October 2, 2013 – WTA Tokyo – WTA Beijing
Petra Kvitova won the battle of the lefties in the Tokyo singles final over Germany’s Angelique Kerber 62 06 63. While Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Sania Mirza of India won a thrilling doubles final over Hao-Ching Chan of Taipei and American Liezel Huber 46 60 11-9.
Despite the check-out in the second set, Petra showed to the end that her consistency is firmly in place and, at 23, may just be already in the midst of fulfilling the wonderful potential recognized as hers.
Angelique Kerber, for her own sake, played some of her best tennis of the season down the stretch at Tokyo, and her fans must be very pleased to see her familiar mix of aggression and precision back on the court.
Li Na’s appearances at the WTA Beijing and her pre-tourney publicity tilt with Novak Djokovic have been hugely successful.
Full houses of 15,000 people at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing for every one of her matches has indicated the level of fan interest in China, not to mention the amazing crowds in Seoul and Tokyo, definitely merit the increased presence the WTA will have in Asia over the next few years to start.
Some amazing matches in Beijing already from Li Na, a competent 75 64 win over hard-serving Sabine Lisicki and a 60 64 victory over Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova.
First round at WTA Beijing saw yet another early exit for Vika and a strong performance from German Andrea Petkovic 64 26 64. And in a re-match of their Tokyo showdown last week won by Genie, American Sloane Stephens got a little revenge on Canadian Eugenie Bouchard winning 61 16 64.
On the doubles side of the bracket Italian number ones Errani and Vinci could be heading for a Chinese showdown of their own against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei and China’s Shuai Peng. Don’t underestimate the other Asian team of Yung-Jan Chan and veteran Jie Zheng, they may be there down the stretch as well as Tokyo winners Black and Mizra.
Serena Williams is still alive and well in the singles bracket at WTA Beijing after her week off, and may be heading for a showdown of her own with Sloane Stephens in the quarters. Also threatening are Kerber, hungry still from the Tokyo final, and the elder Radwanska, playing in Beijing more like she did in Seoul rather than Tokyo.
And of course don’t forget the hometown favourite, Li Na herself, and Tokyo champ Kvitova, still going strong.