Monday, October 06, 2014

Wk.40- Blonde Ambitions on Tour

Four weeks have passed since the end of the U.S. Open. Which blonde had the best month?

**PLAYERS OF THE MONTH - WK. 37-40**
1. Petra Kvitova, CZE: two pair (of finals, plus one title)...
2. Maria Sharapova, RUS: beats one-of-a-kind.
3. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO: a title 16 years in the making.

4. Karolina Pliskova, CZE: To Serve (Wo)man.
5. Ana Ivanovic, SRB: the scales of WTA desirability (for AnaIvo): consistency or slams?
6. Martina Hingis/Flavia Pennetta, SUI/ITA: Swiss-Italian success!

7. Caroline Wozniacki, DEN: but this must be a longtime relationship, not a rebound fling.
8. Sabine Lisicki, GER: is the AELTC jealous?

*RISERS*
1. Karolina Pliskova, CZE
2. Sabine Lisicki, GER
3. Andrea Hlavackova/Peng Shuai, CZE/CHN
4. Alize Cornet, FRA
5. Eugenie Bouchard, CAN
6. Caroline Garcia, FRA
7. Monica Niculescu, ROU
8. Karolina Pliskova/Kristyna Pliskova, CZE/CZE
9. Bojana Jovanovski, SRB
10. Angelique Kerber, GER
HM- Christina McHale, USA

*FRESH FACES*
1. Elina Svitolina, UKR
2. Aleksandra Krunic/Katerina Siniakova, SRB/CZE
3. Belinda Bencic, SUI
4. Wang Qiang, CHN
5. Shelby Rogers, USA
6. Alison Van Uytvanck, BEL
7. Lesia Tsurenko, UKR
8. Zarina Diyas, KAZ
9. Carina Witthoeft, GER
10. Harriet Dart, GBR
HM- Ingrid Neel, USA

*SURPRISES*
1. Wang Yafan, CHN
2. Zhang Kai-lin, CHN
3. Luksika Kumkhum, THA
4. Nigina Abduraimova, UZB
5. Liang Chen, CHN
6. Zhang Ling, HKG
7. Chan Hao-Ching, TPE
8. Xu Yi-fan, CHN
9. Misa Eguchi, JPN
10. Eri Hozumi, JPN
HM- Zhu Lin, CHN

*VETERANS*
1. Maria Sharapova, RUS
2. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
3. Ana Ivanovic, SRB
4. Martina Hingis/Flavia Pennetta, SUI/ITA
5. Cara Black/Sania Mirza, ZIM/IND
6. Samantha Stosur, AUS
7. Varvara Lepchenko, USA
8. Maria Kirilenko, RUS
9. Chuang Chia-Jung, TPE
10. Tamarine Tanasguarn, THA
HM- Zheng Jie, CHN & Emma Laine, FIN

*COMEBACKS*
1. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
2. Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
3. Karin Knapp, ITA
4. Timea Bacsinszky, SUI
5. Julia Goerges, GER
6. Maria Kirilenko, RUS
7. Edina Gallovits-Hall, ROU
8. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
9. Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
10. Evgeniya Rodina, RUS
HM- Naomi Cavaday, GBR & Nicole Vaidisova, CZE

*DOWN*
1. Serena Williams, USA
2. Aga Radwanska, POL
3. Simona Halep, ROU
4. Sloane Stephens, USA
5. Sara Errani, ITA
6. Camila Giorgi, ITA
7. Donna Vekic, CRO
8. Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
9. Ajla Tomljanovic, AUS
10. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS
HM- Jelena Jankovic, SRB

*JUNIORS*
1. U.S. Junior Fed Cup Team [CiCi Bellis, Tornado Black, Sofia Kenin]
2. Marie Bouzkova, CZE
3. Natalia Vikhlyantseva, RUS
4. Jana Fett, CRO
5. Jelena Ostapenko, LAT
6. Destanee Avaia, AUS
7. Xu Shilin, CHN
8. Louisa Chirico, USA
HM- Carol Zhao, CAN

