Week One Winner’s Circle
- WTA 500 Adelaide International 1 – Ashleigh Barty
- WTA 250 Melbourne Summer Set 1 – Simona Halep
- WTA 250 Melbourne Summer Set 2 – Amanda Anisimova
- ATP 250 Adelaide 1 – Gael Monfils
- ATP 250 Melbourne Set – Rafael Nadal
- ATP Cup – Canada
What a start to the season! Did anyone expect quite the drama we have seen on…and off the court? No we don’t think so either!
ATP Rankings as at 10 January
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Let’s start with the tennis, shall we?
Let’s hear it for the ‘veterans’ starting with the flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils. Always the crowd pleaser, he picked up the Adelaide 1 title and he loves the place so much, he heads up the field for Adelaide 2.
Rafael Nadal shook off his rusty performances at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships and a bout of Covid to certainly add his name to the ‘Who will get to 21 Slams’ conversation.
The ATP Cup was won by Canada – beating a solid Spanish side, and we can expect big things from Felix Auger-Aliassime (who rises up two spots into the Top 10) and Denis Shapovalov in the coming years. Can we see them in the second week of the Australian Open? After this week, why not.
Of course, though, the continually evolving situation with men’s World No. 1 Novak Djokovic continues to dominate both sports news and mainstream news.
News broke on Monday that while Djokovic won his appeal against having his Australian Visa revoked – it was a technicality of not being allowed reasonable time to seek advice before his visa was cancelled.
But – the Immigration Minister still has personal powers to re-detain Djokovic, re-revoke his visa and this time he could deported and would serve a three year ban.
One thing is for sure – as far as week one preparations go, Nadal et al -1, Djokovic… 0
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First out of the gate for the day was women’s World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty – she had a tough opening round in Adelaide and then from there just went from strength to strength. After some big serving on the big points, she more than set down her marker as the one to watch in a week’s time! She has since pulled out of the Sydney field, where she was top seed, to focus on her preparations for the Australian Open.
Equally impressive at fighting back in the Melbourne Summer Set 1 was Simona Halep who had to dig deep in her quarter-final match but coasting through the rest of her matches. She is a former Australian Open finalist, and she won her first title Down Under.
The two-time Slam winner had a tough 2021 with niggling injuries, and has since parted with her Svengali-like coach Darren Cahill – but might be worth an outside flutter in a week’s time.
Melbourne Summer Set 2 saw a resurgence for Amanda Anisimova. It has been a tough time for the young American who, aged 17, looked like she was set to be another rising star as she reached the Roland Garros semi-final, dismantling Halep along the way! But her coach and father died suddenly of a heart attack a week before the US Open and it has hit Anisimova hard.
She claimed her first title since 2019, and clambers back up the rankings.
The tennis season continues on 10 January with tournaments in Adelaide and Sydney.