Former World number 1 Angelique Kerber sent out a message she is ready for the Australian Open winning her first WTA Title since the US Open in 2016 with suggestions she is getting back to her best. She defeated home favourite Ashleigh Barty with a break in each set to take the title in Syndey 6-4 6-4. She beat Lucie Safarova and Venus Williams on her way to the final having her best week in a long time. With Serena Williams out of the Australian Open, Kerber must have a good chance to take another Grand Slam in this form
In the other WTA event this week in Hobart, Tasmania, Belgian Elise Mertens took back to back titles beating Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in a rain affected final. The Romanian was in her first WTA final having beaten Alize Cornet to get here, but in the end Mertens experience was the difference as she held it together better as the players were taken off court four times during the contest. Mertens won the deciding set 6-3 to become the first player to win in Hobart twice in it’s 25 year history.
MOON OF LIBERTY WTA TENNIS RESULTS
Sydney International Final
AT THE NEW SOUTH WALES TENNIS CENTRE, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Heading into the US Open next week, Australia and New Zealand were the venues for this week ATP Tour events. In Auckland Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain took his second title in three years at the venue defeating Juan Martin Del Potro. Agut raced through the first set 6-1 but Del Potro hit back to take it to a decider. The key break came at 5-5 giving Agut the advantage and chance to serve for the match. He had to save a break point but held his nerve to save it and then serve it out to claim the title.
In Sydney it was the battle of the youngsters as 18 year old home favourite Alex de Minaur in his first ATP Title, took on the rising star from Russia, 21 year old Daniil Medvedev. The Australian got off to a stunning start taking the first set 6-1 but the experience of Medvedev slowly took over. The Russian broke in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out to level. Medvedev then took a double break to lead 4-0 in the decider. The Aussie showed great resilience to fight back, recover both breaks and get the score back to 5-5. de Minaur could not sustain it though, at this point Medvedev broke once more and this time he served it out to take the title after two hours of top class tennis.
MOON OF LIBERTY ATP TOUR TENNIS RESULTS
Auckland Open Final
AT THE ASB TENNIS CENTRE, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) Beat Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina)
The ATP tour kicked off with a double for France in two different parts of the World. In Qatar Gael Monfis comfortably beat Russian Andrey Rublev in straight sets in just under an hour. The win was Monfis 7th Tour title. The other French victory came in India where Gilles Simon had a superb week, knocking out top seed Marin Cilic and then defeating big serving Kevin Anderson in the final to claim his first ever ATP title.
There was home success for Nick Kyrgios in the Brisbane International. He fought off five break point chances from his America opponent Ryan Harrison showing great resilience in his game. In the end he won 6-4 6-2 to claim his fourth ATP title. He is bang in form to have a great shot at his home Grand Slam later in the month.
MOON OF LIBERTY ATP TOUR TENNIS RESULTS
QATAR OPEN FINAL
AT THE KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL TENNIS & SQUASH COMPLEX, DOHA, QATAR
Lesia Tsurenko won an impressive victory over France’s Kristina Mladenovic who is ranked 14 places above Tsurenko. The Ukranian powered through the first set taking it easily 6-1. Mladenovic who has already won in ST Petersburg this year, made more of a fight of the second set. However she dropped her serve at 5-6 as the Ukranian hit a winner down the line at match point to complete her victory, the third of her career.
Ashleigh Barty, who had taken time out of tennis to play some Big Bash cricket after her debut at the French Open in 2012, returned to the court in Malaysia and came through qualifying, going on to eventually win the tournament. She dominated the final breaking Japanese opponent Nao Hibino three times in a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory. The win should push her up from her current 158 world ranking claiming her first title and showing she can go much further. Still only 20, Barty may be one to watch in the future.
Dubai Tennis Championship Final – Murray v Verdasco
Murray returns to form in Dubai
After a slow start in which he dropped his first two service games Andy Murray recovered to defeat Fernando Verdasco. He broke bac on both occasions and then a third time to eventually take the first set 6-3. He then took total control breaking twice more and finding his service rhythm to easily take the second set 6-2. It is Murrays’s first tournament win of 2017 and the 45th ATP title of his career, expect more to come.
America’s Sam Querry scored a surprise victory defeating Rafael Nadal. Querry got off to a quick start and took the first set in just 29 minutes. Nadal repsonded in the second and had five break point chances in the eighth game. However Querry held him off to level at 4-4 with the set eventually going all the way to a tie break. Nadal made key baseline errors allowing Querry to take it 7-3 and claim his first title of 2017 having served 19 aces in a very impressive display.
Dubai Tennis Championship Final – Svitolina v Wozniacki
Brilliant Svitolina claims sixth WTA Title
Ukrainian Elina Svitolina took her second title of 2017 with an imperious display against Dane Caroline Wozniacki. Svitolina time and again turned defense into attack as the former world number 1 Wozniacki had no answer. Svitolina broke three times in a comfortable 6-4 6-2 win. Wozniacki’s form has shown a big improvement as this is her second final in two weeks, but she has been on the losing end both times. After winning in Taiwan Svitolina has added another title and moves into the top 10 for the first time. One to watch come the French Open and Wimbledon.
Timea Babos gave the home Hungarian crowd plenty to cheer winning an excellent quality final against Czech Lucie Safarova. After a tight first set it was Safarova who struck first taking the tie break. Babos got the break at 4-4 in the second set converting the only set point either player had. Babos then served four aces to level the score. She then took control breaking again to take the decider 6-3 and take her second WTA title.
Austrian Dominic Thiem has won again on South American soil. Having won in Argentina and Mexico in 2016, he claimed the Rio Open beating Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets. The Spaniard took a 3-2 lead in the first set but Thiem, ranked 8th in the World, fought back to break twice taking the first set 7-5. He broke twice again in the second set and serving eight aces in the match to take it 6-4 and win his eighth ATP title.
Jo Wilfried Tsonga won his second straight ATP title adding the Open 13 in Marseille to his Rotterdam Open title last week. He defeated fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4 6-4 braking once in each set. The match lasted 69 minutes. It is the 14th title of Tsonga’s career and his third win in Marseille. He will hope to continue this fine form heading towards the French Open.
Delray Beach Open Final in Florida – Sock v Raonic
Second Title for Sock
Jack Sock has his second ATP title this year after winning his final by default. Top seeded Canadian Milos Raonic had to with draw due to a hamstring injury. As a result Sock is the Champion in Delray Beach, adding to his victory in Auckland in January continuing a fine start to the season for the American.