Thursday, June 28, 2007

Day 4: Red Knickers and an Austrian Boot

When a tournament experiences no big upsets, fashion often takes center stage. While Maria Sharapova's "Swan Lake" dress is too classy-looking to cause a stir, Tatiana Golovin's choice to wear red knickers in what appeared to be a violation of the predominantly-white attire rules (apparently, it wasn't) became one of the boomlet stories of Wimbledon 2007.

Golovin, as is her way, seemed to bask in the spotlight her clothes inspired (hey, she's been here before, right?). But, on Day 4, the story shifted from what she was wearing to what happened on the court as the #17-seed became one of the highest-seeded woman to fall so far. Considering the Austrian teenager she lost to, THIS is the more important story.

16-year old Tamira Paszek, currently ranked #54, continued her upward climb with her 6-2/4-6/6-1 win over the Frussian Pastry. It won't be the last time the girl with the exciting forehand and emotional nature will steal the headline from one of her bigger-named opponents.

Tutored by Gustavo Kuerten's former coach, Paszek already has a fine list of accomplishments to her credit. She was the runner-up in both the 2005 Wimbledon (to Agnieszka Radwanska) and 2006 U.S. Open (to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova) junior competitions. Late last season in Portoroz, the then-15 year old became the seventh youngest, and third lowest-ranked (#259) singles champion in WTA history... and she did it in just the third main draw of her pro career.

Earlier this season, she took Justine Henin to three sets, then did the same thing against Maria Sharapova two weeks ago in Birmingham. In between, she turned a 5-0 1st set deficit against Henin at Roland Garros into a tight 5-5 battle (Henin won 7-5) that pegged her, more so than even the promising Pavlyuchenkova at the moment, as a player capable of keeping up with the top talents in the game.

With Golovin dispatched, #12 Elena Dementieva comes up next. A win there would mean a Round of 16 match with either Svetlana Kuznetsova or "old" nemesis A-Rad. After that? Maybe Sharapova again.

Making her way through so many roadblocks isn't likely for a 16-year old newcomer... but at least it seems a safe bet that she'll finally get that bio in the 2008 WTA Guide that somehow eluded her this year.

Hey, small steps lead to bigger ones, right?

Love-Love... Well, he did it again. No one holds people's attention and stokes their hopes for nothing better than Tim Henman at Wimbledon. Against Feliciano Lopez, the Englishman lost two tie-break sets and was down 2-0 in the 3rd set. Prospects looked bleak... until Henman suddenly caught fire and won two sets to knot the match and send it to his second 5th set of this tournament. Just as the fans thought he might pull off a stunner, he was barely there the rest of the way. Lopez won the set 6-1, losing only one point on his serve throughout.
15-Love... all the remaining women's qualifiers, lucky losers and wild cards lost on Day 4. After qualifier Severine Bremond (who also lost today, 6-0/6-3 to Maria Sharapova) reached the QF a year ago, the quintet of Olga Govortsova, Nika Ozegovic, Tatiana Perebiynis, Hana Sromova and Agnes Szavay all dropped out in the 2nd Round at this Wimbledon.

On the men's side, qualifiers Wayne Arthurs and Edouard Roger-Vasselin both advanced to the final 32.

As far as the Wimbledon "Upset Queens" and "Revelation Ladies," the final vote counts won't be official until after the 3rd Round, as some potential "tie-breakers" there could tip the decision one way or another. The "Upset Queens" contenders:

French: Alize Cornet (def. Kirilenko), Aravane Rezai (def. Perry & Schiavone)
Austrians: Yvonne Meusburger (def. Razzano), Tamira Paszek (def. Zahlavova-Strycova & Golovin)
Belarussians: Victoria Azarenka (def. Kostanic-Tosic & Garbin), Olga Govortsova (def. Arn), Tathiana Poutchek (def. Kutuzova)

As for the "Revelation Ladies":

French: Marion Bartoli & Aravane Rezai join Amelie Mauresmo in the Final 32
Czechs: Lucie Safarova & Nicole Vaidisova, though no real "revelations," could follow in the footsteps of the Fantastovics and place two in the Round of 16

Of course, there's also the possibility that the French could end up with Backspin's first ever sweep of the two awards, as well.
30-Love... rarely has a slam ever held this true to form. With both Final 32's set, only two of the Top 16 seeds on both sides (#13 Dinara Safina & #11 Tommy Robredo) have failed to advance to the 3rd Round.

