WTA Tour - WTA - Winners and losers
Eurosport - Wed, 24 Oct 18:50:00 2007
Pippa Davis / Eurosport
Three of last week's losers are back in the new edition of winners and losers, namely Anna Chakvetadze, Amelie Mauresmo and Maria Sharapova. But this time Chakvetadze has managed to turn her game around and now appears in the winners section.
The French and US Open champion continued to improve her season by taking her ninth title of the year at the Zurich Open. Not content with securing the year-ending world number one ranking three weeks before the end of the season, Henin has now won 20 consecutive matches, since her Wimbledon semi final loss to Marion Bartoli, and has already beaten her 2003 record of eight titles with the season-ending Tour Championships still to come in Madrid.
Like Henin, the Russian-born Frenchwoman has also been enjoying a rich vein of form since the US Open in September. Though Golovin left Zurich without the trophy, the 19-year-old reached her maiden Tier 1 final and improved her win-loss record to 15-3 since Flushing Meadows. Golovin also recorded her third win over a top 10 ranked player, in this case fellow teenager Ana Ivanovic, since the US Open on her way to reaching her second final in two weeks - having also faced Henin in the Stuttgart final at the beginning of the month. Despite a three place jump up the rankings, a spot at the Tour Championships looks just out of Golovin's reach as she is still four places away in the WTA Race Rankings while only two places remain up for grabs.
Someone who has secured their place at the Tour Championships, however, is Russia's Chakvetadze. In a breakout season the 20-year-old has won four titles - in Hobart, s'Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati and Stanford - as well as reaching the semi finals at the US Open and the quarter finals of both the Australian and French Opens.
Despite being forced to retire from her opening match in Zurich with a right adductor injury, the Australian Open champion still managed to secure her place in the Tour Championships in Madrid having made an appearance in the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on the Sunday before. The 26-year-old, who has shot up to sixth in the world since ending the 2006 season ranked 95th, has now qualified for the Tour Championships seven times.
The Zurich Open began the week boasting 14 of the top 20 players, including all of the top four but had only three seeds left by the end of the second round. Sixth seed Serena Williams withdrew in the first round while Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova and Amelie Mauresmo all lost in the second round. Second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli added to the withdrawals in the quarter finals leaving eventual-winner Henin as the only remaining seed in the draw.
Mauresmo's dismal season continued as she struggled in Zurich only just battling past qualifier Eleni Daniilidou in three sets before falling to Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko in the second round. In contrast with 2006 when Mauresmo lifted the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles and qualified as the top ranked player for the Tour Championships, the 29-year-old is currently languishing down in 13th on the WTA world rankings and 18th in the WTA race rankings.
Sharapova has also struggled at the back end of this season. The 2006 US Open champion began the year in such promising fashion reaching the final of the Australian Open but things have got progressively worse since then for the 20-year-old. Demoralising defeats and a persistent shoulder injury have seen Sharapova drop from world number one at the end of January to world number five after she was forced to withdraw not only from Zurich but from Linz as well leaving her qualification for the Tour Championships very much in other people's hands. The Russian is currently clinging on to eighth in the race but a good performance from either Daniela Hantuchova and Marion Bartoli, both in action in Linz this week, could easily see Sharapova miss out on Madrid for the first time in three years.
Simply Stunning, Simply Serena
57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1
Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus)