Back with another Weekly Awards to round-up the action of the Premier event in Doha this week. Elise Mertens came out as a surprise champion after three top ten victories for her biggest title in her career, but who came up tops in the on-court and off-court accolades for this week? Read on…
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Elise Mertens, wow! Coming back from a set down and recovering from an 18-point winning streak that Simona Halep had in the middle of the first and the second set, the Belgian secured the biggest title of her career with a 3-6 6-4 6-3 victory. Huge kudos to Mertens because I don’t think many had expected this result. Mertens beat Katerina Siniakova, Kristyna Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber and Halep enroute to a first Premier trophy. Not too shabby, eh? Mertens looked like she was a little low on self-belief at the start of the season but this run will definitely boost her confidence level heading into the next few big tournaments aka Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.
SURPRISE PACKAGE OF THE WEEK
This young 22-year old previously proved her potential on the big stage at the US Open last year, beating Dayana Yastremska and Garbine Muguruza before falling to Ash Barty in a tight-two setter. Muchova has definitely proven that it wasn’t a fluke after she produced solid displays this week to outlast Samantha Stosur and the tricky Hsieh Su-Wei, before suffering a tight defeat to Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals. Muchova definitely has a lot of talent, most notably the heavy forehand, backhand slice and great touch at the end, though she’ll definitely need a little more time before she can piece it all together. Muchova’s closing in on a top-100 debut and sooner or later we’ll definitely be seeing this fun Czech player on the big stages.
BIGGEST UPSET OF THE WEEK
Elise Mertens d. Angelique Kerber
Not sure if this can be considered as an upset? Nevertheless, with the decimation of the seeds before the tournament even started, Elise Mertens’ victory over No.3 seed Angelique Kerber should be the only worthy winner of this accolade. It wasn’t that surprising at all considering Kerber’s form this week has been absolutely terrible, but then again Mertens hasn’t been playing that well ever since Cincinnati, so definitely a great win for the Belgian to make it to her first Premier final.
Blinkova d. Sevastova
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK
For the second straight Weekly Awards Angelique Kerber nabs the biggest disappointment of the week award! Considering her terrible play throughout this week, it was a miracle that Kerber was able to make it to the semifinals – her first SF since Wimbledon actually. Kerber’s wins over Anett Kontaveit and Barbora Strycova were totally fortuitous considering her lack of energy during majority of those matches, and right now it seems like it’s 2017 all over again for Angie Don’t. think it’s time to hit the panic button for Kerber just yet but that serve seriously needs some improvement going forward.
BEST MATCH OF THE WEEK
Simona Halep vs Elina Svitolina
There was a lot of long rallies in this Halep-Svitolina battle and when I say a lot, I do mean a lot. The first two sets were alright with both players securing relatively one-sided sets each. Third set and it was Svitolina playing totally peak tennis in the beginning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Svitolina playing this aggressively as she closed down the net, smacked backhand and forehands up the line with complete authority to secure a 4-1 lead. Svitolina even had three break points for a 5-1 lead but it was Halep who secured the hold in a mammoth game that turned out to be the deciding factor of the match. There were definitely nerves for Svitolina who suddenly turned a little relaxed and passive and you can’t do that against a quality player like Halep. Five straight games and it was Simona who reached her first final of the year in the end. A quality match and a third set full of drama and tension.
Halep vs Goerges
Mertens vs Halep
BEST OCC OF THE WEEK
Mihaela Buzarnescu had a lot of thoughts on her mind during an OCC in her first round loss to Jelena Ostapenko in Doha. Buzarnescu’s currently on a ten-match losing streak…
BEST SCORELINE OF THE WEEK
Barbora Strycova vs Anna Blinkova
Last week in St.Petersburg we had Ostapenko beating Kiki Mladenovic 6-1 0-6 6-0… More bagels were dished out in Doha, this time in a form of a bagel sandwich when Barbora Strycova defeated Anna Blinkova 6-0 3-6 6-0. Strycova bringing out the craziness with match scorelines too!
BEST SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT OF THE WEEK
More Strycova in the post as she brings out the laughs with her inability to put her feet on the ground in those large chairs 😂
Thanks for reading! Dubai starts today so my predictions can be found here or at the top of the page…