First time Wimbledon Ladies singles champion Petra Kvitova (above) of the Czech Republic ended a perfect week and a perfect indoor season in 2011 with a hard fought 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Victoria Azarenka in Istanbul.  Kvitova outclassed the rest of the field here in Turkey, edging US Open champion Sam Stosur in the semis in 3 tough sets, to run her record against the Aussie to 3-0 for her career.  Kvitova did not drop a set in the round robin portion of the competition, which included an easy win over world #1 Caroline Wozniacki, who has done nothing to quiet her many critics, as she came up imminently small once again.

The big serving lefty Kvitova, despite having zero transition game, played the entire indoor season as she did Wimbledon: as Ms. Big Shot.  Her ability to dictate, usually the prime determinant on fast courts, proved out, even today against Azarenka, who had a great year and some hard luck, running into a rested Serena in the 3rd round of the US Open.  Kvitova has now clinched the year end #2 spot, a far cry from last year, when she ended the year outside the top 30.

Kvitova won the WTA Tour Championship in her first ever trip to the tournament which only accepts the world’s top 8 females.  She has not lost indoors since last October’s Kremlin Cup, when Kateryna Bondarenko got her in 3 sets in the 1st round.  Kvitova ends the year on an 11-0 indoor win streak.

As for Wozniacki, we definitely do not agree with favorite TTC personalities Corina Moriariu and former great Lindsey Davenport, who tried to pump up the Dutch pastry all week long.  Wozniacki and Kvitova both won 6 events, but Kvitova won a major in her first major final, and the Wimbledon winner is always regarded as the year’s true champion.  The YEC title, while not a major, is certainly a championship of note, and made more difficult by the fact that there are no easy matches.  All the more impressive, Kvitova did not lose in the tournament, while Wozniacki could not even reach the semi-finals.  No shocker since she is awful against top players.  Don’t be fooled by her “best” record against players in the top 10, which was intact, and may still be, even after getting shredded in straights 4 and 2 by Kvitova to open the Red Group’s RR play, and then followed it up with a loss to Vera Zvonareva.  In fact, Wozniacki could only manage one win this week, and barely, as Radwanska had her down a set and an early break in her one victory.

The four best players available made the semis, in Kvitova, Li, and Stosur–3 first time major champions–and Azarenka.  Clearly Zvonareva is a much better player than Wozniacki, as has been Sharapova this year, and as Venus, Serena, and Clijsters all surely are.

Yet Wozniacki holds the ranking, though she is likely outside the 10 best players in the game, because we’d probably put Schiavone, who is a French champ and last year was the French runner-up, ahead of her as well.  Though Moriariu and Davenport attemtped to portray Wozniacki as having a prominent future because the biggest rivals on the scene are aging, we’d say to that where are the actual rivalries?  She hasn’t really beaten anybody in the spot, and her 6 tournament wins last year were basically inconsequential, when compared to Kvitova’s body of work.

Since Clijsters, Venus, and Serena are headed back, and Kvitova, Azarenka, and Zvonareva aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, we think the Dutch Ms. is going to remain an utter disappointment.  As for Kvitova, if our tally is right, she has run her record to 59-13 on the year, and now prepares to represent her country in the Fed Cup Final tie versus Russia which begins next weekend.

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