Make it Eight Straight Sets for Duque-Marino as she advances to TinsleyClassic Final in Charlottesville
Mariana Duque-Marino made it four straight matches without dropping a set at the 2018 Boyd Tinsley Women’s Clay Court Classic in Charlottesville, Virginia with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Jennifer Brady. Both players came out tentatively, and Duque-Marino even gave up a break on a
double-fault before settling down to take the first set and the match. “I think I did a lot of double faults because she was pressuring me with her forehand,” she told me after the match. “So if I didn’t put the first serve on the court, I would have to run–a lot. That’s why I was trying to force the second serve a little bit,” she continued. “My forehand was very good and with my slice, very happy today.”
Boyd Tinsley Women’s Clay Court Classic Trophy
Duque-Marino will put her 8 set win streak on the line tomorrow against either Taylor Townsend or Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine. Townsend beat Duque-Marino in 3 sets last week in the Dothan final. I pointed out the Boar’s Head trophy, which stood nearby and asked if she’d like to take the glass and metal violin trophy home with her tomorrow.
“It’s different. I never had one of those ones, but tomorrow I hope to play the same like the matches before.” she said with a smile.
Many Miles from Melbourne, Future Stars on Display at ITF Pro Circuit Martinique Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Melbourne is far. Melbourne is hot. So what’s a tennis fan to do? Go to the ITF Martinique Women’s event in a fraction of the time and cost and be rewarded with the cooling trade winds of the French West Indies.
As I arrived at the ASPTT Center last Wednesday atop a hill in the industrial section of Martinique’s capital, Fort-de-France, I noticed the smell of asphalt and oil refineries in the warm air, and it definitely felt a world away from the slam down under. Many players traveled here by themselves without pesky parents or coaches in tow. For the first time in a long time, I found myself the only person watching a match on outer courts: not the only fan, the only person there aside from the players and chair umpire.
Tournament Director Felix Aurore provided the hospitality, making sure everyone in attendance was hydrated and had a place in the shade. At an outdoor ITF event, Center Court is simply the one where there’s a nearby awning to protect everyone else from the elements. In Martinique, that meant an open air porch that doubled as a player’s lounge and flophouse. With no wi-fi at the facility, there was nothing else to do but watch the tennis, and it was compelling. At this $15,000 ITF Women’s event in Fort-de-France, you could easily imagine that these players were trying to qualify for a grand slam main draw with their determination on full display.
Mayo Hibi, who plays under the Japanese flag, is one who could’ve easily fit into Australian Open qualifying after a series of withdrawals, but decided against it with a possible fine for withdrawing from Martinique and last minute travel plans too expensive for a player at her level.
The biggest challenge for Hibi and most of the other players this week were the asphalt courts. “It’s a very tough surface to play on and it was very windy. It’s almost like your battling yourself and the environment rather than your opponent.” She noted that it often caused an opponent’s kickserve to go over her head.
Hibi hadn’t had time to take a dip in the azure waters of the Caribbean and joked about the bittersweet reality that she only gets to have fun at events “where you lose early.”
Hibi sees herself in the top 100 by the end of the year, trying to prepare to “hopefully get into some grand slams.” She reached the semifinals in Martinique.
Giuliana Olmos is a former ITA All-American from USC who toppled top seed Mayo Hibi in Friday’s semifinals. While I think the picturesque views of the Caribbean from the court would be a distraction, Olmos felt differently. “I think it calms me a down a little bit. It’s nice to play somewhere really pretty. Sometimes in the States or other places, we get stuck in the middle (of nowhere). I mean, look at the ocean. It’s the nicest vacation spot,” she said.
Unlike Hibi, Olmos took a pre-tournament plunge. “I actually did go to the beach already before the tournament started,” she admitted with pride. “I went snorkeling. I don’t usually do fun stuff before the tournament started, but I did this time. It was a lot of fun.” A highlight of the trip before she made the Martinique final was seeing “Dory” in the water on her first snorkeling adventure.
