Monday, July 17, 2006

Wk.28- Noodle-rific!

The menu wasn't exactly full this weekend. Justine was sitting things out. So was Amelie. And Serena was still waiting in the wings.

But, have no fear, the Noodles were terrific.

**WEEK 28**

Belgium def. USA 4-1
Italy def. Spain 3-1

Japan def. Austria 5-0
France def. Czech Republic 3-2
China def. Germany 4-1
Russia def. Croatia 3-2

Slovak Republic def. Thailand 5-0
Canada def. Argentina 3-2
Australia def. Switzerland 5-0
Israel def. Indonesia - walkover

Belgium: Kim Clijsters
Italy: Flavia Pennetta

=World Group PO=
Japan: Akiko Morigami
France: Tatiana Golovin
China: Na Li
Russia: Elena Dementieva

=Group II PO=
Slovak Republic: Daniela Hantuchova
Canada: Aleksandra Wozniak
Australia: Samantha Stosur

FED CUP FINAL (Sept.16-17): Italy at Belgium

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Flavia Pennetta was Francesca Schiavone who guided the Italians past the French in the Fed Cup QF, but it was Pennetta who stepped all over the Spaniards in the SF. Her two dominating wins over Medina-Garrigues and Dominguez-Lino set the the tone for the dominating weekend for the Noodles, the true revelations of 2006 who now fittingly find themselves in their first ever Fed Cup final.
RISERS: Na Li & Tatiana Golovin of China's big goals was to reach the Fed Cup World Group. Well, mission accomplished. After China's crushing of the Groenefeld-less Germans, led by Li's 2-0 singles mark, the Chinese will take part in the FC 1st Round in 2007. Golovin lost a titanic battle of an opening match against Vaidisova (11-9 in the 3rd), but the Frussian Pastry's bounce back win over Safarova and her successful doubles pairing with Bremond in the deciding France/Czech Republic match made her comeback from that nasty ankle injury in Miami complete just in time for the hard court season.
SURPRISE: Samantha Stosur & Alicia Molik
...the Sheilas' easy 5-0 win over the Hingis & Schnyder-less Swiss in the Group II playoffs wasn't a surprise, but Slingin' Sammy's dominant 2-0 singles play is a good sign for her late-season prospects, and considering her best results usually come about in January THAT would be a rather pleasant surprise, I'd say. Stosur was so good, even the Steamer (currently ranked #201, but making progress in her comeback) got a shot at both a singles and doubles match against the Swiss, going 2-0. Considering Molik's condition at the end of last season, that she's already this far along is a nice little surprise of it's own.
VETERAN: Severine Bremond
...fresh off her QF run in singles at Wimbledon, Bremond didn't play in the France/Czech World Group Playoff until the deciding doubles match. She and Golovin took care of Benesova/Peschke, and The Counselor was a Pastry heroine once again.
FRESH FACES: Kirsten Flipkens & Aleksandra Wozniak

...with JHH out after her heavy schedule over the past month, Flipkens stepped into the #2 singles role for the Waffles against the Americans in the FC semis. Her survival in the opening match against Craybas, 5-7/6-2/6-4, took a little pressure off Kim Clijsters (who quickly put it back on herself, dropping her opening set vs. Jamea Jackson), and showed that she's capable withstanding a little pressure herself. Meanwhile, 18-year old Canadian Wozniak led the way in the surprisingly easy win over Argentina in the Group II Playoffs, getting wins over Dulko and Diaz Oliva.
DOWN: Lucie Safarova
...Vaidisova outlasted Golovin in an 11-9 1st set in the opening match of France/Czech Republic, but Safarova failed to do so in Match #2 against Dechy (losing 9-7 in the 3rd). With the Maidens up 2-1, Safarova was wiped out by Golovin 2 & 1. France eventually won 3-2 to return to the World Group in 2007. Safarova won a singles title in Week 1 of this year, but things have largely been a struggle ever since. This weekend was just another disappointing example.

1.FRA/CZE(1) - Vaidisova d. Golovin
...6-1/3-6/11-9. It was all for nothing, though.
2.FRA/CZE(5) - Bremond/Golovin d. Benesova/Peschke
...6-4/7-6. This was the only Match #5 deciding doubles clash of the weekend. And even without Safarova involved, the Maidens still lost.
3.ITA/ESP(1) - Pennetta d. Garrigues
...6-3/6-0. It set the tone of weekend despair for the Spaniards.
4.BEL/USA(2) - Clijsters d. Jackson
...4-6/6-2/6-1. Jackson didn't get the big upset, but she put a little scare in Clijsters.
5.FRA/CZE(2) - Dechy d. Safarova
...5-7/6-3/9-7. Maybe if Safarova had pulled this one out, things would have been very different the rest of the weekend.
HM- WTT - Rolle(HOU) d. Rubin(PHI) 5-2
...Chanda's return to action. It could have been worse... just ask Pete Sampras.

...well, so far, so good with 3Q picks after the Fed Cup weekend. Now, back to "The Nightmare of '06," I suspect.

05 F: Schnyder d. Morigami
06 TOP: Schnyder/Myskina
SF: Schnyder d. Srebotnik; Golovin d. Myskina
FINAL: Schnyder d. Golovin

05 F: Medina-Garrigues d. Koukalova
06 TOP: Pennetta/Medina-Garrigues
SF: Krajicek d. Pennetta; Garrigues d. Muller
FINAL: Garrigues d. Krajicek

OF NOTE: this Thursday, July 20, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Martina Navratilova becoming an American citizen in 1981 following her defection from Czechoslovakia in 1975. Happy Silver, Martina.

All for now.


ALSO THIS WEEK: The Blessed and the Cursed (2Q Edition), The Federer/Nadal Quiz, and the ATP Grass Court Awards


Blogger Topaz said...

So, you don't think Serena is going to blast through in her comback tournament?

I don't either, but it will be nice to have her back in the mix, and the pics I've seen out of Cincy have her looking...good. Not great, but much better IMO.

Mon Jul 17, 07:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

Knowing Serena, since no one thinks she will, she'll probably end up winning the whole thing. :)

Mon Jul 17, 08:47:00 PM EDT  

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