Ciao Bella!

Quick hello from Rome! My first day today at the 1000 event here, saw wins for lots of my favourite players. Kerber, Haddad Maia, Vondrousova also Siegemund (once again left in the lurch by the late withdrawal of Barbora Krejcikova in doubles) Putinseva and Tauson looked good. I also watched a bit of Danielle Collins and Hsieh Su-Wei practicing (not together.. or the idea of that is intriguing!!) Collins belting everything, Hsieh putting away shots at the net for fun.

Rain storm soaked me and everyone else mid-afternoon, but looking forward to one more day tomorrow before heading home and following the rest on tv! Siniakova, Sakkari, Sabalenka.. 😀😀😀


Chinese Takeaways

There was success in Asia for some of my favourite players. Best performance was probably by Katerina Siniakova who made back to back 250 finals, losing to Leylah Fernandez in Hong Kong but beating fellow Czech Marie Bouzkova in an epic 3hr+ final in Nanchang.
Siniakova is an exciting, aggressive player to watch when she is in form, and for these 2 weeks, she was playing high level, patient tennis. The match against Bouzkova was notable in the way she turned the match around after being a set and a break down. Siniakova changed her tactics, reigned in her big shots and outlasted Marie. She also avenged her loss to Fernandez, beating the Canadian in the semi-final.

With this, Katka is back into the top 50 and won two titles in a season for the first time since 2017. Her backhand is one of the best on the tour, she’s fast around the court and great at the net. I’d love to see her break the top 30 finally in 2024.

Barbora Krejcikova also had some good results, making the final of the 500 event in Zhengzhou but lost out in the final to a motivated Qinwen Zheng, an exciting young player who made the most of a supportive crowd and a slightly erratic Krejcikova.

In Zhuhai, Krejcikova was the top,seed in the Elite Trophy, but lost out in a tired round robin match to Daria Kasatkina. Qinwen rode the momentum but was beaten in the final by another of my low key favourite players, Beatriz Haddad Maia in a terrific final, with Bia also,winning the doubles.

With just the WTA finals and BJK Cup finals to go, the 2023 season is almost at an end.