samedi 24 décembre 2011

Let's have a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska has been a little bit discret before playing an awesome season after Wimbledon. We will come back in this article about Agnieszka's season and objectives for 2012. Come with us !

8- Agnieszka Radwanska (POLAND)
Radwanska's most consistant weapon : her backhand.
She somehow failed at going through the quarter-finals
at a Grand Slam (Australian Open, Melbourne)
2010 Year-Ending Ranking : N°14 (+6)

2011 in Review : Agnieszka Radwanska is the player who outplayed the complete tour by winning both China Open and Tokyo Pan Pacific Open at the end of the year. Nonetheless, her season does not begin that well. In fact, she plays her first tournament at the Australian Open with no preparation because of an injury. But, by surprise, she manages to reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne, losing to eventual champion, Kim Clijsters. She does it again at Dubai where she lost in quarter-finals to eventual finalist, Svetlana Kuznetsova from Russia. Her performances at Indian Wells and Miami are not significant since she loses at last 16 in Indian Wells and the quarter-finals (again) at the Sony Ericsson Open at Miami, losing to Vera Zvonareva. 
Agnieszka's season has been quite consistant, reaching the quarter-finals of three events and only disappointed at the Qatar Ladies Open, at Doha, where she lost her openning round to Lucie Safarova.
She begins her claycourt campaign by a semi-final reached at Stuttgart,lost to Caroline Wozniacki, the world number one. In Madrid she loses in the 3rd round and falls in the 1st round at Rome. She somehow manages to reach the 4th round at Roland-Garros, losing to Maria Sharapova in two tight sets 7/6 7/5.
She begins grasscourt season at Eastbourne, reaching the quarter-finals losing in three sets to eventual finalist, Petra Kvitova. She's then uspset by Petra Cetkovska from Czech Republic in the 2nd round of the Wimbledon Championships. 
Her season takes a new bright at Carlsbad, during the summer US hardcourts season, where she clinches the title, by dismissing Vera Zvonareva in the finals, in straight sets. She plays good in both Stanford and Toronto, reaching quarter-finals in Stanford losing to Sabine Lisicki and reaching semi-finals, losing to Samantha Stosur in straight sets. At the US Open she first beats her sister Ursula in the first round before being uspset by the tournament's cindrella story, Angelique Kerber, eventual semi-finalist.
She thus went to play the asian swing and has been there, the player to beat. Actually no one managed to beat her as she won back to back titles in both Tokyo and Beijing against Vera Zvonareva (6/3 6/2) in Tokyo and Andrea Petkovic in Beijing (7/5 0/6 6/4). Thanks to those great results, she's been able to qualify to Instanbul's Year-Ending Championship where she's dismissed during round robins, losing to both Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki.

What to expect for 2012 ? : First of all, to get past the quarter-finals at a grand slam, she reached it in both Wimbledon and Australian Open during her career but never manages to go further at slams. Then she'll have to become a bigger threat at every single tournament, rather than at one or two during the year. In order to do so, she'll have to be consistant at the best level and to be more powerful, to show power in her shots like she did during the asian swing. She finished the year at the 8th spot, what about going higher ? She'll have to play well in Slams where she's still not a threat and where the likes of Cetkovska and Kerber can, in a good day, beat her. She's not considered as a threat like a Serena Williams or a Maria Sharapova would be and she'll have to construct herself a personnality and a palmares that will make her become a really true "TOP PLAYER". 
I personnally can't see her win a grand slam this year and even not reaching a final at those events since she's not able to play her best tennis during two entire weeks, yet. However, she'll be a theat at Premier events since she can beat anyone in a good day. Consistency will be a her main aim this year. Since she got rid of her father, her new coach seems to do well in order to make her progress. Wait and see ! 