*ITF PLAYER*
1. Laura Pous-Tio, ESP
2. Andreea Mitu, ROU
3. Conny Perrin, SUI
4. Anna Tatishvili, USA
5. Madison Brengle, USA
6. Gabriela Pantuckova, CZE
7. Elizaveta Ianchuk, UKR
8. Patricia Maria Tig, ROU
9. Pernilla Mendesova, CZE
10. An-Sophie Mestach, BEL
HM- Oceane Dodin, FRA & Anastasia Rudakova, CZE

**TOP PERFORMANCES**
#1 - Mirjana Lucic-Baroni wins Quebec City, breaking the WTA record for most years between titles with a 16-year time span. Having last won at age 16, the Croat's most recent title literally came when she was half her current age.
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#2 - Ana Ivanovic wins Tokyo without losing a set
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#3 - Petra Kvitova wins Wuhan while dropping just one set, then reaches Beijing final
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#4 - Sharapova wins Beijing while dropping one set, reclaiming the #2 ranking
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#5 - Karolina Pliskova reaches back-to-back finals, winning in Seoul
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#6 - The U.S. Junior Fed Cup team wins a second FC title in three seasons

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#7 - Monica Niculescu wins Guangzhou, losing just fifteen total games (the second-fewest during a title run on tour in '14)
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#8 - Karin Knapp wins her first title in Tashkent
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And a heartfelt goodbye to a true breath of fresh air...


"When I started playing tennis, I was just a neighborhood kid with an after-school hobby, not realizing what magical journey lay ahead of me. If I only knew what a vehicle the sport of tennis, along with my success, would become for my beloved China. While my journey hasn’t been easy, it has been rewarding. I’ve seen change happening in front of my eyes, young girls picking up tennis racquets, setting goals, following their hearts and believing in themselves. I hope that I’ve had the opportunity to inspire young women all over China to believe in themselves, to set their goals high and pursue them with vengeance and self-belief.

Whether you want to be a tennis player, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher or a business leader, I urge you to believe in yourself and follow your dream. If I could do it, you can too! Be the bird that sticks out. With hard work, your dreams will come true."
- Li Na



I guess we should have seen her coming, huh?


*WEEK 40 CHAMPIONS*
BEIJING, CHINA (Premier Mandatory $5.43m/Hard Outdoor)
S: Maria Sharapova/RUS def. Petra Kvitova/CZE 6-4/2-6/6-3
D: Hlavackova/Peng (CZE/CHN) d. C.Black/Mirza (ZIM/IND)

ASIAN GAMES (Incheon, South Korea)
SG: Wang Qiang/CHN def. Luksika Kumkhum/THA 6-3/7-6(5)
SB: Misa Eguchi/JPN, Eri Hozumi/JPN
DG: Luksika Kumkhum/Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) d. Chan Chin-Wei/Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE)
DB: Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE), Sania Mirza/Prarthana Thombare (IND)
MG: Sania Mirza/Saketh Myneni (IND) d. Chan Hao-Ching/Peng Hsien-Yin (TPE)
MB: Zheng Jie/Zhang Ze (CHN), Shuka Aoyama/Yuichi Sugita (JPN)
Team Gold: TPE (Chan Chin-Wei/Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan) d. CHN (Duan Yingying/Zhang Shuai/Zheng Jie)
Team Bronze: JPN (Misa Eguchi/Eri Hozumi/Risa Ozaki); Kamila Kerimbayeva/Yulia Putintseva/Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)



PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Maria Sharapova/RUS

...just when you start to look slightly past her, Sharapova reminds everyone that she's still there and capable of lethal force. And, don't look now, but the Russian has matched and is within reach of some lofty career accomplishments. Her title run in Beijing -- courtesy of wins over Kaia Kanepi, Elina Svitolina, Carla Suarez-Navarro, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova, while dropping just one set all week -- gives her 33 for her career, tying Conchita Martinez on the all-time WTA list. It's her fourth title of the season, her most since 2006 (when she finished #2), and just her second on hard court over the past three seasons (w/ Indian Wells '13). But, of course, it was her battle in the final with Kvitova -- in their first match-up for a title since the Czech defeated Sharapova at Wimbledon in '11 -- that will mark the tournament. There, as in nearly all of her meetings with Kvitova (save for, you know, that ONE), Sharapova presented her opponent with opportunities to seize control, but managed to fight her off and claim nearly all the big points for herself. Overall, the Russian has gone 5-1 (with five straight wins, and the loss coming via a retirement late in '11) vs. Kvitova since losing to her in London, and holds a 6-2 career head-to-head advantage. Two years after finishing as the year-end #2 for the second time, and one year after experiencing yet another shoulder injury, Sharapova finds herself back up at #2 in the new rankings after her Beijing win, with a legitimate chance to become the first Russian woman to finish a season at #1. And she could do it on the tenth anniversary of the Hordettes' magical '04 campaign, too... imagine that. (Wink, wink.)
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RISERS: Petra Kvitova/CZE & Andrea Hlavackova/Peng Shuai (CZE/CHN)
...Kvitova, who is very familiar with close calls when it comes to Sharapova AND the #1 ranking, narrowly missed out on pulling off setting a 4Q Asian swing gold standard by sweeping both the Wuhan and Beijing titles, coming up short in the three-set final against the Russian after having held BP to get back on serve in game #7 of the deciding set. A win would have pushed her up to the #2 ranking for the second time in her career, and given her the inside track to the #1 ranking should Serena Williams not be able to defend her WTA Finals crown. Awarded two "passes" in the draw -- a 1st Round bye due to her Wuhan result, and a 3rd Round walkover from Venus Williams -- Kvitova also notched actual match wins over Peng Shuai, Roberta Vinci and Sam Stosur in her second consecutive week of work in China. Even without a ninth consecutive win in hand, Kvitova still left with a slew of good memories.



While the end of the Hsieh/Peng doubles combo -- save for a final bow in Singapore -- is lamentable, Peng has already landed on her feet with a new partner, forming something of a brilliant Frankenstein's creature duo made up of parts of other formerly great teams. With Czech Andrea Hlavackova, herself in the middle of a break-up late last year with a successful doubles partner in Lucie Hradecka, by her side, Peng reach the Wuhan SF a week ago, then took the Beijing title this weekend by defeating defending champs Black/Mirza in the final. For Peng, it's her fifth '14 title (including three high-level Premier events, and Roland Garros) with three different partners, and the seventeenth of her career. For Hlavackova, who picked up her first win since taking the U.S. Open crown a year ago with Hradecka, it's her fifteenth.

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80 percent made of real gold !! Was some heavy lifting !! So happy :) #chinaopen #beijing #chinatime #champions

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Of course, even a title doesn't rob a person of the ability to be surprised. Thank goodness... I think.

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Last week in China and this still surprise me :) thanks god they have some restrictions !!! #chinatime

