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)
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!*
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…
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
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
Clutch volley from Gavrilova down match point… I love Garcia’s reaction hahaha
Broady v Ostapenko (Auckland, R2)
Paszek v Flipkens (Auckland, QF)
Bouchard v Gibbs (Shenzhen, R2)
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.
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)