AO Catch-up and St. Petersburg Discussion Post

I’m back from my trip to Australia and slowly getting back to normal. It was an amazing three weeks and my brother and I had the best time. I completely underestimated the jetlag coming back and it has been a longgg first week back at work! 

I’m a little sad that I managed to time my blog break with one of the best Slams for the women in recent years! I absolutely loved today’s AO final and a big congrats to Wozniacki. I’ve got to know some Caro fans on Twitter and I am really thrilled for them! I personally wanted Halep to win but I can’t deny that Wozniacki’s tears at winning got me.

It was such a huge match and I was nervous beforehand because I knew it was going to be a crusher for whoever lost it. I thought Halep was so incredibly classy in defeat. I’m gutted for her but I do honestly believe she will get a Slam this year. Halep’s fighting spirit throughout this tournament was immense and she was a part of three of the best matches from the tournament which will no doubt be in my thought process for the best matches countdown at the end of the year. It was such a fantastic final and it inspired me to get back on the tennis court today for the first time in 2018. I was a tad rusty and conditions were horrible but it felt so good 🎾🎾🎾.

My focus for the next week on the blog will be to share my tennis experiences from Australia. I’m pretty much done with my Hopman Cup post so that should be out on Sunday. While i’m not yet ready to start blogging with the tour, I thought it would be neat to create this post for anyone who may want to discuss the upcoming tournaments in St. Petersburg and Taipei City. In particular, the draw for St. Petersburg is impressive. The plan at the moment is to be back sometime during the Middle East swing in Doha-Dubai.

The break from the blog has been really refreshing and good for me. Thanks so much for all the comments on my post in the New Year and on Twitter and Facebook. I was really touched by all the positive words. I know that I want to resume writing again and keep going with the blog. However, to reiterate what I wrote in my New Year post, I also crave a better work-blog-life balance. I don’t plan to be posting at the same intensity as I have in the past. I am not intending to do all the draw previews and match previews (I don’t have the same passion as I used to have for writing these types of posts) or provide predictions for every match.

Anyway, the St. Petersburg draw and five quick thoughts.

1. WHY IS WOZNIACKI STILL IN THE DRAW?! Apparently Caroline intends to play…

2. I am beyond thrilled to see Timea Bacsinszky back! I was gutted to miss her in Australia. Fingers crossed the hand holds up.

3. 👍 for all the wild cards with the talented, Anastasia Potapova and experienced, Vera Zvonareva both in the draw. The other two wild cards, Elena Vesnina and Petra Kvitova, meet in the first round. A little surprised to see Petra in the draw here but a positive sign she wants matches. Petra has always been potent indoors.

4. Mladenovic’s quarter is loaded with fab first first rounders – Cirstea-Cibulkova (first thought was that wild Stanford match!), Vekic-Siniakova and Pavs-Makarova could all legitimately go either way.

5. I ended up with a Pavs-Goerges final on my Draw Challenge 🤔🤔🤔.

Stay tuned for my reports from Australia. I do these posts for myself to have a recollection of the tennis we saw for looking back in years to come, but I really hope that they will be enjoyable and informative!

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35 thoughts on “AO Catch-up and St. Petersburg Discussion Post

  1. With apologies in advance if this sounds patronising, but I’d like to say something about Radwanska.

    No, this one;

    Not even in the top 500 now (she’s currently at #519) but still out there, still plugging away playing the game she presumably still loves. Dammit, there must be an easier way to earn the pittance the game still pays her than playing $25,000 tournaments in the middle of winter.

    Let’s not just think that woman’s tennis is all about the Simonas and the Caros; it’s about people like Ula too.


    • Yeah it’s tough for sure. I saw on Twitter there seemed to be a suggestion that Annika Beck had retired although she responded that she was still trying to come back.


      • Beck is still pretty young (23) so I think it’d be a shame if she were to retire now. It does happen though sometimes that players retire early because they’ve had enough of the lifestyle, such as the constant travelling; Annabel Croft’s probably the best known example, at least in the UK.