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SURPRISES: Luksika Kumkhum/THA & Chang Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE/TPE)
...Kumkhum burst onto the scene in January with an upset of Kvitova in the 1st Round of the Australian Open, then later shined in Fed Cup. She added another memorable moment or two to her 2014 tennis diary in the Asian Games in South Korea, putting up the best one-two medal punch in the tennis competition. The Thai woman claimed her first career Asian Games medals by picking up doubles Gold with Tammy Tanasugarn, as well as singles Silver, as the top-seeded 21-year old lost the Gold Match to #2 seed Wang Qiang. Also in Incheon, the Chan sisters overran the medal stand like ants. Hao-Ching picked up the Silver in mixed doubles, while both she and Yung-Jan were members of the Gold-winning Taiwan squad in the Team competition. As a duo, the sisters teamed up to take the doubles Bronze, as well. Hao-Ching was the only women to claim three tennis medals in '14 Asian Games competition.
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VETERANS: Sania Mirza/IND & Zheng Jie/CHN
...last week, Mirza returned to WTA action, teaming up again with Cara Black. They followed up their Tokyo title run by reaching the Beijing doubles final, though the pair failed to defend their '13 crown. In between, while Black was reaching the Wuhan final with Caroline Garcia, Mirza was in Incheon competing in her fourth Asian Games. She picked up her seventh career medal, taking the Mixed Gold with Saketh Myneni. Zheng was also in South Korea, picking up a Silver (Team) and Bronze (Mixed Doubles), completing her career Asian Games collection, as she'd previously won a trio of Golds, including in singles in 2006 when she defeated Mirza in the Gold Match. Zheng is currently just #77 in the rankings and seems fated to her worst season-ending standing since 2007, and her second worst finish in the entire last decade. As it is, Zheng has more match wins in doubles than singles in '14, but has picked up zero tour titles in either. If she fails to pull out something in the final weeks of the season, this will be just her second year since 2005 in which she went without a WTA title of any kind.
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COMEBACKS: Samantha Stosur/AUS & Tamarine Tanasugarn/THA
...it hasn't been a very good year for Stosur. But, just as she did a season ago, the Aussie is looking stronger as her WTA campaign comes to an end. In 2013, she put together back-to-back-to-back final runs in Osaka, Moscow and Sofia. She's in Japan this week to defend one of the two titles (w/ Carlsbad '13, which she wasn't able to defend since the tournament was dropped from the WTA schedule this season) she's won since her '11 U.S. Open championship, and she got in some nice tune-up work for that attempt last week in Beijing. Wins over Francesca Schiavone, Caroline Wozniacki and Alize Cornet (plus a grateful walkover form Serena) put Stosur in her third semifinal of the season, and her second in the last two months after having gotten the other way back in her '14 WTA kickoff event in Hobart in Week 2. She ultimately lost to Kvitova, but only after pushing the Czech to three sets. The result lifted Stosur back into the Top 20 to #18 in the new rankings. Meanwhile, even at 37 and with a singles ranking barely inside the Top 400 (and doubles standing just inside the Top 200), Tanasugarn has something more to give. In Week 36, she claimed an ITF singles title in a $25K event in Japan, a result which led rather nicely into her successful participation in yet another Asian Games. The Thai vet played in the Olympic-styled games as far back as 1994, and first medaled in 1998, taking the singles Silver. But even with four career medals in her past, Tanasugarn had never grabbed a Gold until last week when she won the doubles with countrywoman Luksika Kumkhum, with whom she's teamed up quite successfully in Fed Cup play over the past year. Yay, Tammy!

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FRESH FACES: Wang Qiang/CHN & Harriet Dart/GBR

...the Asian Games singles Gold medalist was China's Wang Qiang. The 22-year old, who just recently posted her first career slam main draw win at the U.S. Open, is on the cusp of breaking into the Top 100 for the first time. She currently comes in at #107. In Incheon, her Gold run included victories over Ksenia Palkina, Fatma Al-Nabhani, Zhang Ling, Misa Eguchi and Luksika Kumkhum in straight sets in the Gold Match. Meanwhile, 18-year old Brit Dart claimed her first professional title by winning the $10K challenger in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Dart, ranked #619 and still playing in junior events as recently as this year's Wimbledon (1st Rd. loss to Anhelina Kalinina), gathered up her crown after wins over Sandra Samir, fellow Brit Naomi Cavaday (who just returned this spring following a three and a half year retirement) and top-seeded Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the final.



For good measure, Dart also took the doubles title with Turkey's Melis Sezer. Laura Robson's lonely wrist brace, and others, applaud her.


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DOWN: Serena Williams/USA
...a week after retiring in Wuhan with a viral illness, Serena pulled out of the Beijing QF with a knee injury following her three-set win over Lucie Safarova the previous round. The injury could put her participation in the WTA Finals in jeopardy, not to mention the year-end #1 ranking, as Serena has championship points to defend, while new #2 Maria Sharapova -- just under 2000 points behind -- was out injured during this same time period a year ago. Williams is looking to secure back-to-back year-end #1 finishes for the first time in her career. She tied Martina Hingis for most career weeks in the top spot this week, with 209.
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ITF PLAYER: Kateryna Bondarenko/UKR
...the 28-year old Ukrainian returned to the tour in the spring after being absent since September '12, having had a child during her time away. (Hmmm... why isn't SHE being called a miracle of modern athletics, you know, like a certain Waffle was a few years back?) After putting up the best result since her return -- a semi in Las Vegas -- a week ago, K-Bond immediately topped it last week in the $25K Monterrey, Mexico challenger. She won the title, her first on the ITF circuit since 2010, with a win in the final over Croatia's Ana Vrljic. A Top 30 player five years ago, Bondarenko currently is ranked just inside the Top 400.
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JUNIOR STARS: Marie Bouzkova/CZE & Natalia Vikhlyantseva/RUS
...the pair of U.S. Open junior achievers carried over their success in New York to the Hilton Head $10K challenger last week. A week after they fell in Amelia Island to comeback-minded vet Edina Gallovits-Hall -- Vikhlyantseva in the QF, Bouzkova in the SF -- the teenagers both reached their first pro singles final, facing off against each other for their maiden title. Bouzkova, the 16-year old Czech who won the Open's junior singles last month, defeated the 17-year old Russian (who defeated Open women's main draw star CiCi Bellis in the 2nd Round in junior play in Flushing Meadows) in straight sets to claim the hardware... or, you know, at least a check and a nice plaque or something.
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1. Beijing Final - Sharapova d. Kvitova
...6-4/2-6/6-3.
Sharapova led 3-0 and 4-2 in the 3rd, but back-to-back errors gave Kvitova a break point to get back on serve. But Kvitova's error allowed the chance to slip away, as her pesky inability to win the big points in her post-Wimbledon '11 match-ups with the Russian again foreshadowed her doom. Some past examples:

