Monday, August 13, 2012

Wk.32- Better Late Than Never... Welcome, Petra

While her participation may be coming "a bit late," it's finally time to welcome Petra Kvitova to the 2012 WTA season.

So... "Welcome, Petra. Mwah!"



Even with two slam semifinal berths to her credit, Kvitova had spent most of 2012 living just on the outside of the conversation. While three different players have held the #1 position, she wasn't one of them. While three different women have lifted grand slam trophies, and twenty-four claimed tour singles titles, she remained in the shadows.

Until tonight in Montreal, that is.

Even since she won Wimbledon last summer, Kvitova has been an always-intriguing time bomb of a player. Capable of exploding all over an unsuspecting -- though, really, they always know it's possible -- opponent, but also "armed" with a bit of a tendency to see her game *(at least temporarily) implode upon itself in a hail of errors. Since last summer, the Czech's results have been all over the place. She went through a not-unexpected drought immediately after her SW19 triumph, then rebounded to dominate the indoor season in the 4th Quarter and take "Player of the Year" honors. She ended the season winning back-to-back titles (tying her for the tour lead with seven), twelve straight matches and by leading her fellow Czechs to their first Fed Cup crown since 1988, and the Czech Republic to its first ever as an independent nation.

And then the crickets began to chirp in the dead of night. And, boy, have they been chirping for a long time. For nearly ten months, in fact. During that time, Kvitova not only went title-less, but she was also final-less, going 0-4 in semifinal matches while being unable to put away the sort of big points that she'd handled with so much ease during her run to the Wimbledon crown.

Kvitova had begun the year seemingly destined to rise to the #1 ranking. She nearly did, too. One win away from playing for the top ranking in the Sydney final, Kvitova blew a 6-1/3-1 lead against Li Na in the semifinals. In the Australian Open, Stuttgart and Roland Garros semis, the Czech lost to Maria Sharapova (fittingly, the same player she'd handled so efficiently in the SW19 final) while failing to covert twenty-five of thirty break point attempts. Back to defend her Wimbledon title, she lost in the quarterfinals to Serena Williams. Then, getting a once-in-a-lifetime "second chance" at the All-England Club this summer, she was taken out on the grass in the Olympics by Maria Kirilenko when the Russian committed just one unforced error in their entire QF match.

Following the Olympics, Kvitova headed for North America, where the heat and her asthma had failed to mix very well in the past. So it was easy to think that her summer was going to continue to be a very long one. But, as it turned out, it could become the place where she "saves" her season. This past week in Montreal, after very nearly getting run out in straight sets in the 1st Round by Ksenia Pervak, Kvitova pulled out a 4-6/7-6/6-0 victory with an emphatic 3rd set. It seemed to point her in the right direction... and, for the first time since last October, stayed true to it.

Of course, it wasn't "easy." Kvitova had to come back from a set down to take out Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals, then was forced to turn around another potential spoiler moment being provided by Li in Monday's final. Li held a 3-1 lead in the opening set, and held break point in Game #5 for 4-1 after Kvitova had helped things along with a double-fault. But Kvitova held in the 14-point game, then got a break for a 3-3 lead. She served at 5-3, only to be broken, but got back the advantage with a break of her own in Game #12 to take the 7-5 set after a 16-point game, putting away the 1:02 1st set on her firth set point. After Li claimed the 2nd set, Kvitova got a break for a 4-2 lead in the 3rd and pulled away in the closing moments.

Kvitova's first career North American title is the eighth singles crown of her career, but her first since winning the WTA Championships to close out her 2011 singles campaign. It was a long time coming... but it's better late than never.

And, anyway, as WTA history has often told us, good things often come to Czechs who wait. Finally, Petra's 2012 is over. Whew!



