The grand slams may be over for another year but there is still plenty to play for over the coming month as we build towards the WTA Championships in Istanbul. Former British No 1 Jo Durie tells The Tennis Space why she thinks the next month could be a good time for Caroline Wozniacki and Laura Robson and points to a few more players who could be about to make a move.
How important is this time of year for the top women?
Very. There are quite a few points on offer over the coming weeks. Everyone’s fighting to get their ranking up ahead of next year to make sure they are seeded and to get a little bit of a better draw for the next grand slam.
The top players are in Tokyo next week. What can we expect?
From my experience, it is a very organised city. The bus leaves to the courts at eight-o-clock in the morning and the doors are going to shut absolutely on time. Your pick up car is going to be ready and waiting; they are so organised, it’s brilliant. Sometimes I don’t think the players are as organised unfortunately! Everything is really laid on for you. I think a lot of the players have big contracted companies from over there so there is probably quite a bit of work they need to do off the court for their sponsors. It’s probably quite tiring for a lot of them.
Who are you looking forward to seeing?
I will be keeping my eye on Caroline Wozniacki. With her work-rate and the number of tournaments that she plays, I think she can definitely get back into the top 10. To get back in the top five, I think she knows she has to be more aggressive, especially off her forehand side. The last time I saw her play I thought her backhand was working really well. But her forehand needs to be more of a weapon. She’s got bundles of drive and determination so she’ll make it happen if she wants it.
From a British point of view, Laura Robson is very much on the up? What do you expect from her?
It will be interesting to see how she performs. It was a big break for her at the US Open and she been riding the wave this week in China, too, which was impressive. She needs to keep pushing herself but she’s on the rise at the moment and it’s very exciting. We’re going to find out in the next few tournaments where she’s at and I think her top class tennis is top class. Can she be in top 20? I think she has the tennis for it. I think she’s realised how much harder she needs to work to make that happen but it’s going to be a very exciting journey for her.
The WTA Championships starts in a month’s time – who else should we be looking at?
It’s very interesting times for the women’s game at the moment. You’ve got plenty of big hitters up there but you’ve also got Agnieszka Radwanska who’s such a wonderful player to watch against those big hitters because of the way she crafts the point. Sara Errani is a similar player as well and you also have Angelique Kerber; what an amazing story that is. So there’s a really good mix of players up there at the top. There’s a great mix of players trying to qualify and I think it’s very exciting looking forward to that.
Jo Durie will be commentating for British Eurosport at the WTA events in Tokyo, Beijing, Linz and Moscow as well as the WTA Championships in Istanbul at the end of October.