Tag Archives: Wimbledon

2017 Season Preview/Predictions of Simo Halep. Is a Grand Slam Title Finally in the Cards?

Welcome back fellow Halepenos and HalepBand!! It is that time again as we are ready to kick off another year of supporting our champion. Last year Simo started very slow with a first round exit in the first slam in the year down under. She came into it with an illness which ended up becoming a more serious issue than initially expected and she even announced that she would have nasal surgery to fix it which would’ve sidelined her for at least a month including fed cup. Here’s where I jump in to say THANK GOD SHE POSTPONED IT WE GOT THE GREATEST KVITALEP MATCH OF ALL TIME BECAUSE OF THAT!! Ok. Moving on. Simo went on to win three titles in 2016: Madrid, (her first one in 14 months) Bucharest for the second time in her career (the first one she ever won multiple times) and another huge win in Montreal over Madison Keys the week before the Olympics which she didn’t participate in. She kind of struggled towards the end of the year but one of her highlights even in defeat was a very hard-fought battle against Serena in Flushing Meadows at the US Open which she lost in three sets. Including one of the most clutch sets you’ll see in a long time where she faced 12 break points in the second set and saved every single one to win it.

So…. What does 2017 have in store for us? She will begin her journey in Shenzhen again; an event which she won back in 2015. Barring health issues, as I believe every year, the highlight of this year will be seeing her stand in front of a massive crowd kissing her first career grand slam trophy. Doubters and haters will say she will never be able to do it because of weak mental strength, power, etc. but they have never stopped us before in believing it will happen. Simo has to trust herself most importantly, live in the moment and play without fear because that’s the only thing holding her back as of now since we know her fighting spirit and talent has never been in question.He can’t help her on court during them but believe in Darren to show her the way to this majestic trophy! He’s a wizard don’t ever doubt that! This partnership has many great things left to accomplish in her career. I think Simo can win at least five titles this year (my bias could even do more if I wanted! But five sounded nice to start with) And I’m gonna predict them (despite not knowing draws which of course would help) and the results at every slam for starters here:

Australian Open: QF- This one is hard to predict for a lot more reasons than usual mainly because it’s so early in the year and it can be hard to get fully zoned into grand slam mode immediately starting 2017, you don’t know who is hot and who is cold yet, and the extreme heat is always random and that can get concerning on certain days. I mean I know she can go further but she has never reached a SF here and so I’m hesitant to think she will all of a sudden, but she has the talent to even win this so I’m trying to be cautious but at the same time optimistic! Based on plenty of experience… it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than expect a title and get let down again.

Roland Garros– Winner! A boring and obvious pick for many as the one she will win first but hey, this is her favorite event to play so why shouldn’t it be here? And she has shown amazing success here before and on clay in general. I still am very bitter about how it ended last year as the conditions were extremely horrid and they made her play through them and it cost her a loss. It’s not like she played great but come on she should’ve never been out there. That could’ve easily been her first slam too who knows. Ok that’s enough of Jake’s rant session that’s a topic you don’t want to push me on! So throw away the loss to Lucic Baroni in 2015 and her resume here doesn’t look too shabby.

Wimbledon: QF- This would be the same result as last year and I feel the same way about this one as AO because I know she can have success here and the 2014 SF shows that, but grass has never been her best surface and I feel she will need some draw luck to go deep. If she didn’t have to play Angie last year I think she could’ve had a shot at the title again so while this wouldn’t be an amazing run, I am still optimistic that she can go even deeper here! She has to believe I keep saying that’s always the key!

US Open- Final. I don’t know if she can win but I can easily see her making her first USO final this year because she has played some fantastic tennis in New York and nearly made it in 2015 before falling very flat in the SF vs Pennetta. If she gets there, it’s not like I’m automatically predicting a loss I am just saying I think she’s gonna get there and the rest will play out itself. I mean it could be against Serena for all we know and that’s big trouble (not that it’s totally impossible to beat her 😉 If she already has one this year coming into this one, the thought of her playing for her second one in the same year gives me so many feels don’t touch me right now I’m getting emotional.

The main thing I’m praying for this grand slam season are that there are no extremely early round flops to break our hearts. (Ok YES ANY GRAND SLAM LOSS WILL BREAK OUR HEARTS BUT YOU GET ME) Because this has happened at least once in each of the past couple of years and we know it’s very difficult to deal with! It crushes me seeing all of her fans sad after losses like those because it’s so unexpected and it’s just like a huge bomb out of nowhere dropping down on her fanbase. If she is gonna lose at a slam I prefer it to be later because at least she gave herself a much better chance to lift the trophy.

