Just by imagining them sexiest tennis players alone makes you high, not to mention picturing them with those sexy tennis outfits and running around the tennis court chasing the ball eagerly, which later makes them sweaty, can you picture that? We have to admit aside from their incredible technique in tennis, their sexy vibe is probably one of the main reason why people will come and come again each year to watch the game, even in heavy rain sometimes. Women Fitness brings to you Top 10 most attractive and hottest women tennis players in the world based on various parameters and selection algorithms.
Julia Görges was born in Bad Oldesloe to Klaus and Inge Görges, both of whom work in insurance.She has one half-sister named Maike, who also works in insurance. She attended the Klaus-Groth Schule and Theodor-Mommsen Schule in Bad Oldesloe from 1995 to 2005, and completed the mittlere Reife (Realschulabschluss).
She began playing tennis around the age of five when her parents began taking her to the local club. Her tennis idol growing up was Martina Hingis, and she is also a fan of Roger Federer. She is coached by Sascha Nensel, former coach of fellow German player Nicolas Kiefer. The surfaces she prefers are hard and grass courts, and her favorite tournament is the Australian Open.
In 2005 she began her career on the ITF Women’s Circuit, playing in seven tournaments and losing in the first round in five of them.In 2006 and 2007 she continued to play mostly ITF Women’s Circuit tournaments. In 2006 she won the Wahlstedt and Bielefeld tournaments. In 2007 she won tournaments in Antalya and Bucharest and made her first WTA Tour main draw appearances, the highlight of which was a semifinals achievement in Stockholm. There she lost to Vera Dushevina in three sets. Görges made her Grand Slam main draw debut at the 2007 US Open, losing to Justine Henin in the first round in straight sets.
In 2008 Görges continued to play in a mix of ITF Women’s Circuit and WTA Tour events. Her best performances were reaching the semifinals of the 2008 Banka Koper Slovenia Open, where she lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues, and a quarterfinals loss to Olga Govortsova in the 2008 Cellular South Cup.
She made her top-100 debut in the rankings after the French Open. She won her first Grand Slam main-draw match at Wimbledon, where she upset 23rd seed Katarina Srebotnik,
4–6, 7–6, 16–14, in a three-hour, 41-minute first-round match. However, she bowed out in the second round to Marina Erakovic in straight sets.
In 2009, Görges began to play in WTA events more exclusively. It was the first season that she played in the main draw of all four Grand Slam events. She began her season at the 2009 Brisbane International, where she lost in qualifying to Anna-Lena Grönefeld.
Görges competed at the Australian Open, the Open GDF Suez, and the Warsaw Open, losing before the third round of each. She retired in the first round of the French Open in a match against Iveta Benešová, due to heat exhaustion.
Görges reached the third round of the AEGON Classic, falling to Urszula Radwańska, 6–7, 3–6. She went on to play against Jelena Janković in the first round of the Wimbledon
Championships, losing 4–6, 6–7. She lost prior to the third round at the Banka Koper Slovenia Open, the Istanbul Cup, and the US Open (where she faced Svetlana Kuznetsova).
At the Bell Challenge, she managed to reach the semifinals, before losing to Lucie Šafářová. She was defeated by Ioana Raluca Olaru in the second round of the 2009 Generali Görges started the 2010 season at the 2010 ASB Classic, losing in the first round to Yanina Wickmayer, 3–6, 5–7. She went on to play at the Australian Open, where she beat Tamira Paszek in the first round, 6–0, 3–6, 6–3, but then lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.
Görges reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 Internationaux de Strasbourg, losing to Maria Sharapova. Following a second-round loss at the French Open and a first-round loss at Wimbledon, she reached the semifinals of the 2010 Internazionali Femminili di Palermo, losing to Flavia Pennetta.
At the 2010 Gastein Ladies, Görges won her first career WTA singles title by defeating Timea Bacsinszky in the final, 6–1, 6–4. She made her top-50 debut in the rankings
afterward. At the 2010 e-Boks Danish Open, she reached the quarterfinals, but was unable to take advantage of a 5–3 third-set lead over top seed Caroline Wozniacki, eventually falling, 6–3, 0–6, 6–7.
Görges defeated Romina Oprandi in the first round of the U.S. Open, before falling to 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer in the second round. At the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, she scored her first win over a former no. 1 player in the first round, defeating Dinara Safina, 6–1, 5–7, 6–2. In the next round, she defeated fourth seed Samantha Stosur, 7–5, 6–2, for her first win over a top-10 player. However, she was defeated by Coco Vandeweghe in the quarterfinals.
At the Generali Ladies Linz, she reached the quarterfinals, but fell to eventual champion Ana Ivanović. In her final tournament of the season, the BGL Luxembourg Open, she won a quarterfinals rematch with Ana Ivanović, defeating her, 6–3, 6–1. She eventually reached her second career WTA final, falling to Roberta Vinci.
Beginning her season at the 2011 ASB Classic, Görges lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Gréta Arn. In the second round of the Australian Open, she upset no. 20 seed
Kaia Kanepi 6–4, 3–6, 6–4. Her third-round match against the 2008 Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova was a three-set battle, which Görges eventually lost 6–4, 4–6, 4–6. This marked her best performance in a Grand Slam to-date, and she was rewarded by achieving a career-high no. 34 singles ranking on 31 January 2011.
On 5–6 February, she helped Germany defeat Slovenia in Fed Cup competition by clinching the tie with a straight-sets win over Maša Zec Peškirič, her first career win in Fed Cup
competition.Switching to hard-court, she then lost in the first round of Monterrey to Ksenia Pervak 1–6, 5–7. She continued to struggle at the BNP Paribas Open and the Sony Ericsson Open, losing in the 2nd and 1st round, respectively. In the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, however, she made a quarterfinal appearance on the green clay, losing to Elena Vesnina in three sets.
Heading to Stuttgart for Fed Cup, she won a rubber for Germany against Melanie Oudin, whom she lost to earlier in Miami. Staying in Stuttgart for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix,
she won her first Premier-level tournament and second WTA tournament overall, upsetting Samantha Stosur along the way and benefiting from a retirement by Victoria Azarenka.
In the final, Görges scored the biggest win of her career by defeating world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 7–6, 6–3, to become the first German to win Stuttgart since Anke Huber in 1994.
Less than two weeks after winning in Stuttgart, Görges defeated Wozniacki once again at the Madrid Open, 6–4, 1–6, 6–3. She reached the semi-finals, where she lost to Azarenka.
Görges was the 17th seed at the 2011 French Open, but fell to 11th seed Marion Bartoli in the third round in three sets.
After a first round exit to Ana Ivanovic at the 2011 AEGON International, she reached the third round of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships where she fell to 24th seed Dominika Cibulková in 3 sets. Several early round exits plagued Görges at Bad Gastein, Stanford, Carlsbad, Toronto, Cincinnati, and Dallas, not advancing past the second round of any of them. As the 24th seed at the U.S. Open, she fell to 13th seed Peng Shuai in 2 close sets in the third round.
Taking part in the Asian part of the WTA tour, she fell in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Hansol Korea Open, the third round of the 2011 Toray Pan Pacific Open, and the first round of the China Open. She finished of her 2011 season with a semi-final loss to Victoria Azarenka at the 2011 BGL Luxembourg Open. She finished the year ranked 21st accumulating a 38–25 singles record and a 22–18 doubles record.
Seeded 5th at the 2012 ASB Classic, she defeated defending champion Gréta Arn 7–5, 3–6, 6–4, before falling to compatriot Angelique Kerber in straight sets. Görges experienced more success in doubles reaching the final with Flavia Pennetta before falling to the Czech duo of Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká in a third-set super tiebreak. After retiring in the first round of the 2012 Apia International Sydney to Jelena Janković, she achieved her best Australian Open to date by reaching the fourth round. Görges defeated Polona Hercog 6–3, 7–6 Eleni Daniilidou 6–2, 2–0 retired, Romina Oprandi 3–6, 6–3, 6–1, before being dominated by eighth seed Agnieszka Radwańska 6–1, 6–1. Playing in the Fed Cup for Germany, she lost to Petra Kvitová in an extremely tight three-setter, 6–3, 3–6, 8–10. Partnering with Anna-Lena Grönefeld, they lost to Iveta Benešová and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová 3–6, 6–7. Germany lost to Czech Republic 1–4.
Ranked 21st and seed 6th, she reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 Open GDF Suez, falling to Klára Zakopalová in 3 sets. Görges then fell in the second round of Qatar to Varvara Lepchenko, before reaching the final of Dubai. She defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova, Casey Dellacqua, Daniela Hantuchová, before scoring a 7–6, 7–5 win over third seed Caroline Wozniacki, before falling to Agnieszka Radwańska again. This time it was a tight two-setter, the score being 7–5, 6–4 to Radwańska. Due to her good result at the 2012 Dubai Tennis Championships, she achieved a career high ranking of 15.
Seeded 14th at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open, she advanced to the fourth round in straight sets, before becoming another victim of undefeated Victoria Azarenka 3–6, 1–6. After receiving another bye into the second round, Görges was defeated by 4-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters 2–6, 5–7.
At Roland Garros Görges was seeded 25th. She reached the third round, winning from Lucie Hradecká in two sets 7–67–1, 6–4 and Heather Watson with 6–3, 6–4. She lost in
the third round to Arantxa Rus 6–7, 6–2, 2–6, ending the match with two double faults. At the end of the third set Görges complained of lack of light, which was set aside by the head supervisor. After this she asked for a medical time-out and asked again to suspend the match, which again was denied by the umpire. In the women doubles she lost in the first round with partner Samantha Stosur.
She was the number one seed in Bad Gastein but lost in three sets to the Dutch qualifier Richèl Hogenkamp. Hogenkamp, ranked 211 at the time, won her first WTA match 3–6, 6–3, 6–3.
She reached the second round of Sony Swedish Open, Bastad losing to Polona Hercog, 6–7 2–6.
Her official website: http://www.julia-goerges.com/
Ana Ivanovic: Ana Ivanovic was born on November 6, 1987.She is a former World No. 1 Serbian tennis player. As of December 3, 2012, she is ranked 13th on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. She beat Dinara Safina to win the 2008 French Open and was the runner-up in singles at the 2007 French Open and the 2008 Australian Open. Competing as a professional since 2003, she has won 11 WTA Tour singles titles, including one Grand Slam singles title. When on form, Ivanovic is known for her aggressive style of play. By reaching the quarter-finals of the 2012 US Open, Ivanovic not only ended a record 17 consecutive Grand Slams without a quarter-final appearance by a former Grand Slam champion but has also reached at least the quarter-final stage of each Grand Slam.As of 2012, Ivanovic has earned over 9.7 million US$ since turning pro in August 2003.
Ana Ivanovic was born in Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia.Ivanovic’s mother Dragana, a lawyer, supports her daughter during most of her matches. Her father Miroslav, a self-employed businessman, attends as many events as he possibly can. Ana has a younger brother, Miloš, with whom she loves to play basketball.
