Wozniacki, Vinci, Pironkova win on Day 1 in Sofia


The Qatar Airways Tournament of Champions Sofia is, in my opinion, the anti-climax of the women’s tennis season, as the finale for the WTA’s International Series following the much more prestigious WTA Championships, and what makes it even more odd is that the closing matches will coincide with the Fed Cup World Group final. To make things worse, Ana Ivanovic cannot defend her title in Sofia because she is playing for her country of Serbia in the Fed Cup against the Czech Republic. But let’s accept the situation we have and see what happened on Day one of the Tournament of Champions, which has relocated from Bali to Sofia for the first time this year.

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki cruised to a 6-2 6-2 victory over Hsieh Su-Wei, converting all five of her break opportunities. Wozniacki is also in action tomorrow, in the third match of the day, and her Serdika Group opponent is Roberta Vinci, who has actually won their one and only previous career meeting. Just like Wozniacki, Vinci needed just over an hour to see off her opponent, Daniela Hantuchova, 6-1 6-2.

Home star Tsvetana Pironkova is yet to win a WTA title and she entered the tournament by virtue of a wildcard, but she justified the chance she has been given by winning a 2-6 6-4 7-6(4) marathon against Zheng Jie, to whom she had lost on both the previous occasions. The Bulgarian is in the Sredets Group and after the most emotional win of her career, which came after a 6-2 4-4 deficit, she will face Maria Kirilenko, also a wildcard, in the second match on Wednesday. Tomorrow’s action will open the match between Zheng Jie and Nadia Petrova. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)


  1. Well, if Ana can’t defend her title, REFUND! Or cancel the event!!! More seriously, I agree that this tournament really looks like the championship of the losers. I don’t understand what WTA is trying to achieve here.

  2. Then put this tournament BEFORE the WTA championship. The Bronze medal is always played before the gold medal, the third place “small” final football world cup is played one day before the “real” final…

  3. I think it’s quite unfair to call them losers. The most of them won an event this season. I think that by organising YEC WTA is rewarding players who have supported the smallest events on the tour,the internationals. Those events really need the help of star players otherwise they’d not bring enough sales, I guess.

  4. The tournament itself is ok, but it simply has to be before the WTA Championships to make some sense. The best players of the season should close the season with a grand finale. Now we kind of have a grand finale, but it’s not a real finale since there are more tournaments left. Awkward.


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