“Long term, I want to crack the top 100,” she said. “Maybe next year I can be in Australia, not that I wouldn’t want to be here.”
More about that surface: most players disliked the high bounces of the ball, but if they were winning, it didn’t matter, and they knew that all players had to deal with the same challenges. “Sometimes the bounces are tough,” Hong Kong’s Ling Zhang told me, “but they’re tough for everybody.”
One exception was Lucie Wargnier of Noyon, France. “I love a rapid surface,” she told me after persevering in a match that lasted three hours and fifteen minutes and was easily the longest of the entire week. Finally free from injury, the 17-year-old was ebullient about competing in the ITF French paradise trifecta of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Martin in the coming weeks. She reached the quarterfinals in Martinique.
Though the tour is a long slog for many with few breaks, some players still have a life outside of tennis and some still have to attend high school. Caroline Dunleavy of Darien, Connecticut spent last semester at the Justine Henin Academy in Belgium, but this semester, she’s back to the regular student grind and plans to graduate at Greenwich Academy in the spring. She made the second round in Martinique.
“It’s difficult because I wish I could practice as much as the other players,” she said, “but I think it’s really nice to have a balance between school and tennis. I just signed to Notre Dame for next year. It’s a great team and great coaches.”
Every time I attend a Pro Circuit event, I leave stunned by the high level of play. There are no Primadonnas on this tour. There are no players who mistreat ball kids or line judges. Of course, there are no ball kids or line judges. There are no Mercedes shuttles to whisk you away to a 5-star downtown hotel to hole up and remove you from the tournament facilities. There are no bag checks, security guards, admission fees or overpriced concessions. Hell, there were no concessions at all beyond sports drinks and bottled water in Fort de France. You only get tennis players. They’re everywhere around you at all times, determined to pass the time watching their compatriots and studying their next opponent’s matches. This is where pro tennis begins. It’s a beautiful thing to watch at this primal level and for me, it re-ignites the passions of the tour after a long absence since the U.S Open.
An interview with @Conny_Perrin from ITFGlasgow Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
During my time in Glasgow I met and caught up with our own Conny Perrin. I managed to get her thoughts on a few things including her career, ambitions and influences.
WTA Professional Conny Perrin
How are you enjoying your stay in Glasgow so far? “It’s my third time here, so I have already been here before. I really like the venue, it’s near the hotel and the city, so you can do lots of things outside of tennis and find ways to have fun. Also the organisation is really good, so I am very happy to be back here.”
What would you say is your career highlight thus far? “I played a few years a go in Birmingham at WTA level. It was my first time on grass, so I didn’t expect much, but I qualified for the main draw. It was very nice to be there and take part. Other moments I would say when you have important matches and win, but I enjoy every part of tennis so I am really happy.”
What is your main goal for the 2015 season? “My goal is to play at Roland Garros and make qualification there. I am currently ranked around 270, and need to be around 210, so that’s the goal I focus on at the moment with my team. My long term aim is to make the top 100 at some point however.”
I read that you idolise Stan Wawrinka. Can you explain how he has influenced you so far? ” He is a very hard worker and very dedicated, so for me he’s a great inspiration and a great player to watch.”
So how did you feel when he won the Australian Open in 2014? “I was so happy for him, and how hard he has worked it’s such a great feeling. He deserved to win it.”
What other players have you taken inspiration from? “I love Serena Williams. In every way as a player and person, she is very impressive and strong. So definitely Serena.”
Do you prefer to play singles or doubles? “I love singles, because you have to find a way by yourself. I love to compete and finding a way to win, so it’s an amazing feeling as a player. I also really love doubles when you find the right partner, because you can have fun and you are not alone all the time, so it’s a great mix to play both.”
What areas of your game would you like to improve the most? “I actually have a pretty complete game, sometimes it’s difficult to pick a specific area. But I can improve everywhere in my game, and my team are working very hard on that because there are always areas you can improve.”
