Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2Q.2 Grass Court BSA's: Delightfully Different



"In tennis, anything can happen. I'm a perfect example of it."-- Marion Bartoli


*2Q.2 Grass Court Awards - Wk. 24-27*
**TOP PLAYERS**
1. Marion Bartoli, FRA
...it was a long, slow climb, filled with raised eyebrows and skeptical asides. But rising above it all -- including coaching changes, barely-mediocre results and a wave of upsets that decimated the Wimbledon draw -- Bartoli found the opportunity for her moment in the spotlight and, quite simply, strangled the life out of it by putting together just the tenth women's run at SW19 pulled off without dropping a single set. Afterward, she was the epitome of class, poise and comfort in her own skin, letting cutting comments slide off her back with nary a worry to be seen, and proving to be the most adult presence in a sea of immaturity (and worse). In a final bit of irony, La Trufflette's first slam title came at the one slam that the player -- Monica Seles -- whose game hers was patterned on was never able to win, as she defeated a German in the final, something Seles was unable to do (losing to Germanys' Graf) in her single Wimbledon final in 1992.
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2. Sabine Lisicki, GER
...while Robson is no (not yet, anyway) Murray, the Brits have found their "adopted" Ladies favorite in Lisicki. Her power game is well-suited to the grass, her best slam results have come at SW19 and she always makes a point to note how wonderful Wimbledon and the All-England Club are in her eyes and giddy heart. Throw in that Lisicki, even with all her potential, has a tendency to come up "just short" in many of her attempts at even greater success, often melodramatically, and one can make a case that Sabine is actually more perfectly cast as a "classic" British tennis star than the champion Murray is these days.
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3. Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
...last season, her career was teetering on the edge of oblivion. Blood clots. The loss the support from the Belgian tennis federation. A ranking so low that she couldn't even get into Wimbledon qualifying, despite being a former Girls champ at SW19. Flashforward to today, after the support of friend Kim Clijsters and a group of "believers" so small she could count them on one hand, and Flipkens has since won her first singles title, risen into the Top 20 and defeated '11 champ Petra Kvitova to reach the Wimbledon semifinals. "Comeback" doesn't really seem to do Flipkens' journey justice.
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4. Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN
...born four days apart and friends since they were thirteen, Hsieh & Peng have combined for six titles together since their first back in 2008. But this year, their reach has been greater. They won their second Rome crown ('09), ending top-ranked Errani/Vinci's 31-match clay winning streak, and just took the Wimbledon doubles title on grass. Hsieh is the first player from Taiwan to win a major title, while Peng joins the still-growing list of Chinese slam champions.
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5. Agnieszka Radwanska, POL
...her alter ego caused all sorts of havoc at Wimbledon, while '12 finalist A-Rad had to battle through three straight three-setters before finally being tripped up in the semifinals. And she wasn't happy about it, either, skedaddling off the court in the blink of an eye after a no-eye contact-allowed handshake at the net. But A-Rad will back back... and with more (and less) clothes, too. (See below.)
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6. Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
...the veteran Slovak took the Birmingham title to complete her Career Surface Slam eleven years after busting out and reaching the Wimbledon QF while still a teenager. Why, it almost made up for her 1st Round exit from this year's Wimbledon. Almost.
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7. Elena Vesnina, RUS
...after being 0-6 in career singles finals, Vesnina is now 2-0 in 2013, including her claiming of the Eastbourne title days before the start of Wimbledon. Unfortunately, like Hantuchova, the Russian didn't last long there, either, losing to Lisicki in the 2nd Round.
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8. Simona Halep, ROU
...pulling a rare double, the Swarmette not only won the poorly-scheduled clay court tournament in Nuremberg the week after Roland Garros, but she turned around a week later and won the grass event in the Netherlands, too. At Wimbledon, although treated for a back injury, she pushed Li to three sets in a 2nd Round loss.
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9. Ashleigh Barty/Casey Dellacqua, AUS/AUS
...the Aussies, runners-up at the Australian Open in January, proved more than grass-worthy in winning in Birmingham and then reaching the doubles final at Wimbledon, as well. The ascent of Barty has officially begun.
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10. Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
...after saving two match point and taking the Mixed Doubles at Wimbledon (after being RU in Paris) with Daniel Netor, the former junior #1 has won doubles titles with seven different players over the past year. While putting up a good 1st Round battle with Sharapova at Wimbledon, Mladenovic felt the pressure on the biggest points. Nestor says the 20-year old will be top singles player one day, and that he caught Mladnovic "at the right time," before she starts winning four and five singles matches at slams rather than the one or two she is now. He may be right.
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HM- Sloane Stephens, USA
...after a sometimes hair-raising slide after her AO semifinal, Stephens seems to have mostly righted her ship. She won a big 1st Round SW19 match with fellow Bannerette Jamie Hampton, then had her third straight Round-of-16-or-better slam result this season, losing to eventual champ Bartoli in the QF. Stephens will have much pressure to succeed back home in North America leading up to the Open, but she might just be equipped to do it.
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Jr. - Belinda Bencic, SUI
...the Girls slam winner at Roland Garros, Bencic claimed both the Roehampton and Wimbledon titles in the aftermath of her rise to #1 following Paris. The New Swiss Miss, coached by the Original Swiss Miss' mother/former coach, has now won thirty-six straight junior matches.
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**RISERS**
1. Sabine Lisicki, GER
2. Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN
3. Agnieszka Radwanska, POL
4. Simona Halep, ROU
5. Elena Vesnina, RUS
6. Ashleigh Barty/Casey Dellacqua, AUS/AUS
7. Kaia Kanepi, EST
8. Carla Suarez-Navarro, ESP
9. Cara Black/Marina Erakovic, ZIM/NZL
10. Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL
11. Mariana Duque-Marino, COL
12. Petra Cetkovska, CZE
13. Caroline Garcia, FRA
14. Alize Cornet, FRA
15. Magdalena Rybarikova, SVK
HM- Bojana Jovanovski, SRB

**FRESH FACES**
1. Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
2. Sloane Stephens, USA
3. Jamie Hampton, USA
4. Laura Robson, GBR
5. Ashleigh Barty, AUS
6. Madison Keys, USA
7. Monica Puig, PUR
8. Eugenie Bouchard, CAN
9. Alison Riske, USA
10. Michelle Larcher de Brito, POR

11. Donna Vekic, CRO
12. Kristyna Pliskova, CZE
13. Heather Watson, GBR
14. Irina-Camelia Begu, ROU
15. Ajla Tomljanovic, CRO
16. Garbine Muguruza, ESP
17. Karolina Pliskova, CZE
18. Carina Witthoeft, GER
19. Lesia Tsurenko, UKR
20. Annika Beck, GER
HM- Lauren Davis, USA & Jana Cepelova, SVK

**JUNIORS**
1. Belinda Bencic, SUI
2. Taylor Townsend, USA
3. Ana Konjuh, CRO
4. Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE
5. Iryna Symanovich, BLR
6. Elise Mertens, BEL
7. Anhelina Kalinina, UKR
8. CiCi Bellis, USA
9. Harriet Dart, GBR
10. Barbora Krejcikova, CZE
HM- Jamie Loeb, USA & Kaitlyn McCarthy, USA

**SURPRISES**
1. Karin Knapp, ITA
2. Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
3. Shuko Aoyama/Chanelle Scheepers, JPN/RSA
4. Vesna Dolonc, SRB
5. Silvia Soler-Espinosa, ESP
6. Casey Dellacqua, AUS
7. Anhelina Kalinina/Iryna Shymanovich, UKR/BLR (jr.)
8. Clothilde De Bernardi, FRA
9. Gabriela Dabrowski, CAN
10. Nadiya Kichenok, UKR

