AO2015: Azarenka wins the 2nd round clash with Wozniacki - UBITENNIS
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AO2015: Azarenka wins the 2nd round clash with Wozniacki



TENNIS AO2015 – Viktoria Azarenka, twice Australian Open champion in 2012 and 2013, beat last year’s US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets with 6-4 6-2 in over an hour and a half in a blockbuster second round match between two former Number 1 players. It has been the first time that two former Number 1 players met in a second round at the Australian Open since 2008 when Maria Sharapova beat Lindsey Davenport. Diego Sampaolo


AO2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

Azarenka is coming back after a rough 2014 season plagued by a foot injury which forced her to miss five months, including the French Open where she reached the semifinals in 2013. She failed to get through the quarter finals in two other Grand Slams losing to Agnieszka Radwanska at the Australian Open and to Ekaterina Makarova in the US Open. At Wimbledon she lost to Bojana Jovanovski in three sets in the second round.

Vika started the 2015 season with a defeat in the opening match in Brisbane against Czech rising star Karolina Pliskova in three sets after a 3-hour and 13-minute match in which Vika earned a match point at 6-4 5-4. As a result Azarenka did not defend her finalist point of last year and dropped in 44th place and entered the Australian Open unseeded after falling to Number 44 in the WTA Ranking.

However, the atmosphere of the Australian Open once again inspired Vika who won two titles in 2012 and 2013 and won 19 of her last 20 matches at Melbourne Park. Azarenka scored her first win against a top-ten player since Brisbane 2014 when she defeated Jelena Jankovic.

Azarenka, who beat 2013 Australian Open semifinalist Sloane Stephens in the first round, showed her superb form breaking Wozniacki in the first eight-minute game of the match and raced to a 3-0 lead with a double break but she hit five unforced errors from 4-3 40-0 allowing the Danish player to break back to draw level to 4-4. From that point Vika reeled off eight of her next ten points. She converted on her fourth break point in the ninth game to take the 5-4 lead before serving out for the set in the second set Vika fought back from 0-3 to win the second game before breaking serve twice in the third game for 2-1 and then in the seventh game for 5-2 when she converted on the first of her three break point chances. Vika earned her match point with an ace and converted it with a backhand volley to close out the match after one hour and 38 minutes. Caroline failed to earn a single break point in the second set. The Dane was broken five times and won just six of her 19 second-serve points. On the contrary Azarenka hit 31 winners and won 81 percent of her net points.

Azarenka celebrated the win with a dance after the match.

Azarenka, who will take on Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the third round round, is favorite to reach the quarter finals where she could face 18-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams who beat Vera Zvonareva 7-5 6-0 in a re-match of the 2010 Wimbledon final. Williams, who has not got through the quarter final stage in Melbourne since 2010, went down 3-5 15-40 on her serve but she saved three set points before reeling off nine consecutive games. Williams hit a 204 km/h ace. Williams will face Elena Svitolina in the third round.

I think it was a very good match, very high quality. I am happy with the way I stayed consistent throughout the whole match. I think there are always things you can improve but it’s a great progress from one match to another. I just want to keep trying to stay in that path and continue to grow. My net game was pretty well today. I think I took those chances and really went for it. I am mostly pleased about that today. I don’t know what is going to happen in the future. I just want to be able to control what I can. It’s my preparation towards the next match. That’s really what I am going to do and not think about what’s going to happen. Just be really well prepared”, said Azarenka.

I wish I would have won. You can always look back and say: I wish I had done this. At the end of the day she played better than me today and hats off to that.. I just need to go back and work hard. It’s early, still beginning of the year. I have still 10 months to make up for this. Hopefully it’s still going to be a good year”, said Wozniacki.

Vika feels great here. I think it’s a curse I have gotten here. I have made semis, then quarters, then fourth round, then third round, this year second round. It’s kind of gone that way the last few years. Hopefully I am going to break that next year and start going the other way. I love this tournament and I am so sad to be out already. Obviously it was a tough draw for both of us. But you know, she came on top and played better. There is always a little bit of luck in the draw. Sometimes it looks tougher, but it’s opponents you like to play. Sometimes it looks easy, but it’s some maybe you don’t feel comfortable playing. At the end of the day you can see there have been so many upsets. There is nothing that comes easy. I am sure I could have had it a little bit easier”

When you play against a top player like Caroline, she is capable of doing pretty much anything on the court. She is not going to give anything away. She is really going to try to make you miss and go for bigger shots. I think the level of play is required to step up your game to play against a player like her. We had a lot of long rallies, high quality of tennis. When you face somebody who is that good, you have to raise your level.”

Azarenka has always played well in Melbourne. During the post-match press conference she explained the reason of her success Down Under.

Love the energy of people here. The whole country is like sport nation. They really love sport. I am really excited. It’s the first Grand Slam of the year. What the tournament has been doing to improve is very impressive. I think you feel very excited every time you come here to play. I guess like I am going to adopt an Aussie kid or something like that”

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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Ex-No.1 Ash Barty Stands By Retirement Decision



Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Angelique Kerber (GER) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Despite the growing number of players returning to competitive tennis after giving birth, Ash Barty says she is contempt in retirement. 


