Saturday, May 28, 2011

RG.7- "Prefaces" *

Even without the world's #1 or #2-ranked players, the name of the 2011 Roland Garros women's champion is coming into view.

"It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important." - Søren Kierkegaard

Which is, of course, lists for the sixteen who remain on the dirt!!

(Surely, the future champ's name is in there somewhere, right?)

=4 - 2010 Wimbledon to 2011 Roland Garros=
Maria Sharapova, RUS
Vera Zvonareva, RUS
=3 - 2010 US Open to 2011 Roland Garros=
Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS
Andrea Petkovic, GER
Francesca Schiavone, ITA
=2 - 2011 Wimbledon to 2011 Roland Garros=
Victoria Azarenka, BLR
Petra Kvitova, CZE
Li Na, CHN
Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
Agnieszka Radwanska, POL
=1 - 2011 Roland Garros=
Marion Bartoli, FRA
Gisela Dulko, ARG
Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
Jelena Jankovic, SRB
Maria Kirilenko, RUS
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS

=By Nations=
6 - Russia (Kirilenko,Kuznetsova,Makarova,Pavlyuchenkova,Sharapova,Zvonareva)
1 - Argentina (Dulko)
1 - Belarus (Azarenka)
1 - China (Li)
1 - Czech Republic (Kvitova)
1 - France (Bartoli)
1 - Germany (Petkovic)
1 - Italy (Schiavone)
1 - Poland (A.Radwanska)
1 - Serbia (Jankovic)
1 - Slovak Republic (Hantuchova)
=By Ages=
30...Francesca Schiavone
29...Li Na
28...Daniela Hantuchova
26...Vera Zvonareva
26...Marion Bartoli
26...Gisela Dulko
26...Jelena Jankovic
25...Svetlana Kuznetsova
24...Maria Kirilenko
24...Maria Sharapova
23...Andrea Petkovic
22...Ekaterina Makarova
22...Agnieszka Radwanska
21...Victoria Azarenka
21...Petra Kvitova
19...Anastasia Palvyuchenkova
=By Ranks=
#3 Vera Zvonareva
#4 Victoria Azarenka
#5 Francesca Schiavone
#7 Li Na
#8 Maria Sharapova
#9 Petra Kvitova
#10 Jelena Jankovic
#11 Marion Bartoli
#12 Andrea Petkovic
#13 Agnieszka Radwanska
#14 Svetlana Kuznetsova
#15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
#27 Maria Kirilenko
#29 Daniela Hantuchova
#33 Ekaterina Makarova
#51 Gisela Dulko
=WTA Titles=
23...Maria Sharapova
13...Svetlana Kuznetsova ['09 RG]
12...Jelena Jankovic
11...Vera Zvonareva
7...Victoria Azarenka
5...Marion Bartoli
5...Maria Kirilenko
4...Gisela Dulko
4...Daniela Hantuchova
4...Petra Kvitova
4...Li Na
4...Agnieszka Radwanska
4...Francesca Schiavone ['10 RG]
3...Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2...Andrea Petkovic
1...Ekaterina Makarova
=Slam Rounds of 16=
22...Svetlana Kuznetsova
21...Maria Sharapova
15...Jelena Jankovic
15...Francesca Schiavone
15...Vera Zvonareva
14...Daniela Hantuchova
11...Agnieszka Radwanska
10...Li Na
8...Victoria Azarenka
7...Marion Bartoli
5...Petra Kvitova
4...Maria Kirilenko
3...Gisela Dulko
3...Andrea Petkovic
2...Ekaterina Makarova
2...Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

"No matter what anyone says, someone will win." - Kierkegaard

* - Thanks again, Søren.

...there were really no big surprises or exits on Day 7, as all but one of the higher-seeded women advanced in the bottom half of the draw's 3rd Round match-ups. Only Ekaterina Makarova's upset of #16 Kaia Kanepi kept it from being an eight-for-eight sweep by the favorites, as the Russian advanced to her second slam 4th Round of 2011 (probably one of the more surprising and obscure stats going, I'd say).

