Header Ads

'20 to Watch' - Australian Open Review

Now that the Australian Open has come to a close, there has been plenty of activity from the '20 to Watch' in both the senior and junior draws.

There were seven of our players that played in the main draw of the Australian Open:

Donna Vekic, the youngest player in the draw, had an excellent win in the first round, demolishing #66 ranked Andrea Hlavackova for the loss of just three games to set up the biggest match of her career so far against Caroline Wozniacki. While she lost 6-1, 6-4, there were plenty of positives to take from the match and the experience will serve her well in the future.

Annika Beck had the biggest win of her career in the first round as she knocked out the 28th seed, Yaroslava Shvedova, in three sets, eventually coming through 6-3 in the decider in a match dominated by breaks of serve. However, it clearly took a lot out of her as she was poor in the second round, crashing to a 6-2, 6-0 defeat against Ayumi Morita in a match that she would hoped to have won.

Daria Gavrilova came through qualifying, defeating Stephanie Vogt, fellow '20 to Watch' player, Eugenie Bouchard and Yi-Miao Zhou to reach the main draw, dropping just one set. She then had an excellent win against the in-form American, Lauren Davis, in the first round to set up a meeting with Brisbane semi-finalist, Lesia Tsurenko. Despite taking a 4-0 lead in the opening set, the Ukrainian's talent proved vital in the end as she won 7-5, 6-3.

Elina Svitolina just scraped in automatically after several withdrawals, but drew the unenviable task of facing fifth seed, Angelique Kerber, in the first round. While she lost 6-2, 6-4, there were plenty of positives that she could take from her first meeting with a top 10 player.

Ashleigh Barty continued her good form from the Hopman Cup, taking a shock one set to love lead against Sydney finalist, Dominika Cibulkova. However, the Slovak's superior quality shone through as she crushed the youngster in the next two sets, but it was a valuable learning experience for Barty, and she showed plenty in the first set to suggest that she has the potential to rise up the rankings.

Madison Keys was the highlight of the Australian Open for the '20 to Watch'. Continuing her stunning form from Sydney, she cruised past Casey Dellacqua and the thirtieth seed, Tamira Paszek, before running up against Angelique Kerber. Again, the German was able to see off one of our players, but there is no little doubt that Keys has a massive future in the game. A big serve and powerful groundstrokes are already there, and it just needs some consistency to be added.

Yulia Putintseva beat Christina McHale in the first round in three sets, although it really should have been done in straight sets. She then flew into a set and a break lead in the second round against Carla Suarez Navarro. However, she threw away the second set, then collapsed mentally in the third to lose the match. It is clear that the shot-making ability is there, but her mental strength needs a great deal of work.

In addition to these seven players, there were four players that were eliminated in the qualifying tournament for the main draw:

Eugenie Bouchard struggled to a three set win against the clay courter, Teliana Pereira, in the first round of qualifying, before losing to fellow '20 to Watch' player, Daria Gavrilova, in straight sets in the second round. It has been a disappointing start to the year for the talented Canadian.

Monica Puig would have been hoping for better after her impressive performances in Brisbane, but slumped to a first round defeat to the Chinese player, Qiang Wang, despite having won the first set. There is still work to do for the Puerto Rican.

Irina Khromacheva struggled physically in her first round match against Tereza Mrdeza, eventually being bagelled in the final set, having brought it back from a set down. Some time off to heal properly before making her return would be wise.

Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova had one of the more difficult qualifying draws against the former top 100 player, Vesna Dolonc. She lost 6-1, 6-1, but there will be easier matches to come. However, it shows the improvements that she will have to make to break into the top 100 in the future.

There were two players involved in the Australian Open Juniors tournament:

It was a hugely successful week for our two competitors in the junior tournament, as they met in the semi-final. It would be Anett Kontaveit that would be eliminated in the semi-final, but the fourth seed can be pleased with her week.

Katerina Siniakova was seeded number two, and she backed up her seeding by reaching the final without dropping a set. Sadly, she would lose in the final to Ana Konjuh, but it was a week that should boost her confidence. It seems likely that she will continue to focus on the junior tour for this year, although we might see her in the odd ITF tournament later in the year.

There were two players involved in ITF tournaments:

Sachia Vickery began her season in Innisbrook, Florida, although will have been disappointed with her first round defeat to Lauren Embree.

However, there was a first title of the year for Alison van Uytvanck in the $25k tournament in Andrezioux-Boutheon. She did not drop a set all week and her victory should propel herself to the brink of the top 200.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.