6...Russia (Chakvetadze, Dementieve, Kuznetsova, Petrova, Sharapova, Vesnina)
3...France (Bartoli, Mauresmo, Rezai)
3...USA (Granville, S.Williams, V.Williams)
2...Czech Republic (Safarova, Vaidisova)
2...Japan (Morigami, Sugiyama)
2...Serbia (Ivanovic, Jankovic)
2...Switzerland (Hingis, Schnyder)
1...Austria (Paszek)
1...Belarus (Azarenka)
1...Belgium (Henin)
1...Israel (Peer)
1...Italy (Santangelo)
1...Netherlands (Krajicek)
1...Poland (A.Radwanska)
1...Slovakia (Hantuchova)
1...Slovenia (Srebotnik)
1...Spain (Ruano-Pascual)
1...Ukraine (A.Bondarenko)
1...Venezuela (Sequera)

5...France (Gasquet, Mathieu, Monfils, Roger-Vasselin, Tsonga)
4...Russia (Davydenko, Safin, Tursunov, Youzhny)
4...Spain (Ferrero, Lopez, Nadal, Verdasco)
2...Argentina (Canas, Nalbandian)
2...Australia (Arthurs, Hewitt)
2...Germany (Haas, Kiefer)
2...Serbia (Djokovic, Tipsarevic)
2...Sweden (Bjorkman, Soderling)
2...USA (Blake, Roddick)
1...Chile (Gonzalez)
1...Croatia (Ljubicic)
1...Cyprus (Baghdatis)
1...Czech Republic (Berdych)
1...Finland (Nieminen)
1...Korea (Lee)
1...Switzerland (Federer)


SCORELINE-OF-NOTE #1: Women's Doubles 1st - #3 Yung-Jan Chan/Chia-Jung Chuang (TPE/TPE) d. Daniela Hantuchova/Ana Ivanovic (SVK/SRB) - 7-6/6-4. order to maintain their grass court winning streak, the Taiwanese pair will likely have to take out even bigger names than the star-studded duo of Wonder Girl & AnaIvo.

SCORELINE-OF-NOTE #2: Women's Doubles 1st - Alona Bonadarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. Stephanie Cohen Aloro/Virginie Razzano (FRA/FRA) - 6-1/6-2.
...the Radwanskas aren't in the Doubles draw, but the Polish duo's Ukrainian equivalent is alive and well.

SCORELINE-OF-NOTE #3: Women's Doubles 1st - Serena Williams/Venus Williams (USA/USA) d. Claire Curran/Anne Keothavong (GBR/GBR) - 6-1/6-3.
...speaking of sisters. Nothing like a six-time slam and Olympic Gold Medal-winning doubles team that isn't seeded, huh?

SCORELINE-OF-NOTE #4: Men's Doubles 1st - #1 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA/USA) d. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez/Fernando Verdasco (ESP/ESP) - 6-1/6-3/6-3.
...well, since I'm mentioning all-sibling doubles teams.

TOP PLAYER: Amelie Mauresmo/FRA
RISERS: Nadia Petrova/RUS & Elena Vesnina/RUS
SURPRISES: Milagros Sequera/VEN & Laura Granville/USA
VETERANS: Patty Schnyder/SUI & Akiko Morigami/JPN
FRESH FACES Tamira Paszek/AUT & Aravane Rezai/FRA
DOWN: Olga Poutchkova/RUS & Anna Smashnova/ISR
COMEBACK: Virginia Ruano-Pascual/ESP
MATCH: 1st Round - Schnyder d. Pin 6-1/4-6/8-6.
...They couldn't beat Sharapova in a slam, but they could slap together a nice little match against each other.
BEST SAVE: 1st Round - Hingis d. Cavaday 6-7/7-5/6-0.
...the British teen held two match points, but the Swiss Miss held on to avoid adding another 1st Round SW19 bad memory to her resume.
NEAR DISASTER: 1st Round - V.Williams d. Kudryavtseva 2-6/6-3/6-0.
...if Venus goes on to win this tournament, or even simply knocks out someone else who could, the Russian will be forced to wonder just how history would have changed had she been able to close out this match on the "Graveyard of Champions."
MATCH, "And congratulations to Lindsay Davenport on her new baby boy"... the three-time grand slam champion will also apparently be playing World Team Tennis this summer. Hmmm, might there be another tennis-related announcement coming in her future?

TOP QUALIFIERS: Su-Wei Hsieh/TPE & Olga Govortsova/BLR
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): Amelie Mauresmo/FRA
TOP MID-ROUND (3r-QF): (vacant)
TOP LATE ROUND (SF-F): (vacant)
FIRST SEED OUT: #30 Olga Poutchkova/RUS (1r-E.Vesnina/RUS)
UPSET QUEENS: (vacant)
LAST QUALIFIERS STANDING: Olga Govortsova/BLR, Nika Ozegovic/CRO, Tatiana Perebiynis/UKR, Hana Sromova/CZE & Agnes Szavay/HUN (2nd Rd.)
IT GIRL: (vacant)
DOUBLES STAR: (vacant)

All for Day 4.


Blogger Eric said...

did you happen to catch darren cahill's "dream team" lists on ESPN?

he said that federer, nadal, djoko, murray, safin were his candidates for current and future slam winners (with safin being a WC)

he also had a women's dream team, but i was channel surfing so I think i missed it...did you happen to catch it?

Fri Jun 29, 12:53:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

No, but who would you put on your "dream team?"

Fri Jun 29, 04:44:00 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home