Wednesday, January 30, 2008

2008 Dorothy Tour Awards

Maria Sharapova didn't need a heart, brain or courage... but Oz was precisely where she needed to go to find redemption.

But what about the rest of the Dorothy Tour attempts to find new (or continuing) success in Melbourne and its surrounding areas? How successful were they?

1. Maria Sharapova, RUS THAT was the Supernova that the Scenario envisioned. If she can maintain her health, she might just give Henin a foe to butt heads with all season long.
2. Ana Ivanovic, SRB
...sported an improved physical self, which led to a more complete game. But the early signs of an improved big-match mental game might be the most important thing discovered about AnaIvo Down Under. It could be the key to her joining Novak Djokovic as a Serbian slam winner.
3. Justine Henin, BEL
...even though she experienced an earlier-than-usual exit, since she didn't play in Melbourne a year ago, La Petit Taureau left Oz with a larger lead on the computer than the one she had when she arrived.
4t. Jelena Jankovic, SRB's a credit to Jankovic's spirit that she managed to reach another slam SF against long odds, but to her unforgiving detriment that she had to do so while nursing a handful of injuries that will only get better if she pulls back on the reckless scheduling & match day decisions. Again, her promises can't be believed until they are proven to be truthful.
4t. Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
...just when Wonder Girl looked to be ready to become a Wonder Woman, all the old problems resurfaced in the Oz SF. If she's really progressing on an emotional level, she won't let the disappointment linger until summertime.
5. Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
...two sisters were better than one in Melbourne. The Battlin' Bondarenkos stunned the field with their Oz title... and probably surprised themselves a bit, too. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during their celebration.

1. Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2t. Jelena Jankovic, SRB
2t. Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
3. Alona Bondarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
4. Li Na, CHN
5. Yan Zi/Zheng Jie, CHN
HM- Maria Kirilenko, RUS

1. Marta Domachowska, POL
2. Hsieh Su-Wei, TPE
3. Casey Dellacqua, AUS
4. Alona Bondarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
5. Sabine Lisicki, GER
HM- Marina Erakovic, NZL & Ashley Harkleroad, USA

1. Lindsay Davenport, USA
2. Sun Tiantian, CHN
3. Venus Williams, USA
4. Anebel Medina Garrigues/Virginia Ruano-Pascual, ESP
5. Eleni Daniilidou, GRE
HM- Elena Dementieva, RUS & Flavia Pennetta, ESP

1. Tamira Paszek, AUT
2. Agnieszka Radwanska, POL
3. Victoria Azarenka, BLR
4. Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
5. Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
HM- Sorana Cirstea, ROU & Ioana-Raluca Olaru, ROU

1. Arantxa Rus, NED
2. Simona Halep, ROU
3. Jessica Moore, AUS
HM- Zhou Yi-Miao, CHN

1. Cara Black/Liezel Huber, ZIM/USA
2. Agnes Szavay, HUN
3. Dinara Safina, RUS
4. Julia Vakulenko, UKR
5. Meghann Shaughnessy, USA
HM- Serena Williams/Venus Williams, USA

1. Sesil Karatantcheva, BUL
2. Marta Domachowska, POL
3. Yan Zi/Zheng Jie, CHN
HM- Jelena Dokic, AUS

1. Elena Kulikova, RUS
2. Sesil Karatantcheva, BUL
3. Anastasia Pivovarova, RUS
HM- Neuza Silva, POR

...Maria Sharapova claims career slam #3 in Melbourne, never dropping a set and knocking off Davenport early before taking out #1 Henin, #3 Jankovic and #4 Ivanovic (who would be #2 after the tournament) late.

Australian 1st - Jankovic def. Paszek - 2-6/6-2/12-10 3:09, Jankovic teetered on the edge of oblivion as the Austrian teenager held three match points and served for the match FIVE TIMES in a 116-minute 3rd set. After fifteen breaks of serve in that deciding set, Jankovic lived to push her body to the limit for another week and a half.
Australian QF - Sharapova def. Henin - 6-4/6-0
...yes, Sharapova was a good as the score would indicate. But Henin wasn't as "off" as it might appear, playing a series of long points against the Russian that ultimately didn't go her way. Sharapova threw everything at the Belgian, who fought off the Supernova for as long as she could. Hopefully, this is only the first chapter in a series of Henin-Sharapova battles in '08.
Australian 4th - A.Radwanska def. Petrova - 1-6/7-5/6-0
...Petrova led 6-1/3-0 with a potential SF berth in her sights. She ended up only winning four of the twenty-eight points in the 3rd set. Oh, Nadia.
Australian 3rd - Dellacqua def. Mauresmo - 3-6/6-4/6-4
...Mauresmo still isn't really herself, but even Dellacqua's relatives probably didn't think she'd come out on top in this one.

Lindsay Davenport winning a title in Auckland, and running her comeback record to 19-1 until Sharapova met her at the net in Melbourne.
Li Na kicking off Beijing's Olympic year with a title at Gold Coast, then getting bounced in the 3rd Round in Melbourne.
Evonne Goolagong Cawley becoming the 16th women's #1. Sure, it happened in 1976 and the "bookkeeping error" wasn't officially acknowledged until this past December. But, hey, better late than never, right?
Sania Mirza, stop me if you've heard this before, got into trouble with religious authorities. First, she was accused of trespassing on the grounds of a mosque without permission for a TV commercial, then threatened with jail time for disrespecting the Indian flag after a picture was taken during Hopman Cup play that made it appear as if she was placing her bare feet near a flag (she was actually only resting her feet on a seat several rows away... and how ridiculous is it that an explanation is even needed in this case?).
Nicole Vaidisova and Radek Stepanek got engaged... or did they?
Meghann Shaughnessy injured her knee in a 1st Round match against Francesca Schiavone at Gold Coast when leading 6-0/1-0. She was forced to retire and could miss up to six months.
Jelena Dokic lost in Australian Open qualifying, but remarkably didn't flee the country leaving a trail of burned bridges. Hey, at least it's a start, right?

07 FINAL: Russia def. Italy

*1st Round*
Russia def. Israel 4-1
USA def. Germany 5-0
Italy def. Spain 3-2
China def. France 4-1 (redemption)
Ukraine def. Belgium 5-0
Croatia def. Japan 3-2
Australia def. Argentina 4-1
Czech Republic def. Slovakia 3-2

All for now.

NEXT: For Whom the Book Tolls 2008


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