Karolina Pliskova won her seventh title with a sensational display to defeat Alizé Cornet, 6-0 6-3 in Saturday’s final. The Czech player has looked irresistible on serve all week and perhaps most impressively, has been building points patiently and coming forward at the right times. Without doubt, Pliskova will be a contender for the Australian Open.
It wasn’t a great contest but Cornet did battle hard in the second set and won the best point of the match.
This defensive slice from Pliskova was super!
Sania Mirza and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the Brisbane doubles title, beating Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova in the final. By virtue of the win, Beth will replace Sania as the new doubles number one!
Loveddd Sania and Beth’s speech!
In Auckland, Lauren Davis won her her first WTA title with a surprisingly routine win over the number eight seed, Ana Konjuh, 6-3 6-1. Davis has been knocking on the door for a first WTA title for a while after reaching two finals in 2016 but third time’s the charm! Davis is set to crack the world’s top 50 in next week’s rankings.
Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson won the doubles title in Auckland.
Shenzhen also had a first time champion in Katerina Siniakova who battled her nerves to beat Alison Riske, 6-3 6-4. Siniakova had looked in complete control up a set and a double break but became a little passive as Riske seized control. Credit though to Siniakova who refocused after a minor fall and managed to hold on at *4-3 and then serve it out at *5-4. Siniakova’s ball toss went awry but she still managed to get a decent number of first serves in play, as well as benefitting from some errors by Riske.
I thought Siniakova’s serve was different and here’s confirmation from Jo Durie.
Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai made a great start to the year by winning Shenzhen in their first tournament as a new permanent doubles pairing. The pair teamed up once in 2016 where they also triumphed in Nottingham.
Main draw action starts on Sunday at the Hobart International. I was going to write a preview but with qualifiers yet to be placed and so may qualifiers/lucky loser spots, it seems somewhat futile. The records for the seeds in Hobart is provided below. Monica Niculescu is set to play in Hobart for the 8th time!
Alison Riske, Alizé Cornet, Ana Konjuh, Julia Goerges and Katerina Siniakova have all pulled out of Hobart. This has resulted in a draw reshuffle and the need for an 11th seed! The new draw has produced an exciting first round match between Naomi Osaka and Andrea Petkovic.]
Some of the players in Hobart did some sightseeing on Saturday.
A preview for the Apia International in Sydney will be up on the blog soon… play starts on Sunday so remember to get your draws in if you are playing in the Draw Challenge game! Here is Sunday’s order of play.
Sad news… Sabine Lisicki has pulled out of the Australian Open with a shoulder injury.
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After playing one of my favorite tournaments 8 years in a row I won't be able to compete at the Australian Open this year. I will miss being down under a lot! At the moment I have to take care of my shoulder injury. I'm determined to get back to full strength on the court and I will keep you posted on my progress. I appreciate all the love and support from my fans! ❤ Nach 8 Jahren in Folge, werde ich zum ersten Mal in meiner Karriere bei einem meiner Lieblingsturniere, den Australian Open, nicht spielen können. Ich werde alles dafür tun, schnellstmöglich meine Schulterverletzung auszukurieren und alles reinlegen, um bald wieder mein bestes Tennis zeigen zu können. Vielen lieben Dank für all eure Unterstützung!!❤
And more disappointing news is that Catherine Bellis is also out of the Australian Open.
Serena has arrived in Melbourne.
And finally, the Hopman Cup concluded on Saturday with France beating USA in the deciding mixed doubles.