Saturday, June 26, 2010

W.6- To Rest, Perchance to Dream

For the second straight day, all the women's 3rd Round matches were decided in straight sets. So... time to pull out the lists to fill the space:

[by rank]
#1 Serena Williams, USA
#2 Venus Williams, USA
#3 Jelena Jankovic, SRB
#4 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
#8 Kim Clijsters, BEL
#9 Agnieszka Radwanska, POL
#12 Li Na, CHN
#13 Marion Bartoli, ITA
#16 Justine Henin, BEL
#17 Maria Sharapova, RUS
#21 Vera Zvonareva, RUS
#62 Petra Kvitova, CZE
#66 Klara Zakopalova, CZE
#80 Kaia Kanepi, EST
#82 Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL
#92 Jarmila Groth, AUS
[by age]
19 Caroline Wozniacki
20 Petra Kvitova
21 Agnieszka Radwanska
22 Tsvetana Pironkova
23 Jarmila Groth
23 Maria Sharapova
25 Kaia Kanepi
25 Jelena Jankovic
25 Marion Bartoli
25 Vera Zvonareva
27 Kim Clijsters
28 Justine Henin
28 Li Na
28 Klara Zakopalova
28 Serena Williams
30 Venus Williams
[by slam 4th Round appearances]
38...Venus Williams (11 at Wimbledon)
35...Serena Williams (9)
27...Justine Henin (6)
21...Kim Clijsters (5)
18...Maria Sharapova (6)
14...Jelena Jankovic (4)
12...Vera Zvonareva (3)
9...Agnieszka Radwanska (4)
8...Li Na (2)
7...Caroline Wozniacki (2)
6...Marion Bartoli (2)
3...Petra Kvitova (1)
2...Jarmila Groth (1)
2...Kaia Kanepi (1)
1...Tsvetana Pironkova (1)
1...Klara Zakopalova (1)

And a few notes:

* - Serena (def. Dominika Cibulkova 6-0/7-5) wore her "strawberries & cream" outfit today: a white dress with red trim, with solid red Golovin-esque undergarments beneath.

* - Maria Sharapova defeated Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova 7-5/6-3, setting up yet another Bad-Draws-R-Her meeting in a slam on the heels of her loss to Justine Henin in Paris. The upcoming Serena vs. Sharapova match on Monday will be their first meeting since 2008 in Charleston, and the first on grass since Sharapova stunned Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final. Serena leads the series 5-2, and Sharapova hasn't defeated her since the 2004 WTA Championships (though she did have a match point in a loss in the '05 Australian Open SF). It'll be the earliest they've met in a tournament since their first match-up in the 4th Round of Miami in '04.

* - I'm not sure what happened with Victoria Azarenka today. ESPN2 didn't deign to show her until she was serving at 5-4 in the 1st set. She was broken, and Petra Kvitova held for a 6-5 lead. Then the network went to commercial and never came back to the match. Azarenka lost 7-5/6-0. So, maybe it was a flare-up of her lingering injury, or her temper once again got the best of her and led to that 2nd set collapse. Either way, once again, while Caroline Wozniacki (def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5/6-4) held up her end of the bargain when it came to setting up a big slam match between herself and her Belarusan friend, Azarenka failed to follow suit.

* - Wozniacki is now the only seeded player remaining in her section of the draw. Either C-Woz, Kvitova or her fellow Czech Klara Zakopalova, or Estonian "Last Qualifier Standing" Kaia Kanepi (def. Alexandra Dulgheru 6-1/6-2) will reach the SF.

* - 28-year old Zakopalova's win over Flavia Pennetta (6-2/6-3) puts her in her first career slam Round of 16. Not only that, but before winning three straight matches to get to this point, the veteran's career mark at Wimbledon was just 1-6.

* - The Final 16 averages 24.8 years of age.

* - Agnieszka Radwanska (def. Sara Errani 6-3/6-1) in 2005, and Wozniacki in 2006 are the only former Wimbledon Girls champs still alive in the main draw. Sharapova was the Girls Runner-Up in 2002.