Also another prediction that is probably worth mentioning is her ranking status this year. She is currently #4 in the world and you have to think if she can maintain that consistency and stay in the top 5 the whole year that would be another great year for her. Of course her reaching #1 in the world is another huge achievement that we would all love to see her get to at some point, but it certainly won’t be easy. However, it’s obviously not impossible and there will be some nice chances early for her to get at least to #3 by the end of the Australian Open and if she wins it, could leapfrog all the way to #2 if I’m not mistaken. Bottom line, my prediction is that she will end at #3. I think staying in the top 5 is still my main wish but I’m not ruling her out to get higher and higher if she believes in herself and takes her chances.

Last but not least, my four other trophy predictions include Shenzhen again, Miami, Cincy and Singapore. Why not try for some more new trophies for her trophy case! Feel free to make your predictions on her titles, her grand slam results and anything else you want! Regardless of how her year plays out I can’t wait to support Simo with all of you for another year. Win or lose we always have her beautiful smile, her positivity, her cuteness, her kindness, her hard work ethic, and too many more amazing qualities to count. That counts for more than any tennis result could. I wish you all a healthy and Happy New Year and let’s make 2017 the best one yet! Hai Super Simo!!

Hope you enjoyed reading!

Jake

Recapping the Wild Ride of the 2015 Slams: Featuring Rog, Kvitty and Simo

It really is amazing how fast the tennis season always goes, and yet again here we are looking at the tail end of it as all four slams have now been completed. I thought it might be fun to recap the highs and lows I experienced with my faves during the slams, and a little preview of what 2016 might hold. Hope you enjoy!

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Roger Federer

The king finished with the best year at the slams out of my faves I would say as he made an RG QF and two finals at Wimbledon and U.S. Open sadly losing both to Novak. However, it doesn’t take away anything from an amazing season he had as he continues to defy the odds and compete at such an extraordinary level despite his age and no doubt seems to be primed to get more chances next year.

Favorite match: Defeating Andy Murray in the Wimbledon SFs. This is the one match of his career these days where he might not get the most crowd support. Against the UK’s own Andy Murray. I knew the match would be electric and a very tough one and Fed just silenced all doubters he had with brilliant tennis to not even let Andy into this match. He won all the key points and failed to let this one go into a tiebreaker as I if I remember correctly he broke all three sets to win them. It’s always a glorious feeling to see him get another chance in a grand slam final to try for the elusive 18th.

Proudest moment: Getting to his second grand slam final at the U.S. Open as he hadn’t been there in six years and again he played brilliant tennis to get there by not dropping a set. Unfortunately it had to be against Novak again, and he failed to take the many chances he had in that match en route to losing but still, I couldn’t have been more proud to see him reach two slam finals in an age where people are still doubting him. I’m sure the doubters fueled his fire, but he doesn’t need them as he’s got all the supporters he could ever want as you could tell if you watched the final. Keep slaying.

Most disappointing moment: Not a hard choice here as he opened his grand slam year losing to Andreeas Seppi in a heartbreaker in the third round at the Australian Open. This is where the haters came out and wondered if his chances were gone because this is another slam that he is usually strong at as he had made 11 straight SF appearances here before this loss. Seppi played out of his mind though and sometimes there’s nothing you can do. His shot on match point to clinch the victory proved it as it was an insane passing shot that I just stared in disbelief after it all unfolded. It sucked a lot because this is my favorite slam and I always believe in great things here. Oh well, he made up for it later in the year and I’m sure next year will be back to normal.

Favorite outfit: His night outfit at the U.S. Open! White and hot pink.

Grade for 2015 slams: A-. Sure he had a hiccup in one and lost two finals but the fact that he got there was amazing and I’m satisfied with this year despite not having a trophy. I’m just happy to see him playing so well year after year.

Predictions for 2016 slams: If he plays anything close to the level he showed this year, I can see him winning his 18th. Wimbledon always has to be the best chance so I’ll say he’ll win that. I’ll predict an AO final, RG SF, and USO final at the other slams. That is another dream year and I hope I’m not too greedy! Just my thoughts though, I’d be happy with something similar to this year, but please try to win one! No pressure.

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Petra Kvitova

Favorite match: Wimbledon Round 1 vs Kiki Bertens. Regardless of how this tournament turned out, this was a very cool moment as she destroyed Bertens in only 36 minutes. That’s pretty ridiculous and it barely gave us enough time to get our teeth into the match. If only she could win every match like that, we’d be the calmest fans in the world. However, we are exactly the opposite of that with her, but at least we had this fun moment to enjoy.