Aside from her tennis career, Ivanovic also studies finance at a university in Belgrade and Spanish in her spare time.Her inspiration to begin playing was Monica Seles, who at that time played for Yugoslavia.On September 8, 2007, Ivanovic became a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia, alongside Aleksandar Đorđević, Jelena Janković and Emir Kusturica.
She takes a special interest in the fields of education and child protection. Ivanovic visited a primary school in Serbia during her inauguration and said that she is “also looking forward to going into the classroom and meeting many kids.”
Ivanovic picked up a racket at the age of five after watching Monica Seles, a fellow Yugoslav, on television.She started her career after memorizing the number of a local tennis clinic from an advertisement. At the time, she was forced to train during the morning to avoid bombardments. Later, she admitted that she trained in an abandoned swimming pool in the winter, as there were no other facilities. When she was 15, Ivanovic spent four hours in the locker room crying after a defeat – the first that her new manager had watched. She thought that Dan Holzmann, the manager in question, would drop her, thinking that she was not good enough to become a professional tennis player. He has stayed her manager to this day.
Ivanovic began her season at the 2012 Brisbane International where she was defeated in the second round by fifth seed Kim Clijsters in three sets, 1–6, 6–1, 3–6 despite leading 3–0 in the final set. Ivanovic’s next event was the Apia International Sydney but she lost in the first round to Lucie Šafářová in straight sets, 6–7, 2–6.
Ivanovic then headed over to the 2012 Australian Open where she was seeded 21st. She did not drop a set en route to the fourth round, defeating Lourdes Domínguez Lino, Michaella Krajicek and Vania King along the way. Ana lost in straight sets to World No. 2 and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová, 6–2, 7–6 in the fourth round. She cracked the Top 20 after her Round of 16 run.
Ivanovic’s next tournament was the 2012 Qatar Total Open. She fell in the second round to Petra Cetkovska in straight sets. Ana then went on unseeded in Dubai, where she upset Francesca Schiavone, and beat Maria Kirilenko, before falling to 3rd seed Caroline Wozniacki.
Ivanovic went over to the 2012 BNP Paribas Open as the 15th seed. She was able to make a run all the way to the semifinals, posting victories over Caroline Wozniacki and Marion Bartoli, who were both in the Top 7. She fell against Maria Sharapova, retiring after being down 4–6, 1–0 in the semifinals. This caused her to enter the Top 10 for the race to the 2012 WTA Tour Championships. She then headed over to Miami, for the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open as the 15th seed, where she made it to the Round of 16, beating Daniela Hantuchova and Vania King in straight sets en route, before eventually falling to seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams, despite holding a one set lead. She still cracked the Top 15 for the first time since 2009 and became Serbian No.1 for the first time since 2008, this time placing 14th after Miami.
Ivanovic then headed to Moscow for the 2012 Fed Cup semifinals, where after losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in three tight sets, recovered, and beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3–6, 6–0, 6–3 to put Serbia ahead, 2–1. Fellow countrywoman Jelena Jankovic then closed out the tie for Serbia (3–2), sending the country into the Fed Cup finals for the first time in history.
Ivanovic resumed tour action in Stuttgart, where she fell to Mona Barthel in two tight sets. She then headed over to the newly blue-clayed Madrid where she breezed past Mathilde Johansson, and Nadia Petrova, before falling in straights to then world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka, despite leading 4–1 in the first set. Ana then headed over to Rome for her last event before Roland Garros. Seeded 13th, she eased past Kuznetsova, and Soler Espinosa, before falling against then world no.2 Maria Sharapova in straight sets, despite serving for the first set, at 5–3.
Seeded 13th at Roland Garros, Ivanovic defeated Lara Arruabarrena Vecino and Shahar Peer in straight sets. before losing to 21st seed, and eventual finalist Sara Errani, 6–1, 5–7, 3–6 in the third round.
Ivanovic withdrew from the 2012 AEGON International in Eastbourne before the tournament began due to a hip injury. Seeded 14th at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, she worked for victories over María José Martínez Sánchez 6–3, 3–6, 6–3 and Kateryna Bondarenko, 6–3, 7–6(3). Ana then beat 22nd seed Julia Goerges, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 to reach the round of 16, her best result there since reaching the round of 16 in 2009. She then suffered her worst defeat in her entire playing career, losing to 2nd seed Victoria Azarenka 6–1, 6–0 in the fourth round; she won three games in each of her previous worst performances. Despite the loss, her run caused her ranking to rise at No.12 in the WTA rankings the following week.
She made her Olympics debut at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, participating in both the Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles with Nenad Zimonjić. Seeded 11th in singles, she defeated then world no. 26 Christina Mchale and local Elena Baltacha in straight sets, before falling to 4-time Grand Slam Champion Kim Clijsters in the Round of 16. She teamed up with Zimonjić for the mixed doubles competition, where they fell against India’s Mirza and Paes in the opening round.
At the 2012 Roger’s Cup, Ivanovic got double bageled by Roberta Vinci 6–0, 6–0 in the 2nd round, becoming another World No. 1 to have been double bageled (after Maria Sharapova and Dinara Safina), the second after having achieved her No. 1 ranking (Dinara Safina) and the first to have been double bageled by a non former World No. 1 and non Grand Slam Winner (Sharapova lost to Lindsay Davenport and Safina lost to Kim Clijsters).
At the US Open, Ivanovic defeated Ukranian Qualifier Elina Svitolina in the first round, 6–1, 6–2. In the second round, she defeated Sofia Arvidsson, 6–2, 6–2. For the second year straight, she played young American Sloane Stephens in the third round, but overcame her 6–7, 6–4, 6–2. She then beat Tsvetana Pironkova in the fourth round 6–0 6–4 to reach her first grand slam quarter-final since 2008 and her first ever US Open quarter-final. In the quartfinals Ivanovic was soundly defeated by Serena Williams 6–1 6–3.
Ivanovic has won the following awards:
- Junior Wimbledon runner-up 2004
- Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Most Improved Player 2005
- US Open Series champion 2006
- Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Most Improved Player 2007
- Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award 2007
- UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia
- Nominated for U.S. Secretary of State’s 2007 International Women of Courage Award
- AIPS Women’s Tennis Player of the Year 2008
- German Tennis Magazine Michael Westphal Award 2008
- Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Diamond ACES Award 2008
- International Tennis Writer’s Association Ambassador of the Year 2008
- Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Humanitarian Award 2009
- Won the tennisreporters.net Sexiest Female Player award for five straight years (2005-2009). In 2010 it was renamed the “Ana Ivanovic Sexiest Female Player” award and she was struck off the ballot list
- Finished 11th on FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2009 list
- Named the best-looking tennis player of all-time by The Age newspaper
- In October 2008 won Die Bild newspaper’s reader poll for “most beautiful body” in sport
- In December 2008 was named “best looking” female tennis player by The Globe & Mail newspaper
- Voted Hottest Female Athlete on the planet by readers of sportsnet.ca in 2009
- Ana has appeared in a song called “Hurricane Ana,” produced by Serbian rapper Filip Filipi and Collie Buddz. Also, she appeared on a number of international magazines like FHM (Germany, United Kingdom, Australia), Vogue (USA), Vanity Fair (Spain), Cosmopolitan (Serbia), Vanidades (Mexico), Grazia (Serbia), The Best Shop (Serbia) and Sports Illustrated (South Africa).
Her official website: http://www.anaivanovic.com/
At age 16, Azarenka moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, from Minsk, Belarus, to train. In this she was aided by National Hockey League goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and his wife, who is a friend of Azarenka’s mother. In 2010 she briefly considered a break from the sport of tennis to focus on education; however, after a conversation with her grandmother, she decided to continue playing. It is the inspiration from her grandmother that is regarded as the key for her continued developments in the sport. As of March 2012, Azarenka is romantically involved with fellow tennis player Sergei Bubka Jr, son of pole vaulter Sergey Bubka.
Azarenka debuted on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tour in November 2003 in Israel, winning one doubles title with countrywoman Olga Govortsova. At Wimbledon, Azarenka reached the semi-finals of the girls’ competition, only to be defeated by eventual runner-up Ana Ivanovic by 1–6, 6–1, 10–12, despite having two match points in the marathon third set. She continued to participate in ITF tournaments in 2004, and at the end of the season she had a rank of 508 on WTA singles tour.
Azarenka had a successful year in 2005, winning two junior Grand Slams: the Australian (she would eventually win the seniors’ competition in 2012) and US championships. She ended the season as the junior world no. 1 and was named the 2005 World Champion by the ITF, becoming the first Belarusian to do so. In addition, she reached her first semifinal on the main tour in Guangzhou, China. She went from the qualifying draw of the tournament to the main draw, where she defeated Martina Suchá and Shuai Peng, before losing to the eventual champion Yan Zi.
Azarenka claimed her first title of the season at the 2012 Apia International Sydney as the third seed. She defeated her first three opponents, Stefanie Voegele, Jelena Jankovic and Marion Bartoli all in straight sets to advance to the semifinals where she defeated the seventh seed, Agnieszka Radwańska in three sets 1–6, 6–3, 6–2 to reach the final, where she defeated the defending champion Li Na in three sets 6–2, 1–6, 6–3.
Azarenka competed at the 2012 Australian Open as the third seed, defeating Heather Watson, Casey Dellacqua, Mona Barthel and Iveta Benesova in the first four rounds without dropping a set, losing just 10 games and winning 48. In the quarterfinals, Azarenka faced a sterner test against world no. 8 Agnieszka Radwańska, and lost the opening set on a tie-break before coming back strongly, losing just two further games en route to a 6–7, 6–0, 6–2 win.In the semi-finals, she defeated the eleventh seed and defending champion Kim Clijsters 6–4, 1–6, 6–3 to reach her first Grand Slam singles final where she faced the world no. 4 Maria Sharapova, who’d defeated 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová in the other semifinal. In a nervous start to the final, Azarenka lost the opening two games of the match, and was within two points of trailing 0–3 after Sharapova took the first two points of the third game. Azarenka came back to hold serve, however, and took the next two games to establish a 3–2 lead, before her opponent held serve to level the score at 3–3. This would prove to be Sharapova’s last service hold in the match, as Azarenka then proceeded to win all of the next nine games, to record an emphatic 6–3, 6–0 victory. Unusually, due to the earlier quarter-final defeat of Caroline Wozniacki by Clijsters in the same tournament, whichever of the finalists triumphed in Melbourne would gain sufficient points to replace Wozniacki at the top of the Women’s rankings. Azarenka thus recorded her first Grand Slam singles title and became the world no. 1 (with effect from 30 January 2012) in the same match.
Her first tournament as world number one was the 2012 Qatar Total Open. After receiving a bye in the first round, she played German Mona Barthel, dropping just one game in a comprehensive 6–1 6–0 victory. She won her third title of the year in Doha, defeating Barthel, Simona Halep, Yanina Wickmayer, Agnieszka Radwanska and Samantha Stosur all in straight sets. Azarenka planned to compete at the 2012 Dubai Tennis Championships. However, after a bye in the first round, she withdrew from the tournament due to an ankle injury.
