Monday, August 19, 2019

Wk.33- Songs in the Key of Madison

Don't look back. Madison Keys might be gaining on you.



For all her abilities, over the course of a long season, 24-year old Florida native Keys sometimes seems to virtually disappear, with almost uncanny celestial accuracy. Every few months, she'll burn brightly like a comet streaking across the sky for a week, raising unrealistic expectations for more (and maybe better) sightings in short order. Ah, but that's not how things work where Keys in concerned. In reality, she'll seemingly go dormant again. But only until the next time she swings around a moon and uses its gravitational pull to slingshot herself around and set a course for another flyby with ultimate success.

The majority of Keys' wins come in slams, or the biggest regular tour events. It's a pattern that, while usually spotty, has managed to allow her to maintain a Top 20 ranking pretty consistently since 2015. She currently sports the fifth longest Top 20 streak on tour -- in order, behind only Halep, Pliskova, Svitolina and Wozniacki -- and has spent just one week (the first week of August '17) "outside the gates" since May 2016. This coming week will be her 168th of 169 weeks ranked in the Top 20. Without her one week "vacation" she'd have the *third* longest active streak in the WTA, behind only Halep and Pliskova, though she's never ranked in the Top 5 (while the other two woman have both been #1).

For her part, Keys *has* risen as high as #7. In 2016, a position which "naturally" came the year *before* her lone slam singles final appearance at the U.S. Open in '17, not in the wake of it. In fact, twice in the last few years she's managed the feat of raising her season-ending ranking -- from #31 to #18 from 2014-15, and then #19 to #17 from 2017-18 -- even while winning a title during the *lower*-ranked season but going title-less during the 12-month period during which she climbed the ranking ladder.

Oh, look. Here comes Madison on another of her eccentric orbits...

Keys' past year on tour has reproduced her typical career pattern. She reached the U.S. Open semis last September, then finished the remainder of her season by going just 3-2, with a walkover and a retirement. She started '19 at 3-3 (all three wins came in Melbourne), then won five in a row to take the Charleston title. Heading into Cincinnati this past week, she'd gone 6-7 since, with nearly all *those* wins coming at slam level (RG-4, WI-1), as well. Still, when she won on the green clay in South Carolina in April, Keys was ranked #18. When she claimed her biggest career title this weekend in Ohio, she'd come into the event (though winless on summer hard courts) once again ranked #18.

But now that will change. How much (and for how long) we'll soon find out.

Of course, we *could* just choose to wait her out. After all, even if she disappears "behind a moon" again soon, Madison will surely come this way again. Eventually.



*WEEK 33 CHAMPIONS*
CINCINNATI, OHIO (Premier 5/Hard Court Outdoor)
S: Madison Keys/USA def. Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS 7-5/7-6(5)
D: Lucie Hradecka/Andreja Klepac (CZE/SLO) def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Demi Schuurs (GER/NED) 6-4/6-1




PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Madison Keys/USA
...upon accepting her champion's trophy in Cincinnati on Sunday, Keys said, "If you told me this is where I would be a week ago, I would have laughed in your face." And she'd have been right to think as much, too. But after struggling to get past Garbine Muguruza in the 1st Round, Keys gradually began to rediscover the game that can soar as high as it can often frustrate and disappoint.



After defeating Dasha Kasatkina in straights, Keys outlasted Simona Halep in three, then allowed a resurgent Venus Williams just five games. With her serve heating up, she took out Sonya Kenin in two sets in the semis, then calmed the waters of Svetlana Kuznetsova's improbable (but not really shocking... it's Sveta, after all) week of break-out-the-noisemakers-again success by allowing the Russian to falter at just the wrong/right time (she served for the 1st and 2nd sets at 5-4, but lost 7-5/7-6), while she found her winners groove (43 on the day) while keeping her UE's (33) low enough for it to make a difference.

This win actually marks the first time time in her career that Keys has won *two* titles in a season. Yep, she has almost as many slam semifinal-or-better finishes (4) as she does tour singles titles (5). If it weren't for the likes of Muguruza, *she'd* possess the crown awarded to the player with the most top-heavy career resume in recent tour memory, and maybe ever.

Her exploits in Ohio will also lift Keys in the rankings, giving her a big boost up to #10, her first appearance in the Top 10 since the final week of June last season. Her move up knocks good friend Sloane Stephens *out* of the Top 10 for the first time since March '18.

Hmmm, might the combination inspire the '17 Open champ to her *own* resurgent performance at Flushing Meadows? Well, surely stranger things have happened... and probably will *again* pretty soon if the Most Interesting Tour has its say.
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RISERS: Ash Barty/AUS and Maria Sakkari/GRE
...Barty has been a factor on all surfaces in 2019, winning Birmingham on grass, Miami on hard courts (and reaching the AO QF) and claiming Roland Garros on clay.

