Match Points: WTA Highlights from the 2016 Australian Open

The first Grand Slam for the women is in the books after Angelique Kerber won her first Grand Slam title, beating Serena Williams in Saturday’s final. This is my tournament round-up, Match Points, picking out the most memorable moments of the Australian Open through tweets, pictures, GIFs, videos and plenty more…

Match Points

The Final

Kerber d. S.Williams, 6-4 3-6 6-4

Angelique Kerber is a Grand Slam champion… it’s slowly sinking in! This was my favourite match of the year so far. Kerber played a tremendous match, considering the circumstances and the opponent. She had to go for her shots to stand a chance and I think she did that for the most part, staying close to the baseline. Serena didn’t play her best and a big factor was her serve not firing but Kerber really did deserve this win. She picked off Serena at the net and even had the nerve to produce a pair of magical drop shots in a monumental game up 3-2 in the third set. This is the first ever time that Serena has lost a Grand Slam final in three sets and Kerber is now the world number two! She can only consolidate her position over the next few months with few points to defend up to Charleston…

Tennis worth catching up with…

Johanna Konta d. Ekaterina Makarova (4-6 6-4 8-6, R4) – A great match, super rallies and edge-of-your-seat tension.

Agnieszka Radwanska d. Anna-Lena Friedsam (6-7(6) 6-1 7-5, R4) – Friedsam really took it to Radwanska and was so close to the upset. In particular, the first set was brilliant.

Daria Gavrilova d. Kristina Mladenovic (6-4 4-6 11-9, R3) – Extra time finishes are always entertaining.

Didn’t expect that to happen…

Yulia Putintseva d. (16) Caroline Wozniacki, 1-6 7-6(3) 6-4 (R1)

Qiang Wang d. (24) Sloane Stephens, 6-3 6-3 (R1)

Johanna Konta d. (8) Venus Williams, 6-4 6-2 (R1)

Shuai Zhang d. (2) Simona Halep, 6-4 6-3 (R1)

Kateryna Bondarenko d. (23) Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-1 7-5 (R2)

Laura Siegemund d. (19) Jelena Jankovic, 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 (R2)

Anna-Lena Friedsam d. (13) Roberta Vinci, 0-6 6-4 6-4 (R3)

Barbora Strycova d. (3) Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-3 6-2 (R3)

(7) Angelique Kerber d. (14) Victoria Azarenka, 6-3 7-5 (QF)

(7) Angelique Kerber d. (1) Serena Williams, 6-4 3-6 6-4 (Final)

Pictures

There are so many fabulous pictures from the trophy ceremony.

Here’s Shuai Zhang after winning her first ever Grand Slam main draw match.

And Zhang after winning her second match…

And Zhang after winning her third match…

And Zhang after winning her fourth match… that’s where the winning came to a halt for the Chinese player but what a super story.

I LOVE this picture from the Kerber-Doi first round match.

Poots looks like she is up for a fight!

Laura Siegemund was happppy.

Maria Sharapova was pumped after defeating Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

Kerber’s celebrations after notching a first win over Vika

Best points/shots

Amazing.

AROUND THE NET POST!

Watching this in super quick mode highlights how amazing this point from Babs was…

Celebrations

Poots had a great tournament.

First round wins at the Slams are special.

Siegemund was a bundle of joy after beating JJ.

GIFs/Vines

Gavrilova is a dream for WTA Reactions… this was my favourite of the tournament.

The first two days of Grand Slams are absolutely crazy. This GIF manages to encapsulate the mad dash to try and watch EVERYTHING.

Another classic one from WTA Reactions from the final.

Forever entertaining us, Barbora Strycova.

Awww this still gets me.

Funny moments

Hahaha Roger!

Oh Jelena!

I’ve never seen this happen before!

Another one involving Roger that I just had to include… I’m still in hysterics watching this!

Memorable handshakes

Still feeling this.

This was lovely.

The award for hand slap of the tournament goes to…

You can tell how touched Kasatkina is by Serena’s words at the net.

On-Court Interviews

This is still a wonderful watch.

Ohhh Dasha!

This was a great interview from Konta after beating Makarova.

 

I love how animated Kerber is in this interview after beating Azarenka.

Press conferences

Zhang’s press conference after her first round win over Halep was captured by the NCR podcast.

