2014 was a very good year for Ernests Gulbis. He won two titles both in France and despite winning these two titles his best tennis in my opinion came at the French Open where he beat Berdych and Federer in style. Finishing the year ranked 13th on the tour we expected Gulbis to continuing improving this year but the opening couple of months have been pretty poor as he hasn’t even won a match this year with a win/loss ratio of 0-5 which is worrying. I would only say the match that has been close is the match against Kokkinakis which the promising Australian won 8-6 in the 5th set.
With it being Davis Cup weekend next weekend there are no ATP tournaments coming up but surprisingly I’ve noticed Gulbis isn’t playing for Latvia in their Davis Cup tie against Bulgaria. After Davis Cup weekend it doesn’t get easier for Gulbis as we have a couple of Masters 1000 events taking place which means all the big players are out to play in Indian Wells starting on the 9th of March followed by Miami a couple of weeks later.
Angelique Kerber splits with coach!
It’s not really been a year to remember so far for Kerber. She is one of a few players who haven’t found any momentum yet this year and going into March has a win/loss ratio of 7/7. Just this week in Qatar she didn’t have the best opening round match as she lost eventual finalist Victoria Azarenka and needs the luck of the draw just to get a couple of wins going however her losses to Begu at the Australian Open and Schiavone in Antwerp were a big surprise. She has announced via Facebook that she has split from her coach who she has been with for a couple of years and it will be interesting to see the next step she takes but needs to be winning matches quickly.
Interesting fact – Kerber has won two sets of tennis by the score line 6-0 this year against Garbine Muguruza and Irina-Camelia Begu but she has also lost both of those matches…
Swiss Stars Ditch Davis Cup
Davis Cup is around the corner and after winning it last year Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka will not be featuring for Switzerland this time round. I think this is the problem with having it every year is that it loses its meaning. Imagine, The Football World Cup being every year? You’d start to get fed up with it. I was disappointed to see Switzerland win the competition actually. It’s a team game where four players are chosen and I believe all four players should play. In their four matches in 2014 leading up to winning the tournament Federer and/or Wawrinka played in 15 out of the 16 matches with only Lammer playing when the tie was won but Chiudinelli did play doubles with Wawrinka but they were 2-0 up.
Davis Cup for me is a team game and I know you should play to your strength but just to play the same two players for most of the matches is disappointing. Now that they have won the tournament they aren’t playing now which makes me think it was about winning it for the team, for the country but simply as a personal achievement. This is why I believe having it every year make the tournament less valid.
Is Aga’s struggles this year a major surprise?
I’m a big fan of Agnieszka Radwanska but over the last couple of years I haven’t seen much improvement in her game. I was pleasantly surprised by the way she played at the WTA finals and I was hoping to see improvement but we haven’t. At the start of the year she hired Martina Navratilova to her coaching team but we haven’t seen much improvement yet and I hope we get to see it soon. Part of Aga’s game which does need improving is her serve and she could do with a bit more depth and power on shots as against big hitters she does a lot of the time gets rolled over.
When I look at the players she has lost to this season, I don’t see them as a surprise. Muguruza (x2) Venus Williams (x2) Sharapova and Kuznetsova are the players to beat her. I lost Garbine and even though on paper it looked good for Radwanska I wasn’t surprised to see her lose this one. I want to see her improve under Martina’s guidance and I believe she will but at the moment even though having a win/loss for 2015 of 6/6 so far this year I’m not that surprised.
Could Marion Bartoli Return?
Not long after winning Wimbledon Marian Bartoli announced her retirement from the sport a couple of years ago however the rumour mills have begun after she said on Twitter a couple of days ago…
@bartoli_marion “Coming back or not coming back to #tennis? What do you think? Should I? Donnez moi votre avis retour ou pas au #tennis
This tweet from Marion could possibly mean she’s considering a return to the WTA tour which would be magnificent! Since tweeting this on the 2nd of March Marion is yet to tweet again but has hundreds of replies with either ‘Yes’ or Come back’ showing how tennis fans all over the world feel about a potential return. I suppose it will be a sit and wait job to see what happens next?
Nicole Vaidisova is back!
At the age of 20 years old Nicole Vaidisova retired from tennis as she was apparently fed up with the sport. As a 17 year old in 2007 she reached a career high ranking of 7 in the world and by the time she retired had 6 WTA titles to her name and was well on her way to becoming a great player. She reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the French Open at such a young age and looked set to become a big player on the tour but then retired in 2010. Late last year she came back to tennis in September time. This week she did qualify for the WTA tournament in Monterrey and in the first round came up against a player she hasn’t played against in a long long time in Ana Ivanovic who beat her 6-1 7-6. Vaidisova once beat Ivanovic back in 2007 in Sydney and their most memorable meeting was an epic Wimbledon quarter final which Ana Ivanovic won from a set down in 2007. Nicole is currently 370 in the world and will take a lot of hard work to get back to where she once was, where could she be now if she didn’t retire?