In March, she played in the 2012 BNP Paribas Open, where she was the top seed. After receiving a bye in the first round, she defeated Mona Barthel in a tough three set match. In the next four rounds, she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova, Julia Gorges, Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber easily in straight sets, dropping just 16 games. In a re-run of the 2012 Australian Open decider, her opponent in the final was World No. 2 Maria Sharapova, and once again, Azarenka won in straight sets, this time by 6–2 6–3, thus extending her undefeated record in 2012 to 23–0. Azarenka´s next tournament was the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open, where after a bye in the first round, she went to defeat Michaella Krajicek 6–3 7–5 in the second round, Heather Watson 6–0 6–2 on the third round, next round she faced a harder test against Dominika Cibulkova, losing the first set and being 4–0 down on the second set, Azarenka managed to came back and pull out the match, with a final score of 1–6, 7–6(7), 7–5. In the next round she faced Marion Bartoli, who ended Azarenka’s 26 match winning streak to start the 2012 season (3–6, 3–6).
In April, she competed at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. She received a bye into the second round against Andrea Petkovic, however Petkovic was forced to retire in the second set after suffering an ankle injury during the match, ending it 6–4, 4–4 to Azarenka. Azarenka then faced a tough match from Mona Barthel in the quarter finals but winning in 3 sets 6–4, 6–7, 7–5. She then faced Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi finals and winning comfortably in straight sets 6–1, 6–3. This win meant she had beaten Radwanska in all 5 matches against her this year. Azarenka would then face World No. 2 Maria Sharapova in the final, creating another top 2 seeded final. Sharapova was able to beat Azarenka comfortably in the final in straight sets 6–1, 6–4.
Azarenka won an Olympic bronze medal during the 2012 Summer Olympics. She and Max Mirnyi also won the mixed doubles gold beating Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray Azarenka then competed at the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open. After the first 2 rounds, she faced Ana Ivanovic and won the match 6–4, 6–4. She then faced a tricky challenge from World No. 8 Li Na in the quarter finals but eventually winning in 3 sets 3–6, 6–3, 6–3. In the semi finals she faced yet again Agnieszka Radwanska and was able to win comfortably in straight sets 6–2, 6–4 and in doing so, extending her winning streak to 6 games in a row over Radwanska. In the finals the pressure was on for Azarenka, as Serena Williams was looking very impressive throughout the tournament and would face Azarenka in the finals. This was the first meeting since the 2011 US Open match they had in which Williams won. Azarenka was beaten easily in the final by Williams 6–1, 6–3. The result gave Azarenka only her 3rd defeat of the year. Azarenka’s next tournament was the 2012 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, she advanced to the third round quite easily but then with drew from the tournament and avoided a third round clash with Dominika Cibulkova, due to a right shoulder strain.
In the 2012 French Open, she defeated Alberta Brianti, Dinah Pfizenmaier and Alexandra Wozniak respectively to qualify for the fourth round. However, in the fourth round, she lost in straight sets, 2–6, 6–7, against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia. As a result, she lost her World No. 1 ranking to eventual Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova.
Azarenka then competed at Wimbledon, winning her first four matches in straight sets. She then defeated Tamira Paszek in the quarter finals, also in straight sets, before losing to Serena Williams for the 6th straight time in the semi-final, 3–6, 6–7 bringing their head-to-head 8–1 in Serena’s favour.
Later in the month, Azarenka took part in the 2012 Summer Olympics tennis event, held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London. She entered two events, playing in both the women’s singles, and the mixed doubles alongside ATP doubles World No. 1 Max Mirnyi. In singles, Azarenka won her first four matches before falling in the semifinals, losing for the third time of the season and the ninth time overall to eventual Gold Medallist Serena Williams in a match dominated by the American, in what is Azarenka’s heaviest defeat this year. Azarenka rebounded by winning the Bronze Medal match over Russian Maria Kirilenko in straight sets, earning the first ever olympic medal in tennis for Belarus. Azarenka got her first Gold medal in the 2012 Olympic games on 5 August 2012 with Max Mirnyi for Belarus, defeating Andy Murray and Laura Robson of Great Britain.The match was a close one with the first set 2–6 by Great Britain, followed by a set won by Belarus, 6–3. The match tie-break ended 10–8, with Belarus winning on their second match point.
Azarenka retired from her 2012 Rogers Cup second round match to Tamira Paszek at 3–3, and then withdrew from Cincinnati.
Azarenka reached the quarter-finals for the first time at the 2012 US Open, winning her first four matches in straight sets for the loss of only ten games. There, she faced defending champion Samantha Stosur and eliminated her from the tournament in a two-and-a-half three-set thriller which was decided by a final-set tiebreak. This victory will ensure Azarenka retains the World No. 1 ranking after the tournament, regardless of how further she progresses. Azarenka then faced former US Open champion and World No. 3 Maria Sharapova in the semifinal, in what was arguably the best match between the two. Azarenka was able to come through the match after being a set down to win 3–6, 6–2, 6–4. Azarenka reached her first US Open final, where she faced former US Open champion and World No. 4 Serena Williams, losing for the eighth consecutive time 2–6, 6–2, 5–7 despite having had a 5–3 lead in the final set and serving for the match at 5–4. Following her loss, Azarenka was applauded by many in the tennis community for the honesty and gratitude she demonstrated during the trophy ceremony as well as her press-conference afterwards.
It was announced on 6 September that Azarenka has qualified for the season-ending WTA Tour Championships for the fourth consecutive year.
In mid-September, Azarenka played an exhibition match against Dominika Cibulková in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, winning the match 6–2, 6–3.
Azarenka then played at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she received a bye into the second round, she defeated Tamira Paszek and Roberta Vinci en route to the quarter finals where she retired from the tournament due to dizziness and avoided a match against Angelique Kerber. She then played the China Open, defeating Alize Cornet, Sabine Lisicki, & Elena Vesnina en route to the quarter finals and without dropping a set. In the quarter final she defeated Romina Oprandivery easily 6–2, 6–0. She then faced Marion Bartoli in the Semifinals and had lost in the last meeting, she defeated Bartoli 6–4, 6–2. The finals was set for another top 2 seeded match as it was Azarenka facing World No.2 Maria Sharapova for the 5th time of the year. In a match that was nothing like their US Open meeting, Azarenka was able to win the match comfortably, 6–3, 6–1. The win gave Azarenka her 2nd Premier Mandatory title of the year and 5th of the year.
Azarenka then played at the Generali Ladies Linz, where she advanced to the semi-finals without dropping a set and only dropping 8 games. In the semis she faced Irina-Camelia Begu, also winning easily 6–2, 6–1. In the finals she faced Germany’s Julia Goerges and won the match 6–3, 6–4, giving Azarenka her 6th title of the year, the equal most by any player in a single season since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.
Azarenka’s final tournament of the year was the WTA Tour Championships where she was drawn in the red group along with World No.3 Serena Williams, World No.5 Angelique Kerber and World No.8 Li Na. In her first Round Robin match she faced Kerber and almost lost by saving 2 match points to eventually win the match, 6–7, 7–6, 6–4. Azarenka was subsequently beaten by Serena Williams 6–4 6–4 despite leading 3–0 with a double break in the second set. In her final round robin match, she beat Li Na 7–6(3) 6–3, ensuring her Year-End No.1 ranking. As the runner-up of her group, Azarenka faced White Group winner Maria Sharapova in the semifinals losing 6–4 6–2.
Azarenka set a new record for single-season prize money in 2012, earning $7.9 million. She also finished the season with a 69–10 win-loss record, losing five of those matches to Serena Williams, two to Maria Sharapova, one to Marion Bartoli, one to Dominika Cibulkova and the remaining loss coming on a retirement.
Her official website: http://www.vikaazarenkatennis.com/
Born in the Soviet Union of paternal Ukrainian heritage, Kirilenko is a good friend to fellow WTA players Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchová, Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanović, Agnieszka Radwańska, Nadia Petrova, and Marta Domachowska.
Kirilenko dated fellow Russian player, Igor Andreev for several years. In November 2011, Russian ice-hockey player Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals identified Kirilenko as his girlfriend on his Twitter account. Despite sharing the same surname, Maria is not related to basketball player, Andrei Kirilenko.
Maria Kirilenko started showing a passion for tennis at age 5, but it was difficult to get practice in while still attending school. Her father enrolled her in a tennis school, and hours of training started to pay off as she won several tournaments.
When Kirilenko was 12 years old, an Honored Master of sports, Elena Brioukhovets, saw her while training. Brioukhovets watched Maria making progress and offered to work with her. A three-year program was set up, and a special team selected. In less than three years, Maria became no. 1 in her age group and no. 2 in the 18-and-under group. The well-known tennis-players who had created an organization supporting young tennis players included Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Andrei Olhovskiy, and Max Mirnyi.
In 2002, Kirilenko became one of the youngest winners of the Canadian Open and US Open junior tournaments.
She competed at the Hong Kong Tennis Classic and won the Gold Group Championship with her compatriots Vera Zvonareva and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. At the Australian Open, she failed to defend her quarterfinal points by being knocked out in the second round. However, in the doubles competition, she reached the final, partnered with Victoria Azarenka, but lost to Pennetta and Dulko. She then fell early in the 2011 PTT Pattaya Open and 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships. She then reached the third round of both 2011 BNP Paribas Open and 2011 Sony Ericsson Open losing to Agnieszka Radwańska in both occasions. She then suffered three loses in a row in the second round of 2011 Family Circle Cup, and the first rounds of 2011 Mutua Madrid Open and 2011 Internazionali BNL d’Italia. However, she won doubles at the Mutua Madrid Open with Victoria Azarenka. At the 2011 French Open, she reached the fourth round losing to Andrea Petkovic 6–2, 2–6, 6–4 She then fell in the first round of 2011 UNICEF Open to Kimiko Date-Krumm, However she rebounded by reaching the third round of the 2011 Wimbledon, evenutally being stopped by the seventh seeded Serena Williams. She then failed to win back-to-back matches falling in the second rounds of 2011 Bank of the West Classic, 2011 Mercury Insurance Open, first round of 2011 Rogers Cup, and the second rounds of 2011 Western & Southern Open and 2011 Bank of the West Classic. She then rebounded at the 2011 US Open falling to eventual champion Samantha Stosur 6–2, 6–7(15), 6–3 in the fourth round.
She then reached her first semifinal of the year at the 2011 Guangzhou International Women’s Open to Chanelle Scheepers 7–5, 5–7, 6–4. She then played at the 2011 Toray Pan Pacific Open and the 2011 China Open, where she defeated Samantha Stosur in three sets in both occasions in the second round, she also fell in the quarterfinals on both events losing to Vera Zvonareva and Monica Niculescu, respectively. She the played her last tournament of the year at the 2011 BGL Luxembourg Open, where she had to withdrew in the second round due to an ankle injury.
