Saturday, June 01, 2013

RG.7- Lists-a-Palooza (RG13/F16 Edition)

Not a day of rest, but a day of lists:

*2013 RG WOMEN'S FINAL 16*
[by ranking]
#1 - Serena Williams
#2 - Maria Sharapova
#3 - Victoria Azarenka
#4 - Agnieszka Radwanska
#5 - Sara Errani
#8 - Angelique Kerber
#12 - Maria Kirilenko
#14 - Ana Ivanovic
#15 - Roberta Vinci
#17 - Sloane Stephens
#18 - Jelena Jankovic
#20 - Carla Suarez-Navarro
#39 - Svetlana Kuznetsova
#50 - Francesca Schiavone
#54 - Jamie Hampton
#67 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands
[by age]
32...Francesca Schiavone
31...Serena Williams
30...Roberta Vinci
28...Jelena Jankovic
28...Bethanie Mattek-Sands
27...Svetlana Kuznetsova
26...Sara Errani
26...Maria Kirilenko
26...Maria Sharapova
25...Ana Ivanovic
25...Angelique Kerber
24...Agnieszka Radwanska
24...Carla Suarez-Navarro
23...Victoria Azarenka
23...Jamie Hampton
20...Sloane Stephens
[by nation]
4...United States (Hampton,Mattek-Sands,Stephens,S.Williams)
3...Italy (Errani,Schiavone,Vinci)
3...Russia (Kirilenko,Kuznetsova,Sharapova)
2...Serbia (Ivanovic,Jankovic)
1...Belarus (Azarenka)
1...Germany (Kerber)
1...Poland (A.Radwanska)
1...Spain (Suarez-Navarro)
[by career slam Round-of-16's]
42...Serena Williams
28...Maria Sharapova
26...Svetlana Kuznetsova
18...Francesca Schiavone
17...Jelena Jankovic
16...Ana Ivanovic
16...Agnieszka Radwanska
15...Victoria Azarenka
8...Maria Kirilenko
6...Angelique Kerber
4...Sara Errani
4...Carla Suarez-Navarro
3...Sloane Stephens
3...Roberta Vinci
2...Bethanie Mattek-Sands
1...Jamie Hampton
[by consecutive slam Round of 16's]
6...Victoria Azarenka
6...Maria Sharapova
5...Angelique Kerber
4...Ana Ivanovic
4...Agnieszka Radwanska
4...Serena Williams
2...Maria Kirilenko
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova
2...Sloane Stephens
[by career RG Round of 16's]
9...Svetlana Kuznetsova
9...Maria Sharapova
9...Serena Williams
7...Francesca Schiavone
6...Jelena Jankovic
5...Victoria Azarenka
5...Ana Ivanovic
4...Agnieszka Radwanska
3...Maria Kirilenko
2...Sara Errani
2...Angelique Kerber
2...Sloane Stephens
2...Carla Suarez-Navarro
1...Jamie Hampton
1...Bethanie Mattek-Sands
1...Roberta Vinci
[by consecutive RG Round of 16's]
3...Victoria Azarenka
3...Svetlana Kuznetsova
3...Maria Sharapova
2...Sara Errani
2...Angelique Kerber
2...Sloane Stephens
[by preseason "Grand Slam Master List" rankings]
1 - Serena Williams
2 - Maria Sharapova
3 - Victoria Azarenka
6 - Agnieszka Radwanska
7 - Angelique Kerber
12 - Ana Ivanovic
17 - Sara Errani
19 - Maria Kirilenko
20 - Francesca Schiavone
22 - Svetlana Kuznetsova
26 - Jelena Jankovic
30 - Sloane Stephens
37 - Roberta Vinci
unlisted - Jamie Hampton
unlisted - Bethanie Mattek-Sands
unlisted - Carla Suarez-Navarro
[WTA career slam Round of 16's - active]
40...Venus Williams
21...Nadia Petrova
16...Vera Zvonareva
[WTA slam Round of 16's since 2010 - active]
9...Caroline Wozniacki
8...Petra Kvitova
7...Li Na
[2013 slam Rd. of 16's - youngest]
19 - Sloane Stephens (AO)
20 - Sloane Stephens (RG)
21 - Bojana Jovanovski (AO)
[2013 slam Rd. of 16's - oldest]
32 - Francesca Schiavone (RG)
31 - Serena Williams (RG)
31 - Serena Williams (AO)
30 - Li Na (AO)
30 - Roberta Vinci (RG)
[2013 slam Rd. of 16's - unseeded]
AO - Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
AO - Bojana Jovanovski, SRB
AO - Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS
AO - Elena Vesnina, RUS
RG - Jamie Hampton, USA
RG - Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS
RG - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
RG - Francesca Schiavone, ITA
[2013 slam Rd. of 16's - 1st-time GS 4th Rd.'s]
AO - Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
AO - Bojana Jovanovski, SRB
RG - Jamie Hampton, USA
[2013 slam Rd. of 16's - lowest-ranked]
#75 - Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS (AO)
#67 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA (RG)
#56 - Bojana Jovanovski, SRB (AO)
#54 - Jamie Hampton, USA (RG)
#50 - Francesca Schiavone, ITA (RG)