How are you finding writing your blogs for Tennis Atlantic?
“It is really interesting, because I also like to write. It’s great to share my experiences with people, because many don’t understand what life on tour is like for someone in my position. I also like to write for myself, because I think about stuff I won’t think normally, so it’s great to get it down and make things clearer to myself too.”
Any thoughts on the recent Australian Open tournament? “For the women’s final, it was amazing to see Serena win again. She is so strong mentally and physically, so she is really tough to compete against her. Maria played a great match, because she hung in there and tried her best, but Serena was just too strong in the end.
For the men’s, I really like Novak Djokovic as he’s good player and personality for the sport. But personally I would have liked to see Andy Murray win because of his partnership with Amelie Mauresmo. They have been working hard, so I think Andy would have deserved it. There aren’t many women coaches on tour, so it’s nice to see women can do a great job too. As for the match itself, I feel the first two sets were very good, but Djokovic is just a step better and he was better physically and mentally, so he deserved it.”
Thank you again to Conny for participating in this wonderful interview with our on site journalist in Glasgow, Niall Clarke!
2015 Glasgow Challenger Day 4 Report: Pliskova a winner, Cox and Corrie Reach Quarters Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
My few days in Glasgow have been eventful. I have witnessed a lot of talent from both the ATP Challenger and ITF women’s tour, and It’s been very exciting and interesting. To start my final day, I watched women’s number two seed, Kristyna Pliskova face Great Britain’s Freya Christie. It was a tight affair in the first set, but the Czech managed to break at 5-5 and serve out the set comfortably. It looked like Pliskova was going to ru away with the match, as she broke early in the second and had opportunities to extend her lead. However Christie kept fighting, and the 17 year old soon found herself having opportunities of her own to take the lead in the second. The number two seed’s big serve and groundstrokes eventually took their toll as just like the first set, Pliskova broke at 5-5. The Czech soon raced to a 40-0 lead and three match points, but they went as quick as they came as came. Christie hadn’t given up the match just yet and fought to try get herself back on level terms. Pliskova was having none of it as she soon wrapped up the match to win 7-5,7-5.
Speaking after the match Pliskova said: “She was playing really well, and I didn’t expect it to be so tough. I also didn’t play as great as yesterday so that’s why it was so close, but I am happy I got through” “My key shot is the serve” she added. “It is my biggest weapon, and I am happy when I hit aces, so it’s most important to my game” When asked about her 2015 goals Pliskova answered: “This year I want to be in the top 100, which isn’t that far, so maybe I can reach top 50 but we’ll see”
Whilst Pliskova was defeating Christie, another Brit took to court six, albeit with reverse fortunes. Naomi Broady faced Russia’s Marta Sirotkina in the women’s singles, with hope of booking a quarter final spot. The match started fairly close, but the Brit found herself a set up after breaking her Russian opponent at 5-4. Broady continued that momentum into the second set, breaking early to establish a 2-0 lead. Sirotkina broke straight back however, showing her opponent she hadn’t given up the fight just yet. Despite the Russian’s best attempts to get back into the match, Broady proved to be too strong. Using her aggressive play, The Brit ran away with the second set 6-1 to secure another straight sets victory.
Next up on court six, it was an all British affair as wildcards Daniel Cox and Daniel Smethurst competed for a quarter final place. The first set lacked any real quality, as breaks were plenty. Cox improved tenfold however, whilst Smethurst struggled to play himself into the match. Cox took the first set 6-4 and didn’t look in any sort of trouble afterwards. An early break was followed quickly by another, and then another as Smethurst got more and more frustrated. The second set passed by quickly as Cox bageled his opponent with relative ease. 6-4, 6-0 was the final result as Cox booked his quarter final place.