Barty, who is still only 27 years old, stunned the sport at the start of 2022 when she announced her retirement from the sport just weeks after winning the Australian Open. She has won 15 WTA titles during her career with three of them being at Grand Slam tournaments. She also held the world No.1 spot for 121 weeks and earned more than $23.8M in prize money. 

The Australian returned to the media limelight on Friday by attending a special event to announce the return of the Brisbane International next year. It will be the first time the tournament has been held since the COVID pandemic with the women’s draw being increased from 32 to 48. However, no such changes will be made to the men’s draw. There will be a record prize money pool of AUS$3.1M. 

For those hoping that Barty might have a change of heart and return to competitive action at her home event in Brisbane, they are going to be disappointed. 

“I don’t have the time – I don’t have the time to train, I don’t have the time to prepare, and I have so many great memories out on this court, and now I just get to create new memories,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Barty as saying. 

“I’m certainly not coming out of retirement. Pat (Rafter) may be more likely than me.”

Earlier this year Caroline Wozniacki announced her return to tennis following a three-year retirement from the sport. Despite playing in only two WTA tournaments beforehand, she reached the fourth round of the US Open where she was defeated by Coco Gauff who went on to win the title. Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina returned to the Tour following the birth of her first child and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon. 

Barty has previously said she would like to remain involved in tennis by helping support the rising stars of the game in her home country. Currently, Australia doesn’t have any players in the top 100 on the women’s Tour. In contrast, there are nine Australians in the top 100 on the men’s Tour. 

“It’s depth, you have to play at your top level, you have to be consistent across a 52-week calendar to keep your ranking up with the top of the world,” she said.
“I think it’s exciting for the women’s game, it creates hunger, passion and drive for girls wanting to be the best and knowing there’s an opportunity to take that top spot.
“There’s obviously not as many girls in the top 100 as we would like, but there’s plenty coming through that are learning their craft, developing.
“It takes time to understand how you think you can fit in, how you think you can grow into your play. I’m excited for the next five or 10 years to see where they can get to.”

The Australian tennis season will begin on December 29th with the United Cup. A mixed-team competition that will be held in Sydney and Perth. Two days later, the first singles events in Brisbane and Adelaide will get underway. 

The 2024 Australian Summer of Tennis calendar 

United Cup
Venue: Perth – RAC Arena, Sydney – Ken Rosewall Arena
Group Stage – 29 December 2023 to 5 January 2024
Finals – 6 to 7 January 2024, more details to be announced soon
Category: ATP / WTA international mixed team competition

Brisbane International
31 December 2023 to 7 January 2024
Venue: Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 48 singles / 24 doubles; ATP – 32 singles, 24 doubles

Canberra International
31 December 2023 to 6 January 2024
Venue: Canberra Tennis Centre, Canberra
Category: ATP Challenger 125 / WTA 125
Draw size: ATP – 32 singles, 16 doubles; WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles

Adelaide International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: The Drive, Adelaide
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles; ATP – 28 singles, 24 doubles

Hobart International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: Domain Tennis Centre, Hobart
Category: WTA 250
Draw size: 32 singles, 16 doubles

AO Opening Week, including Australian Open qualifying (8 to 12 January)
8 to 14 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam 
Draw size: Q128 singles

Australian Open
15 to 28 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam
Draw size: 128 singles, 64 doubles 

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The WTA Tour In 2024 Should Be Even Stronger



Cori Gauff - Australian Open 2023 (Twitter @AustralianOpen)

To Aryna Sabalenka, every shot seems to be a go-for-it.


The two Grand Slam champions in Sunday’s U.S. Open men’s final would say, “Thank you” for a similar approach by their opponent. But Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev don’t play that game often.

They play to win. Sabalenka didn’t, although she wanted so badly to earn her second Grand Slam title this year.


Coco Gauff also played to win, once she got past a one-sided first set. Sabalenka kept going for it, and the world’s new No. 1 player paid the price in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to young Coco Gauff.

So, what happens now? Obviously, Sabalenka and Gauff will lead the way as the best women’s players in the game . . . for now.

Where does French Open champ and former world’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek fit? Wimbledon titlist Marketa Vondrousova, Jessica Pegula, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and yes, Karolina Muchova fit into WTA Tour stars led by Sabalenka and Gauff?


The 2024 women’s season is sure to be an exciting one. Any of these eight players could turn out to be superstars by this time next year.

Or it might be that there are simply too many equals in the women’s game, or maybe not enough stability at the top of the game. Superstars are important to a tour.

What would the ATP Tour have looked like without Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal all winning Grand Slams about the same time?

Gauff has been amazing since returning from Europe to the U.S., going 16-0 in the U.S. and suffering her only loss in Canada to doubles partner Pegula.


Gauff is projected to climb three spots in the WTA rankings to No. 3.

But Saturday was the dream come true for the 19-year-old. She simply outplayed the hard-hitting Sabalenka in the last two sets.

Just as Medvedev’s victory over Carlos Alcaraz was set up by Medvedev’s amazing defense, running down practically everything Alcaraz had to offer, Gauff’s victory was secured by her ability to repeatedly chase down what looked like Sabalenka winners.

Gauff usually kept running down Sabalenka’s missiles until the Belarussian missed the court.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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