Victoria Azarenka 

What a sight for sore eyes.  Seeing those feet move in tandem with her racquet and watching her scampering across the court was a welcome relief to this fan and I assume many others.  She lost her opening round match against Karolina Pliskova, but credit to Vika for reminding us of what a fighter she is and how much better the WTA is when she is around.

She needs to work on her serve.  She needs to work on her return game.  She needs much more work on her fitness and movement, but there is no denying that her fighting spirit is still there.  There is no denying that she wants to get back to the top of women’s tennis and she wants to do that sooner rather than later.
There are many who will write this morning that she squandered numerous match points.  She did. However, credit needs to be given to Pliskova who showed us why she is a certain dark horse for Melbourne in a few weeks’ time.
Welcome back Victoria.  You were sincerely missed.

Sloane Stephens 

It was also good to see Sloane Stephens make a winning return to competititive tennis after a long layoff with a wrist injury. Here’s hoping that with a new team and what is undoubtedly a new mindset, Sloane will soar to higher heights. Her game was rusty but her movement has improved significantly and it was good to see her get a convincing win over a very tricky opponent.  Now about that outfit and the hair ribbon

Madison Keys “relaxed’

Dominika Cibulkova continued her losing ways.  She was ousted in the first round of Brisbane by young Madison Keys who is looking as fit as I have seen her in a long time. Clearly Ms. Keys has done considerable work on her backhand as she was extremely dominant with that shot against Cibulkova.  As for her serve, it was on fire.  Here’s hoping she can keep it up in her next match.

Taylor Townsend

Finally Taylor Townsend is also looking fit and fabulous.  She bagelled Auckland’s 2010 champion Yanina Wickmayer in a well fought 3 set match.  

In other news you can use, Sabine Lisicki bagelled Yaroslava Shvedova in the first set but ended up losing the match in 3 tight sets.  Serena Williams also lost her opening set against Flavia Pennetta in round robin play at the Hopman Cup.  However, a double shot of espresso and the World’s No. 1 would go on to win the match, doling out a bagel of her very own in the third set. 

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