Tuesday, January 05, 2016
The tennis year begins down under and 2016 is not starting well for many of the WTA's top stars. Defending champion Venus Williams lost her first round match against Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina (no I have never heard of her either!) in Auckland, New Zealand. Following the loss of the tournament's #1 seed, it also lost the #2 seed when Ana Ivanovic was upset.
In Perth, after withdrawing from her first tie in the Hopman Cup, World #1 Serena Williams retired after losing the first set against Jarmila Wolfe, citing a left knee injury. Serena insists that she is ready to defend her Australian Open title, however.
In Brisbane, Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova both withdrew, citing injuries, with Halep expressing doubt about being able to play in Sydney and Melbourne later this month.
Petra Kvitova started her year in Shenzhen but she also withdrew (with an illness).
Strangely enough, the men's side of the game is not being impacted as much by withdrawals and injuries.
Roger Federer will begin his 2016 season in Brisbane later today.