As expected, Maria Sharapova handled qualifier Chan Yung-Jan 6-2/6-3. Things could get interesting for her next time out, as she faces old nemesis Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated the then-defending champion then-Supernova in the 3rd Round of the 2007 U.S. Open to "award" the Russian with the Daily Backspin's very first "Crash & Burn" designation. Sharapova's never seemed to forget that match, though, so I'm expecting a beat down might be possible.

Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova moved on, as well, making a possible QF match-up between the two just a single victory from each away. Azarenka took out Roberta Vinci with ease, 6-3/6-2, once again holding her serve like clockwork. She's now the oddsmakers' favorite to win the title, even though she's never advanced to a slam semi, usually because of something going wrong either between her ears or with her ailing body. So far, things have been oh-so-good for her in Paris, though.

Kvitova defeated Vania King 6-4/6-2. She had a few late-set hiccups, though. Serving at 5-2 in the 1st, she was broken at love due to a string errors (which ultimatley led to seven consecutive points lost), then served at 5-2 in the 2nd set, as well, before rescuing a love/30 opening to the game to close out the match. The Czech might not be able to play around like that from here on out, though. Li Na is her next opponent, though it should be noted that the two faced off in Madrid a few weeks ago and, after they exchanged several breaks to begin the match, Kvitova pretty much blew the Chinese vet off the court the rest of the way. Their upcoming match should be an interesting look-in to see just how different -- or the same, considering the new balls and conditions in Paris have brought forward many comparisons between the two events over the last few days -- this tournament might be playing out like the one in Madrid in which Kvitova was the eventual champion (Djokovic won the men's final over Nadal, by the way). Of note, Azarenka was blowing people away in the early rounds in Spain, too. She allowed a total of just two games in her first two matches there. But, in the final, Kvitova dominated her, taking out the Belarusan in straight sets, overpowering her with a 40-10 edge in winners.

Nothing against Li or Ekaterina Makarova, but I really hope that match-up comes about. Azarenka and Kvitova were the final two players I was deciding between when it came to picking a champ for this tournament, and it's too bad things couldn't have set up so that a meeting in the final was possible. As things stand, Kvitova has won 11 consecutive WTA/Fed Cup matches, and is 15-1 in her last sixteen overall. Azarenka is on a 22-3 run, with two of the losses coming via her injury-related retirements when she was leading matches. The one outright loss, of course, was at the hands of the Czech.

I really want that match... so, I guess it won't happen.

...meanwhile, the junior draws are out:

1. Jiri Vesely, CZE
2. Hugo Dellien, BOL
3. Filip Horansky, SVK
4. Oliver Golding, GBR
5. Roberto Caballes Baena, ESP
6. Tiago Fernandes, BRA
7. Mate Pavic, CRO
8. Andrew Whittington, AUS
9. George Mason, GBR
10.Joao Pedro Sorgi, BRA
1. Daria Gavrilova, RUS
2. Irina Khromacheva, RUS
3. Caroline Garcia, FRA
4. Natalija Kostic, SRB
5. Monica Puig, PUR
6. Danka Kovinic, MNE
7. Yulia Putintseva, RUS
8. Montserrat Gonzalez, PAR
9. Ons Jabeur, TUN
10. Miho Kowase, JPN

Following in the footsteps of the Women's draw, the Girls have a packed-with-intrigue field for RG, as well. And with three Hordettes seeded in the Top 7, that's not the only thing the two competitions have in common, I guess.

#1 Daria Gavrilova is the '10 U.S. Open junior champ, while #5 Monica Puig ('11 AO), #7 Yulia Putintseva ('10 US) and #9 Ons Jabeur ('10 RG) are all Girls slam runners-up. #3 Caroline Garcia reached the AO junior semis in January, and pushed Sharapova to the brink in the women's 2nd Round in Paris. Also in the mix are #2 Irina Khromacheva ('10 RG jr. semfinalist) and Alison van Uytvanck, who've been snapping up nearly every weekly Backspin "Junior Star" award this spring. Currently, Khromacheva is on a 26-0 junior/ITF match winning streak, while van Uytvanck is 43-2 in WTA, ITF and junior (she's 15-0 there) competition this season. Her only losses have come in pro events to Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Yanina Wickmayer (the latter in Brussels, where she'd earlier defeated Patty Schnyder for her first WTA main draw win).

