Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wk.29- Sam Has a Good ol' Time in Bad Gastein

So, Sam Stosur began her week in Bad Gastein on a zipline...

...and then ended it on Cloud Nine.

Not a bad week, I'd say. In fact, you're almost tempted to wonder if maybe the Aussie had some "help" from someone with a little behind-the-scenes "ummmph." Hmmmm.

Naaahhh. Right?

Well, no one ever said Sam was on anyone's "Naughty List." So...

BAD GASTEIN, AUSTRIA (Int'l $227K/Red Clay)
S: Samantha Stosur/AUS def. Karin Knapp/ITA 3-6/7-6(3)/6-2
D: Danka Kovinic/Stephanie Vogt (MNE/LIE) d. Lara Arruabarrena/Lucie Hradecka (ESP/CZE) 4-6/6-4 [10-3]

ISTANBUL, TURKEY (Int'l $227K/Hard Court)
S: Lesia Tsurenko/UKR def. Ula Radwanska/POL 7-5/6-1
D: Daria Gavrilova/Elina Svitolina (AUS/UKR) d. Cagla Buyukakcay/Jelena Jankovic (TUR/SRB) 5-7/6-1 [10-4]

...when Slingin' Sammy has been good this season, she's been VERY good. The last few days in Bad Gastein was one of those times. A week after a missed opportunity in Bastad in which she was the #2 seed but lost in the 2nd Round of an event while #1-seed Serena Williams withdrew after her first match, Stosur came to Austria with redemption on her mind. Well, maybe not... but the way the Aussie's season has gone she had to figure things couldn't get any worse. 2015 has been a feast-or-famine deal for Sam. After ending 2014 with back-to-back final runs, Stosur hasn't been able to find such consistency this year. Counting this past week, she's played in sixteen tour events and failed to reach even the QF fourteen times... but she's won the title at the other two events, both on red clay. Her run to an eighth career title -- just one behind Wendy Turnbull for fifth place on the all-time Aussie list -- included wins over Anastasiya Sevastova, Klara Koukalova, Danka Kovinic, Budapest champ Anna Schmiedlova and a come-from-behind (6-3/4-2 down with the Italian serving at 5-4) win in the final over Karin Knapp to give the 31-year old the crown. She'll come within one spot of returning to the Top 20 on Monday, bumping up ever so slightly from #23 to #21. And, unlike many of the '14 title winners on tour this year, Stosur will be looking to defend her championship in '16.

RISERS: Lesia Tsurenko/UKR & Karin Knapp/ITA
...26-year old Ukrainian Tsurenko has always seemed to exist just on the outside of notoriety. She climbed as high as #60 in 2013, reached a career-best 3rd Round at the Australian Open and had her first of back-to-back Top 100 seasons. But last year she took a bit of a tumble. She reached her second career tour semifinal in Tashkent, but only managed to put up four MD tour victories all year (in that event and Wimbledon, before which she'd bottomed out at #170 before putting on a successful Q-run and winning a 1st Round match). From the start of SW19 qualifying until the end of '14, Tsurenko staged a nice comeback, going 22-7 in mostly ITF events, but also putting together another slam Q-run at the U.S. Open. She ended the year at #96, and has continued her mid-career push in 2015. She climbed to a career-high #55 in April after a qualifier-to-quarterfinalist run at Indian Wells which included wins over Annika Beck, Andrea Petkovic, Alize Cornet and Genie Bouchard before she retired from her QF match vs. Jelena Jankovic. Last week in Istanbul, Tsurenko was back to stringing wins together, knocking off Daria Gavrilova, Daniela Hantuchova, Kateryna Bondarenko (saving eight set points over two sets in a straight sets win over her countrywoman) and Kirsten Flipkens to reach her first career WTA singles final. Facing off with similarly title-less (though she had one final under her belt) Ula Radwanska, Tsurenko won in straight sets to claim her maiden singles title and jump from #71 to a career-best #47 in Monday's rankings. She's pulled out of next week's event in Baku with a wrist injury, but hopefully that'll just be a minor bump in the road for one of the season's Most Improved Player contenders.

In Bad Gastein, Knapp had a great week going until Mother Nature -- and Stosur -- got in the way. The Italian knocked off Tamira Paszek, Bastad champ Johanna Larsson and Polona Hercog to reach a SF match-up with countrywoman Sara Errani. But rain wiped out the Saturday contest, meaning the 2:30 that it took for Knapp to defeat Errani for the fifth time in six meetings on Sunday put her in a bad position when it came to also playing the final (her second of '15) later in the day. Still, she led Stosur by a set and 4-2, and even served for the match. But once things got pushed to a 3rd set, the edge went to the far-more-fresh Aussie, who pulled away in a 6-2 deciding set that ultimately ended Knapp's second two-and-a-half-hour match of the day.

SURPRISE: Ula Radwanska/POL
...the Radwanska Summer Revival Tour continued in Istanbul. After Aga righted her season on the grass courts, Ula continued her long-term comeback from shoulder surgery after the '13 season this past week. U-Rad's run in Turkey included big wins over Jelena Jankovic (who Aga beat at Wimbledon), Bojana Jovanovski, Tsvetana Pironkova (Aga def. in Eastbourne) after the Bulgarian served for the match twice and Magdalena Rybarikova in the SF to reach her second career final (she lost the 's-Hertogenbosch final to Nadia Petrova in '12) and just the 24-year old's third semifinal-or-better in three years. She lost in the championship match to Lesia Tsurenko, but at least the glitter dress that Aga never got much use out of in Paris finally got its day in the sun SOMEWHERE.

Hey, Monica!

Ula jumps from #99 all the way up to #80 heading into this coming week.
VETERAN: Sara Errani/ITA
...a week after her runner-up result on the clay in Bucharest, Errani put up her third semifinal-or-better result in eight events this season on the surface (red or green). An opening round win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich was followed by a comeback victory over Maryna Zanevska in which she saved match point and another over young Russian Daria Kasatkina. After her semifinal with countrywoman Karin Knapp was pushed back to Sunday because of rain, Errani lost the 2:30 three-set affair to fall to 1-5 in their career head-to-head.

