AO15: What Happened to Her After That Big Upset Win? - UBITENNIS
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AO15: What Happened to Her After That Big Upset Win?



Day 1 of the 2015 Australian Open has to be some record with so many upsets on the women’s draw. By the end of first day’s play, 8 of the top seeds in the bottom half of the draw were ousted; that is half of the 16 that were originally slated there. The unseeded field seemed to have had no respect for the rankings as two of the casualties were well within the top-10. The winners of these upset matches played inspired tennis shocking their opponents into submission.


Upsets are not uncommon at the majors. In fact, they are to be expected. It does not come to mind an instant when the seeded players have progressed within a major according to their rankings when so much prestige, publicity and potential for more money are at stake. The top players are not alone in planning on peaking at these tournaments. It is the random nature of upsets that is so striking as one rarely knows why, when and where they will occur.

What is even more particular about upsets in tennis is that quite often, when a player score an upset particularly a huge one, for example in 2013 when Steven Darcis shocked Rafael Nadal in the 1st round of Wimbledon, that player often loses the next match. In fact, that player often shows up next match looking nothing like the supreme player he/she were the round before. Perhaps it is the over excitement of their victory or the huge media response or mental fatigue. Whatever the case may be, the player finds him/herself on the losing end of things. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to see how these 8 ladies who scored an upset win in the 1st round fared in the 2nd round. That is to say, “What happened to her after that big upset win?

The biggest upset of the tournament so far was that of Ana Ivanovic (5). She above all others was the most unexpected loss as she played so well leading up to this major. As a former finalist here back in 2008 and a major winner herself the same year at the French Open, some gave the Serbian an outside chance of collecting her second major title. However, Lucie Hradecka from the Czech Republic saw to it that Ivanovic would have to pursue that goal at another major event. Hradecka now faced Polona Hercog of Slovenia. Hradecka lost the opening set as did against Ivanovic but again came surging back strong as she won 4-6 6-3 6-2. Hradecka, long considered a doubles specialist, has made it clear after her 1st round victory that she intends to get her singles’ ranking back within the top 50. Winning matches at a major would definitely help in that pursuit.

Hradecka will face in the 3rd round another one of those “upset ladies” in the form of Germany’s Julia Goerges who took out Belinda Bencic (32). Goerges was up against Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic in the 2nd round and led by a set and a break, 6-3 2-1, before becoming unraveled. Koukalova seized the momentum and came back to take the 2nd set to force a third. However, Goerges righted her ship and near ran away with the decisive set as she served for it at 5-0. Koukalova made a desperate bid to stay alive in the match by breaking the German. Goerges performed better on her second bid to serve out the match as she took it 6-3 4-6 6-2.

Irina-Camila Begu of Romania had the second biggest upset on the women’s side when she ousted Angelique Kerber (9) in 3 sets. In her 2nd round match, the Romanian would only need 2 sets to take out Katerina Siniakova 7-5 6-4. She will take on another “upset lady”, Carina Witthoeft of Germany, who knocked out Carla Suarez-Narravo (17) in brilliant fashion 6-3 6-1. As she did in the 1st round, Witthoeft was simply ruthless in her play and she crushed American Christina McHale, 6-3 6-0. Witthoeft dropped only 3 points in the 2nd set.

Two very noticeable dismissals on Monday were that of Lucie Safarova (16) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (27) by Yaroslava Shvedova and Caroline Garcia respectively. Both Shvedova and Garcia won their 2nd round matches in straight sets. Shvedova took out Monica Puig 6-2 7-6 and Garcia beat Stephanie Voegele 6-3 6-4. Shvedova will play Shuai Peng (21) in the next round and Garcia will face Eugenie Bouchard (7).

Yanina Wickmayer who took out Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (23) in three sets, continued the trend of the “upset ladies” winning the next round. She again needed three sets to take out her opponent, Lara Arrubarrena, 6-4 4-6 6-4. Wickmayer will have to dig deep if she wants to make it to the Round of 16 as she would be facing the very formidable Sara Errani (14) in the 3rd round.

Unfortunately, it was not a “perfect storm” for the “upset ladies” as one of the eight did not make it to the 3rd round, Kristina Mladenovic. Mladenovic who beat Sabine Lisicki (28) in the earlier round, found herself up against the charismatic and enigmatic American, Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The two fought it out in two-tough-tiebreaker sets and Mladenovic lost them both. Mattek-Sands will need that same grit and much more if she wishes to beat her next opponent, Simona Halep (3).

Interesting enough, the bottom half on the women’s draw was relatively quiet throughout 2nd round play as there were no upsets on the day. There was a very near upset though as Maria Sharapova (2) had to save many crucial break points as well as two match points against Alexandra Panova who is ranked 150 in the world. Sharapova nonetheless moved through 6-1 4-6 7-5.

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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Ex-No.1 Ash Barty Stands By Retirement Decision



Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Angelique Kerber (GER) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Despite the growing number of players returning to competitive tennis after giving birth, Ash Barty says she is contempt in retirement. 