Best of 2011 : Agnieszka Radwanska d. Vera Zvonareva 6/2 6/3 (Tokyo-Final)
A match were everything worked out perfectly for Radwanska, she was playing awesome shots and really enjoying her time out there. Zvonareva was not even ridiculous, she played her match, but everything Radwanska did that day, was too much to handle for her 

The worst of 2011 : Petra Cetkovska d. Agniezska Radwanska 3/6 7/5 6/4
A match where Agnieszka had every opportunities to win this match but still managed to lose because she lacked intiatives and has been waiting for Petra Cetkovska's errors. It ended by Radwanska not handling her oppenent's fire power and while Radwanska was leading 1/4 in the last set, she was not able to handle Petra's determination. Credits to the Czech player. 

mercredi 21 décembre 2011

Let's take a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Vera Zvonareva

Vera Zvonareva has been the typical regular girl unable to show off at a specific tournament but who had an overall good year. After two grand slams reached in 2010 at both Wimbledon and US Open, we all waited for Vera's shining. Instead of what, Vera did fall a little bit, going from the second spot of the rankings to the seventh.

7- Vera Zvonareva (RUSSIA)
2010 Year-Ending Ranking : N°2 (-5)
All Vera Zvonareva's determination in this defensive shot at the 
Australian Open but she failed in the semi-finals against
Kim Clijsters (Melbourne, Australia)
 2011 in Review : This season has been for Vera Zvonareva a very solid season, in which she's been really consistant and had overall good results without shining anywhere. She did not defend both her finals at London and New-York that she played in 2010.
She begins her season at the Medibank International in Sydney where she got upset in her first match of the year by Flavia Pennetta in two sets 7/5 7/5. She somehow manages to reach Australian Open semi-finals winning over Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champion, Kim Clijsters. Then, she plays in Middle East, in Dubai and Doha. She won by the way Doha by winning over Caroline Wozniacki 6/4 6/4 in the final. 
Vera Zvonareva's season has been an example of consistency but it deeply missed a high result, a shining star result. In fact, she reached the 3rd round at Indian Wells and the quarter-finals at Miami. 
During the claycourt season, she reaches the quarter-finals at Stuttgart, the 3rd round in Madrid (losing to eventual champion Petra Kvitova) and the semi-finals at Brussels. 
She arrives at Roland Garros with a quite good amount of confidence and played three good matches in Paris, including a tragic match against Sabine Lisciki before running into russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to whom she lost 7/5 2/6 6/2. She goes then to play over grass beginning at Eastbourne and reaching quarter-finals losing to Samantha Stosur. At Wimbledon, she's got a final to defend and she did not manage to do it : she actually lost in the 3rd round to Pironkova in straight sets. That was Vera's first big disappointment this season. But life goes on and she thus has to commit to US Hardcourt season where she reaches the final at Carlsbad losing to A.Radwanska to whom she lost against in the 3rd round in Toronto. She wins at Baku before this and after both Carlsabad and Toronto, she manages to play the semi-finals at Cincinnati where she loses to Maria Sharapova, the eventual champion, in three sets. At the US Open, she does the job to reach to quarter-finals before losing to eventual champion, Samantha Stosur.
In Asia, she reaches the final at the Tokyo Open beating Petra Kvitova on her way before losing to Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets in the final. On the other hand, she loses to Ana Ivanovic during the China Open, in the 3rd round. 
However, her consistant results throughout the year allowed her to qualify for the Year Ending Championship where she won against Woznacki and lost to both Kvitova and Radwanska but she managed to reach the semi-finals where she lost to Victoria Azarenka 6/2 6/3.

What to expect for 2012 ? : In 2012, I want first of all Vera to win a match against A.Radwanska because she never managed to win over her this year. Vera is really able to do well in slams and I want her to reach another Grand Slam Final, and why not winning it. She's really able to do so and got what it takes in her racquet. Perhaps she needs to be a little bit more agressive and to take initiatives. 
She's got a bronze medal to defend at the Olympics and I really hope she'll keep it and why not, get a better one ? 
Vera Zvonareva got enough talent to reach the latter stages in every tournament, in order to climb back the rankings, she'll have to be consistant but explosive too, able to do damages and pull out big upsets. She'll be a big contender to all big titles but she'll have to stay focused to go further and clinch titles. To do so, Vera will have to control her emotions that made her lose matches way too many times. 

The best of 2011 : Vera Zvonareva d. Petra Kvitova 6/2 6/4 (Australian Open- Quarter-finals) 
It's way too difficult to chose a best match talking about Vera Zvonareva since she's always consistant and rarely shows a better level in a special match. I finally chose this one because Vera Zvonareva showed great attacking skills. 

