AGAINST TECHNICALLY accomplished players and opponents armed to the teeth with firepower, Agnieszka Radwanska falls drastically short. It showed up in the last seven days when she lost two out of her three round-robin group matches against Maria Sharapova and Flavia Pennetta.
THE ALL BLACKS and Wallabies are great neighbours, but fierce rivals in sport. Sparks fly in every face-off between the two, but nothing can ever get closer than on the biggest stage of them all—the Rugby World Cup Final on Saturday (Midnight, Nov 1, Singapore time) in London.
FEET WIDE apart, body bent low at the hips and eyes firmly fixed on the target, she struck a pose of a stealthy leopard about to strike her prey.The target moved and the Spaniard responded with cat-like agility to meet the incoming ball with an explosive forehand. The volley was returned and she replied with a half-turn of her six-foot frame and a high backhand to settle the point.
Calendar. Condition. Constituency. These and Asia are the key words in Steve Simon’s vocabulary on taking the top job at the Women’s Tennis Association. The job of the three Cs is to help tennis players remain healthy all year round and deliver a premium product consistently for the professional body until the WTA Finals in Singapore, its crown jewel competition that began yesterday.
SHE’S YOUNG, beautiful and riding on a fast rising star. Only 16 days into her 22nd birthday, Garbine Muguruza has been bandied about as the next big thing in women’s tennis. Ahead of the WTA Finals that starts today at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the Spaniard is seeded behind only Simona Halep in the singles competition, and ahead of Maria Sharapova.
SHE HAS been in the game since 2001, has consistently been the sport’s top players and won five Grand Slams, including two at Roland Garros. As the highest-paid female athlete in the world with earnings and endorsements totalling US$29.7 million ($41.3m) between June 2014 and June 2015, Maria Sharapova also packs in a heavy schedule, tending to commitments on court and commercial obligations off it.
WITH LEFT fist on hips, Maria Sharapova lifted her gaze up towards the crowd on the two tiers of floors overlooking the stage at the Marina Bay Sands. She hardly smiled. It was a scene setter for the Russian. At the public draw for the WTA Finals that gets under way tomorrow night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, her unspoken message was clear: Keep your eyes on me.
BATTLE IS on for the remaining two WTA Finals spots in Singapore, after Radwanska, Kvitova and Kerber secured their places. But the spotlight in Singapore will be on two of women’s tennis hottest properties, Muguruza and Halep. They are the latest additions to the top-10 elite club and are currently No 2 and No 4 in the overall WTA rankings.
THE BATTLE for the remaining four places for the WTA Finals in Singapore goes down to the wire at the Tianjin Open from today and the Kremlin Cup in Moscow new week. Still in the running are Karolina Pliskova and Flavia Pennetta, who will all start in Tianjin, and Moscow-bound Lucie Safarova, Angelique Kerber and Carla Suarez Navarro. World No 2 Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova (3), Garbine Muguruza (5) and Petra Kvitova (4) have already booked their places.
THE BATTLE for spots for this month’s WTA Finals in Singapore is one of the tightest in recent years, with 11 players battling for the six places that’s up for grabs.