Sharapova pulled out of Brisbane with a forearm problem – ” it’s precautionary” is what she said about it. Simona Halep pulled out of Brisbane saying that her Achilles tendon was bothering her and didn’t want to play a whole match right now. Hope she’ll be alright for AO.
The good news in Brisbane is that Azarenka is looking strong and fit, as are Bencic, Suarez-Navarro, Kerber, and the plucky Roberta Vinci, who knocked out Cibulkova. Muguruza v Azarenka Brisbane Final is my pick.
Serena had to retire during her Hopman Cup match due to knee inflammation: “However, Williams played down the injury and even refused to rule herself out of Thursday’s Hopman Cup tie against the Czech Republic.” BBC news.
My favorites in Auckland, Ana Ivanovic and Venus Williams were knocked out first round, so that tournament is anybody’s guess.
Shenzhen – Petra Kvitova also retired with an injury 1st round. Genie Bouchard won her match – yay! Agnieszka Radwanska is my pick to win in China.
Wozniaki v Stephens semi-final (Auckland) has potential. Tennis Channel should broadcast it – I’d be surprised if not. Pazsek v Goerges in the other semi. I’d pick Paszek for her mental fortitude (she had a rough draw) 🙂
In Brisbane, I’ll confess — did not know who Samantha Crawford was! Not sure how I missed her. She’s American, 6’2″, has a huge serve and I can’t wait to see how she fares against Vika Azarenka. Azarenka should win, of course, but it’s a match I hope to catch too. The other semi should be close, Angelique Kerber v Carla Suarez-Navarro.
Shenzhen features WTA #5, Tour Final winner and fan favorite, Agnieszka Radwanska v Anna-Lena Friedsam, a young talented German ranked #95. Then, there’s another American in a semi, Alison Riske! Riske will face Timea Babos. They’ve never met before and I have no clue which one wins. Radwanska to the Final and her first 2016 title!
Congrats to: Victoria Azarenka – winner; and runner-up Angelique Kerber
Big congrats to Sloane Stephens – winner. She defeated Wozniacki in the semi’s and congrats to Julia Goerges, runner-up in the final.
Congrats again to Agnieszka Radwanska – winner, sitting pretty for at WTA #4 in time for AO and to Alison Riske, runner-up!.
Unforgettable Hopman Cup win – Australian Green Group. Big thanks to Nick Kyrios and Daria Gavralova – awesome, spectacular performances in Perth!
Tennis Channel schedule says it’s broadcasting ATP Auckland and WTA Sydney – starting at 4:30 pm, MST time zone, US.
For WTA Sydney, that means the big match is WTA #2 Simona Halep v #34 Caroline Garcia. I like Garcia for the upset. She looked strong last week in action at Hopman – and Simona may be off her game, nursing the achilles problem . Kerber, Pliskova, and Bencic also scheduled: http://www.wtatennis.com/SEWTATour-Archive/posting/2016/702/OP.pdf
Good luck Eugenie Bouchard in Hobart! She has a tough assignment facing #44, Alison Van Uytvanck.
You really think that Garcia will beat Halep? Keep in mind that I have not been watching the women’s matches of late. So I am kind of out of the loop as to how some of them are looking at this time. I didn’t know that Halep had an Achilles problem. I don’t envy her, because that can be a particularly nasty injury. You don’t ever want to rupture that tendon, because it takes forever to heal.
I will try to see if I can catch some of the matches, so we can chat about how they look. There’s not much going on with the men’s tennis this week, so it’s a good time to catch up with some women’s tennis!
Simona v Caroline isn’t scheduled until 6 pm in Sydney, which translates to around midnight here. Not sure I’ll be awake for that one! TC will likely start with Kerber v Makarova, then Stosur v Hantuchova, then work in Fognini v Sousa and of course Sam Querrey v Bedene and end with Simona v Garcia. Any chance of TC tossing in some ATP Sydney along with ATP Auckland? ( I try to predict what they’ll do, lol! )
About Simona, my other thought is that she wouldn’t be playing if she wasn’t reasonably certain about the achilles being good. Still, I think it’s an opportunity for Garcia – she’s someone I believe is going to go places this year – liked what I saw of her at Hopman Cup. She’s match ready – as they say. 5’10” very athletic, exciting Frenchie 😉
Caroline Garcia will be pumped if she can get this 2nd set! Just saying, not that I actually want her to beat Simona. Been in the mode for the past three years of really wanting Simona to win every time I see her play, even v Aga, I think. It’s her movement.
