Given we are just over half way through the season, I though it might be a good idea to change things up with something a bit different. It’s been a really exciting season thus far, im really excited about the state of the WTA tour at the moment. Here are my top 10 matches of the season thus far.
10. Serena Williams def Maria Sharapova 6-2 7-6, Brisbane SF
This years Brisbane International promised a lot and it delivered. What made this match memorable was the tension in the air. I’ve never seen/heard anything quite like it. The echoing noise inside Pat Rafter Arena was extreme as both Serena and Maria gave it their all in front of a packed crowd. This match was hyped up in the Australian media given it was the first match between the two since their infamous spat prior to Wimbledon 2013. This one certainly lived up to the hype in my opinion.
Serena won the first set quite comfortably but the second set was anything but easy. Maria raced away to an early lead but there was no way Serena was going to let herself drop a set to Maria. The match got better and better as it went on, louder and louder too. Maria served quite well under pressure and was able to compete really well especially given this was her first tournament back after spending the second half of 2013 sidelined due to a shoulder injury. Serena’s reaction after closing the match with an ace showed just how much she wanted to win this match.
9. Angelique Kerber def Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-6 6-3, Eastbourne SF
Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber both turned their seasons around at the Aegon International in Eastbourne. Both ladies played some of their best tennis in what turned out to be one of the best grass court matches of the season.
Wozniacki was at her consistent best during the opening set, needing just one break of serve to take the set 6-3. Kerber raised her level to mount an impressive second set fight back. Angie really stepped up her aggression in the second set, with Wozniacki defending so well there was no other way for her to get back into the match. Kerber eventually took the second set in a tiebreaker, hitting 25 winners in the process. Kerber carried her momentum into the third set, where she claimed a decisive break in the fifth game. Serving to stay in the match at 3-5 down, Wozniacki faltered as Angie’s relentless pressure finally broke the Dane’s resistance.
8. Dominika Cibulkova def Agnieszka Radwanska 3-6 7-6 6-3, Miami QF
Agnieszka Radwanska came into this match desperate to avenge her embarrassing semi-final loss to the Slovakian at the Australian Open.
Aga played more aggressive than usual throughout the match, knowing that she couldn't allow a confident Cibulkova to dictate play from the baseline as she did at the Australian Open earlier in the year. Aga played really well in the first set, taking it 6-3. The second set was extremely tight from start to finish. Radwanska just missed a backhand return winner on match point at 5-4 and was made to pay as Cibulkova staged a spirited comeback. Cibulkova would eventually hold in a marathon service game to level the second set at 5-5. Radwanska was once again seemingly in control of the match when she lead the second set tiebreaker 5-2 but once again she was unable to finish the off the feisty Slovakian.
The third set was filled with delightful rallies; it was the Slovakian who came out on top more often than not. Cibulkova taking the third set 6-3. It’s always delightful to watch Cibulkova when she is at her feisty best as she was in this match.
7. Eugenie Boucahrd def Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 2-6 7-5, Roland Garros QF
Eugenie Bouchard’s quarter-final victory over Carla Suarez Navarro in Paris was arguably her greatest win of the season thus far. The contrast in styles between the two made for an epic battle.
Down 1-4 in the deciding set having lost 10 of the last 13 games Genie was staring down the barrel of defeat. However the Canadian continued to be aggressive and go for her shots, it paid off in the end. Bouchard impressively turning things around to reach her second Grand Slam semi-final in a row. Bouchard’s ability to serve out the match whilst under extreme pressure was very impressive and showed just how tough the Canadian is. Despite double faulting on her first match point, Genie continued to go for her shots and eventually held to take the third set 7-5. Bouchard finished the match with 46 winners and 38 unforced errors, an impressive number given her opponents abilities on this surface.
6. Venus Williams def Angelique Kerber 6-3 3-6 6-4, Montreal R2
This match promised to be a beauty and it certainly lived up to all expectations. A rejuvenated Venus Williams played some her best tennis in years to overcome a spirited comeback by an in form Angelique Kerber. There were some truly outrageous rallies in this match, which got better and better as the match went on.
Venus cantered to a 5-0 lead in the opening set but Angie refused to give up on the set. Kerber would win three straight games but Venus eventually served out the set 6-3. Kerber really raised her level in the second set and took control the match. The German took the second set 6-3 to force the match into a decider. At 3-3 the match was there to be won, it was Venus who stepped up her aggression to once again take control of the match. At 5-4 Venus would serve for the match, the final game was arguably the best game of the match. Venus saved multiple break points, the first of which was saved with a stunning volley. Kerber’s defensive skills were incredible towards the end of the match but Venus somehow managed to serve it out 6-4.