Kirilenko began her 2012 season in Sydney where she didn’t reach the main draw after losing against Sofia Arvidsson in the second round of qualifications. After that she reached the third round of the Australian Open by defeating Gajdosiva in the first and Wozniak in the second. Then Kvitova stopped her run with a 6–0 1–0 ret’. Later in the year she reached the final of Pattaya Open and then lost to Hantuchova. After second round losses in both 2012 Dubai Tennis Championships and Doha, she reached the quarter finals of Indian Wells as the 20th seed, losing to Maria Sharapova 3–6, 7–5, 6–2. She then went on to the round of 16 of Miami as the 22nd seed losing to Marion Bartoli 6–1, 6–2.
She then continued her year from Estoril to ‘S-Hertogenbosch with a losing record of 3–6. She then played the 2012 Wimbledon Championships as the 17th seed, where she had sudden success reaching the round of 16 for the first time with easy wins over Alexandra Cadantu, Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Sorana Cîrstea. She had officially reached the second week of all 4 majors. She then defeated Peng Shuai 6–1, 6–7(8), 6–3 to reach her second grand slam quarter final and her first at Wimbledon. After almost 3 hours of play, 3 rain delays and switching courts – she eventually lost in a very close and tough quarter final to the Polish #3 seed Agnieska Radwanska 7–5, 4–6. 7–5.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Kirilenko reached the Semi Finals after defeating 6th seed Petra Kvitova 7–6, 6–3. She lost in the semifinals to silver medalist Maria Sharapova 6–2, 6–3. She then lost in the bronze medal match to Victoria Azarenka 6–3, 6–4. She then won a bronze medal in Women’s Doubles with Nadia Petrova after beating the no. 1 ranked team of Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber in the bronze medal match 4–6, 6–4, 6–1.
In 2006, Kirilenko was selected to be the face of Adidas by Stella McCartney tennis range, designed by noted British fashion designer Stella McCartney and has played exclusively in the gear since the 2006 Australian Open. In 2009, she was replaced by Caroline Wozniacki since the 2009 US Open.
Like her good friend Maria Sharapova, she likes connecting athletics and fashion, and when she spoke to Teen Vogue in August 2006, she said of being dressed by McCartney for a banquet, “I felt so glamorous!” She appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition alongside Daniela Hantuchová and Tatiana Golovin in a pictoral entitled Volley of the Dolls.
Her official website:http://www.mariakirilenko.com/
Sharapova made her professional breakthrough in 2004 at age 17, when she defeated two-time defending champion and top seed Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final for her first Grand Slam singles title. She entered the top 10 of the WTA Rankings with the win. The World Number One ranking followed in 2005, along with subsequent major titles at the 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open, before she was forced out of the game for ten months by a recurring shoulder injury, which ultimately required surgery in October 2008. Sharapova returned to the game in May 2009, returning to the top 10 in March 2011 and capturing her fourth grand slam title at the 2012 French Open. By doing so, it made her the 6th woman in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam. In the same year, she won an Olympic silver medal in the London 2012 Olympics.
Sharapova has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has been featured in many advertisements, including for Nike, Prince and Canon, and is the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan. Sharapova was the most searched-for athlete on Yahoo! in 2005 and 2008. Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme. In June 2011, she was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time, and in March 2012 was named one of the “100 Greatest of All Time” by Tennis Channel.
Maria Sharapova’s parents, Yuri and Elena, are from Gomel, Belarus. Concerned about the regional effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, they left their homeland shortly before Sharapova was born. When Sharapova was two, the family moved to Sochi. There her father befriended Aleksandr Kafelnikov, whose son Yevgeny would go on to win two Grand Slam singles titles and become Russia’s first number one world-ranked tennis player. Aleksandr gave Sharapova her first tennis racquet at the age of four, whereupon she began practicing regularly with her father at a local park.She took her first tennis lessons with veteran Russian coach Yuri Yutkin, who was instantly impressed when he saw her play, noting her “exceptional hand-eye coordination.”
At the age of six, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow run by Martina Navratilova, who recommended professional training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, which had previously trained players such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova. With money tight, Yuri borrowed the sum that would enable him and his daughter, neither of whom could speak English, to travel to the United States, which they finally did in 1994. Visa restrictions prevented Sharapova’s mother from joining them for two years. Arriving in Florida with savings of US$700, Sharapova’s father took various low-paying jobs, including dish-washing, to fund her lessons until she was old enough to be admitted to the academy. In 1995, she was signed by IMG, who agreed to pay the annual tuition fee of $35,000 for Sharapova to stay at the academy, allowing her to finally enroll at the age of 9 Sharapova withdrew from the 2012 Brisbane International because of her ongoing ankle injury. Her first tournament of the season was the 2012 Australian Open, where she was seeded fourth. Sharapova advanced to the fourth round conceding just five games, defeating Gisela Dulko, Jamie Hampton, and the 30th seed Angelique Kerber en route. In the fourth round, Sharapova defeated the fourteenth seed Sabine Lisicki in three sets, 3–6, 6–2, 6–3, to reach her first hardcourt Grand Slam quarterfinal in four years. She then defeated compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets, 6–2, 6–3, to reach the semifinals. There she defeated the world No. 2 Petra Kvitová, 6–2, 3–6, 6–4, to reach her third Australian Open final, and her sixth grand slam singles final overall. She lost to Victoria Azarenka in the final 3–6, 0–6. As a result her ranking improved to world No. 3.
In February, Sharapova aided Russia to a 3–2 victory over Spain during the 2012 Fed Cup quarterfinal with a 6–2, 6–1 win over Silvia Soler-Espinosa. She then played in the Paris, where she lost in the quarterfinal to eventual champion Angelique Kerber 4–6, 4–6. As a result her ranking improved to World No. 2.
At the Indian Wells, Sharapova faced Gisela Dulko in the first round and won 6–2, 6–0. Sharapova defeated Simona Halep and Roberta Vinci en route to reaching the quarterfinals.
After battling for over three hours, she defeated compatriot Maria Kirilenko, 3–6 7–5 6–2, to set up a semifinal meeting with Ana Ivanovic. Sharapova won the first set 6–4 and advanced to the final after Ivanovic retired due to a hip injury. In the final, she played world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in a rematch of the Australian Open final, but lost again 2–6, 3–6.
Sharapova’s next tournament was the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open, where she was seeded 2nd. She received a bye to the second round where she faced Shahar Peer and won in three sets 4–6, 6–3, 6–3. Her next opponent was Sloane Stephens, where Sharapova won in straight sets 6–4, 6–2. In the fourth round she won in straight sets, 6–4, 7–6, against countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova and advanced to the quarterfinals where she faced Li Na, whom she beat 6–3, 6–0. Her semifinal opponent was fellow former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. After an inconsistent first set, Sharapova won the match 4–6, 6–2, 6–4. In the final, Sharapova lost in straight sets to 5th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 7–5, 6–4. This was her third loss of the year in finals out of four tournaments played so far.
In the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Sharapova was seeded second. She had a bye in the first round, and advanced to the third round after Alize Cornet retired in the second set. In the quarterfinal, she defeated No. 5 Samantha Stosur 6–7(5), 7–6(5), 7–5 after saving a match point in the second set, and advanced to the final with a 6–4, 7–6 (3) win over No. 3 Petra Kvitova. She won her first title of the year in Stuttgart after defeating world number one Victoria Azarenka 6–1, 6–4. In doing so, Sharapova defeated three current Grand Slam title holders to win the tournament. It was also her first win against Victoria Azarenka in five finals, and the third of such this season.
Sharapova then played on the controversial blue clay courts of the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open, a premier mandatory event. She eased through the first round in straight sets against Irina-Camelia Begu 6–0, 6–3. In the next round she faced Klara Zakopalova and also won in straight sets with 6–4, 6–3. In the third round Sharapova’s opponent Lucie Safarova was unable to compete and withdrew from the tournament, earning Sharapova a walkover into the quarterfinals. She was then beaten by eventual champion Serena Williams in straight sets 6–1, 6–3.
Sharapova carried the flag for Russia during the Opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. She lost in the final to Serena Williams to take the silver medal.
As the defending champion and number two seed at the Italian Open, Sharapova had a bye in the first round. She battled through the second round against 20 year-old Christina McHale and prevailed 7–5, 7–5. She then faced thirteenth seed Ana Ivanovic and won 7–6(4), 6–3 in 1 hour 47 minutes to advance to the quarterfinals. Sharapova then defeated former world No. 1 Venus Williams 6–4, 6–3, meaning that Sharapova has reached the quarterfinals or better in all nine tournaments she has played this year. In the semifinals, Sharapova avenged her defeat to Angelique Kerber in Paris earlier in the year by beating her 6–3, 6–4 to advance to the final for the second year in a row. In the final, Sharapova saved match point for a 2 hour 52 minute, 4–6, 6–4, 7–6(5) win over Li Na for her 26th career title. This marked the fourth time Sharapova had successfully defended a title.
Sharapova was seeded 2nd at the French Open where she showed her dominance by defeating Alexandra Cadanțu in the first round in 48 minutes by the score of 6–0, 6–0.
Sharapova then defeated Sara Errani in both competitors’ first French Open final (and a first Grand Slam final for Errani). By reaching the final, she regained the world No. 1 ranking.
Coincidentally, the last time Sharapova was No. 1 was right before the 2008 French Open, due to the sudden retirement of then No. 1 Justine Henin, a four times Roland Garros champion. Sharapova became only the 10th woman to complete a career grand slam with the French Open 2012 victory. She is the 6th woman in the open era to achieve the career grand slam, joining Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, and Serena Williams. During the tournament, Sharapova was also asked by the Russian Olympic Committee to carry the Russian flag in this year’s Olympic Games.
Sharapova then extended her win streak to 15 matches when she competed in the Wimbledon Championships as the No. 1 seed there for the first time in her career. However, she was upset in the fourth round by 15th-seeded Sabine Lisicki, whom she beat in last year’s semifinals. The score was 6–4, 6–3. As a result, she lost her No. 1 ranking, taken back by Victoria Azarenka.
She played in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, her first Olympics. She was the flag bearer for Russia during the Olympics Parade of Nations. Seeded 3rd in the tournament, she won her first round match against Israeli player Shahar Pe’er. She then defeated Great Britain’s Laura Robson to reach the third round, where she avenged her 2012 Wimbledon loss to Sabine Lisicki by beating her 6–7(8), 6–4, 6–3. In the quarterfinals, Sharapova defeated fellow former no. 1 Kim Clijsters by 6–2, 7–5 to advance to the semifinals, where she faced her compatriot, Maria Kirilenko. Sharapova defeated Kirilenko 6–2, 6–3 to reach the Olympic Final, where she lost to Serena Williams 0–6, 1–6, marking her worst defeat to the American. With this performance, Maria overcame Agnieszka Radwanska as world no. 2.
Sharapova was seeded 3rd at the US Open, but had no hardcourt tune-ups after the Olympics due to a stomach virus. At the US Open, she made it to the semifinals before losing to top seeded Victoria Azarenka in three sets.
