Match Points: Highlights from the first week of the 2016 tennis season

The first week of the 2016 tennis season has been wacky to say the least. While four of the world’s top five WTA players have forced to withdraw/retire from tournaments this week, there have plenty of interesting moments and several players have snapped their opportunities and brightened their prospects for the Australian Open. Here’s a Match Points feature to wrap up some highlights from the first week…

Tennis worth catching up with…

Paszek d. Schiavone, 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3 (Auckland, R2)

Paszek 7

I didn’t write about it at the time but Paszek v Schiavone was a super match. Many have questioned why Schiavone continues to play tennis but even from a match like this, it is obvious she still loves the game. Her court craft is still great and she produced a cracking tweener towards the end. It was Paszek though, who went on to reach the semi-finals, who was a little more aggressive and also scrambled extremely well. There was one point in particular where Paszek was dragged all over the court but she ended up winning the point, hitting a shot that pretty much floored Schiavone. A wonderfully contested match and my favourite one of the week.

Week 1 Singles Champions

Didn’t expect that to happen…

Naomi Broady d. Ana Ivanovic, 7-5 6-4 (Auckland, R1)

Daria Kasatkina d. Venus Williams, 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 (Auckland, R1)

Samantha Crawford d. Belinda Bencic, 7-5 7-5 (Brisbane, R2)

Samantha Crawford d. Andrea Petkovic, 6-0 6-3 (Brisbane, QF)

WTA rollercoaster scorelines:

Monica Niculescu (4) d. Anastasija Sevastova, 1-6 6-4 6-3 (Shenzhen, R1) – Sevastova had led 6-1 *3-1

Naomi Broady d. Jelena Ostapenko, 4-6 7-6(4) 7-5 (Auckland, R2) – Ostapenko led 6-4 5-2* and 6-4 6-7 5-1* in the third set, and missed two match points

Alison Riske d. Su-Wei Hsieh, 3-6 7-5 6-1 (Shenzhen, R2) – Hsieh led 6-3 4-0 30-0 (!)

Daria Gavrilova d. Elina Svitolina, 6-4 7-6(6) (Hopman Cup final) – Svitolina led 6-1 in the second set TB with Gavrilova saving five set points

*Thanks to Michael @m_nawrocki_99 for the heads up on the Riske-Hsieh match!*

Tweets:

There were many tweets from the Broady v Ostapenko match in Auckland…

Loved the ending to the Paszek v Flipkens match in Auckland

The latest news about Lucie… 😦

Elena Vesnina tweeted this earlier this week from her wedding… she looks stunning!

This sums up the first week…

Pictures:

The Azarenka dab celebration… I have no idea what this is haha

There have been plenty of Kerber fist pumps!

What a week it was for Samantha Crawford

GIFs/Vines:

Best points/shots:

This was a cracker from the first round match in Auckland between Wozniacki and Kovinic

Despite the one-sided scoreline, the quality in the first set of Azarenka v Kerber was terrific

Woah Angie!

Clutch volley from Gavrilova down match point… I love Garcia’s reaction hahaha

Memorable Handshakes:

Broady v Ostapenko (Auckland, R2)

Paszek v Flipkens (Auckland, QF)

Bouchard v Gibbs (Shenzhen, R2)

Interviews/Press Conferences

Posted this earlier in the week but loved Petkovic’s words about her difficult off-season.

This was a fun interview… Kerber-Petko reached the doubles final.

Crawford had a great week in Brisbane and it was fun to get to know her through the Brisbane press conferences, which were on their YouTube page.

This was another fun interview… I loved Sascha’s “I still have an Instagram account if you guys want to follow me!” comment.

Favourite articles:

The Tennis Island recapped the drama of the Broady-Ostapenko match HERE

Women’s Tennis Blog has had resident photographer, Jimmie48, in Brisbane and as always, got some wonderful snaps. Here’s Jimmie’s photos from quarter-final action (click HERE) but check out all of them!

Tennis & Co did a great interview with Mona Barthel (click HERE)

I’d love to hear your favourite moments from week 1… i’m sure i’ve missed lots out!

8 thoughts on “Match Points: Highlights from the first week of the 2016 tennis season

  1. I definitely love this kind of article! 🙂 Perfect to remind to good things or check what we missed during the week 🙂 Personnaly I of course loved the entire great week of Julia! 🙂 First final since 2012 🙂
    And a big thank you to you James to have shared my interview with Mona 😀

    Like

    • Thanks, Jeffrey! 🙂 Really glad you liked the article and wanted to do something different this year. I thought it was a nice way to recap the day/week and it will be fun to go back through them at the end of the year when I’ve forgotten everything that happened. And my pleasure, it was a great post and I’m a fan of Mona and I know there are many others too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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