Monday, April 22, 2013

Wk.16.2- Three Men & a Flag... and Vinci Makes Them All Cry

The rain, the rain. It came and went. And it took with it the Czech fans sent… to Palermo, as well as the two-time defending champs' shot to three-peat.

Oh, and Roberta Vinci had something to do with that, too.

*TWO THINGS THAT WERE GOOD*
1. Sam Stosur and the Aussies not making things complicated
2. Roberta Vinci showing that what works in Poland works in Italy just as well

*ONE THING THAT WASN'T*
1. Lucie Safarova getting back to her Fed Cup "norm"

*AND A PICTURE THAT SAYS IT ALL*


*WEEK 16*

=Semifinals=
Italy (H) def. Czech Repubilc 3-1
Russia (H) def. Slovak Republic 3-2
=World Group Playoffs=
Australia def. Switzerland (H) 3-1
Germany (H) def. Serbia 3-2
Spain (H) def. Japan 4-0
USA (H) def. Sweden 3-2
=World Group II Playoffs=
Poland def. Belgium (H) 4-1
France (H) def. Kazakhstan 4-1
Argentina (H) def. Great Britain 3-1
Canada def. Ukraine (H) 3-2
=Zone II Promotion Finals=
[Europe/Africa]: Tunisia def. Lithuania 2-1
[Europe/Africa]: Latvia def. Montenegro (H) 2-1



[Semifinals MVPs - contd.]
Roberta Vinci/ITA
...after leading the Italians to a 1st Round win with a pair of wins on Day 2 back in February, was there any doubt that the semifinal against the Czechs was going to end up on Vinci's racket? After stunning Petra Kvitova on Day 1, repeating her Katowice final win (only better) by breaking the Czech's serve all eight games she faced it, to give Italy a 2-0 lead it just seemed a matter of time before Team Italia celebrated another trip to the FC final. But when Kvitova surged back against Sara Errani on Sunday after dropping the opening set, then the rains pushed play back to Monday, there was a thought that the Czechs might be able to muster something after all. But Vinci put an end to that with her slice-heavy, attacking game, which took out Lucie Safarova in three sets and ended the Czechs' FC reign. The 2-0 mark raises Vinci's career FC singles mark to 4-4, and extends her current '13 winning streak to seven matches. The Italians will host the Russians in the final later this year.
=============================

[WG PO MVPs - contd.]
Sam Stosur/AUS
...Sam's calf held up through the water-soaked weekend, as well as through two singles matches on Monday in Australia's delayed WG Playoff meeting with Switzerland. In fact, hungry for some action, she opened up by bageling Stefanie Voegele in the 1st set before going on to win 6-0/6-4, then handled Romina Oprandi in straight sets, as well. The sweep pushes Stosur's career FC record to an impressive 24-11, and somewhat rights her out-of-Australia ship after her six-match winning streak in FC matches played anywhere other than Down Under was dealt a severe blow in February with her pair of come-from-ahead losses against the Czechs.
=============================

[FRESH FACE]
Ashleigh Barty/AUS
...the 16-year old Aussie made her Fed Cup singles debut in a not exactly "comfortable" spot, on the road in Switzerland, in the fourth singles match played on Monday, trying to clinch the tie for Australia due to Jarmila Gajdosova's loss in Match #2. As it turned out, she made short work of Stefanie Voegele, winning 6-3/6-4 to clinch the 3-1 win in the WG Playoff. Expect this to be just the start of a beautiful friendship between the teenager and this competition.
=============================


1. FC SF - Vinci d. Kvitova
...6-4/6-1.
Sure, nine of the ten games in the 1st set featured breaks of serve, but at least Vinci didn’t follow the pattern the entire match. Kvitova lost all eight service games, as well as her first two vs. Errani on Sunday.
=============================
2. FC SF - Kvitova d. Errani
...2-6/6-2/6-0.
With a heavily-taped serving shoulder, Kvitova took a while to get going. But when she did, Errani was but a tiny Italian bug in her path, scurrying about in the hope of not getting stepped on. Kvitova, in front stands that were just 20% filled due to the bad weather on Sunday, kept the Czechs alive in the tie. Even if it was just an overnight thing.
=============================
3. FC SF - Vinci d. Safarova
...6-3/6-7/6-3.
With the Czech traveling fan contingent consisting of, as the Fed Cup website calls it, “three men and flag,” Vinci didn’t give them much to cheer about. Safarova’s 0-2 mark in this tie put an abrupt end to the four-match winning streak that has played such a big -- and sometimes not secondary, even with Petra around -- part in the Czech team’s undefeated run in ties since the spring of 2010.
=============================


**RECENT FED CUP FINALS**
2000 United States def. Spain 5-0
2001 Belgium def. Russia 2-1
2002 Slovak Republic def. Spain 3-1
2003 France def. United States 4-1
2004 Russia def. France 3-2
2005 Russia def. France 3-2
2006 Italy def. Belgium 3-2
2007 Russia def. Italy 4-0
2008 Russia def. Spain 4-0
2009 Italy def. United States 4-0
2010 Italy def. United States 3-1
2011 Czech Republic def. Russia 3-2
2012 Czech Republic def. Serbia 3-1
2013 Russia at Italy

**OVERALL FED CUP TITLES**
17...United States
6...Australia
5...Czechoslovakia
5...Spain
4...Russia
3...Italy
2...Czech Republic
2...France
2...West Germany/Germany
1...Belgium
1...Slovak Republic
1...South Africa
[2000's]
4...Russia
2...Italy
1...Belgium
1...France
1...Slovak Republic
1...United States
[2010's]
2...Czech Republic
1...Italy

=2013 Final=
Russia at Italy
=2014 World Group=
Australia
Czech Republic
Germany
Italy
Russia
Slovak Republic
Spain
United States
=2014 World Group II=
Argentina
Canada
France
Japan
Poland
Serbia
Sweden
Switzerland


All for now.


3 Comments:

Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Saw some nice fighting women in Stuttgart yesterday. Maria in a heroic and entertaining fight. A German bomber Sabine back on track destroying JJ. And todd we got your favourite golf expression again - a club and ball(s) when surprise Bethanie erased Errani (got it ;-)). The red clay season has finally started and remember NO blue this year.

Fri Apr 26, 01:27:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Not the best week for Caro, though.

Fri Apr 26, 03:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zidane said...

Well, it's not this weak that Sharapova will lose her very good record in matches going in three sets.

Sat Apr 27, 04:37:00 PM EDT  

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