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DECEMBER 2011

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Your Game • Serve with Kick • Punch in your practice • Learn from Roger Federer • Tournament advice

AUSSIE SUMMER SPOTLIGHT Matt Ebden Casey Dellacqua

Player ReportS

Bernard Tomic

Who’s top of the 2011 class?

BONUS

Print Post Approved PP 349181/00187

DJOKOVIC KVITOVA IVANOVIC

December Showdown Special

LLEYTON’S LAST STAND?


DECEMber 2011 VOL 36 No. 12

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FEATURES

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Lleyton’s last stand The Australian summer looms as the last for Lleyton Hewitt, but the fighting former No. 1 is still looking defiantly ahead.

After victory in the WTA Championships, it’s just a short step to world No. 1 for Petra Kvitova.

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Player report card Who are the duxes and duds of season 2011?

Petra power

The welcome Matt The dedicated and likeable Matthew Ebden is a welcome Australian addition in to the world’s top 80.

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Many happy returns

Casey Dellacqua is not only back from injury, but the popular Australian is stronger than ever.

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Dancing to her own beat

She dances, she writes and she doesn’t mind sharing an opinion; is Andrea Petkovic the biggest personality in women’s tennis?

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December Showdown special

Meet the future stars of Australian tennis in your guide to the December Showdown at Melbourne Park.

Australian Tennis Magazine | December 2011

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DeceMber 2011 REGULARS 7 Topspin 13

Your Serve

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Court Talk

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My Game

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My Coach

ing a e the world ’s top 150 follow e might have slipped outsid rem ains a in 2011, but Lle yton Hewitt frustrating run of injuries the heights lian tennis – a refl ection of top talking point in Austra rld No. 1 ranking, nd Slam titles and the wo he achieved with two Gra game. t rem ains so evident in his along with the pas sion tha the recent Davis in in, his heart out, yet aga Watching the Aus sie pla y that even if Hewitt’s t Switzerland highlighted Cup qualifying tie agains As we consider petitive spirit won’t wane. bod y lets him down, his com en appearance in Hewitt’s 16th Australian Op the sobering pos sibility of that many of his the reassuring knowledge 2012 being his last, there’s s. t in other Australian pla yer strengths are now eviden bber of 2011, ic has been the headline gra In men’s tennis , Bernard Tom the men’s top 40 quarter-final and entry in courtesy of his Wimbledon has been working tthew Ebden, me anwhile, at just 19 years of age. Ma nth we catch up the world ’s top 80. This mo equally hard to push into late and like abl e lian and discover an articu with the number two Austra ters as he cer tainly gain many suppor young man who will almost kings. continues his rise up the ran pla yers. Just s are a feature of Australian litie It seems role model qua from serious her resilience in recovering as Sam Stosur showcased Open, Casey Slam champion at the US illness to become a Grand tening injuries , from a run of career-threa Dellacqua has recovered s her ranking. Pro Tour titles as she rebuild winning four consecutive ular pla yer at es in this issue, will be a pop Dellacqua, who also featur stars of the future wdown, where Australia’s this month ’s December Sho m that event ly potential. As the buzz fro often demonstrate their ear summer of tennis , board into the Australian provides an exciting spring petitive spirit and to show his enduring com Hewitt will be determined ow his path. others will work hard to foll

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74 Rankings 76

FROM THE EDITOR

Club of the Month

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VIVIENNE CHRISTIE, Editor

EDITOR CONSULTING EDITOR ASSISTANT EDITOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER ADMINISTRATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER MY COACH CONTENT PHOTOGRAPHS COVER PHOTO

Vivienne Christie Alan Trengove Daniela Toleski Andrea Williamson Ben Carenco Mark Edney Getty Images, John Anthony (All photographs by Getty Images unless specified) John Anthony

Australian Tennis Magazine is published monthly by TENNIS AUSTRALIA LTD, Private Bag 6060, Richmond, Vic. 3121. Ph: (03) 9914 4200 Email: editor@tennismag.com.au Distributed by Network Distribution Company Printed in Australia by Webstar The views expressed in Australian Tennis Magazine are not necessarily those held by Tennis Australia. While the utmost care is taken in compiling the information contained in this publication, Tennis Australia is not responsible for any loss or injury occurring as a result of any omissions in either the editorial or advertising appearing herein.

