Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 BSA's: Regional Honors





The presentation of the 2014 Backspin Awards began with the annual "MVP List." Up next, positioning a magnifying glass on the world... region by region.

==NORTH AMERICAN/ATLANTIC REGION==
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Serena Williams, USA
PoY (RUNNER-UP): Eugenie Bouchard, CAN
RISERS: Coco Vandeweghe, USA & Madison Keys, USA

SURPRISES: Katerina Stewart, USA & Marcela Zacarius, MEX
VETERAN: Venus Williams, USA
FRESH FACES: Monica Puig, PUR & Shelby Rogers, USA
COMEBACKS: Madison Brengle, USA & Christina McHale, USA
DOWN: Sloane Stephens, USA & U.S. Fed Cup Team
JUNIORS: CiCi Bellis, USA (singles) & Renata Zarazua, MEX (doubles)
DOUBLES: Raquel Kops-Jones/Abigail Spears, USA/USA
TEAMS: Washington Kastles (WTT) & UCLA Bruins (NCAA)
NCAA PLAYER: Danielle Collins, USA (University of Virginia)

ITF PLAYERS: Ana-Sofia Sanchez, MEX & Sharon Fichman, CAN
IMPROVED: Alison Riske, USA & Victoria Rodriguez, MEX
UNDERRATED: Varvara Lepchenko, USA & Vania King, USA
FED CUP: U.S. Junior Fed Cup Team
SISTERS TO WATCH: Tornado Black, USA & Francoise Abanda, CAN
KEY AN EYE ON...: Taylor Townsend, USA & Lauren Davis, USA
TOP PERFORMANCE: Serena Williams is first woman to three-peat as U.S. Open champ since Chris Evert (1975-78)
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE: On a single Sunday, Taylor Townsend wins four matches (semifinals and finals in both singles and doubles) in the Indian Harbour Beach challenger -- giving her four titles in two weeks -- to wrap up a USTA-awarded wild card into the Roland Garros main draw, where she would make her slam debut
NATION TO WATCH: Canada (Fed Cup)
COMEBACK NATION: United States (WTA singles)
WORRIED NATION: United States (Fed Cup in the "Mary Joe Fernandez Captaincy Era")
MOST INTRIGUING NATION: Mexico
=MARKET WATCH=
BUY: Anna Tatishvili, USA & Kathy Rinaldi (USTA Player Development/Lead National Coach/future Fed Cup Captain?????)

SELL: Liezel Huber, USA & Lisa Raymond, USA
HOLD: Sloane Stephens, USA, Jamie Hampton, USA & Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA

==SOUTH AMERICAN REGION==
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Paula Ormaechea, ARG

PoY (RUNNER-UP): Teliana Pereira, BRA
RISERS: Veronica Cepede Royg, PAR & Mariana Duque-Marino, COL
SURPRISES: Tatiana Bua/Daniela Seguel, ARG/CHI
VETERAN: Andrea Koch-Benvenuto, CHI
FRESH FACES: Yuliana Lizarazo, COL & Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA
COMEBACKS: Maria Fernanda-Alves, BRA & Maria Teresa Alvarez Teran, BOL (Fed Cup)
DOWN: Florencia Molinero, ARG (singles)
JUNIORS: Camila Giangreco Campiz, PAR & Leticia Garcia Vidal, BRA
DOUBLES: Maria Irigoyen, ARG & Florencia Molinero, ARG
TEAM: ARG Fed Cup team
ITF PLAYER: Nadia Podoroska, ARG
IMPROVED: Gabriela Ce, BRA & Paula Cristina Goncalves, BRA
UNDERRATED: Laura Pigossi, BRA & Bianca Botto, PER
FED CUP: Paula Ormaechea, ARG
SISTERS TO WATCH: Maria Paulina Perez Garcia & Paula Andrea Perez Garcia, COL/COL
KEEP AN EYE ON...: Montserrat Gonzalez, PAR
TOP PERFORMANCE: Argentina defeats Japan in Fed Cup World Group II action
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE: Maria Irigoyen (ARG), world #173, defeats Kurumi Nara (JPN), world #65, 6-7/6-4/6-4 in 3:39 in the opening match of the ARG/JPN WGII tie
NATION TO WATCH: Brazil (Fed Cup)
COMEBACK NATION: Argentina
WORRIED NATION: Colombia
MOST INTRIGUING NATION: Paraguay
=MARKET WATCH=
BUY: Brazilian Fed Cup Team & Nadia Podoroska, ARG (the new "Oh, Nadia!?")

