Great Britain Fed Cup Group Drawn
Great Britain have been drawn against Ukraine, Turkey and Liechtenstein in the Fed Cup. A British team picked by Judy Murray the Fed Cup captain for Team GB will face a tough test against Ukraine but the other ties against Turkey and Liechtenstein are certainly winnable and should be favourite to win. Heather Watson, Johanna Konta, Ana Smith and Jocelyn Rae have been picked to represent Team GB in February and there is no room for Laura Robson who continues her comeback from surgery and is set to begin on the ITF circuit next month so won’t play the tie’s between the 4th and 7th of February.
Probably the most difficult tie will be against Ukraine. Ukraine’s main threat is Elina Svitolina who recently got to the quarter finals of Brisbane but fell short against Maria Sharapova after a late rally from 6-4 3-0 down against Kerber she managed to turn the tables and win. I’m a big fan of Svitolina, with the talk always being about Bouchard on the tour she has gone under the radar and looks to have a good future ahead of her and it will be interesting to see her and potentially Heather play in Fed Cup.
Turkey & Liechtenstein
I have to be honest I don’t really know too much about these two countries or their players. Having done some research Turkey’s highest ranked player on the WTA tour is Cagla Buyukakcay who is ranked 136th on the tour. Cagla has won 6 ITF tournaments and last year won a tournament in Edgbaston but has never been in a main draw of a Grand Slam but came close last year getting to the third round of qualifying at the French Open.
Stephanie Vogt is Liechtenstein is currently ranked at 170 in the world but was ranked as high as 134 last season. Stephanie has 11 ITF titles to her name and also has 1 WTA doubles title to her name which she won in 2013 with Yanina Wickmayer. Stephanie has a good record at Fed Cup for Liechtenstein with a win/loss ratio of 20/10 which is very good and will be the player to watch out for in the tie.
James Ward into Australian Open Main Draw!
Great Britain’s James Ward is into the main draw of the Australian Open due to the withdrawal of US Open champion Marin Cilic. Marin joins Tsonga, Stepanek and Rosol on the withdrawn list. Not to have to go through qualifying is great news for James as it can take it out of you before the main tournament has even begun and James can have a couple more days to prepare for his first match.
Jamie Murray wins 1st title of 2015
Great Britain’s Jamie Murray and Australian team mate John Peers have won their first title of the tennis season at their first tournament of the year in Brisbane. At this time of the season you find a lot of singles players playing on the doubles tour to get going again and Murray and Peers on their way to lifting their first title of the year had to beat teams with Milos Raonic, Bernard Tomic, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Alexandar Dolgopolov and Kei Nishikori in to lifting the title. Winning the title is a massive way to start the season and gives Leon Smith (Britain’s Davis Cup Captain) something to think about for the tie v the USA in March.
Aljaz Bedine isn’t one of the well-known names but he is currently applying for a British passport and could change his alliance to Britain and feature in Davis Cup matches in the future. To get through qualifying and do well in the main draw of any tournament is tough and Bedine certainly had a very good week in Chennai. After coming through qualifying on his way to the final he beat Lacko, Feliciano Lopez, Garcia-Lopez and Bautista Agut but sadly lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final but can take a lot of positives from a very good week!
Radwanska and Janowicz win the Hopman Cup
Agnieszka Radwanska and Jerzy Janowicz have won the Hopman Cup against Team USA in style. Aga won her match against Serena but then Janowicz slipped up against Isner but they came through the mixed doubles match to win the first Hopman Cup title for Poland.
Halep, Venus and Maria all victorious on week one
There is no better way to starting a year than with winning a title and that is what Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova did. Simona had a pretty easy week winning the title against Bacsinszky Shenzhen winning the match 6-2 6-2, her ninth title on the WTA Tour in nineteen months. Venus Williams had an excellent week in Auckland and won her 46th title on the WTA tour. On her way to the final she beat Nara, Vesnina and Lauren Davis before coming from a set down against Caroline Wozniacki to win the final 2-6 6-3 6-3.
Maria Sharapova up until the final had a pretty easy week in Brisbane winning all her matches quite easily but faced a tough test in Ana Ivanovic who fought tremendously hard throughout the whole match.
1000 wins and counting…
Roger Federer has made history again, not only did he win title number 83 in his career at the weekend but also won his 1000th match on the ATP Tour. The achievement is one that every player can dream of reaching in their career. Roger won his first match on the tour in September 1998 where he beat Guillaume Raoux and his 500th victory came against David Ferrer a player he has never lost to beating him 16 times without reply. He can certainly overtake Ivan Lendl’s record of 1071 victories on the tour but surely Jimmy Connors’ 1253 wins is out of reach?
Brit Jonathan Marray has had a good week over in Chennai claiming his first doubles title of 2015 like Jamie Murray did in Brisbane. Jonathan who of course was part of the team that won Wimbledon was paired with Lu Yen-hsun.