Friday’s Set Points: Safarova, Muchova and looking ahead to Madrid…

It’s a busy weekend of tennis with two WTA International finals in Prague and Rabat overlapping with the start of the second Premier Mandatory tournament of 2019 in Madrid. I’ve never enjoyed Madrid that much but i’m trying to embrace it this year on this glorious Bank Holiday Weekend! This Set Points post features highlights from Prague including an update on Lucie.

Lucie’s last match in Prague

Lucie Safarova teamed up with Barbora Stefkova for her farewell tournament in Prague, sadly losing in their first round doubles match against Makoto Ninomiya and Yana Sizikova from match points up. It was a bit of a heartbreaker and somewhat anticlimactic at the end – I wanted an on-court ceremony but it sounds like there will be something tomorrow! It would appear that Lucie decided not to opt for the singles wild card as she wasn’t 100% ready and felt that Muchova deserved the wild card more (see translated tweet by Diego Barbiani on Twitter). She’s amazing 😍😭.

Lucie’s future on the tour still remains uncertain as she’s stated an intention to play Roland Garros. However, this depends on being granted a wild card. I’ve got a final post with some of my favourite fan memories of Lucie ready but i’ll hold on for now!

Karolina Muchova

While no one will ever top my admiration for Lucie (and generally I feel like i’ve moved on from my fan days of fanatically cheering for players) i’m fast developing an appreciation for Karolina Muchova. Her second round match against Jennifer Brady was an absolute gem. Muchova will play her first WTA level final in Prague on Saturday against an even more surprising finalist in Jill Teichmann. I just adore Muchova’s game which is dripping in class. She reminds me of Ash Barty in terms of her versatility and point construction. I think she’s going to be a top ten player within the next couple of years.

The coaching carousel goes round and round

It was a big news week for Sloane Stephens who not only announced her engagement, but also a new coach in Sven Groeneveld.

Madrid draw

The main draw was announced for Madrid on Friday morning. 10 first round matches are up on Saturday’s schedule which is dreamy. My five favourite first round matches are as follows:

Daria Kasatkina vs. Victoria Azarenka

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova

Garbiñe Muguruza vs. Petra Martic

Karolina Pliskova vs. Dayana Yastremska

Petra Kvitova vs. Sofia Kenin

Madrid previews and polls page

With a bit more time and renewed enthusiasm (bank holiday weekend 😍), I’ll be posting my thoughts on selected matches from Madrid on the separate page. A pair of polls for Saturday’s action below. Who you got?

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