WTA Championships White Group
5pm Local Time
The WTA Championships in Istanbul get underway on Tuesday with Victoria Azarenka (Player Profile) opening the event against Sara Errani (Player Profile) in the White Group which also consists of Li Na and Jelena Jankovic. Check out the Azarenka v Errani Head to Head.
Azarenka has been in somewhat of a slump by her high standards, losing the last three matches although injury niggles had troubled her during the Asian swing which saw losses to Venus Williams and Andrea Petkovic in Tokyo and Beijing respectively. However, a couple of weeks will have done her good and she looks the favourite to top the group should she have recovered sufficiently.
Errani faired a bit better, making the third round of Beijing but her eyes will have been fixed on this tournament and the Fed Cup final that begins a week on Saturday. A weakened Russian team leaves the Italian team, which Errani is a key part of, as heavy favourites. She made her first WTA Championships last year, defeating alternate Sam Stosur but losing her other two matches.
Azarenka meanwhile was a finalist in 2011, losing to Petra Kvitova in three sets. She has a good chance to repeat that feat this year will be expected to make light work of the Italian. Azarenka leads the Head to Head with 6-1, although surprisingly the one win for Errani was at the indoor event of Moscow in 2008.
The Belarussian has not played an indoor tournament as part of her schedule this year but picked up the titles in Linz and Luxembourg in recent years prior to this tournament so it suggests that the lack of indoor play this year is due to scheduling rather than an aversion to indoor courts. Errani made the final of her only event indoors this year but was the beneficiary of two retirements before losing in straights to Mona Barthel in Paris.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka in straight sets