Week 8 Review

The Spin Team apologises for the late reviews of the Dubai and Rio de Janiero tournaments.  This was due to the day jobs getting in the way of blogging.

Simona Halep – Dubai Duty Free Champion 
By now you would have known Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova played a really good match in Dubai with Halep winning her biggest title to date (she does this in increments doesn’t she) and Sara Errani winning the tournament over in Rio de Janeiro, defeating first time finalist Anna Schmiedlova.

Sara Errani – Rio de Janiero Champion
There were some mild surprises in Dubai with most of them happening in the third round where Venus Williams, Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska were sent packing. However, the quality depth of the WTA surfaced as they lost to other Top 20 players in Lucie Safarova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Karolina Pliskova, Flavia Pennetta and Garbine Muguruza.  This week, the ladies have moved on to Doha, Qatar and Acapulco, Mexico.
Spin’s Player of the week is Karolina Pliskova. Despite losing in the final to Simona Halep, she is continuing to show why she has the potential to be an elite player. In her first career Premier 5 final, she could have wilted under the pressure from playing a lot of matches to begin the year but she showed resolve. During the week, she won two three set matches against Lucie Safarova and Garbine Muguruza. Her match against Muguruza has the possibility of being a Slam final in the next five years.
Honorable mention

(1)    Simona Halep – Defended her Premier 5 title by winning a tight two setter in the final and two three set matches against Caroline Wozniacki and Ekaterina Makarova. With the help of the crowd in her match against Makarova, Halep buckled down and got her revenge for Makarova winning their encounter at the Australian Open. The third set between Halep and Makarova may be the best set of the entire 2015 season.
(2)    Sara Errani – Winning her first title in 2 years at Rio. Along the way, she saved three match points against Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Previous players of the week

Week 6: Daniela Hantuchova – Pattaya winner defeating Ajla Tomljanovic.
Week 5: Andrea Petkovic – Led Germany to Fed Cup semifinals
Week 4: Serena Williams – Australian Open winner defeating Maria Sharapova

Week 9 Review

Lucie Safarova – Doha Champion
The tournaments are coming fast and furious during this usual quiet month of February.  Over in Doha, Victoria Azarenka secured her first win over Venus Williams, displaying some of the wonderful tennis that we all know that she is capable of producing.  While I am saddened that Venus lost, I am also equally happy to see Azarenka playing good tennis once again.  Unfortunately, after that signature win, Azarenka apparently picked up an injury (she was struggling with her right leg during her semifinal match) and went out to last year’s Almost title holder (who is Almost no more), Lucie Safarova.  I have to say that I cannot explain this resurgence by Lucie Safarova.  I think at some point in time someone will have to ask her what has led to her newfound confidence but for the last 18 months Lucie has been playing exceptionally good tennis.  Unfortunately, she would usually lose these matches, rather than win them and it was really good to see her lifting the biggest title of her career and over an accredited opponent such as Azarenka.  

Timea Bacsinszky – Acapulco Champion

Over in Acapulco, Timea Bacsinszky who had left tennis to pursue a career in hotel management, won her second title of her career, beating Caroline Garcia by the score of 3 and 0.  What was surprising about that scoreline is the fact that Garcia clearly had no strategy when it came to playing Bazsinsky as she kept sending most of her shots to the Bazsinsky backhand.  The fact that Garcia ended up in tears at the trophy ceremony will live on in tennis lore for all time.

Week 9 Player of the Week

Lucie Safarova for her wonderful all court display in winning her biggest title to date.

Tie between Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka for showing us wonderful all court tennis.  

Week 10 tournaments see players competing in Kuala Lumpur (Wozniacki No. 1 seed), Monterey (Ivanovic No. 1 seed).  

This and That

Angelique Kerber has parted ways with her long time coaching. This after suffering a defeat against Victoria Azarenka in Doha where she lost 0 and 3. The Spin will wait to see who she picks as her replacement.

Aga Radwanska continues to have a crap season. Despite taking on uber coach Martina Navratilova, Aga has yet to make it past the quarterfinal of any tournament this season (Hopman Cup does not count).

Eugenie Bouchard, seeded No. 2 at this week’s Monterey tournament has pulled out. No one knows why and no announcement was made (at least up to the point of writing).

Sloane Stephens continues to defy any expectations by losing first round in Acapulco. Come on Sloane, show us what you got.

Maria Sharapova, seeded No. 1 in Acapulco, pulled out of her semifinal against Caroline Garcia citing a stomach bug.

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