Sunday, 8 January 2017

Djokovic and Pliskova sound warnings

In all of the four titles - three WTA and 1 ATP - decided in 2017 so far, the top seed has failed to prevail.  And the two finals to be played today do not feature the number one seed.

In Doha overnight, the number one was upstaged by the previous world dominator in what could be just the first of many encounters this year between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on the final day of tournaments.
Djokovic barely survived his semi final, but was switched on for the bigger occasion, proving too clean and precise, forcing Murray into defensive mode more often than he had been used to of late, with the serve working a treat.
The set was Serbian 6-3, and when he broke in the seventh game of the second and had match points serving at 5-4, it came as a surprise that Murray was able to storm back with apparent ease to win three straight games and tie the match at a set all.

Set three once again saw Djokovic break in the seventh game but this time he was able to serve out the match at 5-4, and the statistical world number two put forward his first real argument in 2017 for standing as world's best with a solid 6-3 5-7 6-3 victory, successfully defending his 2016 Doha title.

Last night in Brisbane, Karolina Pliskova effectively destroyed any of Alize Cornet's title hopes with a withering first set performance.  6-0, losing only two points on her serve - Cornet won just three points on her delivery.  
To the French players credit, she competed well in set two, but Pliskova's standard of tennis remained irresistible or just a touch under, at worst.
What may concern the Czech number one is her first serve percentage which dipped as low as 45% in the second set, and this is where Cornet was able to win her way into several more points, albeit never threatening to reach a break point.  The win was secured 6-0 6-3.  Back to number five in the world for Pliskova.  Cornet up 10 spots to 31.

While Karolina is in such control of her game that she can compete strongly on the back of even her second serve, come the serious end of major tournaments she won't have the same luxury.

More Czech success, this time in Shenzhen, China, as 20 year old Katerina Siniakova followed the lead of Lauren Davis this week in winning her first WTA title.  The unseeded player defeated American eighth seed Alison Riske in straight sets, completing a memorable tournament which saw her claim wins over top ten players Simona Halep and Johanna Konta along the way.
The future for the Czech Fed Cup team, so dominant in recent years, seems assured for many more campaigns.  Hopefully Petra Kvitova can recover fully to rejoin the team at some stage.

No comments:

Post a Comment