Wawrinka 2-6 1-6 4-6 Sandgren – Concerns over left knee for former champion!

Under no stretch of the imagination did anyone expect a deep run from Wawrinka in Melbourne this year. This was the former champions first tournament since his withdrawal from Wimbledon 6 months ago and 2 matches in 3 days have taken it’s toll.

Building match fitness and strength around the knee will take time and right now I don’t think he’s near match fitness and it would be a smart move in my opinion to have an extended break from tennis and build fitness ahead of Indian Wells and Miami. I don’t really see the point in pushing for a lot of tournaments right now.


The positive for Stan was he did hit some of his grounds strokes well but did fall short on the projection off the serve and also the movement was lacking which is what you’d expect.

I was surprised after the second set to see Stan continue which I found odd. I understand not wanting to give up a match but here’s hoping he hasn’t done his body too much harm.


Australian Open Day 2 – Returning duo untroubled, Konta cruises but Kvitova and Raonic go home early!

Another day that saw more surprises, gurantees but importantly some welcome backs on the tour as Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka began their campaigns with a win but some surprise losses also took place in Melbourne.

Welcome back!

The lead up to the tournament was all about these two men. How would their bodies react to returning to the tour in that Melbourne heat and after their round one matches there is plenty to look forward to but it is too soon to get carried away. Djokovic was up against Donald Young and he was solid from the baseline throughout the match. Stan was up against Ricardo Berankis and was good in the opening couple of sets but in the final two he did struggle dropping the third and then winning the fourth on a tie-break but who knows how far he will go.

Surprising or not surprising defeats?

The words shock defeat are going round but are the defeats for Milos Raonic and Petra Kvitova that much of a surprise?

Milos has only played one match since returning from injury against Alex De Minaur and lost so this first round exit doesn’t surprise me as he isn’t ready in my opinion and I felt this in Brisbane his game and fitness were lacking what was required.

Same for Petra Kvitova despite building back up Andrea Petkovic is very unpredictable and today they played out an incredible match which Petkovic took 10-8 in the decider! It’s sad in matches like this someone goes home empty handed.

Cruising Konta!

I stayed up to watch the first set of Konta v Brengle as I had work at 7am so I couldn’t see it all through but Konta impressed from the beginning. To start with she did seem rushed and I think it was just finding her feet and nerves but she went after the Brengle serve which was unusual and ineffective hence the demolition job by Jo who will be hoping to put together a good run after retiring against Svitolina despite being up a set and a break in Brisbane and Svitolina went on to win the match and the title.


Rafa, Novak or Stan, which former champion is best prepared for Melbourne?

The question is who is best prepared?

Stan hasn’t played a tournament since Wimbledon, Novak has been missing for about 5 months and Rafa pulled out of London with knee trouble so who out of these former Australian Open champions is best prepared for the first major?

Rafael Nadal

The world number one has played the most tennis but not much since November but the draw has been favourable to him. He turned up to Melbourne last year with little practice and got to the final and to be honest I’d be astounded if he didn’t get to the semi-finals as with respect his path there is not challenging with only one other top 10 player in that section of the draw that being Cilic who he could meet in the quarter finals.

Stan Wawrinka

I don’t really fancy Stan’s chances in Melbourne, he is lacking match practice since late June/early July and I’d be surprised if he made it past round four which would likely be Dominic Thiem but failing that he could run into Verdasco or RBA in the third round.


Novak played well against Thiem the other day winning 6-4 6-2 but you can’t read anything into it going into Melbourne. First up for Novak is Donald Young which will be tough then most likely Monfils and if he is going to get to the semi-final could have to defeat Zverev as well and then in the semi-final Roger is also in that half. If he does it will be one of the biggest achievements in recent history on the men’s tour but whilst I wouldn’t rule anything out I wouldn’t bet on it.


Best prepared? Nadal then Djokovic and finally Stan. All have been at Melbourne Park for a week now so are finding their feet but winning here in Melbourne will be difficult but they are multiple champions for a reason!