...somewhat surprisingly, there was no truly BIG drama on Day 7 on the women's side. Oh, there were moments, but nothing earth-shattering. For example.

-- Vika Azarenka's serve was a bit "off," and her game was hardly in tip-top form on her worst surface. But, while she had to go three sets to take out Pastry Alize Cornet, she did it and didn't complain too much about it all in the process. Something which "old Vika" would never have done. She won 4-6/6-3/6-1, gradually taking over the match from the tiring Cornet. She'll have to step things up next time out against the oldest, but never tired, player left in the draw -- Francesca Schiavone.

-- Yep, the 2010 champ is still alive and kicking in Paris. The same can't be said for La Trufflette, as Schiavone's much-anticipated match-up with Marion Bartoli turned out to be a dud, with the Italian winning easily 6-2/6-1.

-- Elsewhere, Jamie Hampton reached her first slam Round of 16 with a straight sets win over Petra Kvitova, while Jelena Jankovic's resurgence continued with a 3-6/6-3/6-4 win over Sam Stosur (JJ recently defeated her in straights in Stuttgart, as well). Maria Sharapova took out Zheng Jie in straights, but had to fight back from a 4-1 deficit in the 2nd set to do it. Both Sloane Stephens (over Marina Erakovic) and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (over Paula Ormaechea) won to make it four Bannerettes -- more than any other nation -- in the final sixteen women, and while the Russian presence hasn't reached quite as deeply at this slam as it has at recent others, Maria Kirilenko's win over Stefanie Voegele means three Hordettes are still alive in the draw, as well.

...the losses by Bartoli and Cornet mean they tie with Virginie Razzano as the "Last Pastries Standing," while Ormaechea's defeat forces her to share the "Last Qualifier Standing" honors with Dinah Pfizenmaier.


sure, Azarenka's serve was off a bit today, she might not be in the shape not that she was in Melbourne (time out with an ankle injury might have something to do with that), and she may have adopted a philosophy of playing it "safe" with her serve -- in spite of her height, which hints it might be able to be a bigger weapon -- in order to simply start points and get to her groundstrokes, which are a strong point in her game. But, really, please, a little nod to what she's accomplished, and not continuing to try to carve out corners during in-match commentary to bat around the medical timeouts in the AO semifinals would be greatly appreciated.

Seriously, if you listened to the match call from Lindsay Davenport, Mary Carillo and Martina Navratilova on Tennis Channel today, you'd have thought that Azarenka was an underachieving Top 10 player who'd yet to reach her potential rather than the recently #1-ranked, two-time slam champ (both in the last sixteen months) who's reached the final of three of the last five majors, and who has wins over both Serena and Sharapova in the last year. Nibbling at parts of Azarenka's game that can still be improved is one thing, but not equally acknowledging that she's done "pretty well" of late with how it is is another. And Davenport still managing to kick in that Vika's noting after the AO SF that her timeouts were anxiety-related was essentially "admitting that she cheated" is a bit tired, as well, especially since one of her fellow commentators just a few moments before noted that while she asked for back-to-back timeouts in January, it was the medical staff that erred in granting them in Melbourne.

Anyway... sheesh.

...and, finally, come on... you didn't think I'd get through one whole Daily Backspin without mentioning It did you?

So, there. I just did.

#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #15 Roberta Vinci/ITA
Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS vs. #8 Angelique Kerber/GER
#4 Agnieszka Radwanska/POL vs. #14 Ana Ivanovic/SRB
#20 Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP vs. #5 Sara Errani/ITA
Bethanie Mattek-Sands/USA vs. #12 Maria Kirilenko/RUS
Francesca Schiavone/ITA vs. #3 Victoria Azarenka/BLR
Jamie Hampton/USA vs. #18 Jelena Jankovic/SRB
#17 Sloane Stephens/USA vs. #2 Maria Sharapova/RUS

