Monday, June 11, 2007

Ms.Backspin Update

Time for a quick "baker's dozen" update on the 2007 horse race for "Player of the Year":

1. Justine Henin: in rare form on the court in Paris, and in new form off it, Le Petit Taureau is #1 with a bullet... and now the two-time Wimbledon RU heads to SW19 with a shot to sew up the career slam.
2. Serena Williams: she's hardly sporting the luster she had after Melbourne, as some of the usual maladies have prevented Serena from being a regular on tour during the 2Q. But she HAS added a post-Oz Tier I in Miami, and will be Favorite #1a or #1b at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
3. Jelena Jankovic: she plays (20 of 24 weeks) and wins more than any other player on tour, and will finish in the Top 5 as long as her arm doesn't fall off... but Ivanovic beat her to a first slam final. If the recent one-upsmanship between the Fantastic Two is truly a pattern, though, then Jankovic might match AnaIvo's accomplishment before the end of the summer.

4. Cara Black & Liezel Huber: an Aussie Open crown, along with three other titles, has moved this pair past Raymond/Stosur into the #1-ranked doubles team slot. On Monday, Cara Black replaced Raymond as the top-ranked doubles player in the world.
5. Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur: they've won four Tier I titles in '07, but missed out at both Oz and Roland Garros.
6. Ana Ivanovic: AnaIvo is rising like a rocket through the Top 10 (hello #6) and, remember, she won the U.S. Open Series last year.

7. Maria Sharapova: even with her service problems and prolonged injury-related absence (and zero '07 titles), it's hard to overlook the Supernova's Oz RU and Roland Garros SF. Not with her best two slams still on the schedule.
8. Svetlana Kuznetsova: the Contessova is getting close, but nothing more. She's reached four finals in '07, three of them Tier I's, but lost them all.
9. Amelie Mauresmo: before the appendectomy, and between her slam losses to Lucie Safarova, Mauresmo three-peated in Antwerp to claim the diamond racket. Plus, no one really expected a carbon copy of her two-slam winning '06 season... which could mean she's a quiet favorite despite being the defending champ at the All-England Club.

10. Yung-Jan Chan & Chia-Jung Chuang: the doubles revelations of 2007.
11. Lucie Safarova: has made more waves than fellow Czech Maiden Vaidisova.
12. Sybille Bammer: the Mommy Surprise of the season.
HM- Daniela Hantuchova: sure, the Indian Wells win was great. But, once again, the follow-up has been pretty much nonexistent.

All for now.


Blogger Eric said...

hey todd,

i think there's a new name in town: angelique kerber (ger)...she lost to dementieva at Roland Garros, but the highlight reel only showed her plays...and then today she double bageled poutchkova


Tue Jun 12, 10:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

Yeah, I have mentioned her in the past, though not as much as I'd have liked. She's won, I think, four ITF titles this year, but it's been hard to find a spot to include her in the weekly awards. I believe I had her in the opening season lists, but I'm not sure.

She might be the German to keep an eye on now that ALG's results have dipped so much.

Wed Jun 13, 02:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

I went back and checked, and she appeared in the "Matches" section in Week 42 of last season after defeating Flipkens to win a $25K, then was on the 4Q "Fresh Faces" list and the end-of-year "Surprises" list. I did predict her to reach her first tour SF this season in the pre-season predictions.

Unfortunately, she hasn't had a mention during the season, but she will be on one of the Clay Court Award lists next week. :)

Wed Jun 13, 03:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

lol, i knew you would have caught it :)

Thu Jun 14, 12:44:00 AM EDT  

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