2012 AO SF - Sharapova 6-2/3-6/6-4 (Kvitova 3/14 BP)
2012 Stuttgart SF - Sharapova 6-4/7-6(3) (Kvitova 1/11 BP)
2012 R.Garros SF - Sharapova 6-3/6-3 (Kvitova 1/5 BP)
2014 Miami QF - Sharapova 7-5/6-1 (Kvitova led 4-2 in 1st)

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2. Beijing 1st Rd. - Cornet d. Jankovic
...7-5/3-6/6-4.
Who'd ever think that THESE two would engage in a three-setter that lasted over two and a half hours? I mean, it's not like they're prone to drama or anything.
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3. Beijing 3rd Rd. - Halep d. Petkovic
...7-6(4)/5-7/7-6(1).
A great result for Halep... and then she pulled out of the tournament with a hip injury. Maybe Vika isn't the only one who should have considered a shutdown for '14 in order to be fully prepared for '15.
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4. Beijing SF - Sharapova d. Ivanovic
...6-0/6-4.
So, I guess this is how Maria responds to losing that three-set tussle in her last meeting with AnaIvo in Cincinnati. Of note, three of their four matches in '14 have gone the distance.
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5. Beijing 3rd Rd. - Kuznetsova d. Kerber
...2-6/6-4/6-3.
The German stands at #9 in the Race to Singapore, just outside the eight-player field. Well, unless Serena's knee makes her a no-go. Or maybe Halep's hip does the same with her. Or Aga hits the wall again. In other words, the odds are still pretty good that Kerber will play at least one match in the WTA Finals.
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6. Beijing Doubles 2nd Rd. - Mladenovic/Pavlyuchenkova d. Hingis/Pennetta 6-3/3-6/10-6
Beijing Doubles QF - Mladenovic/Pavlyuchenkova d. Kops-Jones/Spears 3-6/7-6(7)/10-6
Beijing Doubles SF - Black/Mirza d. Mladenovic/Pavlyuchenkova 5-7/6-1/10-6
...
Mladenovic Magic shined brightly, then not brightly enough. Kiki had been trying to reach her eighth '14 doubles/mixed final with her fifth different partner.
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7. Beijing 2nd Rd. - Lisicki d. Bouchard
...6-2/6-4.
Nonetheless, Bouchard qualified for her first WTA Finals. Side note: these two could meet again in the Linz QF.
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8. Beijing 1st Rd. - Kuznetsova d. Hantuchova
...6-2/1-1 ret.
The Slovak is currently ranked at #56, and is pretty much assured of her worst season-ending ranking since 2000. She hasn't finished outside the Top 40 since before she made her grand slam main draw debut fourteen years ago.
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HM- Beijing QF - Sharapova d. Kuznetsova
...6-0/6-4.
As if there was any doubt that Sharapova was still the queen of the Hordettes, consider that she's now 21-1 vs. fellow Russians since 2011.
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1. Beijing 2nd Rd. - Venus Williams d. Garcia
...6-4/6-3.
It didn't take long for Venus to avenge her loss (after having held match point) to Garcia in Wuhan, though her stay in Beijing ended with a virus-related walkover to Kvitova one round later.
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2. Beijing 2nd Rd. - Vinci d. Aga Radwanska
...6-4/6-4.
The Italian vet registered additional wins over Shvedova and Makarova, making Beijing her first three-win tournament since she reached back-to-back finals in Bucharest and Istanbul in July. Still, after Top 20 seasons in 2012-13, Vinci's result was only enough to raise her ranking to #41 this week.
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3. Beijing 3rd Rd. - Kvitova walkover Venus Williams
...
Petra also got a walkover from Serena this season, in Madrid.
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HM- Beijing QF - Stosur walkover Serena Williams
...
speaking of. Serena has reached ten QF in 2014. She's won the eight matches she's played, while awarding walkovers to her two other potential opponents.
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And, now, a seven-part Vika Pic miniseries...