The Worst of 2011 : Tsvetana Pironkova vs Vera Zvonareva 6/2 6/3 (Wimbledon- 3rd round)
It was not really hard ot pick up this one since Vera was kind of absent. No footwork, no timing, no power. It was like she was not on the court, like she was totally absent. 

mardi 20 décembre 2011

Let's take a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Samantha Stosur

The Australian player had a really up and down season and I really don't know what to think. She surely did good as she reached the Nr.6 in the world and most of all, won the last US Open in a great way.

6- Samantha Stosur (AUSTRALIA)
2010 Year-Ending Ranking : N°6 (=)
Samantha Stosur's joy after match point against Serena Williams at the US Open (New York, USA)

2011 in Review : Of course, the biggest highlight of her season and moreover, of her entire career will remain her win at the US Open. And this win has been a real surprise as she never played well on the US Open's fast hardcourt but Samantha did it and she'll remain in tennis history for that.

Nontheless, the season did not begin this way. It actually began quite bad at home, in Australia, in that hot summer. She suffers a 1st round exit at Brisbane against compatriot Jarmila Gajdosova 6/2 6/4 and a 2nd round exit at Sydney, losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets. She's slightly better at the Australian Open, in Melbourne, where she manages to win, for the first time of the year, two matches in a row before losing to Petra Kvitova.
The continuation was not better. She reaches the quarter-finals in Dubai before losing to Jelena Jankovic and then lost to Dinara Safina in Indian Wells (3rd round) and to Maria Sharapova (3rd round) in Miami.
Thus, before the beginning of the claycourt campaign, Samantha's season has been nothing near her best, she played some okay tennis but nothing outstanding like she did in 2010. Coming back on the dirt, she manages to reach the semi-finals at Stuttgart by winning over Vera Zvonareva in the quarter-finals. In Rome, she clinches wins over Li Na and Fransesca Schiavone in order to reach the final where she lost to Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6/2 6/4.
Having reached the final at Roland Garros in 2010, Samantha Stosur arrives there with high expectations but all goes wrong and her tennis seems to be everywhere but on the parisian courts. She lose in the 3rd round to Gisela Dulko. Her bad form goes on as she lost in the 1st round to Melinda Czink at Wimbledon.
Then comes tu US Hardcourt season, where Samantha Stosur never felt at ease beacause of the fast courts. But she managed to do quite well reaching to final in Toronto (l. to Serena Williams) and the quarter-finals (l. to Maria Sharapova). Then came the US Open where Samantha Stosur came up solid to win match after match, playing an unibelievably dramatic match against Maria Kirilenko in 4th round and got rid of Vera Zvonareva in the quarter-finals. But she played the best match of her life, as she said, in the final, against Serena Williams against whom she won in a beautiful way 6/2 6/3. Sam Stosur wins here her first grand slam trophy, after failing at the same stage during the 2010 Roland Garros.
The asian swing is a little bit harder to handle, Samantha falls to pressure and lost twice to Maria Kirilenko in both Tokyo and Beijing. She somehow reaches the final at Osaka losing to Marion Bartoli. She qualifies for second time of her career to the Masters and this time, she manages to reach the semi-finals before losing to Petra Kvitova, the eventual champion.

What to expect for 2012 ? : Samantha Stosur finished this season at her best with this US Open victory. In 2012, she'll have to deal with this victory and to consider herslef as a favorite and not as an outsider anymore. She'll have to deal with the preassure and it will be particulary interesting to see how she'll face the tension of being a new slam winner and to play at home, in Australia. Rendez-vous at Brisbane for first few answers and of course at Melbourne.
But, more generally, Samantha Stosur will have to find the key to play consistently throughout the year and to beat player she have to beat. We also wish her to do well in Grand Slam and why not in Roland Garros where her she expresses all the variety of her game. She's got a shot there.
2012 could also be the year for Stosur to learn how to play well on grass in order to represent well Australia in Wimbledon and most of all, during the Olympics.

The best of 2011 : Samantha Stosur d. Serena Williams 6/2 6/3 (US Open- Final)
This match is THE one that Samantha Stosur showed us all her tennis, all its variety, its beauty but also showed mental skills that we all thought she lacked of. A big moment of tennis to live, or live again.

