Monday, January 29, 2007

2007 Dorothy Tour Awards

The Yellow Brick Road was indeed made of gold bars, at least as far as Australian Open champion Serena Williams is concerned.

But what about the rest of the tour's technicolor dreams Down Under?


**TOP PLAYERS**
1. Serena Williams
2. Jelena Jankovic
3. Kim Clijsters
HM- Maria Sharapova

**RISERS**
1. Jelena Jankovic
2. Shahar Peer
3. Nicole Vaidisova
4. Anna Chakvetadze
5. Dinara Safina
6. Na Li
7. Vera Zvonareva
8. Sania Mirza
9. Maria Kirilenko
10. Alicia Molik

**SURPRISES**
1. Camille Pin
2. Yung-Jan Chan/Chia-Jung Chuang
3. Madison Brengle
4. Anastasiya Yakimova & Eva Birnerova
5. Sybille Bammer

**VETERANS**
1. Cara Black/Liezel Huber
2. Martina Hingis
3. Tathiana Garbin
4. Elena Likhovtseva
5. Anne Kremer

**FRESH FACES**
1. Lucie Safarova
2. Victoria Azarenka
3. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
4. Vasilisa Bardina
5. Madison Brengle
6. Alize Cornet
7. Tamira Paszek
8. Ksenia Milevskaya
9. Alla Kudryvtseva
10. Evgeniya Rodina

**DOWN**
1. Amelie Mauresmo
2. Lisa Raymond/Samantha Stosur
3. Zi Yan/Jie Zheng
4. Svetlana Kuznetsova
5. Anastasia Myskina


**TOP MATCHES**
Australian Open QF - S.Williams def. Peer
...3-6/6-2/8-6. Serena rose to a different level after this one. Will Shahar?
Sydney Final - Clijsters d. Jankovic
...4-6/7-6/6-4. Jankovic couldn't convert a match point, then went on to bow out with little verve against Williams in Melbourne.
Sydney SF - Jankovic d. Vaidisova
...6-4/4-6/6-4. In the last two slams, they've both advanced to a SF.
Australian Open 1st - Sharapova d. Pin
...6-3/4-6/9-7. The heat and Pin didn't get Sharapova, but Serena sure did.

**BEST COMEBACKS**
Australian Open 3rd - Peer d. Golovin
...3-6/7-5/7-5. Golovin held 2 MP.
Serena in Melbourne
...not just the title, but doing it after both Nadia Petrova (3rd Round) and Shahar Peer (QF) served for the match against her.

**BIGGEST CHOKE (IN REGULATION TIME)**
Australian Open 3rd - Hantuchova d. Harkleroad
...6-7/7-5/6-3. American Splendor led 7-6/4-0, then again 3-1 in the 3rd. A few days after this, Harkleroad and her partner were double-bageled in doubles.

**BEST COMEBACK/WORST CHOKE (IN EXTRA TIME)**
Gold Goast SF - Safina d. Peer
...4-6/7-6/6-2. Peer led 6-4/5-1, but was felled by a momentum-ceasing rain delay.

**BIGGEST UPSETS**
Australian Open Doubles SF - Chan/Chuang d. Yan/Zheng
6-3/6-4. A pair of unseeded Taiwanese players knocked out the #2-seeded defending champion Cookies.
Australian Open 4th - Safarova d. Mauresmo
...6-4/6-3. Amelie needed a little more of that "retirement magic" in this one. She didn't get it.

**WORST DECISION**
...Jelena Dokic, quickly running out of chances (if this one wasn't already one more than she deserves), up and left the Pilic Academy either because the contract she was offered wasn't good enough or because she doesn't like people butting into her personal life. Either way, does it really matter anymore?

**MOST CONGRATULATIONS**
...to Lindsay Davenport, who announced her pregnancy and apparent retirement from her tennis career. Somehow, she seems to have managed to play sixteen years on tour without legitimately pissing off a single person. Amazing. That has to be a modern day record, right?




...your friendly neighborhood Backspinner is still holding the early lead over Tennisrulz Head Honcho Pierre Cantin in the Royale.

4th Round (16): Backspin 15-13
QF (8): Tied 5-5
SF (24): Pierre 11-10
FINALS (14): Backspin 9-5
CHAMPIONS (7): Backspin 3-1


We both missed on Sharapova winning in Melbourne, but I'm still pretty excited considering my fabled '06 misfires led me to notch only three champions in ALL of last season's Royale weeks. Unless things go REALLY wrong from here on out, I've already got that number beaten for '07 and it's not even February yet.

With Pierre fresh off breaking as many Australian cultural rules as possible (hmmm, what IS culturally looked down upon Down Under, anyway?), I'm back to going it solo for this week's Tier I in Tokyo... unless he manages to pull himself together and buy all his Colts Super Bowl XLI memorabilia in time to make some picks, of course.


TOKYO, JAPAN (Tier I-Carpet)
2006 FINAL: Dementieva d. Hingis
2007 TOP: Sharapova/Hingis
=============================
SF: Peer def. Jankovic; Hingis def. Dementieva
FINAL: Peer def. Hingis

...yeah, I'm going with Shahar over Sharapova in the QF. Sure, I might be crazy, considering the Supernova's uncanny ability to win titles in Asia, but I've got a gut feeling that Maria's serve might still be a problem this week. Either that, or something I ate this weekend didn't agree with me. I just so enjoyed Peer's Melbourne run that I'm itching to pick her to win something big.


[LATE UPDATE: Pierre's back from Melbourne, so he's in the mix this week, after all]



I'm back and getting everything under control. Ok, so here are my picks :)

SF:
Jankovic def. Sharapova: Yep, you read right, I continue to see great things from Serbia's star
Hingis def. Dementieva: Ok, not that original here...

FINAL:
Jankovic def. Hingis

Now, let's hope I will fare better here than I did for the Australian Open!


Gee, neither of us picked Sharapova. What were the odds of that? Oh, well.

All for now... and I'm not talking about Barbaro, who finally went off to the great glue factory in the sky today, either.

5 Comments:

Blogger Clibanarius said...

FINAL: Peer def. Hingis

Peer sucks on fast indoors (she was routed by Petrova last year in Linz), and the PPO carpet is the fastest of them all.

This isn't the ATP, but the playing surface has to be considered when making predictions.

Wed Jan 31, 09:18:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

Yeah, but I was kind of picking her because of the feel-good carry over from Melbourne. I knew it was a very long shot when I did it. I guess, with a decent prediction record so far this season, I was feeling randy and was willing to throw one out just to know that I picked Peer in a big event. :)

If I was in my right mind at the time, I'd surely have picked Sharapova and let the cards fall where they may. :)

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