  2. Watching the St Pete tournament and there appears to be more coc dancers than fans in the stands, but I like the dancers.

    A la Urszula and Beck, Patty Schnyder is playing a ITF in Assieland this week.


  3. I’m glad James that you enjoyed your time in Australia. It must have been a great experience. I wish that I could have watched more of it and was disappointed that the BBC did not show the finals live as they have done so in the past. The AO final between Halep and Wozniacki was excellent and one of the best ever imho. Quite amazing how Caroline returned some of those balls into play on occasions….I thought that only Aga could do that ! I did not really mind who won but I do hope that Halep can get her first GS title this year with the FO probably being her best chance but maybe that is too obvious.There was talk of the AO being moved to later in the year and I think that it should do as it gets much too hot in January there and seems unfair on the players. A lot of them have not played that much competitive tennis for a while when they take part in it. Also I often think that there is too much of a gap between the AO and the FO. I do not know if anything is going to be done ? Going for Daria Kasatkina to win in St Petersburg but it’s more in hope than confidence.


    • Thanks, Peter. It was an amazing experience, will never forget it. Sharing some of my experiences now if you are interested. I was watching on Eurosport but I did hear BBC wasn’t showing the finals live which was a shame. Halep-Wozniacki was a fantastic final.

      Watched back Kasatkina’s first match vs. Kuzmova in St. Petes last night, a really good win for Kasatkina. Kuzmova is on my radar as one to watch, huge groundstrokes and big serve!


    • Someone else The Moo might keep an eye on—-Elena Rybakina(#450), big hitting Russian 18y/o girl. Ryb just beat Garcia(#7) 4-6,7-6,7-6. Yesterday Ryb beat Bacsinszky(former#12) 6-4,6-3.
      Rybakina has a similar game to Sabalinka but is quiet as a mouse.


      • Just caught the end of that match! Didn’t have the sound on to judge the call on match point but an unfortunate ending for both.

        Despite the loss in R1, very happy to see Timea back! Spoke in press about all kinds of issues with her hand.


      • Yes and she still is (6-0, 6-2). I agree with what John McEnroe said about Petra; “When she’s on her game she makes life absolutely miserable for you,” agrees McEnroe, “because you don’t feel you can do anything. Nothing.”

        Petra’s definitely my pick to win if she keeps this up. Also, great to see Sabine doing so well in Taiwan, reaching the quarter-finals, and (although this may not be popular) it was good to see Kiki Mladenovic snapping her losing streak at last.


      • Promising to see all manners returning to the courts. I really hope these are a sign of things to come. This year may turn out to be a very good open year, less drama, just the game, a racquet and a ball… I’ll be all in.


  4. Kasatkina def Cornet 6-2,6-1. After a bad start of the year in Aussieland losing 3 of 4 matches, Dasha played very well today. Kasatkina has put on some weight. More power less agility. Good or bad?


  5. Doc Buzarnescu ranked #43 is playing in a ITF tournament????????

    Woz def Potapova 6-0,6-1. Pot is a 16y/o Russian big hitter that outhit Woz on several points.The match was closer than the score indicates. IMO she has a future.


  6. Kasatkina def Woz 7-6,6-3. Kas played at a high level but Woz was an UFE machine. At one point in the 2nd set Woz had 10 more UFEs than Kas…….Jet Lag???


  7. Bellis vs Kasatkina round 1 Qatar

    Surprised that Errani def CSN in FED Cup, until I saw the H2H where Errani has a 8-2 advantage.

    Kvitova is blowing hot and cold. In one set she looks like the Queen of the WTA and the next set she looks like an ITF qualifier.


    • Very close and entertaining first set between Bellis and Kas ( 7-5 Bellis). Both players have similar games, which made for some nice rallies. When Bellis went up 3-0 in the second set, Kas called for a MTO. The trainer then proceeded to try and pull Kasatkina’s head off her shoulders……it didn’t work. At 4-1 Bellis, Kas retired.
      I would retire also if someone tried to pull my head off during a match!!


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