The worst of 2011 : Gisela Dulko d. Samantha Stosur 6/4 1/6 6/3 (Roland Garros - 3rd round)
Probably one of the worst tennis Sam Stosur has ever played. She seemed really erratic, did not know what to do on the court and even when she was finding kind of some form back she let Gisela come back in the match by committing way too much errors. Can't find the video from the match, but I can surely give you this !

Let's take a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Li Na

One of the greatest stories on the WTA Tour this year : Li Na's breakthrough at the age of 29. She made China have his first Grand Slam title by winning Roland Garros this year and played enough well in order to end this year at the fifth spot.

5- Li Na (CHINA)
2010 Year-Ending Ranking : N° 11 (+6)
Li Na, right after her victorious match point
 at the end of her match against Francesca Schiavone in the Final
of the French Open (Roland Garros, Paris)
2011 in Review : The biggest achievement of her season and her career is winning Roland Garros over Franseca Schivaone, the defending champion (6/4 7/6).

But, the year began really well in Australia as she won The Medibank International in Sydney beating Kim Clijsters in the final (7/6 6/3). Two weeks later she meets Kim Clijsters again in the final at the Australian Open. It's Li Na's first Grand Slam and she lost it 3/6 6/3 6/3. But to get there she showed an impressive and solid tennis winning over Victoria Azarenka in the 4th round and the world number one, Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-final by saving a match point. But the serie stops brutally there as she lost in first rounds in Dubai, Doha, Indian Wells and Miami. Even if she wins a match at Stuttgart, the first since her Australian Open final, she lose the 2nd Round to Sabine Lisicki.
That's why when she entered the Mutua Madrilena Open in Madrid, no one expected her to do that well and go that deep : She reaches the semi-finals losing to Petra Kvitova, the eventual champion, 6/3 6/1. She goes back to the semi-finals in Rome, losing to Samantha Stosur in straight sets.
Arriving in Roland Garros, she knew that she's been able to play well on clay... But not that good. She took her matches step by step and after struggling in the first round against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, she went on winning including beating Petra Kvitova in the 4th round, Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals, Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals and finally Francesca Schiavone in the final.
It seems like Li Na stopped her season there. Perhaps the motivation has gone, perhaps all those endormsents contracts made here forget about her tennis. Whatever, the thing is, the season has been really bad after Roland Garros as she lost in the 2nd Round of Wimbledon to Lisicki, the 3rd Round in both Cincinnati and Toronto (lost both to Stosur in straight sets). At the US Open, she lost in the 1st Round to Simona Halep in straight sets 6/2 7/5. She also fell in the 1st Round at the China Open to another Roumanian, Monica Niculescu 6/4 6/0.
But, her big results during the Australian Summer and her win at Roland Garros permits her to qualify for the Year Ending Championship in Istanbul where she beats an injuried Maria Sharapova before losing comprehensively to both Samantha Stosur and Victoria Azarenka. I think Li Na has been glad the season was over, so she could regroup and try to begin 2012 in the best way she can.

What to expect for 2012 ? :  Li Na will play this season and she's nearly 30, we can't expect much from her. Winning another grand slam would another great achievement in her career but I gotta confess I highly doubt she can ever make it again, but who knows ?But, she'll be focused during the Olympic Games in order to grab a medal for China, she's still able to do so. I can see her drop a little bit in rankings. But the main objective for her will be to stay regular throughout the year and somehow to have pleasure on the court. Li Na will stay a threat in all the tournaments and we hope for her to finally beat Samantha Stosur against whom she never won a single match.

The best of 2011 : Li Na d. Caroline Wozniacki 3/6 7/5 6/3 (Australian Open- Semi-Finals)
At the beginning, wanted to choose the Roland Garros final against Franseca Schiavone but it was not the match she displayed the better tennis of her season. After that, wanted to chose the semi-final against Maria Sharapova in Roland Garros but it was not that good, Li Na just did the job and waited for Maria's faults. Finally, I figured out that during this match in Australia she did : She played a really good tennis and has been really mentally strong.

The Worst of 2011 : Simona Halep d. Li Na 6/2 7/5 (US Open- 1st round)
She just did everything wrong during this match, lot of unforced errors, an absent moving, a bad serve. A match to forget for Li Na

Let's take a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Maria Sharapova

Here she is ! My beauty queen ! I'm not gonna hide it : I'm a Sharapova's dear fan ! This girl is for me, everything you have to be on court talking about attitude and glamour. 2011 has been her best year since she came back in May 2009 from a right shoulder surgery. She finishes the year at the 4th sport, her better ending-year ranking since 2006.

