The women grades, A-F from Aussie Open: Kerber A-plus, but Caro way down



Angie Kerber

For the first time ever, the German finally played as well as she could at a major, crushing her forehand and backhand and she didn’t back off all. The lefty is so fast, strong and just so lethal. She beat both the former No. 1 Vika Azarenka and the current No. 1 Serena Williams to win the Australian Open. Who else has managed to do that? No one, that’s who.


Johanna Konta

The Britain has improved a tremendous amount over the past six months, coming from nowhere to somewhere. Her depth is now incredible and she also appears very patient, which is why she reached the major semi for the first time.


Serena Williams

The famous Serena played excellent ball all the way until the final, when she was a bit erratic against Kerber and her volleys were out of control. But still, you can’t win every time and, at the Australian Open, she was pretty darn good, just not perfect.

Shuai Zhang

The Chinese has almost retired for good because she couldn’t win a match for months and, at the Australian Open, she qualified and reached the quarters. A true stunner.


Aga Radwanska

The Pole looked like she had a real shot to win a Grand Slam for the first time and she reached the semis again, but Serena played fantastic. Once again, Aga didn’t serve or return well enough. Some day …

Belinda Bencic

The 18-year-old was very close to upsetting Maria Sharapova, losing 7-5 7-5, which was very good considering that the Russian served as well acheter cialis forum as she has in years. The Swiss is so close

Daria Gavrilova

Some players can’t stand the pressure at the Slams, others thrive. The Aussie had a terrific week until the fourth round, when she was ousted by Carla Suarez Navarro.

Anna-Lena Friedsam

The young German shocked Roberta Vinci and had it against Radwanska, up 5-2 in the third before she cramped and lost. Still, at least she rose up for the first time.


Maria Sharapova

The five-time Grand Slam champion looked better and better until she faced Serena in the quarters, when once again, she wasn’t patient enough. Plus, she has to improve her returns against Williams.

Carla Suarez Navarro

At least the nervous foe reached the quarters, which is very good because she is working on her mental game, but she still has a long way to go at the majors.

Margarita Gasparyan

The young Russian reached the fourth round, upsetting Sara Errani. It looks like the powerful Gasparyan is becoming more thoughtful.

Vika Azarenka

The former No. 1 looked so good and she was ready to reach the final, but then Kerber stunned her as she just beaten the German two weeks prior. She is not quite ready to regain the top spot.

Barbora Strycova

You never know how good the veteran Czech will be, playing outstanding ball against Garbine Muguruza and then she was a little flat against Azarenka.

B minus

Annika Beck

So many of the young Germans had a good tournament, including Beck who reached the fourth round-up out-stroking Timea Bacsinszky.


Madison Keys

The good news is that Keys fought incredibly hard to overcome Ana Ivanovic in the third round, the bad news is that Keys got hurt once again, losing against Zhang.

Ekaterina Makarova

It was good to see the veteran Russian, who had been injured since the 2015 US Open, getting back on court. She did lose to Konta in the fourth round, 8-6 in the third, but at least she showed that she finally looks like she is healthy again.


Svetlana Kuznetsova

The Russian should have gone deep at the Aussie Open considering that she had just won Sydney, but as she says, some days you don’t know whether you will hit the ball correctly. Her age is affecting her consistency.

Ana Ivanovic

Given that the former No. 1 hasn’t gone deep in months, at least she reached the third round and almost knocked off Keys. But she has to be better than that.


Garbine Muguruza

There is no doubt that the Spaniard had a chance to reach the final and then, against Strycova in the third round, she looked very shaky. She needs to take a deep breath.

Timea Bacsinszky

The Swiss looked so good at the 2015 Roland Garros and now she is slumping, losing in the second round.

Karolina Pliskova

The Czech had a fine 2015, but in the Slams, she flailed, just like when she lost in straight sets in the third round versus Makarova.


Simona Halen

The Romanian is impossible to understand what she is doing right now. She looked fairly good in Sydney, and then she was totally stunned against Zhang, not even going for her shots.

Venus Williams

The seven-time Grand Slam champion looked totally out of it against Konda in the first round. Maybe she should have charged the net more, because she volleys as good as anyone. But not that day.

Sam Stosur

The reality is that she doesn’t play well at all in Australia. If she did, she could actually go deep at the AO, because outside of her country, she has been outstanding (winning the 2011 US Open and reach the 2010 Roland Garros final), and here she hasn’t even come close.

Sloane Stephens

How can she win Auckland and then, in the first round, she falls against an unknown? She is a fine player, but mentally she can disappear.


Caroline Wozniacki

At this point, it is impossible to know where the former No. 1 is going. She lost in the first round and she hasn’t competed well at all since last April. Time to add a new coach.

With Serena out, Wozniacki steps in Bank of the West Classic in Stanford

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FROM THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The defending champion Serena Williams pulled out of the Bank of the West Classic Stanford last week, which is too bad, but there are other people who need to catch fire on the hard courts in the next four weeks. Soon, the US Open will begin and we all know that Serena is a heavy favorite to win a major against, given that she had won four Slams in a row.

No one is playing well enough to knock off the 21 Grand Slam champion. It can occur, but if Serena is playing extremely well, it is hard to figure out how you can attack her. She has a phenomenal first serve. She has a bullet of a forehand and backhand. Her returns are laser like, and she is very smart and wise. Essentially, no one can toppled Williams.

But as Aga Radwanska said the other day, Serena is almost untouchable, but on occasion, she can drop a bit, she is a little off and then someone while have slight chance to stun Serena.

There are plenty of fine players at Stanford, but every single one has to become better if they ever want a real shot to upend Williams. The top seed at the Bank of the West is Carolina Wozniacki, who is a close friend with Serena and she cheers for her when Williams wins, but at the US Open, Wozniacki wants to win a title – a very big title. As the former No. 1 Wozniacki said, at the end of this year, she would be the happiest if she snares the US Open. Last year, ‘Caro’ played very well in reaching the final in NYC, but then Serena whacked her.

At the WTA Final in the semis, Wozniacki played as well as she could and she was so close to out-run Williams, but she backed off a little bit, Serena stepped up and Wozniacki went down.

This year, the Dane has been up and down. At times, the No. 5 has been very up and down. She should have won at Stuttgart, beating Lucie Safarova, Carla Suarez and Simons Halep. But in the final, she was playing against Angie Kerber, she was ahead in the third set, but then she fell. She was nervous and if she is going to rise again, she has to find a way to win to believe in herself at crunch time.

On Thursday, she will have to face the tough veteran Varvara Lepchenko. If she out hits her, she will have to play Mona Bathel, a big hitter. If she wins there, she will have to play the likes of the new No. 10 Katerina Pliskova or maybe the rising youngster Madison Keys. Then Wozniacki will know that if she can out-stroke the up-and-comers, she has to be aggressive, because Stanford ‘s courts are fairly fast and you cannot just push the balls back in and hope.

On the other side of the draw, the 44-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm was down 4-1 in the second set and came back to stun Sabine Lisicki 1-6 7-6 (4) 6-2. Props to Date-Krumm for winning, who entered the tournament ranked No. 174, but what is Lisicki doing? She is so unpredictable… The Ukrainians went at each other between with the young Elina Svitolina overcame the new mom Kateryna Bondarenko 4-6 6-4 7-5. Svitolina has been extremely well this season and will face Alison Riske, who upended Carlos Suarez in the second round. Riske is changing around and she needs to play much more confident for the rest of the year because before that, she was confused.

Angelique Kerber will go up again the Croatian Ana Konjuh, who will be heard from very soon.