Cox advances to the quarters-photo credit Glasgow challenger/Tennis Scotland
The next British hopeful to play on court six was Marcus Willis. The world number 357 was impressive in his round one victory over Matteo Viola, so I was looking forward to seeing if he could back it up against Maxime Authom. It didn’t bode well for the Brit in the early stages as he found himself a break down after the first game. After a comfortable hold by the Belgian, Willis found himself under more pressure on serve, but this time he managed to hold. Authom wouldn’t budge on his serve despite his opponent getting better and better, and as a result he took the first set 6-4. With Willis’ ground game ever improving he started to look more like the player who beat Dan Evans and Viola. The Brit soon found himself a break up in the second, with the match seemingly turning in his favour. Willis served out the set to level the score at 1-1 and have momentum in his favour. The qualifier seemingly had the match in his grasp with an early break, but Authom began getting himself into more of Willis’ service points and quickly broke back. From then on, Authom was in control, and despite Willis’ best attempts to get back in the match, Authom broke and served out the match to win 6-4,3-6,6-3 in a great contest.
I then went to catch the second set of Ruben Bemelmans vs Jonathan Eysseric, which was an interesting encounter. Both men showed their talents, but Bemelmans was just the little bit better at everything, and comfortably won 6-2,6-3.
During the conclusion of that match, number four seed Andrej Martin and Edward Corrie started their clash on court six. From what I gathered from my brief glimpses of the first set, it was a break-fest. Corrie got off to a flyer, getting an early 2-0 lead. However it was soon surrendered as Martin quickly broke back and broke again to go 3-2 up. Corrie broke back during the set, and then broke to win the set 6-4 in what seemed like a strange match. When the Bemelmans/Eysseric match had finished, I rushed over to catch the second set of this interesting encounter. At this point, Corrie had broken early in the second set and looked in control. The Brit led 5-3, but failed to serve the match out, as the game Slovak fought hard to keep himself in the match. It went to a tiebreak in which Martin drew the first mini break. His lead was short-lived as Corrie broke back and took the lead which gave him 2 match points at 6-4 In the breaker. The first was saved by Martin, who held on his own serve to put pressure on the Brit to see it out on his own serve. This time, Corrie didn’t make a mistake. The Brit upset the number four seed 6-4,7-6 to add yet another British name to the Quarter Final line up.
Corrie is another winning Brit-photo credit Glasgow challenger/tennis Scotland
Elsewhere, there were wins in the men’s singles for: Alexandr Nedovyesov, Roberto Marcora, and Niels Detsein. David Guez received a walkover. In the women’s there were wins for Nina Zander, Lesley Kerkhove, Katy Dunne, Ana Bogdan, Ysaline Bonaventure, and Stephanie Foretz.
That concludes my daily reports of Glasgow. It’s been a great few days and I will definitely come back next year if I can.
You can check out the final results in Chris De Waard’s recap this weekend.
2015 Glasgow Challenger Day 3 Report: Bemelmans fends off Pavlasek, Naomi Broady advances Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Another cold day in Glasgow meant another day of tennis for me to enjoy. Despite the freezing temperature outside, there was a lot of hot action in the Scotstoun leisure centre today.
Firstly I went to court 4 to see our own Conny Perrin take on the number five seed Ysaline Bonaventure. It was a fairly hot tempered affair, which contrasted nicely to the weather. Bonaventure’s lefty serve and flat groundstrokes were enough to see her take the lead in the opening set, but at 5-3 the Belgian failed to serve it out. Perrin tried to use her variety to wrestle control from her opponent, but soon enough the Swiss found herself a set down. Bonaventure continued that momentum in the second set securing an early break whilst her coach cheered her on next to me. Both players were very much amped up during the match. Both players threw their rackets to the floor in frustration, and had words with the umpire about questionable line calls. Bonaventure however managed to keep her cool enough to serve out the match. 6-3,6-4 being the final result to the Belgian who was a bit too powerful for Perrin.