Proudest moment: Defeating Johanna Konta to reach her first USO QFs. I think it’s safe to say a lot of us were a bit surprised she made it this far especially with her mono and all, and then she goes ahead and scores this big win to continue the amazing journey. Her reaction was priceless as it wasn’t one you might see in an average straight sets win in R16 but one you could tell how much it meant to her to achieve something new in her career after all these years. It’s kind of like at New Haven when she said “When a win is more than a win” It felt like that here too. I couldn’t have been more proud despite her next match because we had already gotten something new and maybe unexpected. It also gave us hope for the upcoming years here that anything is possible.

Most disappointing moment: Another very easy choice as it had to be losing to Jelena Jankovic in the third round of Wimbledon. She came into this as the defending champion of course and seemed poised to be another huge threat to defend her title, but it wasn’t meant to be. It hurt even more as she cruised through the first set and a half, up a break in the second, but everything fell apart after that, and we were soon left crushed. No doubt it had to really hurt for her too as this is easily her favorite tournament in the world and she is always used to being here at least through the QFs. There were a bunch of depressing photos after this one and all of us felt very bad because of how much it means; just a sad sight overall. However, it’s just one bad year and I think she has a great chance to lift up the trophy again next year!

Favorite outfit: Her night outfit at the U.S. Open. Back in black!

Grade for 2015 slams: B- It was a bit of bumpy road for Kvitty this year as it always is but still there were some huge positives to take out of this year. She made the third round at the AO for the first time since 2012, the second week at RG for the first time since 2012 as well, and made her first career QF at the U.S. Open. So if anything, it gives us some extra hope for those events for next year where we usually might not expect much. I’m sure a lot of us will take what we got besides the Wimbledon result.

Predictions for 2016 slams: It’s basically throwing darts when it comes to predicting anything with Petra, but I’ll try. I think the second week is doable for AO, I still feel RG isn’t quite where it needs to be and could see another R3 but we’ll see. Think she’ll win Wimbledon again barring any health concerns, and a SF in New York to complete the SF slam!

on day one of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 24, 2015 in Paris, France.
on day one of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 24, 2015 in Paris, France.

Simona Halep

Favorite match: Defeating Victoria Azarenka at the U.S. Open. This was such a good match and I couldn’t help but see over and over again before this tournament and match started that Vika was the favorite to overtake Serena. It was nice to see Simo prove everyone wrong and say not so fast and pull off this huge win, especially after her huge grind against Lisicki the match before. Her reactions to winning this one were unforgettable and it was amazing to see the passion and excitement she had after this one after making her first U.S. Open SF. Sure it abruptly ended the match after but this was a fun journey with great memories and she’ll be back next year ready to get another chance at a trophy.

Proudest moment: Same as favorite match. Just the fact she was able to come through all adversity against her to survive this one. This was the happiest I was after one of her slam matches this year, so fun to watch and I won’t forget it anytime soon

Most disappointing moment: Unfortunately Simo’s slam season wasn’t too great and there were a lot of these. I’ll pick the RG loss because it was crushing to see it end like that so early after reaching the final last year. I had very high hopes she could make it again but she ran into the same force that knocked her out in New York last year in Lucic-Baroni. It’s a player we don’t want to see in future grand slams please. I still think she could’ve went very deep in RG had that not been her opponent because it seems there’s a bit of a mental block against her now but we’ll never know. This was identical to Petra’s loss at Wimbledon because this is Simo’s favorite event and she surely had to be pretty hurt after this one. Like we always say though, next year super Simo will be back and ready to make the final again and perhaps win it!

Favorite outfit: The black one at RG and I thought her visor with the flower in it was the coolest thing ever! Black suits her well and wished we could’ve seen it longer!

Grade for 2015 slams: D. This is a pretty bad grade but it fits. She made the QFs in AO yes but played one of her worst matches of the season there as she even admits she didn’t fight and doesn’t know why. At least in the other losses she tried to fight harder. RG was ugly and Wimbledon was uglier; no comment. At least we had the joy of her big run in USO to salvage the grand slam season. There is no doubt in my mind however that next year won’t be anything like this.

Predictions for 2016 slams: I’m thinking she’ll make the SFs in Australia and her loss will be a hard fought this time. It’s hard to quite know what to expect in the summer but I believe it’s destiny for Simo to win her first GS at RG so I’ll predict her to win that. I think a Wimbledon QF would be a good expectation as it’s not like she isn’t a good grass court player; there’s potential there. I think she’ll win the USO too! Two slams for Simo woah I should settle down! You can yell jinx at me but I know y’all would love this too!