COMEBACKS: Kateryna Bondarenko/UKR & Laura Robson/GBR
...28-year old Ukrainian Bondarenko returned early last season after skipping the 2013 campaign while having a baby, and this past week in Istanbul was surely the best of the former Top 30 (2009) player's comeback so far. She spent most of last season on the ITF circuit, going 0-2 in her only WTA main draw matches. She won two ITF titles in '14, but only qualified once in five attempts at tour events and slams. She finished at #204, her lowest season-ending standing since 2004. Bondarenko's season has been slow to build in '15, but her near-Top 200 finish last year has gotten her into the qualifying at far more tour events. She made it through to the main draw four times in twelve attempts before her fifth successful Q-run this past week, but had so far only gone 1-5 in MD WTA matches this season. But that all changed when she notched her second career win over #1-seeded Venus Williams (knotting their head-to-head at 2-2) in the 1st Round to put up her first Top 20 victory since 2012. She followed up with a win over Mona Barthel (her first two-win WTA event since February '12 in Doha) reaching her first tour QF since 2011 (Dallas). She probably should have been playing in her first semifinal since Bad Gastein four years ago, as well, as Bondarenko held four set points in both the 1st and 2nd sets of her straight sets SF loss to Lesia Tsurenko. She'll enter next week at #106, and has a shot to gain automatic entry into the U.S. Open main draw. It'd be her first slam MD appearance since her final pre-pregnancy match in '12 (a 1st Round U.S. Open loss to Jelena Jankovic), after having failed to qualify in four slam qualifying tournaments since her comeback. Meanwhile, in the $50K challenger in Granby, Canada is was Laura Robson who notched her first match win in over two years since missing so much time due to wrist surgery. The Brit got a nice 7-6(5)/6-7(5)/6-3 victory over Naomi Osaka in the 1st Round before losing to Canadian Ellie Halbauer a round later. She rebounded to reach the doubles final with Erin Routliffe, losing to Aussies Jessica Moore & Storm Sanders in straight sets. Robson has never won a doubles title as a pro (0-1 WTA, 0-2 ITF), though she did win the Mixed Doubles Silver with Andy Murray at the 2012 Olympics. It was also announced this past week that Robson would be entered in next month's U.S. Open main draw because of her protected ranking status due to her injury layoff. She ended 2013 ranked #46 in the world, but she came into Week 29 at #913.
FRESH FACE: Daria Kasatkina/RUS
...the 2014 Roland Garros girls champ, Daria (rather than the former "Darya") reached her first tour-level quarterfinal in Bad Gastein. After making it through qualifying with wins over Victoria Kan and Richel Hogenkamp, the Hordette impressively knocked off Aleksandra Krunic and Julia Goerges (her first two Top 100 wins, with the latter having come after losing to the German last week in the 1st Round in Bucharest) before losing while taking #1-seed Sara Errani to three sets. The 18-year old will jump into the Top 150 for the first time on Monday, and she's the youngest Russian ranked in the Top 250.

DOWN: Venus Williams/USA
...ten years ago, Venus visited Istanbul and played some tennis on the Bosphorus Bridge with Turk player Ipek Senoglu in celebration of the inaugural edition of the WTA event. She'd go on to take the title.

She played the event again in 2007 (losing in the 2nd Round), but hadn't returned since before this past week, when she was the #1-seed at the tournament. Once again, she played on the Bosphorus, this time with Ipek Soylu and Cagla Buyukakcay.

Her new hitting partners -- and the rather pedestrian-sized (and that's giving it too much credit) net and shunted-off-to-the-side location compared to a decade ago -- weren't the only differences this time around, though. Williams lost in the 1st Round to Kateryna Bondarenko, falling to one of the Ukrainian sisters (along with the retired Alona, vs. whom she was 3-0) for the first time in six years. After battling back from a 5-2 2nd set deficit to serve for the set, Venus lost 11 of the final 15 points to lose the tie-breaker and drop the match in straight sets. The loss to #119-ranked Bondarenko is just Venus' third to a player ranked outside the Top 100 since 1999, and worst since a then-#143 ranked Petra Kvitova upended her in Memphis in 2008. Not only that, it's just the sixth #100+ loss in a career that included matches in pro events as far back as 1994. Bouchard's had about that many in the past year alone, or at least it seems like it.
ITF PLAYER: Johanna Konta/GBR
...the 24-year old Brit was one of the stories of the grass season, going on a 6-4 run that included Nottingham and Eastbourne QF results. In her first week back in action since her 1st Round loss to Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon, Konta won the $50K hard court challenger in Granby, Canada. Her tenth career ITF crown comes after a week that included wins over Naomi Broady, Pan-Am Games Silver medalist Victoria Rodriguez and veteran Pastry Stephanie Foretz in a 6-2/6-4 final.

...the 18-year old Hungarian, in her first junior event since last year's U.S. Open girls competition, claimed the European Junior Championships in Switzerland. In the draw as an unseeded entrant, Bondar took out Wimbledon junior finalist Anna Blinkova (#3 seed) as well as #7 Miriam Kolodziejova and the Swiss home crowd favorite, #12 Jill Teichmann 2-6/6-3/6-1 in the final. Before now, Bondar had spent all of '15 competing in ITF pro events, going 18-8, reaching a pair of finals and winning one $10K title (her second pro crown).


DOUBLES: Daria Gavrilova/Elina Svitolina (AUS/UKR) & Miriam Kolodziejova/Marketa Vondrousova (CZE/CZE)
...the Eternal Sunshine of the Gavrilovian Mind is alive and well, and paying dividends. Just look at what happened this past week in Istanbul. After Gavrilova and Svitolina both lost their opening singles matches, they got into the doubles draw from their position as the first doubles alternate when Anna Tatishvili retired from her late night marathon against Ipek Soylu due to dizziness. That precipitated the Bannerette pulling out of her doubles commitment with Kristyna Pliskova. Enter Svitolina (who won the '14 Istanbul title with Misaki Doi) and Gavrilova at the very last moment, who then proceeded to knock off #1-seeded Hlavackova/Pavlyuchenkova and #4 Diatchenko/Savchuk to reach the final, where they took out local favorite Cagla Buyukakcay & Jelena Jankovic in a 5-7/6-1 [10-4] come-from-behind win of which JJ said, "We lost because of me." It's Gavrilova's first tour title of any kind, while Svitolina has now managed to defend BOTH the first tour singles (2013-14 Baku) and doubles (2014-15 Istanbul) titles that she won in her career. With a twist.

Meanwhile, at the European Junior Championships in Switzerland, after failing to win their third straight '15 girls slam crown at Wimbledon (losing in the SF to eventual champs Dalma Galfi & Fanni Stollar), the all-Maiden duo of Kolodjiezova & Vondrousova got right back on the proverbial horse. Even with their huge doubles success, the Czech pair were the #2 seeds in the event (Anna Blinkova & Anna Kalinskaya's combined overall ranking pushed them to #1). But, no matter, they just went out and reached the final. Then, after #1 Blinkova/Kalinskaya lost in the semis to #3 Galfi/Stollar, the Czech defeated the Hungarians 6-4/7-5 to take the title. They're 32-2 as a doubles pair this season (27-1 since the start of the Australian Open).

