Doha SF’s decided and Farewell to Elena…

The Round Robin matches have been wrapped up with Samantha Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters all qualifying for the SF’s. In the Maroon Group, Sam Stosur qualified 1st and Wozniacki 2nd. Stosur reeled off straight set wins against Schiavone and Wozniacki; the win over Schiavone must have been a real mental victory for Stosur after her loss in the French Open Final. After falling 0-4 down in the 1st set, Stosur found her form and won 6-4 6-4 before handing Wozniacki a surprise straight set defeat. Wozniacki qualified with a thumping 6-1 6-1 victory over Dementieva and a gritty come-from-behind victory against Schiavone. In the White Group, Zvonareva won all three matches and in straight sets as she demolished Jankovic, 6-3 6-0 and came through tight two-setters against Azarenka and a tiring Clijsters. Jankovic was routed by both Clijsters and Azarenka and it was a match-up between the latter two which decided the outcome of the group. Kim, though not playing her best was mentally and physically stronger as she pulled away from Vika in a 6-4 5-7 6-1 victory.

The SF’s see Wozniacki take on Zvonareva and Stosur play Clijsters. The first match-up is a repeat of the Beijing final several weeks ago and should be a close affair. Wozniacki won their last encounter but it must be argued that Zvonareva has produced the best results so far. In the other SF, Clijsters and Stosur will battle it out for the third time this year with Clijsters prevailing on both those matches. However i think there could be a different result this time with Kim looking tired and Stosur looking on good form and rejuvunated despite a loss to Dementieva in her last match.
The final day of the round-robin format was highlighted by the sad news that Elena Dementieva is retiring from tennis. It’s extremely sad to see Elena retire after what has been a long and successful career. She has been a loyal patron to the WTA Tour and will be remembered for winning the Gold Medal in Beijing in 2008. I always felt she had a few years left in the tank however i fully respect her decision to call time on her career as she pursues further ambitions in life. It was touching to see the reactions of the other players as she announced her departure in an emotional ceremony following her loss to Schiavone in her final round-robin match in Doha. She will be sorely missed when the WTA Tour kicks off in 2011…

Predictions – Wozniacki to beat Zvonareva in 3 sets
Stosur to beat Clijsters in 3 sets

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