After falling in her first summer hard court match (vs. Sonya Kenin) in Toronto, Cincinnati allowed the Aussie the chance to regain her footing. Victories over Maria Sharapova, Anett Kontaveit (from 5-3 down in the 3rd) and Maria Sakkari got Barty within a single semifinal win of retaking the #1 ranking (and the U.S. Open's top seed) from Naomi Osaka after just one week at #2. But the resurgent Svetlana Kuznetsova's masterful performance forced her to remain right where she'd entered the week, despite having improved her season hard court record to 23-5 (to go along with her 11-2 mark on clay, and 8-1 run on grass).

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Enjoy the fight ????

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Having already put up a semifinal result in San Jose this summer Sakkari posted a QF in Cincinnati, adding a second Premier 5 QF+ finish (Rome SF) to a season resume that already includes the 24-year old Greek's maiden tour title (Rabat), a pair of 3rd Rounds in slam competition (AO/WI) and five of her seven career Top 10 wins, two of which came this week (vs. Petra Kvitova and Aryna Sabalenka).

Sakkari, 26-12 since reaching the Charleston QF when she was ranked #50, will climb to #31 on Monday, just two spots off her career high.


===============================================
SURPRISE: Mahak Jain/IND
...and the giraffe goes to...



While Sania Mirza's comeback draws ever nearer (by January, apparently), 18-year old Jain has hit her stride on the challenger circuit. A week after winning her maiden title in the $15K in Nairobi with a win over Burundi's Sada Nahimana in the final, the Indian teen did it all over again in another tournament in the Kenyan city. Again, she defeated Nahimana in the final (6-1/6-1 after 6-1/6-4 a week ago), right after having picked up her maiden doubles title alongside fellow teenager Sathwika Sama a few hours earlier.


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VETERAN: Venus Williams/USA
...even while she'd seen her ranking fall to #65 heading into this past week, and was on a career-worst four-match losing streak, 39-year old Williams' season wasn't really *all that bad* when you read between the lines. She'd reached QF in Auckland, Indian Wells and Birmingham, notched a Top 5 win (#3 Kvitova) and others over the world #15 (Q.Wang), #20 and #22 (Kasatkina) over the course of the season, often while playing opponents more than two decades her junior.

Still, Venus' QF run in Cincinnati was a small surprise, but also not really. Sveta said this week she wasn't surprised by anything anymore, and surely we're past being surprised by even a nearly-fortysomething Williams showing she can still compete. Her win over Lauren Davis snapped her losing streak, and her follow-up three-set victories over #5 Kiki Bertens (the defending champ) and Donna Vekic once more made her a first week story to follow at Flushing Meadows as she makes her 21st U.S. Open appearance, while *not necessarily* ruling herself out as a possibility to carry things over to a second week in New York. She'll be almost back in the Top 50 on Monday, rising to #52.



As she'll surely say at some point in about two weeks (or so), she's not ready to go anywhere just yet. And Cincinnati showed why she's not *just saying that*.
===============================================



COMEBACK: Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS
...Sveta, the tour's resident philosopher, just takes it as it comes. Everything is as it should be even if you have no idea what exactly that is, or why. That's Kuznetsova's philosophy on life, tennis and the universe. And it's served her pretty well, whether her brilliant run through the past week in Cincinnati ended up with her winning the title or not. For the record, it didn't. But, still, Sveta's back... and who can feel bad about that?



It's been fifteen years since her U.S. Open title run, ten since she won Roland Garros, eight since her last second week appearance in the Flushing Meadows draw, and thirteen months since her last singles title. But there she was, at age 34 one of the last remaining Original Hordettes, in Ohio near the end of a summertime adventure that saw her unable to defend that aforementioned title in Washington after being denied admission into the U.S. due to visa issues. Decked out (and standing out) in Chinese sportwear company Qiaodan's turquoise attire, playing in the blazing heat with her mood-leveling Spanish team (including coach Carlos "brother from another mother" Martinez) cheering her on, Kuznetsova came into the week ranked #153 and sporting a 7-8 record since her return in April following a seven-month absence due to a wrist injury. After last year's Cincinnati event, she dropped out of the Top 100, leading to her worst season-ending ranking since 2001. Kuznetsova only got into the Cincy main draw as a wild card *this* year because of the withdrawals of other players.

But, well, a Sveta recently denied... nearly went out and won her biggest title in a decade.