#1 Novak Djokovic/SRB vs. #16 Philipp Kohlschreiber/GER
#12 Tommy Haas/GER vs. #29 Mikhail Youzhny/RUS
#3 Rafael Nadal/ESP vs. #13 Kei Nishikori/JPN
#9 Stanislas Wawrinka/SUI vs. #7 Richard Gasquet/FRA
#32 Tommy Robredo/ESP vs. #11 Nicolas Almagro/ESP
#23 Kevin Anderson/RSA vs. #4 Davis Ferrer/ESP
#6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/FRA vs. Viktor Troicki/SRB
#15 Gilles Simon/FRA vs. #2 Roger Federer/SUI

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
2012 (QF) Yaroslava Shvedova/KAZ
2013 (3rd Rd.) Paula Ormaechea/ARG, Dinah Pfizenmaier/GER

2008 Alize Cornet & Emilie Loit (3rd Rd.)
2009 Virginie Razzano & Aravane Rezai (4th Rd.)
2010 Marion Bartoli & Aravane Rezai (3rd Rd.)
2011 Marion Bartoli (SF)
2012 Mathilde Johansson (3rd Rd.)
2013 Marion Bartoli, Alize Cornet & Virginie Razzano (3rd Rd.)

TOP QUALIFIER: Anna Schmiedlova/SVK
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #1 Serena Williams/USA
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2: #24q Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova/CZE d. Alexandra Panova/RUS 1-6/7-5/10-8
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - #13 Marion Bartoli/FRA d. Olga Govortsova/BLR 7-6(8)/4-6/7-5
FIRST VICTORY: #5 Sara Errani/ITA (def. Rus/NED)
FIRST SEED OUT: #11 Nadia Petrova/RUS (lost 1st Rd. to Puig/PUR)
UPSET QUEENS: Slovak Republic
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Czech Republic (2-8 in 1st Rd.)
LAST QUALIFIERS STANDING: Paula Ormaechea/ARG & Dinah Pfizenmaier/GER (both 3rd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Virginie Razzano/FRA (3rd Rd.)
LAST PASTRIES STANDING: Marion Bartoli/FRA, Alize Cornet/FRA & Virignie Razzano/FRA (all 3rd Rd.)
IT "??": xx
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominees: Kuznetsova/RUS, Ivanovic/SRB, Mattek-Sands/USA, Jankovic/SRB, Schiavone/ITA
CRASH & BURN: #10 Caroline Wozniacki/DEN (4 of 5 pre-4th Rd. slam exits since lost #1 ranking, before which had reached 4th Rd.-or-better 10 of 11 times)
ZOMBIE QUEEN: #13 Marion Bartoli/FRA (1st Rd.: down a break 3 times in 1st & 2 MP in 3rd set; 2nd Rd.: down 4-1 in 1st & a break in 2nd set in 2nd Rd.)
JOIE DE VIVRE: Nominees: V.Williams/USA, Kuznetsova/RUS, Schiavone/ITA
AMG SLAM FUTILITY UPDATE: lost 1st Rd. to #6 Li Na, once again failing to reach a slam QF in her career (so Anna Smashnova still has a buddy)

All for Day 7. More tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

It never takes a day off; It just messed big-time with the ATP today :)

Sat Jun 01, 07:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

I think maybe Isner was born with the Rad gene, dooming him to punishing exits in grand slam events for his entire career. ;)

Sat Jun 01, 07:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

I've been a Tommy Haas fan for years, so I was happy with the outcome, but poor Isner is snake-bitten, isn't he?

Then there were the Paire and Tipsarevic incidents. All the drama was with the ATP today.

Sat Jun 01, 08:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Will Corby said...

I know this isn't an ATP blog but since y'all brought it up, a couple thoughts on that Isner-Haas match.

Losing that deep in the 5th is bad enough for Isner, but after you were up 4-1 in the 5th is just a stomach punch.

I have never seen someone serve and volley on so many 2nd serves...

but then again I've never seen someone stand that far back in the court to receive 2nd serves. Great match it was though. Give Haas credit for great resilience.

Sat Jun 01, 09:11:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

He was standing almost outside of Roland Garros. A sign of mental fatigue, perhaps? I know he was in physical fatigue, but so was Haas.

Does anyone know the last time someone needed more than a dozen match points to win? I found the whole thing fascinating.

Sat Jun 01, 10:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Will -

"I know this isn't an ATP blog but..."

During the slams, though, it's equal opportunity, even if I don't necessarily talk that much about the men's matches on a daily basis. ;)

Sat Jun 01, 11:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

Thought vika was funny and sarcastic
" I left my serve at home. But if I can win serving like this, it's pretty remarkable."

