After the disappointment of all of my favourite players flopping at Roland Garros, the grass season has been so much better!
Petra Kvitova is a title winner again! She took the WTA 500 tournament trophy in Berlin, beating Donna Vekic in the final in straight sets. Indeed, Petra did not drop a set all week. The tournament was hit with rain forcing Petra (and Donna) to play two matches on Saturday and then the final on Sunday, but in many ways it was her challenging round 1 match against fellow Czech, Karolina Pliskova that set the tone. Petra looked so much happier to be back on grass than the struggles of clay. Great wins over Garcia and Alexandrova and Vekic, all players who love grass too. Terrific ball striking – watch out for the winner on match point in the final!
With this title, Petra now has 31 career singles trophies, with only Venus Williams on 49 ahead of her amongst active players. It is also the first time she has won more than one title in a season since 2019. Amazingly, the win over Caroline Garcia was Petra’s first top 10 win on grass since the Wimbledon 2011 final win over Maria Sharapova!
Petra is down to play Eastbourne, where she is defending champion. But after a long weekend of tense matches in Berlin, and a nightmare draw – Jelena Ostapenko who Petra beat in the final last year and just took the title in Birmingham – I would be quite surprised if she played. With Wimbledon only a week away, rest amd recovery would seem a wider move.
Not quite as good a result for Barbora Krejcikova this week in singles as she was beaten in the final of the WTA250 in Birmingham by Jelena Ostapenko. I got to attend on SF and finals day and Ostapenko was on fire. However, after a run of poor form, Krejcikova had looked more like herself this week. Calm, controlled tennis that was beautiful to watch. She wasn’t going for risky winners and getting frustrated as much (although Ostapenko is enough to drive anyone mad!) and with the ranking points from the run to the final, Krejcikova is back into the top 10. Where she belongs!
Even better, I was able to see her play live and even got selfies with her. Krejcikova finished the week on a positive note, taking the doubles title alongside Marta Kostyuk. Kostyuk is not a player I like that much, but they made a good doubles team, with Kostyuk’s dynamic and slightly stroppy, mercurial style matching Barbora’s smart doubles play well.
My other favourite, Katerina Siniakova lost in the doubles final in Berlin, after she and Marketa Vondrousova had match points against Garcia and Stefani. Siniakova also lost in the first round of singles, after she drew Coco Gauff. On the bright side, her forehand was firing pretty well and hopefully the wrist is fully healed.
The good news kept rolling as Katerina Siniaková won the WTA250 in Bad Homburg, Germany. Katka has the talent, but has often been inconsistent, especially mentally. She played some great tennis this week, particularly against Ludmilla Samsonova in the quarter finals. World number 1, Iga Swiatek withdrew after three rounds but the improvement she is making all the time on grass makes me think a Wimbledon title is definitely in her future! But Siniaková fully deserved this win – her second 250 in the last year.
Yes, grass has started well for my favourite Czechs!