Sunday, 23 October 2016

Kyrgios out but Dasha doing Oz proud

At the start of 2016 Nick Kyrgios and Dasha Gavrilova won the Hopman Cup for Australia.
The hope was for successful years for the two on the tennis courts of the world, and for Nick less of the off court controversy experienced in 2015.

While Kyrgios had enjoyed a terrific year, winning three titles on the ATP Tour, capped off with the Japan Open a couple of weeks ago, he destroyed his chances of a top ten finish to 2016, and worse, he took many steps backwards reputation wise with his behaviour in Shanghai a week later.

He received a fine which was virtually pocket money, but a suspension, effectively ending his season, at last adequately penalised his underlying problem.  Hopefully he can address his issues because his talent should be realised, not wasted.

Dasha, meanwhile, has posted some memorable wins this year, but waited until late in the year to string several together in successive tournaments. Right now she is playing some of the best tennis of her career.  She should be the face of Australian tennis at the moment, now that Nick is sidelined and Sam Stosur is desperately out of form.

In the Kremlin Cup, the locals were pleased when Sveta Kuznetsova, top seed, made it through to the final.  They were not too displeased that Gavrilova became her opponent, despite all the other Russian players in the draw, including seventh seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who lost to Dasha in the quarters.  After all, Dasha is Russian born herself.

After a promising start to her first WTA final, Gavrilova was thrashed by the Dual GS champion, Kuznetsova winning 12 of the last 13 games to claim the title 6-2 6-1.
The men's final in Moscow will be contested between 6th seed Pablo Carreno Busta and unseeded Fabio Fognini.  The Italian has already knocked out three seeds: Lorenzi (7) in the second round, Ramos-Vinolas (2) in the quarters and Kohlschreiber (3) in the semis.

In Antwerp, unseeded Diego Schwartzman has dismissed fourth seed Pablo Cuevas and top seed David Goffin en route to the final, where he will meet third seed Richard Gasquet.
The Stockholm finale also features an unseeded player, but this one is not unexpected.  Juan Martin Del Potro has not dropped a set, and eliminated third seed Ivo Karlovic and second seed Grigor Dimitrov to book his shot at the title against Jack Sock.  The American 6th seed ousted fourth seed Alexander Zverev in a top class three set semi final.

Top seed Petra Kvitova is gunning for a second title in a short space of time - her Luxembourg run has seen her make the final against unseeded Monica Niculescu.  Romanian Niculescu was lucky to be given a walkover from Caro Wozniacki in the quarter finals, but her straight sets win over third seed Kiki Bertens in the semi final proved that she deserved her spot in the final.

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