This Week In Tennis
For more comprehensive coverage of press interviews from the fortnight of tennis, visit the Australian Open website.
The Body Serve Tennis Podcast
We're checking in midway through the 2017 Australian Open, a tournament marked by the shocking upsets of Djokovic, Murray, and Kerber, as well as the Old Guard (Federer, Venus, Nadal) reminding us that they're still here. We do close reads of a few matches, take another look at Novak's slump, share our frustrations about cerain American players and commentators who should move on.
1:15 Old Guard re-asserts itself, plus upset shockers
3:40 Venus Williams is feeling herself
8:50 Nadal def. Zverev, in what could be a tide turner for Rafa
15:30 Djokovic stunned by Istomin - what's up with Novak?
24:15 Andy Murray goes out to Mischa Zverev
30:15 Grandpa Roger is back, beats Berdych and Nishikori
33:20 Johanna Konta is playing great tennis, will face SW
35:00 Ashleigh Barty reaches 3rd round in singles, beats Hingis/Coco in doubles
37:00 The Bad: Trump-supporting, early-losing, badly behaving American men
44:00 A digression on politics
50:15 Also Bad: TV Commentary
54:30 John McEnroe is mean, hypocritical, and obsessed with demeaning Nick Kyrgios
59:45 Kyrgios' press conference and our shifting feelings
65:20 Looking at some potentialities/possibilities of the second week (including a vocal performance from Jonathan)
This Week In Tennis
Season 2, Vol. 2
For these and other stories, #ThisWeekInTennis recaps last week's tennis action through news reports, player tweets, tennis writing, rankings, and podcasts. In addition, this volume with prepare you for the upcoming fortnight of Grand Slam tennis.
- Johanna Konta continues to sizzle in the early parts of the 2017 season, backing up her quarterfinal run in Shenzhen with a championship effort in Sydney. The top ranked Brit is now 8-1 on the new year.
- In Auckland, Jack Sock captured the second ATP title of his career. The second ranked American rises three spots to crack the top 20 for the first time in his career, just one spot behind his countryman, John Isner, at #19.
- A qualifier and champion in Hobart, Elise Mertens surges into the WTA top 100 at #82 after winning the first title of her career.
- Gilles Muller won the first ATP Tour title of his career in Sydney. The 33-year-old from Luxembourg also rises to a career-high #28 in the latest ATP rankings.
- Maria Sharapova announced the location of her return to the WTA Tour following her drug suspension. The former world #1 will make her first appearance in Stuttgart, site of three of her 35 WTA titles.
- Nadia Petrova and Jarmila Wolfe announced their respective retirements from tennis.
The 2017 Australian Open begins Sunday in Melbourne, with Serena Williams once again in search of Slam title #23. Williams has two main targets this fortnight: surpass Steffi Graf (with whom she's tied for second on the all-time list), and reclaim her top ranking from Angelique Kerber. Meanwhile, Roger Federer returns to Grand Slam action having missed the 2016 U.S. Open. Currently ranked #17, Federer shut down his season after Wimbledon last year to rehab nagging injuries.
Check out the singles draws below as well as some of the more intriguing first round matches on offer at Melbourne Park.
2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAWS
FIRST ROUND MATCHES TO WATCH
Raonic vs Brown
Lopez vs Fognini
Djokovic vs Verdasco
Nadal vs Mayer
Dolgopolov vs Coric
Paire vs Haas
Sock vs Herbert
Cilic vs Janowicz
Mladenovic vs Konjuh
Bacsinszky vs Giorgi
Konta vs Flipkens
Siniakova vs Goerges
Riske vs Brengle
Vinci vs Vandeweghe
Bouchard vs Cirico
S. Williams vs Bencic
This Week In Tennis
Season 2, Vol. 1
Week One Winners: Grigor Dimitrov & Karolina Pliskova (Brisbane), Novak Djokovic (Doha), Roberto Bautista Agut (Chennai), Katerina Siniakova (Shenzhen), Lauren Davis (Auckland)
As always, #ThisWeekInTennis recaps the tennis action through news reports, player tweets, featured articles, rankings, and podcasts.
- Karolina Pliskova showed no signs of slowing down after a breakout 2016 campaign, losing one set on her way to the Brisbane title.
