We’ve hit the ground running this week and so too have the players. Social media has been a’buzz with juicy gossip and tennis firsts.
It’s all right here, in your latest Follow Up Friday.
Power to Inspire
Gone is Strong is Beautiful, in place is Power to Inspire. The WTA rolled out their new promotional campaign this week, marketing the tours current and future stars. Instead of “sugar and spice,” the WTA looked to the success of the inaugural WTA Finals in Singapore. The roster includes much of the Top 10 and Rising Stars like Zarina Diyas, Shelby Rogers and Zheng Saisai.
Check out the full gallery here.
Training In Progress
It’s always nice to get a little insight into the players day to day routines. In the lead up to the Australian Open players have been hitting the practice courts hard and dealing with the harsh Aussie heat (nice joke Andy).
It’s a hard life after all…
Just your average practice in Australia 😱😓 http://t.co/76VdHq1sMT—
Eugenie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) January 05, 2015
44.5 degrees here in Perth today..sounds hot but I'm used to it though having grown up in Dunblane where January conditions are very similar—
Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 05, 2015
SoTennis (@SoTennis_En) January 05, 2015
Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) January 07, 2015
It’s been a tough old time for the Russians. A few seasons back, we were lamenting the current state of the American tennis scene post Williams sisters. Cut to today and on the up is new blood in the form of Madison Keys – now under the helm of Lindsay Davenport, Sloane Stephens, Lauren Davis and Christina McHale.
But what of the Russian domination? Hark back to the golden years between 2003-2008 and you had a Russian in every WTA Year-End Championship. In 2008, Russians held six of the top 10 ranking spots simultaneously. Lucky for them Ekaterina Makarova stands on the periphery of minor greatness. Thanks to a few new year ranking point shifts she climbed one place, marking her Top 10 debut, making her the 12th Russian and 110th player overall to reach that feat.
(@WTA) January 05, 2015
Alas, the Brits were yet again knocked out. As a British expat myself hearing news overseas of our sporting failures comes as no surprise.
(Perhaps I’m being harsh, it’s only the Hopman Cup after all.)
The USA, meanwhile, were on the brink of defeat against the Czech Republic, needing three straight wins to reach the final vs. Poland. And guess what, they did. Serena Williams’s epic encounter against Lucie Safarova was the women’s match of the tournament: dramatic, fiery, grunts-abound, both women fought tooth and nail to survive.
Eugenie Bouchard’s lackluster season-end did little to dampen her spirits. This past week she’s found her footing, regaining form with a rather shocking victory over Williams, with a loss of just three games. She followed that up with a straight sets win over the always-tricky Italian, Flavia Pennetta.
Finals woohoo! Polish fans have been amazing here. Hope to see all of you again tomorrow. Thx for the support! From Aga and JJ @hopmancup—
Aga Radwanska (@ARadwanska) January 09, 2015
Best mixed team ever? Isner: "I don't know about that. We're pretty good. Serena is arguably the best player of all time, that doesn't hurt"—
Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) January 08, 2015
Perhaps the most hilarious story to hit social media this week was the top American’s coffee withdrawals during her first Hopman Cup match. In a topsy-turvy three set scoreline – one that featured an opening bagel against Pennetta – Serena sneakily ordered an espresso in hope of a mid-match kick starter.
Serena later joked it was ‘miracle coffee:’
“I was just feeling it, so I just had to get some coffee into me. I just asked them to get me a shot of espresso – I asked them if it was legal, because I’ve never done it before. I needed to wake up.”
TENNIS.com (@Tennis) January 05, 2015
karen hackett (@koko_hackett) January 09, 2015
Serena's coffee break led the 6 pm SportsCenter. #tennisisalive—
Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 05, 2015
Genie’s response after that stunning victory?
BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 06, 2015
Did your favorite story miss the cut? Sound off in the comments!