Auckland has been full of surprises so far
The New Year has not started out so well for some of the best.
Auckland – 88 unforced errors by Serena Williams led to a 4-6 6-7 (3) 4-6 defeat at the hands of American teenager Madison Brengle. Venus Williams was also forced to retire from her 2nd round match due to injury. Also ousted was Caroline Wozniacki, former world number 1, who lost her quarterfinals match to Goerges 6-1 3-6 4-6.
In Brisbane, Thursday’s play saw seeds 1,2 and 4 ousted in their quarterfinals clashes. During the day, Dominika Cibulkova (ranked 5) lost to Alize Cornet (no. 41) in straight sets. Garbine Muguruza, world number 3, beat Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-4, while Karolina Pliskova (world no. 4, seeded 3) beat Roberta Vinci in 3 close sets 3-6 6-2 6-2. Muguruza has now won more matches against other players in the top 30 this week than she did in all of 2016 after her Roland Garros win.
In the Brisbane night session, a closely fought, 3 set epic between Angelique Kerber and world no. 14 Elina Svitolina saw Svitolina win 6-4 6-3 3-6.
The semifinals for Auckland and Brisbane are now as follows:
SF2: J. Ostenpenko vs L. Davis
SF2: K. Pliskova vs E. Svitolina
The new names in the semifinals lineup may indicate a newer generation is coming up in the WTA tour. Of note, Konjuh and Ostenpenko are 18 and 19 years old.
On the men’s side in Brisbane, things were more predictable, with the quarterfinals clashes to be played being:
QF1: S. Wawrinka vs K. Edmund
QF4: M. Raonic vs R. Nadal
All top seeds made it through the second round except for 6th seed Lucas Pouille, who was defeated by Kyle Edmund (world no. 45), and 8th seed David Ferrer, who was ousted in a nail-biting match by Aussie teenager Jorgan Thompson (ranked 79) 4-6 7-5 7-5.
All these matches will be played on Friday, January 6th.