Speaking after the match Perrin told me that it was a ‘difficult’ match and that Bonaventure adapted well to everything she tried. Conny also told me that the courts are playing very slow, so it was difficult to hit through her opponent.
Next up was the number one seed in the mens singles Alexsandr Nedovyesov vs Peter Torebko of Germany. The Kazakh’s possessed the bigger weapons, but he was also wildly inconsistent. The German had his own struggles on serve, with his percentage being 35 for the whole match. There were plenty of breaks in this one, as both players struggled to really get a grip on serve, the most significant example coming at the end of the first set. Nedovyesov served for the set but couldn’t convert, and then in a reverse of fortunes Torebko had his chance to serve for it at 6-5, but the German also failed to close out the set. Therefore we were treated to a tiebreaker, which was largely dominated by the Kazakh, who’s forehand and ability at the net proved too much for his opponent. Tempers flared during the match with both men getting visually frustrated because they couldn’t hold on to serve and build an advantage. In the end Nedovyesov gained the upper-hand and earned the chance to serve for the match. In what became the familiar theme in this match, the top seed struggled closing it out, but In the end he got the job done to take the match 7-6,6-4.
It was back to the women’s for my second viewing of young Brit Isabelle Wallace. The 17 year old however fell easily to fellow qualifier Chloe Paquet 6-1,6-1. A big lesson for the young Brit.
I stuck around to see an all British clash as third seed Naomi Broady faced Tara Moore in the women’s singles. The big serving Broady raced into a 5-1 lead in the opening set, and was looking like she was going to run away with the match. Moore had other plans however, and she battled back to get the score to 5-3 before eventually losing the set. The second went pretty much the same, with Broady’s aggressiveness getting the better of her more defensive opponent. The third seed raced into a 5-2 lead and a chance to serve out the match. What proceeded was by far the longest game of the match as match points and break points came and went like the sun in Britain. Broady remained strong enough to seal the match 6-3,6-2, but it wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests.
Speaking post match Broady said: “Tara is a really good player, and we know each other’s game really well. So when it gets down to the last few points and you know you are close, you start over thinking it a little bit. She also had nothing to lose in the end, so she decided to go for her shots a little more and it made it difficult for me”
Broady made the main draw at Wimbledon in 2014, making it to round two before being defeated by Caroline Wozniacki. She spoke of her experience: “It was amazing. Caroline is the same age as me, and I have known her since juniors, and she’s such a great player, so I was happy we had a reasonably competitive match. I managed to play on court 1 too which was incredible, as I had the home fans behind me. Most players think Wimbledon is the best grand slam, but it’s a bit more special for the British players.”
The final men’s singles match on court six was an interesting match between Adam Pavlasek and Ruben Bemelmans. Pavlasek competed in the Hopman cup for the Czech Republic, and Bemelmans competed in the Australian Open, losing to Ivo Karlovic in the first round. The Czech was under pressure in his first service game, but he pulled through and broke his Belgian opponent in the next game. Pavlasek held serve for the rest of the set to secure it 6-3. You got the sense that Bemelmans was working his way into the match more and more as the first set went along, and in the second set he started to turn the match around in his favour. The Belgian took it 6-3 with some impressive shots helping him level the score. Pavlasek however didn’t let losing the lead get to him, because he soon re-established it in the third set; breaking Bemelmans to love at 2-1. The Czech held out to serve for the match, but Bemelmans kept fighting and soon found himself level on the scoreboard. It was only a few games later when the turnaround was complete, as he took the third set 7-5 to complete the closest encounter I have witnessed this week.
Whilst Pavlasek and Bemelmans were going at it on court 6, an upset was brewing on court eight. Number two seed, Michal Przysiezny was in the top 100 a year ago, but 12 months on, he has found himself losing in the opening round of a challenger event. France’s David Guez came from behind to defeat the Pole 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in what looked like a thrilling encounter.