SELL: Catalina Castano, COL (retired)
HOLD: Florencia Molinero, ARG (singles)

==ASIA/PACIFIC REGION==
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Li Na, CHN
PoY (RUNNER-UP): Peng Shuai, CHN
RISERS: Kurumi Nara, JPN & Wang Qiang, CHN
SURPRISES: Luksika Kumkhum, THA & Nigina Abduraimova, UZB
VETERAN: Casey Dellacqua, AUS & Kimiko Date-Krumm, JPN
FRESH FACES: Zarina Diyas, KAZ & Zheng Saisai, CHN

COMEBACKS: Chuang Chia-Jung, TPE & Tamarine Tanasguarn, THA
DOWN: Ashleigh Barty/Casey Dellacqua, AUS/AUS & (ex-partners) Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN
JUNIOR: Xu Shilin, CHN & Sun Ziyue, CHN
DOUBLES: Sania Mirza, IND & Anastasia Rodionova, AUS
TEAM: Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN (Roland Garros champs)
ITF PLAYERS: Zhang Ling, HKG & Zhu Lin, CHN
IMPROVED: Sofia Shapatava, UZB & Ankita Raina, IND
UNDERRATED: Duan Ying-Ying, CHN (singles) & Shuko Aoyama, JPN (doubles)
FED CUP: Luksika Kumkhum/Tamarine Tanasugarn, THA/THA
SISTERS TO WATCH: Chan Yung-Jan/Chan Hao-Ching, TPE/TPE

KEEP AN EYE ON...: Yui Kamiji, JPN (Wheelchair) vs. the ghost of Esther Vergeer's career
TOP PERFORMANCE: At the Australian Open, Li Na wins her second slam title, writing a fitting final chapter for a legendary career that would end eight months later
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE: Peng Shuai rises to the top of the doubles rankings, becoming the first Chinese to ever be ranked #1
NATION TO WATCH: China
COMEBACK NATION: Japan & Thailand
WORRIED NATION: Indonesia
MOST INTRIGUING NATION: Australia (The NextGen, slowly rising?)
=MARKET WATCH=
BUY: Zarina Diyas/KAZ & Ajla Tomljanovic, AUS
SELL: Zheng Jie, CHN & Chinese Fed Cup Team
HOLD: Samantha Stosur, AUS & Ashleigh Barty, AUS

==AFRICA/MIDDLE EAST REGION==
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cara Black, ZIM
PoY (RUNNER-UP): Chanelle Scheepers, RSA

RISERS: Chanel Simmonds, RSA & Basak Eraydin, TUR
SURPRISE: Michelle Sammons, RSA & Melis Sezer, TUR
VETERAN: Cagla Buyukakcay, TUR
FRESH FACES: Ons Jabeur, TUN & Madrie Le Roux, RSA
COMEBACK: Natasha Fourouclas, RSA
DOWN: Shahar Peer, ISR
JUNIOR: Ipek Soylu, TUR

DOUBLES: Cara Black, ZIM
TEAM: Melis Sezer/Ipek Soylu, TUR/TUR
ITF PLAYERS: Deniz Khazaniuk, ISR
IMPROVED: Ilze Hattingh, RSA
UNDERRATED: Fatma Al-Nabhani, OMA & Pemra Ozgen, TUR
FED CUP: Mayar Sherif/Ola Abou Zekry, EGY/EGY
SISTERS TO WATCH: Hulya Esen/Lutfiye Esen, TUR/TUR
KEEP AN EYE ON...: Ines Ibbou, ALG
TOP PERFORMANCE: Cara Black defends Tokyo Beijing women's doubles title, and reaches three consecutive finals
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE: Ipek Soylu, 18, puts up nearly 50 match wins on the ITF circuit, winning four singles titles and three more in doubles
NATION TO WATCH: Turkey
COMEBACK NATION: South Africa
WORRIED NATION: Israel
MOST INTRIGUING NATION: Egypt
=MARKET WATCH=
BUY: Ons Jabeur, TUN & Ipek Soylu, TUR
SELL: Shahar Peer, ISR
HOLD: Julia Glushko, ISR