*WEEK 32 CHAMPIONS*
MONTREAL, QUEBEC CAN (Premier $2.168m/HCO)
S: Petra Kvitova/CZE def. Li Na/CHN 7-5/2-6/6-3
D: Jans-Ignacik/Mladenovic (POL/FRA) d. Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO)



PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Petra Kvitova/CZE
...Petra continues to be a time bomb of a player, but after belatedly jogging her memory about how to close out big matches maybe she'll be able to blow up in more opponents' faces than her own down the stretch, allowing her to massage her 2012 season standing between now and the Czech Republic's attempt to defend the Fed Cup crown in November. Certainly the likes of Ksenia Pervak (a love 3rd set), Marion Bartoli (see below), Tamira Paszek, Caroline Wozniacki and Li Na can attest to the notion that the Kvitova that showed up in Montreal is not the one many players would like to face all too often. Now 8-2 in career tour singles finals, it's finally time to see if Kvitova can put together that nice string of '12 results that we'd been stunned back in January to know she'd still be looking for come late summer.
=============================
RISER: Aleksandra Wozniak/CAN
...quite simply, this is the time of the season when Wozniak is in her element. Four years ago, she was the surprise winner in Stanford, becoming the first tour singles champ from Canada in over twenty years. After sliding down the rankings a bit in recent seasons, she's made a nice comeback during the '12 season. But, still back home is where she's apt to be most dangerous. In Montreal, Wozniak put together wins over Daniela Hantuchova, Jelena Jankovic and Christina McHale to reach the QF, becoming the first Canadian to reach the Final 8 in the Rogers Cup since Patricia Hy-Boulais back in 1992.
=============================
SURPRISES: Lucie Safarova/CZE & Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Kristina Mladenovic (POL/FRA)
...it's because of results like hers in Montreal this past week that pretty much assure that any time Safarova has a good week she's got a shot to be listed in the "Surprise" category, no matter how much she's managed to accomplish -- in off-and-on fashion, as is her wont -- over the years. First off, the Czech got wins over the likes of '11 Rogers Cup runner-up Samantha Stosur and Roberta Vinci to reach the semifinals. Then, once there, she led Li Na 5-1 in the 3rd set. But, dredging up memories of countrywoman Jana Novotna, that was when she collapsed. She dropped the last six games to be drummed out of the tournament, missing out on an all-Czech final against Kvitova. It'd have been the first all-Czech singles final since January 2009, when an 18-year old Kvitova defeated Iveta Benesova in Hobart to claim her first career title. On Sunday, the Rogers Cup crowned its doubles champs. In a surprise, the winners were Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Kristina Mladenovic, easily claiming the biggest titles of their careers. For Jans-Ignacik, 27, it was her third career doubles crown (second in '12), while 19-year old Mladenovic, in just her second career final (she reached the '11 Copenhagen final with yet another Polish player, Katarzyna Piter), became a tour champion for the very first time.
=============================
VETERANS: Li Na/CHN & Roberta Vinci/ITA
...in her last tournament before being joined by new coach Carlos Rodriguez in Cincinnati, Li showed that there's still something for LPT's old coach to work with. Notching wins over Eugenie Bouchard, a pair of '12 slam runners-up (Sara Errani & Agnieszka Radwanska), and Lucie Safarova, she reached her third final of the season. But, proving that Rodriguez DOES indeed have some things to work on with Li, the Chinese vet's loss to Kvitova dropped her to 0-3 in those finals. In fact, Li is still missing a follow-up title to her 2011 Roland Garros crown. Meanwhile, amid all the odd exits and absences in Montreal, Vinci's success there was easy to overlook. The Italian reached the quarterfinals, getting wins over Yanina Wickmayer, Ana Ivanovic (a double-bagel!) and usually-super-consistent-result-getter Angelique Kerber.
=============================
COMEBACK: Caroline Wozniacki/DEN
...last week, just like with her Olympic journey, was another of those "yeah, but" situations for Wozniacki. On the surface, she had a good week, reaching the Montreal semifinals with wins over Kiki Bertens, Varvara Lepchenko and longtime friend Aleksandra Wozniak. But, again, her week ended with her being ridden off the court by a more powerful player (Kvitova). The loss drops the formerly #1-ranked Dane to 4-7 against Top 20 players this season, and 0-5 against Top 10ers (0-6 if you count her previous Hopman Cup loss to Kvitova). By bad (stat) luck of the draw, Wozniacki's win over Serena Williams earlier this season came when the American was ranked #11 (but it's evened out by Caro's 0-2 mark against Angelique Kerber before the German climbed into her current Top 10 ranking). Thing is, she has often put herself into position to win those Top 10 matches. In her five tour losses, she won the opening set four times (and against Kvitova in Perth, she lost a 1st set tie-break). Wozniacki's consistency generally wears down the majority of the players she faces, but against the very best players it's the more aggressive, and especially harder-hitting, games that usually win out in the end. While Wozniacki's gains of recent months have been admirable, so far, it still has not been enough. But maybe boyfriend Rory McIlroy's run to a second major golf title this weekend will end up helping Wozniacki, too. After all, if she can't learn from his climb back into to the winner's circle that by continuing to work hard could get her back some of what she's lost over the last year, then nothing will bring it out of her.
=============================
FRESH FACE: Annika Beck/GER
...Beck, 18, won the Roland Garros girls crown a few months ago, and has managed to extend her success into the ITF circuit throughout the season. Her latest title, a $25K event in Koksijde, Belgium, was her third (in five challenger finals) of 2012. The German picked up wins over Kristina Kucova, Cristina Dinu and Bibiane Schoofs in the final.
=============================
DOWN: Agnieszka Radwanska/POL
...A-Rad had a chance to rise to #1 with a title run in Montreal, but she came up far short of that target, losing to Li Na in the 3rd Round, collecting just three total games in the match. She's the #1 seed this week in Cincinnati, but to say her post-Wimbledon form has been wanting would be an understatement. Maybe The Mustafina managed to put a scare into The Radwanska in London?
=============================
ITF PLAYER: Romina Oprandi/SUI
...after Wimbledon, Oprandi, at a $100K event in Biarritz, won her first event since beginning to represent Switzerland. Last week, she picked up her second, a $50K challenger in the Bronx. She defeated Allie Will, ChiChi Scholl, Tatjana Malek, and Anna Chakvetadze in the final.
=============================
JUNIOR STAR: Victoria Duval/USA
...the 16-year old Bannerette won the USTA National Championship title and will get a wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open. As the #17 seed, Duval, a Girls quarterfinalist at last year's Open, defeated #3 Allie Kiick in the final, 3-6/6-1/6-0. Kiick will get a wild card entry into next week's Open qualifying rounds.
=============================