Sharapova celebrates here after her victory
over Caroline Woznacki in the semi-finals
of the Italian Open (Rome, Italy)

4- Maria Sharapova (RUSSIA)
2010 Ending-Year Ranking : N°18 (+14)
2011 in Review : First of all, we all have to know that Maria signed a new raquet deal with Head, which is really important in her career since she's been playing with Prince raquets since she was 8. This change became unavoidable since Prince products are way to heavy for Maria who, we all know, suffered from shoulder issues.
The Head team provided Maria a new racquet and this year has been for her, a good year, regarding 2009 et 2010 failures. In fact, she won two Premier 5 events in Rome and Cincinnati, have reached the final in Wimbledon and Miami, and the semi-finals in both Roland-Garros and Indian Wells. Her season has been consistant even though she got injuried at the end, which made her retire after two loss at the Masters, in Istanbul.
But, Maria's season did not begin well. Actually, she's been knocked out by Greta Arn in quarter-finals of the Auckland Tournament, the eventual champion and in the 4th round of the Australian Open by the German Andrea Petkovic. Her withdrawing from Dubai, Doha and Paris Indoors is followed by a loss in Moscow in the 1st round of the Fed Cup against France. She looses to frenchwoman Virginie Razzano in straight sets. At this point, Maria's season seems to be a real nightmare. Then comes the American Indian Wells-Miami tourney. Finding her form back, she goes deep in both events : semi-finals in Indian Wells losing 6/1 6/2 to world number one and eventual winner, Caroline Wozniacki and final at Miami Open losing to Victoria Azarenka 6/1 6/4. Even if she manages to do well there, her serve seems such a liability and she's comitting tons of double-faults, and this will go on until the very end of the season.
A season that will take another breathe, in May, during the claycourt campaign. After a 3rd round exit at the Madrid Open (l. to Cibulkova), she wins the Italian Open in an impressive way beating both Azarenka and Wozniacki in order to reach the final and then, beats Samantha Stosur in straight sets 6/2 6/4. Thus she goes confident to Roland Garros, the single grand slam that misses her Grand Slam Career. She reaches there the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Li Na 6/4 7/5 comitting 10 double-faults during the match. This tournament shows clearly that Maria has up and downs from one day to another : She totally outplays Andrea Petkovic (6/3 6/0) in quarter-finals playing an outstanding tennis and  loses against Li Na in the semi-finals with 10 doubles faults and 23 faults. She directly goes to London to play the Wimbledon Championships where she reaches the final without dropping a single set, playing impressive tennis against Dominika Cibulkova (6/1 6/1) and then being totally outplayed in the final by Petra Kvitova.
Maria's US hardcourt has been kind of an up and down story (again). She begins in Stanford where she loses to Serena Williams 6/1 6/3, the eventual champion but the biggest disappointment comes in Toronto where she lost to Galina Voskoboeva in 3rd round, a Kazakh qualifier. Then came Cincinnati, where, without playing anywhere near her top, she managed to win the title after wins over Kuznetsova, Stosur, Zvonareva and Jankovic in the final, thus she became Nr.1 at the WTA Race Rankings. The US Open is the tournament to forget for Maria Sharapova, after a difficult win over the young british Heather Watson in a three-setter and over Yakimova, Maria loses against the Italian Flavia Pennetta in a tough three-setter : A dispointing result as Maria was one of the favorites in New York to clinch the title.
She goes to Asia in order to play the Tokyo Open. She plays some solid tennis there, especially at serve where she seemed to find back some confidence on that shot. In fact, here match against Julia Goerges showed she was still able to serve really well. But during her quarter-final against Petra Kvitova, she had to retire due to an ankle injury she contracted after...serving ! She had thus to withdraw from the China Open but wanted to go to Instanbul for the Masters.
But everything went wrong and Maria seemed really unable to run off the court and lost to Samantha Stosur for the first time in her career, and lost again to Li Na before retiring from the Masters. A bad end for a quite good year actually.

