Saturday, October 1, 2011

Passing shots

Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova have qualified to play in the WTA Championships, which begin October 25 in Istanbul. Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova have already qualified, so there are four open slots. Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond have joined Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in qualifying for the Championships in doubles. There are two more teams to qualify.

10th seed Jelena Jankovic was knocked out of the China Open in the first round today by Tamira Paszek. Paszek defeated Jankovic 7-5, 6-4. Jankovic won the tournament in 2008.

Serena Williams is missing the China Open for the second year in a row. She was scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Friday, but there was a change in plans. Maria Sharapova withdrew from the tournament because of her recent ankle injury.

Williams was recently appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Li Na has two new sponsorship deals: Crown, Australia's leading integrated entertainment and resort operator--and Kunlunshan, China's first mineral water brand.

Martina Navratilova, Amelie Mauresmo, Coco Vandeweghe, and Lauren Davis will participate in the third annual World Team Tennis Smash Hits in Cleveland. The charity event is sponsored by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John.

Dinara Safina's brother, Marat Safin, says that her career is over because of her long-term back injury, but Safina has yet to make an announcement. For some of us, Thrill Ride's absence from the tour has been a really sad occurrence. I miss her candid, irony-infused press conferences as much as I miss her on-court performances.

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