The universe balances itself.

While Simona seeks balance... and pie-making skills.

1. Bad Gastein Final - Stosur d. Knapp
Two hours after defeating Sara Errani in a 2:30 semifinal, Knapp led Stosur 6-3/4-2 and served for the title at 5-4. She failed to close things out, and (not shockingly) the Aussie eventually outlasted the Italian as she edged into her fifth hour of Sunday competiton in a second 2:30 contest.


2. Istanbul 1st Rd. - Soylu d. Tatishvili 5-7/7-5/2-0 ret.
Istanbul Doubles Final - Gavrilova/Svitolina d. Buyukakcay/Jankovic 5-7/6-1 [10-4]
in a match that went until 1:40 a.m., Tatishvili led 7-5/5-2 but eventually retired down 2-0 in the 3rd due to dizziness, prompting her doubles withdrawal and "alternates" Gavrilova/Svitolina being added to the draw. The rest is history... or herstory, as it may be.

3. Bad Gastein 2nd Rd. - Errani d. Zanevska
Zanevska served up 5-2 in the 3rd and held a match point.
4. Bad Gastein 1st Rd. - Mitu d. Haas
Mitu served up 5-3 in the 2nd and held two MP at 5-4, but 19-year old Haas forced a tie-break and won it to go into the 3rd with a home crowd advantage. Haas held two MP of her own at 5-4, but the Swarmette battled back to take the match in another TB.
5. Istanbul 1st Rd. - Pironkova d. Gasparyan
In her post-Serena at Wimbledon career, Gasparyan is still showing fight. The Russian qualifier held two MP at 6-5 in the 3rd set before Pironkova won on her third MP in the TB to take the 2:43 match.

6. Istanbul 2nd Rd. - Schiavone d. Giorgi
Schiavone lost in the QF to Flipkens, but this nice win over her #31-ranked countrywoman is her first over a fellow Italian in two years (Pennetta - Carlsbad '13).

7. Istanbul 1st Rd. - Rybarikova d. Svitolina
#2-seed Svitolina didn't have a great week in singles in Turkey (that wasn't the case in doubles, though, thanks to Tatishvili's timely dizziness). She won't be attempting to win in Baku for a third straight year next week, though. So, the only current player with active three-peat singles titles runs remains Serena (in Miami, the U.S. Open & WTA Finals). Stosur could go for a third straight title later this season in Osaka.
8. $10k Sharm El Sheikh Final - Julia Jones d. Giada Clerici
The 21-year old former Ole Miss star plays in her second ITF challenger final in two weeks, and this time the Floridian is a pro singles champ for the very first time.


Petra is working diligently -- skipping AND running! -- to make her return a good one.

Jumping up and down stairs all day long #kangaroo

A photo posted by Petra Kvitova (@petra.kvitova) on

While Vania's return will be delayed, but only for an additional week.

Oh, and there's a Brit who might wish she hadn't left Wimbledon right about now. Ouch.

1. Istanbul 1st Rd. - Kateryna Bondarenko d. Venus Williams
Venus won four straight games in the 2nd to get the chance to serve for the set at 6-5, but she was broken and eventually lost eleven of the final fifteen points.
2. Istanbul Final - Tsurenko d. Ula Radwanska
Ukraine (Tsurenko & Svitolina) becomes the seventh nation this season to produce multiple singles champions.

3. Istanbul 1st Rd. - Ula Radwanska d. Jankovic 6-4/3-6/6-2
Istanbul QF - Ula Radwanska d. Pironkova 6-2/3-6/7-6(5)
Aga handled JJ (Wimbledon 4th Rd.) and Pironkova (Eastbourne QF) in straight sets in recent weeks, but Ula more than maintained the family honor. She especially pulled the ol' Radwanska magic act on Pironkova, who fell to 2-12 vs. the sisters despite twice serving for the match and managing to fight off four straight MP in the 3rd set TB after falling behind 6-1. U-Rad won on #5... naturally, on a net cord dribbler.

HN- Istanbul QF - Tsurenko d. Kateryna Bondarenko
K-Bond had four SP in the 28-point tie-breaker, which Tsurenko won on her own fifth SP. In the 2nd, Bondarenko had three SP at 5-3, then a fourth at 5-4.

Vika as Citizen Anna?

Exploring alternate career paths.

Hmmm, where's the Sugarpova?

Reporting the news early.

Daria as Citizen Anna?

A photo posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

Not sure WHAT to say about this...

Family workout ?? ???????? Granny is the best ?? #health #gym #fitness #workout #fit

A video posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

Katowice - Anna Schmiedlova (SVK, age 20, #67)
Bogota - Teliana Pereira (BRA, age 26, #130)
's-Hertogenbosch - Camila Giorgi (ITA, age 23, #35)
Nottingham - Ana Konjuh (CRO, age 17, #87)
Eastbourne - Belinda Bencic (SUI, age 18, #30)
Bastad - Johanna Larsson (SWE, age 26, #72)
Istanbul - Lesia Tsurenko (UKR, age 26, #71)

**2015 BEST FINAL WIN PCT. 2+**
1.000 - Serena Williams (4-0)
1.000 - Simona Halep (3-0)
1.000 - Angelique Kerber (3-0)
1.000 - Petra Kvitova (2-0)
1.000 - SAMANTHA STOSUR (2-0)
0.667 - Timea Bacsinszky (2-1)
0.667 - Maria Sharapova (2-1)
0.667 - Anna Schmiedlova (2-1)

Hobart - Madison Brengle (24/USA) lost to Watson
Pattaya - Ajla Tomljanovic (20/AUS) lost to Hantuchova
Rio - Anna Schmiedlova (20/SVK) lost to Errani
Bogota - Teliana Pereira (26/BRA) def. Shvedova
Strasbourg - Kristina Mladenovic (22/FRA) lost to Stosur
Nottingham - Ana Konjuh (17/CRO) def. Niculescu
Istanbul - Lesia Tsurenko (26/UKR) def. U.Radwanska

#130 - Teliana Pereira, BRA (Bogota)
#87 - Ana Konjuh, CRO (Nottingham)
#73 - Daniela Hantuchova, SVK (Pattaya)
#72 - Johanna Larsson, SWE (Bastad)
#67 - Anna Schmiedlova, SVK (Katowice)
#60 - Anna Schmiedlova, SVK (Bucharest)