* - And, of course, Li Na (def. Anastasia Rodionova 6-1/6-3) is still around and in the running to complete her non-calendar "unGrand Slam" by losing to the eventual champ at four consecutive slams.

And now we rest, while sixteen continue to dream.

=DAY 6 NOTES='s just the match that keeps on giving.

Even while John Isner had no aces in his 2nd Round loss to Thiemo de Bakker, on the same day, he miraculously picked up one more in his 1st Round match. Further intensive study of "The Match on the Edge of Forever" uncovered that he actually tossed in 113 aces rather than the piddling number of 112 that he'd been credited with at the end of the eleven hour, five minute marathon. if James Blake wasn't bad enough. Yesterday, Victor Hanescu abruptly forfeited his 3rd Round match with Daniel Brands after unsuccessfully arguing with the chair umpire about stopping the match due to darkness. After having blown four match points in the 3rd set, Hanescu saw the match go to a 5th set, where Brands led 3-0 when the #31-seeded Romanian walked away. Earlier, he'd gotten into it with some people in the stands who were heckling him, apparently spitting (at least) in their direction. WWRD? Not that.

Hanescu was fined $15,000.

...the junior action is underway, and #1-seeded Elina Svitoliva, the Roland Garros junior champ, has already been upset. Today, American Grace Min knocked her out, 2-6/7-5/6-3. This is the same Ukrainian girl who won a grass court tune-up last week, and whose bio says that her favorite surface is grass and that her goal is to "win all the slams."

British Wild Card Eleonor Dean upset #7 Gabriela Dabrowski 3-6/6-0/6-0. Some other results of note: Monica Puig defeated Christina Dinu, while Ons Jabeur defeated Caroline Garcia. Mixed Doubles, Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated the team of Lindsay Davenport & Bob Bryan 6-4/3-6/11-9 in the 2nd Round. #3 seeds Liezel Huber and Mahesh Bhupathi also lost (Cara Black is still alive with Leander Paes, though).

...apparently, ESPN2's control room English usage handbook has been misplaced. During the opening hour discussion of the Isner/Mahut match today, the on-screen graphic read "Isner/Mahut: A Historic Match." I think we know someone who didn't graduate with an English degree. Hey, what's a missing "n" just between friends? Of course, considering how often players' names are mispronounced on air, I guess that's a minor detail.

Still, it's hard to understand how Hannah Storm can recognize that Serbian Novak Djokovic's surname should be pronounced with an "ich" sound at the end, but just seconds earlier (on multiple occasions the other day) she didn't realize that fellow Serb (and similarly-named) Jelena Jankovic should be just as "ich-y" as QC's countryman.

...and I won't even go into asking why NBC left the air this afternoon with Andy Murray and Sam Querrey still playing... with neither ESPN2 nor Tennis Channel set to pick up coverage. Murray won, as expected, while Querrey had to claim a 9-7 5th set to advance. They'll next face each other.

...and, finally, it looks like one of the Pliskova sisters is raising expectations at a slam again. In the junior grass court prelude-to-Wimbledon event in Roehampton, newbie Czech Maiden Kristyna Pliskova defeated British wild card Tara Moore in the Girls final, 6-2/6-4. Earlier in the event, she got nice wins over the previously mentioned Min, Yulia Putintseva, Krista Hardebeck and Timea Babos. Moore, for her part, notched wins over Daria Gavrilova, Veronica Cepede Royg and, you guessed, Karolina Pliskova.

Kristyna is seeded #9 at Wimbledon, while Karolina is #4.

