Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vika - The Lady Djokovic!

Is Azarenka the new Djokovic? Will get to that question later in the piece.

While the ATP players are fighting it out at Basel and Valencia to secure the much-coveted final few berths left to play the year end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the creme de la creme of the WTA circuit are already set to find who's who in the year end championships at Istanbul,Turkey. After 2 days of action in the ongoing round robin phase, there have not been any upsets: Top seeds Azarenka, Maria & Serena are progressing unscathed; With a win and a loss against her name, Radwanska is close on the heels of the top 3. Even after a valiant attempt against Vika (in one of the matches of the year), German Championships debutant Angelique Kerber is staring down the barrel after 2 defeats. Errani, Li Na & defending champion Kvitova are yet to open their 'win account' in their groups.The actions today and tomorrow will heat things up and let us see if one/more of the second-4 can dash the hopes of atleast one top-4!

Now, to the match of the tournament and later,a digression towards focusing on the Lady Match Point Saver Victoria Azarenka!

In her first match of the championships this year, World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, fresh from titles at Linz and Beijing, played a marathon 3-setter against Kerber. After losing the first set tiebreaker at a 11-13 and at 4-5 15-40 she faced two match points! Taking cue from her 'M.P.-save-in-vain' in the Istanbul final last year against Kvitova and a leaf out of Nole's book (titled..perhaps 'How to save match points?'!?!), she saved both match points she faced, won the second set breaker a convincing 7-2 and furthered her authority on the year end No.1 ranking position. She now needs one more win at Istanbul to guarantee herself the stay at the rankings pent-house irrespective of how World No.2 Maria Sharapova fares in the reminder of her matches.

Back to back titles, dancing and enjoying at the trophy ceremony, year end No.1-to-be, saver of match points : Do all these points not take your minds to another Tennis Player of another gender from another country playing, perhaps like he's from another planet?! The guy named Novak Djokovic? A closer look at not just the recent past but at a 1-2 year time frame shows a lot more striking similarities Vika and Nole's careers have had. Here are some:
  • Both Nole & Vika have had their first Grand Slam Triumph at the Rod Laver Arena, Australian Open!
  • Both have saved match points against past champions at Flushing Meadows sending the crowd into frenzy at the U.S. Open (Nole in '10 & '11 against Federer; Vika in '12 against Stosur)
  • Both have had some good streaks in the past 2 years (Nole with his 41 match streak in '11; Vika with her 26 match streak in '12)
  • Both are crowd-pleasers and have had their share of famous post-victory celebrations!
  • Both reside in the princely and picturesque tax haven Monte-Carlo!
  • Both are popular twitterbugs on the social networking site & regularly post their Hotel,Airport pics!They give a slice of their private lives to their fans!
  • Both have had Olympic singles medals (Nole with a Silver in '08; Vika with a Bronze in '12)
  • Both are dubious for their record in terms of withdrawals/Retirements from matches citing injuries/ailments (Nole was; Vika still is!)
  • More than all these, the trollers on social network have tried proving how similar the facial features of the two are!
Looks like the two are made for each other! I'm sorry..'Made Like Each Other, Not For'.Note the correction Ristic and Bubka Jr.!

Here's hoping that Azarenka breaks the shackles in her lop-sided H2H against Serena, comes up trumps in their coming encounters and lightens up the WTA circuit to make it shine even brighter just like Nole did reversing his trend against Rafa in 2011!

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