Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 1 Women's round-up

 Every year, in the women’s draws of Grand Slam's, there is always a fair amount of surprises and today was no exception to that. 6th seed Petra Kvitkova was stunned by Thailand's Luksika Kumkhum. World 87 Kumkhum battled to a 62 16 64 win to get her first ever win over a top 10 player and best win of her career by a mile. During the match Kvitova produced 8 double faults out of a error count of 40. This is the Czech's first first round singles lost since the US Open in 2011. After the match the Thai number 1 said:-
"I'm very excited to beat the number six player in the world," "Today is a great day for me, I am very happy."
meanwhile in a post match press conference Kvitova blamed partly nerves for her loss today by saying she couldn't shake them off. In the next round Kumkhum faces Mona Barthel after her 76 63 win over Zhang Shuai.

If it is any consolation for Kvitova she wasn't the only seed to fall today. 7th seed Sara Errani's poor start to the season continued with a straight sets loss to Julia Gorges. Myself amongst others was expecting that to be a tough match for the out of form Errani but i didn't expect it to be so straight forward as Gorges took it 63 62. Joining Errani in a swift exit was fellow countrywomen Roberta Vinci who lost 64 63 to Jie Zheng. The other seed to fall so far was Elena Vesnina after her 26 26 defeat to Alison Riske. Vesnina has been carrying a hip injury which forced her to pull out of Hobart last week.

Serena Williams celebrates her first-round win over Ashleigh Barty at the 2014 Australian Open There was also disappointment for Venus Williams after her close three set lost to 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova (62 46 46). Williams who reached the final at the WTA Auckland last week said after her match:-
"My level was a little bit too up and down. Obviously my error count was a little high,"
"I have to give her a lot of credit, though, she was very determined ... played hard."
Meanwhile her sister Serena jogged into the second round with a 62 61 win over young Australian Ashleight Barty in the late night match which lasted 57 minuets.

From a British perspective it was double the disappointment. Laura Robson who is struggling with a wrist injury, only spent 50 minuets on court to suffer 06 36 thrashing against 18th seed Kirsten Flipkens. Robson produced an uncomfortable 32 errors during her short match. Clearly lack of play can also be a contributing factor to this. Meanwhile it can be quite the oppisite said about Heather Watson.Trying re-establish herself after a poor 2013 season, she forced Daniela Hantuchova to a close three setter lasting just over 2 and a half hours. Despite the valiant effort from Watson she lost 57 63 36 however this is still a promising start to the season for her.

Other wins from day 1 include Belinda Bencic's first Major grand slam victory after beating Kimiko Date-Krumm, a player 27 years older than her! Bencic is tipped by some as a future star in the womens game after a solid junior career (112-25 win-loss). Elsewhere Samantha Stosur gain revenge from last week against Klara Zakopalová (63 64), Li Na dominated qualifier Ana Konjuh
62 60 (next for Li Na is Bencic which will be a good indication of how good the youngster currently measures up against the very best) and Angelique Kerber endured a three sets win over Jarmila Gajdošová.

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