What to expect for 2012 ? :First of all, to stay healthy and to keep that motivation that she lacked in 2009 and 2010. Then, I think that everything will come back itself. She'll have also to fix up her serve which became a big weakness of her game since she came back from surgery. At the end of the year, during the Tokyo Open especially, she's been serving really well and her new coach Thomas Hogstedt will have to work with her on this serve.
In 2012, Maria Sharapova will be a big contender in Grand Slams for sure, she still got this combativity and this unbelievable fighting spirit that can lead her to win even if she's not playing well. She will also have to be more consistent. As the Nr.4 in the world, she's not allowed anymore to lose to Greta Arn or Galina Voskoboeva. In fact, she's not allowed to be erratic anymore as she's been this year, from time to time.
The biggest challenge to her will be to stop being so up and down during tournaments and somehow to manage to become again the threat she used to be. With Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, she's part of the "old generation" (while she's only 24 !) and there's a lot of people to think that those three players are going to dominate again. No doubt she got what it takes in her raquet to do so.

The Best of 2011 : Maria Sharapova d. Caroline Wozniacki 7/5 6/3 (Rome- Semi-Final)
  I hesitate for so long between this match and quarter-final in Wimbledon against Dominika Cibulkova but this win against Wozniacki meant so much to Maria Sharapova, that I've chosen that one.

The Worst of 2011 : Greta Arn d. Maria Sharapova 6/2 7/5
With no hesitation, this have been her worst match ever during the year, with, perhaps, her match against Galina Voskoboeva in Toronto.

Let's take a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Victoria Azarenka

She's been one of the most active player on the tour this year, the Belarus Victoria Azarenka ended the year as World number 3 at the WTA Tour Raning system.

3- Victoria Azarenka (BELARUS)
Azarenka hitting a teremendous forehand during the Miami Final that she won
against Maria Sharapova (Miami, Florida, USA)
2010 Ending-Season Ranking : N°10 (+7)
2011 in Review : Victoria Azarenka won three titles the season at Miami, Marbella and Luxembourg.
She begins the year at Sydney where she reaches the quarter-finals before losing to Kim Clijsters, the eventual Australian Open Champion. By the way, in Melbourne, she's knocked out in the 4th round by the eventual finalist, Li Na. She showed in Australia a suspicious form and that's been confirmed during the tournament in Dubai and Doha where she suffers early round exits in both tournament. At this stage, Victoria admitted that she thought about quitting tennis as she did not feel pleasure on the court anymore.
But, with Sam Sumyk's help, she goes to American Hardcourt Tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami where she shows an impressive tennis reaching the quarter-finals in Indian Wells (surrendering to Wozniacki) and most of all, winning in Miami.
This tournament is the real start of Victoria Azarenka practising a solid tennis, she won against Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva in straight sets before defeating Maria Sharapova in the final (6/1 6/4). A week later, she wins in Marebella without droping a set to launch the claycourt campaign where she reaches the final in Madrid (l. to Kvitova).
Roland Garros is kind of disapointing for since she reaches the quarter-finals, losing comprehensively to Li Na, the eventual champion while she was one of the biggest favorites on the parisian clay. Azarenka reaches the semi-finals in Wimbledon losing to eventual champion Petra Kvitova in a tough three-setter 6/1 3/6 6/2. It's actually Victoria's best result in a Grand Slam.
The US Hardcourt season is a fail for Azarenka : loss in 1st round of Stanford Open to Marina Erakovic (Nr.142) and withdrawal from Cincinnati Open. She somehow managed to reach the semi-final at the Rogers Cup losing to eventual champion Serena Williams (6/3 6/3) and reached the 4th round at the US Open where she lost again to Serena Williams.
The end of the year is been quite good to Azarenka. She won at Luxembourg without dropping a single set before reaching the final of the Year Ending Championship losing again to Petra Kvitova.

What to expect for 2012 ? : First of all, staying healthy. Even though, she's been more and more consistant during this year, she had to retire so many times this year in Stuttgart, Rome, Cincinnati and Beijing. Victoria Azarenka, as a world number 3, have to be able to reach the latter stages of a Grand Slam, thus, the main goal for her will be to show off at Grand Slams and why not reaching a final and winning it, it would be the greatest achievement of her career. Tennistically talking, Victoria will have to be more decisive on her 2nd serve ball because she's way too atacked on this nowadays. We really hope, this year, she'll find a way to beat Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova to whom she lost a lot of important matches in 2011, and why not taking revenge on Li Na too. She has to stop being an outsider to become a real contender and in order to do so, to be regular at the best stages.

