Wednesday, 29 April 2009

I Almost Forgot...

I've been a little neglectful in my coverage of the WTA recently, choosing to follow some very good advice I once heard along the lines of "If you haven't anything good to say, remain silent...". But there's been a number of positive developments on the women's tour recently that I thought I should mention:

Sabine Lisicki, a breath of fresh air from Germany. She won her first Premier level title in Charleston two weeks back beating Venus Williams in the process, and Wozniacki in the final. She's been likened to Jenifer Capriati in her ball striking ability. He tennis ethos reminds me a little of Davydenko in that she's (at the moment) very much about all out attack and going for the lines. I can't see a problem with that approach provided she continues to hit at this very high level she's set for herself. I mentioned some tim
e back that the WTA needed something very different to breath some life back into it. Well this girl can serve at 125mph, and outside of the Williamses, that really does put a rather different slant on womens tennis. Looks like she's about to take out Patty Schnyder at the event in Stuttgart (in straight sets) as I type.

-- Caroline Wozniacki continues to play well but seems to be carving out a Kuznetsova like year for herself by making finals she doesn't win.

-- Jelena Jankovic picked up a title in Marbella (taking out Navarro in the process) and seems to be getting some of her form back. She took out a pretty lame (literally) Cibulkova today in a match that at least demonstrated she has cut out a lot of those UFEs. I'm glad she's on the up as I picked her to win at RG this year, mostly because of her stunning performances at Rome these last couple of years. That prediction is looking less certain now, but I'm not about to chicken out.

-- Elena Dementieva has lost some fizz since making a brilliant start to the year, but is still playing convincingly enough to make her my second pick for RG. I always felt she missed out on the all Russian Slam cocktail party in 2004 -- she still managed to make two of those Slam finals. Given the less competitive state of the tour right now - it's almost her right to pick up a Slam, and I'd say RG is the best place to do that.

-- Dinara Safina made a fantabulous return to action at Stuttgart yesterday, by pounding poor old Sara Errani into the dirt 6-0,6-1. It was her first match as world #1, and did of course come amidst the predictable chorus of derision. I'd love her to win at RG too, if only to stick it to the haters.

Go Dinara - You stick it to the man...

-- Less happy news with
Maria Sharapova, who's now announced she won't be back until RG. You know, it's almost got to the point now where I wish she'd take the full year off, instead of staggering it out in this will-she-won't-she way. It's got to be heart wrenching to admit to yourself you may be dealing with what's beginning to sound like a chronic injury. But she's still very,
very young. Plus RG doesn't strike me as the best place to return from rehab anyway. Ease yourself gently into the grass court season I say.

-- Victoria Azarenka went out early to Gisela Dulko today. I'm not completely convinced by what little I saw from Victoria on clay, but she was returning from injury, so I guess it'd be a little unfair to read too much into that.

-- Anyone know what the hecks going on with Ana Ivanovic?
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