As Kuznetsova said this week, "Nothing surprises me anymore."

After posting a win over #11 Anastastija Sevastova, Kuznetsova saved two MP vs. #32 Dayana Yastremska, then knocked off three straight Top 10 players in #10 Sloane Stephens, #3 Karolina Pliskova and #2 Ash Barty to reach the final. The latter three victories were the most Top 10ers she'd beaten in a single event since she won Miami in 2006, and her most Top 3 wins in a tournament since she won RG in 2009. The win over #2 Barty was her single biggest match victory since upsetting then-#1 Serena Williams en route to the Miami final in 2016. And all at a tournament that she almost didn't play, after only a few weeks ago not even knowing where she was going to *be* during these late summer weeks.

Muses Sveta, "Sometimes in life things are like this, sometimes small things change everything."

In the end, Kuznetsova had chances in the final vs. Madison Keys. She led and served for both the 1st and 2nd sets, but lost in straights. Surely she's disappointed, but she won't fret about it and wear the loss anywhere on her person or between the ears. What'd be the point of that? Who's got the time with so many other things in play?



Next stop: Flushing Meadows. Look out, New York. Here she comes again.
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FRESH FACES: Sonya Kenin/USA and Rebecca Peterson/SWE
...once again, Kenin had a banner week in a Premier 5 event, but didn't even come away with a final appearance to show for it.

A week after reaching the semis in Toronto with a win over the world #1 (Ash Barty) and #7 Elina Svitolina, Kenin had a remarkably similar result in Cincinnati, posting another semifinal result after getting a win over the world #1 (this time Naomi Osaka) and (again) #7 Elina Svitolina. After falling in the semis against a "too-good" Bianca Andreescu last week, it happened again this time vs. Madison Keys.

But her fourth SF-or-better result (tied for second on tour in '19, and the most of any Bannerette this season) will allow Kenin to make her Top 20 debut on Monday, and her second consecutive week with a win over a world #1 matches the feat previously accomplished by Amelie Mauresmo, Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport (all in 2001, but with Davenport the only to do it vs. different #1's).



Already during this summer hard court stretch, Peterson had posted her first career Top 10 win over Sloane Stephens in Washington. This week the 24-year old Swede qualified in Cincinnati with victories over Margarita Gasparyan and Barbora Strycova, then backed that up with MD wins over Johanna Konta and Veronika Kudermetova.


===============================================
DOWN: Johanna Konta/GBR
...hmmm, is this a thing or not?

I mean, Konta has had a good season -- back in the Top 15 after being #39 in '18, reaching the RG semis and two finals, becoming a British Fed Cup legend and posting six Top 10 wins -- but her three-set loss in Cincinnati to Rebecca Peterson is her third straight, and after making her mark on hard courts a few years ago she'll enter the U.S. Open with no wins on the surface since April. For sure, her coaching pick-up of Dimitri Zavialoff has been a success, but the Brit has ended coaching relationships at the end of her *best* season before.

So is this a thing or not?

Since winning 17 of 20 matches in the spring, Konta has gone 7-6. Would an early loss in New York cause her to hit the panic button? Would a mediocre result be enough for Konta to enter the season's 4Q on the verge of being antsy and looking for another big change to "snap out of it?" We'll see.

(But I bet Dasha Kasatkina might be keeping an eye on the situation, just in case).
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ITF PLAYERS: Heather Watson/GBR and Caroline Dolehide/USA
...in Vancouver, Watson claimed her biggest singles title since her most recent (of 3 career tour-level) WTA crown in Monterrey in 2016. The Brit didn't drop a set in winning the $100K challenger (she's now 3-2 in such finals) in British Columbia, posting victories over Carson Branstine, Kurumi Nara, Madisson Inglis, Leylah Annie Fernandez and, at last, Sara Sorribes Tormo (at #89, Watson's only Top 100 opponent of the week) in a 6-4/7-5 final.



While Watson will just miss returning to the Top 100 on Monday (she'll be a single point behind #100 Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov), this second 2019 title run (w/ a $60K in May) represents her first multi-win event since the $100K Surbiton tournament on grass in June.

In Concord, New Hampshire it was Dolehide getting over her just-missed-it chance to sweep the singles and doubles Golds at the Pan American Games (she led Nadia Podoroska 5-2 with a MP in the 3rd set, and 4-0 in the deciding TB... but Silver and Gold are still pretty good), claimed career challenger crown #5 at this week's $60K event. Wins over Nina Stojanovic, Zhu Lin, Ana Bogdan and Olga Govortsova set the stage for a 6-3/7-5 win in the final over countrywoman Ann Li.