Naomi Osaka had a super tournament and she’s going to be a fun one to follow this year and into the future.

Haha Belinda!

Kerber’s final press conference

Favourite articles

My favourite read of the tournament… Matt Zemek of Attacking the Net recapped Angelique Kerber’s win over Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round HERE.

Loved this piece by Courtney Nguyen for the WTA Insider on Angelique Kerber’s win on Saturday HERE.

Grand Slam Gal posted plenty of great photos from Melbourne… check out photos from Saturday’s Serena-Angie final HERE.

A huge thank you to Morgan who wrote a guest post for Moo’s Tennis Blog about his experiences of having a Ground Pass for day 1 at the Australian Open HERE.

Final Takeaways

This Australian Open didn’t have an abundance of great matches but where it did triumph was the storylines. There were plenty of memorable moments such as the tremendous runs of Shuai Zhang and Johanna Konta, to Angelique Kerber winning her first Grand Slam title. Watching Kerber prevail over Serena was something i’ll remember for a long time and I found Kerber’s reaction at the end very moving. I was certainly feeling inspired by Kerber’s achievements. I keep watching back the match point and get goosebumps every time… congrats, Angie!

Thanks for all your comments during the Australian Summer of Tennis! What was your favourite moment from January? The WTA tour has a week off but i’ll be back soon (after catching up with sleep) to continue my coverage of the 2016 season.

12 thoughts on “Match Points: WTA Highlights from the 2016 Australian Open

  1. My favorite moment in January has to be Kerber’s Fantastic Win over Serena Williams,she came out on the court cool and calm and stuck to her game plan throughout the match,even when she lost the 2nd set,it didnt seem to phase her.That is the mark of a Champion Player…..Well done Angie AO Singles Champion 2016!!

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    • James,I have to add my unfavorite moment now,the tour leaves Australia,I will now be a walking zombie for the year of the year,I now will have to get up around 1.00am on my time zone at times to watch tennis.Boo!:)

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      • Ohhhh i’m sorry, Margaret! Hope you enjoyed this month at least 🙂 I’ll try my best to keep you covered on everything where you might not be able to watch it!

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  2. I know you arent keen on Murray vs Djokovic matches but how do you think itll go down? Kerber winning could boost Andys confidence.
    One thing I noticed this year is that a lot of the men were dropping a lot of short balls in their baseline rallies. Neither Murray and Raonic were hitting deep very often. Its funny because the women have largely been more successful in hitting those back lines in my opinion. Other than Djokovic who seems to have this otherworldy feel for placing his groundstrokes SO deep again and again and off both wings.

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    • Ahh you remember… Yes not thrilled about the final but I’ll still be watching. Originally thought Djokovic in 3 but after Jamie won the doubles, I wonder if that might spur on Andy so I’d probably give him a set. I’d be stunned if Murray wins but then again, I never imagined Kerber winning…

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  3. You are absolutely right about the two drop shots in the third set. After she nailed those two drop shots in a row, I had for the first time the feeling that something is different this time with Kerber. I feel like, a while ago, the drop shot wasn’t really part of Kerber’s game. It was usually an act of desperation when she felt that her usual game didn’t really work against an opponent. And, of course, it never helped back then because you’ll never nail a drop shot if your regular baseline shots are not working in the first place.

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  4. Although i feel its Stan the Man in tennis world right now with his uncanny game who can take a final from Nole, I just hope and wish Murray gives a tough fight and make it a five setter.

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  5. WTA wrote “Since Wimbledon, here is the list of Grand Slam champions, Premier Mandatory champions, Premier 5 champions, and WTA Finals champion: Belinda Bencic,Serena Williams, Flavia Pennetta, Venus Williams,Garbiñe Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwanska, and now,Angelique Kerber. That’s a varied group of top quality players and the list undermines the common misconception that the tour is ruled by a singular dominant force. That’s simply not true.”

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  6. WTA wrote ” The Australian Open was a reminder that Serena’s march towards 22 is no slam dunk. At her best she remains the best player on tour and few could argue against that. But as we saw in New York and now in Melbourne, anyone can be beaten, and the expectation or assumption that the field simply rolls over when she takes the court is absurd. The gap between Serena and the field is much smaller than people think.”

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