Sharapova’s next tournament was the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She made it to he quarterfinals, losing to Sam Stosur 4–6, 6–7(10)only the 2nd lost to the Australian in 12 career meetings. At the China Open she was seeded second. She made it to the finals, en route defeating Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals and Li Na in the semifinals. There she faced Azarenka in their fourth final and fifth match overall against one another this year. Sharapova lost to Azarenka 3–6, 1–6.
Her next tournament will be the year-end championships in Istanbul, where she will be seeded 2nd. She faced Sara Errani in her first round robin match, defeating her 6–3, 6–2.
She secured a spot in the semifinals with a 5–7, 7–5, 7–5 win over Agnieszka Radwańska in her next match. Sharapova defeated Sam Stosur in her final round robin match, 6–0, 6–3. In their sixth meeting of the 2012 season, Sharapova defeated Victoria Azarenka, 6–4, 6–2. Although she has made it to the final, Azarenka clinched the year-end number one ranking with her two round robin wins. Thus, Sharapova will end the year as world no. 2. She lost to Serena Williams in the final, 6–4, 6–3.
Sharapova played an exhibition match in Prague, and won both her matches, defeating Petra Kvitova 6–1 and Lucie Safarova 7–6.
Sharapova has lived in the United States since moving there at the age of seven. Besides a home in Bradenton, Florida, she also has residences in Manhattan Beach, California and in Netanya, Israel. Sharapova was engaged to Slovenian professional basketball player Sasha Vujačić, who plays for the Anadolu Efes S.K. in Istanbul, Turkey. The two had been dating since 2009. On August 31, 2012, Sharapova confirmed that the engagement was off and that they had broken up in spring of 2012. From 2005–2011, Sharapova has been named in Forbes Celebrity 100. This lists her as one of the top 100 most powerful celebrities of the year.
Sharapova has made varying remarks on how long she intends to maintain her tennis career. Following the retirement of 25-year-old Justine Henin in 2008, Sharapova said, “If I was 25 and I’d won so many Grand Slams, I’d quit too.” In an interview after the 2008 Australian Open, she balked at the idea of playing for another ten years, saying that she hoped to have a “nice husband and a few kids” by then. However in an interview before her 2012 Australian Open semifinal, Sharapova changed her stance, saying she intended to continue playing tennis for as long as she enjoyed playing the game. Sharapova stated “I’m sure when I was 17 years old and someone said, you’ll be playing for another eight years, it would be like, you’re not going to see me at a press conference at 25 years old. But years go on. I missed a year in my career—I didn’t play that year. I’ve said this, just before the tournament, a few weeks before, I woke up and I was just so happy to be going back on the court. I felt so fresh, full of energy, just with a really good perspective.
Times change, obviously. I see myself playing this sport for many more years because it’s something that gives me the most pleasure in my life. I think it helps when you know you’re good at something, and you can always improve it. It obviously helps with the encouragement.”
At the 2004 US Open, Sharapova, along with several other Russian female tennis players, wore a black ribbon in observance of the tragedy after the Beslan school hostage crisis, which took place only days before. In 2005, she donated around US$50,000 to those affected by the crisis. On February 14, 2007, Sharapova was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and donated US$210,000 to UNDP Chernobyl-recovery projects. She stated at the time that she was planning to travel back to the area after Wimbledon in 2008, though it didn’t happen, as she had to travel back to the US because of shoulder injury. She fulfilled the trip in late June – early July 2010. Sharapova has helped to promote the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In addition, with Angela Haynes, Maria Kirilenko, Nicole Vaidišová, Rennae Stubbs, Governor Jeb Bush and Jennifer Capriati, Sharapova participated in an exhibition in Tampa in December 2004, raising money for the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund. In July 2008, Sharapova sent a message on DVD to the memorial service of cancer victim Emily Bailes, who had performed the coin toss ahead of the 2004 Wimbledon final that Sharapova had gone on to win.
- 2003:Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year
- 2004:WTA Player of the Year
- WTA Most Improved Player of the Year
- 2005: ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
- Named the country’s best female player for the year by Russia’s tennis federation
- Master of Sports of Russia
- Prix de Citron Roland Garros
- 2006: Named the country’s best female player for the year by Russia’s tennis federation
- Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year
- 2007: ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
- ESPY Best International Female Athlete
- ESPN Hottest Female Athlete
- 2008: Named the January 2008 female Athlete of the Month by the United States Sports Academy for her performance at the Australian Open
- ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
- 2010: WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player
- WTA Humanitarian Of The Year
- WTA Most Fashionable Player (On Court)
- WTA Most Fashionable Player (Off Court)
- WTA Most Dramatic Expression
- 2012:ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
Her official website: http://www.mariasharapova.com/
Kerber has competed as a professional since 2003, has won two WTA titles (2012 Open GDF Suez and 2012 e-Boks Open) and eleven ITF titles. Kerber’s best Grand Slam results have come at the 2011 US Open and the 2012 Wimbledon Championships where she was a semifinalist, and the 2012 French Open where she reached the quarterfinals.
Angelique Kerber was born in Bremen, to father Sławomir Kerber and mother Beata, and has one sister. Both of her parents are German Polish. She started playing tennis aged three, eventually joining the junior circuit. She made inroads at events in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, but didn’t win a junior title before 2003, at which point she had already turned professional aged 15. Kerber speaks German, Polish and English.
In 2003, Kerber obtained her first top 100 victory by defeating Marion Bartoli in the qualifying draw of the WTA German Open.
In 2004, Kerber started the year by reaching the final of an ITF event in Warsaw, but lost to Marta Domachowska. She attained her first ITF title entering as a qualifier in Opole, defeating Elena Tatarkova in the final.
In 2005, Kerber competed in the ITF events and qualifying draws. She reached one final in Monzon, losing to Olena Antypina.
2006 was a more successful year for the German as she reached four ITF finals, winning three of them. She was runner-up in Přerov, but then won three events in Saguenay, Glasgow and Jersey. 2006 was also the year that Kerber attained her first WTA tour main draw victory, at the Gaz de France Stars, over world number 48 Romina Oprandi. She later lost to Ana Ivanović.
2007 was a breakthrough year for Kerber as she won four titles. Having defended her title in Seguanay by defeating fellow German Sabine Lisicki, she won in Las Palmas, in Turkey, and again in Přerov. She also reached three other finals finishing as runner-up. 2007 was Kerber’s Grand Slam debut as she competed in the 2007 French Open, losing to Elena Dementieva; 2007 Wimbledon, losing to Anna Chakvetadze; and the 2007 US Open, losing to Serena Williams; each in the first round. She reached her first main draw quarterfinal at the 2007 Ordina Open, before losing to eventual champion Anna Chakvetadze.
Kerber’s first tournament was the 2012 ASB Classic. She defeated Marina Erakovic in the first round; fifth seed Julia Görges in the second round; and the top seed, Sabine Lisicki, in the quarterfinal, when Lisicki retired due to a back injury at a score of 6–4, 4–3. She lost her semifinal match to fourth seeded Flavia Pennetta.
At the 2012 Australian Open, Kerber was the 30th seed. In the first round, she defeated the wildcard local Bojana Bobusic 6–1, 6–3. In the second round she faced Canadian Stéphanie Dubois and defeated her 7–5, 6–1. In third round, she faced fourth seed Maria Sharapova and lost 1–6, 2–6. As a result, Kerber rose to her career high singles ranking of world number 27.
At the 2012 Fed Cup, Kerber played for Germany against the Czech Republic, teaming up along Sabine Lisicki, Julia Görges and Anna-Lena Grönefeld. Her only rubber was a singles match which she played against Lucie Hradecká. She won the tie 6–4, 6–4, producing Germany’s only win in the play-off.
Her next tournament was the Open GDF Suez where she was the ninth seed, and where she won her first ever WTA title. In the first round, she faced Lucie Šafářová and won 6–2, 7–6. In the second round, she faced Monica Niculescu and beat her 6–3, 4–6, 6–3. She then played the number one seed Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinal, beating her in straight sets. This set up a semifinal match against the unseeded Yanina Wickmayer. Kerber won to set-up her second ever WTA final. She played second seed Marion Bartoli in the final; Kerber won the first set 7–6 and took an early 3–0 lead in the second. Bartoli came back to level the score at 5–5 and eventually took the set 5–7. Kerber shot off to a 4–0 lead in the third and finished the set with a 6–3 score to close out the match.
She then entered the 2012 Qatar Total Open where she met Sabine Lisicki again, defeating her in the first round with a score of 4–6, 6–4, 6–1. She lost to unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.
Kerber’s next tournament was the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Receiving a bye in the first round as the 18th seed, she defeated the young Sloane Stephens in a miraculous comeback from 6–2, 5–1, 40–15 down; facing two match points in winning 2–6, 7–5, 6–4, advancing to the fourth round via default over Vania King, who withdrew, and then produced another win from behind against another dangerous player, Christina McHale, coming back from 4–1 down in the third set and facing match points at 6–5 down to win 6–3, 3–6, 7–6. Kerber upsett eighth seed Li Na in the quarterfinals 6–4, 6–2, before her successful week came to an end, losing to world number one and eventual champion Victoria Azarenka. Her ranking improved to a career high of number 14 as a result of that fantastic run in California. As the 14th seed at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Kerber was expected to do well there, but was upset in her opener (having received a bye in the first round) against Zheng Jie, 6–7, 1–6.
Kerber’s next stop was the 2012 e-Boks Open in Copenhagen where she was the second seed. In her opener, she was pushed to the limit as she struggled past Stephanie Foretz Gacon; she had to grind out two more three-set wins against Anne Keothavong and fellow German Mona Barthel (coming from 5–2 down in third set and saving match points at 5–4 down). After three tough wins, she defeated third seed and former world number one Jelena Janković, 6–2, 6–1, to reach her third career WTA final, and second of the year.
She won the title, beating the top seed and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki with a score of 6–4, 6–4.
Kerber represented Germany in Fed Cup against Australia in Stuttgart, losing to world number five Samantha Stosur 6–7, 4–6, in a tough contest, and beating Olivia Rogowska 6–3, 6–3. Germany lost the tie, however, 3–2. At Stuttgart’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Kerber advanced to the quarterfinals, with wins over Roberta Vinci and sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki, before losing to third seed Petra Kvitová.
Kerber reached the final of the Eastbourne grass court tournament, losing to Tamira Paszek, having served for the championship at 5–3 in the deciding set and missing five match points.
At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Kerber was seeded number eight. In the first round she defeated Lucie Hradecká with a score of 6–4, 6–1. In the second round, she defeated the Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7–5, 6–3. She also defeated the number 28 seed Christina McHale 6–2, 6–3. In the fourth round, she won easily against the former world number one Kim Clijsters with an astonishing score of 6–1, 6–1, booking a place in the quarterfinals in just 49 minutes. In the quarterfinal, she beat fellow German and 15th seeded Sabine Lisicki in three sets with a score of 6–3, 6–7, 7–5, having being down 3–5 in the third set. In the semifinal, she lost to number three seed Agnieszka Radwańska.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Kerber was ranked number seven. She beat Petra Cetkovská 6–3, 3–0(r) in the first round, Tímea Babos 6–1, 6–1 in the second round and Venus Williams 7–6, 7–6 in the third round, before losing to number one seed Victoria Azarenka 6–4, 7–5 in the quarterfinal.