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JUNIOR STAR: Leylah Annie Fernandez/CAN
...the #2-ranked girl has had quite the year so far. The 16-year old Canadian opened '19 by reaching the Australian Open junior final, then a few months later was crowned the girls champ at Roland Garros. She made her Fed Cup debut in April. In the last month, she swept the s/d titles at a $25K challenger for her first pro titles, then a week later played in an $80K final. She made her Rogers Cup MD debut in Toronto, and even played some doubles with Simona Halep. This week, already having climbed into the Top 300 in the rankings, LAF posted wins over Varvara Lepchenko, Ashley Kratzer and Nao Hibino (incidentally, 4-0 vs. Fernandez's countrywoman Genie Bouchard over the past year) to reach the semis (w/o dropping a set) of the $100K event in Vancouver as a wild card entry. She lost there to Heather Watson.

12-3 in pro events in her recent run, Fernandez is the fourth youngest player in the Top 300, behind the timeline of only Coco Gauff (15) and slightly younger fellow 16-year olds Dasha Lopatetska (injured) and Clara Tauson (who beat her in the AO final). LAF will come in at a new career high of #233 on Monday.


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DOUBLES: Lucie Hradecka/Andreja Klepac, CZE/SLO
...Hradecka & Klepac swept to the Cincy title without dropping a set, a successful defense of her '18 crown in the case of the Czech. They picked up their first title together with a 4 & 1 win over Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Demi Schuurs in the final.

It's the 34-year old Hradecka's 23rd career title, her third in Cincinnati with three different partners (Andrea Hlavackova in '12 and Ekaterina Makarova a year ago) while 33-year old Klepac gets #7, the biggest of her career. In an unusual note, it's her first tour win while partnering a non-Spanish player since 2013 (in the time since, she's won two with Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and one each with Lara Arruabarrena, Silvia Soler Espinosa and Maria Teresa Torro Flor).



Meanwhile, Groenefeld/Schuurs continue to be the season's tough-luck doubles duo. Not only did Schuurs (who led the tour in titles in '18) lose to Hradecka (w/ the Dutch WD specialist partnering Elise Mertens) in last year's Cincinnati final, but she and ALG were runners-up in Toronto a week ago. Leading the tour this season in finals reached by a duo (5), they've gone 0-5. Groenefeld at least can say she won a title in Charleston with Alicja Rosolska in the spring.
===============================================
WHEELCHAIR: Zhu Zhenzhen/CHN
...so how did Zhu respond to having her 33-match winning streak snapped last week in Austria? Well, she went to the Ath Open in Belgium and won another title, getting some revenge on the player who defeated her in last weekend's final, Sabine Ellerbrock, by taking down the German 6-3/6-3 to claim the crown. With the win, Zhu is now riding a 37-1 stretch in singles, and is 43-4 on the season as she's climbed up to #9 in the rankings. She didn't get a similar result in the doubles final, in which Ellerbrock also defeated her a week ago, as she and Huang Hui Min handed the title to Ellerbrock & Katharina Kruger via a walkover.

Meanwhile, the field for the U.S. Open is set, but Zhu isn't in it. This slam maybe more than any other highlights the inadequacy of an eight-player slam singles field, and I've felt for a while that even if all four majors didn't go to a 12 or 16-player draw, then a tournament like the U.S. Open *should*. For one, it would provide an opportunity for the USTA to try a little bit harder to grow wheelchair tennis in the U.S. at what is the year's premiere competition in the States, but with this being the final slam event on the schedule it would also allow *all* the (nearly full) season's best WC players a final opportunity to play in one of the four majors. Not only that, but the U.S. competition is only played three times every four years, anyway, because of the Paralympics (this year's will be the last WC slam at Flushing Meadows until '21), so why not make it a *larger* event to make up for that fact?

Here's the announced field, as the top U.S. player, world #16 Dana Mathewson, has been given a wild card, thereby knocking #8 Jordanne Whiley out of the field.

Diede de Groot/NED (#1)
Aniek van Koot/NED (#2)
Yui Kamiji/JPN (#3)
Marjolein Buis/NED (#4)
Giulia Capocci/ITA (#5)
Kgothatso Montjane/RSA (#6)
Sabine Ellerbrock/GER (#7)
Dana Mathewson/USA (#16)

Whiley, by the way, is a former '15 U.S. Open singles champ, one of four active players who've won the title, as well as a doubles winner, and has come back this season after having a baby. It'd been nice to see her included, as this means next year will be the fifth straight in which Whiley won't make a NYC appearance, as she hasn't played there since winning the title in 2015 due to all sorts of reasons.