1997 Toronto - #115 Nathalie Dechy
1999 Amelia Island - #140 Sonya Jeyaseelan
1999 Roland Garros - #125 Barbara Schwartz
2008 Memphis - #143 Petra Kvitova
2013 Florianopolis - #109 Olga Puchkova
2015 Istanbul - #119 Kateryna Bondarenko

Hobart - Heather Watson/GBR d. (Q) Madison Brengle/USA
Pattaya - Daniela Hantuchova/SVK d. Ajla Tomljanovic/AUS
Doha - Lucie Safarova/CZE d. (WC) Vika Azarenka/BLR
Notthingham - Ana Konjuh/CRO d. Monica Niculescu/ROU
Istanbul(*) - Lesia Tsurenko/UKR d. Ula Radwanska/POL
* - all unseeded in SF

Hobart - Heather Watson, GBR
Pattaya - Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
Doha - Lucie Safarova, CZE
Bogota - Teliana Pereira, BRA
Stuttgart - Angelique Kerber, GER
Nottingham - Ana Konjuh, CRO
Eastbourne - Belinda Bencic, SUI
Istanbul - Lesia Tsurenko, UKR

34y6m3w - Venus Williams, USA (Auckland)
33y9m3w - Serena Williams, USA (Wimbledon)
33y8m2w - Serena Williams, USA (Roland Garros)
33y6m2w - Serena Williams, USA (Miami)
33y4m1w - Serena Williams, USA (Australian Open)
31y9m3w - Daniela Hantuchova, SVK (Pattaya City)
31y4m - Samantha Stosur, AUS (Bad Gastein)
31y3w - Samantha Stosur, AUS (Strasbourg)

18 - Belinda Bencic, SUI (Prague)
18 - Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA (Bogota)
19 - Rebecca Peterson, SWE (Rio)
19 - Katerina Siniakova, CZE (Prague)
20 - Ysaline Bonaventure,BEL (Rio,Katowice)
20 - Wang Yafan, CHN (KL)
20 - Elina Svitolina, UKR (Istanbul)

377...Steffi Graf
331...Martina Navratilova
260...Chris Evert
209...Martina Hingis
178...Monica Seles
117...Justine Henin
186 - Steffi Graf
156 - Martina Navratilova
113 - Chris Evert

Shenzhen - Liang/Y.Wang, CHN
Pattaya - Tamarine Tanasugarn, THA
Antwerp - Mestash/Van Uytvanck, BEL
Prague - Katerina Siniakova, CZE (W)
Prague - Eva Hrdinova, CZE
Nottingham - Rae/Smith, GBR
Bastad - Johanna Larsson, SWE (W)
Bucharest - Mitu/Tig, ROU
Istanbul - Cagla Buyukakcay, TUR
ALSO: Pan-Am Games (Toronto) - Dabrowski/Zhao, CAN (W)

92...Margaret Court, 1968-76
68...Evonne Goolagong, 1970-80
17...Kerry Melville, 1968-79
15...Dianne Fromholtz, 1973-79
9...Wendy Turnbull, 1976-83
8...SAMANTHA STOSUR, 2009-15
6...Jelena Dokic, 2001-11
5...Alicia Molik, 2003-05

**CAREER WTA TITLES - active, #14-22**
14t.Simona Halep, ROU (11)
14t.Anabel Medina-Garrigues, ESP (11)
16.Flavia Pennetta, ITA (10)
17.Roberta Vinci, ITA (9)
18t.Kimiko Date-Krumm, JPN (8)
18t.Sara Errani, ITA (8)
21t.Daniela Hantuchvoa, SVK (7)
21t.Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS (7)

2006 Philadelphia Freedom def. Newport Beach Breakers 21-14
2007 Sacramento Capitals def. New York Buzz 24-20
2008 New York Buzz def. Kansas City Explorers 21-18
2009 Washington Kastles def. Springfield Lasers 23-20
2010 Kansas City Explorers def. New York Sportimes 21-18
2011 Washington Kastles def. St. Louis Aces 23-19
2012 Washington Kastles def. Sacramento Capitals 20-19
2013 Washington Kastles def. Springfield Lasers 25-12
2014 Washington Kastles def. Springfield Lasers 25-13

Lara Arruabarrena, ESP (2013)
Vitalia Diatchenko, RUS (2014)
Anna-Lena Friedsam, GER (2014)
Bojana Jovanovski, SRB (2013)
Magda Linette, POL (2014)
Kristina Mladenovic, FRA (2012)
Shahar Peer, ISR (2013)
Peng Shuai, CHN (2014)
Tereza Smitkova, CZE (2014)
Elina Svitolina, UKR (2012)
Alison Van Uytvanck, BEL (2013)
Zhang Shuai, CHN (2013)

Hingis comes home! Sorry, Martina... you can't be inducted a SECOND time.

And... Mama Maria.

A Riske-y vacation is the Key(s) to success... get it?

Nevermind. Just focus on Fichman logic...

I'm sure it's better than mine when it comes to this picks section...

14 Final: Svitolina def. Jovanovski
14 Doubles Final: Panova/Watson d. Olaru/Peer
15 Top Seeds: Pavlyuchenkova/Knapp

Flipkens d. #8 Schiavone
#2 Knapp d. #9 Kovinic
#2 Knapp d. Flipkens matter what happens here, Kovinic had a good time last week, from start to finish.

She was given the #9 seed after Tsurenko pulled out, moving her from the top half of the draw to the bottom. She might have been better off where she was, though.

14 Final: Zakopalova def. Muguruza
14 Doubles Final: Medina-Garrigues/Shvedova d. Schiavone/Soler-Espinosa
15 Top Seeds: Maria/Tomljanovic

#4 Pereira d. #1 Maria
#5 Mattek-Sands d. #8 Kania
#5 Mattek-Sands d. #4 Pereira

...I should probably pick the Brazilian in Brazil.

14 Final: Peng Shuai def. Liu Fangzhou
14 Doubles Final: Chuang/Namigata d. CW.Chan/Y.Xu
15 Top Seeds: Jankovic/Sai.Zheng

#1 Jankovic d. #3 Q.Wang
#4 SW.Hsieh d. #6 Kumkhum
#1 Jankovic d. #4 SW.Hsieh

...not sure what JJ is doing here, but it's difficult to not pick her since she is. Although, that QF match with Duan Yingying does make one pause.

14 Final: Washington Kastles def. Springfield Lasers
Washington d. Austin

...Martina Hingis & Co. go for a WTT-record fifth straight title.

All for now.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wk.28- Lucky Sevens

In Week 28, seven was a very lucky number as a pair of #7 seeds walked away with WTA singles titles.

