Wednesday, October 24, 2012
6:48 AM Agnieska Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani, Serena Williams, WTA Championships No comments
Aga, Serena and Masha winners on WTA Championships day 1
First day of the WTA Championships has come and go and Agnieszka Radwanska, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova were the winners.
Radwanska beat Petra Kvitova, the defeading champion who today withdrew from the event, 63 62 in the first round robin match of the White Group.
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Radwanska won the first three games of the match but then Kvitova slowly got into the match and levelled the set at 3-all.
Aga got control again and eventually closed out a routine win.
The Czech commit a whopping 41 unforced errors to only five from her opponent.
"I'm just very happy about my performance," Radwanska said. "The first match is always tough and adjusting to a new surface is never easy, but I was playing really well from the beginning to the end of the match.
"It was still a little bit up and down today. There were a lot of breaks of serve in the match - the serve should be a big weapon, and it wasn't in this match! But I just stayed focused and I'm happy I closed this match out in two sets."
"The atmosphere here is always great. I remember the crowd last year. They really love tennis and are so supportive. For sure I enjoy playing here, and I'm really happy to be back again. I hope this year I can make the semifinals, at least." Aga added.
Kvitova came into her news conference with tears in her eyes and admitted having lost control of her emotions.
"The nerves were there, for sure - I was nervous the whole match. My fingers and my legs weren't moving. I'm disappointed in myself. I made a lot of errors in the match today; it wasn't good tennis from my side. But it's the WTA Championships, and I have another chance."
"I love playing here. When I was coming on the court, the crowd was unbelievable - when I heard the people, it was so nice to have those memories back. I know I have really good Turkish fans. It's very nice. I'm really happy to be back."
Serena Williams got her first win at the 2012 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships after defeating Angelique Kerber 64 61.
Williams blasted 26 winners to 20 unforced errors and won 17 of 20 at net.
Kerber tried to stay in the match but Serena won nine of the last 11 games to take thw win.
"Honestly, you don't think about it too much," Williams said of her loss in their last meeting. "Obviously I'm thinking, 'Okay, she's beaten me before, so she's going to be a little confident and feel like she can beat me again. What can I do to improve?' But I really just wanted to do well and win today. When you're playing against anyone that's in the Top 5 you're just trying to play better."
"I felt like I practiced too much, and if I hit another practice ball I'm going to go nuts," she said. "I just really wanted a match. I was glad I played on the first day. I was like, 'If I have another practice day, I don't know if I can handle it.'"
Serena was asked about the vocal support she received from the crowd.
"I found it nice - I've never been here, but I never knew I had so many Turkish supporters. It was really an honor to hear the fans go crazy and be really loud when I walked out.
"It made me have this smile on my face, and an even bigger smile inside."
Williams had some very nice things to say about her opponent.
"I could feel she was really excited all week long," she said. "She's really happy to be here and feels honored to be here, and she deserves to be here, because she worked hard and has been one of the most consistent players on the tour. I think 10 semifinals is pretty impressive, and winning two titles, as well.
"I think she will have a lot more chances to play at this event."
Maria Sharapova was the other winner of the day as she beat Sara Errani, 63 62.
From 2-all in the first set Sharapova took complete control, hitting her big serve and even bigger groundstrokes to perfection to win 10 of the next 13 games.
The Russian hit 26 unforced errors and 39 winners while Errani had 13 unforced errors and only 6 winners.
"It was a slow start - I gave Sara a lot of time, and that's what she likes," Sharapova said. "Her variety is what has won her so many matches this year. She loves to open the angles. I think the points were going a bit too long - I just tried to step in and be more aggressive after that, and it really helped me."
During the press conference, Masha was told 22 of her winners were off the forehand wing.
"I wasn't counting them, but I guess it's a good number to have!" she said. "I don't think I did that in the first four, five games - as the match went on I certainly didn't want points going way too long against her. I wanted to be the more aggressive one."
"This is such a great feeling, not only to make it here but to feel good physically," she said. "When you're out here and feeling good it's such a big motivation, and it's the last tournament of the year too, so while I'm going to enjoy some time off after this, right now it's all business."
"Of course there's a bit of tension when you're playing the Masters for the first time, but I was okay, I was good," Errani commented. "I played a good match - the first four or five games were so long - and I'm happy with how I played, but she was playing very strong and deep today. She was very tough."
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