Garcia has the momentum now. (Simona moving well though, first set 6-4). Caro G. gets 2nd set 6-2. It’s even. I’m worried about both for AO – sheesh. Always the mother in me.
Ah the joy, Paire and Fogna won their matches. Missed both matches – checking score. But I heard it’s possibly going to be 45 C in Auckland later in the week? Maybe dreamt it up? No, that’s too hot – has to be wrong.
These two are going at it. Great athletes, movers. But I find myself wanting Simona off the court…she’s been Andy Murray’ing her leg/calf. From the baseline, Simona is going to win. Caroline needs to move in – get to the net.
Nny, @ 9:30 pm
Simona needed a MTO yesterday – she had a trainer working above the area (ankle/calf) – massaging it – and I think she received a couple pain meds, too. Before the Mto she was Murraying her leg – less so after the meds kicked in. Had mixed feeling about her winning and continuing to play. But…I don’t know everything… 😉
About Karolina Pliskova – I really like her: 23 yr old, 6’1″ moving up ranks – and ranked #11. She’s got a big game. All good – but she could have my girl Simona running all over the place! Not good! It’s just me worrying. I took a nap after work so I can stay up late and watch it – match will start at 2200 but not sure what TC will show. I don’t have TC plus – might need to hunt down a live stream. TC will be focusing on Americans in Auckland and AO qualifying, I imagine.
Sock v Popsicle on TC now – Jack got the 1st set 6-2.
That’s the way it goes. Ulla Radwanska – some call her the good-looking one but her tennis is not close to big sister’s. Krystina Pliskova and Karolina – I think they are both good looking. Karolina the star.
Speaking of easy on the eyes, Eugenie and Camila will meet in Thursday – Hobart QF. Love watching Camila Giorgi attack the ball!
They look the same don’t they
Karolina is taller and imo, their faces are very different – nothing at all like trying to tell the difference betweem Leo and Lenny Federer!
Thanks for the update. I will check out the tennis channel and see what I can see.
Well – here’s another update – my bold pick Sara Errani is going to lose again to Sveta Kuznetsova – their h2h screamed at me to pick Sveta, but … didn’t listen. I really like the Italian WTA players. and, Fabio! 😀
Congrats Svetlana Kuznetsova! She’s in the semi-final. Her 7th win over Sara Errani. Next up for Sveta:
Simona or Karoline P.
Ricky, I’m a real sophomore at WTA bracket picking but it has become a passion. Not nearly as many internet posters are into or follow WTA as ATP. I used to be that way but not anymore!
Are you interested in a WTA bracket challenge? I may not be up to speed as I mentioned. Looking over WTA qualifying, my weakness is not knowing the Asian players and lower ranked ones as well as ATP; but top 50 memory is getting better, and top 10 to top 30 is a habit. Very excited for WTA AO draw!
Nevermind the bracket challenge question…WTA is too hard. Maybe by next year.
Sydney quarter finals:
1.Samantha Stosur v Monica Puig – h2h 4-0
Stosur recovered from hiccups to beat Roberta Vinci first round, then dominated Huntachova in straight sets.
Bam Bam Stosur d Puig in 2.
2. Simona Halep v Karolina Pliskova – h2h 2-0
They met twice in 2015 and each time Simona won in 2. Hoping Simona isn’t taking a chance with her achilles. Have not heard of any news of a plan to withdraw after last match so, picking Simona in 2
3. Svetlana Kuznetsova v Sara Errani – h2h 6-1
Sveta has dominated Errani on hc. Sara’s one win over Sveta was at the French Open in 2012. Both are showing good form. Could go either way. Since Sara fought impressively last match, beating Jelena Jankovic in straights, I’ll pick:
Errani in 3
4.Belinda Bencic v Ekaterina Makarova – h2h Never met.
