Sunday, 9 January 2011

Tennis ATP & WTA Week 1 Results (02/01/11)

Contesting the final of the Aircel Chennai Open will be last year's finalist Stanislas Wawrinka and Xavier Malisse. Tomas Berdych my favourite for the title lost to Wawrinka in quite a one sided match, losing 6-4,6-1. Richard Gasquet, who I commented on being unpredictable, lost out to Bjorn Phau in a tough three sets, but Phau was subsequently thrashed by Xavier Malisse 6-0,6-2. Marin Cilic lost in the first round to Kei Nishikori. I'm very happy for Kei Nishikori but I wonder if it's Cilic who is out of form, that would be a shame. For the final I'm not sure, my head is going for Wawrinka but my heart thinks Malisse could topple him. Malisse has arguably played better with Wawrinka having some tough scorelines but Wawrinka beat Berdych so will he beat Malisse, ranked 60th in the world?

Update: Wawrinka beats Malisse in three sets 7-5,4-6,6-1

Davydenko showed Nadal that he may need to wait at least another year for a 2nd Australian Open title as he was beaten by Davydenko 6-3,6-2 at the Qatar Exxonmobil Open. To be honest Nadal wasn't showing "Australian Open winning" form most of the time. He bageled against Lucas Lacko and wasn't too sharp against Ernest Gulbis. On the other hand Jo-Wilfried Tsonga showed decent form so he could do some damage at the Australian Open, where he appeared in the final in 2008. Federer is obviously now the favourite for the Australian Open title after winning the title at Doha, when will he disappear! lol. Whilst I predicted a Federer Vs. Nadal final I think Davydenko Vs. Federer would have been my second guess because I know Davydenko has the goods to beat Nadal.

The Brisbane International Open on the other hand features the top two seeds in the final. Both were the likeliest finalists. Radek Stepanek made a good run to the semifinalist. Kevin Anderson was the other semifinalist, I thought he was a threat but not enough to mention, better watch out for him in the future (he also pushed Roddick to three sets). Fernando Verdasco did a shocker and exited in Round 1, he lost to Benjamin Becker in three sets. I guess Verdasco wouldn't be a threat like at the 2009 Australian Open. I don't know who to predict for the win. Soderling has a slightly better match by match scoreline currently but I'd be a fool to disregard Andy Roddick. This could be a tough one.

Update: Soderling beats Roddick 6-3,7-5.

I'm sorry to have missed the Hong Kong Tennis Classic (an exhibition tournament) which meant early birds also included Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva and Venus Williams. Zvonareva thrashed Wozniacki 6-1,6-0, yes it may be an exhibition match but losing that badly as a world No.1 has got to hurt. Whilst Venus Williams lost to Na Li in another singles rubbers. Team Russia won the tournament.

I also forgot about the Hopman Cup, silly me, meaning big names like Ana Ivanovic, Novak Djokovic, Justine Henin, Francesca Schiavone, Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt and John Isner also made their Australian Open prep. Nicolas Mahut was allowed a rematch to the epic Wimbledon 1st Round match against John Isner, after Gael Monfils withdrew from the tournament. This time however was less dramatic with Isner winning in two sets. Djokovic, Murray and Henin all proved that they were the best players in the tournament winning all of their singles rubbers. The Laura Robson/Andy Murray pair proved to be quite inefficient losing all their ties. They lost all their mixed doubles matches and Laura sadly lost all her singles matches - well she's only 16. Robson has a 1-6 record at the Hopman Cup, is Great Britain putting too much onto her shoulders? Well at least this poor performance this year will make it 1,1 for the two as the only match Laura won last year was in the final but then Murray went on to lose his singles match meaning GBR lost 2-1 to Spain. The USA won the cup but if Ivanovic was fit to play for Serbia I think Serbia would have won the cup.

Back to the WTA. As I said Brisbane would be a hard one to predict, in the end Petra Kvitova won the tournament. Samantha Stosur made a shock exit at Round 2 losing to compatriot Jarmlia Groth - doesn't bode well for Stosur at the Australian Open I think. Pennetta and Hantuchova sadly had to withdraw or this tournament would have been even more tough than it was already. Pavlyuchenkova and Bartoli were the two semifinalists.

Finally, at the ASB 31 year old Classic Greta Arn managed to win the title. She managed to beat both Sharapova and Wickmayer. This was obviously an inspired performance but if Sharapova was thinking of winning the Australian Open she'd need to get improving. In British news Anne Keothavong managed to make the 2nd Round where she lost to Kateryna Bondarenko whilst Heather Watson made the QFs! losing to Shuai Peng. Good job Heather! She beat fellow former junior player Noppawan Lertcheewakarn and Carla Suarez Navarro. On the other hand former star Svetlana Kuznetsova crashed out to Shuai Peng in the 2nd Round, will she be able to improve on this performance this year? Of course Safina had a difficult 1st Round match against Wickmayer (reigning champion) but it also obviously means she isn't back to her World No.1 days.

Only a week before the Australians, things are going quick!

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