2013 - 0-2 in S/D
2014 - Doubles Champion
2015 - Singles Champion
2016 - no event (Paralympics)
2017 - DNP (pregnancy)
2018 - DNP (pregnancy)
2019 - not in draw
2020 - no event (Paralympics)
2021 - ??

===============================================


Madison knows from experience to not simply toss something to a kid, as she's had items intercepted by pushy adults before...










1. Cincinnati Final - Madison Keys def. Svetlana Kuznetsova
...7-5/7-6(5).
Though singles finals have seen more Czechs (12) than participants from any other nation this season, the U.S. leads with seven singles champions (and without a Williams or Stephens even getting on the board so far).

Meanwhile, Kuznetsova is the first Hordette to reach a tour-level final this season.


===============================================
2. Cincinnati 2nd Rd. - Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Dayana Yastremska
...4-6/7-6(7)/6-2.
Yastremska led 6-4/5-3 and had two MP.
===============================================
3. Cincinnati 1st Rd. - Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Anastasija Sevastova
...7-6(3)/6-7(4)/6-4.
With her U.S. Open semifinalist points defense on deck, this loss may very well have ended Sevastova's chances to reach the Top 10. The details (time, date, etc.) about the call from Shahar Peer regarding the Latvian's lifetime membership in the #11-Oh-So-Close Club are currently being processed.
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4. Cincinnati 3rd Rd. - Ash Barty def. Anett Kontaveit
...4-6/7-5/7-5.
Kontaveit, who'd opened the week with a win over Angelique Kerber (her third straight loss, and fourth in five matches), led 5-3 in the 3rd.
===============================================


5. Cincinnati SF - Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Ash Barty
...6-2/6-4.
While Sveta may have put a permanent end to Sevastova's Top 10 dreams, she also (at least temporarily) ended Barty's chance to return to #1, as Osaka's Cincy retirement meant that the Aussie needed to only reach the final to reclaim the top spot and go into the Open as the #1 seed.
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6. Cincinnati 1st Rd. - Madison Keys def. Garbine Muguruza
...6-7(4)/7-6(5)/6-4.
Muguruza's first match in the post-Sumyk era, with Spanish Fed Cup coach Anabel Medina-Garrigues helping out, was a loss, but might ultimately be seen as an encouraging first step considering how the tournament ended up.
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7. $100K Vancouver 1st Rd. - Timea Babos def. Genie Bouchard 3-6/6-3/6-1
Bronx Q1 - Kaia Kanepi def. Genie Bouchard 6-4/3-6/6-3
...
Bouchard's 10th and 11th consecutive defeats (on all levels). Her last win was in Dubai in February, but seven of the losses have gone three sets. It's a curious playing out of a season for the Canadian, who'd actually gotten off to a good start in 2019, going 6-4, reaching QF's in Auckland and at a WTA 125, and winning her first career doubles title in the opening weeks. A loss to countrywoman Bianca Andreescu in the Newport Beach 125 (which Andreescu won) was the point at which her season boomeranged back, as she's gone 1-13 since.
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8. Bronx Q1 - Pauline Parmentier def. Samantha Stosur
...6-2/6-3.
At least Sam got a WC into the U.S. Open main draw. (And Parmentier didn't moonwalk.)
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9. $25K Guayaquil ECU Final - Maria Camila Osorio Serrano def. Katerina Stewart
...7-5/7-6(3).
The 17-year old Colombian wins career title #2.


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10. Bronx Q3 - Jil Teichmann def. Laura Siegemund
...0-6/7-6(7)/7-6(5).
Who knows what might have happened had these two played on their favored clay, but maybe hard court was an equalizer in some way. If so, well, it's still hard to tell much about this result. After all, Siegemund lost, but actually won four more games than Teichmann and twenty more points (114-94). Before winning three straight in New York, the Swiss, the only player on tour this season with two clay court singles crowns, hadn't won a hard court match since late February in Acapulco, and hadn't strung together consecutive wins on the surface since the Linz Q/1r last October.
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Vika needs to up her "partner game," or Ash is going to start to long for her recent doubles duo past. After all, CoCo's (wo)manhandling of her last summer led to a U.S. Open doubles title, followed by the Aussie's career season in singles this year.





1. Cincinnati QF - Sonya Kenin def. NAOMI OSAKA
...6-4/1-6/2-0 ret.
With her second #1 win in as many weeks (a tour first since 2001), Kenin joins Belinda Bencic as the only players with multiple #1 victories this season. As for Osaka, she'll retain her #1 ranking, while we'll wait and see if her knee allows her to defend her U.S. Open title from the catbird seat atop the draw.



