Serena made the trip to San Jose but she clearly wasn’t ready to play and I am pleased to see she has left Montreal well alone. She has confirmed since that she is suffering from postpartum depression, so it is important to focus on herself. She dropped a tweet hours before her match last week, which gave an inkling about how she was feeling before suffering the heaviest loss of her illustrious career at the hands of Jo Konta. Muguruza and Keys withdrew after the draw with arm and wrist injuries respectively. Mihaela Buzarnescu ended up winning her first title and this isn’t before time, she deserves it. She has been superb in the last few months across all surfaces and here she beat Elise Mertens and then thumped Maria Sakkari 6/1 6/0 in the final. Sakkari had beaten Venus in the last 8. Poor old Vika Azarenka looked to be getting into some form before picking up a wrist injury against Danielle Collins, also in the quarters.
Caroline Wozniacki withdrew from Washington with an arm injury and when second-seeded Sloane Stephens lost to Andrea Petkovic it was all up for grabs. It was Svetlana Kuznetsova who ended up taking out Donna Vekic in the final. It was the talented Russians first title of the campaign and it has been too long since we have seen her in the winner’s enclosure, she is such a classy operator. Belinda Bencic is showing signs of decent form, but she will be disappointed with the manner of how she lost the final set breaker against Petkovic in the quarters.
It has been a while since Sascha Zverev showed his class, he was top-seed on the fast American hardcourts of Washington and he obliged, his first title in three months. Kei Nishikori gave him a game in the quarters but Zverev had too much, he then really upped it against Stefanos Tsitsipas and again, against Alex De Minaur in the final. Two of his younger rivals that he has asserted his dominance over. The Greek lad, Tsistipas once again showed what a bright future he has by making the semis, ousting David Goffin en route. He has so much maturity for a 19-year-old and a full range of shots, I can’t say it enough. De Minaur and Rublev benefited from Isner’s fatigue and Edmunds loss to Muzza. The pressure telling on the younger Brit as he was expected to win by a large chunk of ‘judges’. Muzza will be pleased to get three wins behind him here (McDonald, Edmund and Copil). This was before succumbing with exhaustion and pulling out of his last 8 match with De Minaur and then Toronto this week. Rublev made the semis before losing a three-hour encounter to De Minaur who showed his retrieval skills, the 19-year-old had little left to give against the overpowering Zverev in the final as a result though.
The top two seeds went head to head in the final of Los Cabos as Fabio Fognini (2) took the first hard court title of his career by impressively beating Juan Martin Del Potro 6/4 6/2. This was a surprise just how easily the Italian did it but it was never in doubt after the first set. Fognini dropped his only set in his opener against Quentin Halys and also beat Cameron Norrie in the semis. Another great effort from Nozza who made his third ATP Tour semi-final, adding Feli Lopez and Mannarino to his list of casualties. Defending champion Sam Querrey surprisingly lost to Egor Gerasimov in the second round. Oh, and loving the hairdo Fabio. Big fan!
Pictures taken from Fabio Fognini’s (@fabiofogna) Instagram page.
Martin Klizan won the clay-court event in Kitzbuhel. When he gets on a roll he really proves a tough nut to crack. Having got through qualifying, he got better as the event went on. Klizan took out top-seeded Dominic Thiem in the second round (Thiem later pulled out of the doubles with a shoulder injury). The Slovakian has now won 6/6 finals at ATP level. He has always been a top player on his day, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise as he is a much better player than his ranking currently suggests. He beat Denis Istomin in the final, who had a good week himself playing very aggressively on his least favourite surface, taking out Kohlschreiber and then Nicolas Jarry in the semis. Jarry has now lost back to back semi-finals and will be looking to address this soon as
Andy Del Potro