Wk.7- .now for All (The 3rd Annual Backwards Backspin)
All for now.
.A rematch of the '06 final, but with a different result...
FINAL: Pennetta d. Dominguez-Lino
SF: Pennetta d. Loit; Dominguez-Lino d. Garbin
07 TOP SEEDS: Garbin/Pennetta
06 FINAL: Dominguez-Lino d. Pennetta
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (III-Red Clay)
.I hate this. I hate this. Venus has barely played in the last eight months, but she was supposedly looking better than her sister in practices with Serena before Melbourne... then Serena won the Australian. But it still has taken almost another month for Venus to play a match. Of course, she won her 1st Round match on Monday against Akiko Morigami, but it took three sets. And then there's Peer, who I almost feel obligated to pick to win until she wins her first '07 tournament. Still, even with so much up in the air, I'm taking Venus. So, just to get things out of the way, let me offer an early congratulations to Shahar for her fourth career WTA title...
FINAL: V.Williams d. Peer
SF: V.Williams d. Stosur; Peer d. Craybas
07 TOP SEEDS: Peer/Bartoli
06 FINAL: Arvidsson d. Domachowska
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE USA (III-HI)
.Serena and Maria aren't here as planned, so rather than a rematch of the '07 Australian final, let's make it a rematch of '06...
FINAL: Henin d. Mauresmo
SF: Mauresmo d. Jankovic; Henin d. Kuznetsova
07 TOP SEEDS: Henin/Mauresmo
06 FINAL: JHH d. Sharapova
DUBAI, UAE (II-HO)
.I'm really getting tired of having my champion picks reach the final, only to lose. Clijsters in Antwerp was already the fourth time that's happened this year...
23...Nadia Petrova (2005)
21...Elena Dementieva (2003)
19...YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA (2007)
19...Anna Chakvetadze (2006)
19...Elena Bovina (2002)
18...Maria Kirilenko (2005)
18...Vera Zvonareva (2003)
18...Anastasia Myskina (1999)
18...Elena Likhovtseva (1993)
17...Svetlana Kuznetsova (2002)
16...Maria Sharapova (2003)
16...Dinara Safina (2002)
**AGE OF HORDETTES' FIRST WTA TITLES**
#61...Sybille Bammer (Pattaya City)
#81...Serena Williams (Australian)
#143..YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA (BANGALORE)
**LOW-RANKED 2007 CHAMPIONS**
FEB - YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA (RUS, BANGALORE)
Feb - Sybille Bammer (AUT, Pattaya)
**2007 FIRST-TIME CHAMPIONS**
4...Kim Clijsters [3/1]
5...Maria Sharapova [5/0]
5...AMELIE MAURESMO [4/1]
6...Justine Henin [6/0]
6...Nadia Petrova [5/1]
**MOST TITLES - 2006/07**
.Only this time Sania didn't get the doubles title to smooth things over. .6-7/6-4/6-4...
HM- Bang QF - Shvedova d. Mirza
.Anna C's career mastery over Petrova (4-0) continues. In four '07 events, the Doll has produced two SF and two QF, showcasing the new consistency that's helped produce her new Top 10 ranking. .6-3/6-4...
5. Ant QF - Chakvetadze d. Petrova
.It's not often pretty when Olga faces the top players. .6-0/6-2...
4. Ant 2nd - Clijsters d. Poutchkova
.Well, at least ALG's got Acapulco coming up soon. Her first career title there a year ago broke through the similarly woeful start to her '06 season. .6-4/6-1...
3. Ant 1st - Razzano d. Groenefeld
.Santangelo was looking to defend her '06 title. Instead, Shvedova became the fourth different Russian champion through the season's first seven weeks -- and the teenager was only the 18th-ranked player from her country going into last week (now she's the 14th-best). .6-4/6-4...