*SERENA vs. SHARAPOVA... with notes*
Miami 4th Rd. - Serena 6-4/6-3
Wimbledon Final - Sharapova 6-1/6-4 (Birth of the Supernova)
WTA Championship Final - Sharapova 4-6/6-2/6-4 (SW up 4-0 3rd, with leg injury)
2005 Australian Open SF - Serena 2-6/7-5/8-6 (Sharapova 3 MP)
Australian Open Final - Serena 6-2/6-2 ("The Destruction Heard 'round the World")
Miami 4th Rd. - Serena 6-1/6-1
Charleston QF - Serena 7-5/4-6/6-1 (Sharapova SP in 1st)
Wimbledon 4th Round

Severine Bremond/FRA (QF)
Olga Govortsova/BLR, Nika Ozegovic/CRO, Tatiana Perebiynis/UKR, Agnes Szavay/HUN, Hana Sromova/CZE (2nd Rd.)
Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez/ESP, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS, Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova/CZE (3rd Rd.)
Melanie Oudin/USA (4th Rd.)
Kaia Kanepi/EST (to 4th Rd.)

*2010 SLAM FINAL 16's - BY NATION*
6...United States
2...Czech Republic
1...Slovak Republic
1...South Africa

#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #16 Maria Sharapova/RUS
#9 Li Na/CHN vs. #7 Agnieszka Radwanska/POL
#3 Caroline Wozniacki/DEN vs. Petra Kvitova/CZE
Klara Zakopalova/CZE vs. (Q) Kaia Kanepi/EST
#8 Kim Clijsters/BEL vs. #17 Justine Henin/BEL
#21 Vera Zvonareva/RUS vs. #4 Jelena Jankovic/SRB
Tsvetana Pironkova/BUL vs. #11 Marion Bartoli/FRA
Jarmila Groth/AUS vs. #2 Venus Williams/USA

#1 Roger Federer/SUI vs. #16 Jurgen Melzer/AUT
#12 Tomas Berdych/CZE vs. Daniel Brands/GER
#3 Novak Djokovic/SRB vs. #15 Lleyton Hewitt/AUS
Lu Yen-Hsun/TPE vs. #5 Andy Roddick/USA
#32 Julien Benneteau/FRA vs. #10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/FRA
#18 Sam Querrey/USA vs. #4 Andy Murray/GBR
#6 Robin Soderling/SWE vs. #9 David Ferrer/ESP
Paul-Henri Mathieu/FRA vs. #2 Rafael Nadal/ESP

#1 S.Williams/V.Wililams (USA/USA) def. Cibulkova/Pavlyuchenkova (SVK/RUS)
#12 Benesova/Zahlavova-Strycova (CZE/CZE) vs. Vesnina/Zvonareva (RUS/RUS)
#4 Dulko/Pennetta (ARG/ITA) vs. Jankovic/Scheepers (SRB/RSA)
Amanmuradova/Barrois (UZB/GER) vs. Goerges/Szavay (GER/HUN)
#6 Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) def. Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA)
King/Shvedova (USA/KAZ) vs. #3 Petrova/Stosur (RUS/AUS)
#7 Raymond/Stubbs (USA/AUS) vs. #11 Black/Hantuchova (ZIM/SVK)
#16 Hsieh/Kudryavtseva (TPE/RUS) vs. #2 Huber/Mattek-Sands (USA/USA)

(WC) Eaton/Inglot (GBR/GBR) vs. #14 Benneteau/Llodra (FRA/FRA)
Ratiwatana/Ratiwatana (THA/THA) vs. Chela/Schwank (ARG/ARG)
#4 Bhupathi/Mirnyi (IND/BLR) vs. #16 Lindstedt/Tecau (SWE/ROU)
#11 Granollers/Robredo (ESP/ESP) vs. #8 Knowle/A.Ram (AUT/ISR)
Lu/Tipsarevic (TPE/SRB) vs. Melzer/Petzschner (AUT/GER) or #10 Aspelin/Hanley (SWE/AUS)
Bopanna/Qureshi (IND/PAK) vs. Lacko/Stakhovsky (SVK/UKR)
#7 Moodie/Norman (RSA/BEL) vs. Damm/Polasek (CZE/SVK)
Ball/Guccione (AUS/AUS) vs. Fleming/Skupski (GBR/GBR) or #2 B.Bryan/M.Bryan (USA/USA)

