Kvitova Too Hot at Hopman; Kanepi Titles; Tennis-X Notes
by Staff | January 7th, 2012
  • 43 Comments

Kanepi Wins 1st Crown of 2012 at WTA Brisbane

Last year’s Brisbane title was the launch pad for now-world No. 2 Petra Kvitova, and it could well be the same this year for Kaia Kanepi, the 26-year-old from Estonia who steamrolled former Top 10er Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-1 in the all-unseeded final of the Brisbane International in Australia.


Always considered a stunning if uneven talent, Kanepi during the week upset No. 7 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with a first-set bagel, No. 2 seed Andrea Petkovic in the quarterfinals, then in the semis toppled No. 3 seed Francesca Schiavone with a bagel in the second set.
 
“In previous years I’ve been a surprise player — I was able to beat higher-ranked players, but then maybe lose to lower-ranked players,” Kanepi said. “Now I’m playing more stable, not making as many errors. I’m beating top players more consistently. Hopefully I can get that ranking myself one day.”

The No. 34-ranked Kanepi entered the final 0-3 career versus Hantuchova. She improved to 2-3 in career finals, while Hantuchova dropped to 4-9.
 
“If Kaia can do this week in week out, she can be in the Top 10 very soon,” Hantuchova said.

Hot-Handed Kvitova Leads Czechs to 1st Hopman Cup Crown in 18 Years

World No. 2 Petra Kvitova’s mojo cannot be stopped. The winner of the WTA year-end championship and the Fed Cup for the Czech Republic to end 2011, Kvitova teamed with countryman Tomas Berdych to win the Hopman Cup this week to start 2012, defeating France 2-0 in the final on Saturday in Perth, Australia.

The Czechs failed to drop a set in the final as Kvitova defeated France’s Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1, and Berdych beat Richard Gasquet 7-6 (0), 6-4. The Czechs didn’t lose a singles match through the event and four team matches.

It was the first Hopman Cup victory for the Czech Republic since 1994 when Jana Novotna and Petr Korda beat Germany in the final. France is now 0-2 in Hopman Cup final appearances in 18 years competing at the event.

Kvitova defeated world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki en route to the final, while Berdych had a Top 10 win over American Mardy Fish.

“It couldn’t be better, it was a great week,” Berdych said. “I think that was the best final that we could have come up with.”

 
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS

PRO TENNIS INJURY-A-RAMA CAN’T BE STOPPED — Want an answer for the injury problems in tennis nowadays? Super-racquets and super strings. Look at some film from the pre-Babolat and pre-Big Banger string days, and look at how much more reaction time players had. Nowadays the ball moves like a video game, and the stress on players’ bodies to jerk around and react faster is too much. The injuries are only going to get worse and more frequent. But who will have the balls to step in (like the PGA did with square-groove clubs) and say stop the technology madness? The ATP? The ITF? Good luck, none of them have the cojones to tell industry-movers Wilson and Babolat to tone it down. It’s a sport out of control right now. Even from a recreational player standpoint, the things you can do to the ball with these super racquets and super string is a joke. If you could in 2012 transport a top-ranked 12-year-old player back in time to play Chris Evert with a wood racquet, the 12-year-old would win in straight sets hitting 35 winners.

