The Worlds Favourite Playground

Friday, Oct 30th

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The seeds continued to power their way through the draw at Indian Wells with world no.1 Victoria Azarenka leading the way into the third round with a comfortable win against Slovak heart throb Daniela Hantuchova. Rising German star Angelique Kerber was just as confident, while Samantha Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki looked to be finding some of their long lost mojo by advancing as well. There were also routine wins for Serbian diva Ana Ivanovic and Russian Nadia Petrova as the BNP Paribas Open picked up pace.

The first match of the day saw 7th seed and 2011 U.S Open champion Samantha Stosur square off against American youngster Madison Keys. Stosur comfortably got the better off her wildcard opponent in straight sets by winning 75 % of first serve points and breaking Keys once in each set to record a 6-3, 6-4 win in an hour and twenty four minutes.

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williams_20111418The WTA Championships in Istanbul got a whole lot more exciting on Thursday with Serena Williams continuing her perfect run in the tournament by beating world no.1 Victoria Azarenka. That threw open the door for Chinese superstar Li Na to sneak into the semi-finals, and the former French Open champion kept her hopes alive by picking up a clinical 6-4, 6-3 win over rising German star Angelique Kerber to set up a crucial winner takes all clash with Azarenka on Friday. Meanwhile over in the White Group, Italian Sara Errani won a lopsided three set encounter with super-sub Samantha Stosur, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.

The Williams - Azarenka match was the contest everyone was looking forward to this week when the Groups were drawn, and as expected, Serena kept her terrific run of form going to extend her mid-season record to an exceptional 46-2. The match failed to reall ignite as a contest with Serena producing a much improved serving display with the exception of a brief blip early in the second set.

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williams_20110992After a dull opening day at the WTA Championships which saw three convincing victories and no match extended beyond 17 games, not much was expected from day 2. However, the leading ladies of the tennis world finally did live up to their billing as the quality on tennis on offer exceeded all expectations. While pre-tournament favourite Serena Williams romped into the semi-finals courtesy a 7-6, 6-3 win against Chinese veteran Li Na, the two matches that followed were nail-bitting edge of the seat cliffhangers that went the distance.

Li Na started her match against Serena the stronger, racing to an early 4-1 lead and served for the first set twice in the 10th and 12th games, but Williams refused to lose it, coming back powerfully to win it in a tiebreak 7-2. With momentum on her side there was no stopping Serena, who wrapped up the contest comfortably in straight sets.

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serena_williams3When the top 8 women in the tennis world descend on a single venue for the year end Championships, fans would traditionally expect to see some sparks fly, however, the opening day of the WTA Championships in Istanbul proved to be rather disappointing with all three matches going the way of the higher ranked players, each for the loss of exactly 5 games.

Legendary American powerhouse Serena Williams, a perpetual favourite any time she steps on a tennis court, avenged her only defeat in the last 4 months dismantling promising German Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 6-1. The match started on an even keel, with Kerber holding her own till 3-3 in the opening set before Williams ran away with the contest thereafter, dropping just 2 further games.

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