The second week of the 2016 tennis season is over with the Australian Open now on the horizon. It was another withdrawal-heavy week in Sydney with three players pulling out pre-tournament and two more during the actual tournament. It paved the way for an unexpected final between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Monica Puig with the former producing a special performance. Hobart’s draw held up remarkably well and featured some quality matches. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from this week on the WTA tour.
Svetlana Kuznetsova was a surprise winner in Sydney… I say a surprise winner, but you never quite know what you are going to get with Sveta. When peak Sveta does show up though, she’s a match for anyone on the tour.
Alizé Cornet won her first title since 2014, losing just five games in her last two matches having been pushed all the way in her second round match against Veronica Cepede Royg, a match that lasted seven minutes shy of three hours.
Didn’t expect that to happen…
Kimberly Birrell d. Danka Kovinic, 6-4 6-4 (Hobart, R1)
Monica Puig d. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, 6-1 6-0 (Sydney, R2)
WTA rollercoaster scorelines
Laura Pous-Tio d. Pauline Parmentier, 1-6 6-0 6-0 (Hobart, Final Qualifying Round)
Sara Errani d. Jelena Jankovic, 7-6(3) 7-6(8) (Sydney, R2) – Jankovic led 5-1 in the second set and had seven set points
Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Sara Errani, 7-6(1) 6-0 (Sydney, QF) – Errani led 5-1 *40-15 in the first set and had three set points
I’d be surprised if we see better match stats all year.
Puig had an incredible serving day in the quarter-finals against Stosur… she dropped just three points on her serve in the second set and was 8/8 on second serve points.
The Jankovic-Errani match in Sydney was… eventful.
Thanks to Tom (@TennisZealot on Twitter) for his post from Sydney. ICYMI, it’s well worth a read HERE. A couple of Tom’s photos are included below, of which more can be found in his guest post and on his Twitter page.
Jimmie48 is already in Melbourne, getting some great shots for Women’s Tennis Blog of the top players practising and from qualifying too.
Five memorable GIFs/Vines
This point from the Cornet v Cepede Royg match in Hobart was pretty damn amazing.
Great point in the Kerber v Svitolina match which had plenty of highlights
This was another good one from Hobart in the Bouchard v Van Uytvanck match.
Here’s a happy-looking Kuznetsova after her first round win..
… And Kuznetsova after winning the title.
Puig’s reaction to winning her quarter-final against Stosur showed how much this win meant to her. Here’s her post-match interview on court.
Yay to the following…
A recollection of injuries and MTOs will be an invaluable resource going forward…
Racket Rally is back! The Moo’s Tennis Blog league is still there and i’m hoping to do a post before Monday with my portfolio choices.
A shout-out to the Hobart YouTube account which has been posting full match highlights all week. It’s not the first year Hobart has done this but it is one of the very few tournaments to do so. Even better, there also some decent match highlights (about five minutes long) if you haven’t got time to plough through the full highlights.
Favourite articles of the week
Five thoughts with Belinda Bencic from the Sydney International website (click HERE). I liked her comment about dealing with negative social media and how she rises above it.
As mentioned above, Jimmie48 will be snapping in Melbourne. His daily photo recaps are the perfect way to take in all the action on any given tennis day. Here’s an action packed post from the first day of qualifying including plenty of photos of the top players practising (click HERE)
The Tennis Island provided a comprehensive preview of the women’s qualifying draw for the Australian Open (click HERE)
Grand Slam Gal took some some great photos from the exhibition event in Kooyong (click HERE)
And finally, the WTA Insider have produced plenty of pieces this week and their new diary feature with Alla Kudryavtseva was particularly insightful (click HERE)