Week #35-36 preview: US Open

US Open (New York, USA), Grand Slam, $7,456,000
The last Grand Slam of the season takes place on the courts of Flushing Meadows in New York. The big favourite is three times champion and title holder Serena Williams, who will look for her third Grand Slam title this season after winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon. One step behind we can name WTA #1 Dinara Safina, who will look for her 1st Grand Slam title, Serena's sister Venus, winner in New York in 2000 and 2001, Russian Elena Dementieva, in great form and the best player in the US Open series tournaments, and last year's runner-up Jelena Jankovic, who seems to bhave recovered her best tennis lately. Former WTA #1s Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova on their way back to the Tour after retirement and shoulder injury respectively are the dark horses, although it wouldn't be a great surprise if they get to the final rounds. Finally, Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and former #1 Ana Ivanovic doesn't seem at their best while young talents Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki will try to confirm the expectatives in a Grand Slam.

Week #34: Wozniacki wins 3rd title of season

Young Danish Caroline Wozniacki successfully defended her title in New Haven and captured her 3rd WTA title this season. In the final, Wozniacki defeated unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina, who was the surprise of the tournament upsetting Top-20 Samantha Stosur and Amelie Mauresmo on her way to the final. 1st seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was defeated by Mauresmo in the quarter-final, while 3rd seed Flavia Pennetta completed the semis.

New Haven (USA), Premier, $600,000

Final: Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) def Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6/2 6/4


Player of the week: Elena Dementieva

Although she still lacks a Grand Slam title to be considered a big champion, Russian Elena Dementieva is one of the most regular and figthing players in the last few years, with 5 Top-10 finishes in the last 6 years. This week, the Olympic champion in Beijing'08 has captured in Toronto one of the biggest titles in her career.

And it had something of revenge as, after defeating Ai Sugiyama and Shahar Peer in the early rounds, Dementieva had to overcome Samantha Stosur, who had defeated her in Roland Garros, and Serena Williams, who beated her in a thrilling Wimbledon semifinal, in the quarter-final and semis respectively. The final was another challenge for Dementieva as she was facing Maria Sharapova who, although is not at her best yet after her shoulder injury, had defeated her in most of their meetings. But this time Elena was more consistent and took advance of Sharapova's errors to take the match by 6/4 6/3.

With the US Open starting next week, Dementieva will be again one of the big favourites. We will see if she falls again in the decissive matches or she finally achieves her goal: a Grand Slam title.


WTA ranking as of 24-Aug-2009

Toronto champion Elena Dementieva climbs one to #4, while Victoria Azarenka also gains one place up to #8. Young Russian Alisa Kleybanova moves from #36 to #28 while Toronto runner-up Maria Sharapova is the greatest gainer of the week climbing 19 places to get back into the Top-30. Also good climb for Kateryna Bondarenko, who moves from #64 to #51.

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Dinara SafinaRUS981020
2(2)Serena WilliamsUSA890718
3(3)Venus WilliamsUSA686518
4(5)Elena DementievaRUS683522
5(4)Jelena JankovicSRB662022
6(6)Svetlana Kuznetsova


7(7)Vera ZvonarevaRUS530024
8(9)Victoria Azarenka


9(8)Caroline WozniackiDEN444027
10(10)Flavia PennettaITA342026

Week #34 preview: New Haven

New Haven (USA), Premier, $600,000
The last tournament on the way to the US Open takes place in New Haven. And it will have a great field for a tournament of its level, with 10 Top-20 players and all the Main Draw entries within the Top-50. Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova, WTA #8 Caroline Wozniacki, Los Angeles champion Flavia Pennetta, young Polish Agnieszka Radwanska and Roland Garros semifinalist Samantha Stosur will be the favourites, but the fight for the title will be very open and players such as Zheng, Kleybanova, Bartoli, Mauresmo, Schnyder, Bammer or Schnyder shouldn't be discarded.


Week #33: Dementieva defeats Sharapova for Toronto's title

Russian Elena Dementieva showed once again that she is one of the most regular and consistent players in the last few years and captured in Toronto her 3rd title this season. Dementieva defeated in the final fellow Russian Maria Sharapova, in her first final appareance since she came back to the Tour after her shoulder injury. Previously Dementieva had defeated Serena Williams in the semis, taking revenge from Wimbledon's semifinal two months ago. Another Russian, upcoming youngster Alisa Kleybanova, completed the semis. Former WTA #1 Kim Clijsters got another Top-10 victory on her comeback defeating WTA #9 Victoria Azarenka before losing to Jelena Jankovic in the 3rd round.

Toronto (CAN), Premier, $2,000,000
Final: Elena Dementieva (RUS) def Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6/4 6/3


Hot shot: More pics of Azarenka, Chakvetadze, Cibulkova & Bondarenko on FHM

As we already advanced, after appearing in the French edition (July Issue) of men's magazine FHM coinciding with Roland Garros, WTA stars Victoria Azarenka, Anna Chakvetadze, Dominika Cibulkova and Alona Bondarenko were going to be featured again in the August issue of UK/international edition, coinciding with Wimbledon.

Now you can watch more photos of that sexy bikini photoshoot:


Player of the week: Jelena Jankovic

After leading the WTA ranking in 2008, Serbian Jelena Jankovic wasn't showing this season the regularity that took her to the #1 and was slowly going down in the ranking. But this week unexpectedly she has showed some of her best tennis again and has captured the title in the big Premier tournament of Cincinnati.

