In late October 2016, I had the opportunity to spend two days at ATP 500 Erste Bank Open Tennis tournament in Vienna, Austria. This tournament had a total financial commitment of 2,4 million EUR and the players had a chance to add up to 500 points to their ranking. The line up included world no. 2 Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Austrian rising super star Dominic Thiem, as well as the veterans David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and John Isner. The lighting in Wiener Stadthalle was difficult to work with, producing a strong yellow cast. Nevertheless, I was happy for the opportunity, as it was my first time shooting professional tennis outside of Slovakia in 9 years.
In mid-May 2016, I shot the semifinals and finals of ITF Empire Slovak Open, the largest women’s tennis tournament in Slovakia. This ITF tourmanet with the prize money of 100 000 Dollars serves as the International women’s championship of Slovakia. Katerina Siniakova won the singles, defeating Anastasia Sevastova in a three set battle. In doubles, the talented Slovak junior Tereza Mihalikova claimed the title with her team-mate Anna Kalinskaya. They defeated the higher-ranked duo Anastasia Sevastova and Evgenyia Rodina in two sets.
In April 2016, Slovakia played the Fed Cup World Group 2 Play off against Canada. The winner retained the position in World Group 2, while the loser was relegated into regional competition. After losing to Australia in February, Slovakia managed to win this tie 3:2. Dominika Cibulkova was the driving force this time, winning both her singles rubbers against Francoise Abanda and Aleksandra Wozniak. Our team also had a new member. Tereza Mihalikova, who won Junior Australian Open 2015 and was a finalist of Junior Australian Open 2016 made her debut in the doubles match. She and Jana Cepelova almost won their match against Canadian duo Sharon Fichman and Charlotte Robillard-Millette. The Canadians were more lucky in the third set super tie-break.
In February 2016, Slovak Fed Cup team played the first round of Fed Cup World Group 2. against team Australia. The Aussies led former US Open Champion Samantha Stosur proved to be too tough for us. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova defeated Arina Rodionova and Dominika Cibulkova won her match against Kimberly Birrell. On the other hand, Samantha Stosur defeated both Jana Cepelova on Saturday and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Sunday. She then added the deciding point in with Casey Dellacqua, defeating Daniela Hantuchova and Jana Cepelova in three sets.