Tuesday, January 20, 2015


by Karen 

With the carnage and destruction that heralded Day 1 of the Australian Open, there were lots of tennis fans who were no doubt hoping that this upset special did not carry over into Day 2.  Seems there was nothing to fear as all if not most of the top seeds came through their matches quite easily.  The Spin’s team prediction column looks a bit more black than red, unlike Day 1.

Player A
Player B

Shelby Rogers (USA)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)
Show Court 2
Olivia Rogowska (AUS)
Nicole Gibbs (USA)
Show Court 3
Shuai Zhang (CHN)
Alize Cornet (FRA)

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
Court 6
Madison Brengle (USA)
Andrea Petkovic (GER)

Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Court 7
Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Marina Erakovic (NZL)

Vera Zvonreva (RUS)
Ons Jabeur (TUN)

Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN)
Anna Tatishvilli (USA)
Court 10
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)
Heather Watson (GBR)
Court 11
Irina Falconi (USA)
Kaia Kanepi (EST)

Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS)
Johanna Larsson (SWE)

One result that completely shocked me was Andrea Petkovic losing to Madison Brengle.  I would have thought that Petkovic being the fresher of the two would have had a chance to move easily past Brengle who not only had to qualify for Hobart, but also played the final against eventual winner, Heather Watson.  The fact that Watson lost to Pironkova makes this loss by Petkovic even more alarming.  

Dominika Cibulkova seems to have realised that if she does not do well at this event her rankings will be going even further south.  That was a quality win over Kirsten Flipkens and the match was hard fought and of very good quality.

As a result of the decimation of the seeds in the bottom half of the draw, we will be getting some matches that we would not otherwise have seen.  This will either be good or bad for the WTA side of things, depending on who you speak to.  I think it will be good for the women’s game if we have a Cinderella story from this fortnight of tennis.  The women who have made it this far are not household names, but if they are able to carry through to the second week, how great a conversation will it be as we will see the depth and range of talent that is to be found on the women’s tour. Day 3 also sees the start of the doubles competition and the pairings will make for some great tennis watching.

The order of play for Day 3 sees the bottom half of the draw taking the Court.  The matches and the Spin’s team picks are (black for singles, red for doubles)

Player A
Player B
Rod Laver Arena
Roberta Vinci
Ekaterina Makarova

Alexandra Panova
Maria Sharapova

Simona Halep
Jarmila Gajdosova
Margaret Court Arena
Klara Koulakova
Julia Georges

Sara Errani
Silvia Soler-Espinosa

Eugenie Bouchard
Kiki Bertens
Hisense Arena
Magdalene Rybarikova
Shuai Peng

Karolina Pliskova
Oceane Dodin

Show Court 2
Yaroslava Shvedova
Monica Puig

Serena & Venus Williams
Show Court 3
Lara Arruabarrena
Yanina Wickmayer

Court 6
Carina Witthoeft
Christina McHale

Stefanie Voegele
Caroline Garcia
Court 7

Court 8
Kristina Mladenovic
Bethanie Mattek-Sands


Court 10

Court 11

Court 12
Lucie Hradecka
Polona Hercog

Court 13
Zarina Diyas
Anna Schmiedlova

Court 15
Court 22

Jankovic/Parra Santonja


This and That

With the decimation of the top seeds in the bottom half of the draw many fans, and I am sure TV commentators will be at pains to find a narrative for players that some of them may have never heard of.  I think this will either prove challenging for TV commentators or they can use the opportunity to highlight the depth and range of talent that is to be found on the women’s tour.

One thing that tennis fans and commentators need to get over is that we are now living in a global economy.  Tennis does not only reside within the 4 Grand Slam nations, but it exists everywhere.  If you look at the faces of the many fans who visit the Grand Slams every year you will find people from Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and Africa who watch and enjoy this sport.  We should also be reminded that there are migrants living in the US, Canada and many other big 4 countries that follow tennis.  Who can forget the Serbian show of support in France during Ana Ivanovic’s run to the French Open title or how much the Greek Cypriots celebrate whenever Marcos Baghdatis played tennis in Australia.  There is a strong Eastern European contingent that resides in Australia and New Zealand and  with the rise of the Eastern European countries in tennis, this has given rise to a very large and growing fan base.

It does not matter that you and I have no idea who Carina Witthoeft is, I am sure that there are people who live in the US and Canada and even Australia who have been following her career for the longest time and are now happy that she is still in contention at the Australian Open. 

This happened last night during Serena Williams’ match against Alison Van Uytvanck

And this one 

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