1. Montreal SF - Li d. Safarova
...3-6/6-3/7-5.
Safarova is just as likely to overcome a 5-1 deficit as she is to lose one. The Czech did the latter against Li in the 3rd set here. Come to think of it, that first sentence could apply to Li, too.
=============================
2. Cincinnati 1st Rd. - Peng d. Jankovic
...5-7/7-5/7-6(8).
This was one of the sort of JJ losses where you want to ram your head into a wall. So imagine how she feels. Jankovic served for the match at 7-5/5-4, only to play a horrid game that included two double faults and a break of serve at love. After Peng came back to take the 2nd, the two played into a 3rd set tie-break. There, once again, JJ was in position to win, going up 6-3, with back-to-back points on serve. Naturally, she lost them, along with three other match points in the breaker. Two points after Jankovic lost her fifth MP, Peng had her first. She only needed one, winning the tie-break 10-8. This is the fifth match this season that JJ has lost after holding match point. The Fed Cup final can't get here fast enough... or can it?
=============================
3. Montreal SF - Kvitova d. Wozniacki
...3-6/6-2/6-3.
Sure, Petra eventually put the hammer down on the Dane as the match progressed. But this one DID take place while Rory McIlroy was busy winning the PGA Championship. Might Caro have been trying to get back into the locker room as quickly as possible so that she could watch?
=============================
4. Montreal Final - Kvitova d. Li
...7-5/2-6/6-3.
So many of the final stats showed how close this one was. Kvitova and Li were deadlocked in 1st serve percentage (65%-65%), aces (3-3), unforced errors (43-43) and breaks of serve (Kvitova 4-of-12 on BP attempts, and Li 4-of-10).
=============================
5. Montreal 2nd Rd - Paszek d. Azarenka
...3-3 ret.
Azarenka had a post-Olympic 1st Round bye, then a late-week opening match. After it was suspended after six games and its conclusion pushed back yet another day, Vika withdrew with a knee injury. Sure, it might have caused the also absent (but from the start, not mid-tournament) Maria Sharapova to roll her eyes when she heard the news, but it's wise to expect this sort of thing (as we saw all over both the littered-with-walkovers-or-"weird"-upsets men's and women's draws at last week's Rogers Cup events) when a "high-level" tournament is scheduled to begin just days after the Olympics, and a few weeks before the U.S. Open.
=============================
6. Montreal 3rd Rd. - Kvitova d. Bartoli
...6-1/6-1.
Said Bartoli, "Her performance today was extraordinary,", adding, "When she plays like that she makes it very hard for her opponent to compete."
=============================
7. Montreal 2nd Rd. - Vinci d. Ivanovic
...6-0/6-0.
AnaIvo must have had a REALLY good time in London.
=============================
8. Montreal 1st Rd. - Karatantcheva d. Cirstea
...6-0/6-0.
And Cirstea wasn't even in London!
=============================
9. Montreal Doubles SF - Petrova/Srebotnik d. Huber/Raymond
...6-4/6-4.
Huber & Raymond's disappointing summer continues. They were Rogers Cup champs in 2011.
=============================
10. Cincinnati Q1 - Daniilidou d. Vandeweghe
...6-3/7-6.
Coco's ranking is into the Top 75, but, counting her loss to Serena, she's just 2-4 since reaching the Stanford final as a Lucky Loser. Since this match, the resurgent Daniilidou has put up additional wins over Kateryna Bondarenko and Vania King.
=============================