Epic... by proxy.



Epic.

Caricamento

Just some familiar faces :) this chick @serenawilliams Yep ??????

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Foreshadowing.



Just... no singing. Please?

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Look who is representing #LA town! FaceTime with @iamgaelmonfils ????????????

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Kid got your nose?

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I adore this little angel! Love this photo! So much joy and happiness ????????????

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Funny what a difference a little color can make. (And, no, she didn't REALLY color her hair.)

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Hmmmmm ???

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And, finally, the money shot!

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This just happened! We finally met! ????????????????????#mickeyandminnieVika

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**2014 WTA TITLES**
6...Serena Williams, USA
4...MARIA SHARAPOVA, RUS
4...Ana Ivanovic, SRB
3...Petra Kvitova, CZE

**WTA TITLES - 2012-14**
24 - Serena Williams [7/11/6]
9 - MARIA SHARAPOVA [3/2/4]
9 - Victoria Azarenka [6/3/0]
8 - Simona Halep [0/6/2]
7 - Petra Kvitova [2/2/3]
7 - Aga Radwanska [3/3/1]

**2014 WTA FINALS**
6...Serena Williams (6-0)
6...Ana Ivanovic (4-2)
4...MARIA SHARAPOVA (4-0)
4...PETRA KVITOVA (3-1)
4...Simona Halep (2-2)
4...Venus Williams (1-3)
4...Karolina Pliskova (1-3)
4...Angelique Kerber (0-4)

**WTA FINALS - 2012-14**
26 - Serena Williams (24-2)
18 - MARIA SHARAPOVA (9-9)
16 - Victoria Azarenka (9-7)
11 - Simona Halep (8-3)
11 - Aga Radwanska (7-4)
11 - Sara Errani (5-6)
11 - Li Na (4-7)
11 - Angelique Kerber (3-8)
10 - PETRA KVITOVA (7-3)
9 - Caroline Wozniacki (4-5)

**2014 PREMIER MANDATORY & PREMIER 5 TITLES**
Doha (HC) - #10 Halep d. #9 Kerber
Ind.Wells (HC) - #21 Pennetta d. #3 A.Radwanska
Miami (HC) - #1 S.Williams d. #2 Li
Madrid (RC) - #9 Sharapova d. #5 Halep
Rome (RC) - #1 S.Williams d. #11 Errani
Montreal (HC) - #5 A.Radwanska d. #26 V.Williams
Cincinnati (HC) - #1 S.Williams d. #11 Ivanovic
Wuhan (HC) - #3 Kvitova d. #9 Bouchard
Beijing (HC) - #4 Sharapova d. #3 Kvitova
[doubles winners]
Doha - Hsieh/Peng, TPE/CHN
Ind.Wells - Hsieh/Peng, TPE/CHN
Miami - Hingis/Lisicki, SUI/GER
Madrid - Errani/Vinci, ITA/ITA
Rome - Peschke/Srebotnik, CZE/SLO
Montreal - Errani/Vinci, ITA/ITA
Cincinnati - Kops-Jones/Spears, USA/USA
Wuhan - Hingis/Pennetta, SUI/ITA
Beijing - Hlavackova/Peng, CZE/CHN

**2014 WTA TITLES ON MULTIPLE SURFACES**
2 - Serena Williams, USA = Hard,Red Clay
2 - Petra Kvitova, CZE = Grass,Hard
2 - Maria Sharapova, RUS = Red Clay,Hard
2 - Simona Halep, ROU = Hard,Red Clay
2 - Ana Ivanovic, SRB = Hard,Grass
2 - Andrea Petkovic, GER = Green Clay,Red Clay

