Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - How have the top women fared on the WTA
Let's take a look.
(1) SERENA WILLIAMS
The veteran star has been slowed by back and ankle injuries in recent weeks,
but is still 12-2 and has appeared in two finals (1-1) in three events. The
reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion titled in Brisbane, Australia, to
open her year and lost to her latest main rival Victoria Azarenka in a final in
Doha, Qatar, a few weeks ago. Williams was stunned by rising star and fellow
American Sloane Stephens in last month's Australian Open quarterfinals, but the
31-year-old still recently replaced Azarenka atop the WTA rankings to become
the oldest-ever world No. 1.
(2) VICTORIA AZARENKA
The Belarusian star has yet to lose this season, going 14-0, including a
second straight Aussie Open title and the win in Qatar. In her first tourney
of the year in Brisbane, the former No. 1 pulled out of a scheduled semifinal
match with Williams, citing "whatever." Actually, it was an infected big toe,
which came as the result of a "bad pedicure." The 2012 U.S. Open runner-up
to Serena is already 4-0 against her fellow top-10ers this season and heads to
the big BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells, Calif., seeking a third title in four
(3) MARIA SHARAPOVA
The tall Russian bomber has yet to appear in a final this year, but she's only
played in two events. The French Open champ and former world No. 1, "Shaza"
lost to Li Na in the Aussie Open semis and to Serena in the final four in Doha
last month. She's been fairly inactive at best.
(4) AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA
Last year's Wimbledon runner-up to Serena got off to a wicked-hot start in
2013, nailing down back-to-back titles at Aussie Open tune-ups in Auckland and
Sydney before suffering a mild-upset loss at the hands of the aforementioned
Li in the quarters in Oz. The active Pole is a quality 17-3, but failed to get
past the semis in her last three events. She succumbed to Azarenka in a semi
in Doha and gave way to former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova in a quarterfinal
in Dubai two weeks ago.
(5) LI NA
The Chinese star landed in her second Aussie Open final in three years (losing
for a second time) and reached a final in her native China to open the year,
which she did by titling in Shenzhen in January. The 31-year-old former French
Open champ is 14-2, including a semifinal loss against Radwanska in a semifinal
in Sydney, and has not played a WTA match since losing to Azarenka in the
Aussie finale over a month ago. She'll be on hand for the
star-studded Indian Wells event, her fourth tourney of the year.
(6) ANGELIQUE KERBER
The German southpaw is off to a slow start this year, coming off her
breakthrough campaign that was 2012. The world No. 6 hasn't reached a
quarterfinal in her last three events, including second-round losses against
fellow German Mona Barthel in Doha and Italian Roberta Vinci in Dubai. Angie
was also a disappointing fourth-round loser against average Russian Ekaterina
Makarova at the Aussie, this after reaching the quarters in Brisbane and semis
in Sydney. She's settled for a 7-5 record to date, including setbacks in her
last three outings.
(7) PETRA KVITOVA
The big Czech lefty got off to a brutal start this season, going 3-4 over her
first four events, including a second-round upset at the hands of promising
British southpaw Laura Robson at the Aussie. But she's certainly picked up the
pace since then. PK posted a pair of Fed Cup singles wins against Australia,
reached a quarterfinal in Doha (only to lose to the formidable Serena), and
then notched a big title in Dubai with a victory over Roland Garros runner-up
Sara Errani in the final. All told, she's 12-5 for the year.
(8) SARA ERRANI
The Italian grinder has been the most-active top-10 woman, appearing in no
less than eight events, and posting a 19-8 record. And she's been hot the last
few weeks, reaching the final in Dubai (a loss to Kvitova) and capturing a
title in Acapulco, Mexico, last week. The Bologna native also reached a final
in Paris last month, but lost to the aforementioned rising Barthel in that one.
(9) SAMANTHA STOSUR
Of course, Stosur went belly-up at her home Slam in January, bowing out at the
Aussie Open in only the second round. She's been a first- or second-round
loser in Melbourne six times in 11 trips there. But she's just simply been
losing everywhere this year, posting a measly 5-7 record and only two
quarterfinal appearances in five tournaments. She got off to a dismal 1-5
start in 2013 before securing a quarterfinal berth in Doha.
(10) CAROLINE WOZNIACKI
The former No. 1 has yet to reach a final in six events. She was an opening-
round loser in Malaysia last week after reaching a semifinal in Dubai the week
before (a loss to Kvitova). The delightful Dane was a disappointing fourth-
round loser at the Aussie and is just 10-6 this season, including
tournament-opening losses at two events.
The tour is in Indian Wells for the next two weeks, as the stop in the
California desert serves as a Premier Mandatory event on the women's circuit,
unless you are Serena, who had a falling out with the tourney several years
ago and has vowed to never play there again.
It's looking like she won't.
The Sports Network