Uncertainty as Tennis’ oldest women only tournament must find a new home!

The Bank of the West Classic in Stanford has been one of the highlights on the WTA tour for 46 years. The tournament in Stanford always brings in crowds and the best players on the tour at the only women’s only tournament on the calendar.

Previous winners in the tournaments history include Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Serena, Venus, Martina Hingis, Lindsay, Azarenka, Kim Clijsters and many more top players.

Now the pressure is on for the USTA to find a new home for the tournament which they hope to keep close by to Stanford.

A statement was sent out on social media which says;

“After 21 years of partnering with Stanford University, IMG has been notified by the University that it’s policy of hosting corporate sponsored events on campus has changed and Stanford will no longer be able to host a WTA event at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

IMG’s highest priority is to keep the event in the Bay Area and we are working on a plan to do so.”

Stanford

 

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Serena will be back but a decision on Melbourne awaits!

The best sportswomen in the world is on her way back. Not many players in world sport have done what she has done during her career and this wrote a chapter no one expected. The American won the Australian Open whilst pregnant and recently got married now the return is close but when will we see her?

I have nothing but admiration for Serena. What she has done for women’s tennis and women in sport is on another level. She fights, she proves people wrong and at the end of the day she’s the winner.

Serena has been practicing for a while now with a few pictures and videos on social media. She has recently been joined by a new hitting partner in Jarmere Jenkins whose brother is the hitting partner of big sister Venus.

Coach Patrick Mourataglou has said he will be joining Serena in Florida soon but he has said they will look at how her body is reacting and her level of tennis before a decision on Melbourne is made.

It may be Melbourne but if not you’d expect it to be a trip to Indian Wells as Serena rarely plays in February.

SW

569 wins and 27 titles but the latest might just be the beginning for Caro

Even just at 27 years old Caroline Wozniacki is a bit of a veteran on the tour. As a former world number one the Dane has had many ups and downs on the tour but has just come off the back end of her most successful week winning her 27th career title but her biggest to date winning the WTA Finals for the first time.

caro 1

Caro has been on the tour for some time and has fought hard time and time again and in the last 18 months has turned her career around after poor form and injury saw her drop to 73 in the world just over a year ago but is now sat at 3 for the end of 2017.

Everything does seem to have come together for Caro over the length of the season. Earlier on in the year I said that 1 title win from 7 finals isn’t great but the Dane has had a successful season and it is unfair to look at the success of a season and define a success of a season by the amount of titles one.

This could be the making of Woz and I will be doing a piece on her game and where she should focus in my opinion but a big if is building on this success. This wasn’t a fluke from the Dane she turned up and after 569 wins the best may yet follow.

Analysis – Muguruza needs to revisit serve direction after early exit in Singapore

Garbine Muguruza started off in Singapore as a lady who meant business but her run ended quickly but what let her down when it mattered the most?

Looking back at her match against Venus Williams which sealed her fate at the championships what let her down was the serve.

All week we have been saying how slow the court is in Singapore and this is what lets Garbine down a little on the hard courts as you have to create speed, spin and bounce in difficult circumstances. The serve I wouldn’t say was predictable but it was short, flat and slow which allowed Venus time to adapt to the serve and made the third shot of the rally on Garbine’s serve a defensive one.

Let’s take a look at one…

Facing break point, Venus is confident stood on the baseline and ready to move. Serve down the T not the best choice right now. Venus’ eyes must light up at this point as a good forehand sends this ball straight down the middle.

GM S1

However a serve out wide on the tramline will push Venus off the court but then gives Venus an option of returning cross court (red) or down the line (yellow). You could argue and say the T serve would benefit Garbine as it’s only going one way so it is easier to read but there is nothing worse than a ball hit right at you as it looks the feet and Garbine put herself in trouble as you can see below.

GM S2

I think Garbine has to find some dominance on serve. She got broke too many times in Singapore making it difficult for herself and the stats back it up with just 58% won behind first serve and 29% behind the second serve, this will not win you titles in situations like this.

Going forward I think her serve is fine on grass and clay because of the surface but on some hard courts it could do with mixing it up make life easier for her.

 

 

No titles this year but Venus showed us why she was the star of 2017

Season’s on the tour don’t get better than this. It’s easy to forget that throughout the season Venus Williams has not won a title on the WTA tour but success and awards should not be ranked and rewarded just based on titles.

Venus stole the hearts of tennis fans worldwide once again as she has done throughout her career but this was an extra special year for the American.

At the age of 37 to be doing what she has done this year and with all she has come through with injury and illness over the year she is out of this world. I do not know a sport man or woman who has given more.

Her run in Australia was magical and since then hasn’t looked back. She bounces back from defeat and no titles this year is a shame but at the same time I think it has opened up people’s eyes to how great Venus has been this year and winning titles doesn’t always define success.

A while ago I wrote something on Twitter and it sums up the tennis year for Venus, Venus loves tennis and tennis loves her

She will be back in January and ready for another year full of fight and smiles!

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Wozniacki 6-4 6-4 Venus – The Danes Day in Singapore

A day that has finished with Caroline Wozniacki’s 60th win of 2017 and her biggest career title to date. Her head to head against Venus didn’t read pretty for the Dane but she turned on her style and the performance was one of the most consistent I have seen from the 27 year old.

From the beginning the opening service game to love showed she was in the zone and ready for this one. She defended well and more importantly moved the ball about from side to side which was one of the defining factors in her win today the ability and control behind all of her shots.

Her defence is something unmatched by anyone on the tour and she produces winners from positions you shouldn’t be allowed to! She really is so good at it!

You could sense the nerves when Dane came out and also despite leading 5-0 in the final set but the racket flew in the air as the Dane got over the finish line but this could just be the beginning!

Danes Day

 

 

 

Martina Hingis retires from tennis

Rumours circulated after the US Open but in Singapore Martina Hingis has let the cat and has called time on her 23 year career.

During this time she has played in 1283 matches on the WTA tour winning 43 singles titles and 64 doubles titles. Add to that is 25 career Grand Slam titles and five titles at the tour finals.

Retirement is no stranger for Hingis who has done it a couple of times before but this is now the end despite finishing the year as world number one on the doubles tour with 9 titles to her name but she has decided her time has come.

Hingis is a fighter. She kept coming back from multiple injuries and drugs suspensions and many would have called it a day a long time ago but not Martina she loves the sport and the sport loves her. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her take up a coaching role of some sort over the next year having already coached Pavlyuchenkova, Pennetta and fellow Swiss Belinda Bencic.

Through all the ups and downs one thing has remained consistent she played with a smile on her face!

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