The 2012 Qatar Open women’s singles final is being played between Victoria AZARENKA and Samantha STOSUR. The second MAJOR tournament of the “BIG 14″ events in 2012 features the champions of the two most recent Grand Slam singles events, the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Australian Open. Azarenka and Stosur will do battle for this prestigious Qatar Open title, 900 WTA ranking points and $385,000 in prize money at 6pm local time in Doha today.
The official tournament name is the Qatar TOTAL Open due to title sponsorship naming rights and this tournament is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Consider yourself blessed to witness a final between the new World No.1 and a player who definitely has the potential to become No.1, possibly even this year.
The 27-year-old Stosur is one of the top contenders amongst an increasingly growing group of players who are performing well enough to put themselves in contention to become No.1 for the first time and for a few others who could reclaim the World No.1 spot.
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Tennis is all about whom, whilst under pressure, on the critical key points and at the pivotal swing moments in a match – is able to produce the higher quality of tennis. Whoever overcomes the huge mental challenges when it counts, is able to execute the higher quality movement and stroke production and implement the most effective will emerge victorious.
Every match is a new day where both players have the ability to win regardless of what either player has achieved in the past and no matter how one-sided their previous matches have been. It is always especially interesting to watch exactly how each player executes their movements, exactly what tactics they choose to implement and how they tackle the huge mental challenges that largely influence who wins.
Stosur is playing in her 14 singles final with a record of 3 wins and 10 loses against an opponent who has defeated her in all 5 previous encounters and in straight sets. Stosur was expected by many, especially Australians to do very well if not win at the Australian Open this year. After making her first singles final since winning her maiden Grand Slam singles title in September 2011 at the US Open, Stosur said, “I did everything I could have to prepare for Australia, and no doubt I was very tense and got nervous and just wasn’t able to play and swing freely at the ball when I was out there. I really paid the price for feeling like that.”
Stosur went on to say, “this week I’ve tried to stay relaxed and be a lot more loose. When I’m able to be like that, my tennis flows. Then when I want to hit a forehand, I can get out there and whack it. My feet move better and everything about my tennis is just better. No doubt the mental side plays a huge part in your results.”
The full semi finals order of play is listed in the comments section below this article, click here to go straight there-> Qatar Open Women’s finals day schedule of play.
Samantha STOSUR by winning through to the final eclipsed her only other result in Doha where she lost in the 1st round in 2005. The 27-year-old is captured above during the 2012 Qatar Open in the final stages of her service motion before preparing to move onto the ball when her opponent strikes her return-of-serve. The 1.72m Stosur from Australia has won 3 career WTA singles so far and achieved her best result in a Grand Slam singles event by winning the 2011 US Open followed by being the runner-up at Roland Garros in 2010.
Stosur achieved her career-best ranking of No.4 on 21 February 2011. The soon to be 28-year-old, her birthday is March 30 did not play here last year so has zero points to defend. The Qatar Open runner-up earns 620 WTA ranking points and the winner earns 900 points, either way it is a great step forward for Stosur in her pursuit of being the best player in the world.
Stosur has won seven sets and only lost one set during 5 hours and 21 minutes of match time. Stosur took revenge over Sorana Cirstea for her 1st round upset at the 2012 Australian Open by beating Cirstea 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in the 2nd round. Due to being one of the Top 4 seeds Stosur receiving a bye in the 1st round. Stosur beat Petra Cetkovska (who upset former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic) 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16, then fought off Monica Niculescu (who knocked out defending Doha champion Vera Zvonareva) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the quarter finals.
Stosur then advanced through to the final after winning the 1st set 6-3 against No.5 seed Marion Bartoli in the semi finals before Bartoli was forced to retire with a right calf injury. Stosur in great shape to put 100% effort in physically but as mentioned will need to master the mental challenges and Azarenka who has more self-belief now that any time in the past. The good news is that Azarenka faces exactly the same situation, let’s see who emerges victorious…Ready…Play!
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© photo credit: Qatar Tennis Federation