Dominika Cibulkova Wins WTA Finals Title 2016

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Photo by: @wtaspot

On Sunday, Dominika Cibulkova upset world #1 ranked player Angelique Kerber in the WTA Finals Title match 6-3, 6-4. After Kerber won their last meeting in the round robin in the third set, many expected a similar story in the final match. However, as Cibulkova took the court, her energy and game level were very off the charts and everyone watching could see. Dominika’s complete dominance of the first set was just incredible tennis to watch and Kerber looked to be in real trouble. Then the second set began and it seemed Kerber was coming back with a 2-1 lead and looked much better from before the break. Cibulkova had other ideas though when she came roaring back to eventually win that set 6-4 and on a great net shot that was just impossible for Angelique to get to.

This is Dominika Cibulkova’s first WTA Finals Title and will end the year at the #5 ranking in the world. It was clear Kerber was not on her game in Singapore, showing frustration and forced errors that have not been largely evident in her career best year of 2016. Cibulkova seemed to have gained confidence after their first meeting and played a much stronger and smarter match, dominating her opponent and gaining her the biggest trophy yet. If we can see this type of play from Cibulkova every tournament, I am very much looking forward to watching her continue to climb the rankings. My prediction of Radwanska winning again this year as she had last year was very off as she got taken out in the semis by Kerber. I certainly did not think Cibulkova had it in her to win the title and I was very pleasantly surprised.

It has been an incredible year for women’s tennis. Congratulations to Dominika Cibulkova for winning the WTA Finals Title and playing some of the best tennis I have seen this year. Please comment below your thoughts on the final match and please lookout for our “Year in Review – Women’s Tennis” blog post coming soon!

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Juan Del Potro Wins Big in Stockholm

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Photo: @atpworldtour – Getty Images

In a highly anticipated final match against America’s Jack Sock, Juan Del Potro finally pulls out a victory with a score of 7-5, 6-1. This brings to an end, Del Potro’s 33 month drought which, as you can imagine, any athlete is overjoyed to see happen. After coming in 1st in Rio, an impressive quarterfinal at the US Open, and not to forget the great showing against Andy Murray in the Davis Cup semis, Juan has certainly been something of a wild card in Tennis this 2016 year. There is certainly no doubt when he turns it on, he is a force to be reckoned with which Jack Sock saw first hand.

I quite enjoyed watching the first set in the Stockholm Open Final. Certainly many points felt like Juan had complete control over the pace and direction of the match. You often saw the same story with Del Potro exploiting Sock’s lack of speed, hitting far corners until he couldn’t get there in time. Sock seem to really run out steam in the second set, only achieving one game and had many far out shots which cost him dearly. In the end it was an excellent victory for Juan Del Potro, gaining him his 19th tour title and we cannot wait to see his rest of the year play out!

Gasquet and the European Open

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Photo: @kooyong_classic

I’ll also quickly talk about Richard Gasquet winning the European Open against Diego Schwartzman 7-6(4), 6-1. If you have some time, do yourself a favor and catch the highlights of this match. In particular, watch Gasquet decimate with his first serves going 88% on them. After winning the tie break in the first set, it seemed to go much smoother for Richard. Schwartzman fought very hard in the first set but after, and similar to Jack Sock, his stamina just didn’t hold up. Congratulations to Gasquet for winning his 14th title, second this year, in a great win over Schwartzman.

Tennis, the Gentleman’s Sport?

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Photo by: Shanghai Rolex Masters – Mike Frey

One of the earliest memories I have of playing tennis and being involved in the community was when my father sat me down after practice one day and explained to me, “son, Tennis is a gentleman’s sport.” You see, he told me this at that moment because I had just gotten very angry at myself and at him in the match right beforehand and I had not shown my better qualities, let’s just say that. However, his words struck me hard when I first heard them. I remember thinking, if I’m going to continue this sport I have to be the best type of athlete. I had to be on par with Roger Federer (who at the time embodied everything an athlete should be) and show the world that Tennis was a sport above all others.

I bring this memory up because of the recent incident in which Australian player, Nick Kyrgios, seemingly gave up all effort during his match at the Shanghai Rolex Masters against Mischa Zverev, who ended up winning 6-3, 6-1. Kyrgios started lightly tapping it over for serves and leaving to go back to his chair while Zverev was still hitting it. His attitude was appalling and even arguing with a fan which cost him $16,500 in a fine for swearing. What hurt most of all was afterwards in the press conference when Nick explained he “did not owe his fans anything.” Surely, a lot more was expected of Nick, especially just coming off a win at the Rakuten Japan Open where he performed brilliantly. In total, Kyrgios was fined $25,000 and oh, not to mention, banned for 8 tournament weeks.

My Verdict

By in large, I will still argue that Tennis is a gentleman’s sport. My main evidence is shown in the outstanding role models that the top tier athletes are around the world. Whether it be Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Sharapova, Williams, or Kerber, Tennis athletes are still, in my eyes, the most respected and gentleman/lady like in the world. I also just want to comment that the final match in Shanghai, I thought, was spectacular and Bautista Agut truly deserved to be there. He fought incredibly hard throughout and played great against Murray who was just on fire in the end. Congratulations to both of them. In the end, I hope you take something from this post and whether you are out on the court or out in life, remember that you are a member of this gentleman’s sport and you hold yourself to a higher standard.

Let me hear from down below. Do you feel the punishment was at all adequate for Nick’s unsportsmanlike conduct? Do you believe Tennis players owe it to their fans to play well for them? Do you agree or disagree that Tennis is still a gentleman’s sport? Thank you all for the support, talk to you next time!