Her first tournament of the 2012 US Open Series was the 2012 Rogers Cup, where she lost in the third round to Roberta Vinci. She then played the 2012 Western & Southern Open, beating Tímea Babos in the second round and Andrea Hlaváčková in the third round. In the quarterfinal, Kerber beat Serena Williams for the first time, winning 6–4, 6–4. This snapped Williams 19-match winning streak. Kerber then defeated Petra Kvitová in her semifinal. However, she fell to Li Na in the final in three sets. At the US Open, Kerber, seeded sixth, struggled to victory over unseeded Venus Williams in a 6–2, 5–7, 7–5 in the second round. She lost in the fourth round 6–7, 3–6 to Sara Errani, the number ten seed from Italy.
Kerber’s next tournament after the US Open was the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She made it to the semifinals before losing to Agnieszka Radwanska. At the China Open, she was seeded sixth and made it to the quarterfinals but was forced to retire against Maria Sharapova due to a foot injury.
Kerber’s next tournament will be year-end championships in Istanbul, where she is seeded fifth. This is her first year-end championships. She was drawn in the red group along with World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, World No.3 Serena Williams and World No.8 Li Na. In her first round robin match she will face Williams.
Navrátilová, who was her doubles partner for a brief period in early 2005. As of November 26, 2012, Hantuchová is ranked World No. 32 in singles. She turned professional in 1999 and had her breakthrough year in 2002, when she won her first Tier I tournament and ended the year in the top 10.In 2005, she became the fifth female tennis player to win the mixed doubles title in all four Grand Slam tournaments during her career.
Hantuchová was born in Poprad, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) to father Igor, a computer scientist, and mother Marianna, a toxicologist. When her parents split up in 2003, Hantuchová’s performances temporarily worsened. At Wimbledon that year, she failed to convert several match points and was seen weeping on court. She also suffered from a weight problem during this period. She was suspected of being anorexic, but denied this.
Hantuchová speaks three languages (Slovak, English, and German), and was trained as a classical pianist. She is thought to be a perfectionist and puts a lot of pressure on herself during her training. She qualified for university in Slovakia but deferred it to pursue tennis.
She appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition alongside Maria Kirilenko and Tatiana Golovin in a pictoral entitled Volley of the Dolls. In July 2012, Hantuchová appeared nude on the 2012 edition of ESPN: The Magazine’s “The Body Issue”. She appeared on one of six special edition covers.
Hantuchová started the year as the world no. 38, being known as a new up-and-coming player, in the Gold Coast, where she lost to world no. 7 Justine Henin in the second round in a three setter, 6–1, 0–6, 3–6. After reaching the round of 16, after qualifying, in Sydney, Hantuchová went on to play at the 2002 Australian Open, losing in the third round to second seed Venus Williams, 6–3, 0–6, 4–6.
After climbing the rankings to world no. 26, having competed in Paris and Antwerp (reaching the round of 16 in both), she went into the prestigious Indian Wells event, defeating Justine Henin in the fourth round, 6–3, 6–3, and Martina Hingis in the final, 6–3, 6–4. She was the lowest ranked player (seeded 18th) to ever win the Tier I event. In Miami and Amelia Island, Hantuchová went on to lose surprisingly in the second round. She then played in Charleston, only to be beaten again in the second round by 1995 Australian Open
and 2000 French Open Champion Mary Pierce, 3–6, 4–6, Pierce being ranked no. 232. Playing in the Fed Cup, she won one of her two singles rubbers against Switzerland. Also in the clay season, Hantuchová reached the quarterfinals in Hamburg and Berlin, losing to Martina Hingis in straight sets and Anna Smashnova, 6–1, 2–6, 3–6. Having entered the French Open as the 11th seed and world no. 13 and losing her previous match in Rome in the first round, she beat Cara Black (after losing to her in Miami earlier in the year), only to lose to former champion Monica Seles in straight sets in the fourth round.
Hantuchová progressed to the semifinals of Eastbourne, losing to Myskina. At Wimbledon, she beat no. 7 Jelena Dokić in the round of 16, only to be beaten by the eventual champion, Serena Williams.
Hantuchová began the year at the Brisbane International, where she reached her first final of the year, defeating Dominika Cibulková and Vania King, before receiving a walkover in the quarterfinals when Serena Williams pulled out of the event with an ankle sprain. In the semifinals, she lost the first set to Kim Clijsters, before the Belgian retired with a hip injury midway through the second. In the final, Hantuchová was easily defeated by Kaia Kanepi, 6–2, 6–1. In Sydney, Hantuchová upset Francesca Schiavone in the second round, before falling to second seed Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals. Seeded No. 20 at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Hantuchová fell to eventual semifinalist and defending champion Kim Clijsters in straight sets in the third round.
At Pattaya, she successfully defended her title by defeating No. 4 seed Maria Kirilenko 6–7(4), 6–3, 6–3 in the final. However, Hantuchová was upset in the first round of the Qatar Ladies Open in Doha, Qatar the following week by Simona Halep 3–6, 6–2, 7–6(4). At the Dubai Tennis Championships, she fell in the quarters to eventual finalist, Julia Görges, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4.
Hantuchová then suffered relatively unsuccessful tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. She fell in the second round after a bye to Czech Klára Zakopalová 3–6, 7–6(7), 3–6. In Miami, she defeated Kateryna Bondarenko in a third set tiebreaker, before falling to Ana Ivanovic 2–6, 6–7(2). At the Fed Cup against Spain, she lost to Silvia Soler Espinosa 6–7 (5), 4–6, before defeating Lourdes Domínguez Lino 0–6, 7–6(4), 6–4 to clinch the tie 3–2 for Slovakia.
Hantuchová lost her first round match at Wimbledon 2012 against Jamie Hampton, 4–6, 6–7.
In the 2012 London Olympics, Hantuchová upset No. 10 seed Li Na 6–2, 3–6, 6–3 in the first round. She then beat frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6–3, 6–0 in the second round. She faced No. 8 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third round and lost 6–4 6–2.
Until the 2009 US Open, Hantuchová endorsed Nike sportswear and had her own line with them for her tournament wear, like players such as Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. From the 2009 US Open onwards, Hantuchová began endorsing Adidas sportswear. As of Wimbledon 2010, she shares the same signature line as Ana Ivanovic. In 2006, Hantuchová also appeared on an advertisement for Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phone with Ivanovic.
Hantuchová also has endorsed three racquet brands. She first endorsed Babolat from the time she was a junior until late 2003, then Yonex until the 2007 Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, when she started using the Prince Ozone Seven Racquets in the 2007 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. Photos were released from Prince giving the impression that Hantuchová, from the start of the 2011 season, will be using the Prince EXO3 Tour 100. However, she signed a deal with Volkl Tennis and is currently using the Volkl Power Bridge 9. This means that she has endorsed four brands of racquets so far in her career, more than most players. Starting with the 2011 Fed Cup, she began using the Prince EXO3 Tour Team 100, with which she won her fourth career title.
- 2000 Eurotel Doubles Champion
- 2002 Fed Cup Champion (Slovakia)
- 2004 Hopman Cup Finalist (with Karol Kučera)
- 2004 Athens Olympic Games
- 2005 Hopman Cup Champion (with Dominik Hrbatý)
- 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
- 2012 London Olympic Games
- 2001 WTA Newcomer of the Year Award
- 2002 WTA Most Improved Player of the Year Award
- 2003 Laureus World Sports Academy Award nominee for World Newcomer of the Year Award
Since her WTA debut in 2005, she has improved her year-end ranking each year until finishing on top in both 2010 and 2011. She has won 20 WTA singles titles as of October 2012, three in 2008, three in 2009, six in 2010, six in 2011 and two in 2012. She was runner-up at the 2009 US Open and the 2010 WTA Tour Championships in Doha to Kim Clijsters. She won the 2006 Wimbledon Girls’ Singles title but has yet to win a women’s Grand Slam title. She also holds two WTA titles in doubles.
Wozniacki is the daughter of Polish Roman Catholic immigrants, Piotr and Anna Wozniacki. Anna played on the Polish women’s national volleyball team, and Piotr played professional football. The couple moved to Denmark when Piotr signed for the Danish football club Boldklubben 1909.Wozniacki’s older brother Patrik Wozniacki is a professional footballer for Hvidovre IF in Denmark.She fluently speaks in Polish, English, Danish.
Wozniacki’s playing style centers on “the defensive aspects of tennis with her anticipation, movement, agility, footwork and defence all first-rate and key parts of her game.”Her two-handed backhand is one of her best weapons as she is capable of turning defense into offense, most notably the backhand down-the-line. Her defensive playing style has her contemporaries label her a counter-puncher.
In 2009, Wozniacki signed on to become an endorser for the line of tennis apparel designed by Stella McCartney for Adidas. She wore her first ‘Adidas by Stella McCartney’ tennis
dress at the 2009 US Open. She also has sponsorship agreements with Compeed, Rolex, Danske Invest, Oriflame, Turkish Airlines, Proactiv, Sony Ericsson, Yonex and e-Boks. In 2012, Wozniacki became the new face of Compeed®BlisterPatch.
Wozniacki won several junior tournaments in 2005, including the Orange Bowl tennis championship. She made her debut on the WTA Tour at Cincinnati’s Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open on 19 July 2005, losing to the top-seeded and eventual champion Patty Schnyder in the first round. In the Nordea Nordic Light Open, her other WTA tournament of the year, she lost to Martina Suchá in the first round.
Wozniacki began her season by representing Denmark at the 2012 Hopman Cup with Frederik Nielsen as her partner. Wozniacki won two of her three round robin matches in singles, defeating Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Tsvetana Pironkova before losing to world no. 2 Petra Kvitová.
Wozniacki’s first WTA event was the Apia International Sydney. After a first round bye, Wozniacki defeated Dominika Cibulková after trailing 4–0 in the third set. She lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in three sets in the quarterfinals, after serving for the match at 5–4 up in the second set.
Wozniacki competed at the Australian Open as the top seed. She defeated Anastasia Rodionova, Anna Tatishvili, Monica Niculescu, and Jelena Janković, all in straight sets, to reach the quarterfinals where she lost to the defending champion Kim Clijsters. As a result, Wozniacki lost her top ranking and was replaced by the 2012 champion Victoria Azarenka.
Next playing at Doha, Wozniacki lost to Lucie Safarova in the second round, having received a first round bye.
Wozniacki was the defending champion in Dubai and Indian Wells, but failed to defend either title, losing to Julia Görges and Ana Ivanovic, respectively.
Wozniacki reached the semifinals in Miami after beating Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová, Petra Cetkovska, Yanina Wickmayer, and Serena Williams, all in straight sets. Wozniacki then lost to second seed Maria Sharapova. Wozniacki did not defend her title in Charleston as she was not allowed to participate under WTA rules because two top-6 players had already entered the draw. Wozniacki then played her home tournament in Copenhagen. She reached the final but lost to Angelique Kerber, her first loss at the tournament since the start in 2010.