==RUSSIA==
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maria Sharapova
PoY (RUNNERS-UP): Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina
RISERS: Ekaterina Makarova & Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
SURPRISES: Natalia Vikhlyantseva & Marta Sirotkina
VETERAN: Svetlana Kuznetsova
FRESH FACES: Elizaveta Kulichkova & Veronika Kudermetova

COMEBACKS: Alisa Kleybanova & Russian Fed Cup Team
DOWN: Nadia Petrova (player) & Shamil Tarpischev (banned Captain/coach)
JUNIORS: Darya Kasatkina & Varvara Flink

DOUBLES: Alla Kudryavtseva
TEAM: Russian ITF World Junior Championship Team
ITF PLAYER: Vitalia Diatchenko
IMPROVED: Daria Gavrilova & Marina Melnikova
UNDERRATED: Margarita Gasparyan & Anna Morgina
FED CUP: Ekaterina Makarova
SISTER TO WATCH: ummm, Dinara Safina (on Twitter) and her daily "Dinara Challenge" exercise updates?
KEEP AN EYE ON...: Ksenia Pervak (now ex-KAZ)
TOP PERFORMANCE: Maria Sharapova defends her Roland Garros title
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE: Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina claim their second slam doubles crown, winning the U.S. Open
=MARKET WATCH=
BUY: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (player) & Anastasia Myskina (FC Captain)
SELL: Nadia Petrova (singles) & Vera Zvonareva
HOLD: Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova (doubles)

==EASTERN EUROPEAN REGION==
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Simona Halep, ROU
PoY (RUNNER-UP): Elina Svitolina, UKR
RISERS: Monica Niculescu, ROU & Irina-Camelia Begu, ROU
SURPRISES: Sofia Shapatava, GEO & Akvile Parazinskaite, LTU
VETERANS: Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL & Kaia Kanepi, EST
FRESH FACES: Maryna Zanevksa, UKR & Iryna Shymanovich, BLR
COMEBACKS: Sorana Cirstea, ROU & Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
DOWN: Victoria Azarenka, BLR

JUNIORS: Jelena Ostapenko, LAT & Anhelina Kalinina, UKR
DOUBLES: Yuliya Beygelzimer/Olga Savchuk, UKR/UKR
TEAM: Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiya Kichenok, UKR/UKR

ITF PLAYERS: Patricia Maria-Tig, ROU & Andreea Mitu, ROU
IMPROVED: Lesia Tsurenko, UKR & Valeriya Strakhova, UKR
UNDERRATED: Olga Govortsova, BLR & Aliaksandra Sasnovich, BLR
FED CUP: Romanian Fed Cup Team
SISTERS TO WATCH: Elizaveta Ianchuk, UKR & Olga Ianchuk, UKR
KEEP AN EYE ON...: Maria Sakkari, GRE
TOP PERFORMANCE: Simona Halep reaches Roland Garros final, becoming first Romanian in a slam final since 1980
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE: Tsvetana Pironkova wins eight matches in eight days, going from qualifier to first-time WTA singles champ in Sydney
NATION TO WATCH: Romania
COMEBACK NATION: Ukraine
WORRIED NATION: Georgia
MOST INTRIGUING NATIONS: Latvia & Belarus
=MARKET WATCH=
BUY: 2016-17 Romanian Fed Cup Team
SELL: (Bulgarian again) Sesil Karatantcheva's old Kazakhstan gear
HOLD: Victoria Azarenka, BLR

==WESTERN EUROPEAN REGION==
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Petra Kvitova, CZE
PoY (RUNNER-UP): Ana Ivanovic, SRB
RISERS: Karolina Pliskova, CZE & Garbine Muguruza, ESP
SURPRISES: Aleksandra Krunic, SRB (Good Luck Charm & Li Na appreciator) & Silvia Soler-Espinosa, ESP