#10 Stubbs/Melo (AUS/BRA) vs. #6 Mattek-Sands/Nestor (USA/CAN)
Shvedova/Knowle (KAZ/AUT) vs. Hsieh/Soares (TPE/BRA)
#11 Raymond/Moodie (USA/RSA) vs. #7 Kleybanova/Mirnyi (RUS/BLR)
#8 Yan/Fyrstenberg (CHN/POL) vs. #9 Benesova/Dlouhy (CZE/CZE)
TBD vs. Dushevina/Tursunov (RUS/RUS)

TOP QUALIFIER: #1q Kaia Kanepi/EST
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): #2 Venus Williams/USA
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q1: Junri Namigata/JPN def. Karolina Pliskova/CZE 6-2/4-6/14-12
TOP EARLY RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - #24 Daniela Hantuchova/SVK def. Vania King/USA 6-7/7-6/6-3
FIRST WINNER: Chan Yung-Jan/TPE (def. Patty Schnyder/SUI)
FIRST SEED OUT: #5 Francesca Schiavone (1st Rd. - lost to Vera Dushevina/RUS)
IT GIRL: xxx
CRASH & BURN: Francesca Schiavone/ITA & Samantha Stosur/AUS (RG finalists, both lost in 1st Rd.)
LAST BRIT STANDING: Heather Watson/GBR (last of six to lose in 1st Rd.)

All for Day 6. After a day of rest on the middle Sunday, more on Monday.


Blogger Diane said...

I feel kind of bad for Hanescu. It wasn't just that he couldn't see. Every time he tossed the ball, someone in the stands yelled "Weak!" The umpire did nothing. Just sat there. I wish Hanescu had called for a referee, and not let himself destruct and resort to spitting.

The reason Storms can't make the "itch" connection is probably that it reqires the ability to generalize. Just saying. Jankovic's temporary coach from the Bollettieri Academy called her JAN-ko-vik, so we have to lower our expectations.

Sat Jun 26, 07:20:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just when I thought the US men could win, they lost.

This reminded me of Dementieva. I wish her well.

Thanks to this rest day, I will watch Wimbledon all day on Monday. Federer's match should be on Court 1 though. Djokovic vs Hewitt should be a good one.

Sun Jun 27, 03:25:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Ben said...

Great post.

I can't wait for the Serena-Sharapova match. It should be a great fight.

Who do you think will win?

Sun Jun 27, 07:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...


Yeah, there seems to be so much we don't know about the Hanescu situation. Even the story about people being arrested after the match was later amended so that it was difficult to tell if they had anything to do with the trouble or not.

Oh, I thought about your past irritations yesterday when the NBC announcers were all over Nadal and uncle Toni about how often Rafa looks into the friends box. Though I think Carillo went a bit too far to call it cheating. I think once they allowed coaches to come onto the court at all, on either tour (and even though it's not used in slams), it opened up a can of worms that makes it difficult to take issue with so-called on-the-sly coaching. Same goes with players looking to their coaches for help with replay challenges, considering so many umpires often offer "advice" themselves about whether or not it'd be smart to challenge.


Yay! I was happy to see the USA finally lose. Thank you, Ghana. Now maybe all the American soccer fans can go back into the dark for four years, and people like me can maybe watch the WC for what it is -- an Olympic-like event that is big enough to pay attention to (and sometimes enjoy), but immediately forgotten two minutes after the final match is played. :)

Of course, if my Brazil/Germany pick goes by the wayside I might have a hard time even doing THAT for two more weeks. Hey, "real" football -- NFL -- training camps open in a month. THAT I'll pay close attention to. :)


I wish it would be good match, but I have a suspicion that Sharapova might be in for a very bad day.

Sun Jun 27, 08:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

It's hard to imagine Rafa cheating in any way, despite his getting a warning. And those players who really do use illegal coaching will probably always be able to do so, at least somewhat, since there are so many ways to communicate silently. Therefore, I probably shouldn't let the obvious cheaters bother me, but they do. Perhaps it's their boldness that gets on my nerves.

Hanescu has issued an apology. Now I'm waiting for the umpire to issue one...good luck.

Sun Jun 27, 09:56:00 PM EDT  

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