"That's me!" - Marion Bartoli, when asked to explain how she went from having a disappointingly mediocre season to being a grand slam champion

**VETERANS**
1. Marion Bartoli, FRA
2. Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
3. Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
4. Li Na, CHN
5. Roberta Vinci, ITA
6. Lisa Raymond, USA
7. Flavia Pennetta, ITA
8. Samantha Stosur, AUS
9. Kimiko Date-Krumm, JPN
10. Nadia Petrova/Katarina Srebotnik, RUS/SLO
11. Cara Black, ZIM
12. Jelena Jankovic, SRB
13. Virginie Razzano, FRA
14. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
15. Francesca Schiavone, ITA
HM- Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Kveta Peschke, GER/CZE

"It's never too late for a new beginning." - Chris Evert

**COMEBACKS**
1. Marion Bartoli, FRA
2. Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
3. Petra Cetkovska, CZE
4. Flavia Pennetta, ITA
5. Andrea Petkovic, GER
6. Elena Baltacha, GBR
7. Yanina Wickmayer, BEL
8. Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, CZE
9. Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
10. Galina Voskoboeva, KAZ
HM- Olga Puchkova, RUS & Alisa Kleybanova, RUS

**DOWN**
1. Serena Williams, USA
2. Maria Sharapova, RUS
3. Maria Kirilenko, RUS
4. Angelique Kerber, GER
5. Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
6. Tamira Paszek, AUT
7. Nadia Petrova, RUS
8. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS
9. Arantxa Rus, NED
10. Victoria Azarenka, BLR

11. Ana Ivanovic, SRB
12. The Hordettes
13. Petra Kvitova, CZE
14. Urszula Radwanska, POL
15. Sara Errani, ITA

**ITF PLAYERS**
1. Elena Baltacha, GBR
2. Petra Martic, CRO
3. Melanie Klaffner, AUT
4. Laura Siegemund, GER
5. Bernarda Pera, USA
6. Teliana Pereira, BRA
7. Tadeja Majeric, SVK
8. Dinah Pfizenmaier, GER
9. Julia Glushko, ISR
10. Reka-Luca Jani, HUN
HM- Antonia Lottner, GER



"You feel like you're almost not walking anymore on earth. You're really flying." - Marion Bartoli

**TOP PERFORMANCES**
1. [Allez!]
Six years after being a surprise finalist, Marion Bartoli surprises again... but this time she wins Wimbledon. Without losing a set.
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2. [The Lisicki Way]
Lisicki (again) rides a wave at Wimbledon, knocking off #1 Serena and #4 A-Rad en route to becoming the first German to reach a slam final in the post-Graf era
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3. [Twice as Nice]
Simona Halep wins back-to-back titles on clay and grass in Nuremberg and 's-Hertogenbosch
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4. [A Waffle for Breakfast at Wimbledon]
Kirsten Flipkens adds another chapter to Belgian tennis, becoming the first Waffle to reach the Wimbledon semis since Bartoli defeated Henin there in 2007
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5. [All Surface Slovak]
Now 30, Daniela Hantuchova completes a Career Surface Slam with a grass title in Birmingham
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"She's like a little artist out there. You can almost see her brain tick and how seldom she's at a loss for what she should do. (For) someone (who) has so many shots she seems to be very precise and clear." - Pam Shriver, on Agnieszka Radwanska

