May 24th, 2008
Istanbul, Turkey and Strasbourg, France
The WTA Tour made its last stops before the second Grand Slam of the year, Roland Garros in Paris which begins on Sunday, May 25th. The tour was in action in two Tier III stops at Istanbul and Strasbourg respectively. Either tournament weren't packed with big names as most of the tour is resting for the upcoming fortnight.
In Istanbul, Radwanska finally broke through to take the clay title. All of her previous clay tournaments this season, the Polish girl had lost in the Round of 16. So it seems she is making good progress at the right time to finally take her deep into Roland Garros. Her opponent in the finals was a former champion at the event, Elena Dementieva, who has reached the Roland Garros final before in 2004. It seemed as if Dementieva would prevail, as she was the favorite but things weren't going her way on this day. With some crafty play by the young Radwanska, and some errors by Dementieva, it was all over and quickly with Radwanska defeating Dementieva, 6-3, 6-2. This was Radwanska's 3rd Career WTA Tour title and she is perfect in finals having a 3-0 record. She is also the first Polish player in WTA Tour history to pass $1 Million in prize money.
In Strasbourg, the Final was a bit more tense and had more drama as Anabel Medina Garrigues was taking on Katarina Srebotnik. The first two sets went back and forth and were closely contested, with Srebotnik winning the first 6-4, and Garrigues coming back to take the second in a tiebreak, 7-6(4). The Final set was expected to be yet another tough and tight set, unfortunately it was not, Garrigues took the last set, 6-0 as she completely dominated to take the title. This is Garrigues' 8th WTA Tour career title and is favoring her to do possibly some damage at Roland Garros.
For the next two weeks, the WTA Tour will be in Paris for Roland Garros. All the big names will be present, and it is a wide open field now that Henin has retired. Who will win? Can Sharapova finally win all 4 slams? Will Serena finally get her second Roland Garros crown? Will the Serbians or other Russians step up to the plate and deliver? Maybe Venus Williams will pull out a surprise? It's sure to be a great two weeks, with day by day analysis of the matches.