How did our top Australian men and women fair in their respective tournaments this week?
Nick Kyrgios had a respectable (in both senses of the word) outing at the Madrid Masters, beating three top-50 opponents including Stan Warwinka on his way to the quarterfinals, where he lost to Kei Nishikori.
Nishikori has now taken 3 from 3 against Kyrgios, with two coming in the last three months at masters tournaments. This week he is playing the masters event in Rome.
Samantha Stosur has hit a purple patch of form lately, most recently making it through to the semi-finals in Madrid where she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep.
A similar performance this week will almost certainly see her re-enter the top 20 and re-enter tennis relevance, conveniently right before the French Open, where she reached the Final in 2010.
Bernard Tomic’s horrid season on clay continued in Madrid, losing in the opening round to Italian clay court specialist Fabio Fognini. That makes it 0/3 on the dirt this season.
The less said about Tomic’s form of late the better. Hopefully by the time the French Open rolls around the young Queenslander will have gotten himself together for a proper outing.
Daria Gavrilova also had herself an encouraging trip to the Spanish capital where she made the quarterfinals, defeating Heather Watson, world number 12 Evina Svitolina and world number 5 Petra Kvitova along the way.
Unfortunately, she went no further, losing a disappointing match she should’ve won to American qualifier Louisa Chirico. Best of luck to her this week in Rome.
Last week John Millman was in action at a Challenger event in Busan, South Korea, where he reached the semi-finals before falling to Great Britain’s Daniel Evans.
Whilst he probably should’ve had the far lower ranked Evans covered fairly easily, his run was good enough to propel him to a career-high ranking of 60, which he will take into another challenger in Seoul this week.
Having recently made it to the top 100 for the first time, 22 year-old New South Welshman Jordan Thompson would be as high on confidence as he’s ever been.
Unfortunately, that didn’t stop him from slumping to a disappointing loss in the Challenger in Rome last week against Argentine Marco Trungelliti.
Without attempting to heap it on the big man, Sam Groth may just have hit rock bottom last week. In the aforementioned Busan Challenger event, he lost to world number 566 Ji Sung Nam.
Groth is a world away from the form that at the start of the year saw him visit the third round of the Australian Open. If he indeed does qualify for the upcoming Grand Slam in France, hopefully he will be able to get one or two confidence building wins under his belt.
Special mentions: Alex Osborne and Ebony Panoho
Promising Australian talents Alex Osborne and Ebony Panoho have taken out the Pac-12 doubles championship in the NCAA collegiate women’s’ tennis tournament.
The pair, from Sydney and Brisbane respectively, will travel to the NCAA Doubles Championships in Oklahoma where they will be representing their school, Arizona State University, as well as the land down under. Best of luck girls.