*MEMORABLE MATCHES*
Wimbledon QF - A.Radwanska d. Li

...7-6/4-6/6-2.
Li grabbed the early advantage, serving at 5-4 and holding four set points, one on which she served an ace. Pity it was called out, with Li never asking to see the replay that showed that it was actually on the line. Down 3-1 and 5-3 in the tie-break, Radwanska took her good fortune and found a way to turn it into a 1st set win. After Li outlasted a tiring A-Rad in the 2nd, the Pole emerged from a post-2nd set medical break to grab a 5-1 lead. In the final game, Radwanska finally closed things out on match point #8.
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Wimbledon SF - Lisicki d. A.Radwanska
...6-4/2-6/9-7.
After splitting the first two sets, Radwanska seemed to grab a commanding 3-0 lead in the 3rd in her third straight three-set match. But, as she had against Serena Williams two rounds earlier, the German's game caught fire and she was soon serving for the match at 5-4. Radwanska got the break and came within two points of the final at 6-5, only to see Lisicki escape with a hold of serve. A-Rad wouldn't get any closer to victory, as Lisicki broke for 8-7 and served her way into her first slam final, eliminating the '12 Wimbledon runner-up.
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Wimbledon 3rd Rd. - A.Radwanska d. Keys
...7-5/4-6/6-3.
The young American with the powerful game, in her debut Wimbledon, was up to the challenge of the world #4, whose experience and consistency won out in the end. Keys had two breaks points in the 1st for a chance to serve out the set, but failed to convert, then a game point to go to a tie-break which never came to be. On serve at 3-2 in the 3rd, Keys hit a ten-minute rough patch and saw her chances slip away as if The Radwanska had stole her soul in the middle of the night. A-Rad broke for 4-2, and had triple match point at 5-2. The Bannerette saved all three and held with big serves and ground strokes, but couldn't hold off Aga on MP #4. But. like A-Rad, this won't be the last time Keys plays for big stakes in a slam.
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Eastbourne SF - Hampton d. Wozniacki
...6-7/7-5/6-3.
Caro was down the entire 1st set: 3-1, 4-2, 5-3 with a set point, then 3-0, 5-2 and with two set points for Hampton in the tie-break. The Dane won the set, but lost the "war." Up a break at 4-2 in the 2nd, then at 2-1 with a break in the 3rd, Wozniacki lost what she had gained and her pre-Wimbledon surge came to an abrupt end.
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*COMEBACKS!!! CHOKES!!! POINTS OF VIEW!!!*
Wimbledon 2nd Rd. - Kanepi d. Kerber
...3-6/7-6/6-3.
Kanepi knows about squandering chances at Wimbledon (see '10 QF vs. Kvitova). Now she knows how the "other half" lives after the Estonian benefited from '12 Wimbledon semifinalist Kerber blowing at 5-1 tie-break lead in the 2nd set, allowing Kanepi to move on and eventually end up in the QF.
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Wimbledon 3rd Rd. - Robson d. Erakovic
...1-6/7-5/6-3.
Erakovic served at 6-1/5-4, only to be broken and then double-fault on Robson's set point. The Brit advanced to her first career Round of 16 at Wimbledon, setting the stage for a heap of pressure to be placed on her shoulders in future summers.
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Wimbledon 1st Rd. - Bouchard d. Voskoboeva
...5-7/7-6/6-4.
Bouchard survived the hectic early days at SW19, but only barely. Voskoboeva served up 7-5/5-4, only to see the 2012 Wimbledon Girls champ eventually advance.
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Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Final - Mladenovic/Nestor d. Raymond/Soares
...5-7/6-2/8-6.
The Pastry and the Canadian saved two match points, gaining Mladenovic her first slam title and denying 39-year old Raymond a successful defense of her 2012 Mixed crown.
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*RADWANSKIAN DREAMS... i.e. "BIG UPSETS"*
Wimbledon 2nd Rd. - Larcher de Brito d. Sharapova

...6-3/6-4.
Sharapova broke through at Wimbledon nine years ago with her first slam crown, but the going has often been rocky there ever since. Her latest ker-splat at SW19, her third 2nd Round exit in six years (against just one QF+ result in London in the last seven years), came at the hands of #131-ranked Portuguese qualifier Larcher de Brito, a one-time child phenom renowned for her on-court decibel level (sound like someone Maria "knows?"). On Black Wednesday, Sharapova slipped and fell all over the court, never looking like the determined come-from-behind winner she normally is in such circumstances. Meanwhile, except for an extended bout with closing things out -- MLDB finally did it on MP #5 -- the youngster, channeling a bit of Jelena Dokic, circa 1999 vs. Martina Hingis, played pressure-less tennis and sent the Russian packing... or at least off to watch a Grigor Dimitrov match.
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Wimbledon 4th Rd. - Sabine Lisicki d. Serena Williams