VETERANS: Andrea Petkovic, GER (singles) & Martina Hingis/Flavia Pennetta, SUI/ITA (doubles)
FRESH FACES: Belinda Bencic, SUI & Jana Cepelova, SVK
COMEBACKS: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO & Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
DOWN: Slovak Fed Cup Team & Serbian Fed Cup team
JUNIORS: Marie Bouzkova, CZE & Jana Fett, CRO
DOUBLES: Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA & Garbine Muguruza/Carla Suarez-Navarro, ESP/ESP
TEAMS: Czech & German Fed Cup teams
ITF PLAYERS: Denisa Allertova, CZE & Laura Pous-Tio, ESP
IMPROVED: Alize Cornet, FRA & Kiki Bertens, NED
UNDERRATED: Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, CZE & Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, ESP
FED CUP: Angelique Kerber, GER (and Kvitova & Petkovic, too)
SISTERS TO WATCH: Anna Schmiedlova, SVK & Karolina Pliskova/Kristyna Pliskova, CZE/CZE

KEEP AN EYE ON...: Jocelyn Rae/Anna Smith, GBR/GBR & Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE (together, and alone)
TOP PERFORMANCE: Petra Kvitova powers to her second Wimbledon title
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE (Doubles): Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci win Wimbledon, completing the Career Doubles Slam
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE (Team Division): Germany reaches first Fed Cup final since 1992
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE (A-Rad Division): Agnieszka Radwanska destroys Vika Azarenka in a love 3rd set at the Australian Open
PERFORMANCE OF NOTE (Coaching Division): Amelie Mauresmo (anywhere and everywhere)
NATIONS TO WATCH: Czech Republic "NextGen" & Switzerland
COMEBACK NATION: Germany & France
WORRIED NATIONS: Slovak Republic, Austria & Italy
MOST INTRIGUING NATIONS: Spain & Netherlands
=MARKET WATCH=
BUY: Caroline Garcia/FRA, Camila Giorgi/ITA (2015 Motto: One More Point!), the Comeback Brits (Laura Robson & Heather Watson) and Caroline Wozniacki/DEN (2.0)
SELL: Daniela Hantuchova/SVK & Roberta Vinci/ITA
HOLD: Aga Radwanska/POL, Jelena Jankovic/SRB & Nicole Vaidisova/CZE (she's back, but she's not yet B-A-C-K)



==NORTH AMERICAN/ATLANTIC REGION PoY==
2008 Serena Williams, USA
2009 Serena Williams, USA
2010 Serena Williams, USA
2011 Serena Williams, USA
2012 Serena Williams, USA
2013 Serena Williams, USA
2014 Serena Williams, USA

==SOUTH AMERICAN REGION PoY==
2008 Gisela Dulko, ARG
2009 Gisela Dulko, ARG
2010 Gisela Dulko, ARG
2011 Gisela Dulko, ARG
2012 Paula Ormaechea, ARG
2013 Paula Ormaechea, ARG
2014 Paula Ormaechea, ARG

==ASIA/PACIFIC REGION PoY==
2008 Zheng Jie, CHN
2009 Samantha Stosur, AUS
2010 Samantha Stosur, AUS
2011 Li Na, CHN
2012 Li Na, CHN
2013 Li Na, CHN
2014 Li Na, CHN

==AFRICA/MIDDLE EAST REGION PoY==
2008 Cara Black, ZIM
2009 Shahar Peer, ISR
2010 Shahar Peer, ISR
2011 Chanelle Scheepers, RSA
2012 Chanelle Scheepers, RSA
2013 Cara Black, ZIM
2014 Cara Black, ZIM

==RUSSIA PoY==
2008 Dinara Safina
2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova
2010 Vera Zvonareva
2011 Maria Sharapova
2012 Maria Sharapova
2013 Maria Sharapova
2014 Maria Sharapova

==EUROPE PoY==
[Non-Russian Europe]
2008 Jelena Jankovic, SRB
2009 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2010 Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2011 Petra Kvitova, CZE
2012 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
[EASTERN EUROPEAN REGION]
2013 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2014 Simona Halep, ROU
[WESTERN EUROPEAN REGION]
2013 Agnieszka Radwanska, POL
2014 Petra Kvitova, CZE


More 2014 Backspin Awards are coming soon!

All for now.














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