The 2010 WTA Tour Finals round robin matches were completed yesterday after 4 days of play. After her final round robin match yesterday Elena Dementieva announced that she had just played her last professional tennis match. Today the semi finals will be played beginning at 5:30pm local time in Doha, Qatar.
The OCA pre-tournament predictions for who would make the semi finals and who would play in the final were VERY accurate, to see who was predicted to win these matches click-> here.
The WTA Tour Finals have turned out very well with the semi finalists only being decided on the second last day of the round robin matches and the actual semi final match-ups being decided on the final day. Who would win the honour of being the year-end World No.1 was still in the balance during this tournament. The 20th woman to become ranked No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, played a must-win final round robin match to clinch No.1 and become only the tenth woman to hold the year-end No.1 position.
The players who finish No.1 in their group play against the No.2 player from the other group. Samantha Stosur won the maroon group and Wozniacki was No.2 in that group. Vera Zvonareva won the white group by defeating Kim Clijsters in straight sets yesterday to extend her winning record against Clijsters to 3-1 this year. Zvonareva’s win in a rematch of this year’s US Open final, also secured her spot as the World No.2 with Clijsters to finish third.
The first semi final today will be played between No.3 seed Kim Clijsters and No.5 seed Samantha Stosur in a rematch of the 2010 US Open quarter finals. Clijsters a triple US Open champion, her toughest match against the 2010 Roland Garros runner-up in 3 sets. The 27 year old Clijsters has won all 4 matches against her 26 year old opponent and is the only player in the draw to win this title before (in 2002 and 2003).
The 1.74m Belgian is playing her 7th WTA Championships and is a former World No.1. Clijsters now has a 38-7 win-loss record in 2010 and has won 4 titles this year, the US Open, Cincinnati Open, Miami Open and in Brisbane, Australia. Clijsters has 39 career WTA singles titles and is coached by Wim Fissette.
The 1.72m Stosur is one of the fabulous four who all had their best year on the WTA Tour (also Wozniacki, Zvonareva and Schiavone). The Australian achieved her best Grand Slam result this year at Roland Garros, the US Open and equalled her Australian Open best by making the round of 16. It took the eventual champion to defeat Stosur at all three of these tournaments.
Stosur is playing in her first WTA Championships, achieved her career best ranking of No.5 on July 5 and can set a new career best ranking of No.4 if she wins the Doha title. Stosur now has a 47-18 win-loss record in 2010 has added another WTA singles title to her credit after winning her first one last year.
Stosur has defeated a number of top players this year whom she had never previously beaten, so the pattern points to her first win over Clijsters today. Stosur has the game; superior fitness and possesses a serve and forehand that can allow her to beat anyone. For Stosur to realise her potential by earning the No.1 ranking, winning Grand Slams and major titles she needs to make vast improvements in her strategy and tactics plus her mental skills.
The second semi final is between World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and No.2 Vera Zvonareva in a rematch of the 2010 US Open semi finals, which Zvonareva won. The 20 year old Wozniacki and the 26 year old Zvonareva will be playing for the fifth time this year. Today will be the decider in their overall career meetings and in 2010.
The 1.77m Wozniacki from Denmark and the 1.72m Zvonareva from Russia have split the 6 matches they have played overall and the four matches they have played this year. This pair have been taking turns winning then losing and according to their pattern Zvonareva will win this semi final match. Wozniacki, the 2009 US Open runner-up beat Zvonareva, who was this year’s US Open runner-up (and Wimbledon runner-up), in a truly great match in the final of the China Open in Beijing in their last meeting on October 11 less than 3 weeks ago.
Only Wozniacki and Zvonareva have won 50 plus main draw matches on the WTA Tour in a testament to their ability to prove that they can reproduce high quality performances and now how to succeed at the critical stages. Wozniacki has a 61-16 win loss record and Zvonareva has a 51-17 record to date in 2010.
Zvonareva has won 10 career WTA titles and Wozniacki has already won 12 with a WTA high 6 singles titles in 2010. Both women will be looking to set a new career best at the WTA Championships, which Wozniacki is playing for the second time and Zvonareva is playing for the third straight year (fourth time overall). Wozniacki had to retire last year in the semi finals in her debut and Zvonareva’s best result was being a runner-up in 2008.
Wozniacki has the better backhand, whereas Zvonareva has the better forehand. It will be interesting to see how well they can control their usual intriguing baseline exchanges to best suit their own strengths. Wozniacki has the superior mental toughness and consistency, whereas Zvonareva has greater power. Her father Piotr coaches the former, whilst Sergey Demekhin coaches Zvonareva.
We will keep you updated here at OCA with the results and scores of each match. A Zvonareva and Stosur final would be a great showdown as Zvonareva is displaying the best form this week and Stosur is getting her big game together. A 2009 US Open singles final rematch was my original prediction so, best stick with Clijsters and Wozniacki.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for full coverage of every Grand Slam tournament and every major women’s and men’s tennis tournament on the WTA Tour and ATP Tours. Click this link for further details about the WTA Tour Finals -> WTA Tour Finals 2010: October 26-31.
© OnCourtAdvantage.com 2010
photo credit: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas