Monday, October 29, 2007

Wk.43- October's Fest... and Wonder Girl, too

There are just two tournaments remaining on the WTA's 2007 schedule, but the final monthly awards are already upon us.

1. Justine Henin, BEL... simply the best
2. Elena Dementieva, RUS... still full of surprises
3. Tatiana Golovin, FRA... good & bad, but never indifferent
4. Daniela Hantuchova, SVK... mission accomplished
5. Virginie Razzano, FRA... Venus' nightmare scenario

1. Tatiana Golovin / FRA
2. Daniela Hantuchova / SVK
3. Virginie Razzano / FRA
4. Nicole Vaidisova / CZE
5. Tiantian Sun & Zi Yan / CHN

1. Victoria Azarenka / BLR
2. Agnieszka Radwanska / POL
3. Yung-Jan Chan / TPE
4. Dominika Cibulkova / SVK
5. Caroline Wozniacki / DEN

1. Pauline Parmentier / FRA
2. Zi Yan / CHN
3. Anastasia Rodionova / RUS
4. Yi-Miao Zhou / CHN
5. Olga Brozda / POL

1. Elena Dementieva / RUS
2. Kveta Peschke & Rennae Stubbs / CZE-AUS
3. Flavia Pennetta / ITA
4. Cara Black & Liezel Huber / ZIM-USA
5. Patty Schnyder / SUI

1. Elena Dementieva / RUS
2. Nicole Vaidisova / CZE
3. Alicia Molik / AUS
4. Olga Poutchkova / RUS
5. Jelena Dokic / (back to) AUS

1. Maria Sharapova / RUS
2. Anna Chakvetadze / RUS
3. Serena Williams / USA
4. Lucie Safarova / CZE
5. Jelena Jankovic / SRB

1. Sofia Arvidsson / SWE
2. Maret Ani / EST
3. Marina Erakovic / NZL
4. Anna Floris / ITA
5. Ashley Harkleroad / USA
HM- Mariana Duque Marino / COL

Elena Dementieva, thought by many to be slip-sliding down the other side of her career, put together a magical week back home and won her first Kremlin Cup title in Moscow

In the 2:44 match, Venus failed to convert on three consecutive match points at 6-3 in the 2nd set tie-break. Razzano stormed back to win to claim a second title in six days after having captured her career first in Guangzhou just six days earlier.

Jelena Dokic returned to Australia. Good? Bad? With Dokic, who knows? Certainly not her, that's for sure. In 2008, it's put up or shut up time.


S: Daniela Hantuchova def. Patty Schnyder 6-4/6-2
D: Black/Huber d. Srebotnik/Sugiyama

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Daniela Hantuchova

Wonder Girl finally found a way to win a title somewhere other than Indian Wells, taking her third career crown in Linz with a win in the final over Patty Schnyder. Maybe bigger news, though, was the completion of her 4Q mission to qualify for the YEC in Madrid. The points she gained with her Linz title officially tied her with Maria Sharapova for the eighth and final spot in the field, bumping the Supernova down to the alternate position on a tie-breaker as Hantuchova has played more tournaments in '07. Of course, as things have turned out, Hantuchova didn't even need to win the final to advance to Madrid, and Sharapova needn't have suffered the indignity of it all, either. Venus williams' dizziness-related withdrawal from the YEC means both Wonder Girl and the Supernova would have been good to go even if Schnyder raised the trophy on Sunday. Oh, well. It was still good practice for Daniela.
RISER: Nicole Vaidisova
Vaidisova made it back-to-back SF results in Zurich & Linz, but her four attempts to reach a final from that position this season have so far been fruitless. After wins over Flavia Pennetta and Dinara Safina, a 3rd set tie-break loss to Hantuchova put the kibosh on putting a shiny finish on the Czech teen's illness-saddled and disappointing season... at least for one more week.
SURPRISES: Yanina Wickmayer & Tatjana Malek
looking to become the new Belgian Number Two, 18-year old Wickmayer has made strides toward pushing Kirsten Flipkens down a notch in the post-Clijsters world. Her latest accomplishment was winning this weekend's $25K event in Hamanako with a three-set final win over Japan's Junri Namigata. 20-year old German Malek claimed the $100K Bratislava title with wins over Yakimova, Cetkovska, Bychkova and Benesova before taking out Petra Kvitova in the final.
VETERANS: Cara Black/Liezel Huber & Patty Schnyder
Black & Huber have been the dominant doubles team of '07, and they're ending the year in fine form. Their Linz title was their tour-leading eighth crown of the season. Meanwhile, Schnyder reached her second singles final of the year in Linz, knocking out the likes of Rezai, Molik, Chakvetadze and Bartoli before losing to Hantuchova.
FRESH FACES: Monica Niculescu & Evgeniya Rodina

both claimed ITF titles over the weekend, with the 20-year Romanian Niculescu taking the $25K Istanbul event by defeating Oxana Lyubtsova in the final, while the 18-year Russian Rodina defeated fellow Hordette Anna Lapushchenkova in the $25K Podolsk final (as well as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the SF).
DOWN: Maria Kirilenko & Anna Chakvetadze
Rodina (and Alisa Kleybanova, who was victorious in Augusta) aside, it wasn't a good week for the Russians. None reached the SF in Linz, Sharapova was knocked out of the 2007 Points Race's Top 8, and both Kirilenko and Chakvetadze continued their recent slides in Austria. Kirilenko dropped her 1st Rounder to Julia Vakulenko, completing 2007's "Tale of Three Marias" which saw her begin her season with a 10-17 stint, rev up with a 19-5 run that led to a title in Kolkata and a final in Seoul, and then close out her schedule with an 0-5 slide. A year ago, Chakvetadze put up a 10-2, two-title post-US Open mark. This season, after a sterling US Open Series (12-2, two titles), Open SF and Fed Cup victory, she dropped to 2-4 since with a 6-1/6-0 loss in the QF to Schnyder. Still, her season's earlier accomplishments already earned her a spot in the YEC field. Kirilenko isn't so lucky.

1. Linz SF - Hantuchova d. Vaidisova
The Dynamova's final '07 shot at a title -- and a singles final -- comes in Quebec City.
2. Linz F - Hantuchova d. Schnyder
Wonder Girl advanced to a singles final three times during her successful 4Q quest to qualify for the YEC.
3. Linz 1st - Molik d. A.Radwanska
In her final singles action on tour this season, the Steamer qualified and, though she's defeated higher-ranked players this year, notched what was arguably her best win of the season in Linz over A-Rad. Now the discussion can begin about whether Molik or Dokic is the Aussie that can come back the furthest in '08. Considering the level of historical commitment, the choice would seem an obvious one.
4. Linz 1st - Sugiyama d. Bammer
The WTA's "Mom of the Year" didn't fare all that well when she played close to home. Oh, well... at least she got more free time with the Bammer Bunch.
5. Linz 1st - Daniilidou d. Golovin
...6-4/1-0 ret.
And Bad Tatiana rears her head one final time before the curtain falls on '07.

**2007 WTA FINALS**
10..Justine Henin (9-1)
8...Jelena Jankovic (4-4)
6...Svetlana Kuznetsova (1-5)
5...Ana Ivanovic (3-2)
4...Anna Chakvetadze (4-0)
4...Tatiana Golovin (2-2)
4...Amelie Mauresmo (1-3)

**WORST 2007 FINAL WIN PCT. - 2+**
.000 - Victoria Azarenka (0-2)
.000 - Marion Bartoli (0-2)
.000 - Patty Schnyder (0-2)
.167 - Svetlana Kuznetsova (1-5)
.250 - Amelie Mauresmo (1-3)

5...Lisa Raymond/Samantha Stosur
3...Yung-Jan Chan/Chia-Jung Chuang
3...Kveta Peschke/Rennae Stubbs

2006 FINAL: Bartoli d. Poutchkova
2007 TOP: Vaidisova/Zvonareva

Vaidisova d. Cornet
Vakulenko d. Govortsova
Davenport d. Tu
Zvonareva d. Osterloh

Vaidisova d. Vakulenko
Davenport d. Zvonareva

Davenport d. Vaidisova

Vaidisova d. Cornet
Govortsova d. Vakulenko
Davenport d. Shvedova
Zvonareva d. Poutchkova

Vaidisova d. Govortsova
Davenport d. Zvonareva

Vaidisova d. Davenport

All for now.


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