- Grigor Dimitrov claimed his 5th career title, and first since Queen's Club in 2014, when he overcame Kei Nishikori in the Brisbane final.
- Novak Djokovic survived five match points against Fernando Verdasco in the Doha semifinals before besting Andy Murray in a three-set final.
- As for Murray, you can refer to him as Sir Andrew Barron Murray after the Scot received knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
- Katerina Siniakova won the first WTA event of her career, beating Simona Halep, Johanna Konta, and Alison Riske on her way to the Shenzhen title.
- Lauren Davis beat Ana Konjuh to take the title in Auckland.
- Roberto Bautista Agut snared the fifth title of his career, beating Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-4 in Chennai.
- Richard Gasquet and Kristina Mladenovic won the Hopman Cup for France
- Rafael Nadal, winner against Milos Raonic the week prior in Abu Dhabi, was unable to do so again against the world #3 in the Brisbane quarterfinals.
- Watch: Venus Williams' Kiwiana carpool, a Kiwi version of Carpool Karaoke. The elder Williams stuck around in New Zealand for a few days after withdrawing from the ASB Classic following her first round win.
- Serena Williams followed Venus Williams out of the Auckland event on the same day, losing in three sets to Madison Brengle.
- Roger Federer made his return to tennis last week, partnering with Belinda Bencic to represent Switzerland at the Hopman Cup. Federer lost his singles match in three sets to Alex Zverev.
- Bethanie Mattek-Sands supplants Sania Mirza as the WTA #1 in doubles.
- Francesca Schiavone announced her plans to retire after the 2017 season.
- Since we've been gone: Ivanovic announced her retirement, Serena Williams got engaged, Victoria Azarenka had her baby, and Peta Kvitova suffered a horrific attack that will sideline her for at least six months.
HOW THE RANKINGS WORK
A player earns one point for each progressive round reached at a Grand Slam. For example, a fourth round result nets four points while a first round loss yields one. Bonus points are awarded once a player reaches the quarterfinal stage of a Slam. Simona Halep earned five points for making this year's U.S. Open quarters as well as one bonus point. Serena Williams scored six regular and two bonus points for making the semis (eight), while Angelique Kerber bagged the maximum 12 for winning the title (eight plus four bonus points).
1R - 1 pt
2R - 2 pts
3R - 3 pts
4R - 4 pts
QF - 5 pts (+ 1 bonus) = 6 pts
SF - 6 pts (+ 2 bonus) = 8 pts
F - 7 pts (+3 bonus) = 10 pts
W - 8pts (+4 bonus) = 12 pts
These rankings are intended as a bit of fun and to be taken with a grain of salt. While not official, they offer insight into the overall landscape of women's tennis. For example, who has earned the lion's share of her points from a single major tournament? Who has been more consistent at majors than expected? Have the top-ranked women performed to their ability at the Slams?
This Week In Tennis
My personal faves? Roberto Bautista Agut tweeting in support of LGBT equality, and pretty much anything that made its way from Naomi Osaka's finger tips to the Twittersphere. What were some of your favourite/most memorable tennis tweets of the year? Sound off in the comments below and on Twitter (@SportScribeCA).
This Week In Tennis
#ThisWeekInTennis recaps the previous week's tennis action through news reports, player tweets, press snippets, tennis writing, rankings, and podcasts.
- Andy Murray finished his 2016 campaign in style, capturing the ATP World Tour Finals to secure the year-end number one ranking. The win capped a stellar second half of the season for Murray, winning Wimbledon, Olympic gold, Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna, Paris, and now London.
- Novak Djokovic showed glimpses of his 2016 best form at the ATP World Tour Finals but was unable to clinch the year-end #1 ranking, losing in straight sets to Andy Murray in the final.
- Milos Raonic finsihes 2016 ranked world #3. The Wimbledon finalist lost a three-and-a-half hour semifinal to Andy Murray and also took Novak Djokovic to two tiebreaks in round robin play.
- Year-end top 10: 1) Murray 2) Djokovic 3) Raonic 4) Wawrinka 5) Nishikori 6) Cilic 7) Monfils 8) Thiem 9) Nadal 10) Berdych.
- Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares finish the year as the top ranked doubles team on the ATP Tour.
- Henri Kontinen and John Peers captured the year-end doubles crown at the ATP World Tour Finals.