#1: 10
#2: 1
#3: 5
#4: 4
#5: 3
#6: 1
#7: 2
#8: 1
Unseeded: 7

In Bucharest, seventh-seeded Anna Schmiedlova avenged her loss in this year's Rio final to Sara Errani by taking out the #1-seeded Italian in the championship match to claim her second career title, and second of 2015. The Slovak won in Katowice in the spring before seeing her results take a huge dip before her rebound this week.

In Bastad, Sweden's #7-seeded Johanna Larsson finally won her first tour-level singles title, thrilling a home crowd en route to becoming the first woman from the host nation to take the singles crown at the event since 1986. She, just like Schmiedlova, didn't drop a set all week. Larsson won the doubles, as well.

But maybe most intriguingly of all, Larsson got to put her hands on the Swedish Open trophy. Which, as far as I can tell, looks like some sort of warthog with golden wings.

And that should could for SOMETHING, right?

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (Int'l $227K/Red Clay)
S: Anna Schmiedlova/SVK def. Sara Errani/ITA 7-6(3)/6-3
D: Kalashnikova/Schuurs (GEO/NED) d. Mitu/Tig (ROU/ROU) 6-2/6-2

BASTAD, SWEDEN (Int'l $227K/Red Clay)
S: Johanna Larsson/SWE def. Mona Barthel/GER 6-3/7-6(2)
D: Bertens/Larsson (NED/SWE) d. Maria/Savchuk (GER/UKR) 7-5/6-4

WS: GOLD: Mariana Duque/COL d. Victoria Rodriguez/MEX 6-4/6-4
WS: BRONZE: Monica Puig/PUR d. Lauren Davis
WD: GOLD: Dabrowski/Zhao (CAN) d. V.Rodriguez/Zacarias (MEX)
WD: BRONZE: Irigoyen/Ormaechea (ARG) w/o Haddad/Goncalves (BRA)
MX: GOLD: Irigoyen/Andreozzi (ARG) d. Dabrowski/Bester (CAN)
MX: BRONZE: Cepede Royg/Galeano (PAR) d. Duque/Struvay (COL)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Anna Schmiedlova/SVK
...playing in her third final of the season, the 20-year old Slovak grabbed her second title with a win in the final over #1-seeded Sara Errani in a rematch of the Rio final won by the Italian veteran. Schmiedlova's previous hard court title in Katowice (where she defeated another Italian, Camila Giorgi) was given a red clay twin this week, as she didn't lose a set all week while stringing together wins over Reka-Luca Jani, Denisa Allertova, Danka Kovinic, Polona Hercog an Errani. "I still cannot believe I won, because it was a really tough match and Sara Errani is an amazing player," Schmiedlova said. "I knew she'd be playing really well, and I knew it would be tough to focus on each point today because we would have really, really long rallies." After taking the 1:13 1st set, Schmiedlova pulled away in the 2nd to record her first career Top 20 victory (though she DID defeat a then-#29 Venus Williams at RG last year). This run was a much-needed one for Schmiedlova, as she'd been in something of an under-the-radar tailspin of late. She gone just 5-8 since winning in Katowice, with three of those wins coming in her semifinal run in Marrakech in her first event after that maiden title. She actually arrived in Bucharest having lost seven of her previous eight matches, including 1st Round exits at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon. She jumps to a near career-best #44 on Monday after this run, just one spot away from the high of #43 she reached in May before her slide started to grow hair.
RISERS: Mona Barthel/GER & Mariana Duque/COL
...Barthel has been one of the most underrated and unrecognized players on tour for years. The defending champion this past week in Bastad, her run to the final -- which included wins over Kiki Bertens, Maryna Zanevska (double-bagel), Rebecca Peterson and Lara Arruabarrena -- gave her the chance to play for her fourth career title in five final appearances, and run her seasons-with-a-title streak to three. She lost to home favorite Johanna Larsson, but the week was still another example of the German's ability to jump out and put up a very good result with very little forewarning. The 25-year old was a pretty abysmal 6-17 for the season coming into this past week, with nine straight losses and without a match win on red clay since she won the Bastad title a year ago. In the latest edition of the Pan-American Games, 25-year old Duque added to her great success at the event. Already a three-time medalist ('07 singles and doubles Silvers, '11 doubles Bronze), the Colombian added the singles Gold medal this time with wins over Marcela Zacarias, Gabriela Dabrowski, #1-seeded Lauren Davis and Victoria Rodriguez in the final. She nearly added another, but lost in the Bronze Match of the Mixed doubles with Eduardo Struvay, coming up short against the Paraguayan duo of Veronica Cepede Royg & Diego Galeano.


SURPRISES: Andreea Mitu/ROU & Victoria Rodriguez/MEX
...Mitu's career year continues. 2015 had already seen the 23-year old Swarmette make her Fed Cup debut (def. Bouchard in Canada), set career singles and doubles ranking highs and make a run to the Roland Garros Round of 16 with wins over #11-seeded Karolina Pliskova and former champ Francesca Schiavone. Last week in Bucharest, she reached her first tour-level singles QF with victories over Annika Beck and Sorana Cirstea, as well as playing in her first WTA doubles final with Patricia Maria Tig. She'll reach yet another new career high at #68 in singles on Monday. At the Pan-American Games in Toronto, 20-year old Mexican Rodriguez was quite possibly THE story of the tennis competition even while she didn't walk away with any Gold medals. V-Rod isn't even the highest-ranked player (Marcela Zacarias is) in Mexico's growing pool of tennis talent, but she's been asserting herself of late with some good results, including winning four ITF singles titles since 2013. In Toronto, she pulled off wins over Sachia Vickery, Maria Fernanda Alvarez Teran, Carol Zhao and #2 Monica Puig. The only unseeded woman to reach the semis (the Top 3 seeds joined her), Rodriguez advanced to the Gold Medal match, losing to #3 Duque. She and Zacarias have been a very good doubles duo on the challenger level, as well, reaching twelve finals (winning eight) over the last fifteen months. The pair reached the Pan-Am Gold Medal match, too, after defeating #1-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia/Paula Cristina Goncalves in a 3rd set 10-8 super tie-break in the semis. They fell to the all-Canadian team of Dabrowski/Zhao in the final in a 10-5 3rd set STB. Rodriguez's two-silver haul made her the only woman to win tennis medals in both singles and doubles last week.