Other results in the men’s singles included Britain’s Daniel Cox beating Matwe Middelkoop in straight sets, 6-4,6-1. Axel Michon also finds himself in the second round after Yan Marti retired from a set and two breaks down. There were also wins for Julian Reister, Niels Desein and Jonathan Eysseric.
In the women’s, there were victories for top seed Maryna Zanevska and number two seed Kristyna Pliskova.
I’ll be back for my final day in Glasgow, hoping for some more great tennis.
2015 Glasgow Challenger Day 2 Report: Home Brits Including Marcus Willis Score Round 1 Wins Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Due to travel I missed the first day of the Glasgow event, on the Aegon GB Pro Series but I am here for days two, three and four. The first match on the main court was a women’s singles qualifying match between Alice Matteucci [ITA] and Isabelle Wallace [GBR]. The 17 year old Brit is ranked 683 in the world, over 200 places behind her 18 year old opponent. However it was Wallace that came out firing as she held to 15 and broke her opponent the next game. Matteucci seemed to be struggling with serve, hitting 3 double faults on her way to being broken. The Italian called a medical time out at the end of the game and unfortunately retired 2 points later. A rather disappointing way to start the tennis day.
After getting a brief look at some of the womens talent on display, it was time for the first mens singles match of the day. The number 4 seed Andrej Martin faced Germany’s Nils Langer. Both players struggled on serve in the first set, serving below 50% and hitting a combined 8 double faults. Martin missed his opportunity to serve at the first set a 5-4, but it didn’t matter in the end as he the Slovak dominated the tiebreak to take the first set 7-6. There were some absorbing rallies, and good all court play from both players but ultimately the world number 185 was too strong. Martin breaks Langer to take the match in straight sets.
My attention soon turned to court 8 as the match between eighth seed Matteo Viola, and British qualifier Marcus Willis was about to begin. Willis has defeated Daniel Evans to qualify for the event, so he was coming into the match in good form; and he soon showed it. Using his big serve and variety, the Brit took apart his Italian opponent in less than an hour. 6-2,6-2 was the final result, resulting in a rather tame exit for the number eight seed. As for Willis, watching this match made me wonder why Willis is ranked 357 in the world. He has certainly showed that he has the talent to be ranked a lot higher. His use of the slice, drop shot and serve were particularly impressive today.
Whilst Willis was busy defeating Viola, another Brit took to the court on number six. Roughly 100 places separate Daniel Smethurst and Andrea Arnaboldi in the rankings, but that didn’t matter to the British wildcard. The match was as tight as you can get, but Smethurst managed to squeak the lead, 7-5. The Brit’s ability to come to the net effectively was causing the fifth seed problems, but Arnaboldi seemingly found a way to counter it. The Italian broke to serve for the set, but the Smethurst remained headstrong and broke back to make it 5-4. The set seemed destined for a tiebreaker at this point, and that’s what we got. Smethurst got the early mini-break and raced ahead to a 6-1 lead. Arnaboldi was game enough to save three match points, but at 6-4, Smethurst delivered an un-returnable serve to seal the match. The good fortune of the British players continued.
There was a guarantee that another British player would advance to the second round as an all British clash was next on court 6. Edward Corrie faced Alexander Ward in what turned out to be on of the more one sided matches of the afternoon. Ward came out of the blocks firing serves like Ivo Karlovic, but it wasn’t too long before Corrie took control of the match. 100 places separated them in the rankings, and it certainly showed as Corrie tightened his grip on the match with his more aggressive play. The world 243 broke to win the first set, and early in the 2nd set on his way to sealing a comfortable 6-3,6-3 victory.
The last British hopeful was a local player named Ewan Moore. He faced Italian Roberto Mancora, who is ranked 233 in the world. It was all too easy for Mancora as he raced to a straight sets win in under an hour.
