. She will rise from No.4 to No.3 on the new rankings; Petra Kvitova will stay at No.2, while Caroline Wozniacki will fall from No.1 to No.4.

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:59 am

Paris (Premier) Winner: Angelique Kerber



PARIS, France - She faced a lot of resistance but Angelique Kerber finally overcame Marion Bartoli in a two-hour, 39-minute final at the Open GDF SUEZ on Sunday, emerging with her first WTA title and becoming Germany's first champion there since a certain 22-time Grand Slam champion won it in 1995.

Kerber, who was elevated to the No.9 seed following fellow German Sabine Lisicki's late withdrawal from the tournament due to illness, toughed out some tricky early rounds over Lucie Safarova and Monica Niculescu then had a career breakthrough in the quarterfinals, upsetting No.1 seed Maria Sharapova in straight sets, 64 64 - it was the first Top 10 win of her career.

"I knew before the match I had nothing to lose. It's amazing," a jubilant Kerber said afterwards. "I played my first match against Maria in Australia and I think I was a little bit shocked to play her, because she's such a great player."

Sharapova was equally complimentary. "Angelique is someone who has been playing really good tennis the last six months, and had a great result at the US Open. She's really starting to break through. And being a lefty gives her a bit of an edge - she has a great game for it, but she's also someone who's very aggressive, stays low, is very strong and runs well. She has many pluses."

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:07 am

Pattaya City (International) Winner: Daniela Hantuchova



Facing an inspired opponent on a new breath of life, Daniela Hantuchova wouldn't let go as she sought the first sucessful title defense of her career, coming from a set down and battling three hours and 14 minutes to beat Maria Kirilenko and reign again at the PTT Pattaya Open.

Hantuchova won the International-level title on debut last year, and as the No.3 seed this year cruised into the final without dropping a set - but there was someone else building a lot of momentum on the other half of the draw.

Kirilenko, seeded No.4, had risen from the ashes a few times during the week, saving a match point against Casey Dellacqua in the first round then rallying from 5-2 down in the third against Anastasia Rodionova in the second round. Still standing, she seemed inspired to fight to the end one more time.

Kirilenko took the early advantage in the final, breaking in the first game and holding onto that break for a 5-3 first set lead - Hantuchova got the set back on serve and won the first two points of the tie-break but Kirilenko came on strong again, closing the 72-minute opening set out in the breaker, 7-4.

That's when Hantuchova went right to work though, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second set and eventually winning it, 6-3, then stepping it up from 3-all in the third set, winning three straight games (and 12 of 15 points) to close out a marathon 67(4) 63 63 victory in front of an enthralled center court crowd.

"I'm happy to defend my title - it was the first time I defended a title in my career, but it's better late than never!" Hantuchova said. "Maria and I both wanted to win the title today. She played so well and put a lot of pressure on me. Even after I lost the first set I kept fighting and never looked back, and I think I was also luckier tonight. Maria is a great player and a great person too."

Hantuchova won her fifth WTA title, her first four coming at Indian Wells in 2002, Indian Wells and Linz in 2007 and here in Pattaya City last year.

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Re: 2012 Tour Calendar and Winners

Post by Gary on Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:05 pm

Doha (Premier 5) Winner: Victoria Azarenka

-17 Match Winning Streak and Doha Title for Azarenka
-Has yet to lose a match in 2012
-Her 5th Consecutive Final
-11th Single Title and 1st Premier 5
-Climbs to the 18th Highest Prize Winner in Women's Tennis of All Time
-Next tournament is Doha were she receives a bye to the second round

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