VETERANS: Johanna Larsson/SWE & Maria Irigoyen/ARG
...Swede Larsson became the second 26-year old (w/ Teliana Pereira) to become a first-time tour singles champion in 2015 with her win in front of the home crowd in Bastad, becoming the first Swedish winner of the women's singles in nineteen years (Catarina Lindqvist in '86. though it should be noted the event was off the WTA schedule from 1991-08). Playing in her fourth WTA singles final (and third in Bastad, all in odd-numbered years -- 2011, '13 and '15), Larsson finished off her no-sets-lost week by defeating Mona Barthel 6-3/7-6(2), adding the win over the '14 defending champ to her earlier straight sets take downs of Richel Hogenkamp, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Barbora Strycova and Yulia Putintseva. Larsson won the doubles title, too, becoming the first woman to sweep both in an event in '15 as she won her second title this year with Kiki Bertens (Hobart). Meanwhile, in the Pan-American Games in Toronto, 28-year old Argentine Irigoyen took home a pair of medals. The 2011 Gold winner in the WD, she claimed the doubles Bronze with Paula Ormaechea this time when Haddad Maia/Goncalves awarded then a walkover in the Bronze Medal match. She also took home the Mixed doubles Gold in the inaugural competition at the PAG, as she and Guido Andreozzi defeated Canadians Gabriela Dabrowski & Philip Bester in the final.

COMEBACK: Polona Hercog/SLO
...sure, the week could have been even better for Hercog, considering she took an early two-break lead in the Bucharest semis against Anna Schmiedlova and then saw the wheels come off her day, barely winning another game. But the 24-year old world #87 still had her best week on tour since she won her second career title in Bastad three years ago. From 2010-12, the Slovene was a real up-and-coming player. She reached four tour finals during the stretch, winning back-to-back titles in Bastad (2011-12), pushing Venus Williams to three sets in Acapulco (2010) and reaching two finals in two weeks in '11 (Bastad & Palermo). She had four other semifinal results (including Charleston '12) and climbed as high #35 in 2011. She's managed to maintain a Top 100 year-end ranking since 2009, but those sort of results were getting quite small in her rear view mirror until last week. Her Bucharest SF run included victories over Tereza Smitkova, Patricia Maria Tig and Aleksandra Krunic. Speaking of, is there any player whose outward appearance is more opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum when it comes to big wins and losses than the Bracelet? I mean, she looks like her favorite pet was run over by a steamroller on a humid day in the shot where she's meeting Hercog at the net. But back to Hercog... she'll get a moderately good bump up to #78 on Monday, so maybe that Top 100 streak will remain in play until autumn.

FRESH FACE: Yulia Putintseva/KAZ
...after three previous tour-level QF results over the past two seasons, the 20-year old Kazakh finally battled her way into her maiden WTA semi final in Bastad. A week after reaching the final of the $100K challengerin Contrexville, Putintseva kept things flowing with wins over Tatjana Maria, Alize Lim and Klara Koukalova before falling to crowd favorite and eventual champ Larsson. She'll climb to a new best-ever rank of #70 on Monday.

DOWN: Samantha Stosur/AUS & Jana Cepelova/SVK
...Bastad seemed to be a potential big opportunity for Stosur, the #2 seed in an event where it was an open question whether #1 Serena Williams would be in town all week long (she wasn't), to maybe add a second singles title in a 2015 season that has otherwise been pretty dismal. But the Aussie went out in the 2nd Round to Lara Arruabarrena, in a straight sets loss that included a love 2nd set. Stosur lost a three-setter in another 2nd Round match to the Spaniard earlier this year in Charleston. With this defeat, Stosur has only advanced to the QF at one of her fifteen events this season... but that one time was when she won the title in Strasbourg right before Roland Garros. The Aussie ended 2014 with back-to-back finals in Beijing and Osaka, winning the title in her season-closing event. The 31-year old is currently ranked #23, the same spot where she finished the 2014 season. But with those points to defend in October, she's got some work to do if she's going to avoid her worst year-end ranking since 2008.

Meanwhile, as soon as things look up for Cepelova, they soon change. The Slovak pulled the upset over Simona Halep in the 1st Round at Wimbledon, only to lose in the 2nd to another Romanian, Monica Niculescu. After losing her opening match in a $100K challenger a week ago, the Slovak climbed back into the Top 100 and got wins in Bastad over Carina Witthoeft and Olga Govortsova to reach her first tour QF since last September in Hong Kong. Then, of course, Cepelova ended up retiring from her next match, bowing out to Arruabarrena down 6-3/5-2. Oh, Jana.

ITF PLAYER: Barbora Krejcikova/CZE
...the Czech had great junior doubles success as recently as two seasons ago. In 2013, she reached the finals of all three junior doubles slams, winning Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open with Katerina Siniakova (and performing a well-orchestrated on-court dance routine to celebrate). Since then, Siniakova has risen up the WTA singles rankings (#63 last week), while Krejcikova has lagged a bit behind. The Brno-born (just like her coach, Hall of Famer Jana Novotna), #165-ranked 19-year old took a nice step up this weekend, though, winning her biggest career title at the $50K challenger in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Her 3-6/6-4/7-6(5) win in the final over Czech veteran Petra Cetkovska gives Krejcikova nine career ITF singles titles, and she'll jump around twenty spots in the rankings to around #144-145 on Monday, within range of the career-high (#140) she achieved just last month.

JUNIOR STAR: Georgia Andreea Craciun/ROU
...the 16-year old Swarmette won her first-ever Grade 1 junior event in the Junior Linz Open. Just the #121-ranked girl, the 14-seeded Romanian knocked off the #11, #3 and #1 (Brit Emily Arbuthnutt) seeds to reach the final, where she defeated unseeded Ukrainian Anastasia Zarytska in a 3rd set tie-break to claim the title.

DOUBLES: Gabriela Dabrowski/Carol Zhao (CAN/CAN) & Oksana Kalashnikova/Demi Schuurs (GEO/NED)
...Dabrowski & Zhao were the lone Gold medal winners in tennis for the host nation at the Pan-American Games in Toronto, and are the only Canadian tennis players to ever stand atop the medal stand in the 64-year history of the sport in the Games. The unseeded duo defeated #2 Maria Irigoyen/Paula Ormaechea in the semis, then took out Mexico's unseeded pair of Victoria Rodriguez & Marcela Zacarias in the Gold Medal match. Dabrowski had a shot at a pair of Golds, but lost in the Mixed final with Philip Bester and had to settle for Silver.

