To nobody’s surprise, Serena Williams won all three of her round robin matches at the 2013 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships to advance to the semifinals of the year end event. The world #1 was just too much for Petra Kvitova, winning 2 and 3. Add that to wins over Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska, and Williams was clearly the class of the Red Group. There is one more semifinal berth up for grabs in the Red Group. That will come down to the winner of Friday’s match between Kvitova and Kerber.
It’s one thing for a top player to show up at a tournament and get upset early, maybe even in the first round. But what Agnieszka Radwanska had to endure I don’t wish on any of the year end elite eight. To come to Istanbul and lose all three matches in round robin has to be demoralizing. Especially because the WTA Championship is a tournament that is a reward for strong play during the year. Aga earned her way in. To not even win a match, which can happen in this format, for somebody as good a player as Aga is…I feel for that player. In the White Group, Sara Errani is also eliminated from semifinal play. She still has one remaining match, but at 0-2 she can only play spoiler for somebody else. Li Na leads the White Group at 2-0 but faces Victoria Azarenka in her final round robin match. Vika and Jelena Jankovic are both 1-1. Jeca plays Errani. Errani is a fighter. I expect her to play well regardless of whether she can advance or not. However, it would seem that Jeca would have the upper hand and more to play for going in. That adds even more intrigue to the Li Na-Victoria Azarenka showdown.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013
|17:00||ROUND ROBIN|| NA LI (CHN)||d|| JELENA JANKOVIC (SRB)||| 6 – 3 | 2 – 6 | 6 – 3 ||
|19:00||ROUND ROBIN|| ANGELIQUE KERBER (GER)||d|| AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (POL)||| 6 – 2 | 6 – 2 ||
|21:00||ROUND ROBIN|| SERENA WILLIAMS (USA)||d|| PETRA KVITOVA (CZE)||| 6 – 2 | 6 – 3 ||
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2013
|17:00||–|| VICTORIA AZARENKA (BLR)||V|| NA LI (CHN)|
|19:00||–|| PETRA KVITOVA (CZE)||V|| ANGELIQUE KERBER (GER)|
|21:00||–|| SARA ERRANI (ITA)||V|| JELENA JANKOVIC (SRB)|
1. Li Na (2-0 : 4-1)
2. Jelena Jankovic (1-1 : 3-2)
3. Victoria Azarenka (1-1 : 2-2)