Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oz 10.5- Middle-Round Madness

TOP PLAYER: Elena Dementieva/RUS
...the player answering the most questions in recent days.
RISER: Vera Zvonareva/RUS
...of course, now the spotlight that she's been avoiding so well in Melbourne will be squarely upon her. (ALSO: Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP)
SURPRISE: Alisa Kleybanova/RUS a tournament already top-heavy with overflowing Russians, the #29 seed nearly ended Dokic's Aussie party one round early. (ALSO: Anna Orlik/BLR)
VETERAN: Serena Williams/USA
...a force in Australia? Yes. An unstoppable one? We'll soon see. (ALSO: Nathalie Dechy/FRA)
FRESH FACE: Victoria Azarenka/BLR
...even in ultimately dizzy defeat, she made it known we haven't heard the last from her. (ALSO: Laura Robson/GBR & Heather Watson/GBR)
DOWN: Ana Ivanovic/SRB
...this is becoming a slam trend. (ALSO: Jelena Jankovic/SRB & Cara Black/ZIM)
COMEBACK: Jelena Dokic/AUS
...if she can continue this comeback through the rest of the season, who knows where she'll end up? (ALSO: Sania Mirza/IND)

BEST EXPENDITURE OF A TENNIS "LIFE": 4th Rd. - Safina d. Cornet 6-2/2-6/7-5
...of course, saving two match points and continuing to advance toward a slam final is old hat for the Russian Cat, isn't it?
BEST RE-INTRODUCTION TO THE TENNIS WORLD: 4th Rd. - Dokic d. Kleybanova 7-5/5-7/8-6 wasn't exactly a case of history repeating itself, but the sense of deja vu about seeing Dokic's name in a slam QF draw (think Wimbledon '99) was overpowering.
BEST REMINDER OF WHAT SHE'S CAPABLE OF: QF - S.Williams d. Kuznetsova 5-7/7-5/6-1
...on the brink of defeat, Serena manages to discover a push for victory. Speaking of deja vu.

LAST SHEILA STANDING: Jelena Dokic (welcome back home)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Jelena Dokic/AUS (welcome back to the Top 100)
ZOMBIE QUEEN (3r-QF): Dinara Safina/RUS (if Cornet wins, is Dokic still playing?)
CRASH & BURNER (3r-QF): Ana Ivanovic/SRB (Verdasco is handling the break-up pretty well, though, huh?)
IT GIRL: Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP (look out, Paris)

May the best woman -- either Serena or one of the three Russians who claimed Olympic medals in Beijing last summer -- win.

All for now. More on Day 11.


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