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2. Cincinnati 1st Rd. - VENUS WILLIAMS def. Lauren Davis
...7-5/6-2.
Venus' QF run began with her snapping her career-worst four-match losing streak.
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3. Cincinnati 2nd Rd. - VENUS WILLIAMS def. Kiki Bertens
...6-3/3-6/7-6(4).
Venus nearly let a 4-1 3rd set lead against the defending champ slip away, failing to serve things out at 5-4 before winning a 7-4 TB to record her second '19 Top 10 win.
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4. Cincinnati 3rd Rd. - VENUS WILLIAMS def. Donna Vekic
...2-6/6-3/6-3.
It worked.
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5. Cincinnati QF - KAROLINA PLISKOVA/KRISTYNA PLISKOVA def. Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova
...7-5/2-6 [10-6].
A Czech Fed Cup practice that *counted*. Fact: it's possible that none of these four will be on the CZE's Fed Cup roster in Budapest next spring, but the Maidens could *still* reclaim their title by the end of that week in the event's new format.

Say... with Petra, Muchova, Vondrousova and Bouzkova (or maybe Hradecka for doubles).
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Hmmm... "A Tale of Two 2019 Svitolinas: Social Media Elina and On-Court Elina"















*MULTIPLE WTA SINGLES TITLES in 2019*
3 - Ash Barty, AUS [Miami,Roland Garros,Birmingham]
3 - Karolina Pliskova, CZE [Brisbane,Rome,Eastbourne]
2 - Bianca Andreescu, CAN [Indian Wells,Toronto]
2 - Kiki Bertens, NED [Saint Petersburg,Madrid]
2 - Sonya Kenin, USA [Hobart,Mallorca]
2 - MADISON KEYS, USA [Charleston,Cincinnati]
2 - Petra Kvitova, CZE [Sydney,Stuttgart]
2 - Jil Teichmann, SUI [Prague,Palermo]
2 - Dayana Yastremska, UKR [Hua Hin,Strasbourg]

*2019 LOW-RANKED FINALISTS*
NR - Patricia Maria Tig/ROU (Bucharest)
#194 - Katarzyna Kawa/POL (Jurmala)
#153 - SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA/RUS (CINCINNATI)
#152 - Bianca Andreescu/CAN (Auckland)
#146 - Jil Teichmann/SUI (Prague W)
#138 - Astra Sharma/AUS (Bogota)
#115 - Iga Swiatek/POL (Lugano)
#106 - Karolina Muchova/CZE (Prague)
#106 - Elena Rybakina/KAZ (Bucharest W)

*2019 OLDEST SINGLES FINALISTS*
37 - Serena Williams, USA (Toronto-L)
37 - Serena Williams, USA (Wimbledon-L)
34 - SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA, RUS (CINCINNATI-L)
31 - Angelique Kerber, GER (Eastbourne-L)
31 - Angelique Kerber, GER (Indian Wells-L)
30 - Julia Goerges, GER (Birmingham-L)
30 - Julia Goerges, GER (Auckland-W)

*2019 Q/LL/PR/WC IN FINAL*
Auckland - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (18, #152, Q)
Indian Wells - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (18, #60, WC) = W
Prague - Jil Teichmann, SUI (21, #146, Q) = W
Prague - Karolina Muchova, CZE (22, #106, WC)
Bucharest - Patricia Maria Tig, ROU (24, NR, Q)
Jurmala - Katarzyna Kawa, POL (26, #194, Q)
Cincinnati - SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA, RUS (34, #153, WC)

*2019 WINS OVER #1*
Sydney 2nd Rd. - #15 Barty d. #1 Halep
Australian Open 4th Rd. - #16 S.Williams d. #1 Halep
Dubai 2nd Rd. - #67 Mladenovic d. #1 Osaka
Indian Wells 4th Rd. - #23 Bencic d. #1 Osaka
Miami 3rd Rd. - #27 Hsieh d. #1 Osaka
Madrid QF - #18 Bencic d. #1 Osaka
Roland Garros 3rd Rd. - #42 Siniakova d. #1 Osaka
Birmingham 2nd Rd. - #43 Putintseva d. #1 Osaka
Wimbledon 4th Rd. - #55 Riske d. #1 Barty
Toronto 1st Rd. - #29 Kenin d. #1 Barty
Cincinnati QF - #22 Kenin d. #1 Osaka
[recent multi-#1 win seasons]
2010 (2) Samantaha Stosur
2011 (2) Dominika Cibulkova, Julia Goerges, Vera Zvonareva
2012 (4) Serena Williams
2012 (2) Maria Sharapova
2013 - none w/ 2
2014 (3) - Alize Cornet
2015 - none w/ 2
2016 (2) - Elina Svitolina
2017 (3) - Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki
2017 (2) - Garbine Muguruza, CoCo Vandeweghe
2018 - none w/ 2
2019 (2) - Belinda Bencic, SONYA KENIN
[recent wins over diff. #1's in season]
2008 (3) Dinara Safina
2009 (2) Venus Williams
2010 (2) Samantha Stosur
2011-15 - none
2016 (2) Elina Svitolina
2017 (3) Caroline Wozniacki
2017 (2) Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, CoCo Vandeweghe
2018 - none
2019 (2) SONYA KENIN
[wins over #1 player in consecutive weeks]
2001 Amelie Mauresmo - Hingis/BERLIN, Hingis/ROME
2001 Monica Seles - Hingis/S.D., Hingis/L.A.
2001 Lindsay Davenport - Hingis/FILDERSTADT, Capriati/ZURICH
2019 Sonya Kenin - Barty/TORONTO, Osaka/CINCINNATI