MISC
In Brisbane at her first tournament of the year, Serena Williams turned the post-match interview room into a therapy session, sounding like she’s not quite sure why she’s still playing: “I don’t love tennis today but I am here — I can’t live without it so I am still here. It was never that I have fallen out of love with it — I have actually never liked sports. I have never understood how I became an athlete — I don’t like working out. Anything that involves sitting down or shopping I am excellent at that…I just want to be able to do other things I am doing and expand on that. I think that will help keep my motivation up. I have always been preparing myself for life after tennis.”…The WTA Copenhagen event, held shortly before the French Open, has scrapped plans to switch from hard to claycourts as too costly. World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki has won the event two years running and will reportedly be back in 2012…Serena defaults her QF match at Brisbane with an ankle sprain, answering the question if the oft-injured, oft-overweight, oft-I-don’t-even-like-training former No. 1 can consistently contend in 2012. Unless she gets her stomach stapled after retiring, you have to wonder just how big Serena will get after the tennis workouts stop…Sabine Lisicki dropped out of Auckland with a back injury…Thomas Muster has gone into the wine-making business. “When I went back to Austria I was looking for property. I grew up in this area and I knew these vineyards and property and the streets around it,” he told CNN of the Hochkittenberg wine estate he bought off a church diocese in 2004. “It’s all about the Styrian wines, it’s about white wines — 85 or 90% of our produce is white wine or white grapes. It’s one of the best sauvignon areas in the world. It’s still undiscovered here, that’s what we like about it, but I think in the next few years people are going to find out where this is.” Tommy Moo has some wine for you…Maria Sharapova is a mystery for the Aussie Open after skipping Brisbane and a potential Hobart wildcard due to a bad ankle…Roger Federer pulled from the Doha semifinals against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga citing a back injury that bothered him during his previous quarterfinal…Kim Clijsters injured her hip and pulled from the Brisbane semifinals…During week one of the tennis season, AFP did a nice story contrasting former No. 1 Serena “I don’t really even like tennis” Williams playing in Brisbane, while at the Hopman Cup, Demark’s No. 236-ranked Frederik “I can’t believe I’m playing here!” Nielsen competed for the first time, enjoying a $45K appearance fee. “This is the biggest stage I have ever played on, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” said the 28-year-old, who afterwards will go back to playing satellite and challenger events. “They take such good care of us players and to be able to play on a stage like that, in front of a great crowd, it’s big for me. It’s a big pleasure, it really is. I know that next week it’s back to reality and I’m ‘Joe Nobody’ again. So I really appreciate every second here.”…Ed McGrogan of Tennis.com: “No matter who wins it all, we know one thing: Serena will find a way to be the story — and probably will until she calls it quits, like it or not.”…A qualifier last year in Auckland, a year later Sabine Lisicki was the No. 1 seed in New Zealand…The WTA kicked off their season (and a “Premier” event) with only two Top 10 players, Sam Stosur and Andrea PetkovicRafael Nadal revealed he is using a heavier racquet that he feels gives him more power but less control…Mardy Fish had some classy moments while getting thrashed by Grigor Dimitrov at the Hopman Cup, spitting in the direction of the Bulgarian fans, then in the mixed doubles getting in Dimitrov’s face and going head-hunting during points. “You don’t often see that, a bit of face-to-face on a tennis court,” commentator Pat Cash said. “Mardy clearly was not in great form this week. He played pretty poorly and absolutely got annihilated by the youngster. Reading between the lines, and I don’t know what happened, but it looked like Grigor was just saying to Mardy: ‘What have I done wrong? I haven’t done anything. I’m just trying to have a bit of fun here and you’re attacking me, for what?’”…40-year-old Mark Knowles is skipping the Down Under leg of the tour this year to spend time with family in Dallas and train for his debut at San Jose…Mardy Fish said the men’s tennis off-season is too short. Mardy Fish, who played the Hopman Cup exhibition this week, and next week plays the Kooyong exhibition, said the off-season is too short. In other news…well, we can’t even think of an existing funny analogy that compares to what goes on with the top player money-grabbing at exhibitions, at the same time complaining that the off season, which they play through anyway, is too short. You fill that one in.


Also Check Out:
By Winning Sydney Petra Kvitova Will Be No. 1 On The WTA Rankings
Sharapova Leads in Paris; WTA Previews This Week
Kvitova, Ivanovic Among Players Back on Court This Week at WTA Paris, Pattaya City
Clijsters, Venus, Serena Favorites in Wimbledon Quarterfinals
Sharapova Nears No. 1 And Career Slam, Can Kvitova Stop Her In French Open Semifinals?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

43 Comments for Kvitova Too Hot at Hopman; Kanepi Titles; Tennis-X Notes

jane Says:

Good for Kvitova. Looks like Berdych was playing well also, beating Dimtrov, Gasquet, etc.

Indeed, the top tenners Tipsy, Tsonga and Berdych ALL did well this week, and Ferrer also did well in Abu Dabi. So the top ten looks pretty solid right now. Except for maybe Fish.


grendel Says:

“The Czechs failed to drop a set in the final as Kvitova defeated France’s Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1, and Berdych beat Richard Gasquet 7-6 (0), 6-4.”

That reads quite funny. You could interpret it as follows: Despite pulling out all the stops, the Czechs failed to drop a set. Kvitova, fresh from her late season triumphs of last year, came to the court full of a grim determination to drop a set, and who would bet against her in such a mood? In sparkling form, she smashed her way to the lines, missing by milimetres time and again. Magnificent stuff but Bartoli hung on, determined not to give way. Kvitova would crash the ball over the base line and Bartoli would smile coldly and net an easy ball. Kvitova would do her trademark lefty slice serve, brilliantly finding the tramlines and force a break against her own serve. Bartoli would come straight back with some quite outrageous doublefaults, drawing despairing looks from Kvitova. Eventually, the Czech had to concede the first set, failing to lose it despite a generally sound and determined performance.

