Saturday’s final in Sydney is a tantalising prospect with Ash Barty going up against Petra Kvitova. I’m in nowhere prepared for the Australian Open which starts on Monday! I’ve just sat down to do my ATP draw and will focus on the WTA over the weekend. I’m going to share my thoughts but no idea if i’ll be able to maintain it during the two weeks as other things are taking over right now. Read on for five stories for Friday’s Set Points post.
Barty makes it b2b finals in Sydney
Ash Barty backed up her triumph over the world number one, Simona Halep by completing the Mertens-Bertens double to make it back-to-back finals in Sydney. Friday’s semi-final between Ash Barty and Kiki Bertens was a fantastic match and my favourite of the 2019 season so far. It’s rare to see an encounter produce such sustained quality and intensity across three sets. I thought both served superbly and had moments of real clutchness. Barty did magnificently well to survive an onslaught from an aggressive, Bertens. Barty nailed an absolute peach of a volley at 5-5 in the third set which helped her on the way to the lone break in the decider. A few wild shots and frustration started to creep in for Bertens at the end but there was very little to separate the pair.
I’m so impressed with how composed and measured Barty has been on court and there already feels like a step up from 2018. Bertens too is definitely one to watch at the Australian Open. She’s had a pair of tough three set losses but her level has been very solid through the first two weeks.
I was hoping to do a post last night but couldn’t get the Kvitova-Kerber replay to work on my Apple devices. I think there was an issue with WTA TV? I finally managed to get it to work on my computer but it was too late to blog. There have been flashes of Peak Petra with wins over Angelique Kerber (6-4 6-1) and Aliaksandra Sasnovich (6-1 6-2) to reach the final in Sydney. It’s beautiful to watch Petra in this form and the ballstriking has been so clean and pure.
I remain unconvinced as to whether Kvitova can translate this form into Melbourne. I’m going to enjoy this form for now and hope for the best next week! It’s all about getting through those first few rounds…
Kvitova vs. Barty
For just the second week of the season, this is a super sounding final to look forward to and one i’m willing to keep my weekday alarm for to watch live! I’ve actually really enjoyed catching up with the tennis in the evening and haven’t felt compelled at all to stay up watching live #sleepisforthestrong. I’m hoping to keep this up for the Australian Open but something tells me my body is going to start waking me up at 3am like two years ago!
Kvitova leads Barty, 2-0 in their head-to-head but they haven’t played on hard courts and for 18 months. Barty has been so smart in the way she has played this week and kept a very consistent level throughout her four matches in Sydney. Kvitova though, in the form from her last two matches, has been simply unstoppable.
I focus solely on WTA here at Moo’s Tennis Blog but I have to say something about Andy Murray. It was the first thing I saw on social media this morning and I watched his press conference before hearing the news. I felt the announcement coming and it was so emotional!
I’m gutted for Murray that he can’t end his career on his own terms. What a career though and what a person. He is pretty much the only ATP player who has consistently stuck up for the women and supported the WTA. I love his sense of humour and he’s been magic on social media of late. I hope Andy can go out in style in Wimbledon. From what he said at the press conference it sounds unlikely but I have everything crossed for him 🤞🤞🤞.
Australian Open draw
The 2019 AO draw is out. When I first saw Halep-Kanepi at the top of the drawsheet on Twitter I thought someone had posted the US Open draw as a joke 😂. The qualifiers have all been placed. It’s a Slam so i’m going to try and put up some thoughts on matches over the weekend!
3 thoughts on “Friday’s Set Points: Ash Barty vs. Petra Kvitova for the Sydney title”
Should be a great final tomorrow in Sydney, James (I think Petra will clinch it if Peak Petra turns up); also, Sofia Kenin takes on A K Schmiedlova for the title in Hobart. It’s great to see AKS back in contention after a long spell in the wilderness and out of the top 200.
I think you’re so right too in what you say about Andy Murray’s support for the WTA. I think it was Naomi Broady who said that when any of the British girls bump into Andy on their travels, he always knows which tournament they last played in and how they got on.
I agree too that it’s sad that he’s going out like this but apparently he’s in so much pain now that he even struggles to put his socks on in the morning. I’d like to see him play on until Wimbledon and have a last hurrah there where he won two slam titles, but sadly that looks unlikely to happen.
Think Kanepi could win again? I predicted she would beat Halep in their last meeting. Not sure if she will have the element of surprise here.
Yes, I think it’s a real possibility. She’s a dangerous opponent for Simona.