1. Montreal QF - Li d. A.Radwanska
...6-2/6-1.
Aga just wasn't losing matches by scores like this during the first half of the season. And not to anyone not named Vika, either.
=============================
2. Cincinnati Q2 - U.Radwanska d. Robson
...6-3/6-2.
One final London melon is sacrificed before it rots.
=============================
3. $50K Bronx Doubles 1st Rd. - #1 Ka.Pliskova/Kr.Pliskova d. T.Hladlikova/ChiChi Scholl
...6-3/3-6/10-4.
As one Scholl sister loses to a #1-seeded doubles team on the U.S. East Coast...
=============================
HM- USTA Nat'l Jr. Chsp (San Diego) - Chalena Scholl d. #1 Krista Hardebeck
...2-6/6-0/6-1.
The other (younger) Scholl sibling takes out a #1-seed on the West Coast.
=============================


**WTA TITLES - LAST THREE SEASONS**
12...Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
9...Victoria Azarenka, BLR
9...Serena Williams, USA
7...Maria Sharapova, RUS
7...PETRA KVITOVA, CZE
6...Agnieszka Radwanska, POL
6...Kim Clijsters, BEL

**WOZNIACKI vs. TOP 10ers in 2012**
Hopman Cup (exhibition) - lost to #2 Petra Kvitova 6-7/6-3/4-6
Sydney - lost to #8 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3/5-7/2-6
Miami - lost to #2 Maria Sharapova 6-4/2-6/4-6
Madrid - lost to #9 Serena Williams 6-1/3-6/2-6
Olympics - lost to #4 Serena Williams 0-6/3-6
Montreal - lost to #6 Petra Kvitova 6-3/2-6/3-6
--
NOTE: def. current #4 S.Williams in Miami when Williams was ranked #11; lost twice to current #7 Kerber (Copenhagen & Stuttgart) when Kerber was #15 & #14, respectively





CINCINNATI, OHIO USA (Premier $2.168m/hard outdoor)
11 Final: Sharapova d. Jankovic
11 Doubles Champions: King/Shvedova
12 Top Seeds: A.Radwanska/S.Williams
=============================

=SF=
#3 Stosur d. #8 Bartoli
#2 S.Williams d. #4 Kvitova
=FINAL=
#2 S.Williams d. #3 Stosur

...until developments change the course of things, it seems kind of silly to look in any other direction, don't you think?


All for now.



THIS WEEK: The MVP List, Pt.4


24 Comments:

Blogger Diane said...

What a relief. And--considering the locale--a bit of a surprise. Petra Kvitova is going to drive me crazy before it's all over. The only positive thing about that is that I no longer have the energy to be driven crazy by QC :)

Tue Aug 14, 01:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

If they both played down to the level of their "lesser" selves, can you imagine what their Fed Cup final singles matches would look like? It'd be so grisly, you'd want to cover your eyes.

But. You. Just. Could. Not. Do. It.

