Lesia Tsurenko and Lara Arruabarrena got main draw proceedings underway in Stanford in what was my first experience of WTA TV! It was a scratchy start from both in their first matches on hard courts since Wimbledon. It was third time lucky for Tsurenko in consolidating a break of serve in the first set and once she did, the Ukrainian player never really looked troubled. Tsurenko served well and didn’t face any break points in the second set. The backhand was on point and the forehand more than held its own. Tsurenko won, 6-3 6-3 for her third consecutive straight sets win over Arruabarrena.
The shot of the match came on set point in the first set with Tsurenko crafting a wonderful defensive lob. She also produced a well executed lob to set up the crucial break point in the second set.
My first experiences of using WTA TV have been mostly positive. I’ve seen a few complaints with security issues and not being able to access the site. I’ve had no problems so far although it is frustrating having to sign in every time. The big advantage for me is watching full screen on my iPad and the quality was great. It’s such a novelty not having to pull out the magnifying glass to the see the ball!
My stream lost definition on a few occasions but I think that is more an indication of my internet connection. I’m loving the multiscreen function where you can get up to four matches on screen. One thing i’d like to see is the names of matches on the “Live” page as opposed to just the court names.
Kayla Day secured her fourth WTA main draw win over Misaki Doi, 6-4 6-2. I really like what I have seen from Day so far this year and the 17-year-old showed experience beyond her years as she won the majority of the mini-battles in this match. The American was exceptional in defence and this was the key factor behind her win as she extended the rallies and forced a flurry of errors from a clearly lacking-in-confidence, Doi. The Japanese player has now lost her last four matches and it really showed as she was very errant on her normally potent forehand side.
Like the first match in Stanford, there was a stand-out set point in the first set as Day hit a gorgeous drop volley (see below). The American saved two break points when serving for the set and maintained her composure well. I’m very impressed with Kayla and she gets the Wimbledon champion, Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round. The pair played earlier this year in Indian Wells where Muguruza rallied to win in three exciting sets.
Now a top 20 player, Ana Konjuh moved into the second round of Stanford after the qualifier, Marina Erakovic was forced to retire. All the best to Marina.
While I was sleeping…
In the first evening match, Maria Sharapova beat Jennifer Brady in three sets. From all the highlights, Sharapova seemed to hit her fair share of return winners! The Russian player will no doubt want to improve her first serve percentage which was at 52% for the match. A good start nonetheless with Tsurenko up next in the second round.
Sharapova’s post-match interview is linked below.
Sharapova’s press conference was posted on the Bank of the West Classic Facebook page.
Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Nicole Gibbs also won their first round matches on Monday in Stanford. Gibbs had a narrow escape against the Wimbledon girls junior champion, Claire Liu.
Over in Washington it was a good day for the teens. 17-year-old, Bianca Andreescu, scored her first ever WTA main draw win with a superb, 5-7 6-3 6-4 victory over Camila Giorgi.
The 19-year-old, Aryna Sabalenka defeated last year’s finalist and number three seed, Lauren Davis, 7-5 6-3. This was Sabalenka’s best career win so far. Davis’s confidence from the start of the year seems to be draining.
Oceane Dodin advanced to the second round when her opponent, Jelena Jankovic, retired during the third set. This doesn’t sound too promising for JJ.
The Petko dance was out in full force as Andrea Petkovic beat Kurumi Nara in straight sets in Washington.
Carla Suárez Navarro has parted ways with her long-term coach, Xavier Budo.
And finally, it was nice to get to know a bit more about Katerina Siniakova who won her second WTA title last week in Bastad.
12 thoughts on “Monday’s Set Points, WTA Stanford & Washington: Teens prevail, Day through to face Muguruza”
Woke up in the morning and watched Sharapova – Brady with the “on-demand” feature. so happy I’m finally able to watch everything 🙂 Also, with “on-demand” you an go back until the first tournament in January – so I rewatched some other matches too 😀
Ah didn’t realise that, great! 🙂
I think it’s very good for your year-end posts, match rankings etc 🙂
I rewatched the Stuttgart final and Madison Brengle against Serena 😀
Oh that’s super! I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to do my best matches post this year as i’ve missed so much. I’ll try and catch up when I find some spare time…
CSN–The coach is probably not CSN’s problem—it is age. Very few defenders over 30y/o can stay ranked in the top 30. Defenders over 30y/o lose a step and never recover. No one defeats Mother Time. The Woz, also near 30y/o, is inserting more power into her game to make up for her decreasing foot speed, but adding power is probably impossible for a short girl like CSN.
Davis vs Sabalinka—The Sab–Erratic Power. After the first two games it looked like an easy win for Davis, as The Sab couldn’t find the court. The Sab then got control of her power shots and Davis speedy little legs couldn’t get her close to the ball. IMO on a good day The Sab could beat anyone on the tour, but The Sab having a good day is the problem. For those who dislike grunting, The Sab produces ear drum shattering screeching.
Liu vs Gibbs— Liu(Wimbledon girl champion) IMO was the better player, but ran out of energy in the 3rd set. Someone to watch in the future, along with a bunch of other young girls.
Sharapova vs Brady— The match was much much closer than the score line indicates. Unfortunately my live steam kept freezing, and I missed most of the 2nd and 3rd sets, making the WTA TV looking better and better.
CSN will be 29y/o next month.
Yeah, and Caro has just turned 27; she seems older because she’s been playing so long. I think there’s still some life left in Carla’s career (she made the 4th round at Roland Garros this year) but as you say defensive players tend to retire earlier because their game relies on foot speed and that tends to go before power.
Sorry to see JJ go out so early and with injuries. I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end for her; she’s one of the true characters on tour.
Liu-Gibbs sounded good on Twitter. Even a monthly pass for WTA Live might be worth the bother with Canada, Cincy and New Haven to follow this week.
Agreed. Davis always has a lot of problems playing with hard hitters. Calling for MTO was to cover up her losing face only.
Many players are going downhill. CSN and Errani are the obvious ones. Other players are Kerber, Petkovic, Stosur, Georges, Beck, Makarova and Jankovic, just to name a few. I think that I should include Wozniacki in this category too.
Big hitters that can only be participants in any tournament – Keys, Puig, Kr. Pliskova (not Karo), Garcia, Osaka, Siniakova, Vandeweghe, Stephen, etc.
Non-big hitters that can only be participants – Gavrilova, Watson, Linette, Riske,
A few common scenarios among the young girls:
1. They have the problem of closing out matches;
2. They can easily be broken in the first game of the 2nd set after winning the first set;
3. They will either call for MTO or retire if they can’t out hit their opponent(s);
4. Some will straight give up fighting in the second set if they lose first set; and
5. They may play to lose if they know they have no chance in the subsequent matches (guess how they make
My two bits.
See how Stephen gave up in the second set.
Most the players you listed as going downhill have simply passed peak tennis age. We take for granted now, watching Serena, Venus, Wawrinka and Federer having such amazing successes well into their thirties, that the vast majority of top players peak in their mid to late twenties and very few have really done a great deal after 30.
On top of that, I think the late teen/early twenty somethings now are the most talented and fearless group of newcomers since the late 90s when Davenport, Hingis, Capriati and the Williams sisters burst on the scene.