While our photographer Jimmie48 is busy covering the Hobart International, enjoying the tournament’s beautiful setting, there are plenty of things going on elsewhere in Australia as well. The $731,000 Apia International Sydney lost its top seed Simona Halep to illness, while third seed Agnieszka Radwanska fell in a thrilling second-round encounter, as well as home favorite Samantha Stosur.
This is a tricky week for tournaments, since players are very cautious to save themselves for the upcoming Australian Open. After Monday’s withdrawal of fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki due to a wrist injury, Sydney said goodbye to its top seed, Simona Halep, who cited gastrointestinal illness and was replaced by lucky loser Nicole Gibbs.
Just hours after escorting the 2015 Shenzhen champion Halep, the Premier-level event lost its third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, but in a nail-biting battle with WTA’s rising star Garbine Muguruza. After dropping the first set, the 24th-ranked Muguruza went 4-1 up in the second set, and even though the recent Hopman Cup champion Radwanska managed to level, Muguruza prevailed in the tiebreak and then broke the Pole’s serve three times in the decider to win the match 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2.
BTW, I’m eagerly awaiting to see whether Radwanska will wear the dramatic black lace Lotto dress that we’ve seen as the brand’s design for 2015. So far this year she’s been wearing white and navy versions of the Lotto Autumn Nixia Dress.
Sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova also fell in the second round on Tuesday, 4-6 6-1 6-4 to Carla Suarez Navarro, while Aussie Sam Stosur, who had won no matches in Brisbane, bowed out of Sydney in the second round, losing to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-6(1) 6-2. Second seed Petra Kvitova was successful today, beating Peng Shuai 6-1 7-5.