Caroline Wozniacki secured the year-end world No.1 ranking for the second year in a row at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, despite failing to advance beyond the group stages.
Wozniacki, who last year became the first Dane to finish the year as world No.1, secured the season-ending top spot after the withdrawal of Maria Sharapova from the year-end Championships. Sharapova would have needed to win the title to pip Wozniacki to the post, who put herself out of danger by winning her opening match against Agnieszka Radwanska.
The Dane however struggled over her next two matches, losing in three sets to Vera Zvonareva, and had the trainer on court for dizziness during a straight sets defeat to Petra Kvitova. Still, the defeats were not enough to dim the Dane's enthusiasm at maintaining her position as world No.1 into 2012.
"It's amazing for me to finish the year as No.1 once more," Wozniacki said. "Only very few players have finished a year as No.1, and to do it two years in a row is very special. I'm only in the beginning of my career, and to have achieved so much already, it's a dream come true.
"If you ask any little girl or any little boy that everyone will know what it means to be No.1. Not everyone will understand what a Grand Slam, what a tournament, what Indian Wells, Miami is, because you have to be into tennis to know that, but everyone will know if you're No.1 that means you've done something remarkable."
Although Wozniacki will not be participating in the latter stages of the WTA Championships, Victoria Azarenka will be after the Belarusian secured her passage to the semi-finals in spectacular fashion. Azarenka showed no quarter during a 6-2, 6-2 win over Sam Stosur on Wednesday, following up with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Li Na.
"I play a bit hard and I was glad I could finish so strong," Azarenka said. "I was so focused. Once you get that feeling that you won, you kind of relax, and you just let all your emotions out because during those hour and a half that really have to keep yourself together."
"I really take it day by day. Doesn't matter how confident you are. If you don't do the work, it's not gonna help you. So I'm really there to just give my best and try to be focused 100% on every point."
Petra Kvitova joined Azarenka in the semi-finals after a thumping straight sets win over Wozniacki, following up from her demolition of Vera Zvonareva on the opening day. The Wimbledon champion barely put a foot wrong during her 6-4, 6-2 win to advance to the semi-finals on her WTA Championships debut.
The final two semi-final spots come down to Agnieszka Radwanska or Vera Zvonareva and Sam Stosur or Li Na.
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