October 23, 2013 – WTA Moscow – WTA Luxembourg – WTA Championships Istanbul
The WTA Championships are underway in Istanbul, as group play in the Red and White groups has commenced. The Kremlin Cup in Moscow and WTA Luxembourg played to dramatic conclusions on both the singles and doubles sides, while the Tournament of Champions in Sofia is only ten days away.
At WTA Luxembourg, Caroline Wozniacki played like a number one seed from start to finish and came away with her first singles title of the year, defeating rising German prospect Annika Beck 62 62 in the final. The only set Caroline dropped during the entire tournament was the middle frame during her semi-final against another rising German star, Sabine Lisicki.
In the doubles bracket, score one for the Belgian Yanina Wickmayer and her partner from the Liechtenstein, Stephanie Vogt. They emerged victorious in the doubles final 76 64 against the surprising partnership of Kristina Barrios and Laura Thorpe, who had upset the favourites Petrova and Srebotnik in the semis 62 36 10-8.
At WTA Moscow, the Kremlin Cup also concluded in style with Romanian Simona Halep continuing her season-long hot streak and capturing her fifth singles title of the season 76 62 over Aussie Sam Stosur.
For Stosur it was a similar change from her results last week at the WTA Osaka, where she won in the singles final but lost in the doubles final. In Moscow, Stosur dropped the singles final to the Romanian, but, with partner Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated another Russian\Australian pairing of Ally Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova 61 16 10-8 to bring home hardware for a second straight week.
A quick look at both the Red and White groups leads me to believe the Red group to be a bit more difficult, as any group with Serena would be.
It would seem to be a very tough schedule for Aga Radwanska, who after dropping her opening match 46 46 to Petra Kvitova, now finds herself in a must-win situation in her next match (without a day off) against the very same Serena who had Aga contemplating ambidexterity after their semi-final match at the WTA Beijing two weeks ago.
The White group is a little more wide-open, as even after dropping her opening round match Sara Errani can still win her next two and qualify for the semis. Jelena Jankovic and Li Na will play their opening group stage matches, with the winners having a leg up knowing that no one in this group is unbeatable.
Without having played very much competitively recently, Vika got away with a sluggish start to her campaign with a 76 62 victory over Sara Errani. After winning a tiebreaker in the first set, Azarenka settled down to a smoother rhythm in the second to overcome a non-relenting performance from the Italian.
Meanwhile Serena continued at the same pace she has played at all season, some might say for the last five seasons, and overcame the challenge of German Angelique Kerber 63 61.