However, the second set was all Bartoli. She cunningly lost points which seemed for all the world to be certain winners. For example, Kvitova executed a cleverly contrived lob which presented an easy smash for Bartoli. The Frenchwoman actually hit it out, and the umpire judged this acceptable, on the grounds that Bartoli was put off by the sheer simplicity of the shot. Morale high, Bartoli lost game after game, with Kvitova’s head sinking lower and lower as the match drew to its close. Frankly, by the end, she tanked it.

In the men’s match, Berdych managed to get to a tie break, but then gave a truly shocking performance, not losing a point in the breaker. This was pure Berdych, as ever confused by what he was supposed to do, although it has to be said that in Gasquet he had a very worthy opponent who knows exactly how to lose against all the odds. The second set was little more than a formality and, as rather expected, the Czechs failed to drop a set.


Humble Rafa Says:

Fish is a fool. Has always been. No class to see here. Move on.


Wog boy Says:

The way Kanepi won Brisbane was more then impressive. If she can only close matches better (to nervous), she is as fit as somebody can be, hits from both sides superbly, moves superbly, definitely one to look for.
Andy is about to start, he looks in good mood as he is walking down the coridor and loughing with Lendl, hopefully he will have reason to smile after match. I know he will !


Humble Rafa Says:

Mr. Lady Forehand doesn’t choke little league matches. I expect 2 gloomy men to be smiling after the win. But they will return to their gloomy ways after the Aus Open.


Wog boy Says:

@Humble Rafa:

Haha..You are right, so far, but lets hope it is going to change this year, he is only 24 still learning :)
I have to say, I like your sense of humor, (though it is not just humor, it is true) even when it is on expense of my men :-)

Well, I have to agree, it was lady’s FH on first break point :(


jane Says:

It’s smooth-sailing for Andy thus far: he is cruising, easier than versus Tomic.


jane Says:

Murray with the immediate break to start the second. Hmm, breadstick and a bagel? I know the second set just started but that’s the vibe I am getting. Dolgopolov is serving at 45% whereas Muzza is at 70%. Andy serving that well is hard to stop for anyone.


jane Says:

Dolgo fends off the bagel.


jane Says:

Such a long game! Dolgo gets the hold after getting one break back. But Andy has insurance. ;)


jane Says:

6-1, 6-3 and Andy M’s first title: congrats to him.


jane Says:

^ Of 2012 obviously. :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats Andy, now bring to AO. You and Tsonga need to make some noise against the top 3. Will ya? X’mon man! :)


Wog boy Says:

Apart of gloomy faces there are more similarities between ITT and Andy, as commentators said:
ITT was 24, lost 3-4 GS finals, hired Tony R. and won 8 GS.
Andy is 24, lost 3 GS finals, hired Lendel and ….well, we will see.
One more more thing, they both have dominant mothers in the house that pushed them in tennis.


Ajet Says:

I’m very happy with Murray’s form! :D
He seriously needs to kick @$$ at AO this time!
Go murray!!! Time to win a slam finally! B-)


Ajet Says:

A skeezer said: BRING IT ON TO AUSSIE OPEN MURRAY!!!
And bring it on Tsonga too! Coz you’re also an incredibly exciting super-aggresive player!

I sure hope if tsonga wins at least one slam before retirement(and which hopefully won’t happen anytime soon), he’s too good not to!

And I can’t wait for Murray winning his 1st slam this year!


margot Says:

Yay! Come on Andy! As Ajet says let’s see Andy and Joe-Wilfred kick some a**e this year.
In interview Andy called ITT “Mr Lendl”! So sweet! Well, I’d be terrified of him too…;)


Johnny X Says:

It’s also the western grip. It’s an inefficient stroke from a physics standpoint, and puts inordinate stress on the knees, hips and core, what with the violent upper body twisting and wide-open stance. So, the racquets and strings have made it possible to generate spin of course, but also enough forward speed on the ball despite the racquet going ACROSS the ball, and a little bit through the ball. Players like Fed and Kvitova, who employ the low-eastern and eastern, respectively, sustain and will continue to sustain fewer injuries than the western grippers. The two-handed backhand is also tougher on the body than a well-struck one hander. Nobody teaches the more efficient strokes. USTA take heed. Some people have limbs articulated badly for the western and two-handed shots. Peace, tennis lovers. Kindly consider these thoughts. I might be onto something.


