Saturday, 25 February 2017

Kerber loses edge since US Open

 Angie Kerber, since ascending to number one in the world, following her US Open win in September 2016, has struggled with the pressure of being ranked up there.  Her results since Flushing Meadows have been round of 16 in both Wuhan and Beijing, quarter final in Hong Kong, and losing finalist in the year end WTA Finals, before this year - quarter final in Brisbane, and round of sixteen in Sydney, Aus Open and Doha.  Sydney and Doha were second round losses but only because Angie received byes to reach that point.

Before Dubai Kerber had a 4-4 win loss record in 2017, yet a tournament win in the UAE would see her propelled back to number one in the world, such is the nature of a rolling 12 month points aggregate method of ranking determination.

Angie made it through to the semi final, ending the quality run of Ana Konjuh, but ran into a red hot Elina Svitolina, who stretched her winning streak against Kerber to three with her 6-3 7-6 performance.

Elina will play Caroline Wozniacki in the final, after the Danish Delight cruised through to her second final in as many weeks, crushing Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets.

The Marseille semi finals are established - Richard Gasquet will take on Lucas Pouille after toppling top seed Gael Monfils in three sets, ensuring at least one French finalist.
Defending champion Nick Kyrgios will attempt to deny the southern French fans an all home nation final as he battles Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the other semi final.
Both had easy quarter final victories.

In Rio de Janeiro, top seed Kei Nishikori lost to Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the first round.  Thomaz could not keep it going for the locals though, and it was 18 year old Norwegian wildcard Casper Ruud who snuck through to take the semi final spot which was expected to be Nishikori's.  
Ruud will make the final should he beat fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, the Spaniard having won through after Alexandr Dolgopolov retired one game into the third set of their quarter final.

The other semi final features the second seed Austrian Dominic Thiem against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, both players yet to surrender a set this week, the Spanish fifth seed only willing to give away twelve games in total.

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