Island U Progress Report: Halep Shines, Monfils Flags, and Lopez Tweets
Island U, TTI’s new weekly round-up, continues after another week of intense play around the world. Players who earn at least three Island U grades will make their way to the Dean’s List, where grades will be averaged into an easy-to-follow GPA system.
Stay tuned as we reveal our first entrant to the Island U Dean’s List, along with who else made waves on the ATP and WTA Tours!
Sara Errani: A-
The Italian saved three match points in her quarterfinal against Beatriz Haddad Maia in Rio before going on to win the title Sunday, recovering from a slow start to take out Anna Schmiedlova in straight sets. It was Errani’s first singles title since 2013 when she won in Acapulco, bringing her ranking back up to No. 12.
Simona Halep: A+
After surviving tough three setters in her quarter and semifinals, Halep was able to edge her way past fast-rising Karolina Pliskova in the Dubai final, picking up a handsome 900 points. The Romanian’s critical performance came in the quarterfinals, when she beat Ekaterina Makarova in three sets – a nice bounce-back performance after a poor showing against the Russian at the Australian Open.
Andrea Petkovic: D
After two inspiring weeks, Petkovic lands on the Island U Dean’s List after a clunker of a day in Dubai. The German followed up a winning week in Antwerp with a disastrous two-set opening match to Zarina Diyas. Petkovic was heavily criticized for throwing her racket in the direction of a linesperson after a bad call that came in the final game of the set.
Karolina Pliskova: A
Despite losing in the final, Pliskova’s ascent doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. The Czech scored fantastic wins over Ana Ivanovic, Lucie Safarova and fellow youngster Garbiñe Muguruza before losing in a spirited two sets to Halep. Her semifinal encounter with Muguruza is another early candidate for match of the season, and a must-watch for those who missed it.
Caroline Wozniacki: B
Despite not being 100 percent physically, the Dane reached the semifinals with hard-fought wins over Sam Stosur, Alizé Cornet and Flavia Pennetta. Her grade here is primarily the result of her being unable to get over the hump near the end of tournaments. She’s had a lot deep runs since she won in Istanbul last summer, but hasn’t been able to turn any of those runs into a title.
David Ferrer: A
Ferrer is a model for all tennis players to follow. He just keeps going and going and going, making it as hard as possible for opponents to beat him – on any court at any tournament, in any round. His title in Rio is his first 500 title since he won in Valencia in 2012.
Donald Young: A-
Donald Young reached just his second ATP final in Delray Beach, scoring impressive three set wins over Alexandr Dolgopolov and Bernard Tomic. The American was outclassed by Ivo Karlovic in the final, but is setting himself up for a prosperous 2015 season.
Kevin Anderson: C
Kevin Anderson is a consummate professional, and despite his first round loss in Delray, we’ll only give him a C considering he had reached the final in Memphis and had his flight to Delray delayed due to adverse weather conditions.
Gilles Simon: A
The “talented” Frenchman won his 12th title in Marseille, defeating fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils in a final set tiebreak.
Gael Monfils: C+
Monfils did reach the final, but his record at that championship stage worsened to 5-17, an astounding number for someone with his talent.
Tommy Robredo: D
The ostensibly ageless Spaniard played one of the worst matches most of us had ever seen from him in the second round of Rio. Robredo unable to find the court and was routed by Andreas Haider-Mauer with ease.
Rafael Nadal: B
Nadal was unable to overcome some physical issues and Fabio Fognini in the semifinals of Rio. The Spaniard led by a set and a break but ultimately succumbed to the controversial Italian in three sets. Nadal will almost unquestionably improve, but his form is far from where have seen it in previous years on clay.
Ivo Karlovic: A
The Croat known for having a massive serve, but it was even more massive than usual in Delray Beach. Karlovic held serve all week en route to the title. If Karlovic keeps that level of serving up, watch out for him once Wimbledon rolls around.
John Isner: F
John Isner has not had the best of starts to 2015 and it only got worse last week, losing to Marinko Matosevic as the No. 2 seed in Delray.
Feliciano Lopez: A+
For this tweet, alone:
How would you have marked the field? Sound off in the comments!
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