*2019 BIGGEST AGE DIFFERENCE IN FINAL*
18 yrs - Andreescu(19) def. S.Williams(37) - Toronto
13 yrs - Andreescu(18) def. Kerber(31) - Indian Wells
12 yrs - Goerges(30) def. Andreescu(18) - Auckland
11 yrs - Hercog(28) def. Swiatek(17) - Lugano
10 yrs - KEYS(24) def. KUZNETSOVA(34) - Cincinnati
-
NOTE: younger players are 3-2

*WTA PREMIER 5+MANDATORY FINALS in 2019*
Dubai (HC) - #45 Bencic/SUI def. #4 Kvitova/CZE
Indian Wells (HC) - #60 Andreescu/CAN def. #8 Kerber/GER
Miami (HC) - #11 Barty/AUS def. #7 Ka.Pliskova/CZE
Madrid (RC) - #7 Bertens/NED def. #3 Halep/ROU
Rome (RC) - #7 Ka.Pliskova/CZE def. #42 Konta/GBR
Toronto (HC) - #27 Andreescu/CAN def. #10 S.Williams/USA
Cincinnati (HC) - #18 KEYS/USA def. #153 KUZNETSOVA/RUS
Wuhan (HC) -
Beijing (HC) -

*2019 WTA FINALS - North Americans*
3 - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (2-1)
3 - Sonya Kenin, USA (2-1)
2 - MADISON KEYS, USA (2-0)
2 - Alison Riske, USA (1-1)
2 - Serena Williams, USA (0-2)
1 - Amanda Anisimova, USA (1-0)
1 - Jessica Pegula, USA (1-0)
[semifinals]
4 - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (3-1)
4 - SONYA KENIN, USA (3-1)
3 - Bernarda Pera, USA (0-3)
2 - MADISON KEYS, USA (2-0)
2 - Alison Riske, USA (2-0)
2 - Serena Williams, USA (2-0)
2 - Amanda Anisimova, USA (1-1)
1 - Jennifer Brady, USA (0-1)
1 - Danielle Collins, USA (0-1)
1 - Caty McNally, USA (0-1)
1 - Jessica Pegula, USA (1-0)
1 - Monica Puig, PUR (0-1)
1 - Sloane Stephens, USA (0-1)

*2019 OLDEST WTA WD CHAMPIONS*
44 - Kveta Peschke, CZE (San Jose)
43 - Kveta Peschke, CZE (Brisbane)
36 - Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez, ESP (Rabat)
35 - Samantha Stosur, AUS (Australian Open)
35 - Renata Voracova, CZE (Palermo)
34 - LUCIE HRADECKA, CZE (CINCINNATI)
34 - Vera Zvonareva, RUS (Budapest)
[combined duos]
70 - Melichar/Peschke, USA/CZE (26/44) = San Jose
68 - Melichar/Peschke, USA/CZE (25/43) = Brisbane
67 - HRADECKA/KLEPAC, CZE/SLO (34/33) = CINCINNATI
66 - Groenefeld/Rosolska, GER/POL (33/33) = Charleston
66 - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE (33/33) = Wimbledon
66 - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE (33/33) = Birmingham
66 - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE (33/33) = Madrid
65 - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE (33/32) = Dubai

*2019 WTA DOUBLES FINALS - INDIVIDUALS*
6 - ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD, GER (1-5)
5 - DEMI SCHUURS, NED (0-5)
4 - Hsieh Su-wei, TPE (4-0)
4 - Barbora Strycova, CZE (4-0)
4 - Chan Hao-ching, TPE (3-1)
4 - Latisha Chan, TPE (3-1)
4 - Nicole Melichar, USA (2-2)
[duos]
5...GROENEFELD/SCHUURS, GER/NED (0-5)
4...Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE (4-0)
4...Chan/Chan, TPE/TPE (3-1)