#9 Jabeur d. #1 Gavrilova
#11 van Uytvanck d. #3 Garcia
Lizarazo d. #5 Puig
#2 Khromacheva d. #6 Kovinic
#11 van Uytvanck d. #9 Jabeur
#2 Khromacheva d. Lizarazo
#11 van Uytvanck d. #2 Khromacheva a few Doubles results of note, #1-seeded Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta defeated Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, while Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond took out Casey Dellacqua & Rennae Stubbs the big Men's match left over from Day 6, Novak Djokovic took all the drama out of the contest by, well, doing pretty much what he's been doing for the last six months -- play nearly perfect tennis. After the two split a pair of sets yesterday, Juan Martin del Potro had two break point opportunities today on Djokovic's serve at 2-2. But the Serb turned them back, and then never looked back, winning 6-3/3-6/6-3/6-2. After many figured today's best-of-three setup would give the Argentine a chance, we got remineded that Djokovic came into the match 29-0 in best-of-three matches this season. Now he's 30-0.

At the moment, with a 40-0 record in 2011, he's just two wins away from matching John McEnroe's 1984 ATP season-opening record run. With 42 straight wins dating back to last December's Davis Cup, those two wins would move Djokovic into the SF and tie him with Ivan Lendl (1981-82) for second place on the all-time ATP winning streak list. If he advances to the final, he'd play there with a shot to tie Guillermo Vilas' all-time mark of 46 straight wins in 1977.

Djokovic could face Roger Federer in the semis, then Rafael Nadal in the final. So far this year, he's 7-0 against those two.

...and, finally, Patty Schnyder officially announced her retirement today, ending her 17-year professional career. In her time on tour, she won 11 singles and 5 doubles titles, racked up over 500 match wins, and played in 59 slams (52 consecutively). Unless I'm mistaken, I believe her 59 slams stand behind only Amy Frazier, Martina Navratilova and Ai Sugiyama on the all-time WTA list. For fourteen straight seasons Schnyder finished in the Top 50, seven times in the Top 20 and twice (2005-06) in the Top 10. Her career-high singles rank came in 2005, at #7.

Diane Dees has as good of a tribute to Schnyder as you'll find over at Women Who Serve.

Stay "sneaky," Patty.

#28 Daniela Hantuchova/SVK vs. #13 Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS
#11 Marion Bartoli/FRA vs. Gisela Dulko/ARG
#3 Vera Zvonareva/RUS vs. #14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS
#10 Jelena Jankovic/SRB vs. #5 Francesca Schiavone/ITA
#6 Li Na/CHN vs. #9 Petra Kvitova/CZE
Ekaterina Makarova/RUS vs. #4 Victoria Azarenka/BLR
#7 Maria Sharapova/RUS vs. #12 Agnieszka Radwanska/POL
#15 Andrea Petkovic/GER vs. #25 Maria Kirilenko/RUS

#1 Rafael Nadal/ESP vs. Ivan Ljubicic/CRO
#18 Gilles Simon/FRA vs. #5 Robin Soderling/SWE
#4 Andy Murray/GBR vs. #15 Viktor Troicki/SRB
(Q) Alejandro Falla/COL vs. Juan Ignacio Chela/ARG
#7 David Ferrer/ESP vs. #9 Gael Monfils/FRA
#14 Stanislas Wawrinka/SUI vs. #3 Roger Federer/SUI
Fabio Fognini/ITA vs. Albert Montanes/ESP
#13 Richard Gasquet/FRA vs. #2 Novak Djokovic/SRB