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Australian Tennis Magazine | December 2011


PETRA Petra Kvitova, winner of the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul, is emerging as the power player in the women’s game. KRISTINA MOORE reports.

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etra Kvitova claims not to care about the rankings but as the statuesque Czech lifted her seventh career trophy in Istanbul, she could hardly fail to notice what everyone else was talking about: victory in the prestigious season-ending WTA Championships not only underlined Kvitova’s status as a clear standout of 2011, but also saw her rapidly closing in on the world No. 1 ranking. After starting the season at world No. 34 and with just a single title to her name, the 21-year-old leapfrogged into the world’s second spot with six titles in 2011, including a first Grand Slam at Wimbledon. And if Kvitova maintains the flawless form she displayed at Istanbul, where the year-end event was enthusiastically welcomed for the first time, it’s clearly a matter of if and not when she takes over the top spot. Demonstrating the best of her heavyhitting, crafty left-handed game that has drawn comparisons with Monica Seles, Kvitova convincingly claimed every round

More progress for Sam Stosur, with a first-time win over Maria Sharapova.

Hard-hitting and mentally tough, Petra Kvitova is standing tall at the top of the game.

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Australian Tennis Magazine | December 2011


POWER robin match she contested and moved into the final after a three set semi-final victory over Sam Stosur. It took another three sets to outclass Victoria Azarenka but the hard-fought nature of those final two matches only emphasised the fact that in just her third full year as a professional, Kvitova is already one of the WTA’s toughest competitors. She became just the third player to win the event on her debut, matching the feats of Serena Williams in 2001 and Maria Sharapova in 2004. “When I started this season I didn’t have any goals. I just wanted to improve my game,” she said. “But first Wimbledon, and now the yearend Championships and getting to No. 2 in the world. It’s just a dream.” Claiming the world No. 1 ranking would be a bigger dream – not only for Kvitova herself, but also for the many fans desperate for a player to clearly dominate at the top of the WTA rankings. Caroline Wozniacki, who won just one of her three round robin matches and failed to make the semis in Istanbul, has risen to top spot with a largely defensive style that few would describe as thrilling. Kvitova, on the other hand, showcases an explosive and crafty game that many find electrifying. At 182 centimetres her lefthanded serve is particularly lethal and it’s backed by powerful ground strokes and the Czech’s clearly growing confidence.

Athleticism and aggression are key strengths of the Czech left-hander.

Only 115 ranking points now separate Kvitova from Wozniacki’s top spot and even more telling is the fact that while the current No. 1 has close to 4000 points to defend until the end of April, Kvitova has just 1257. Still, Kvitova is hardly deferring to Wozniacki just yet. “I mean, we are very good friends. She played (Fed Cup in) Prostejov with us and the team, so she is very nice and friendly,” she said before insisting, again, that top spot was not a key objective. “It’s not a big goal before me. I just want to improve my game and every part of my game. I don’t like (to) look at the ranking, what number is before my name. So we will see.” Consistency is the one area that Kvitova appears yet to master, with victory at Wimbledon followed by a first round loss at the US Open and her best form only returning with a title in Linz shortly before the year-end event.

However the champion was hardly concerned when questioned about consistency in Istanbul. “Because I know that my standard was very lower before and now it’s a little bit higher,” she noted. “I mean, still, when I’m playing bad, I can win some matches because I have to fight or something like that.” For the naturally-shy Czech, the bigger issue might be coping with the hype that accompanies such heights in the professional game – although the attention didn’t seem too troubling when Kvitova backed up her year-end title with a starring role in the Czech Republic’s Fed Cup historic final victory over Russia the following week. Finishing her season on yet another high point seemed only fitting. As if we needed another one, it was also a sign that Kvitova’s progression to top spot seems certain to come sooner rather than later. n

The Czech Republic’s victory in the Fed Cup final over Russia added to Kvitova’s stellar season.

Victoria Azarenka finishes 2011 at a career-high world No. 3.

Australian Tennis Magazine | December 2011

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Australian Tennis Magazine - December 2011