*2019 WTA CON. DOUBLES FINALS*
2 - Chan/Chan (Shenzhen-L/Hobart-W)
2 - Ekaterina Makarova (Saint Petersburg-W/Dubai-L)
2 - Mertens/Sabalenka (Ind.Wells-W/Miami-W)
2 - Babos/Mladenvoic (Istanbul-W/R.Garros-W)
2 - Kirsten Flipkens (Mallorca-W/Eastbourne-L)
2 - GROENEFELD/SCHUURS (Toronto-L/CINCINNATI-L)

*2019 SLAM/PREMIER MANDATORY/PREMIER 5 CHAMPIONS*
Australian Open - Naomi Osaka, JPN
Dubai - Belinda Bencic, SUI
Indian Wells - Bianca Andreescu, CAN
Miami - Ash Barty, AUS
Madrid - Kiki Bertens, NED
Rome - Karolina Pliskova, CZE
Roland Garros - Ash Barty, AUS
Wimbledon - Simona Halep, ROU
Toronto - Bianca Andreescu, CAN
Cincinnati - Madison Keys, USA
US Open -
Wuhan -
Beijing -
[doubles]
Australian Open - Stosur/Sh.Zhang, AUS/CHN
Dubai - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE
Indian Wells - Mertens/Sabalenka, BEL/BLR
Miami - Mertens/Sabalenka, BEL/BLR
Madrid - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE
Rome - Azarenka/Barty, BLR/AUS
Roland Garros - Babos/Mladenovic, HUN/FRA
Wimbledon - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE
Toronto - Krejcikova/Siniakova, CZE/CZE
Cincinnati - Hradecka/Klepac, CZE/SLO
US Open -
Wuhan -
Beijing -

*2019 $100K FINALS*
Midland, USA (hci) - McNally/USA (#411) d. Pegula/USA (#104)
Charleston USA (gco) - Townsend/USA (#108) d. Osuigue/USA (#139)
Bonita Springs, USA (gco) - Davis/USA (#132) d. A.Li/USA (#218)
Trnava, SVK (rco) - Pera/USA (#115) d. Blinkova/RUS (#123)
Surbiton, ENG (g) - Riske/USA (#62) d. Rybarikova/SVK (#74)
Manchester, ENG (g) - Linette/POL (#96) d. Diyas/KAZ (#101)
Ilkley, ENG (g) - Niculescu/ROU (#142) d. Babos/HUN (#138)
Contrexeville, FRA (rc) - Zavatska/UKR (#196) d. Eikeri/NOR (#294)
Vancouver, CAN (hc) - Watson/GBR (#110) d. Sorribes Tormo/ESP (#89)


*U.S. OPEN WILD CARDS*
Kristie Ahn/USA (27) - the winner of the USTA's Wild Card Challenge played in her first U.S. Open MD in 2008, and (after four failed qualifying attempts over the past decade) finally will appear in her second a week from now
Francesca Di Lorenzo/USA (18) - reached the 2nd Round a year ago as a qualifier
Coco Gauff/USA (15) - made a Round of 16 splash at SW19 as a qualifier, and now makes her Open debut two years after she lost the girls final (vs. Anisimova) at Flushing Meadows
Caty McNally/USA (17) - a Wimbledon qualifier and recent tour WD champ (w/ Gauff in Washington) and singles semifinalist makes her Open debut
Whitney Osuigwe/USA (17) - still seeking her maiden slam MD win, Osuigwe has been an Open WC two years running, as was also given a MD slot in Melbourne earlier this year
Diane Parry/FRA (16) - the Pasty with the one-handed backhand notched a MD win in Paris after receiving a RG wild card
Samantha Stosur/AUS (35) - the 2011 champ's last MD win at the Open was in '16
Katie Volynets/USA (17) - the USTA Girls 18s National Champion makes her U.S. Open debut







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It has been exactly 10 years since my best result here in New York! I have grown so much as an athlete but also as a person and i am super thankful for everything my carreer has given me so far. I faced some big challenges but i always found the strength to fight back from whatever position i was in. I am proud to have found myself through the years and fought hard to become who i am today. Nothing never ever came easy but it was all worth it and i can’t wait for whatever challenges will cross my path because they all made me stronger. Sometimes it’s good to look back on the path you walked cause it might tell you what your next step forward should be. #UsOpen #Semi #AthleteLife #10YearChallenge

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All for now.

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