...6-2/1-6/6-4.
Serena entered as the odds-on favorite (to say the least) on a 34-match winning streak who'd watched the rest of the draw crack open and swallow up most of the other players considered contenders. But Lisicki's been here before, a former semifinalist (2011) who's already knocked off defending RG champions three times at Wimbledon. Still, Serena led 3-0 in the 3rd, had a 40/15 lead for a 4-1 advantage, and found herself up a break twice in the final set. But it was Serena who felt the pressure, stopped moving her feet and became tentative, while Lisicki's groundstrokes and serve became more and more freewheeling with every swing. Lisicki charged back from love/40 down to hold for 4-4, then hit an ace on break point two games later before serving things out.
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**By the Numbers...**
0-17... Arantxa Rus' WTA main draw record in her last seventeen matches after her 1st Round loss at Wimbledon. Her streak tied Sandy Collins (1984-87) for the longest run of futility in tour history.
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4... number of times Sabine Lisicki has defeated reigning Roland Garros champs at Wimbledon in her last four trips to London: Kuznetsova (09), Li (11), Sharapova (12) and Serena (13)
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7... number of former #1-ranked players -- male and female -- that were knocked out of Wimbledon on Day 3's "Black Wednesday." Azarenka withdraw, while Sharapova, Ivanovic, Jankovic, Wozniacki, Federer and Hewitt all lost on a day of "Radwanskian mayhem" that included multiple slips, falls and stumbles on the lawns, as well as three additional walkovers, three retirements in singles, and another in doubles.
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#15, #20 & #23... the seeds of the three women, along with #4 Agnieszka Radwanska, who reached the Ladies semifinals at Wimbledon once the upset-laden dust had finally settled
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15... numbers of years (1998) since a British woman defeated a Top 10 player at Wimbledon before Laura Robson pulled the upset in the 1st Round of Maria Kirilenko there this year
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36... numbers of years (1977, Virginia Wade) since a British woman last won Wimbledon. With Andy Murray having ended the men's 77-year drought, Robson will now surely have to hear this number -- adjusted accordingly every summer -- for the rest of her career until, when or if, she becomes the next tennis champ in the U.K.. She reached her first SW19 Round of 16 this year, so she's officially "raised the stakes."
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36-0... Wimbledon Girls champion Belinda Bencic's record in her last thirty-six junior singles matches
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42... age of Kimiko Date-Krumm, the second-oldest woman (Navratilova, 47 in '04) to get a match win at Wimbledon, and the oldest women in the Open era to reach the 3rd Round there
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47... number of slams in took Martion Bartoli to win her first major title, breaking the record (45) of Jana Novotna, the former Wimbledon champ who briefly coached the Frenchwoman earlier this season
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51... streak of consecutive slams with a Russian woman in the singles Round of 16 before the run was ended at this year's Wimbledon
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1999... the last year that a German woman reached a slam singles final (Steffi Graf at Wimbledon) before Sabine Lisicki's appearance in the Wimbledon final
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=THE GOOD AND BAD SLOANE=
Wimbledon 3rd Rd. - Stephens d. Cetkovska 7-6/0-6/6-4
Wimbledon 4th Rd. - Stephens d. Puig 4-6/7-5/6-1
...
after coming back from 5-3 down in the 1st to win a deciding tie-break vs. Cetkovska, Stephens losses eight consecutive games and trails 2-0 in the 3rd, but then wins five of the final six games. The American saved break point at 5-5 in the 2nd vs. Puig, then trailed by an early break in the 3rd before charging back to sweep the final six games.
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Wimbledon QF - Bartoli d. Stephens
...6-4/7-5.
Serving down 5-4, 40/40 when play is stopped because of rain, Stephens, as occurred during Victoria Azarenka's medical timeout in the semifinals in Melbourne, returned a shadow of her earlier self, quickly dropping two points to let the set slip away, and then losing 18 of her first 19 service points after the resumption of play. Stephens broke Bartoli when she served for the match at 5-3, getting things back on serve, but was ultimately unable to get past the eventual Wimbledon champion.
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=THE BAD AND GOOD PETRA=
Wimbledon 3rd Rd. - Kvitova d. Makarova
...6-3/2-6/6-3.
Kvitova leads 6-3/2-0, then drops eight straight games, finally shifting the momentum back in her favor after saving a break point that would have put her down 3-0 in the 3rd before the suspension of play. A day later, she opens by breaking Makarova in back-to-back service games and coasting to victory.
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Eastbourne 2nd Rd. - Wickmayer d. Kvitova 3-6/6-3/7-5
Wimbledon QF - Flipkens d. Kvitova 4-6/6-3/6-4
...
Kvitova led 3-1 in the 3rd before losing to the Belgian Wickmayer in Eastbourne, foreshadowing her SW19 loss to Belgian Flipkens when the Waffle pulled away at 4-4 in the 3rd set against the ill Czech.
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=THE USUAL-OOH=
Bethanie Mattek-Sands wears Google Glass at Wimbledon. Of course she did.