- Roberta Vinci and Francesca Schiavone both confirmed they will continue to play on the WTA Tour in 2017.
- Venus & Serena Williams had courts in Compton, California dedicated in their honour. The sisters also announced the Yetunde Price Resource Center.
- Angelique Kerber celebrated her career-best season by having lunch with U.S. President, Barack Obama.
- Ekaterina Alexandrova beat Caroline Garcia to win the Limoges title.
- The ATP Tour announced a ‘Next Gen’ finals for 21-and-under players beginning in 2017.
- After the best season of her career, Karolina Pliskova splits with coach Jiri Vanek.
- Amelie Mauresmo steps down as France's Fed Cup captain, is pregnant with second child.
- The Czech women won the Fed Cup tournament for the fifth time in six years and third consecutive year.
- The final tennis event of the season is on deck as Argentina battles Croatia for the Davis Cup title.
This Week In Tennis
For these and other stories, #ThisWeekInTennis recaps last week's tennis action through news reports, player tweets, tennis writing, rankings, and podcasts.
- Andy Murray is the new ATP Tour world #1. Murray becomes the 26th player to hold the top ranking the same week that he claimed his 14th career Masters title. The tournament win was Murray's eighth on the year and fourth in as many starts.
- Novak Djokovic ceded his top ranking to Andy Murray after the Paris Indoor Masters event. This week marks the first time since July 7, 2014 that someone other than Djokovic sits atop the ATP Tour rankings.
- Petra Kvitova closed her 2016 season in style by winning the WTA Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai. Kvitova enjoyed a successful Asian Swing winning both Zhuhai and Wuhan, while also making the quarterfinals in Beijing. The Czhech player will end the season ranked #11.
- Elina Svitolina capped a solid stretch after the U.S. Open with a run to the finals in Zhuhai (SF-Tokyo, SF-Beijing, SF-Moscow).
- John Isner rises nine places in the ATP rankings to #19 after reaching the final of BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. Isner is once more the top ranked American.
- Johanna Konta secured a year-end top ten ranking with her opening match win over Sam Stosur in Zhuhai. Konta, who ended 2015 ranked #46, will begin the 2017 season as the world #10.
- Reilly Opelka won his first career Challenger title in Charlottesville.
- Roger Federer (#16) exits the ATP top 10 for the first time since 2002.
- David Ferrer (#21) falls out of the ATP top 20 for the first time since July, 2009.
- Gael Monfils heads into the season-ending event in London boosted by reaching a career high ranking at #6.
- As per Todd Woodbridge, Nick Kyrgios has completed his three-week suspension from the ATP Tour.
- Steffi Graf made a rare appearance on the tennis circuit in her capacity as ambassador at the Zhuhai Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai
- The draw for the ATP World Tour Finals in London is out. The eight-man field is divided into two groups; the McEnroe group features Murray, Wawrinka, Nishikori, and Cilic, while the Lendl group consists of Djokovic, Raonic, Thiem, and Monfils.
- However, Milos Raonic is doubtful to participate after suffering a right quadriceps injury. If he is unable to compete, Tomas Berdych is next in line to take his place. Rafael Nadal, who qualified at #8, will not participate.
This Week In Tennis
As the 2016 tennis season heads towards the finish line, take a look back at the last week of action with #ThisWeekInTennis, recapping the action through news reports, press snippets, player tweets, tennis writing, rankings, and podcasts.
- Dominika Cibulkova won the WTA Finals in Singapore for the biggest title of her career. Apart from a new career high ranking at #5, Cibulkova finishes the year having won the most WTA singles titles of any player (four). Her seven finals on the year is second only to world #1, Angelique Kerber.
- Andy Murray won the third consecutive event in which he's entered, this time claiming the title in Vienna, Austria. The Andy Murray #1 ranking watch is officially on as the Brit has a chance of finally claiming the top ranking this week in Paris.
- Marin Cilic boosted his chances of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals by winning last week in Basel. He moves to #9 in the Race to London after beating Kei Nishikori 6-1 7-6. The title was also the first ATP 500 crown of Cilic's career.
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made the finals in Vienna before losing to Andy Murray. The Frenchman also announced he will become a father in the new year.
- Svetlana Kuznetsova had herself a banner two weeks. After winning in Moscow to qualify for the WTA Finals at the last minute, Kuznetsova reached the semifinals of the year-end event, and got a lot of media attention when she gave herself a haircut mid-match against Radwanska.
- Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won the doubles title at the WTA Finals in Singapore. The pair also took Olympic gold in Rio.
- Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis returned as a doubles team at the WTA Finals, bowing out in the semifinals. While the pair were unable to defend their title from a year ago, Mirza will end 2016 as the #1 ranked doubles player on the WTA Tour.
- Nick Kyrgios has agreed to receive treatment from a sports psychologist in order to reduce his suspension from the ATP Tour.
- Jack Sock and Marcel Granollers teamed to win the doubles event in Basel. Sock, whose singles results have been on the uptick lately (final in Stockholm, quarters in Shanghai), has been even better in doubles; he's made the final of his last three events, winning two.
- Both Serena and Venus Williams have been confirmed for the 2017 edition of the ASB Classic in Auckland to start the year.
- WTA year-end top 10 is settled: 1) Kerber 2) Williams 3) Radwanska 4) Halep 5) Cibulkova 6) Pliskova 7) Muguruza 8) Keys 9) Kuznetsova 10) Konta
This Week In Tennis
For these and other stories from the past week in the tennis world, #ThisWeekInTennis provides a recap through news reports, player tweets, tennis writing, rankings, and podcasts.
- Svetlana Kuznetsova defended her Kremlin Cup title from 2015 to book the eighth and final spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore, the sixth time Kuznetsova has qualified for the event in her career.
- Juan Martin del Potro defeated Jack Sock to win in Stockholm and claim his first ATP title in 33 months.
- Pablo Carreno Busta won the second title of his career -- and this year -- when he beat Fabio Fognini in the Moscow final. As for the Italian, Fognini had these words to say to Carreno Busta while accepting his runner-up trophy.
- Monica Niculescu turned in a surprising 6-4 6-0 win over Petra Kvitova in the Luxembourg final for the 3rd title of her career.
- Richard Gasquet won the inaugural event in Antwerp, beating Diego Schwartzman in the final for his second title of 2016.
- Rafael Nadal announced he will shut it down for the rest of the 2016 season. He will no longer compete in Basel or Paris, nor will he travel to London for the World Tour Finals should he still qualify.
- In happier news for Nadal, the Spaniard opened his tennis academy in Mallorca, enlisting the help of Roger Federer for the event.
- Jurgen Melzer is now only the second active player to score at least 300 match wins in both singles and doubles (Stepanek). Melzer went on to win
- Daria Gavrilova, beaten finalist in Moscow, is enjoying the most successful stretch of her career. Gavrilova rises 13 spots to #24 in the latest WTA rankings and is four spots behind Sam Stosur for Australian #1.
- Kyle Edmund cracks the top 40 for the first time in his career after a semifinal showing in Antwerp.
- With Kuznetsova's Moscow win, Jo Konta will not qualify for the WTA Finals. However, she did win the WTA Most Improved Player title.
- The Zhuhai WTA Elite Trophy field of 12 is set. Defending champion, Venus Williams, will not participate.
- Swedish brothers Elias and Mikael Ymer won their first ATP doubles title, on home turf in Stockholm.
The Body Serve Tennis Podcast
3:00 Kyrgios suspension: warring camps
7:25 Is Nick's perceived apathy the reason so many people are mad?
12:00 What to make of the counselling option? What is the state of mental health in tennis?
21:30 The Swiftian/Trumpesque Media Victory Tour of Maria Sharapova ... where good taste went to die
26:30 James takes you through the details of the Sharapova appeal decision
33:30 Tennis legends invite Maria to WTT charity event, all is forgiven
38:00 Serena's fall swing: Disney World, Color Purple, Formation, NOT Singapore
41:30 Singapore lineup and scenarios
43:00 Big ups to Cibulkova, Wozniacki, Kvitova, Radwanska, Konta, Keys
47:30 Men's fall standouts: Dimitrov, RBA, Murray - can Murray get to no. 1?
51:30 Talking down the Novak slump chatter
54:00 Our faves Venus and Rafa are struggling
This Week In Tennis
Meanwhile, Andy Murray won his second tournament on the trot and Caroline Wozniacki captured her second title in a month. Shuai Peng and Dominika Cibulkova were the other titlists last week. Peng, once ranked as high as #14, won the first title of her career, while Cibulkova clinched a spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore. If you've missed any of the recent action, #ThisWeekInTennis recaps the last week of tennis through tweets, press conferences, articles, podcasts, and rankings.