The best of 2011 : Victoria Azarenka d. Kim Clijsters 6/3 6/3 (Miami- Quarter-Finals)
One of her best match of her career so far, she did everything perfect to beat Kim Clijsters in Miami. She did everything right, and I'm not even an Azarenka fan !

The worst of 2011 : Flavia Pennetta d. Victoria Azarenka 6/3 6/7 6/4 (Dubai- 3rd Round)
This was the kind of match Azarenka lost, but we don't why. It's just like she was on the court but her mind were somewhere else. A bad performance from the Belarus but credit to Pennetta being so agressiver to pack this out !

Let's take a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Petra Kvitova

If there's somehow, a player that conviced the tennis family, it's her : Petra Kvitova. The Czech player became a real shining star during her breakthrough year : 2011.

2- Petra Kvitova (CZECH REPUBLIC)

Petra Kvitova after her match point against Maria Sharapova
at the final of the Championships Wimbledon 
(All Lawn Tennis Club,London)

2010 Ending-Season Ranking : N°34 (+32)
     2011 in Review : 2011 has been a great year for Petra Kvitova, it's the least we can say. She's won  6 titles including the Year-Ending Championships in Istanbul and the most important, Wimbledon winning over Maria Sharapova in the final 6/3 6/4. Petra began the year by winning in Brisbane before reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open (l. to Vera Zvonareva). Thus, she won The Paris Open GDF Suez against Kim Clijsters in the final (6/4 6/3). Besides the Linz Genralli Open that she won at the end of the year, she played a teremendous tennis at the Mutua Madrilena Open in Madrid to win the trophy by sgning victories over Victoria Azarenka (final) and Li Na (semi-finals). In Roland Garros, she lost to the eventual champion, the Chinese player Li Na in a three-setter, in the 4th round. After that, she reached the final at Eastbourne where she lost to the frenchwoman, Marion Bartoli. Then came the won at Wimbledon, Petra Kvitova became the first girl of the 90's to win a grand slam, doing it even before Victoria Azarenka or even Caroline Wozniacki.
  The summer's been a bit more complicated. In fact, she admitted herself that winning Wimbledon was difficult to handle for her and she showed it by losing in the opening rounds at Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open where she's been knocked out in the 1st round by the Roumanian Alexandra Dulgheru in straight sets. She became the first Wimbledon laureate to lose the 1st round at the US Open.
The indoor season showed a slightly better Petra Kvitova as she won in Linz, reached the semi-finals in Tokyo (lost to Zvonareva). She arrived to the Masters as third seed and won all her round robin matches against Caroline Wozniacki (6/4 6/2), Vera Zvonareva (6/2 6/4) and Agniezska Radwanska (7/6 6/3) and won over Samantha Stosur and Victoria Azarenka in order to win the Istanbul Masters.
 2011, has been a great year for Petra Kvitova with great achiviements. But, she still have to find sort of consistency, especially on outdoors hardcourts as she suffered early exits at Indian Wells, Miami, Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open.

    What to expect for 2012 ? : 2012 have to be the year of confirmation. Petra Kvitova is now considered as a top player, she won the Award of the WTA Player of the year and many tennis fans and tennis specialists consider Petra as the real number one. She will be a strong contender in all 4 slams as she plays well on all surfaces. We expect from her to defend the titles she won this year and why not to win anothers. The year beginning will be very important as a good performance from Petra in both Sydney and Australian Open could lead her to take the number one spot over Caroline Wozniacki. Before those events, the Hopman Cup, which she entered will be a good test to see wether she's ready or not to take the leadership on the WTA Tour.  Personnally, I don't know if Petra will be able to handle the pressure around her and could, at the beginning be really disappointing. I wouldn't be surprise if she did really bad in Australia and then got better and better, especially during the claycourt season. I actually can see her winning Roland Garros. But, I really hope, for us, tennis fan, that she'll play well since January.
The main goal for Petra is to be consistant throughout the whole year. As a Nr.2 and a dominant player, she's not allowed anymore to have up and downs during the season, she has to maintain her level during the year, which can be difficult when we know that she's got asthma...
Finally, seeing the way she played this year in Fed Cup to make Czech Republic win the trophy in that competition in 2011, I can imagine she'll be overmotivated to go deep at the Olympics and why not winning a medal in an Olympic event that will be hold in Wimbledon, her new garden...