Tue Aug 14, 05:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

see, it was redemption time for kvitova. much like djokovic has said himself, the loss in olympics was so great that he just wanted to win toronto so badly...thus the effort and you could see from his joy of winning each match along the week. the emotions were like he was playing in the US open!

i was surprised that kerber lost so early. running out of gas to so many match play thus far this year?

i have a feeling that aga is going downhill from here to year end. i think she spent all her energy overplaying the first half of the year and left nothing for the second half right after wimby. her game couldn't affort unforced errors which are now mounting like hell in recent tournaments.

really curious what carlos can bring to li's game or maybe more importantly to her mind! her lapses are incredible.

Wed Aug 15, 12:11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

i was surprised that kerber lost so early. running out of gas to so many match play thus far this year?

Yeah, I was surprised a bit by that one, too. Her results have been very consistent over the past year. But, again, it'd probably be wrong to try to read anything into the losses of most players last week, considering the circumstances.

Wed Aug 15, 11:04:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Congrats to Caroline for a Serena menu - a bagel and a breadstick - she is on the right track.

Wed Aug 15, 06:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Leif-

Or, to keep the McIlroy thing going a little longer... a golf club and ball. :D

Wed Aug 15, 09:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Well Todd as a consequence of that 60, 60 must be two balls - or is that too much ;-)

Thu Aug 16, 12:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

I guess I walked right into that one, huh? So to speak. ;)

Thu Aug 16, 12:36:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

It's funny you know. A-Rad is screaming at every point in the last few games of the set playing against Stephens. As usually cool as a cucumber, there was a few mini impatient emotional displays when she missed the rallies. Somehow she looked as if she played like vika a bit, the very image where she openly disgusted a few months ago. Haha.

Fri Aug 17, 12:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em? ;)

Win or lose, ultimately, against Stosur in the 3rd set today... Venus has looked very good of late, especially against Top 10/20 players. One wonders if she's found a way to handle the Sjogren's a little better, or if maybe she's just been lucky and not had any of her "bad days" on gamedays.

Fri Aug 17, 03:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

She says she returned before she should have, because of the Olympics, but that now, she has better management of the condition. I hope so!

Fri Aug 17, 05:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Sure seems so. :)

Fri Aug 17, 05:21:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

Kerber's game reminds me a lot of Clijster's 2009/2010 game... Just really athletic, no weaknesses, strong forehand/backhand, uses serve to start the point (but not bad)...And she plays fast too. And pretty tight mentally too.

And she likes to take out (older) top players with similar scorelines...Serena 4,4; Venus 6,6; Clijsters 1,1. Interesting...

I still think that Serena's loss today is another indicator that she can't read lefties as well. I mean three of her four losses this year are to lefties...The other being to Woz who is really consistent...So if you put Serena's two areas of weakness together (lefty + consistency), then Kerber is her kryptonite.

But overall, it was good for her to lose today...lifts the pressure of a streak and few extra days to rest.

Stosur and Kerber are both going to be contenders this year at USO.

I think Venus has been feeling good this week in general. Her reaction to the win was so great. Tears of joy.

Fri Aug 17, 05:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zidane said...

To me, the most striking change in the WTA's last month's results is Pavlyuchenkova's slowly, but surely, comeback. After these horrendous first six months of the season, she can now align regularly 2-3 straight wins, possibly more.

Good to see her back to relevance.

Fri Aug 17, 08:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Thing with Stosur at the Open: last year, she was a bit under the radar until the final, with her greatest performances happening away from the show courts at night. This year, as the defending champ, she'll have a whole lot more pressure and attention on her. Not like in Melbourne, but surely more than last year in NYC. Maybe she'll be confident after '11, but I'm wondering how she'll handle her first big dose of Open adversity when it'd really be big news if she were to lose.

Li d. A.Radwanska 6-1/6-1. Is Aga setting up for another forgettable slam performance to balance out her Wimbledon? Is Li peaking at just the right time? Remember, last season when she went into a slam after a coaching change it worked out pretty well.

Fri Aug 17, 10:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

If Li can beat venus handily , maybe. Arad is just not the same compared to first half of the year. And it looks like Li is beating her like vika does. Has Carlos started with Li yet?

I think Serena just underestimated Kerber. Had they played each other before this one? Serena usually moves up a gear when she thinks she needs to put in more effort to play against.