After defeating Maria Kirilenko, Jankovic had her first serious test in the Last-16 round as she defeated WTA #9 Victoria Azarenka in two tight sets. In the quarters, Jankovic avoided a potential meeting with Serena Williams as Williams was upsetted by Sybille Bammer, who was sweeped by Jankovic by 6/0 6/3. In the semifinal Jankovic faced great fighter and WTA #4 Elena Dementieva and the match didn't dissapoint. After winning a close 1st set in the tie-break, Jankovic lost her focus and was sweeped in the 2nd by Dementieva by 6/0. But Jankovic was able to get back into the match and the tight 3rd set was decided in a thrilling tie-break captured by the Serbian. The final looked another tough match against WTA #1 Dinara Safina, but it was easier than expected for Jankovic who won by 6/4 6/2.

We are happy to have the best Jankovic back, as the Tour definitively needs all the best players playing at their best. If she can play consistently, she will have her chances at the US Open.

WTA ranking as of 17-Aug-2009

After her title in Los Angeles and her semifinalist place in Cincinnati, Flavia Pennetta climbs two places to become the first Italian ever to rank in the Top-10. Cincinnati champion Jelena Jankovic gains one spot to rank at #4. Quarter-finalist Daniela Hantuchova moves from #27 to #22, although the greatest gainer in Top-100 is Hungarian Melinda Czink, who climbs 7 places to #52.

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Dinara SafinaRUS981019
2(2)Serena WilliamsUSA855817
3(3)Venus WilliamsUSA686517
4(5)Jelena JankovicSRB662021
5(4)Elena DementievaRUS623521
6(6)Svetlana Kuznetsova


7(7)Vera ZvonarevaRUS530023
8(8)Caroline WozniackiDEN481027
9(9)Victoria Azarenka


10(12)Flavia PennettaITA342026


Week #33 preview: Toronto

Toronto (CAN), Premier, $2,000,000
The Rogers Cup takes place this year in Toronto. Following the tournament of Cincinnati, all the top players will show up for the 2nd consecutive week in a big Premier event on the way to the US Open. The field features all the Top-18 players along with former #1's Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters on their way back to the Tour. The main favorites to the title are Russian Dinara Sfania and Elena Dementieva, Cincinnatti champion Jelena Jankovic and the Williams sisters.

Week #32: Jelena Jankovic back at her best in Cincinnati

After a very poor season so far, former WTA #1 Jelena Jankovic got her best tennis back to win the Premier event of Cincinnati. After a very tough match against WTA #4 Elena Dementieva in the semis which was decided in a third-set tiebreak, Jankovic played her best in the final to overcome WTA #1 Dinara Safina in straight sets. Last week champion in Los Angeles Flavia Pennetta confirmed her good moment and completed the semis.
Most of the attention was focused on former WTA #1 Kim Clijsters' comeback and she did dissapointed as she upsetted Top-20 Marion Bartoli and Patty Schnyder and Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova (WTA #6) on her way to the quarter-final, being finally defeated by current #1 Safina. On the other hand, dissapointing performance of both Serena and Venus Williams, who were unable to reach the quarter-finals being defeated by Bammer and Pennetta respectively.

Cincinnati (USA), Premier, $2,000,000
Final: Jelena Jankovic (SRB) def Dinara Safina (RUS) 6/4 6/2


Week #31: Pennetta wins in Los Angeles

Italian Flavia Pennetta captured her 8th WTA title and probably the most important one in Los Angeles. None of the 8 top seeded players including 5 Top-10 players reached the semifinals. In the surprising final 10th seed Pennetta defeated 13th seed Samantha Stosur, who is in great form after reaching the semifinals in Roland Garros. The tournament was also another step in Maria Sharapova's comeback, who reached the semifinal upsetting WTA #9 Victoria Azarenka on her way. Promising Romanian Sorana Cirstea completed the semis.

Los Angeles (USA), Premier, $700,000
Final: Flavia Pennetta (ITA) def Samantha Stosur (AUS) 6/4 6/3


WTA ranking as of 3-Aug-2009

Jelena Jankovic climbs one to #5, while Caroline Wozniacki also gains one place to a career-high ranking at #8. Stanford champion Marion Bartoli moves two places up to #12, while Sabine Lisicki climbs 3 to a career-high ranking at #22

CurPrvNameCountryRank pts.Tours.
1(1)Dinara SafinaRUS960118
2(2)Serena WilliamsUSA862817
3(3)Venus WilliamsUSA693517
4(4)Elena DementievaRUS659121
5(6)Jelena JankovicSRB593021
6(5)Svetlana Kuznetsova


7(7)Vera ZvonarevaRUS540022
8(9)Caroline WozniackiDEN475026
9(8)Victoria Azarenka


10(10)Nadia PetrovaRUS329023


Week #31 preview: Los Angeles

Los Angeles (USA), Premier, $700,000
WTA #1 Dinara Safina heads the field in this Premier Event in L.A. Vera Zvonareva, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Nadia Petrova, Ana Ivanovic, Dominika Cibulkova and Agnieszka Radwanska are also among the seeds, and Maria Sharapova will go on with her comeback and should be also considered as favourite for the title.


Week #30: Bartoli defeats Venus Williams for Stanford title

Stanford (USA), Premier, $700,000
Final: Marion Bartoli (FRA) def Venus Williams (USA) 6/2 5/7 6/4

Istambul (TUR), International, $220,000
Final: Vera Dushevina (RUS) def Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 6/0 6/1