Zhuhai has defeated me…

WimbledonI was going to try and blog for the final week of WTA tennis in Zhuhai but I have officially checked out. The week has seen Andrea Petkovic (chin up, Petko!) and Caroline Wozniacki both end their years in pretty miserable circumstances. Petko was dropped a double bagel in her second group match, clearly impacted by a knee injury. She gave a candid interview with the WTA Insider where she admitted that her motivation for tennis has waned. I sincerely hope that the off-season gives Petko the time she needs to refresh both the mind and body. She is such a character on tour and I am not ready to see Petko go just yet! Woz withdrew from her first match with a wrist injury, an injury picked up after cutting her finger earlier in the week. I’m relieved for Caro that she has pulled out and can finally chill and rest up.

Venus Williams, Karolina Pliskova and Roberta Vinci have all qualified for the semi-finals with the final place to be decided by the winner of Friday’s first match between Elina Svitolina and Carla SuΓ‘rez Navarro. Unfortunately, the other two matches set for Friday are both dead rubbers. A quick heads up to a new WTA Insider podcast featuring Courtney Nguyen. It’s different to No Challenges Remaining and i’m really enjoying it so far, particularly the snippets from press conferences. The latest one had an interview with Svetlana Kuznetsova… Sveta is certainly a character! Hopefully there will be more interviews with players.

I’m busy this weekend so I won’t have time to write anything for Zhuhai. I’m calling time on the previews for 2015 on Moo’s Tennis Blog. It’s been a long run, exhausting, but exciting at the same time, covering the tour every step of the way since January. While the coverage of tennis will end now with the off-season fast approaching, i’m pleased to announce i’ll be starting my countdown of the top 20 WTA matches of the year. This is one of my favourite posts of the year and part one of four will be dropping soon (hopefully!) in the next week.

I’m going to enjoy the ATP World Tour Finals and then take some time away from tennis. I definitely won’t be following the IPTL. Tennis has become such a huge part of my life and while I absolutely adore it, I do need a break after ten pretty solid months of watching and blogging. I’ll be spending lots of time in the kitchen and i’m on a mission to perfect my choux pastry! πŸ™‚ I might also go outside…

I’ll still be posting occasionally during the off-season and also getting ready for the 2016 tennis season. I am keen to explore ideas for new posts. If you have any comments about the coverage here on Moo’s Tennis Blog, things you like, things you’re not so keen on, I would REALLY appreciate you taking just a few minutes to jot some thoughts down. You can send me an e-mail at MooTennisBlog@gmail.com or just comment in this post. It will really help to me to improve the blog!

And finally, a hugeeeeee thank you to my readers. To the regulars (you know who you are!), it’s a pleasure to read your comments. It’s been awesome to follow the season with you. I’m proud of how the blog has grown over the past couple of years and i’m planning to keep it up! πŸ™‚

31 thoughts on “Zhuhai has defeated me…

  1. Definitely agree with your thoughts, James. So sad about Petko though. I have the feeling she is gonna quit tennis tbh. She has so many other talents, her mom is really really ill and it felt like this earlier this year when she was featured in German reports.

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  2. Thanks James,really enjoyed all your posts this year.Indeed you deserve a well earned rest!.I also look forward to reading your post on the top 25 matches this year.

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  3. Thank you for the wonderful job you’ve been doing with this blog throughout the entire year, I always enjoy reading your articles and it’s probably the only tennis blog I check on a daily basis. πŸ™‚ Already looking forward to seeing your Top 20 matches & other off-season stuff!

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      • Yeap, that’s the logic of RR matches (gently shakes fist in the air).

        On the other hand though, I want to see Svetlana get her ‘killer’ instinct back and be more consistent. She seems like a veteran( there may be some truth in that), but I feel the current tour is ripe for players of her stead and experience.

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  4. This is currently my favorite tennis blog. I am so happy to hear that you are not planning on retiring any time soon. You’ve grown the blog immensely and I really appreciate your match previews and in general the topics and the style of your writing. I am happy that you exist in our tennis community. xoxo

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    • It’s a shame Schmiedlova didn’t get a shot at playing from the start. She’s been particularly impressive during the second half of 2015. Intrigued to see what she can do next year.

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  5. Hello James! Enjoy your well-deserved off-season and can’t wait for the Top 20 matches and also the 2016 predictions! Have a great time baking #GBBO and do update us on your bakeries as well whenever free! Thumbs up for a great year for your blog πŸ™‚

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    • Hi Silas, thanks for your support and all your retweets/favourites on Twitter, really appreciate it! I’ll try and post a few pics of my bakes πŸ™‚ Enjoy your off-season too!

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  6. I agree about Petko, I like her too and she will definitely be missed if she does decide to leave. I remember a tournament in Asia a couple of years ago where both she and Aga Radwanska (her fellow finalist, who won the tournament) ended up doing the Petko Dance together at the presentation (and I thought Aga’s dance was better than Petko’s).

    As for Zhuhai, as someone on Tennis Forum pointed out the organisers made an elementary error when the devised the scheduling; they allowed the person who had already won the first match to play in the second, thus opening the tournament to the possibility of dead rubbers in the third and final match if that player won for a second time and thus qualified for the semis before the third match had been played.

    All they had to do in each group was ensure that the loser of the first match went on to play the player who had still to play, and in that way both of the players in the third and final match would have something to play for. (If that confuses you, try it out with pencil and paper – it works).

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  7. Andrew,the match I am most interested in still watching is Pliskova v Svitolina.A match up in contrasting styles.Pliskova has such a great easy action service motion,still I would like her to use some spin,I would also like to see her use some spin on her ground shots,which are flat,to me she needs to address her overall court movement,hopefully she can work on that,hopefully next year she will address her playing schedule,as I felt in 2015 she played too many tournaments,which at times I felt cost her.If Pliskova plays first strike tennis,plays with more controlled aggression,she does have to watch her margins,I feel she should win.

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    • I for one, I’m intrigued by her(Pliskova) play and potential, fingers crossed she also sees that in herself. More spin on on her groundies would be an excellent addition to her to weapons. I sort of expected something like that from Julia Gorges when I first saw her play, sadly, she never really improved on her overall game. Partly a mindset, but Pliskova I feel can work on that.

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    • I think she did improve her movement vastly throughout the year. She just fell adrift after losing the titles to Kerber in Birmingham and Stanford. This week reminds us just how good she is when she digs deep though. I’d love her to win the title here.

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  8. Shame for Karolina. I think losing her other finals clearly affected her play today because she had chances here and dictated play for much of the last hour. I’m not sure Venus could have kept going for a third set when she was being made to run SO much.

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    • What are you talking about? Did you see the match? They both played well and it was a high energy match. Venus deserved to win and she won. Stop being a hater.

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      • I never said Venus didn’t play well. But Pliskova was definitely dictating play in that second set (and the first, after going behind). She let Venus level up because of a few close misses where she clearly got tight. And she was by far the more proactive player in the tiebreaker.

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    • Karolina wasn’t dictating nothing at any time. The match was close and they both made the same amount of unforced errors. They both over hit the balls at time and they both had break points.

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  9. i discovered your blog at the end of last year and i read it regularly ever since.i love your writing about women tennis and even if i dont comment often i really enjoy your insights.so James keep doing what you do because you do it well and i look forward to read you many years from now on.

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  10. my words are not kind,are the truth:)i only read 2 blogs regularly,yours and wtaaddict coz i find you both really know what you writing about.you do your research well,i find many insights about players and sound predictions.dont worry to much if your predictions go sour,we all know the woman tennis is unpredictible:)))

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