Sun Jun 02, 07:11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

Not surprised kvitova is gone. America now must be raving how much on the US players. But stosur... Thought she played well this clay season.

Sun Jun 02, 07:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger TennisAce said...

I have this theory about Petra. I think she suffers from a lack of respect for her lower ranked opponents. Now before I get thrown off the edge of the earth, I have observed the top 3 women and how they approach their matches. It does not matter the ranking of the opponent, they go out with their game faces on from first to last ball. They are intense, focused and controlled. The only time Petra is like this is when she faces the top players. She brings that level of intensity and focus to matches featuring the top 3 women.

In her match against Hampton, she came out flat, unfocused and with no intensity whatsoever. It was not until 5-4 in the second set that she started to show some amount of intensity and really started going after the ball. In the tiebreak, it was vintage Petra. I swear it was going to go 3. Credit to Hampton, but you have to wonder why Petra did not start playing the tennis that we all know that she can play earlier in the match.

Sun Jun 02, 09:10:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...


There is optimism that there is now at least a group of young U.S. players competing and pushing one another. The previous generation of players was pretty much a "lost" one.


As Diane has said, there might be something going on there that we don't know about yet. There certainly is a problem of focus and being seemingly unprepared. And, yes, I have noticed that some of the concerns about her mindset do seem to sometimes be contradicted when she plays top players and at least puts herself into position to win, even if she doesn't in the end (ala in those Sharapova matches last year when she couldn't convert all those break point chances).

With some players, an extended stretch like the one Kvitova has had would lead to considering a coaching change, as much of what you talked about surely starts -- and is prevented -- in the time between the matches. But I wonder if Kvitova is the type of person to do that with her situation, and even if she would, probably not anytime soon.

Since winning Wimbledon, Petra has really become a Kuznetsovian-level enigma.

Sun Jun 02, 11:31:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

Kuznetsovian level, how creative. Though Kuzzy matched on for another day. Before she is likely to hit a wall. But still. Would be a good challenge to her to test her level.

Sun Jun 02, 02:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zidane said...

Is it just me or the Serena-Kuznet duel tension has been building over the last week? In a Eurosport panel, there seemed to have been a certain consensus that Kuznetsova, despite not being in her best form, is probably the tallest, however small it may be, hurdle between Serena and the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

As a Kuznet fan, I'm really looking forward to this match. I appreciated her game against Kerber, very Kuznet-typical, although it shows she's not back at her best. "Positive" side though: I noticed over the years that one of the parts of Kuznet's game that decreases first when she's not in top form is her cardio; well, since long rallies are very unlikely to be the norm against Serena, her cardio might not be very sollicited.

A couple of years ago, when I was explaining to my then-roommate why I adore Kuznet (it was against Wozniacki, US Open quarterfinal in 2008 - a very painful loss), I only needed to tell two things. First: look how spectacular her shots are. Second: look how the whole match revolves only around her: her winners, her unforced errors, her mental issues. She takes full control of the match, both positively and negatively. (The fact that the opponent was Wozniacki "might" (euphemism) have exacerbated this aspect of her game.) Ten minutes later, there was nothing else to explain: my friend was hooked.

Remembering that anedote earlier today, I finally understood that this is exactly why Kuznet has probably more chances than anybody else on tour to win against Serena and not be intimidated: her very intense game is truly constructed so that the identity and game of her opponent have little effects on the final result. Of interest, this is also the case for Serena.

Sun Jun 02, 02:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yeah, you know, there was a time (around 2005) when SOMEONE around here thought that Kuznetsova was going to be the best of all the Russians. Hence, the Kuznetsova Curse. :(

Sun Jun 02, 03:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

Zidane, it's not just you. I told someone yesterday that I thought Serena would be hoping for a Kerber win in today's match. Kuznetsova, with her head on, is a genuine clay court threat to anyone. The operative term, of course, is "with her head on."

Sun Jun 02, 03:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zidane said...

Todd - To add to your Kuznetsovian-enigma, I guess that most people expecting Kvitova to become #1 in 2012, the year after her winning her first Slam, is very analogous to the Kuznetsovian curse.

Sun Jun 02, 03:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger TennisAce said...

I actually thought that Serena would have more trouble with Kerber than she would with Sveta. As good as Sveta played today, she still lost a set to Kerber ... on clay. She is not at the level where Serena is right now. Serena is showing supreme confidence on the surface right now, much better than in previous years. She is playing real clay court tennis, but with controlled aggression. She is playing really good defence. I think she will win this one against Sveta.

Sun Jun 02, 03:32:00 PM EDT  

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