Barty, who is still only 27 years old, stunned the sport at the start of 2022 when she announced her retirement from the sport just weeks after winning the Australian Open. She has won 15 WTA titles during her career with three of them being at Grand Slam tournaments. She also held the world No.1 spot for 121 weeks and earned more than $23.8M in prize money. 

The Australian returned to the media limelight on Friday by attending a special event to announce the return of the Brisbane International next year. It will be the first time the tournament has been held since the COVID pandemic with the women’s draw being increased from 32 to 48. However, no such changes will be made to the men’s draw. There will be a record prize money pool of AUS$3.1M. 

For those hoping that Barty might have a change of heart and return to competitive action at her home event in Brisbane, they are going to be disappointed. 

“I don’t have the time – I don’t have the time to train, I don’t have the time to prepare, and I have so many great memories out on this court, and now I just get to create new memories,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Barty as saying. 

“I’m certainly not coming out of retirement. Pat (Rafter) may be more likely than me.”

Earlier this year Caroline Wozniacki announced her return to tennis following a three-year retirement from the sport. Despite playing in only two WTA tournaments beforehand, she reached the fourth round of the US Open where she was defeated by Coco Gauff who went on to win the title. Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina returned to the Tour following the birth of her first child and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon. 

Barty has previously said she would like to remain involved in tennis by helping support the rising stars of the game in her home country. Currently, Australia doesn’t have any players in the top 100 on the women’s Tour. In contrast, there are nine Australians in the top 100 on the men’s Tour. 

“It’s depth, you have to play at your top level, you have to be consistent across a 52-week calendar to keep your ranking up with the top of the world,” she said.
“I think it’s exciting for the women’s game, it creates hunger, passion and drive for girls wanting to be the best and knowing there’s an opportunity to take that top spot.
“There’s obviously not as many girls in the top 100 as we would like, but there’s plenty coming through that are learning their craft, developing.
“It takes time to understand how you think you can fit in, how you think you can grow into your play. I’m excited for the next five or 10 years to see where they can get to.”

The Australian tennis season will begin on December 29th with the United Cup. A mixed-team competition that will be held in Sydney and Perth. Two days later, the first singles events in Brisbane and Adelaide will get underway. 

The 2024 Australian Summer of Tennis calendar 

United Cup
Venue: Perth – RAC Arena, Sydney – Ken Rosewall Arena
Group Stage – 29 December 2023 to 5 January 2024
Finals – 6 to 7 January 2024, more details to be announced soon
Category: ATP / WTA international mixed team competition

Brisbane International
31 December 2023 to 7 January 2024
Venue: Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 48 singles / 24 doubles; ATP – 32 singles, 24 doubles

Canberra International
31 December 2023 to 6 January 2024
Venue: Canberra Tennis Centre, Canberra
Category: ATP Challenger 125 / WTA 125
Draw size: ATP – 32 singles, 16 doubles; WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles

Adelaide International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: The Drive, Adelaide
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles; ATP – 28 singles, 24 doubles

Hobart International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: Domain Tennis Centre, Hobart
Category: WTA 250
Draw size: 32 singles, 16 doubles

AO Opening Week, including Australian Open qualifying (8 to 12 January)
8 to 14 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam 
Draw size: Q128 singles

Australian Open
15 to 28 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam
Draw size: 128 singles, 64 doubles 

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The WTA Tour In 2024 Should Be Even Stronger



Cori Gauff - Australian Open 2023 (Twitter @AustralianOpen)

To Aryna Sabalenka, every shot seems to be a go-for-it.


The two Grand Slam champions in Sunday’s U.S. Open men’s final would say, “Thank you” for a similar approach by their opponent. But Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev don’t play that game often.

They play to win. Sabalenka didn’t, although she wanted so badly to earn her second Grand Slam title this year.


Coco Gauff also played to win, once she got past a one-sided first set. Sabalenka kept going for it, and the world’s new No. 1 player paid the price in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to young Coco Gauff.

So, what happens now? Obviously, Sabalenka and Gauff will lead the way as the best women’s players in the game . . . for now.

Where does French Open champ and former world’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek fit? Wimbledon titlist Marketa Vondrousova, Jessica Pegula, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and yes, Karolina Muchova fit into WTA Tour stars led by Sabalenka and Gauff?


The 2024 women’s season is sure to be an exciting one. Any of these eight players could turn out to be superstars by this time next year.

Or it might be that there are simply too many equals in the women’s game, or maybe not enough stability at the top of the game. Superstars are important to a tour.

What would the ATP Tour have looked like without Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal all winning Grand Slams about the same time?

Gauff has been amazing since returning from Europe to the U.S., going 16-0 in the U.S. and suffering her only loss in Canada to doubles partner Pegula.


Gauff is projected to climb three spots in the WTA rankings to No. 3.

But Saturday was the dream come true for the 19-year-old. She simply outplayed the hard-hitting Sabalenka in the last two sets.

Just as Medvedev’s victory over Carlos Alcaraz was set up by Medvedev’s amazing defense, running down practically everything Alcaraz had to offer, Gauff’s victory was secured by her ability to repeatedly chase down what looked like Sabalenka winners.

Gauff usually kept running down Sabalenka’s missiles until the Belarussian missed the court.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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