Monday, December 08, 2008

ITF Backspin (Wk.49)- Blame It on Rio

The season's 49th week was all about the Brazilians.

Well, not really. But of the six ITF events held this past week, three of them were won by players representing Brazil. (Of course, it'd been a TRUE shocker if a Brazilian HADN'T won in Fortaleza... but more on that later.)

no, it's not an error. A young player actually BORN IN AUSTRALIA (Melbourne, to be exact) really did win her first career ITF event over the weekend. Just kidding, of course. But 17-year old Rogowska, ranked #501, DID claim the week's biggest event in Sorrento, AUS ($25K), with wins over Arina Rodionova and Chiaki Okadaue in the final.
RISER: Conny Perrin/SUI
Perrin, 17, won her second ITF of the year by taking the $10K in Vinaros, ESP. Her biggest win came in the 2nd Round against Valentina Sulpizio. Consider it an early birthday present for the young Swiss Miss, who'll celebrate her 18th on Christmas Day (man, that has to severely cut down on the number of presents, huh?).
SURPRISES: Kim Hae-Sung/KOR & Ana-Clara Duarte/BRA
a week after losing to her in the final of Week 48's Islamabad $10k event, world #829 Kim, 21, defeated Poojashree Venkatesha in a semifinal rematch in Week 49. She went on to sweep both the singles and doubles titles. Meanwhile, 19-year old Duarte started the year in a 6-17 slump, but has gone 23-7 since, topping things off with a $10K title in La Habana, Cuba over the weekend.
VETERAN: Teliana Pereira/BRA
okay, so a 20-year old doesn't really count as a "veteran," but Pereira IS the most accomplished of this week's champions, so I'm going with it. She just won a $10K in Buenos Aires, giving her nine career ITF singles crowns.
FRESH FACE: Lauren Embree/USA

the Eddie Herr junior championships were contested in Bradenton, Florida this past week, and for the second straight year an American girl won the 18s competition. Future Florida Gator Embree, 17, swept through the singles without dropping a set, taking out Brit Heather Watson 6-0/6-1 in the final. Looking back at the other Herr 18s champs (see below) this decade, this win puts Embree is pretty nice company, I'd say.

1. $10K Fortaleza 2nd Rd. - Aleksandrina Naydenova (BUL) def. Carolina-Magalhaes Malheiros (BRA)
Why this match? Well, because in the Brazil-hosted Fortaleza event, Naydanova was the only non-Brazilian to actually win a match. In fact, this was her second match victory, which put the Bulgarian in the QF with seven players from Brazil. In the 30-player main draw, only four women didn't represent the home country. As it turned out, Natalia Guitler was the Last Brazilian Standing, as she won both singles and doubles titles.

2000 Edina Gallovits, ROU
2001 Jelena Jankovic, SRB
2002 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2003 Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
2004 Monica Niculescu, ROU
2005 Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
2006 Urszula Radwanska, POL
2007 Melanie Oudin, USA
2008 Lauren Embree, USA

All for now.

STARTING DECEMBER 12th: The 2009 Preview Series. First up, the "All-Decade Honor Roll Nominations"