Sat Aug 18, 01:18:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

Carlos started working with Li today. They had not met before last night. I think Li's good play has more to do with her confidence from having such an esteemed coach want to work with her; and her mental state from being able to clearly define husband and coach...and less to do with Carlos...thus far. I think we'll be able to see his impact more clearly in a few months.

I didn't think Aga played that badly today...she just started to get a little less patient in the latter part of the second set....

Sat Aug 18, 01:28:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

That's the thing. Maybe just having Carlos as coach in name will do the trick! ;0 Li's problem has always been mental.

And perhaps ARad is getting frustrated by hard hitters and she just couldn't match it. Wi seeing if she will put in work in the off season to improve that part of her game

Sat Aug 18, 02:31:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

It's possible that just the fact of having a new coaching set-up helps Li to stay better focused... at least for a while.

Of course, if Kvitova ends up running through this tournament, too, her confidence is going to be forminable in NYC.

Sat Aug 18, 02:42:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

Kvitova-Kerber match can be very telling for what to come in US open. Kvitova will be tested by kerber's super consistency where she always struggled this year. To be patient enough to not go for too much , and to play defense in order to stay in the points. It's obvious she put in that effort in Montreal. But now she is playing a player who won't give her easy points.

As for Kerber, she has now beaten venus and Serena in few months, after her 5 match point loss to paszek. If she wins this tournament it will boost so much of her confidence into US open. I can see her getting to semi final again.

Stosur, call me bad, I don't think she will go deep. She can never wear a heavy expectation. Depending on the draw, her opening round as depending champion can be very iffy.

And so, a rematch of Potro and djokivic, this time though I think the result will be opposite of Olympics .

Sat Aug 18, 09:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Kerber won and Kvitova was frustrated. Kerber is playing more like Caroline when she topped than Clijsters - it's the same never give up stile and about the same sort of shots. The problem or should I say the advantage of womens tennis today is that on a good day anyone (or almost) can beat each other BUT not many can keep up the steam. We've seen Pazek, Pavluchenkova, McHale getting human at the next event - they just had their big day (just too bad they have to have that day when they meet Caroline). Kerber has learnt concistency and is dangerous most of the time. Kvitova we will not see much of at the US she topped too early.

Sun Aug 19, 06:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Kvitova was 0-for-7 in break point attempts in the 1st set vs. Kerber, reverting back to the bad "big point" play she had in her pre-Montreal semifinals from this season.

Whenever I watch Kerber, the one word that always comes to mind is "solid." Well, at least it springs to mind just a few seconds after "determined." She's not spectacular, but she doesn't have any cracks in her game for an opponent to exploit. Even though she doesn't rack up huge winner totals, she's never TOO defensive-minded, either. I guess that's how you go from outside the Top 100 to nearly Top 5 in less than a year, even without a major title.

Sun Aug 19, 08:58:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

since it was too late for me to catch the final, only watching the flashes of match in youtube was still facinating. li got herself together and pushed up a gear and played consistently till the end. she could regain her composure just in time for US open.

in the ceremony, li's speech was short thanking everyone in the tournament and her team, but one stood out. 'carlos, you are good.' haha, carlos was taken surprised by that as well it seemed. :) i can't believe this is only her 6th title. am thinking if serena can defile logic of age, maybe li can borrow that line of thought as well.

watching kerber play, reminds me of an combined version of caro and kim. very good with defense and consistent as caro, takes opportunities to strike winners like kim. she is all-round, but still bow out in the semis and finals most time when she meets up with players who are consistent and can put up more winners. one thing she is yet to master, she mostly waits for opportunities for her to put away, she doesn't create enough to increase chances for winners.

by the way, where is kim? not warming up before her last US open?

US open is looking interesting! with kvitova and li back to winning form, with serena happy to put away the cincy loss, venus seemingly healthy, kerber as sturdy and consistent, caro improving, and vika and maria should be well rested and ready. the only not-looking-so-well is A-Rad compared to early this year, seriously she must be overplayed! is she also in new haven? so... caro, A-rad and kvitova, each wants to prove, with caro's stake much higher.

Mon Aug 20, 12:33:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

I think KC, like she mostly was before the Olympics, has just been staying out of the fray to make sure she's healthy enough to show up for the final tournament of her career.

In other words, she's been employing the "bubble-wrap gameplan" that I've been suggesting. :D

Mon Aug 20, 02:40:00 AM EDT  

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