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Aga, Petra & Genie's First Matches Of 2016

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

The Shenzhen Open takes a look back at Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard’s first matches of the 2016 season – watch highlights and interviews from the WTA stars here.

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Gavrilova Wins One For Australia

Gavrilova Wins One For Australia

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

Daria Gavrilova’s Australia Green brought home the Hopman Cup title, sweeping Ukraine and ending the country’s 17-year wait for the trophy.

The newly-minted Australian – who last year was voted WTA Newcomer Of The Year – won the hearts of the exuberant home crowd with her gutsy performance against Elina Svitolina in the final. After winning the first set 6-4, Gavrilova found herself trailing behind 6-1 in the second-set tiebreak.

She went on to win seven straight points to secure the victory.

“I just literally told myself to settle down, just stop thinking of everything,” Gavrilova said after the win. “Just think about how to win every point.

“I just played free.”

Gavrilova’s Australia Green partner Nick Kyrgios went on to secure the title in the mixed-team event, beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4 in the men’s singles rubber.

Though the Hopman Cup is Gavrilova’s first trophy for Australia, she’s earned herself another accolade, a rite of passage for every Australian athlete: an Aussie nickname. The crowd calls her “Dash” – a play on “Dasha,” the Russian nickname for “Daria,” and also a nod to the 21-year-old’s aggressive and unrelenting style of play.

“It means so much,” Gavrilova said of playing in the Hopman Cup.

“It’s just amazing that I got to represent Australia here.”

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As It Happened: Kerber Vs Azarenka

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen | Look back at game-by-game coverage of the Brisbane International final between Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka right here on wtatennis.com!

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Radwanska To Pass Sharapova For No.4

Radwanska To Pass Sharapova For No.4

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

SHENZHEN, China – Agnieszka Radwanska kept her fantastic last few months going Friday, beating Anna-Lena Friedsam for a spot in the Shenzhen Open final – and in the Top 4 on the WTA Rankings.

Watch live action from Brisbane, Shenzhen & Auckland on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!

After jumping out to a 6-2, 2-0 lead, the No.1-seeded Radwanska faced some resistance from Friedsam, the unseeded German breaking back to even the second set, 2-2. But Radwanska got right back on the horse, breaking one last time for 3-2 then holding the rest of the way to win, 6-2, 6-4.

“I’ve been feeling good from the beginning of the year,” Radwanska said. “I’ve been playing some good tennis, especially here in Shenzhen this week, and now I have one more match to go to win here.”

Radwanska has now won 21 of her last 25 matches, a stretch that started right after the US Open and has brought her titles at Tokyo [Pan Pacific], Tianjin and the WTA Finals, and now a final here.

Radwanska is now into the 25th WTA final of her career – she’s 17-7 in her first 24 WTA finals.

And by reaching this final, Radwanska is projected to pass Maria Sharapova on the WTA Rankings come Monday, going from No.5 to No.4 – a move that has major, major implications, as it’s Monday’s WTA Rankings that will determine the seeds for the Australian Open, and a Top 4 seed is massive.

“Reaching the final here is great preparation for the Australian Open, and that’s a good projection too,” Radwanska, a former World No.2, said after being told of the ranking news. “First I’ll focus on winning here in Shenzhen, and then I’ll just try to play the same tennis in Sydney and in Melbourne.”

But back to Shenzhen, and waiting for Radwanska in the final will be Alison Riske, who won an all-unseeded semifinal against Timea Babos earlier in the day by the exact same scoreline, 6-2, 6-4.

“It was definitely a tough match for me,” Riske said. “Babos is a great competitor and a great player, so I had to be there on every point, and I’m excited that the match came out in my favor in the end.

“I’m also excited to be in the final – it’s a great start to a season to reach a final.”

Radwanska beat Riske in their only previous meeting, in her opening match at Indian Wells last year.

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Kerber First Into Brisbane Final

Kerber First Into Brisbane Final

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

BRISBANE, Australia – Angelique Kerber put on a rock solid performance against Carla Suárez Navarro on Friday to become the first player into the final of the Premier-level Brisbane International.

Watch live action from Brisbane, Shenzhen & Auckland on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!

The two players had played four times before and split them evenly, 2-2, but this time it was one-sided traffic as the No.4-seeded Kerber was on her game from the get-go, breaking straight away and needing just an hour and 15 minutes to finally put away the No.6-seeded Suárez Navarro, 6-2, 6-3.

“I think it was a good match from me. I was feeling very well from the first point,” Kerber said.

“I knew I had to play aggressively against her, and I was trying to go for it, trying to let her move, and if I had the chance, just going for it. It worked well today, so I’m happy with my performance.”

Kerber finished with a +6 differential of winners to unforced errors, 25 to 19, while Suárez Navarro finished at -9, 13 to 22. But the biggest stat may have come on the Kerber serve – the German held all eight of her service games during the match, and she fought off both of the break points she faced.

But overall, Kerber was lethal whether she was on offense or defense – the perfect balance.

“For me it’s good to find the middle,” she said about her game earlier in the week. “I like to be more aggressive, but also still running everywhere and trying to get every single ball back. I was practicing that a lot the last few weeks, to make the transition better from defense to aggressive playing.

“I still think I should be more aggressive on my second serve and the next few shots, though.”

The World No.10 is now through to the 18th WTA final of her career. She has a 7-10 record in her first 17, but she’s done much better in WTA finals recently, winning four of her last five (all in 2015).

The big picture goal, however, is getting matches in before the big one – the Australian Open.

“I’m just trying to get out there and play like I’ve been practicing the last few weeks, trying to transfer it all into my matches, being more aggressive and serving better than I did in the last few months.

“I think it’s working well. I think I’m on a good way to being 100% ready for Melbourne.”

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Hingis & Mirza Win 25th Match In A Row

Hingis & Mirza Win 25th Match In A Row

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

BRISBANE, Australia – Just days into the new season and they’ve already hit another milestone – Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza won their 25th match in a row at the Brisbane International on Friday.

Watch live action from Brisbane, Shenzhen & Auckland on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!

Hingis and Mirza, the No.1-ranked team in the world and top seeds at the Premier-level tournament, faced some resistance – Andreja Klepac and Alla Kudryavtseva, the No.4 seeds, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and, after dropping the first set, were a game away from winning the second set up 5-4.

But Hingis and Mirza did all the right things at all the right times and closed it out, 6-3, 7-5.

“I think we’re off to a great start in the new season,” Hingis said. “We never really felt like we finished in 2015 – I played the Indian league and Sania played IPTL, so we still kind of kept our routine.

“We’re really happy to have the possibility to be in another final, and win another title.”

Hingis and Mirza’s 25-match winning streak, which has brought them five titles in a row at the US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing and the WTA Finals, is the longest winning streak since Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci’s 25 in a row in 2012 – the Italians also won five titles in a row, at Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, the French Open and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the winning streak was snapped at Wimbledon).

“It’s been a long time since we’ve lost, but it’s never easy to start a new season, especially when you’re coming off such a great season. Everyone’s gunning for us – we’re the hunted,” Mirza commented.

“We’re just taking it one match at a time, staying positive, and picking up from where we left off.”

To find the last doubles team to win more than 25 matches in a row you have to go all the way back to the 1994 season, when Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva rattled off 28 victories in a row.

The other semifinal, which took place later in the day, saw German wildcards Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic take out Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja, 2-6, 6-3, 10-2.

Hingis and Mirza will face the all-German team for the first time in the final Saturday night.

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