Wozniacki reached the third round of the French Open, where she lost to Kaia Kanepi in three sets.
Wozniacki lost in the first round of Wimbledon, 7–5, 6–7, 4–6, to Austrian Tamira Paszek. It was her first opening-round exit from any Grand Slam since making her professional debut at the 2007 French Open.
Wozniacki represented Denmark at the Olympics as the eighth seed in the women’s singles event. In the first three rounds she defeated Anne Keothavong, Yanina Wickmayer and Daniela Hantuchova. She was then defeated by the eventual champion Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.
Wozniacki next participated in the Rogers Cup where she lost to Petra Kvitova in the semifinals, and the Western & Southern Open where she was defeated in the third round by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. As the four-time defending champion at the New Haven Open at Yale, Wozniacki retired against Maria Kirilenko in the semifinals due to a right knee injury, which she had suffered in her quarterfinal win over Dominika Cibulkova.
Wozniacki, still suffering with the injury, was seeded eighth at the 2012 US Open, but did not advance past the first round. She lost 2–6, 2–6 to 96th-ranked Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. As a result of the loss, Wozniacki dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in three years.
After the US Open disappointment, Wozniacki won her first tournament of the year in Seoul by defeating Arantxa Rus, Caroline Garcia, Klara Zakopalova, Ekaterina Makarova, and Kaia Kanepi in the final. It was her 19th career title.
Wozniacki’s next tournament was the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She defeated Bojana Jovanovski, Daniela Hantuchova and Li Na, before losing to Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.
At the China Open in Bejing, Wozniacki defeated Chanelle Scheepers and Hsieh Su-wei but lost to Angelique Kerber in the third round.
Wozniacki’s next tournament was the Kremlin Cup. As the third seed in the tournament, she defeated top seed Samantha Stosur in the final in 3 sets, 6–2, 4–6, 7–5, to take home her second title of the year, and 20th overall.
At the year-end Tournament of Champions in Sofia, Wozniacki won her three group matches and reached the final but lost to Nadia Petrova. She ended the year ranked 10th.
Wozniacki’s best friend is her fellow Danish tennis player Malou Ejdesgaard, who has been her doubles partner in five tournaments.When asked in 2008 by Teen Vogue magazine what sports beside tennis she liked to play, Wozniacki said “I like handball, soccer, swimming, playing the piano, and all kinds of different things.”
On 20 December 2010, she signed a three-year deal to endorse Turkish Airlines’ business class service.She is a fan of English Premier League team Liverpool F.C.. She wore a Liverpool shirt signed by footballer Steven Gerrard on court in the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open.According to Forbes in 2011 she was the second highest earning female athlete in the world.According to the June 2011 edition of SportsPro Wozniacki is the world’s ninth most marketable athlete.She is currently dating Northern Irish professional golfer Rory McIlroy
- 2008:WTA Tour Most Impressive Newcomer of the Year
- 2010:ITF Player of the Year
- Danish Sports Name of the Year
- 2011:Diamond Aces
Her official website:http://carolinewozniacki.dk/
Cîrstea has a neat, controlled style that minimizes mistakes. According to the Tennis Spy, she does not appear to be fast around the court, but actually is deceptively quick covering the ground with her long strides and good reading of the game. As a good doubles player, she is also a very solid volleyer, and also has solid groundstrokes. Her forehands and backhands are delivered quickly on both sides.
Cîrstea was born to Mihai and Liliana in Bucharest,but currently resides in Târgovişte. She also has a brother, Mihnea, five years her junior. Cîrstea was introduced to tennis at the age of four by her mother. “My mum and dad have always followed tennis and they encouraged me to start playing the sport when I was young. They’re the reason I started to play tennis and I guess they are the ones I should thank for getting me into it”. She has cited Steffi Graf and Roger Federer as her idols. Cîrstea speaks Romanian, English, Spanish, and French.
Cîrstea is a former ITF Junior Circuit top-ten player, reaching her highest ranking of no. six on June 26, 2006. Her best results include a title in the 2005 German Junior Open (Grade 1) defeating Erika Zanchetta 6–2, 6–7, 6–3 in the final, a tournament she was finalist the year before and a runner-up place in the 2006 Trofeo Bonfiglio (Grade A) where she lost in the final to her compatriot Ioana Raluca Olaru after having defeated the then-top ranked world junior player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals. She also made final appearances at the year-ending ITF Grade 1 juniors tournaments, Eddie Herr International, and Yucatán World Cup in 2005 and 2006, and in the Opus Nottinghill International in 2006 Cîrstea began 2012 ranked 60 in the world. Her first tournament was in Auckland, New Zealand the ASB Classic. Sorana lost in first round to Flavia Pennetta of Italy 4–6, 6–7. In doubles she partnered with Darija Jurak of Croatia; they lost a first-round match to Kristina Barrois/Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany 3–6, 1–6.
At the Moorilla Hobart International Australia, Cîrstea defeated Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan in first round 6–2, 7–6. In second round Cirstea beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States of America 2–6, 6–3, 7–5. In third round Cirstea lost 6–0, 3–6, 7–5 to Angelique Kerber of Germany, after having two match points. In doubles, she paired again with Darija Jurak of Croatia. They beat Kristina Barrois/Jasmin Woehr both from Germany 6–3, 7–6. Cirstea/Jurak lost in second round 3–6, 5–7 to Irina-Camelia Begu/Monica Niculescu both of Romania.
At the 2012 Australian Open, Cîrstea eliminated 6th seed Sam Stosur 7–6, 6–3, in the first round. In second round she beat Urszula Radwanska of Poland 1–6, 6–2, 6–3. She lost in third round 7–6, 0–6, 2–6 to Sara Errani of Italy, in a very hard match, because Cirstea suffered a back injury early during the match. In doubles Sorana played with Lucie Safarova again like last year, but they lost to 9th seeds Natalie Grandin/Vladimira Uhlirova from South Africa and from Czech Republic 2–6, 6–4, 6–4.
At the 2012 PTT Pattaya Open, Cîrstea was seeded 7th. She defeated Erika Sema in the first round 6–2, 6–2 and then Misaki Doi in the second by the same scoreline. In the quarterfinals, she defeated top seeded and world number 8 Vera Zvonareva when Zvonareva was forced to retire with a hip injury in the third set 2–6, 6–4, 2–2. She lost in the semifinals 6–2, 5–7, 6–4 to Maria Kirilenko.
In Doha, Cîrstea beat Jarmila Gajdosova in the first round 6–4, 6–1. In the second round she lost 4–6, 6–7 to Samantha Stosur the 3rd seed. Sorana paired with Anne Keothavong in doubles, but they lost in first round to Anabel Medina Garrigues and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6–2, 2–6, [2–10].
In Monterrey, Mexico at the Whirlpool Abierto de Monterrey, Cîrstea was the third seed in the tournament and received a wildcard in singles. In the first round she defeated Stefanie Voegele 6–3, 2–6, 7–5. Sorana lost in second round to Timea Babos 4–6, 6–4, 6–2 the eventual champion Cîrstea was the 48th seed at the BNP Paribas Open. She defeated Iveta Benesova in the first round, losing in the second to Agnieszka Radwanska. In Miami, she lost a first-round match to wildcard Heather Watson in three sets.
In Spain, at the Barcelona Ladies Open her first tournament in clay, Sorana was the 47th seed. In the first round she beat Polona Hercog after she retired due to dizziness. Sorana defeated Lourdes Domínguez Lino in the second round. In quarter- finals, Cirstea beat Olga Govortsova. She lost in her first semi-final of the tournament to Dominika Cibulkova.
In Stuttgart at The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Germany, Cirstea lost in the first round to Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 1–6, 0–6.
In Estoril, Portugal at The Estoril Open, in the first round she lost 4–6, 4–6 to Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP).
At the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Sorana upset seventh seed Marion Bartoli(FRA) in the first round 6–7(6), 6–4, 6–3. She lost in the second round to Anabel Medina Garrigues(ESP) 6–1, 3–6, 7–5.
In Rome at The Internazionali BNL d’Italia Cirstea defeated Jelena Jankovic (SRB)in the first round 6–3,4–6, 7–6(4). Sorana beat Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) in the second round 6–3, 6–1. She lost in the third round to 4th seed Petra Kvitova (CZE) 6–2, 5–7, 6–2.
At the 2012 French Open in Roland Garros, Sorana lost in the first round to Na Li (CHN) the defending champion 2–6, 1–6. In doubles, she partnered with Ayumi Morita (JPN) and they lost in first round to Flavia Pennetta (ITA)/ Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 2–6, 0–2 because of retirement. Morita had health problems.
In Birmingham, Great Britain at the AEGON Classic, her first tournament in grass, Cirstea as the No. 10 seed lost in the first round to qualifier Melanie Oudin (USA) 6–3, 3–6, 2–6.
In doubles Sorana partnered with Anne Keothavong (GBR) and they lost in first round 3–6, 4–6 to Shuai Zhang (CHN) / Jie Zheng (CHN).
In Eastbourne, Great Britain at the AEGON International, Sorana lost in the first round to defending champion No. 4 seed Marion Bartoli 2–6, 2–6.
At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships in London, Great Britain, Cirstea defeated Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6–4, 6–1 in the first round. Sorana beat the 11th seed Li Na in the second round 6–3, 6–4, but lost 3–6, 1–6 to Maria Kirilenko in the third round. In doubles, Sorana and Ayumi Morita lost in first round 3–6, 2–6 to Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur.
In Stanford, California EUA at the Bank of the West Classic, Sorana as the 9th seed in the tournament beat Vania King in the first round 7–5, 6–4. Cirstea defeated lucky loser Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6–3, 6–3. in the second round. In the third round she defeated 3rd seed Dominika Cibulková in three sets, 6–7, 6–2, 6–0. Cirstea lost in the semi-finals to Serena Williams in straight sets, 1–6, 2–6.
In the 2012 Guangzhou Open Cirstea advanced to the semi-finals before losing to Laura Robson 2–6, 4–6.
So far this year, Sorana has been a quarterfinalist twice: in Hobart and in Dallas. And she’s been a semi-finalist four times: in Pattaya City, in Barcelona, in Stanford and in Guangzhou.
In 2011, MSN recognized Cîrstea as one of the most beautiful women in sports. Bleacher Report also recognized her as one of the “25 Tennis Players You Have to Follow” on Twitter.
Lisicki has won three WTA singles tournaments in her career and one doubles tournament in 2011. She reached the quarterfinals of the 2009 and 2012 Wimbledon Championships and the semifinals of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. She achieved her career high rank of world number 12 on 21 May 2012. After struggling with injuries in 2010, Lisicki rebounded in 2011 and re-entered the top 100 of the world rankings. She is only the second woman in Wimbledon history to make it to the semifinals while entering the tournament as a wildcard.
Since 2004 Lisicki has trained at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, USA, where she is sponsored and managed by IMG. She is coached by her father, who studied sport science in Wrocław and Cologne.
