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The WTA Paris Open has been a regular feature on the WTA Tour since 1993, and is currently one of two events that occur just over a week after the Australian Open. This tournament may well be played in France, but it’s not a tune-up event for Roland Garros.
The action takes place on indoor hard courts, and tends to favour hard-hitting players. Such conditions allow greater consistency for those with a tendency to go for risky shots. Still, the success of Martina Hingis in 1997 is proof that we often see plenty of styles used to good effect here.
The success of the big-hitters is reflected in the past winners list. Serena Wiliams has won twice, and her sister, Venus, has one WTA Paris title to her name. Other winners include Kim Cijsters, Dinara Safina, Petra Kvitova, Mary Pierce, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, and Hingis. France’s very own Amelie Mauresmo holds the record for most title successes here, having lifted the winner’s trophy in 2001, 2006, and 2009.
Paris is an ideal location for this event, and the competitors and fans will have plenty to do when they’re away from the stadium. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are just two of the countless world famous tourist attractions that can be found in this breathtaking city. To add to this, there’s no shortage of enthusiasm for tennis here, as we can see every year at the French Open.
The tournament itself is played in the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, which was originally built in 1937, and rebuilt in 1946 following World War II. Up to 4,835 spectators pack the stadium here for the final, creating an exciting atmosphere.
The 2012 WTA Paris title was won by first-time WTA titlist Angelique Kerber. The German was able to prove that her US Open run in 2011 had been more than a mere fluke as she dug deep to beat home favourite Marion Bartoli in the final. Kerber continued to excel throughout the season, finishing inside the top ten and qualifying for the end of season WTA Championships
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