Ekaterina made the quarters when her last opponent, Kerber, retired with illness. Bencic needed 3 sets to beat tough veteran Lucic-Baroni first round; and beat 2014 previous Sydney winner, Pironkova in straights. The Pick:
Bencic in 3.
Had to go find a live stream. Tennis Channel of course switched to Quisner.
Simona got off to a flyer – 2 breaks up, then Karolina started swinging – blasting winners – nearly evened the set when Simona was trying to serve for it. Simona saved a break point. First set 6-4 Simona!
Simona is not happy. Her opponent has long limbs, weapons and the potential to serve aces and unreturnables…also hits a heavy ball deep. It’s as I suspected. Simona using her speed and defense but it’s hard work.
…agree with Annabelle Croft. Simona is the best mover in the WTA. Also the better player in baseline rallies of the two. Unbelievable defending gets Simona plenty of break chances and finally… got it! 2nd set 2-1 Simona.
Simona refuses to be broken – comes through under pressure and holds serve.
Pliskova has ridiculously easy power – she’s a bit casual about it maybe. Seems like she needs more confidence and to be more aggressive. She could beat anyone. Maybe in a couple years??? If Simona can manage to hold her serve, (which is getting harder by the minute) she’ll win this match; but I feel with Karolina, it’s only a matter of time – and Simona’s brilliant speed, anticipation, and defense won’t be enough.
And there it is…Karolina gets the break! Now what to do Simona…yikes…
Love Darren Cahill with Simona. He calms her… asks her how she’s doing. He tells her stay away from Pliskova’s forehand and keep the match on her terms.
Simona is now going to try and serve for the match again – at least the 2nd time…maybe 3rd. lol, can’t remember now. Another match point for Simona. Brava Simona, that wasn’t easy! Thanks coach Cahill.
We already saw Vika win the title in Brisbane v Kerber. She’ll face Beligian, Alison Van Uytvanck first, then likely Elina Svitolina. Muguruza or Garcia match before the quarter. Kerber v Vika quarter-final.
Same old AO story for me – I fell asleep and first thing to do in the morning is check scores!
Picks still in: 18
Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams, Monica Puig, Dasha Gavrilova, Aga Radwanska, Ana Konjuh, Maria Sharapova, Genie Bouchard, Carla Suarez-Navarro, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Belinda Bencic, Maria Sakkari, Roberta Vinci, Irina Falconi, Nicole Gibbs, Kiki Mladenovic, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Monica Niculescu.
Picks that lost: 12
Sam Stosur, Caroline Wozniaki, Sloane Stephens, Sara Errani, Andrea Petkovic, Yanina Wickmayer, Oceane Dodin, Heather Watson, Anastasia Pavyluchenkova. Maria Duque-Marino, Evgeniya Rodina, Anna Schiedlova.
Oh hello, Nny! Nice to see you reading WTA thread.
Yeah, I like Woz way more than I used to. She’s trying to attack and improve her serve. But she may be settled into being top 20 and not as motivated? Not sure how motivated I’d be to go knock myself out on a miserably hot tennis court if I had over 20 million in the bank.
Round 1 continues, Day 2 AO 2016
WTA picking for beginners:
Venus Williams over Johanna Konta (***upset alert? could be interesting)
Garbine Muguruza over Anett Kontaveit
Vika Azarenka over Alison Van Uytvanck
Madison Keys over Zarina Diyas
Jarmila Wolfe over Anastasiya Sevastova
Simona Halep over Shuai Zheng
Karolina Pliskova over Kimberly Birrell AUS (never heard of her)
Ana Ivanovic over Tammi Patterson AUS (never heard of her)
Jelena Jankovic over Polona Hercog
Angelique Kerber over Misaki Doi
Ekaterina Makarova over Maddison Inglis AUS (never heard of her)
Sabine Lisicki over Petra Cetkovska (Cetkovska has a good shot at Sabine)
Kristen Flipkens over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
Caroline Garcia over Barbora Strycova
Alize Cornet over Bojana Jovanovski
Anna Beck over Priscilla Hon (AUS)
Alexandra Dulgheru over Storm Sanders (AUS)
Donna Vekic over Naomi Oskaka (what was I thinking?)
