Three days into the 2017 season and it sounds like we already have a solid contender for match of the year. In the Brisbane night session, Garbiñe Muguruza saved a match point to edge past Daria Kasatkina, 7-5 3-6 7-6(7) in two hours and 58 minutes. I was livescoring the match (back to work today *epic sad face*) and it was one wild follow with so many switch-ups in momentum.
This was a superb rally from the second set with a classy drop shot winner from Kasatkina.
It’s been a good start to 2017 for both; for Muguruza, she’s come through two tough three set matches on back-to-back days. While her level may not be there just yet, the fighting spirit and the ability to hang in contention has been impressive, especially given there were times in 2016 when this wasn’t always the case.
For Kasatkina, it was yet another close match where she just came up short but the potential is undeniable. I can’t wait to see Daria turn one of these matches into a win. She’s been knocking on the door for a while and I really do think she will get that big win soon…
The WTA have posted highlights of the Muguruza-Kasatkina match – they’re a little more detailed than normal which is good, but i’d still love to be able to watch the full match back. I’m taking a bow to Garbiñe for her fearlessness down match point with that forehand winner.
I’m rather taken aback by how good the seeds have been so far in Brisbane. The only departure was Elena Vesnina on the first day and that was in a third set tiebreak. Joining Muguruza in the quarter-finals on Tuesday were Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina. Pliskova’s made an excellent start to the year and is yet to drop a set, while Svitolina had a tough second rounder, winning 7-5 in the third set against Shelby Rogers. From what I saw of Svitolina, she’ll need to improve significantly to keep on moving in the draw but a decent win nonetheless.
The final first round match from Brisbane saw the 16-year-old, Destanee Aiava win her first WTA main draw match, fighting off some nerves to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 2-6 6-3 6-4. Aiava plays Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round on Wednesday which should be a fun one!
Get to know more about Destanee in the fun video below… impressed with what i’ve seen so far both on and off the court this week.
Auckland has had a miserable start to their 2017 tournament and with a backlog of first round matches, quite a few players are going to have to play two matches on Wednesday. It’s such a shame when this happens at an International tournament but there’s sadly no way around it with the schedule.
Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki both won their first matches of the year on Tuesday. Serena came from an early break down in the first set to post a straight sets win over Pauline Parmentier, 6-3 6-4, while Wozniacki dropped just 22 points in a 6-1 6-0 victory over Nicole Gibbs.
The rain may not be such a problem in years to come as there are plans to build a roof after the 2018 edition of the ASB Classic.
The top three seeds have all lost a set so far this week in Shenzhen but remain in the tournament. Johanna Konta recovered from a dreadful opening set and a break down in the second set to defeat Vania King, 1-6 6-3 6-2.
While things weren’t always going Konta’s way, I love how she constantly backs herself and goes for the winners down-the-line. By the third set she found her rhythm and dropped just one point behind her first serve in the decider. Also, it’s nice to see Vania back and competing well!
Agnieszka Radwanska had a much more comfortable second round match after saving three match points in the first round. The number one seed beat Sorana Cirstea, 6-0 6-3, scoring a virtual bagel in the second set after coming back from 0-3 down. There were a couple of neat points including the one linked below where Radwanska holds her ground at the net beautifully. It’s hard to fully appreciate how well she anticipates the game.
I’ve had a few comments on the blog about streaming WTA matches in the US. You’re not alone and Ben Rothenberg is collating some stories below if you’re interested in sharing your opinion. The chain of responses might also be helpful!
Fancy sharing your opinion again? Eurosport have created a new website called Eurosport Voice where viewers can share their thoughts through surveys on the coverage of a variety of sports including tennis. Eurosport Voice will soon be posting a survey about coverage of the Australian Open. For all those who complete the survey, there is an opportunity to enter a prize draw for Amazon vouchers (£200, £100 and £50). If you are interested in sharing your opinions, you can register now at Eurosport Voice HERE.
And finally, I really, really, really hope this happens on Wednesday!