Monday, December 01, 2008

ITF Backspin (Wk.48)- Rising Like the Sun

Nope, the ITF calendar is STILL not complete (there are actually a few more weeks to go)... and Ayumi Morita is using that fact to her great advantage.


by winning the $75K Tokyo challenger, the 18-year old won her third straight title and extended her victory streak to fifteen matches. Her biggest wins came against Tomoko Yonemura and Ksenia Lykina in the final.
RISER: Patricia Mayr/AUT
Mayr, 22, added the $25K Saint Denis-La Reunion Island title to her season's haul, giving her a fifth title to tie for the '08 circuit lead. She did it with wins over Lisa Sabino, Tamaryn Hendler and Arantxa Parra-Santonja.
SURPRISES: Ema Burgic/BIH & Monika Wejnert/AUS
a pair of 16-year old first-time champions. Bosnia-Herzegovina's Burgic, ranked #878, qualified and won a $10K in Vallduxo; while Aussie Wejnert took the $25K Perth event in just her third main draw appearance on the circuit. She defeated Arina Rodionova and, in the final, Japan's Yurika Sema.
VETERAN: Kimiko Date-Krumm/JPN
not because she had a particularly good week (she lost in the 2nd Round), but because her surprise comeback season more than likely came to an end last week since the ITF's supply of '08 events in Japan ended with the Tokyo $75K. Of course, the 38-year old DID win that non-ITF sanctioned All-Japan event two weeks ago, sixteen years after her last appearance in the final, making her the second-oldest winner in the post-war era... so maybe she'll find some other events to keep her busy. For the record, Date-Krumm's "official" record in her "hey, remember me?" campaign was an impressive 34-9, with three ITF titles.
FRESH FACE: Ksenia Lykina/RUS
recently, Sports Illustrated hinted about the potentially-drying-up pool of young Russian players, mentioning that no Hordettes appeared in the most recent Top 10 juniors. What was ignored, though, was that earlier in the season there were several Russians with high placements in the Girls rankings (four in the Top 20 as late as April), including former #1 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, maybe THE young player to watch on tour in 2009, and 18-year old Lykina, who was #4 earlier this year. Lykina didn't win the $75K Tokyo title (she grabbed her first ITF title, so far, in September), but she reached the final and notched wins over Date-Krumm, Melanie South and Aiko Nakamura. She's currently #336 on the WTA computer.

1. $10K Islamabad Final - Poojashree Venkatesha d. Kim Hae-Sung
Hmmm, considering recent events in her home nation, one wonders if India's Venkatesha, 18, would have played this event in Pakistan had it occurred either this or next week.

5...Masa Zec-Peskiric, SLO
4...Irina Begu, ROU
4...Jarmila Gajdosova, SVK
4...Michelle Gerards, NED
4...Anna-Lena Groenefeld, GER
4...Anne Keothavong, GBR
4...Elena Kulikova, RUS
4...Marlot Meddens, NED
4...Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS
4...Lisa Sabino, ITA

All for now.

LATER THIS MONTH: 2009 Preview Series