- Andy Murray continued his tear through the Asian swing with his second title in as many weeks in Shanghai. The world #2 now finds himself within striking distance of Novak Djokovic for the top spot in the ATP rankings, 2415 points behind the Serbian.
- Caroline Wozniacki won the 25th WTA title of her career last week in Hong Kong. The 26-year-old, ranked #74 entering the U.S. Open, continues her resurgence after having won in Tokyo as well last month.
- Dominika Cibulkova wins her third title of 2016 in Linz and qualifies for the WTA Finals in Singapore.
- Serena Williams announced her withdrawal from the WTA Finals in Singapore.
- Shuai Peng won the first WTA singles title of her career in Tianjin. Known for playing with two hands off both wings and making the U.S. Open semifinals in 2014, Peng rises 74 spots to #108 in the latest WTA rankings. She also teamed with Christina McHale to win the doubles title in Tianjin.
- Days after the biggest title of his career, Nick Kyrgios had the biggest meltdown of his career in Shanghai. The fallout: Kyrgios hasbeen suspended by the ATP Tour for eight weeks and fined twice to the tune of $42,500.
- Prior to Serena Williams' withdrawal from the WTA Finals, the eight qualifiers appeared to have been decided. With the world #1's withdrawal, Jo Konta, Suarez Navarro, and Svetlana Kuznetsova all remain in the running for the eighth and final spot.
- Rafael Nadal lost his opening match in Shanghai to Viktor Troicki. The top-ranked Spaniard cast doubt on his participation in ATP events for the remainder of 2016 in his post-match press conference.
- Jack Sock and John Isner won the Shanghai doubles title
- Sania Mirza reaches 80 consecutive weeks as world #1 in doubles.
This Week In Tennis
Amidst the Sharapova frenzy, tennis crowned three high-profile champions last week in Andy Murray, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Nick Kyrgios. It was a big week overall for Brits in tennis; in addition to Murray's title, Jo Konta cracks the top 10 for the first time, while Kyle Edmund makes his maiden leap into the top 50. If you've missed any of the recent action, #ThisWeekInTennis recaps the last week of tennis through tweets, press conferences, articles, podcasts, and rankings.
- Andy Murray won the China Open for the 40th ATP title of his career. Moreover, Murray becomes just the 16th player in the Open Era to capture 40 career ATP titles.
- Agnieszka Radwanska won her 20th career WTA title in Beijing, beating Jo Konta in straight sets. Radwanska is only the fourth active player to win at least three Premier Mandatory titles.
- Johanna Konta becomes only the fourth British woman to crack the WTA top 10 after reaching the final in Beijing. Konta is also the first British woman to do so since 1984.
- Nick Kyrgios beat David Goffin in the final of the Japan Open to win his third title of 2016 and his career.
- Grigor Dimitrov, once ranked as high as #8 in the world, saw his ranking fall to #40 in July this year. With his finals appearance in Beijing, the Bulgarian is now ranked #18.
- David Goffin has held steady in the rankings between 11-20 since May of 2015, rising as high as #11 for seven weeks in the middle of 2016. His finals run in Tokyo leaves him at #12, some 650 points behind Thiem at #10.
- Frances Tiafoe is the fourth teenager ranked inside the ATP top 100 after winning his second ATP Challenger Tour title in Stockton. Tiafoe joins Zverev, Coric, and Fritz.
- Rafael Nadal won the 11th doubles title of his career, alongside Pablo Carrreno Busta. Meanwhile, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won their third event in a row on the WTA Tour.
- Zhang Shuai received a wildcard into the WTA Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai. For a look at the current contenders for the year-end event, click here.
- Serena Williams, off the WTA Tour until the WTA Finals, made an appearance alongside Beyonce onstage at the final concert of the singer's Formation World Tour.
- The second edition of Tie Break Tens will take place in Austria on October 23.
- WADA issued a statement regarding the reduction of Sharapova's suspension while Sharapova's legal team may be readying to sue the ITF.
- The USTA announced that Mary Joe Fernandez will relinquish her role of Fed Cup captain.