Saturday, 5 January 2013

Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieska Radwanska - Weekend Warriors

All of us must have made a lot of New Year resolutions and must have thought of the things that we wanted to do this year. One thing that I thought of doing this year was to start a weekly article on the blog, featuring the summary of the tournaments of the week and awarding players for their performance during that week. I thought about it, what to name the article and I came up with the name of “Weekend Warriors”. I am excited to be starting this article and I am in the process of completion of this article. I hope that all of you will like it.  
Auckland  (ASB Classic) :  Radwanska d. Wickmayer 6-4 6-4
Brisbane International  :       Serena Williams d.Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-1
Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open : Li Na d. Zakopalova 6-3 1-6 7-5

Agnieska Radwanska became the first WTA titlist of 2013 when she defeated Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets to win Auckland. It is for the first time that Radwanska has won her first event of the year. The Wimbledon runner-up last year did not lose a set en-route to her first title of the year.
Radwanska started her 2013 campaign with a win over Greta Arn and followed it up with wins over Simona Halep, Elena Vesnina, Jamie Hampton and Yanina Wickmayer.
Wickmayer has to be happy with her runner-up showing in her first event of the year. En-route she defeated Anastasija Sevastona, Johanna Larsson and Mona Barthel.

Serena Williams picked up her 2013 campaign just where she left it in 2012. Serena Williams has now won 16 straight matches. She powered her way to her first 2013 trophy and her 47th overall title. Serena Williams defeated Varvara Lepchenko, Alize Cornet, Sloane Stephens and finally Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to win Brisbane International event for the first time.
 The Brisbane field was everything one could ask for in a non-slam event. Only two of the top 10 players were missing. There were some upsets and some unfortunate with-drawls from Brisbane International but overall it provided the drama and heat everyone was looking forward to.
Withdrawals started with reigning French Open champion, Maria Sharapova, who withdrew from Brisbane International due to right collarbone injury. It was followed by the withdrawal of reigning Australian Open champion and world no.1 Victoria Azarenka, from the block-buster semi-final against Serena Williams. Azarenka had to withdraw due to the infection on her toe that she sustained from a bad pedicure. The good news is that she will be ready in time for the defence of her Australian Open title.
Upsets started with the surprise win of Sofia Arvidsson over Samantha Stosur in the first round. Ksenia Pervak kept the upset streak going with her hard fought win over Caroline Wozniacki. Jarmila Gajdosova upset Roberta Vinci to justify her wild-card and move into the 2nd round. Daniela Hantuchova showed the glimpses of her former self when she upset the world no.6 Sara Errani. Petra Kvitova bowed in the 2nd round to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Pavlyuchenkova followed up her surprise win over Kvitova by a hard fought straight sets win over world no. 5 Angelique Kerber.

Shenzhen did good in its inaugural year by attracting a good field in Li Na, being the top seed and Marion Bartoli, the second seed.

Li Na powered her way to her first title of the year as she defeated Klara Zakopalova in 3 sets in the final to clinch the title. The French Open 2011 champion defeated Mandy Minella in the first round, Julia Cohen in the second round, Bojana Jovanovski in the QF, Shuai Peng in the semi-finals and Klara Zakopalova in the final.
Klara Zakopalova did great in making her way through Andrea Hlavackova, Elina Svitolina, Marion Bartoli and Monica Niculescu, but fell short in the final against Li Na.
Let us move on to the awards.
Players of the Week:
Agnieszka Radwanska
Serena Williams, and
Li Na

Performance of the Week:
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Honourable Mentions
Ksenia Pervak
Klara Zakopalova
Sloane Stephens

Surprises of the Week
Lesia Tsurenko
Jamie Hampton
Monica Niculescu

Disappointments of the Week
Petra Kvitvoa
Angelique Kerber
Victoria Azarenka (her late withdrawal from her semi-final match against Serena Williams)
Caroline Wozniacki

Players to watch for Australian Open:
Sloane Stephens
Jamie Hampton
Mona Barthel
Yanina Wickmayer
Klara Zakopalova

That is all for this week. Any additions that you would like to see in the article just let me know. Happy  tennis season 2013.


  1. Good job, Omair. I'm impressed with this article. I would add Medina-Garrigues to the list of players of the week. She really carried Spain to the victory at HC.
    Azarenka is definitely a disappointment, her attitude stinks. I would add Pavlychenkova to the list of players to watch at AO, she's had a great run in Brisbane. Was it not for Serena she'd have the title,IMO.

  2. Thanks Nina! I hope I can keep this weekly article coming :)
    Yes, You are right! AMG Should have been there in the players of the week. Actually, I had published the article before the HC final.
    And yes, Pavlyuchenkova is also the one to watch for the AO. I watched the final. She was very solid till 2-all in the first set, but once Serena broke her serve, Pavlyuchenkova completely lost her plot.
    and yes, may be you are right, had it not been for Serena, Pavlyuchenkova would have been holding the trophy.

  3. Excellent Omair Malik ,
    You guy did great jobs on these article name is Weekend Warriors.
    I am big fan of tennis and serena williams.