Pick of the Day, Feb 25: Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Flavia Pennetta, Doha

Aga is on a hot streak but her 2nd serve still hurts her

Aga is on a hot streak but her 2nd serve still hurts her

Is the Polish Aga Radwanska in a slump? Yes, she is.

The former 2012 Wimbledon finalist and the once No. 2 hasn’t played very well since the start of the season. She fell to Garbine Muguruza in a tight contest in Sydney, went down to Venus Williams in the fourth round at the Australian Open, lost both matches in Fed Cup (when she was whipped by Maria Sharapova) and last week in Dubai, she fell against the rising Muguruza once again.

Currently ranked No. 8, Radwanska isn’t exactly sure how she should properly hit the ball. She is too aggressive at times and, then, too soft. She will likely get over it now, but the only way that she can start playing very well is to listen to her new coach, Martina Navratilova, and that takes time.

However, the No. 16 Pennetta has not been great this year either. In fact, Pennetta didn’t plat at all until Dubai, when she reached to the quarterfinals and lost to Caroline Wozniacki.

However, at least last week, the Italian was striking the ball better again and gradually, her forehand and serves looked more consistent. Over last year, her doubles play went up sky high and she has looked confident at the net.

She bested Radwanska twice last year in singles, spinning the ball around and mixing up her approaches.

One would think that Radwanska will begin to start winning again, but not yet. It will be a long contest, but the Italian will win it in three dramatic set.

Who needs to be No. 1? Azarenka finally gets over on Serena again

Azarenka IW 11 MALT6100

Vika is only 2-11 vs. Serena, but the second victory meant a lot

Some 21 years ago in San Jose, Jim Courier became No. 1 for the first time, but lost to Michael Chang and couldn’t manage to win the title.

On Sunday in Doha on the same day that the 125-year-old San Francisco Bay Area tournament, which has been played in many significant NorCal tennis-loving locales such as Monterey, San Rafael, Danville, Berkeley, Daly City, San Francisco and San Jose before the NHL Sharks group decided to slap shot it to Rio, now No. 2 Victoria Azarenka stood up as tall as she has in one year and finally got the better of Serena Williams again, this time a hearty 7-6 2-6 6-3 victory.

Williams will replace Azarenka on top of the rankings on Monday, but I can guarantee you that Azarenka would take this win over the woman who consistently stood in her way as being a legitimate No. 1 over remaining in the top spot for the next few weeks. Serena had taken her out nine times in a row and five times last year and it really appeared that Williams was not only better than she was, but had psyched her out.

Azarenka had out played her in the 2012 US Open final on outdoor hard courts, without question the Belarussian

Facing Serena: Azarenka

azarenka us open 12 vert

Vika has a 1-11 record vs Serena, who says the slate is wiped clean for their Doha final


Here we go again