After three days of uninterrupted sunshine at the 2015 Brisbane International, the Australian weather showed its rough side on Monday, as severe showers soaked the tournament site all day until the late afternoon.
The Queensland Tennis Centre is well equipped for rainy conditions and besides a completely shielded center court, the two outside show-courts possess a roof as well. In theory, this should allow for play to continue through all conditions, but Monday’s weather proved to be too much too handle for the venue at times.
The torrential showers were so heavy at times that play on the two outside courts needed to stop several times as the court ends kept getting soaked in rain. Even play inside Pat Rafter Arena had to be briefly interrupted, because the wind was carrying the water through the gaps in the roof structure.
One of the matches affected was the first-round clash between Madison Keys & Dominika Cibulkova and the American seemed to handle the slight distraction much better, enjoying a convincing 7-5 6-2 win.
Despite the at times rather uncomfortable conditions, the spectators came in masses and mere rain can’t stop Queenslanders from enjoying their tennis. Even though the tournament is only in its early stages, long queues formed at the outside courts, since the amount of fan interest exceeded the seating capacity at most matches.
The tennis was well worth the wait, as the outside courts were scene of two of the day’s most exciting matches, involving two German players.
The first was Sabine Lisicki — the 2013 Wimbledon finalist fell prey to Khazakstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova. Shvedova, who played her way through the tournament’s qualifying rounds, failed to win a single game in the first set, as Lisicki edged out a 6-0 lead. Shvedova’s luck turned around as the match progressed, she took the following sets 7-5 6-4 and Sabine Lisicki’s boyfriend Oliver Pocher had to witness a less than stellar start into the new season for the German fan favorite.
With two popular German players already eliminated following Petkovic’s loss yesterday, it was once again on Angelique Kerber to deliver results for her country. As usual, Kerber did not disappoint, playing a particulary gutsy match against Caroline Garcia, edging out the French youngster 6-4 6-3.
In the evening, 2014 Brisbane International finalist Victoria Azarenka played the first night session match of the tournament, starting her quest to make up lost ground in the rankings at prime time. Having recently dropped out of the Top 40, Azarenka now faces very capable opponents in early rounds and Monday was no exception wtih Karolina Pliskova waiting for the former world #1. Having enjoyed her breakout year in 2014 by winning two WTA tournaments and reaching three more finals, Pliskova is now 23rd in the rankings.The Czech youngster proved the expected tough opponent and the fans in Brisbane were treated to a thriller of a match. After taking the first set quite comfortably 6-4 , Azarenka failed to close the deal in the second set, failing to capitalize on a match point. The ensuing tiebreak was won by Pliskova, forcing a third set. After 3:17 hours of exciting tennis, Pliskova took the final set 6-4, met by the thunderous cheering from the packed Pat Rafter Arena crowd.
Tuesday at the 2015 Brisbane International will finally see the tournament’s top seed in action. Maria Sharapova will be the main event on center court in the evening, facing Yaroslava Shveoda.
Furthermore, fans will also get to enjoy the battle between two promising youngsters, as Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic will face Elina Svitolina. For all of that and more, make sure to keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog all week!