I arrive in Sydney on the 8th of january at 07.00 am, but my tennis bag is still in Dubai. So not a chance to hit the first day. Aniek (who arrived a day earlier) and I take the train to the city and enjoy the sun, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. We try to stay out in the daylight as long as we can, to get rid of our jetlag. The next day my tennis bag still hasn’t arrived, so that it is a bit annoying. So time for a good session in the gym, to get my body going. Luckily they find my tennis bag that day, after it was delivered in the wrong Pullman hotel. So the next day we can finally start practicing. It is hot out here!! We have sessions late in the afternoon or early morning(07.00-09.00) but the sun is burning already at that time.
My first match (second round as I have a bye first round) I play against Yu-Yeon Park. I’m a bit rusty in the beginning. It’s always difficult to transition from indoor training at home to playing matches outdoors, but I win this match 6-3 6-3.
The next day I’m supposed to play my quarter final against Diede de Groot. In the afternoon it’s so hot that the heat rule is in effect, so no play. Half an hour after the first rounds go on court, it starts lightening and an hour later it is pouring down rain. It doesn’t stop so all matches are cancelled for the day.
As we have only two days left to finish the tournament, I play two singles matches on friday. First I play my quarter final against Diede de Groot. It’s very windy this day and she is struggling with the conditions. I play a solid match and win 6-1 6-2. That evening I play my semi final against KG Montjane. I start really well and take the first set 6-0. In the 2nd I loose my focus and Montjane takes advantage of that, winning the second set 6-2. In the 3rd set I’m able to turn that around and I take the third set 6-2. Unfortunately we have to pull out of doubles as Aniek twisted her back earlier that morning and is not able to play. Hopefully she recovers fast as we have two more weeks of tennis ahead of us.
On saturday I play my first final of the year against world number 2 Yui Kamiji. Another windy day on court. I start well and at 5-2 I have a couple of setpoints but cannot convert. At 3-5 0-40 I miss two more chances on setpoint, but I win the next point and take the first set 6-3. In the second set I’m struggling. I make too many unforced errors and play too defensive. In the third set I face 0-2 so it doesn’t look good. But I play a really strong game and I’m back in the set. I take a 5-2 lead, but Kamiji is fighting back to 5-4. I break her serve once more and take the set 6-4. What a way to start this year winning my first Super Series title in 2016. A great warmup for the Australian Open.