WTA Stuttgart is over for another year, the best always begin their clay court season here and we have been left with plenty of talking points in the road to Roland Garros.
I would say the withdrawal of Halep (pre-tournament) and Osaka (before semi-finals) is purely precautionary. I don’t think there is an underlying issue with Halep just tiredness and maybe a niggle following an emotional weekend in Rouen.
Halep posted on Twitter practicing on clay a day after her pulling out and asking Stan for backhand tips.
I don’t think there will be too much of a physical concern going into Madrid but maybe for Osaka as this injury was more unknown it will be interesting how it holds up but there is a week until Madrid so I’m sure both will be fine.
Pressure on Pliskova?
For me no one played better consistently in the first 6 weeks of the season than Pliskova but she performed like a player solely focusing on defending a title. Take nothing away from Vika at all for an incredible performance but Pliskova was not at top gear she just seemed to take her foot off the pedal when she was in positions to strike.
Kiki in contention
Never rule out Kiki Bertens. I felt her performances in Stuttgart showed her usual grit over the course of the next few weeks I hope she builds on it. I always find Stuttgart is a platform for players to make some noise and Kiki did that.
Petra Kvitova with another title, she is the form player this year and without her coach this week orchestrated herself to an impressive tournament win and now goes to Madrid where no one has won more than Petra to defend her title…
Runner up in Stuttgart, Anett has found some form and her explosive tennis has earned her some impressive wins but Petra had a bit too much for her in the final. Anett has come on from just having a big forehand and now has backed it up with the backhand and could be one to watch over the clay season and in particular on the grass I’d hope.