Carina Witthoeft over Saisai Zheng
Kiki Bertens over Laura Siegemund
Timea Bacsinszky over Katerina Siniakova (Timea – not sure if still injured)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands ove Denise Allertova
Mona Barthel over Vania King
Coco Vanderwhege over Madison Brengle
Elina Svitolina over Vicki Duval
Danka Kovinic over Samantha Crawford
Julia Goerges over Andreea Mitu
Johanna Larrson over Irina-Camilia Begu
Tatjana Maria over Olga Govortsova
Lesia Tsurenko over Varvara Lepchenko
Tsvetana Pironkova over Yaroslava Shvedova
Lara Arruaberrena over Maryna Zanevska
Anett Kontaveit is someone to watch. 20 yr old from Estonia, 5’9″, strong athletic player. Not at the level that her opponent Garbine Muguruza is at 22 yrs old, however. And Garbine looks to be in better shape than ever (it’s interesting to see how they turn out after the off-season). I’m regretting not taking Garbine deeper – already looking at her next round opponent, which will be either Croat, Lucic-Baroni or Belgian, Kristen Flipkins. oh my, Garbine takes the first set 6-0. Anett can do better than that, I’m sure of it — she made it to round of 16 US Open.
Keys, Muguruza, Makarova, Flipkins, and Bacsinszky of my picks won. Williams could very well be going down — Konta is impressive. But I’m not all that surprised Jo is taking it to Venus. Konta serving for the match at 5-0. Venus isn’t going down without getting a game on the board and gets one break back – 1-5. Konta still in the driving seat. Yeah, as easy as peasy Venus holds to get 2 games. We’ll see if Konta can serve it out this time.
She did it – Jo Konta! Felt I should pick her…Congrats Jo Konta. Sad for V.
The requirement to enjoying WTA is a sense of humor. Taking Simona Halep all the way to the semifinal hurts but not nearly as bad as it could have. Thankfully, I had her losing there to Vika Azarenka and Vika is still in!
Final winner: Vika
Semi-final: Vika d Simona. Serena d Aganieszka
Serena d Masha
Aga d Carla Suarez-Navarro
Vika d Kerber
Simona d Venus
This looks bad but it’s about usual for me. One complete quarter busted into pieces by Simona and Venus. Should have kept Ekaterina Makarova beating Venus 4th round. Karolina Pliskova was another thought in that section.
It’s tough to guess who will be in the best form and shape. In hindsight, I like Garbine Muguruza to go deep. To do that though she’ll need to beat Azarenka, though. And that’s the match-up I want!!
I actually think muguruza has good chance at that one. Everyone is saying Azarenka will win event which is understandable prediction but at same time I think garbine will surprise everyone and score an epic win over Vika then maybe go on to take the title if not the semis or final.
I like your ideas, Benny!
Vika and Garbine both have to win their next two matches to even get to each other. Fingers-crossed that nothing goes wrong.
Svetlana Kuznetsova could be dangerous in the top half.
AO day 3 round 2
Maria d Sasnovich
Serena d Su-Wei Hsieh
Aga d Genie
Bencic d Babos
CSN d Sakkari
Kvitty d Dasha
Kuznetsova d Bondarenko
Vinci d Falconi
Putinsteva d Xinyun Han (don’t know Xinyun – ranked 162)
Rybarikova d Davis
Niculescu d Kulichova
AL Friedsam d Qiang Wang (don’t know Qiang – ranked 102)
Mladenovic d Gibbs
Gasparyan d Nara
Puig d Kristyna Pliskova (Carolina’s lower ranked twin sister)
Kasatkina d Konjuh