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WTA Tour report card

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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - How 'bout if this week we report on the 2009 progress of the world's top female tennis stars? We'll take a look at 'em in ranking order.

(1) SERENA WILLIAMS

Heading into Miami this week, the top-ranked Serena is a solid 16-2 for the year, highlighted by her Grand Slam victory in Australia, her second major win in two tries. She's reached at least the semis in all four of her '09 events, pulling out of a semifinal in Paris

Serena Williams has won the last two Grand Slam events.
The reigning U.S. Open champ is also a perfect 6-0 in doubles, having titled alongside her big sister Venus in Melbourne. She's the two-time defending champ in Miami this week (and next), and also titled back-to-back-to-back there from 2002-04.

Grade: A+

(2) DINARA SAFINA

At 13-4 this year, the Aussie Open runner-up to Serena is also the reigning French Open and Olympic runner-up. Had a chance to become No. 1 last week, but lost in the quarters at Indian Wells. She's a disappointing 0-3 in her 2009 finals (always the bridesmaid?) and is still seeking her first title since October of last year.

Grade: B+

(3) JELENA JANKOVIC

The U.S. Open runner-up to Serena lost her No. 1 ranking in the early part of this season. Has struggled to a 9-4 record so far in 2009 and failed to reach the quarterfinals in Oz. Jankovic has yet to title in '09 and hasn't reached a final in any of her four tourneys.

A head-shaking 1-3 in her last four matches.

Grade: C-

(4) ELENA DEMENTIEVA

The reigning Olympic gold medalist boasts a stellar 21-4 mark this season, including back-to-back titles in Auckland and Sydney in January. Topped Serena and Safina back-to-back to capture the title in Sydney. Won her first 15 matches of the year before falling to Serena in the Aussie semis. Has reached the final in half of her six events so far this year, with a runner-up finish coming at the Paris Indoors (against former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo). Currently riding a two-match losing streak.

Vera Zvonareva was last week's big winner at Indian Wells.
Grade: A

(5) VERA ZVONAREVA

The Olympic bronze medalist is fresh off her title at Indian Wells last week. She's an eye-catching 18-2 already this season, including a pair of titles. Heck, she's also 7-0 in doubles, including a championship. Reached the Aussie Open semis before losing to her compatriot Safina and has reached at least the final four in three of her four tournaments so far this year.

Grade: A

(6) VENUS WILLIAMS

The reigning two-time Wimbledon champ is quietly 11-1, including a pair of titles, this year. Following a stunning second-round loss in Melbourne, the former top-ranked star has gone 10-0 with a pair of titles, in Dubai and Acapulco. Is also 6-0 in doubles playing with her little sister.

Grade: B+

(7) ANA IVANOVIC

Victoria Azarenka already owns two titles this year, the first two titles of her WTA Tour career.
The reigning French Open champ and former world No. 1 was last week's Indian Wells runner-up to the surging Zvonareva. She's 12-4 for the year and still seeking her first title of '09. The third-round loser at the Aussie Open appears to regaining her old form of late.

Grade: C

HONORABLE MENTION: (10) VICTORIA AZARENKA

The 19-year-old Belarusian is starting to come into her own. At 17-2 for the year, Azarenka has been playing as well as anybody. She captured the first two titles of her WTA career this year -- in Brisbane and Memphis -- and has also tallied a pair of championships in doubles. Reached the semis before losing to the red-hot Zvonareva in the California desert last week.

Grade: A

SUMMARY
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We have a hot list of Serena, Safina (kind of), Dementieva, Zvonareva, Venus, and Azarenka, while Jankovic and Ivanovic (is starting to) need to pick-up the pace.

Ace or double fault? Send your comments to Scott Riley at sriley@sportsnetwork.com.
Scott Riley


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