Johnny X Says:

Notice that Kvitova and del Potro hit through the ball, not across it. Those are the two best forehands in tennis today.


alison hodge Says:

delighted for andy,i did not see the match as unfortunatly i dont get that channel where i am,im hoping for third time lucky at the ao,anyway great win,agree with ajet i think this is the year he wins his 1st slam,also congrats to jwt yesterday i missed the match as i was at work,shame about gael who also had a teriffic week,and played fantastic against rafa,maybe he was burned out after that win,shame as i think it probably would have been more of a contest,between the two french men otherwise.


alison hodge Says:

congrats to kvitova,the more i see her, the more i believe that she will be the star player,on the womans side this year,love her game too,also to kanepi whos played amazing all week too,not forgetting zheing who i have always loved to watch too,a few years ago looked like she would go on to do big things,but lacked concistency,and never quite lived up to that potential,shame her opponent pannetta retired on her in that final set,at 2 0 down to deny her victory,hate it when opponents do that in a final.


margot Says:

alison, you can see most tennis matches on bet365. It costs something like a fiver to register, then off you go! Commentaries are good too.


Kimmi Says:

congrats to muzza. great start to the year.

Milosh fighting tipsa. are we going to the second tie break?


Wog boy Says:

Kimmi, is it good game to watch? I just checked Milos stats and I couldnt believe 1st serv won points and 23-4 aces, wow. Does it look like Ivo Karlovic games or there is more of the game, itself.


Kimmi Says:

milosh takes the second set tie break..go milosh!


Kimmi Says:

definetely more to the game wog boy. he is not just serve guy, he can volley well and play from the baseline well. his FH is better than the BH though.

we are going to the third. my stream just died, bummer!


Kimmi Says:

Alison – i enjoyed watching zheng this week too. she is so small but her footwork is incredible. she is such a fighter. she has come back from losing first set a number of times this week. congrats to her.

kanepi has demolished everyone on her path this week. I was surprised with her results. didnt see her matches, i was wondering how good she must played..hatunchova did not have a chance. maybe one to watch this year, we will see.


dari Says:

Way to go Murray!
Seems like he really shaped up during the course of the week. On to Melbourne…
Continued well-wishes to the fed and the back!


Wog boy Says:

Thanks Kimmi, you can go to the third but I have to go to the bed , I wiil find out result when I wake up in 4 hours.
Am I allowed to say, GO JANKO ?


Kimmi Says:

ha ha wog boy..ofcourse you can. goodnight.


Wog boy Says:

Thanks Kimmi, good night.


margot Says:

My New Year wish: Raonic lands Isner in every draw everywhere…..


Kimmi Says:

third set tie break..milosh with a mini break..gooo go go


Kimmi Says:

OMG 5-0 milosh go go go!!


Kimmi Says:

tipsa was coming back but thank god milosh prevails in the end. the lead was too big i guess.

CONGRATS milosh. i think this is his second title?


Kimmi Says:

yes, second title. way to start the year by beating a top 10 guy in the final.


alison hodge Says:

just come back from work again and missed the tennis,shame as this week i seemed to have missed alot of great matches,by the looks of the scoreline and everyones comments, it sounds like it was a great cometitive match,congrats to raonic for a superb win over a top 10 player,thanks margot i will try bet 365 another time.


Wog boy Says:

Bugger….by checking stats I am suprised that Janko managed to get to tie-breaks.
Good onya Janko, next time will be better.


Wog boy Says:

Well, Delpo is in town. I had to find time to go to watch him this week. I like him and never had chance to watch him before. He says he is 100%, I hope so, girls line up is good in Sydney. The weather is not good, lousy morning…not just because Janko lost :)


Wog boy Says:

“have” and not “had to find”


jane Says:

Wog Boy, if it’s any consolation, I think Tipsy looks solid to remain a in the top ten this year, barring injury. He is playing well. Some great serves when he needed them. Just watching a re-run of the final now, and Tipsy played well. Occasionally Raonic was able to drive him back far behind the baseline, though, as Milos hits deep groundies and he was not hesitant to come in a lot, especially from the second set onwards. However, one thing about Milos: he did not always play big points/break points well, other than in the third set tiebreak. Sometimes he was too quick to pull the trigger, and you could tell Tipsy’s steady play frustrated him a little.


Wog boy Says:

Jane,thanks I am glad he played well. I haven’t seen Milos playing for a long time and Wanted to compare with Milos from last year when he burst at AO just to be stoped by Ferrer. I hate watching on stream, i don’t have nerves for that and Foxtel didn’t have it. Tipsy is good man and had more talent, maybe, then Nole, but his mind was not 100% on tennis. He is funny bugger. Thanks ones more, time to do some work, weather is clearing.

Top story: Stanislas Wawrinka: It's Amazing And It's Special To Win My First Masters 1000
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Apr 14 WTA - Apr 14
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Roger Federer4 Victoria Azarenka
5 Tomas Berdych5 Simona Halep
6 David Ferrer6 Petra Kvitova
7 Juan Martin Del Potro7 Angelique Kerber
8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Richard Gasquet9 Maria Sharapova
10 Milos Raonic10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Twitter | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2013 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.