2006 (3rd Rd.) Julia Vakulenko/UKR, Aravane Rezai/FRA
2007 (3rd Rd.) Dominika Cibulkova/SVK, Alla Kudryavtseva/RUS, Ioana-Raluca Olaru/ROU
2008 (QF) Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP
2009 (3rd Rd.) Michelle Larcher de Brito/POR, Yaroslava Shvedova/KAZ
2010 (4th Rd.) Chanelle Scheepers/RSA
2011 (3rd Rd.) Chan Yung-Jan/TPE, Nuria Llagostera-Vives/ESP

[2011 AO, women + men]
6...Russia (6+0)
4...France (1+3)
3...Serbia (1+2)
3...Spain (0+3)
2...Argentina (1+1)
2...Italy (1+1)
2...Switzerland (0+2)
1...Belarus (1+0)
1...China (1+0)
1...Colombia (0+1)
1...Croatia (0+1)
1...Czech Republic (1+0)
1...Germany (1+0)
1...Great Britain (0+1)
1...Poland (1+0)
1...Slovak Republic (1+0)
1...Sweden (0+1)
[2011 slams, women only]

0 - W
0 - RU
1 - SF (2004 AO)
6 - QF
14 - 4th
8 - 3rd
14 - 2nd
16 - 1st

42...John McEnroe, 1984
40...NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 2011 (post-3rd Rd.)
31...Bjorn Borg, 1980

46...Guillermo Vilas, 1977
44...Ivan Lendl, 1981-82
42...NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 2010-11 (post-3rd Rd.) - 26 hard,16 clay
42...John McEnroe, 1984
41...Roger Federer, 2006-07
41...Bjorn Borg, 1979-80

TOP QUALIFIER: #21 Sloane Stephens/USA
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): #8 Samantha Stosur/AUS
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q1: Ekaterina Bychkova/RUS d. Lindsay Lee-Waters/USA 3-6/7-6/10-8
TOP EARLY RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2nd Rd. - #3 Vera Zvonareva/RUS d. (Q) Sabine Lisicki/GER 4-6/7-5/7-5
FIRST WINNER: Simona Halep/ROU (def. Alla Kudryavtseva/RUS)
FIRST SEED OUT: #19 Shahar Peer/ISR (lost to Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez/ESP)
UPSET QUEENS: The Romanians
REVELATION LADIES: The North Americans
LAST QUALIFIERS STANDING: Chan Yung-Jan/TPE & Nuria Llagostera-Vives/ESP (3rd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARDS STANDING: Iryna Bremond/FRA, Caroline Garcia/FRA & Pauline Parmentier/FRA (2nd Rd.)
CRASH & BURN: #2 Kim Clijsters/BEL (lost in 2nd Rd. to #114 Arantxa Rus/NED after leading 6-3/5-2 and holding 2 MP; worst slam result since 2002
LAST PASTRY STANDING: #11 Marion Bartoli/FRA (in 4th Rd.)
JOIE DE VIVRE: Virginie Razzano/FRA

All for Day 7. More tomorrow.


Blogger Zidane said...

Hehe, be careful with your copy-paste, there is an anachronism in the "Cumulative Round of 16" section.

Also, thanks a lot for your answer in the previous post. This information is quite interesting. Mandlikova's name should have come to my mind.

Sat May 28, 11:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

Yeah, I should have thought of Mandlikova immediately, as well. Playing in the Navratilova-Evert era she was stuck at #3 during the prime years of her career. She was sort of the Andy Roddick of the WTA (only with a lot more slam titles).

Hmmm, I saw where I'd had "Wimbledon 2011 to Roland Garros 2011" on the consecutive Round of 16's list (getting a bit ahead of myself there, I guess), but I don't know if that's what you were referring to. Is there something I'm not seeing with my tired eyes?

Sun May 29, 01:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Zidane said...

No no, that was it. I just found it funny (I guess too much tennis makes one tired).

Sun May 29, 12:40:00 PM EDT  

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