Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Numero Uno

Petra Kvitova topped her golden year with a field day at the WTA Awards. The young Czech has had a stellar year rising to number two in the rankings, winning six titles (including Wimbledon and the Year End Championships). Impressively, Kvitova even lead her country to victory in the Fed Cup final. With her huge game Kvitova made the tennis world stand up and take notice for the first time last year making a surprise run the the Wimbledon semi finals and this year confirmed her position as a leader of the new guard winning 82.2% of her matches, leading the way the WTA ladies.

Although the year wasn't great and no one was a dominant force, in the absences of Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters for most of the year, but Kvitova was able to take advantage of the situation and stand of as being the best of a bad situation. And in doing so is now seen by many as the best player in world at the moment, based on current results and form.

On the night of the awards Kvitova took home four award, including Player Of the Year. Kvitova was nammed the most improved player, having risen 32 places in the rankings. The Czech was also honoured with the Karen Krantzcke Sportsman Award, which acknowledges a player's professionalism, attitude and sense of fair player. Finally, she ended the night was the fans' award for favourite break through player.

German Sabine Lisicki beat Serena Williams in the race for comeback player of the year. Lisicki was plagued with a career threatening ankle injury for the past year and half and is finally re finding her potential and ability. Since April Lisicki has jumped 203 ranking places thanks to titles in Brimingham and Dallas and a run to the Wimbledon semi finals as a Wild Card.

Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic and Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik won the award for doubles team of the year after they won six tour titles, including their first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.

Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu won newcomer of the year after a season that saw her rise from 214 in the world to a high of 38.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The year that was - January

The beginning of 2011 was first marred by announcement that twice defending champion Serena Williams would be unable to play in the Australian summer while she continued to rehabilitate a niggling foot injury. In the absence of the 13 times major winner it was time for young and old to take advantage.

In the very first week of the year, tournaments were held in Brisbane and Auckland as well as the IFT organized teams event in Perth. The Hopman cup saw American's Bethaine Mattek Sands and gentle giant John Isner take out the diamond balls over alternates from Belgium Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans. Brisbane provided, once again, a quality field and a final between two rising stars who would eventually prove to be the surprise packets of the 2011 season, Petra Kvtiova and Andrea Petkovic. In the final Kvitova proved far to strong the German demolishing her to the tune of 6-1 and 6-3. The win assured the Czech would enter the top 30 for the first time of her career. Across the Tasman sea seeds fell left right and centre. China's Peng Shuai took down two time Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in  the second round, while that was impressive it didn't come close to then, 31-year-old Greta Arn's victory over Maria Sharapova in the quarter finals. Arn would then go on to defeat defending champ Yanina Wickmayer in the final it was the Hungarian's second title in her long career.
Week two saw the first Premier event of the year and saw Li Na make history, a theme that would follow her throughout her entire season. In the second round however, top seeds Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva stumbled in rusty performance's to begin the year. Li Na and Kim Clijsters were the last two standing in an odd final to say the least. Kim got off to a flying start winning the first five games, Li Na wasn't going to go away just yet and mounted an incredible come back winning the match in straight sets, 7-6 6-3. The win saw Li become  the first Chinese player to win a Premier level tournament. During the mean time, just past the Bass Straight in one of the most picturesque sceneries in the world, Jarmila Gajdasova gave home crowds something to cheer about winning her second career title, first in Australia. In the final American Bethanie Mattek Sands continued to build up her confidence from Perth by making the final, being over powered by Jarka and the patriotic crowed.

Slam time, and the first slam of the year. From my reports everyone had a great time at the Pimms tent...I'm sure the tennis was alright too. There were shocks and thing we were supposed to be shocked at, but weren't really. The first round promised something great, something interesting, a Clijsters v Safina battle. Of course, with most things tennis when something spectacular is promised its rarely delivered, so would be the same for this match as Kim won with two bagels. Fast forward to round three and things start getting interesting. Petra Kvitova takes down 5th seeded Aussie Sam Stosur, Venus Williams pulled out of her first ever grand slam match trailing Andrea Petkovic 0-1 0-15. Justine Henin was defeated by Svetlana Kuznetsova in round three and decided to quit tennis...again.
Week two got off to an astonishing start as Kuznetsova and Schiavone battled out for 4 hours and 44 minutes, the longest Women's match in Grand Slam history. Schiavone prevailed 6-4 1-6 16-14. Petkovic must not have been to happy having her third round match cut short as she destroyed a title favourite in Maria Sharapova in the forth round, 6-2 6-3 to advance to her maiden Slam quarter final. Already surviving a busted raquet, taking down a ball boy, testing the chair umpires catching skills and only decideing to play in Australia at the last minute, Agnieszka Radwanska thought she'd try out saving match points, she prevailed in her challenge defeating Peng Shuai 7-5 3-6 7-5, having saved two match points. Quarter final time and Francesca Schiavone still wasn't tired, up against world number 1, Caroline Wozniacki, the Italian raced off to a 6-3 and 3-1 lead. It was at this moment she realised she had just played on court for nearly 5 hours and the Dane rallied to 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory. In the semis Wozniacki looked poised for her first slam final in Australia, holding match point against Li Na at 5-4 in the second set. The determined Chinese super star, decided she'd give the history books one last push and before she knew she was not only China's but also the first Asian national to make a slam singles final. Man or woman. In the battle for the world number two rank, Kim Clijsters continued to upstage Vera Zvonareva in the important matches winning 3 and 3.

Li Na and Kim Clijsters, the last two ladies standing.Was Li Na nervous? Maybe for a game but with nerves of steel Li powered her way through the first set, seeing the ball like basketball winning it 6-3 and getting an early break in the second set. Having previously won three Slam titles Kim knew what she had to do, and how she had to do it. In the end Kim was too strong and 'Aussie Kim' finally was 'Aussie Kim' and Li Na had won the hearts of millions of Australian's with her quirky, fun personality and pressers.

See y'all in February

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Posting will continue in off season :)

We're working on a few things as I type!

Some may have wondered about Lucinda's absence, she was with the lover in Adelaide for off season family time :) Hold onto your hats though, she's back!

Oh and I found a dolphin in my coffee this morning!

Can anyone else see it or am I the only crazy one? :P

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In For the Long Haul

World No. 3 Victoria Azarenka tells reporters that it’s possible that she, No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 2 Petra Kvitova could hold the top three spots in the WTA for a long time. Those three players range in age from 20 to 22 years old. "Three, five years, it's such a long time. My God, I don't know," she said. "But I think Petra, me, Caroline, we have been pretty consistent and showed some great results this year. I really stepped it up, especially Petra who won a Grand Slam, really made it to the elite, I would say. I think the way the game is today, it's unpredictable, but definitely with the consistency with the game we have, we have a chance to dominate the game."

Get used to seeing them, guys.