Break Points is a roundup of tennis news, videos, links, and tweets. If you have something you think we should include, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year, everyone! All the best from the Changeover crew.
- Auckland (R1): Ana Konjuh d. (1) Roberta Vinci, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Konjuh is 16 years old, and this was her first ever WTA main draw match. You might want to start paying attention to that name, even if Konjuh did lose in her very next match to American Lauren Davis.
- Auckland (R1): (Q) Sharon Fichman d. (4) Sorana Cirstea, 6-1, 6-4
Great way to start the season, Sorana! This is the second year in a row that Brodie’s favorite leaves Auckland after just one match. Last year she retired midway through her first rounder against Heather Watson.
- Brisbane (R2): Marin Cilic d. (5) Grigor Dimitrov, 7-5, 7-5
Dimitrov was the runner-up last year (lost to Murray) in Brisbane, but his ranking won’t suffer much, since he now gets to count his semifinal points from Bastad (90) to offset the 130 he loses here.
- Chennai (R1): (Q) Alexander Kudryavtsev d. Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Last year’s surprise finalist in Chennai crashes in the first round, causing the inevitable rankings tumble. The 150 points he got from that event last year amount to almost 19% of his total points. His highest point haul from any other event last year was just 90 (Stuttgart)
- Doha (R2): Florian Mayer d. Andy Murray, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Time to remember that recovery from back surgeries is rarely straightforward.
- Doha (R2): Daniel Brands d. David Ferrer, 6-4, 7-5
Last year, Brands came roaring through the qualies to make the semifinals in Doha (lost to Gasquet), but the highest ranked player he beat on his way there was No. 32 Jeremy Chardy. Way more impressive to take out the World No. 3 this year.
- Doha (R2): Gaël Monfils d. (5) Richard Gasquet, 6-2, 7-5
There were reports of a Gasquet back injury ahead of his first round match, so that’s another injury to monitor.
- Shenzhen (R2): Vania King d. (2) Sara Errani, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3
Fantastic win for King, and a disappointing loss for the overachieving Italian.
- Shenzhen (R2): Barbora Zahlavova Strycova d. (7) Zheng Jie, 6-0, 7-6 (6)
The locals were probably not too amused by that one.
News and Links:
Andy Murray’s pre-event presser from Doha is now available on ASAP Sports, and it includes a lot of details about his rehabilitation process after his back surgery. It also includes a little bit of foreshadowing:
Q. Tomorrow you face a player from Qatar. What expectations do you have from tomorrow’s match?
ANDY MURRAY: That’s quite a hard question, because I know he lost 6‑Love, 6‑Love to a couple of British guys a few weeks ago, so I would expect to win the match.
I haven’t seen him play before, but I’ll obviously see on the court tomorrow.
Andy did end up beating the wildcard from Qatar 6-0, 6-0 in less than 40 minutes.
Ryan Sweeting got married:
“Fire and ice parties combines elements of light and dark and require that ladies either wear white or red, while the guys can opt for red or white ties.
And Kaley and Ryan certainly went all out with the decorations for their wedding. As well as fire-breathing entertainers, there were also characters on stilts who entertained the 150 friends and family invited to the ceremony.”
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is not too pleased with the reports that the Australian Open courts are supposed to be faster this year:
British reporter Barry Flatman asked Rafael Nadal his thoughts on reports that the courts at the upcoming Australian Open are said to have been made very fast, Rafa came up with a highly unscripted response: “Shit!”
That’s right — it just flew right out of his mouth.
If you want to keep up with the mounting list of injuries on this very young season, Courtney Nguyen has you covered:
“Serving probably is … the worst,” Wozniacki told reporters in Brisbane, “but for me, right now I just need some good physio, good treatment, and my head is still in Sydney. I’ve been working really well and hard in this off‑season with no problems. I wanted to start of the year well. That’s why I made the decision to withdraw from here, just because I didn’t feel like there was a need to make it worse before going into the [Australian] Open as well.”
Also, Wozzilroy now has a very big official ring to it:
Happy New Year everyone! Rory and I started 2014 with a bang! … I said YES!!!! pic.twitter.com/J7c2pXgsdC
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) December 31, 2013
Tennis on Twitter:
— Genny SS (@genny_ss) December 31, 2013
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) December 31, 2013
Happy new year guys and girls! Hope 2014 works out well for you all.. best wishes from doha pic.twitter.com/EopTA08UjC
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) December 31, 2013
Seeds 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 are out of #Doha Rafa and Gulbis are the only two seeds remaining and they face off tomorrow!
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) January 1, 2014
— Sergiy Stakhovsky (@Stako_tennis) January 1, 2014