Lisicki had a successful year in 2007 on the ITF circuit and climbed from World No. 497 to World No. 198 in the WTA rankings. She won two titles, one in Jersey and the other in Toronto, Canada. She defeated top-seed Katie O’Brien on 2 August 2007 at the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open.
In 2006, Lisicki competed at the 2006 Sunfeast Open – Singles Qualifying in Kolkata where she crushed Ragini Vimal 6–1, 6–0 in the first round, but lost in the qualifying round to Sanaa Bhambri of India.
Lisicki’s first tournament in 2012 was the 2012 ASB Classic Tournament where she was the number 1 seed. In the first round, she defeated Virginie Razzano 6–4, 6–4. In the second round, she defeated Mona Barthel 7–6, 3–6, 6–3. In the quarterfinal, she faced Angelique Kerber, 2011 US Open semi-finalist, and was losing 4–6, before retiring, due to a back injury, in the second set at a score of 3–4. In doubles, she entered with Chinese player Peng Shuai and they won their first round match against Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6–2, 6–3. Both the Italians would go on to the Australian Open in four weeks time. In the second round, they pulled out due to the injury picked up by Lisicki in the quarterfinal of the singles tournament against Angelique Kerber.
Lisicki next entered the 2012 Apia International Sydney where she was unseeded. Before the first round of the tournament began, she pulled out with her recent back injury and gave her place to Lucky Loser, Alexandra Dulgheru.
Sabine Lisicki next competed in the Australian Open where she was the fourteenth seed. In the first round, she faced Swiss Stefanie Vögele and beat her 6–2, 4–6, 6–4. In the second round, she defeated Shahar Pe’er 6–1, 6–2. In the third round, she beat eighteenth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 2–6, 6–4, 6–2. She was defeated by Russian Maria Sharapova 6–3 2–6 3–6. Lisicki took the first set, winning six consecutive games after being down 0–3, but was unable to match Sharapova in the following two sets.
At the 2012 Fed Cup, Lisicki played for Germany alongside Julia Görges, Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Angelique Kerber. She started off the meeting between Germany and the Czech Republic by facing Iveta Benešová. She lost the match by a score of 6–2, 4–6, 2–6. In her second match, she faced Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitová and also lost 7–6, 4–6, 1–6. Germany lost the meeting by a score of 1–4.
Her next tournament was supposed to be the 2012 Open GDF Suez where she was to be the fifth seed. She pulled out before the tournament began with a viral illness.
Lisicki then competed in the 2012 Qatar Ladies Open where she was the ninth seed. In the first round she met compatriot and the unseeded Angelique Kerber and lost 6–4, 4–6, 1–6 to continue a losing streak dating back to the fourth round of the Australian Open. In doubles, she was the fourth seed along with Russian Maria Kirilenko. They received a bye into the second round. There they met Andreja Klepač and Alicja Rosolska. They beat them by a score of 6–2, 4–6, [10–8]. In the third round they met fifth seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and Anastasia Rodionova. They lost the first set 4–6, and in the second set, Llagostera Vives and Rodionova took an early 3–1 lead, but Lisicki and Kirilenko were able to even the score by winning the following two games. The two teams swapped a break of serve to bring the score to 4–4. The teams held serve and brought the set to a tiebreak. Lisicki and Kirilenko won 7–3 to level the score at 1 set each. In the third set, they lost at a score of [8–10] and hence lost the match.
Lisicki’s next tournament was the 2012 Dubai Tennis Championships, where she was supposed to face fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round. However, after second seed Petra Kvitová withdrew, she became the ninth seed and received Kvitová’s bye into the second round. There she met Iveta Benešová, defeating her 6–3, 6–3. In the quarterfinals, she faced the fifth seed, Agnieszka Radwańska, losing 2–6, 1–6.
Lisicki’s next competition was the 2012 Indian Wells tournament, where she was the eleventh seed. She received a bye into the second round, where she faced Spaniard Lourdes Domínguez Lino, losing 1–6, 4–6. In doubles, she competed with compatriot Julia Görges. They beat Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears by a score of 6–2, 6–7, [10–7]. The two German pros next faced Czech pair and 2011 French Open champions Lucie Hradecká and Andrea Hlaváčková, losing 2–6, 4–6.
Lisicki knocked out world number one and current French Open Champion, Maria Sharapova, in the fourth round of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships before losing in the quarter-finals Lisicki next went to the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open, where she was the twelfth seed. She got a bye to the second round where she faced Sofia Arvidsson. Lisicki won 6–3, 6–2. She faced Peng Shuai in the third round. She won 6–4, 7–5 and then faced Li Na in the fourth round. There Lisicki lost the match 6–3, 4–6, 2–6.
At the 2012 Family Circle Cup, Lisicki was the sixth seed. She received a bye into the second round. There she faced lucky loser Andrea Hlaváčková, winning 2–6, 6–3, 6–4. She faced qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova in the third round and won 7–5, 6–4. In the quarterfinal, she faced Serena Williams. Behind 1–4 to her opponent, Lisicki fell and injured her left ankle. She retired from the match in tears, sending Serena to the semis. In doubles, she paired with 2012 Australian Open women’s doubles champion Vera Zvonareva. They faced top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond and lost 2–6, 2–6.
As a result of the fall in her quarterfinal match, Lisicki was forced to the sideline at the Fed Cup World Group Play-off tie against Australia. She was also forced to pull out of the 2012 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, from which she was defending a quarterfinal spot in singles and the doubles title which she won with Samantha Stosur. Lisicki also missed the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open, a Premier Mandatory tournament.
After nearly a month off the tour, Lisicki returned as the twelfth seed in the 2012 Internazionali BNL d’Italia. She faced Marina Erakovic in the first round, where she lost 6–7(4–7), 6–4, 3–6. Traveling next to her home country for the 2012 Internationaux de Strasbourg, where she was the top seed, Lisicki again experienced a first round upset, losing to Pauline Parmentier 4–6, 4–6. Sabine then traveled to Paris to play the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, where she was the twelfth seed. On the red clay of Roland Garros, Lisicki lost 4–6, 3–6 to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Lisicki started her summer grass court season by defending her title in the 2012 AEGON Classic. As the second seed she received a bye into the second round, where she lost 3–6, 4–6 to Urszula Radwańska. This set Lisicki up with a 5 match losing streak going into the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. In the first round she beat unseeded Petra Martić at a score of 6–4, 6–2, breaking the losing streak and putting her into the second round, where she faced Serb qualifier Bojana Jovanovski. Lisicki won the match 3–6, 6–2, 8–6 to set up a third round tie with Sloane Stephens, where she again faced a tight match, pulling through with a score of 7–6(7–5), 1–6, 6–2. In the fourth round she beat top seed Maria Sharapova, to whom she had lost in the semi-finals the previous year, by the score of 6–4, 6–3. In the subsequent quarterfinals round Lisicki once again met fellow German Angelique Kerber. Having lost the previous 4 meetings between the German stars, Lisicki proceeded to lose the first set 3–6. Lisicki rallied in the second set to take it in a tiebreak; in this second set Lisicki saved 2 match points. Some observers felt Kerber was visibly frustrated during the start of the third set, but Lisicki proved ultimately unable to take the match. At one point Lisicki was serving for the match, but Kerber went on the take the third set, and the match, by a score of 3–6, 7–6(9–7), 5–7,dropping Sabine Lisicki back down to a world ranking of 18.
Lisicki entered the 2012 Mercury Insurance Open as the fifth seed but pulled out with an abdominal injury. She went straight back to London to prepare for the 2012 Summer Olympics. She entered the singles where she was seeded fifteenth, the doubles with Angelique Kerber where they were seeded fifth and the mixed doubles with Christopher Kas where they were unseeded. In the singles, she beat Ons Jabeur 4–6, 6–0, 7–5 and Yaroslava Shvedova 4–6, 6–3, 7–5 in the first and second rounds respectively. She lost to Maria Sharapova 7–6(10–8), 4–6, 3–6 in the third round despite winning the first set and leading 4–2 in the second. In the doubles, Lisicki and Kerber beat British pair Laura Robson and Heather Watson in the first round after losing the first set whilst taking only eleven points and going 4–2 down in the second set. They came back to win 1–6, 6–4, 6–3. In the second round they lost to Venus and Serena Williams 2–6, 5–7. In the mixed doubles, Lisicki and Kas beat second seeds Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber in the first round 7–6(7–5), 6–7(5–7), 10–5 then beat Daniele Bracciali and Roberta Vinci in the quarter final 4–6, 7–6(7–2), 10–7. In the semi final, they lost to Andy Murray and Laura Robson 1–6, 7–6(9–7), 7–10. In the bronze medal match, they lost to third seeds Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond 3–6, 6–4, 10–4.
Lisicki moved on to the 2012 Rogers Cup in Montreal. She was fifteenth seed in singles falling in her opening match to Carla Suárez Navarro at a score of 6–3, 3–6, 4–6. In doubles she made it to the quarterfinals partnering Peng Shuai. They beat sixth seeds Iveta Benešová and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová and Natalie Grandin and Vladimíra Uhlířová in the first and second rounds respectively. They were forced to pull out of the competition at 5–6 against top seeds Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber as a result of Lisicki getting a left abdominal injury.
Lisicki entered the 2012 US Open as the 16th seed, but she was upset in the first round by Romania’s Sorana Cîrstea, 4–6, 6–2, 6–2. In doubles, Lisicki again partnered with Peng Shuai. They beat Laura Robson and Shahar Pe’er in the first round, twelfth seeds Anastasia Rodionova and Galina Voskoboeva in the second and sixth seeds Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova in the third. They lost to eventual finalists Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká in the quarter-finals.
Lisicki’s next tournament was in Japan at the 2012 Toray Pan Pacific Open. In singles, she started with a first round loss against British qualifier Heather Watson 6–4, 7–6(7–3). In doubles, she partnered with world number 3, Lisa Raymond. They face Monica Niculescu and Alicja Rosolska, both of whom have recently lost in WTA doubles finals. Lisicki and Raymond won 6–3, 6–1. In their quarter-final match with alternates Darija Jurak and Katalin Marosi, they won 6–4, 6–2. They now face either third seeds Zheng Jie and Katarina Srebotnik or Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears for a place in the final.
Lisicki next participated at the China Open, but she was defeated in the second round by the eventual champion Victoria Azarenka. She next moved to Linz where she lost in the first round to Patricia Mayr-Achleitner. Lisicki finished her season losing in the first round of the 2012 BGL Luxembourg Open to Kirsten Flipkens 6–3, 3–6, 1–6.
Her parents emigrated to West Germany from Poland in 1979; her father, Dr. Richard Lisicki, is of German and Polish descent, and her mother, Elisabeth, of Polish. They went to Germany being part of the German minority in Poland (“Spätaussiedler”) Her father, who introduced her to the sport at the age of 7, is her coach and her mother, Elizabeth, is a painter specializing in ceramics. Lisicki currently lives in Bradenton, Florida. She is fluent in German, English and Polish. Her off-court interests include reading, music and athletics.
Her official website: http://www.sabinelisicki.com/