Monday, November 17, 2008

ITF Backspin (Wk.46)- Swarming in San Diego

The season's WTA schedule is in the books, but the ITF circuit plays on. So, for the rest of the year, an abbreviated "ITF Backspin" will appear in this space to highlight the players who are literally working overtime to sure up their games even as the 2009 season gets closer and closer.


a "charter member"of the Romanian swarm that mostly consists of players younger than her twenty-three years, Gallovits is showing the kids how to do it. She claimed her fourteenth career ITF title in winning the $50K San Diego event with wins over Alina Jidkova, Alexa Glatch and Julie Ditty. It's her second $50K championship in two weeks.
RISERS: Alisa Kleybanova/RUS & Maria Fernanda Alvarez-Teran/BOL
while all eyes will be on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in '09, Kleybanova might be another Hordette joining her countrywoman as they both move up the rankings. Already #32, thirteen spots ahead of Pavlyuchenkova, 19-year old Kleybanova made a further case for herself by sweeping the singles and doubles in the Minsk $50K. She got wins over Andrea Hlavackova, Tatiana Poutchek and Eva Hrdinova to lock away her tenth career ITF crown. Alvarez-Teran, 19, is one of the few South American teens having success. Bolivia's only player ranked on the WTA computer won the $10K win in Queretaro, Mexico. It was her first title since May, but the fourth of her career.
SURPRISES: Sandra Soler-Sola/ESP & Tatiana Bua/ARG
more and more Spanish woman have made headlines over the past year on the WTA tour, and it happened on the ITF circuit this week when 18-year old Soler-Sola (SSS, with a name that Henry Higgins would be proud to use in his teachings) won her second career title (both since September) by taking a $10K in Mallorca. Young Argentine champs are hard to find, but 18-year old Bua became one on Sunday with her first career title in the Santiago $10K.
VETERAN: Julie Ditty/USA
the American didn't add to her total of USTA titles in the San Diego $50K, but she reached the singles final against Gallovits after defeating Madison Brengle in the SF.
FRESH FACES: Katarzyna Piter/POL & Lu Jingjing/CHN
following in the footsteps of the Radwanskas, 17-year old Piter won a $10K event in Jersey, Great Britain. Meanwhile, 19-year old Lu won her first career ITF crown in a Pune, India $25K tournament, defeating a string of youngsters that included Jade Curtis, Bojana Jovanovski and Melanie South.

1. San Diego $50K SF - Ditty d. Brengle 6-2/6-3; Gallovits d. Glatch 6-4/6-1
sure, it would have been a nice boon for the USTA to have an all-American final. But two teenagers in the semis, plus quarterfinals that included Varvara Lepchenko, Angela Haynes and Christina McHale is yet another encouraging sign.

4...Irina-Camelia Begu
3...Simona Halep
2...Mihaela Buzarnescu
2...Elora Dabija
1...Diana Enache
1...Ioana-Raluca Olaru
1...Sorana Cirstea (Tashkent)
[Junior Slams]
1...Simona Halep (Roland Garros)

12...Virginia Ruzici (1975-85)
4...Irina Spirlea (1994-98)
4...Ruxandra Dragomir (1996-97)

All for now.

COMING IN DECEMBER: 2009 Preview Series