Monday, November 24, 2008

ITF Backspin (Wk.47)- There's No Place Like Home

Hmmm, why is the #12 player in the world playing in a challenger event two weeks after the end of the WTA season?

Why, it's elementary. There's no place like home.

ITF PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Caroline Wozniacki/DEN

C-Woz added one more week of action to her breakthrough '08 season by playing in and winning a $100K in her hometown of Odense, Denmark. Wins over Julia Schruff, Stephanie Foretz and Sofia Arvidsson thus serves as a tune up for the beginning of her run for the Top 10 in '09, and gives her a glimpse of the extended season that she'll likely encounter next year when she takes part in the SEC or the new "missed-it-by-that-much" event for the top players who didn't qualify for the year-end bash. Hmmm, and seeing Caroline's new WTA website bio pic, one must be tempted to say something about hoping that she manages to focus on her tennis and not fall victim to off-the-court opportunities that are likely to come her way. As Daniela Hantuchova learned, photoshoots are nice but they don't help a player earn a sense of accomplishment.
RISERS: Anastasia Yakimova/BLR & Maria Fernanda Alvarez-Teran/BOL
Yakimova, 22, won a $25K in Phoenix (Mauritius, not Arizona) with wins over Cindy Chala, Michelle Gerards, Surina De Beer and Mauritius' own Marinne Giraud. Alvarez-Teran, 19, won her second of back-to-back ITF events in the Puebla, Mexico $25K (her third consecutive final). She notched wins over Soledad Esperon and Valerie Tetrault.
SURPRISES: Zarina Diyas/KAZ & Ayu-Fani Damayanti/INA
Kazakhstan has a growing list of "name" players, but most of them (Yaroslava Shvedova & Galina Voskoboeva) made their's under the Russian flag. Not so with barely-15 year old Diyas. In front of a home country crowd in Astana, Diyas managed to win a $25K title in her first appearance in a main draw of an ITF event (she failed to qualify twice before). World #673 Damayanti, 19, swept the singles and doubles in the Manila $10K, defeating top-seeded Sacha Jones in the final.
VETERAN: Stephanie Foretz/FRA
the 27-year old Pastry was in the field of the Odense $100K and reached the SF with wins over youngster Lenka Jurikova, up-and-comer Andreja Klepac and fellow vet Maria Elena Camerin.
FRESH FACES: Arantxa Rus/NED & Ayumi Morita/JPN
17-year old Dutch junior star Rus won a $25K in Opole, defeating Katarzyna Piter and Ana Jovanovic. Morita, 18, won the Kolkata $50K by getting victories over Bojana Jovanovski and Elora Dabija in the final.

1. $25K Puebla Final - Alvarez-Teran d. Moulton-Levy
23-year old American Megan Moulton-Levy also reached the doubles final, winning the title with Audra Cohen.
2. $50K Kolkata Final - Morita d. Dabija

Dabija, 17, has won two ITF titles this season, placing her in the contending swarm of hard-charging Romanians in '08.

Tamarine Tanasugarn = 's-Herto.(III) & $50K Gifu
Nuria Llagostera-Vives = Bogota(III) & $100K Sofia
Caroline Wozniacki = 3 WTA & $100K Odense
2003: 2
2004: 5
2005: 2
2006: 2
2007: 5
2008: 3

All for now.

COMING IN DECEMBER: 2009 Preview Series


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