Sunday at the 2015 Brisbane International Tennis provided an exciting mix of off-court fun and on-court surprise as the first WTA Premier tournament of the brand new season kicked into high gear right away.
Before it was time for the all-serious business of main draw tennis, the day started on a light-hearted note with the Suncorp Kids Tennis Spectacular inside Pat Rafter Arena.
The plenty of kids in the audience got to enjoy the presence of comic favorites like Spongebob Squarepants and tennis royalty including Martina Hingis, Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Victoria Azarenka, who participated in a fun-filled three-versus three-match.
The two-time Australian Open champion embraced the occasion as usual, entertaining the kids and sharing plenty of laughs with the fans and the teen icons on court.
While it was all fun and games inside Pat Rafter Arena, the qualifying stage completed on the outside courts as Yaroslava Shvedova & Daria Gavrilova managed to clinch their spots in the Brisbane International Tennis main draw.
Once kids day was over, it was time for serious business inside Pat Rafter Arena and the first main draw match of the year already had plenty of surprise in store as wildcard player Ajla Tomljanovic beat Jelena Jankovic 7-6 6-0 to kick off the 2015 edition of the tournament.
Playing for Australia since this season, Tomljanovic made the most of her newly-found home crowd, playing a gutsy match against the former #1, as Jankovic struggled with the lack of match practice due to her off-season injury.
Afterwards, Jankovic opened up to the press, talking about her back injury that prevented her from doing the most menial tasks such as brushing her teeth or putting on her shoes. “All my muscles disappeared, I looked like jelly!” the Serbian quipped, citing her lack of match play as main reason for today’s loss.
The surprises inside Pat Rafter Arena kept on coming as Andrea Petkovic failed to win her first-round match against Kaia Kanepi by 4-6 7-5 4-6, while Sam Stosur once more failed to make it past round one in an Australian tournament, losing to Varvara Lepchenko 6-4 4-6 5-7.
Sunday also had a very interesting doubles pairing in store, as Ana Ivanovic & Angelique Kerber completed their first doubles match of the season, beating Klaudia Jans-Iganik & Andreja Klepac.
The Serbian-German pairing was not just met by plenty of Australian sun and packed grandstands, Ivanovic’s boyfriend Bastian Schweinsteiger was on hand as well, as the German football superstar cheered on his sweetheart together with Ivanovic’s coaching team.
The action will continue inside Queensland Tennis Centre on Monday, as Victoria Azarenka, Dominika Cibulkova, Angelique Kerber & Sabine Lisicki among others will kick off the quest for their first title in 2015.
Loving these photos from Brisbane! The Aussie Swing is always a great part of the year.
The only match I got to watch as a whole was the last one between “Bam Bam” Sam and Lepchenko. I feel soooo bad for Stosur as the match was literally in her hands! I hope she gets some good matches in Sydney so that this disappointment will be forgotten sooner rather than later.
Tenniz-fan, I’m also sorry for JJ. I even read today that she was thinking of quitting tennis because of the back injury. Although it was a special win for Ajla in her adopted homeland.
Yes, I read that too, Marija. It’s always sad to learn about such serious injuries, no matter who the player is. I understood that JJ’s back is already much better though, fortunately.
I still have hopes for JJ this season although JJ might really retire this year following her disappointing results from last year plus the back injury.
Ana and Angie played very well in the doubles match against Jans-Ignacik and Klepac. Super fun match! I wish Ana wins her 1st doubles title. She is really having fun on doubles matches. I miss “Ivanorazzi” (Ivanovic-Petkovic) tandem.
Great job on the pics Jimmie! Keep it coming!
Tenniz-fan, definitely. JJ is my favorite player, it would be a huge loss for women’s tennis to lose her personality. Luckily she’s better now and I hope we’ll be seeing her for many years to come.
Emman Damian, and as I read on Twitter, Jimmie48 was one of only two photographers there to take photos of the doubles match! 🙂
Wow! Congrats Jimmie on that achievement. Great job!
I hope I can contribute too soon here in Women’s Tennis Blog. 🙂
Emman Damian, I don’t know what your special talents are, but I’m always open for good contributions and new ideas.
Emman Damian, let it rest and think about it, the idea will come. You see, John Bolan contributes annually with his ranking predictions, or occasionally with an article on some topic he is opinionated about, Jimmie48 travels and contributes with photos and wrap-ups of the day, Omair likes stats (https://womenstennisblog.com/omairs-stats-corner-insight-into-tennis-numbers/), James of Moo’s Tennis Blog is good at match previews and overviews of matches when they are finished, and so on. I do the fashion retrospections and they are quite difficult to hand to someone since I’ve been doing them for eight years now and I know how to find all the photos, how to link back to past retrospections and so on. You can take your time and think about something that you would like to write about the most and try yourself in it. No pressure.
I love writing and taking pictures but since I won’t be able to travel around the world on a regular basis, I can be an article contributor. I can also do some reviews especially the fashion retrospections, etc.