Sunday’s Set Points, An assortment of tournaments: Agnieszka Radwanska wins Beijing

Set PointsAgnieszka Radwanska didn’t drop a set all week as she won her second China Open title with a 6-4 6-2 victory in the final against Johanna Konta. It was a great tournament for Aga who had endured some disappointing losses in her last two tournaments but heads to Tianjin and following that, Singapore, with a boost of confidence. Also, kudos to Jo who puts her name firmly in the hunt for Singapore, currently at number eight. The Brit will debut in the top 10 in tomorrow’s rankings.

Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands are on a 16 (!) match winning streak and backed up their titles at the US Open and Wuhan with another one in Beijing… yay for Lucie and Beth! There’s no doubt that the pair will be the in-form team heading into the WTA Finals in Singapore.

A few wrap ups from Beijing – this cracks me up every time from Madison!

And love Jo’s reaction to not realising she had played Madison before!

The Race for the final three spots for Singapore will intensify next week with three International events in Linz, Hong Kong and Tianjin. Linz has a superb draw, the best for many years with Garbiñe Muguruza, Madison Keys and Dominika Cibulkova all taking late wildcards into the draw. There are some TOUGH openers with Cibulkova playing Belinda Bencic and Keys taking on Camila Giorgi OH MY GOD BRING HELMETS EVERYONE.

The final round of qualifying will take place on Monday with the likes of Kristyna Pliskova, Daniela Hantuchova and Oceané Dodin all hoping to reach the main draw. Four first round matches will take place with three seeds, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Kiki Bertens and Laura Siegemund all in action.

Hong Kong has some big draw names with Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and the Beijing finalist, Johanna Konta. I’m particularly intrigued to see Kerber v Sakkari in the first round. Kerber has already tweeted from Hong Kong so it looks like she is intending to play despite the leg injury that was bothering her in Beijing.

The six seeds in qualifying all won on Sunday to reach the main draw including Marina Erakovic, Aleksandra Krunic and Luksika Kumkhum. The draw is complete with qualifiers…

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And finally, Tianjin has the weakest field but still plenty of intrigue. Radwanska and Svetlana Kuznetsova headline the field, which also includes Elena Vesnina, Timea Babos and Monica Puig. The stand-out of all the first round matches is without doubt, Yaroslava Shvedova against Naomi Osaka.

Shelby Rogers, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka all came through the final round of qualifying with H&H all set to play in the first round!

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Drawsheets from WTA website

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9 thoughts on “Sunday’s Set Points, An assortment of tournaments: Agnieszka Radwanska wins Beijing

  1. I saw the Aga – Jo match on Tennis TBV and, whilst there was no question that Aga deserved it (as Jo acknowledged in her runners-up speech), I thought Jo was a bit down on power from how I’ve seen her play before, which meant that she got caught up in a lot of long rallies – which you don’t want to do against Aga, because she usually wins them.

    The last time Aga won the China Open (in 2011) she was playing Andrea Petkovic, and after the match was over the two of them did the Petko dance together. Someone tweeted me a set of pictures from the event, including this one which really put a smile on my face;

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  2. Having seen the WTA highlights I withdraw my comments about Jo being down on power during the match; her shot speeds in the highlights seemed more or less the same as I’d seen her play before.

    I thought it was interesting that she referred to playing “players like Agnieszka” at this stage of her journey. To me this suggests that as she’s only fairly recently graduated from the ITF circuit, she isn’t used to being put under the kind of constant and intense pressure that players like Aga impose on their opponents. She said much the same after her loss against Angie Kerber in the semis at the AO, saying she didn’t feel she missed a lot of opportunities but was beaten by a better player. It’s been a great year for Jo anyway and of course it’s not over yet.

    Just a word on Bethanie and Lucie; another great win in doubles, so well done to the pair of them. Lucie turns 30 next year and Bethanie’s about the same age, so I’m wondering if as they go deeper into their thirties they’ll be tempted to play doubles full time and not bother with the WTA singles circuit? Have to say that with the stellar record they’re stacking up in doubles, I think it would make a lot of sense for them to do that.

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    • Slightly biased with Lucie but I feel she’s still got something to give in singles as well. It’s been a tough year and the draws have been brutal of late. With a good off season and fresh perspective, I think she can improve significantly on her current ranking.

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      • Fair points James. I think the main reason Lucie’s draws have been brutal recently is because she’s lost a lot of ranking points from last year (when she won Doha and came runner-up at Roland Garros), and she therefore no longer has the protection of a seeding in the big tournaments at a time when there are so many good and up-and-coming players in the top 50, so she has to battle right from the start of every tournament she plays in.

        *Domi Cibulkova had the same problem at the beginning of the year, after losing to Kiki in the first round of the Australian Open (usually a strong tournament for her) and by February, dropping to the low 60’s in the rankings. She spent literally months being drawn against players like Garbine and Aga in the first couple of rounds of tournaments until things started to get better for her with a win in Katowice and a runner-up position in Madrid and Acapulco. Fingers crossed for the same thing to happen for Lucie.

        *I remember Domi smashing her racket in frustration (which she’s not in the habit of doing) after an early rounds loss to Garbi in Miami (I thought it was at Indian Wells but I was mistaken).

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      • Yep agree, all to do with the ranking. I feel like she just needs a break. Her draw started to open up at the Olympics (no ranking points though!) but then she got ill.

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  3. (BTW, in case you think I’m telling you how to suck eggs here I know that you know this stuff but your blog readers, or some of them, mightn’t.)

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