The Overule: Venus & Sloane await first wins, Kyrgios rightly unhappy, Kenin & de Minaur looking for rhythm and much more!

A mid-week version of The Overule with plenty of talking points on and off the tennis court where most are back in action following a short break after the Australian all hoping to kick off ahead of Indian Wells and Miami next month.

Venus Williams still searching for her first win of 2020 as Kaja Juvan saves seven match points in Acapulco

For the first time since 2006 Venus Williams will head into March without a win. In 2018 she required wins in Fed Cup and 2012 was injured for the first period of the season. A round one loss in Melbourne 14 years ago and injury to follow meant she had won a match until May.

Kaja Juvan who caught attention last year coming through qualifying in Wimbledon and lost 3-6 4-6 to Serena in round two this time saw off older sister Venus in Acapulco!

Venus has had it tough and some injury concerns haven’t helped as she was drawn against Coco Gauff in Melbourne and now another teenager in Kaja this week in Acapulco but has put up a hell of a fight.

It goes down as a missed opportunity for the 39 year old who did have seven match points but couldn’t find her way past the Czech qualifier.

Kyrgios unhappy and rightfully so following Acapulco boo-ing!

Nick Kyrgios is not a happy man and I don’t blame him in all honesty.

The Australian has had a wrist problem and attempted to try and defend his title this week in Acapulco but couldn’t.

Going down 3-6 to Ugo Humbert in the first set of his first match and after having the physio on court the Australian just couldn’t continue. 

As it was announced he could no longer take part he was booed off the court in Mexico and in press afterwards was very unhappy using some expletive language but in all honesty, you can’t blame him.

Azarenka set to make her first appearance of 2020 in Monterrey!

Almost twelve months ago former world number one Victoria Azarenka was runner-up in Monterrey. The Belarusian had retire during the final against Muguruza injured.

Since then it has continued to be a bit of a rollercoaster for Vika who we haven’t seen yet this year.

In December it was noticed she wasn’t on the entrants list for the Australian Open or any warmups and had taken herself out of contention in Melbourne.

There was no news as to why Vika was not there and hasn’t played since.

The former Australian Open winner was then added to the Belarus Fed Cup team earlier this month but dissappeared off the team nominations a day before but without knowing why.

It was understood Vika who did spend a short amount of time as part of the Mouratoglou pre-season training camp with Serena and Coco Gauff didn’t play for personal reasons.

Azarenka is on the entry list for Monterrey which begins on Monday.

Sofia Kenin searching for some rhythm following Melbourne hang-over which isn’t unusual

Sofia Kenin continues to be in a tough run of form following her first Grand Slam win. Back to back defeats to the inform Elena Rybakina in Dubai and now Dayana Yastremska in Dubai is not ideal but is the situation she is in. Add to that a win and a loss in Fed Cup and the American has lost three of her last four singles matches.

It does happen after winning a first major, we have seen Muguruza, Halep and Wozniacki have a similar drop off. The pressure increases and for opponents the opportunity to defeat a Grand Slam champion is one with added interest.

I wouldn’t worry too much right now, Kenin is due to lead the line in Lyon before Indian Wells and Miami but if this run were to continue it would be a concern. If I were her I’d take myself out of Lyon.

Alex de Minaur impresses in Acapulco after 6 weeks out injured

Following his heroics in ATP Cup it came at a cost for Alex de Minaur as injury forced him out of Adelaide and the Australian Open which was a great shame following his end to 2019 and the way he begun 2020.

Alex returned to action in Acapulco this week where he was up against Miomir Kecmanovic in round one. It was a competitive match and Alex will be happy with what he did, obviously he would have liked the win but it does set him up nicely going forward.

Alex is set to lead Australia in the Davis Cup tie against Brazil before heading to Indian Wells and Miami.

Sloane Stephens winless in four in 2020 and just four wins since July, what’s up with the American?

Former US Open champion is in a bit of a rut. Four wins since she lost on the 6th of July at Wimbledon and the American is on the verge of potentially dropping down outside the worlds top 40.

What’s gone wrong?

A lot of it for me is down to confidence, Sloane has Kamau Murray back in her team and has for some time following the coaching carasol drama that went on but it hasn’t come back together for the two.

For me, there will just be a couple of performances which will just click and things should fall back into place. Sloane does play a style of tennis which I have said in the past is high risk. She will hit winners and errors but the balance is key which is where I’ve wanted to see more of a controlled approach in her game at times. 

Davis Cup hit as top players rule themselves out before Indian Wells!

Davis Cup or ATP Cup?

So far the noise is swerving to the ATP Cup.

Pretty much all of the eligible top players played the ATP Cup in January.

In just over a weeks time (a few days before Indian Wells) we have the Davis Cup qualifiers and despite being eligible there will be no Dominic Thiem, Alex Zverev, Diego Schwartzman or Borna Coric, all of whom played in ATP Cup.

In such a long a season how many top stars will have enough in their tank for the Davis Cup Finals in November. It is a longer season that usual with the inaugural ATP Cup and after Wimbledon players will be heading to Tokyo for the Olympics.

Why I think Svitolina should have taken herself out of Doha and should skip Monterrey!

Eli Svitolina is badly lacking confidence right now on the court and it is a shame to see. I said following Dubai I think the best thing for her would have been to take herself out of the firing line in Doha. 

Doha is the biggest WTA event so far this year and was packed with the best and it didn’t go to plan again.

I think her game is a little bit confused at the moment which I have written about before. I watched her in Dubai and the return position and how quickly she retreated behind the baseline confused me. 

I think ahead of Indian Wells and Miami the best thing right now is a break and practice closer to the time. Eli is set to be the top seed in Monterrey next, I just don’t think right now it is worth the hassle.


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