=THE REDFOO=
Stefan Gordy plays in the USTA Sectional Qualifying Tournament for the U.S. Open

Photo by Jed Jacobsohn

And, of course...

=AGA NUDE... times 2=






*Longest Active Streaks*
[Top 10]
145 weeks...Victoria Azarenka
119 weeks...Maria Sharapova
113 weeks...Petra Kvitova
92 weeks...Agnieszka Radwanska
66 weeks...Serena Williams
60 weeks...Angelique Kerber
57 weeks...Sara Errani
48 weeks...Li Na
22 weeks...Caroline Wozniacki
1 week...Marion Bartoli
[Top 20]
318 weeks...Marion Bartoli
282 weeks...Agnieszka Radwanska
269 weeks...Victoria Azarenka
255 weeks...Caroline Wozniacki
213 weeks...Li Na
207 weeks...Samantha Stosur
144 weeks...Maria Sharapova
128 weeks...Petra Kvitova
95 weeks...Serena Williams
75 weeks...Ana Ivanovic
73 weeks...Angelique Kerber
64 weeks...Maria Kirilenko
57 weeks...Sara Errani
47 weeks...Roberta Vinci
44 weeks...Nadia Petrova
24 weeks...Sloane Stephens
15 weeks...Jelena Jankovic
8 weeks...Carla Suarez-Navarro
5 weeks...Kirsten Flipkens
1 week...Sabine Lisicki




=EARLY U.S. OPEN POWER RANKINGS=
1. Victoria Azarenka: she served for the title in '12, and she's still the best hard courter in the world
2. Serena Williams: for what it's worth, the "destined-to-make-up-for-a-slam-loss-with-a-title" vibe isn't as strong as usual
3. Maria Sharapova: but she's only had one SF since her "Exquisite in the City" run in '06
4. Sloane Stephens: if she can have some pre-Open North American success, she might just be the Flushing Meadows dark horse
5. Li Na: whenever she's been healthy in '13, she's been something to reckon with
6. Marion Bartoli: she had her best-ever (QF) Open last year, and pushed Sharapova to three sets there
7. Samantha Stosur: the '11 champ, with QF results in the two surrounding years
8. Angelique Kerber: has taken a step back in '13, but the Open is where she first made her name
9. Jelena Jankovic: if the Open is as chaotic as Wimbledon...
10. Svetlana Kuznetsova: back where it all began nine years ago; she reached the QF as an unseeded player at AO & RG before missing Wimbledon with an injury
HM- Agnieszka Radwanska: she's never reached the QF in New York
=Questions, questions...=
Wozniacki, Kvitova & Lisicki: can Caro rebound, possibly with a new coach? Kvitova won the '12 U.S. Open Series, but asthma & the humid NYC summer are not a good mix. Lisicki has reached two hard court finals in' 13, but lost in the 1st Round in the Open last year.
=Not to Win, but to stick around...=
Sara Errani: has weathered most of the storm of defending her points from last year, and quietly reached her second of two '12 slam SF in NYC last year
=They Got Next?=
Robson & Mladenovic: the Brit knocked off Clijsters and Li in the U.S. a year ago. Mladenovic's singles 2nd week breakout in a slam is now officially "on deck."

