The lone WTA week on green clay came to a conclusion on Sunday with Sloane Stephens crowned the champion in Charleston. April is a pretty awesome month of tennis with Charleston, Monte-Carlo and Stuttgart all back-to-back. I’ll be taking a much-needed break from blogging next week and be back for Stuttgart (YAY). Read on for Match Points from the 2016 Volvo Car Open in Charleston including the best matches, tweets, pictures, shots and plenty more…
When Sloane Stephens has won a match at a WTA tournament this year, she has gone onto win the title… that’s an insane stat! Stephens defeated Elena Vesnina in Sunday’s final, 7-6(4) 6-2. The first set was awesome… Vesnina had a set point (having come back from 2-5 down) but Stephens was too good in the first set tiebreak. Vesnina ran out of steam a little in the second set as Stephens came through to win her fourth WTA title and third this year. The trophy ceremony was fun when they wheeled out the car haha!
Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic won the doubles title in Charleston, defeating Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in the final, 6-2 7-5.
Completed Singles Draw
Tennis worth catching up with…
Angelique Kerber d. Lara Arruabarrena (6-2 5-7 7-6(3), R2)
Just finished catching up on this one… what a tremendous match! The final two sets were pure quality from both players and it felt like most of the rallies were being won rather than lost. Arruabarrena surely played one of her best ever matches. The 10-deuce game at 2-1 in the third set was sensational. One of the best matches of 2016 so far…
Sloane Stephens d. Daria Kasatkina (6-1 5-7 7-5, QF)
In a fascinating quarter-final, Stephens saved a match point to survive. It was another plucky display from Stephens as the match looked to have got away from her in the third set. The American played well enough to win in straights, but Kasatkina battled hard, saving all seven break points she faced in the second set, to force a decider. It was a tough loss in the end for Kasatkina, but she’s showing so much promise on the WTA tour this year…
Elena Vesnina d. Sara Errani (6-4 4-6 6-2, SF)
After the first semi-final was cut short by Kerber’s illness, the crowd were rewarded with a thoroughly entertaining second semi-final. Errani played some decent tennis, mixing in drop shots, lobs and a surprising amount of aggression from the baseline. However, Vesnina was rewarded for her proactive gameplan, playing a fantastic third set, and reaching her first WTA singles final since 2013.
Yulia Putintseva d. Venus Williams (7-6(5) 2-6 6-4, R3)
THREE HOURS… this was a gripping watch with so many long games and quite a few swings in momentum. Putintseva came up with some cracking winners while Venus, clearly impeded with a leg injury, fought like a champ to stay alive. She is such a shining example to any up-and-coming tennis players. It was a big win for Putintseva, winning not only her first match but first set against Venus.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni d. Kristina Mladenovic (4-6 6-4 7-6(13), R2)
And finally, this match won’t be winning any awards for quality, but certainly had one of the most dramatic conclusions. Ten match points were missed, including eight in a frenetic final set tiebreak (and two on consecutive double faults at 11-11!). In the end, Lucic-Baroni, who came up with magnificent tennis on a few of the match points, was the one to convert a match point.
Tweets I liked
Funny moments and GIFs
Love her or hate her, Putintseva is certainly entertaining!
The trophy ceremony was a hoot…
Break point conversions for Aleksandra Krunic…
Kerber-Arruabarrena was a fantastic match… these are superb stats!
The first set of Stephens-Kovinic was rough… Danka had a bad day at the office.
Rare to see such high conversions on break points… Errani was a perfect eight out of eight!
I paid FAR too much attention to this stat with my predictions!
This was a magnificent tweener lob from Irina Falconi that did not get nearly as much attention as it deserved.
One of many fantastic points in the Kerber-Arruabarrena match.
Putintseva played a superb first set tiebreak against Wiliams, closing on this excellent point.
Here’s a one-handed backhand passing shot from Daria Gavrilova during her second round win over Shuai Zhang.
And finally, an amazing all-court point in the final between Stephens and Vesnina.
This was lovely between Alison Riske and Frances Altick.
Plenty of respect between Sloane Stephens and Daria Kasatkina… Daria’s reaction at the net was adorable (see tweet below)
The look from Vesnina here makes me laugh!
My favourite thing from Charleston for the second straight year… JJ AND PETKO!
This was a nice interview from Tennis Atlantic with Yulia Putintseva after her first round win.
Kasatkina’s response here haha!
It was nice to see Sabine Lisicki smiling again on court after defeating Irina Falconi in the first round.
All the players seemed so relaxed and at ease in Charleston. Here’s Venus after her second round win.
And lovely to see Elena Vesnina doing so well. She’s always so giving in her post-match interviews.
This article from Nicole Gibbs was FANTASTIC.
And if you wondered what happened to Patty Schnyder, she was in qualifying for Charleston this week! Here’s a Q&A from her on the WTA website.
Tennis Draw Challenge: Over 50 people now in the league, thanks all for joining! This week’s winners were WTA Addict (Charleston), FanofBencic (Katowice), IIguy27 (Marrakech) and abhi (Houston). Enter predictions by joining HERE.
Racket Rally: At the time of writing, Bosiddon not only top scored for the week but also is the overall leader of the Moo’s Tennis Blog league. To join RR or update your team, click HERE.