From the beginning, 2011 made its mark as the “Year of Injuries” for the top-ranked women in tennis.
Serena Williams, who cut her foot on broken glass after the 2010 Wimbledon Tournament, was out of tennis for most of the year.
Sister Venus Williams also suffered from illness and injury throughout 2011.
Kim Clijsters, who won the 2011 Australian Open over Li Na of China, sprained her ankle and never was able to compete fully after April of this year.
Justine Henin retired for the second and last time in January of 2011 after further injuring her elbow at the Australian Open. It was the same elbow she injured in a fall at Wimbledon in 2010.
For the most part the old guard was disappearing, it seemed, in the blink of an eye. That meant new champions would emerge.
Therefore, 2011 quickly evolved into the “Year of the Newcomers” in women’s tennis.
Li Na won the 2011 French Open, to claim her first major title.
Petra Kvitova, barely 21, won the 2011 Wimbledon title, defeating former champion Maria Sharapova in the final—even though the Williams sisters were competing once again.
Samantha Stosur finally won her first major at the US Open defeating Serena Williams in a brilliant display of tennis acumen and nerve.
The 2011 season culminated in Istanbul at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships where the elite eight women met to battle for the final title of the season.