In Bucharest, doubles "mercenaries" Kalashnikova and Schuurs teamed up for the first time and walked away with the title, spoiling the bid of the all-Swarmette duo of Mitu/Tig to win a crown for the home fans in the final. Of course, teaming with anyone and everyone -- and being successful at it -- is nothing new for these two. 21-year old Dutch Schuurs has won two '15 tour titles (Katowice w/ Ysaline Bonaventure) with two different partners, as well as fifteen ITF crowns during her career with thirteen others (not to mention reaching finals with three more). Of course, that's nothing compared to the slightly-older Georgian. Kalashnikova has now won three WTA titles and twenty-three on the ITF circuit, partnering eighteen different co-champions (and reaching finals with nine others). Of course, Schuurs has a shot to surpass those numbers by the time she's Kalashnikova's age. After all, she's been doing this for a while, right from the start of her career. In 2011, she reached the doubles final of all four junior slams with four different partners, winning the Australian and U.S. Open titles. On occasion, she'll even slip over to the singles side with some success. She hasn't played a singles match in '15, but Schuurs won her first and only ITF singles title during the 2014 season.


Martina speaks.

And look who's back! Or about to be.

1. Bastad Final - Larsson d. Barthel
The last woman to sweep the singles and doubles at a tour event was Mirjana Lucic-Baroni last September in Quebec City.
2. Bastad 2nd Rd. - Arruabarrena d. Stosur 7-6(5)/6-0
Bastad QF - Arruabarrena d. Cepelova 6-3/5-2 ret.
Arruabarrena hasn't risen to the level of countrywoman Garbine Muguruza, but the Spaniard has been putting up good results in 2015 (including a star turn in Fed Cup). In Bastad she knocked off Swedish vet Sofia Arvidsson, #2-seed Stosur (backing up her Charleston win over the Aussie), and had nearly beaten Cepelova when the Slovak finally retired before losing to Barthel in Arruabarrena's second semifinal of the season. She'll rise to #75 on Monday, not far off the career-best of #70 that she reached two seasons ago.

3. Pan-Am Games Final - Duque d. V.Rodriguez
While the continent's women's tennis fortunes have improved of late, there still isn't any sort of confirmed landscape-changing young talent that might prop of the standing of South America. Brazil's Teliana Pereira (at around #80, and a tour title-winner in '15) is the highest-ranked woman from the continent, while Duque (#90) is the only other player in the Top 100. Still, a Pan-American Gold is nice.

4. Bast 2nd Rd. - Peterson d. Siniakova
Siniakova served up 5-3 in the 1st, and had a set point at 5-4. The Czech saved two Peterson match points at 5-4 in the 2nd set, but the Swede took the tie-break after eight of the first ten points featured service breaks.
5. Pan-Am Bronze Match - Puig d. Davis
Puig defeats the #1 seeded Bannerette to make it back-to-back Pan-Am medal runs. The Puerto Rican won the Silver in 2011.

6. $25K Tianjin Final - Duan Yingying d. Wang Qiang
...4-6/7-6(2)/3-0 ret.
The Wimbledon 1st Round conqueror of Genie Bouchard, Duan took her eleventh career ITF crown with a victory over her countrywoman.
7. $50K Stockton SF - Mestach d. Date-Krumm
The 21-year old Waffle takes out the 44-year old vet from Japan.
8. $50K Stockton QF - Marand d. Oudin
Oudin won two matches during her QF run in Stockton, her best result in the three events (a combined 4-3) since her return to tennis after various medical procedures.

HM- $50K Stockton Doubles Final - Jamie Loeb/Sanaz Marand d. Kaitlyn Christian/Danielle Lao
In California, a North Carolina Tar Heel (NCAA singles champ Loeb) teamed up with another former UNC star to take out a pair of former USC Trojans to grab their third title as a duo over the last two seasons. Loeb was announced as a member of the field of eight who'll compete for the Billie Jean King Collegiate Invitational event held during the U.S. Open. She won the title at the inaugural competition last year.

Such an oh-so-Maria Instagram post.

Motion. Rotation. #FrankGehry #Architecture

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on


Nothing to do with tennis, but so what?

1. Bastad 1st Rd. - Serena Williams d. Bonaventure
Serena lives up to her commitment and shows up in Sweden. Oh, and welcome to your WTA debut, Ysaline.
2. Bastad 2nd Rd. - Koukalova walkover Serena Williams
and then Serena was off, not shockingly, to "get treatment" on her injured elbow. It's her third walkover exit this season, with just one on-court defeat and forty wins. Meanwhile, not long afterward...

Hey, you win twenty-one slams, you deserve some time on the beach.
3. Bucharest SF - Anna Schmiedlova d. Hercog
Hercog held a double-break lead at 4-1 in the 1st, but Schmiedlova won five straight games to take the set, and nine of ten to take a commanding lead at 4-1 in the 2nd, setting up her rematch in the final with Rio conqueror Errani.
4. Bucharest Final - Anna Schmiedlova d. Errani
Schmiedlova led 5-2 in the 1st set, with a set point at 5-3 before being forced into a tie-break and winning the 1:13 set. These two are the second pair of finalists to face off for TWO titles in 2015. Can you remember who the other two are? The answer is in the Lists section. Hint: one seems to love to play on the big stage, while the other, umm... not so much.

5. Istanbul Q1 - Sara Tomic d. Kristyna Pliskova
17-year old Tomic continues to give reason to think of her as something other than "just" Bernard's little sister, with her win over recent Wimbledon achiever Pliskova (3rd Rd. - outlasting Karolina). The Aussie is actually 17-5 in pro matches this year, reaching two challenger finals and winning a title. Naturally, though, a quick search with her name on Twitter today didn't produce many congratulations for a good win, but was instead filled with snide remarks about her weight (nothing new, of course), how embarrassed Pliskova should be for losing to her, how now there will soon be TWO Tomics out on the town, questions about why she deserved a WC into the Q-rounds to begin with, etc. This is just an outside view, of course, but you hear so much about how "great" Aussie tennis "fans" are, but all I ever seem to see or hear are complaints from within about how their young players AREN'T this or AREN'T that, do THIS too much or not enough of THAT, don't win the RIGHT way, etc. And I'm not even going into how Vika Azarenka -- and others -- are often mistreated in Melbourne if they don't "tow the company line" and play by "the rules," sometimes to an embarrassing degree (Hint: "Whack-a-Vika"). It makes you consider that maybe Damir Dokic, while still often bat-bleep-crazy, was right about SOME things all those years ago. On another note, though -- good work from Lleyton Hewitt in Davis Cup this weekend.

Mom would be proud of the amount of pink I wore today #espys #momapproved

A photo posted by Victoria Azarenka (@vichka35) on

Gewd catch ??

