A lot happened in tennis last week. Miss any of the action? Let’s recap the three biggest points of the week.
Three Things We Learned Last Week
Iga Swiatek Returns
How good was she this week? Yeah, pretty good. Only a fool would have written her off (would never be me). Having lost just five games all week she was level with the record (although maybe if Bencic had played against her that wouldn’t have been the case).
The ripple effect is a crazy thing. Recently, the Pole had been struggling slightly. Failing to win the WTA Finals, followed by a poor United Cup and disappointing Australian Open, there were beginning to be a few question marks around her game. Well, boy did she bounce back this week. It was as good as you’ve ever seen her play, and she once again reminded everyone, she is not one to be messed with. The match-up we now want to see is herself against Aryna Sabalenka. With them being the first and second seeds for next week in Dubai, keep a lookout.
Daniil Medvedev success
Daniil Medvedev returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory over World #14 Jannik Sinner. His trophy-less run finally came to an end and for that, he will be thankful. I wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon just yet though as Medvedev was victorious on the indoor hard court throughout 2022 and failed to produce often elsewhere when it mattered more.
He will do all in his power to ensure that this doesn’t repeat. This week in Rotterdam he did look back in the groove though. Against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov, the tennis was special and the final wasn’t too shabby either. So, will he be satisfied? Probably not, although it is one step forward for the Russian. Will he build upon this excellent week? Or will this prove to be a one-off show? That’s the beauty of sport, we never know. The real tests will be against the likes of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Then we will know if he is truly back.
Shapovalov’s struggles continue
It’s just frustrating at this point. A couple of years ago he and Auger-Alliassime were emerging as two Canadian talents for the future, looking as though that future may be at the top of the game. Yet, it seemed that it was Shapovalov who had more of the hype. His terrific game had beaten Rafael Nadal, whereas Auger-Alliassime was single-hand backhand-less and a lot more steady.
Yet, it’s been the latter who has broken into the elite category of male tennis and consistently competes at the top level. There will always be a day when Shapovalov hits a purple patch and is a threat. Or maybe for a full tournament. But, as this week proves, his style isn’t sustainable and sadly we may never see his talent reach the top of the game.
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane USAToday