Comebacks Delayed! – ATP stars opening schedules have changed

The year of the comeback will just take a few more weeks to get in full swing. Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic have all delayed their comebacks.

Andy Murray was due to fly out to Australia a few days ago but preparations in Miami ended on the 14th of December with Andy and his team returning to London most likely to see in Christmas and New Year with his family adding question marks over potential participation in Brisbane.

Rafael Nadal was due to play in Abu Dhabi over the next week but I fully expected him to pull out and he has missed training sessions lately with his knees still bothering him.

Wawrinka and Raonic were also due to play in Abu Dhabi over the New Year but have pulled out of the tournament but are expected to play a lead up event ahead of travelling to Melbourne.

Kei Nishikori is another player missing as he has announced he will not play in Brisbane next year which leaves question marks over his participation in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic however is due to still play in Abu Dhabi.




The last major of the year approaches. On the men’s side of the draw it is looking an episode of casualty. The injuries keep on pilling up and speculation grows day by day on who will be taking part at Flushing Meadows.

Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka who both participated in last year’s final will not feature again this season and it is looking unlikely that Andy Murray will be taking part. The Brit has been suffering from a hip issue for quite some time which was evident in his loss at Wimbledon and since then has recently pulled out of Rogers Cup this week and just pulled out of Cincinnati next week.

There are also concerns over Nick Kyrgios who didn’t seem to be moving well in his defeat to Alex Zverev in Montreal last night as well as Cilic and Berdych but all are down to play next week in Cincinnati.



Stan’s ‘battling hard’ but will he be back to defend his title in New York?

By the time the US Open begins on the 28th of August it would have been 80 days since Stan Wawrinka won a tennis match a wait of almost three months since he defeated Andy Murray in the semi-finals of the French Open.

The defending US Open champion has withdrawn from the two Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati that lead up to the final major of the year in New York but it is looking unlikely at the moment that Stan will participate in the tournament.

In a statement he said he is battling hard to be back fit in time for the US Open with this injury bothering him for at least 6 weeks now.

The news opens up the draw even more as there will be no Novak Djokovic in New York in a few weeks time and the race is on for the defending champion to be fit for Flushing Meadows.



How Medvedev saw off Stan by going after his backhand slice

Stan Wawrinka was one of the early casualties at Queens Club just a few weeks ago and was the standout casualty in round one at Wimbledon but what went wrong?

Stan has never been able to master grass so this year he brought in Paul Annacone to boost his chances, two first round exits later it couldn’t have gone worse. Stan did seem to be struggling with a knee issue at Queens and did receive treatment in the loss to Medvedev but you can’t put it all down to that.

Stan’s game is quite defensive. He is one of the big defenders on court and this is where his game doesn’t work well on grass.

These grass courts around the world are a fast surface especially on the first week or so of the tournaments as no-one has played on them for almost 12 months so they are slippy and for players who have big ground strokes and a big serve it skids through the court making them dangerous hence why on the women’s side Karolina Pliskova is one of the favourites as the surface suits her style of play.

I watched Daniil Medvedev play against Novak Djokovic for the first time in Eastbourne last weekend and I was incredibly impressed, his game suited the surface and he played very well but was desperately unlucky in the match not to win.

Watching Stan against Daniil I’d say only one did their homework and that was Daniil. Time and time again we saw him go for that serve out-wide into the Wawrinka backhand which is a threat on the front foot but on the back foot it’s not a shot that will extend and keep yourself in rallies.


This still is first set at set point and Daniil plays it perfectly. You couldn’t have played a better point. He went for that serve out-wide into the BH slice of Stan and a backhand slice is a good weapon to have on tour but returning a serve on grass against a big baseline player means you have to keep the BH low but time and time again it came back to the Russian and it basically said hit me on it.


The height and lack of speed that Stan got on that in particular return compared to a forehand return gave Medvedev countless options. Stan is about 2 metres behind the baseline and Daniil could go cross court, inside out down the line or if he fancies it a cheeky drop shot.

After watching Daniil in Eastbourne I wouldn’t call this a shock, when I heard he would be playing Wawrinka I thought this could get tricky, all credit to the young man!