A video posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

Katowice - Anna Schmiedlova (SVK, age 20, #67)
Bogota - Teliana Pereira (BRA, age 26, #130)
's-Hertogenbosch - Camila Giorgi (ITA, age 23, #35)
Nottingham - Ana Konjuh (CRO, age 17, #87)
Eastbourne - Belinda Bencic (SUI, age 18, #30)
Bastad - Johanna Larsson (SWE, age 26, #72)

**2015 WTA FINALS**
4 - Serena Williams (4-0)
4 - Karolina Pliskova (1-3)
3 - Simona Halep (3-0)
3 - Angelque Kerber (3-0)
3 - Timea Bacsinszky (2-1)
3 - Maria Sharapova (2-1)
3 - Caroline Wozniacki (1-2)
3 - Carla Suarez-Navarro (0-2+L)

3 - Angelque Kerber, GER (Green Clay, Red Clay, Grass)
3 - Serena Williams, USA (Hard, Red Clay, Grass)
2 - Petra Kvitova, CZE (Hard, Red Clay)
2 - Maria Sharapova, RUS (Hard, Red Clay)

**WTA FINALS (active) - 2012-15**
31 - Serena Williams (29-2)
22 - Maria Sharapova (11-11)
17 - Victoria Azarenka (9-8)
15 - Simona Halep (11-4)
14 - Angelique Kerber (6-8)
13 - SARA ERRANI (6-7)
12 - Petra Kvitova (9-3)
12 - Aga Radwanska (7-5)
12 - Caroline Wozniacki (5-7)

Hobart: Heather Watson, GBR
Bogota: Teliana Pereira, BRA
Bucharest: Anna Schmiedlova, SVK
Bastad: Johanna Larsson, SWE

2 - Bacsinszky vs. Garcia (Acapulco/Monterrey; TB 2-0)
2 - Errani vs. A.Schmiedlova (Rio/Bucharest; 1-1)

15 - SERENA WILLIAMS [walkover]
15 - Timea Bacsinszky (lost to S.Williams)
14 - Simona Halep (lost to S.Williams)
12 - Serena Williams [walkover]
12 - Serena Williams (lost to Kvitova)
11 - Maria Sharapova (lost to S.Williams)
11 - Angelique Kerber (lost to Stosur)
10 - Anna Schmiedlova (lost to Svitolina)

Hopman Cup - #7 Genie Bouchard (team exhibition event)
Hopman Cup - #5 Aga Radwanska (team exhibtion event)
Indian Wells - #3 Simona Halep (walkover)
Madrid - #4 Petra Kvitova
Rome - #65 Christina McHale (walkover)
Bastad - #105 Klara Koukalova (walkover)

Auckland - Ana Ivanovic (lost to V.Williams)
Miami - Serena Williams (def. Suarez-Navarro)
Bastad - Mona Barthel (lost to Larrson)

Marrakech - Timea Babos, HUN (L=W)
Roland Garros - Lucie Safarova, CZE (L=W)
Bastad - Johanna Larsson, SWE (W=W)

Miami - Serena Williams, USA (W)
Charleston - Madison Keys, USA (L)
Stuttgart - Angelique Kerber, GER (W)
Prague - Karolina Pliskova, CZE (W)
Prague - Lucie Hradecka, CZE (L)
Strasbourg - Kristina Mladenovic, FRA (L)
Bastad - Johanna Larsson, SWE (W)
Shenzhen - Liang/Y.Wang, CHN (L)
Pattaya - Tamarine Tanasugarn, THA (L)
Antwerp - Mestach/Van Uytvanck, BEL (L)
Prague - Katerina Siniakova, CZE (W)
Prague - Eva Hrdinova, CZE (L)
Nottingham - Rae/Smith, GBR (L)
Bastad - Johanna Larsson, SWE (W)
Bucharest - Mitu/Tig, ROU (L)

Auckland - Venus Williams, USA (F-Wozniacki)
[Indian Wells - Simona Halep, ROU = SF w/o S.Williams]
Bogota - Teliana Pereira, BRA (SF-Svitolina)
Stuttgart - Angelique Kerber, GER (2r-Sharapova)
Madrid - Petra Kvitova, CZE (SF-S.Williams)
[Pan-Am Games - Mariana Duque, COL = SF-Davis]
Bucharest - Anna Schmiedlova, SVK (F-Errani)

Auckland - Venus Williams, USA (F-Ivanovic)
Sydney - Petra Kvitova, CZE (SF-Pironkova)
Katowice - Anna Schmiedlova, SVK (QF-Cornet)
Charleston - Angelique Kerber, GER (SF-Petkovic)
Stuttgart - Angelique Kerber, GER (2r-Sharapova)
Strasbourg - Samantha Stosur, AUS (1r-Puig)
Bastad - Johanna Larsson, SWE (F-Barthel)

2003 Milagros Sequera, VEN
2007 Milagros Sequera, VEN
2011 Irina Falconi, USA
2015 Mariana Duque, COL
2003 Sarah Taylor, USA
2007 Mariana Duque, COL
2011 Monica Puig, PUR
2015 Victoria Rodriguez, MEX
2003 Kristina Brandi, PUR & Ashley Cargill, USA
2007 Betina Jozami, ARG
2011 Christina McHale, USA
2015 Monica Puig, PUR
AMONG OTHER GOLD WINNERS: Althea Gibson (1959), Maria Bueno (1963), Pam Shriver (1991)

Robin Anderson, UCLA
Brooke Austin, Florida
Julia Elbaba, Virginia
Lauren Herring, Georgia
Josie Kuhlman, Florida
Jamie Loeb, North Carolina ('14 BJK/'15 NCAA champ)
Maegan Manasse, California
[TBA wild card]

You know, Nike has a little bit of skill with this marketing thing...

14 Final: Petkovic d. Rogers
14 Doubles Final: Pliskova/Pliskova d. Klepac/Torro-Flor
15 Top Seeds: Errani/Stosur

#1 Errani d. Arruabarrena
#7 A.Schmiedlova d. #2 Stosur
#7 A.Schmiedlova d. #1 Errani

...hey, the first two were pretty good. Why not a third final between these two?

14 Final: Wozniacki d. Vinci
14 Doubles Final: Doi/Svitolina d. Kalasnikova/Kania
15 Top Seeds: V.Williams/Svitolina

#1 V.Williams d. #5 Giorgi
#3 Jankovic d. #2 Svitolina
#1 V.Williams d. #3 Jankovic

...can JJ's Wimbledon momentum continue?

And, of course, last but not least, congratulations to Amelie Mauresmo for her enshrinement into the Tennis Hall of Fame this weekend, even if she wasn't actually able to attend the ceremony herself.

All right, well I guess it's time to say all for-

Sheesh, Caro. Really? (Sigh.)

All right. NOW it is.

All for now.