*EVER WONDER WHAT VINDICATION LOOKS LIKE?*


"It has always been a part of my personality to be different. I actually love that part of my game, you know: being able to have something different. At the end of the day, when the spectators were looking at ten matches, they will remember this girl that was doing something different." - Marion Bartoli


All for now.

11 Comments:

Blogger jo shum said...

ah, why do you say serena is not as strong in bouncing back this time?

i wonder if we can take any from the north america hard courts results...

bartoli to me is like Nanaland. when she is good, she is a nightmare to anyone.

still feel pretty bad for lisicki. she didn't even show up, would have been better if at least winning a set. really reminded me of RG 10 stosur, did all the hard work, but the last mile.

Thu Jul 11, 12:42:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, not sure with Serena. Of course, she could very well win the Open. Just, often when she loses in a slam you just get a feeling/vibe from how she takes it that she's angry and wants to make someone pay (post-Razzano, for example) as soon as possible to erase the memory from her mind. She sounded a bit more defeated this time around. I'm sure she'll rebound, though. This year's Wimbledon was a bit different for her, what with all the off-court controversy she had to deal with, no Richard, no Venus, etc. Plus, it was coming after such a satisfying win in Paris, so she was probably bound to have a let down somewhere along the line.

I'm sure she'll get back in her comfort zone in America. Still, if Vika is on, she can beat her on hard courts. She should have in last year's final, after all.

Thu Jul 11, 12:56:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

i always wonder just a bit, since she mastered so well the clay courts as maria had last few years, she will start missing the clay season ? the way that is being played with the tactics ? anyway, am curious why she is playing a clay tournament after wimbledon before USO....

Thu Jul 11, 02:44:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Karen said...

I think Serena has a lot dealing with right now. This year is the 10th anniversary of the death of her sister Yetunde. This year the FO and getting back to No. 1 were her priorities. She had her personal life put on blast. She is very tired. Remember she ran the clay season undefeated. I think she will bounce back in the hard court series, maybe starting out a bit slow and then gaining momentum as the USO approaches

Fri Jul 12, 09:49:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

More good points.

Serena only played three events leading up to the Open last summer. It'll be interesting to see how many she takes on this time around, especially considering how much she played on the clay this spring.

Fri Jul 12, 03:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Geez... Mladenovic in another doubles final -- with yet another partner -- in Palermo. With Piter, going for titles with eight different partners over the last year.

*2012*
Montreal w/ Jans-Ignacik
Quebec City w/ Malek
Taipei 125 w/ Chan Hao-Ching
*2013*
Memphis w/ Voskoboeva
Charleston w/ Safarova
Oeiras w/ Chang Yung-Jan
Wimbledon Mixed w/ Nestor

Sat Jul 13, 01:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm... Sharapova and Connors. Interesting combo. We'll see how this works out.

Sat Jul 13, 03:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

Yeah Connors... An edgy personality, as a coach? What is Maria looking for?

Sat Jul 13, 10:25:00 PM EDT  
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Wed Nov 04, 04:29:00 PM EST  

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