The best of 2011 : Petra Kvitova d. Maria Sharapova 6/3 6/4 (Wimbledon-Final)
I chose it as her best match because she played an outstanding tennis to get rid of Maria Sharapova, it's really impressive assuming that it was her first Grand Slam final and that she was playing against a former winner at Wimbledon.

The Worst of 2011 : Alexandra Dulgheru d. Petra Kvitova 7/6 6/2
A complete miss in Petra's excellent season. She was out there, like she forgot the tennis that made her win Wimbledon at home. She lacks consistency here.

Let's take a look at the WTA TOP 10 : Caroline Wozniacki

Here it is. The end of the year, the WTA has a fresh new TOP 10 and we're going to have a look at these ladies and their achievments throughout 2011.

Beside this mental strengh she's showing off here, in Melbourne,
Caroline Wozniacki is still a Queen with no crown, a number one without a Grand 
Slam (Australian Open, Melbourne)
 1- Caroline Wozniacki (DANEMARK)
2010 Season-Ending Ranking : N°1 (=)
     2011 in Review : First, she switched raquet from Babolat to Yonex. This change did not really had an impact on her season. She's been consistant all the year, winning 6 titles : Indian Wells, Brussels, Charleston, New Haven, Dubai and home-tournament in Copenhaguen. As a world-number one, the worrying fact is that she never won a slam, and did not even reach a single final since the 2009 US Open. This year, she made the Semi-finals at the Australian Open losing to Li Na from China. During this match, we saw all Wozniacki's gameplan limits; she's surely a great defenser but she lacks abilities in attacking and, moreover, boldness.
Daniela Hantuchova knocked her out at the 3rd round of Roland Garros this year showing a perfect gameplan to annilhate Wozniacki : make her run from one side to another and suddendly hit inside-out shots. Dominika Cibulkova, Daniela's compatriot, showed that hitting hard can overwhelm the danish and knocked her out from Wimbleon in the 4th round by winning 1/6 7/6 7/5.
While everybody expected her to do well during US hardcourt season, she lost in both Toronto and Cincinnati in 1st round to Roberta Vinci and Christina McHale. Those loss are not accidents, since she lost in Tokyo and Beijing to Kanepi (3rd round) and Pennetta (quarter-finals).
Reaching the semi-finals at the US Open, she lost to Serena Williams, comprehensively 6/4 6/2. Her last tournament was the Year-Ending Championships in Istanbul where she lost two of her three round robin and got eliminated before semi-finals.
Caroline Wozniacki ended the year as the world Nr.1 because of her consistency and her crazy schedule (22 tournaments played). But, her lack of power and intiatives makes her a queen without crown as she did not win a grand slam ever throughout her career. In addition, if her game style is effective, it's nowhere near of being attractive or pleasant to watch.
     What to expect for 2012 ? : What else to expect from Wozniacki than to prove all the skeptics (I'm one of them) that she's able to take a real leadership over the WTA Tour ? We all imagine her main goals : winning a slam, why not an olympic medal ? The thing is, I highly doubt she'll achieve on of those. Her game style is way to defensive and any player in a good day, can overpower her (Sharapova in Rome, Cibulkova in Wimbledon, Kanepi in Tokyo, Zvonareva in Doha). This defensive plan is also based on a really impressive physical skills that she got, but sometimes, this year she's been erratic as her loss against Petkovic in Miami showed it (52 unforced errors).

The best of 2011 : Caroline Wozniacki d. Svetlana Kuznetsova 6/1 6/3 (Dubai-Final)
It's been really tough to decide wether the Dubai Final or the Indian Wells would be her best match of the year. Both were matches in where she played really solid and tried to attack sometimes.

The worst of 2011 : Christina McHale d. Caroline Wozniacki 6/4 7/5
A match where Wozniacki were absent, one of her worst matches, she couldn't find her tennis and committed a lot of unforced errors. But credit to McHale who did well making Caroline Wozniacki hit a lot of erros, which is actually her gameplan !