2. Bang Final - Shvedova d. Santangelo
.Kim says goodbye to Belgium, and Mauresmo becomes the second WTA player with a current three-year streak of titles at an event. The other is Anabel Medina-Garrigues at Palermo. .6-4/7-6...
1. Ant Final - Mauresmo d. Clijsters
.Oh, Anna-Lena. Surely you can't wait for the clay season to get here. Her '06 hardcourt woes are still hounding her in '07, as her 1st Round exit in Antwerp dropped her to 1-4 for the season. Her opening round loss in Dubai on Monday made it 1-5. Whew! Thank goodness for the 1st Round qualifier in Melbourne...
Anna-Lena Groenefeld :DOWN
.The Russian march continues, even without the Supernova. This week, it was 19-year old Shvedova who grabbed her first career title in Bangalore. The then world #143 (she's all the way up at #78 now) ran through Tamarine Tanasugarn, home favorite Sania Mirza, Tzipora Obziler and Mara Santangelo. Meanwhile, what great news it is to see fellow Russian 20-year old Linetskaya back in the news for good reasons, rather than those nasty familial ones from a while ago. After having not played a match since the Australian Open '06 (and with no win since the U.S. Open in '05, barely a month after having reached a career-high ranking of #35), Linetskaya made the final of the $10K in Vale Do Lobo two weeks ago, then last week won the Montechoro, Portugal $10K with a 6-2/6-0 win in the final over Julia Kalabina. After seeing her '06 ranking end up at #1192, and being without a ranking heading into this past event, she's finally on her way back. Talk about a nice story...
Yaroslava Shvedova & Evgenia Linetskaya :FRESH FACES
.Israel's Obziler, 33, knocked off a pair of Russians (Vasilisa Bardina & Alla Kudryavtseva) and a Hungarian (Melinda Czink) on her way to the Bangalore SF, the second of her career. Black & Huber won the Antwerp doubles, the team's second title in two weeks and already the third of '07...
Tzipora Obziler & Cara Black/Liezel Huber :VETERANS
.Japan's Sema qualified in Bangalore, then upset Ukraine's Yuliana Fedak and Yulia Beygelzimer to reach the QF. No worries for the Ukrainians, though, since 19-year old Savchuk (#153) took out Alicia Molik and Jelena Kostanic-Tosic to reach the SF of the same event.
Yurika Sema & Olga Savchuk :SURPRISES
.The Taiwanese twosome is becoming quite the doubles story in '07. After reaching and losing in two finals this season, they finally won in Bangalore with an 11-9 3rd set Super Tie-Break win over Su-Wei Hsieh & Alla Kudryavtseva...
Jung-Jan Chan & Chia-Jung Chuang :RISERS
.Antwerp finally provided the evidence that Mauresmo still has the drive and will to push through for a big win a season after having all her dreams come true. Hmmm, one unanswered question: if the diamond racket goes to the player who wins Antwerp three times in five years, what will Mauresmo get if she wins the event for a fourth time in a row in '08? A Belgian royal title? Justine Henin's old engagement ring? I'm just askin'...
Amelie Mauresmo :PLAYER OF THE WEEK
D: Chan/Chuang d. Hsieh/Kudryavtseva
S: Yaroslava Shvedova d. Mara Santangelo 6-4/6-4
BANGALORE, INDIA (III-HO)
D: Black/Huber d. Likhovtseva/Vesnina
S: Amelie Mauresmo d. Kim Clijsters 6-4/7-6
ANTWERP, BELGIUM (II-Decoturf/i)
*WEEK 7 CHAMPIONS*
ANSWER: Not whatever Serena Williams is cooking up for her opening night U.S. Open wardrobe, but the big trophy Amelie Mauresmo claimed after winning Antwerp for a third straight time (after all she had to do was win it three times in five years).
QUESTION: What's worth $1.3 million dollars, and is studded with 1,702 diamonds?
Wk.7- .now for All (The 3rd Annual Backwards Backspin)
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2007