2011 Tennis season gets underway

After a short layoff, both the ATP World Tour and WTA Tour kicked off the new year and new season.

Brisbane hosted the first event with both ATP and WTA representation.  Robin Soderling defeated Andy Roddick to take the men’s title.  It was Roddick’s first ever loss at Brisbane (9-1).  The big surprise was world No. 9 Fernando Verdasco losing in the first round to Benjamin Becker.  Unseeded Petra Kvitova won the women’s title with a victory over also unseeded Andrea Petkovic.

The ASB Classic, held in Auckland was another WTA stop, won by 31 year old Greta Arn, who made it into the event because of withdrawals from other players.  Arn toppled top-seeded Maria Sharapova, No. 4 seed Julia Goerges, and No. 8 seed Sofia Arvidsson before dispatching the No. 2 seed and defending champion Yanina Wickmayer in the final. 

The ATP also had an event in Chennai, India, won by Stanislas Wawrinka over Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

The biggest event of the week was the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.  World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer were headed for a 1st-week showdown before Nadal was upset in the semifinal by Nikolay Davydenko.  Rederer would go on to win the title, making him the first 3-time winner in tournament history.

The American team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner won the Hopman Cup.  It is the sixth time the USA has won the title.  The USA team came into Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII unseeded but played outstanding tennis all week dominating Group B beating France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Nicolas Mahut 3-0, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone and Potito Starace 2-1 and Great Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray 3-0.  In the final, it took the mixed doubles match to determine the winner against the Belgium team of Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans.

 This week the ATP is in Sydney and Auckland, while the WTA is in Sydney and Hobart.