Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams Ready For 2014 Brisbane International; Sabine Lisicki, Andrea Petkovic Advance

Maria Sharapova at 2014 Brisbane International press conference (click to enlarge)

The 2014 WTA season is already underway prior to New Year’s Day. The 2014 Brisbane International boasts some top of the line starpower, including top ranked Serena Williams, the defending champion, and 4th ranked Maria Sharapova. They both sat down to talk to the press in advance of their first matches. Both received first round byes. Also headlining the women’s singles draw are world #2 Victoria Azarenka and world #8 Jelena Jankovic.

Sabine Lisicki defeats Magdalena Rybarikova in round one (click to enlarge)

Among the first round winners were Sabine Lisicki, Andrea Petkovic and Kimiko Date-Krumm. I have a soft spot for Kimiko, who at 43 still competes with women sometimes almost half her age. It’s truly amazing what she has been able to accomplish at her age on a tour that is more physically demanding now than it’s ever been. While I am happy to see Sabine win, it’s a bit of a disappointment to see two Americans fall in round one as Sabine took out Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Madison Keys fell to Stefanie Voegele. We will see a marquee match-up in the second round as Andrea’s victory earned her a date with Serena Williams. We’ll quickly have a chance to assess where each of their games are. However, no matter what happens for any of the players in this event, the big prize comes in a few weeks at the Australian Open, where Victoria Azarenka is the defending champion.

singles – First round
ANDREA PETKOVIC (GER) D BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS (USA) | 6 – 4 | 7 – 5 |  
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM (JPN) D OLIVIA ROGOWSKA (AUS) | 6 – 3 | 7 – 5 |  
[7] SABINE LISICKI (GER) D MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA (SVK) | 6 – 3 | 6 – 4 |  
ELINA SVITOLINA (UKR) D VARVARA LEPCHENKO (USA) | 6 – 3 | 6 – 3 |  
STEFANIE VOEGELE (SUI) D MADISON KEYS (USA) | 6 – 4 | 6 – 3 |  

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

MARIA SHARAPOVA

SERENA WILLIAMS

KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM

SABINE LISICKI

ANDREA PETKOVIC

ROGER FEDERER

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