Weekly tennis recap: Wozniacki falters, no Rafa on ATP

Patrick Mouratoglou is a world-renowned tennis coach who has worked with Marcos Baghdatis and Aravane Rezai. His French tennis academy is considered one of the top in the world. He is a frequent contibuter to Busted Racquet.


- Big surprise in Vienna with Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer booking a spot to the final. A lucky loser, he made his way through the entire draw and even served for the title against Jurgen Melzer with a 7-6, 5-4 lead. But Melzer ended by turning around the match and kept his title with a 6-4 win in the third set. Haider-Maurer, 23, is confirming all the hopes put in him after his great US Open first round match when he pushed Robin Söderling to a five-setter Thomas Muster can now put his first round loss against Haider-Maurer in perspective because the guy played his best tennis ever this week. We'll now have to wait and see if Andreas can go on with this level next year. He displayed huge abilities on serve and backhand.

- The St. Petersburg draw wasn't really impressive. The Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin, 23, is always improving and has seized the opportunity to win the title against Mikhail Youzhny.

- Gaël Monfils claimed the Montpellier title and earned performance of the week honors with wins over top indoor players like John Isner, Jo-Wilifried Tsonga and Ivan Ljubicic.

- Two ATP 500 this week: Valencia and Basel. With the exception of Rafael Nadal, the whole top 10 is in action this week.

- In the Challenger tour, the $50,000 event in Eckenthal, Germany has a really tough draw. Grigor Dimitrov is engaged there and would have to make his way through tough opponents if he wants to get another win. On a very fast surface (a fusing carpet), he'll have to get through a tough field, including Haider-Maurer, the Vienna finalist.

- Interesting to also notice that Mikhail Kukushkin, winner in St Petersburg, is playing the $125,000 event in Astana.


- The WTA Championships ended with the triumph of Kim Clijsters. It's a win that proves both the tendency of Caroline Wozniacki to be unable to confirm her domination in big events, and the ability of the Belgian to win them. It's surprising and interesting to also note that the Dane used to have the sample problem of closing when she was in the juniors. At this time she reached the No. 1 spot without having ever won a single Grand Slam. I've read that this loss showed her issues to deal with pressure. I see things in a different way because when she had to win those two matches to secure her No. 1 spot, she coped with the pressure.

- And here comes the Bali Masters, starting on Thursday. This year the draw is way tougher, so the level should be interesting and some of the main hopes of the tour will be there: Anastasia Pavlyuchenova, Yanina Wickmayer, Alyssa Kleybanova and more. Weirdly, the surface picked is really fast and doesn't display the effects of delicate shots a lot. That's way different from the main events of the season. It'll suit better players with big serves and a love for flat shots. Seems like Yanina Wickmayer, Li Na and Ana Ivanovic could have an advantage in those conditions. Kimiko Date Krumm, Daniela Hantuchova and Aravane Rezaï also like playing fast but their serve won't help them to take the best of this surface.

- I've been amazed to learn that Ana Ivanovic decided to stop working with Heinz Gunthardt. Sometimes I really wonder what's going through the some player's minds. She totally sank because of going through too many coaches and so too many game directions, and this same player who ended a year-long slump (finally!) had some good results with this coach but is now splitting with him. I think it's really a terrible decision from the Serbian who was getting more and more convincing since six months. I hope she won't lose the way showed by the Swiss coach, but I have to admit that I'm not really optimistic about what's going to happen with her.

- Players are picking ITF events now that the WTA tour has ended for the year. Seventeen players of the top 100 will play in an event in Poitiers. With nine weeks to go until the start of the WTA season, they want to go in some action.

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