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Errani Survives Jankovic Thriller

Errani Survives Jankovic Thriller

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

SYDNEY, Australia – Sara Errani looked on course for a three-setter during her second round encounter with Jelena Jankovic; the Italian managed to up her game at the right moment at the Apia International Sydney, saving a whopping seven set points to take out the former No.1, 7-6(3), 7-6(8), in two hours and 30 minutes.

The 2012 French Open finalist, Errani had eked out the opening set against an opponent she had beaten in three of their last four meetings. But Jankovic won their last match at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai and appeared poised to extend the match to a decider when the Serb raced out to a 5-1 lead.

“Yeah, it was 5-1, but I had many games with 40-Love, 40-15, and advantage, and so it didn’t really feel like 5-1,” Errani said.

“I was just thinking that I was near my best level, and to just try to keep going, play all the points, and finally was 5-All, and 5-5, 6-All, and really tough the tiebreaker.”

Undaunted, Errani saved her best tennis for when her back was against the wall, breaking the 2008 US Open runner-up twice in a row to level the set and overcome the loss of multiple match points to eventually earn the win in straight sets. Speaking to press after the match, Errani admitted that she was expecting a battle from the outset.

“It was very tough, physically. With her all of our matches is like this. We play always long matches, long points.”

Errani next plays the winner of the second round match between a pair of former Top 5 players, Sam Stosur and Daniela Hantuchova.

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WTA Insider Podcast: Vika Victorious

WTA Insider Podcast: Vika Victorious

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

On this episode WTA Insider Senior Writer Courtney Nguyen recaps the action in Week 1, which culminated with Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Sloane Stephens emerging from an otherwise fraught week, as champions. You’ll hear from Brisbane International champions Azarenka and Sania Mirza, both of whom look primed for a momentous season.

Azarenka on maturing and changing her perspective: “I think my ego dropped a lot. I dropped it. I didn’t want to be the type of player that is so full of themselves. I want to be understanding. I want to be available. Because tennis is more than just about results to me. It’s the process.”

Mirza on the prospect of completing the non-Calendar Grand Slam: “Sure, we’re halfway there. But halfway there and halfway to go is a long way off. It’s a Grand Slam for a reason. There’s a reason to win one in your lifetime and we were lucky enough to win two in a row.”

Listen below:

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on any podcast app of your choice and reviews are always helpful, so if you like what you’ve heard so far, leave us one. You can also get new episode alerts by following us on Twitter @WTA_Insider.

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Australian Open: The Seeds

Australian Open: The Seeds

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

MELBOURNE, Australia – There were some major moves on the new WTA Rankings this week – Agnieszka Radwanska going from No.5 to No.4, Angelique Kerber from No.10 to No.7, and Victoria Azarenka from No.22 to No.16 after winning her first WTA title since 2013 at the Brisbane International.

With Top 4, Top 8 and Top 16 seeds so critical at majors, those moves couldn’t have come at a better time, as these rankings are the ones the seeds are made from for the first major of the year.

With that, here are the projected seeds for the Australian Open:

(1) Serena Williams (USA #1)
(2) Simona Halep (ROU #2)
(3) Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP #3)
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #4)
(5) Maria Sharapova (RUS #5)
(6) Petra Kvitova (CZE #6)
(7) Angelique Kerber (GER #7)
(8) Venus Williams (USA #10)
(9) Karolina Pliskova (CZE #11)
(10) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP #12)
(11) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI #13)
(12) Belinda Bencic (SUI #14)
(13) Roberta Vinci (ITA #15)
(14) Victoria Azarenka (BLR #16)
(15) Madison Keys (USA #17)
(16) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #18)

(17) Sara Errani (ITA #19)
(18) Elina Svitolina (UKR #20)
(19) Jelena Jankovic (SRB #21)
(20) Ana Ivanovic (SRB #22)
(21) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #23)
(22) Andrea Petkovic (GER #24)
(23) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #25)
(24) Sloane Stephens (USA #26)
(25) Samantha Stosur (AUS #27)
(26) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS #28)
(27) Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK #29)
(28) Kristina Mladenovic (FRA #30)
(29) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU #31)
(30) Sabine Lisicki (GER #32)
(31) Lesia Tsurenko (UKR #33)
(32) Caroline Garcia (FRA #34)

** Flavia Pennetta (ITA #8) and Lucie Safarova (CZE #9) would have been seeded but are not competing at the Australian Open due to retirement (Pennetta) and bacterial infection (Safarova).

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Stosur Holds Nerve To Edge Out Vinci

Stosur Holds Nerve To Edge Out Vinci

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

SYDNEY, Australia – Samantha Stosur held her nerve in a tense finale to edge out Roberta Vinci and reach the second round of the Apia International Sydney.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Sydney right here on wtatennis.com!

Each January, the question on the lips of everyone involved with Australian tennis is: which Stosur will turn up? The confident, baseline-hogging, Grand Slam winning version, or the nervy, error-strewn one struggling underneath the weight of home expectation.

And as Vinci clawed her way back into the third set, a familiar story looked to be unfolding in front of the Ken Rosewall Arena faithful. But having frittered away a 5-2 lead, a relieved Stosur finally dragged herself over the finishing line when the Italian sent a backhand drifting into the tramlines.

In the off-season, Stosur swapped the gym for a more cardiovascular approach, a decision that paid dividends during a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory, which lasted over two and a half hours under the Sydney sun.

“It was a very long match, a very tough match,” Stosur said. “She knows what she’s doing out there, so you’ve got to know how to combat that. I did that at times, not at others, but I’m glad to get through.”

Since reaching the final over a decade ago, Stosur has failed to make it beyond the second round in Sydney. Blocking her path this time is another of the game’s more experienced heads, Daniela Hantuchova.

“If I could get through that and be in the quarters obviously I would be really pleased and really happy, it’s always nice to progress one round further than you’ve been able to for a long time,” Stosur added.

“That would be a really good confidence boost going into the Aussie Open. If I am in the quarters here, then I’ll try to keep going here as long as possible.”

Elsewhere in the bottom half of the draw, there were wins for Belinda Bencic, Ekaterina Makarova and Monica Puig.

Bencic, who made an early exit last week in Brisbane, got her Australian Open preparations back on track with a 7-6(6), 1-6, 6-4 win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Puig was also made to work hard, eventually seeing off Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, while Makarova kept her time on court to a minimum, swatting aside Lucie Hradecka, 6-2, 6-1, in under an hour.

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Kerber Beats The Heat In Sydney

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

Angelique Kerber, who’s back at No.7 in the world after a brilliant week in Brisbane, battled through scorching conditions to make a winning start in Sydney on Monday.

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