In other results, Maxime Authom straight setted Ireland’s Louk Sorensen for the loss of two games. Tristan Lamasine dispatched his qualifier opponent, Pirmin Haenle in straight sets 6-2,7-6. Finally in the only three setter of the day, Pedja Krstin came from a set down to beat higher ranked opponent Jozef Kovalik 3-6,6-3,6-3.
The action will continue tomorrow with the rest of the ATP challenger first round matches, and the start of the ITF women’s singles main draw featuring Tennis Atlantic’s own, Conny Perrin.
Life On Tour With WTA Pro Conny Perrin: January 2015 Conny Perrin, Tennis Atlantic
January 2015 Update-Switzerland
Tournament Action in Germany and France
My season has finally started again. I went for my first tournament of the year in Stuttgart 10k on hard courts (Germany). I was very excited to be back and compete again after the hard work I put in during the pre-season for 7 weeks with my team: Joachim Weibull (tennis) & Johann Widenmark (fitness).
I lost in the second round there (in Stuttgart) to a girl (Sina Haas) who was just better than me that day & deserved to win, Of course I wasn’t satisfied with this result, but as we all know the first tournament of the year is never easy & can be tricky. I still felt pretty tired there of all the hard work I pulled off during the pre-season, but most important even though I lost against a player who was better than me that day, I gave it all & could learn a lot about myself from this tournament where I was with my tennis coach Joachim Weibull who helped me a lot, too.
In Stuttgart, I could play at least 3 matches (singles and doubles) before leaving home to Switzerland to have a few days off, reload, be as fresh & well prepared as I could for the next tournament, which was in Andrézieux-Bouthéon 25k on hard courts (France).
I arrived in France mentally & physically feeling fresher & rested, which was the plan. I had to play qualies there, which was also ok because the goal was to play a lot of matches & get back to competition better & better. Which I did. I won both of my qualies matches in straight sets & qualified for the Main Draw, where I won first round against 168 WTA & seed number 7 also in straight sets. I also passed the first round of doubles that day (Conny beat Apolline Rassat and Fiona Gervais in singles qualifying, then beat Naomi Broady in the main draw. In doubles, she and her partner Olga Doroshina of Russia beat a pair of doubles teams before losing in the semifinals).
I unfortunately lost second round of singles to #202 WTA Elista Kostova. I wasn’t able to take my chances that day & my opponent was just tougher than me in the important moments so she deserved to win, but again this match could bring me a lot to improve on, especially mentally. In doubles, I continued to win in the second round, but lost in semis later on. I finished the week with 7 matches (singles & doubs), a lot of positives to take with me and most importantly a lot to learn & improve for my next tournament which will be at the Glasgow 25k on indoor hard courts.
Before that, I will go home to Switzerland to get some rest, positive energy, calm down, go as fresh & clear as possible to Glasgow where I play singles & doubles again.
My thoughts on the Australian Open
I was really happy to see Murray make it to the final, first because I think he’s a great athlete & inspiration in general, but also because I think that his collaboration with Mauresmo shows great benefits on & off court. In my opinion, people underestimate too much the power of womens in sport or in general.
I think women have the right personality, a deep understanding for life + sport & who emotionally knows how to proceed + adapt to the person they are working with which isn’t always easy of course, but there are surely more strong women than we think out there who can do that & she’s definitely a great example, so I think we should make it a try more often & be more open about it.
There will always be some critics but that’s how life is. I still think people should understand more the fact of changing coaches whether it’s a man or woman doesn’t matter. The process of a great understanding between a coach, athlete & team takes time & sometimes for some reasons doesn’t work. Otherwise, it would be way easier to be surrounded by the right people, but it’s not always easy to find. There are so many factors who needs to be at the right place for the most perfect environment for the player to feel good & play great tennis in a consistent way.
Otherwise, I was happy to see Rafa Nadal back out there. He’s my biggest inspiration along with Stan Wawrinka in this sport for their hard work & fighting spirit. In the women’s, it was great to see Azarenka back & definitely I always like to follow Serena Williams, one of my greatest inspirations.