**RECENT ASIAN GAMES RESULTS**
[Gold Medal final]
1994 Kimiko Date/JPN d. Naoko Sawamatsu/JPN
1998 Yayuk Basuki/JPN d. Tamarine Tanasugarn/THA
2002 Iroda Tulyaganova/UZB d. Tamarine Tanasugarn/THA
2006 Zheng Jie/CHN d. Sania Mirza/IND
2010 Peng Shuai/CHN d. Akgul Amanmuradova/UZB
2014 Wang Qiang/CHN d. Luksika Kumkhum/THA
[Singles Bronze winners]
1994 Yayuk Basuki/INA, Chen Li/CHN
1998 Li Fang/CHN, Yi Jingqian/CHN
2002 Shinobu Asagoe/JPN, Choo Yoon-Jeon/KOR
2006 Li Na/CHN, Aiko Nakamura/JPN
2010 Kimiko Date-Krumm/JPN, Sania Mirza/IND
2014 Misa eguchi/JPN, Eri Hozumi/JPN
[Tamarine Tanasugarn career medals]
Gold - 2014 Doubles
Silver - 1998 Singles
Silver - 2002 Singles
Bronze - 2010 Team
Bronze - 2010 Mixed Doubles
[Sania Mirza career medals]
Gold - 2006 Mixed Doubles
Gold - 2014 Mixed Doubles
Silver - 2006 Singles
Silver - 2006 Team
Silver - 2010 Mixed Doubles
Bronze - 2002 Mixed Doubles
Bronze - 2010 Singles
[Zheng Jie career medals]
Gold - 2006 Singles
Gold - 2006 Doubles
Gold - 2010 Doubles
Silver - 2014 Team
Bronze - 2014 Mixed Doules

**2014 WTA DOUBLES TITLES - doubles/mixed**
5 - Sara Errani (5/0)
5 - PENG SHUAI (5/0)
5 - Roberta Vinci (5/0)
3 - Hsieh Su-Wei (3/0)
3 - Sania Mirza (2/1)
3 - Karolina Pliskova (3/0)

**2014 CONSECUTIVE WTA DOUBLES FINALS**
4...MAY-JUN - Errani/Vinci (2-2)
3...FEB-MAR - Peng Shuai (3-0)
3...SEP-OCT - CARA BLACK (2-1)

**ALL-TIME WTA WEEKS AT SINGLES #1**
377...Steffi Graf
332...Martina Navratilova
260...Chris Evert
209...SERENA WILLIAMS
209...Martina Hingis
178...Monica Seles


Meanwhile, you just never know what's going on around the corner... and past the bushes.

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LINZ, AUSTRIA (Int'l $250K/HCI)
13 Final: Kerber d. Ivanovic
13 Doubles Final: Pliskova/Pliskova d. Dabrowski/Rosolska
14 Top Seeds: Bouchard/Ivanovic
=============================

=SF=
#5 Lisicki d. #8 Garcia
#2 Ivanovic d. #6 Zahlavova-Strycova
=FINAL=
#2 Ivanovic d. #5 Lisicki

...AnaIvo is a three-time Linz finalist, and two-time champ. At the end of her most consistent season, the Serb SHOULD be in good form in one of her best tournaments, right? I mean, I can't have yet another champion pick retire mid-week, can I? CAN I!?!?!?


OSAKA, JAPAN (Int'l $250K/HCO)
13 Final: Stosur d. Bouchard
13 Doubles Final: Mladenovic/Pennetta d. Stosur/Sh.Zhang
14 Top Seeds: Stosur/Keys
=============================

=SF=
#1 Stosur d. #3 Svitolina
#4 Vandeweghe d. #2 Keys
=FINAL=
#1 Stosur d. #4 Vandweghe

...Stosur has seen the good side of Osaka (winning her first title there in '09, and her most recent a year ago), as well as the bad (losing to tour-debuting teen Naomi earlier this season). She put on an October rush a season ago with three straight finals, defeating Bouchard in one and losing twice to Halep in the others. She got off to an early start last week with her semifinal in Beijing. So, with Halep nowhere in sight... why not a successful defense?


TIANJIN, CHINA (Int'l $250K/HCO)
13 Final: =new event=
13 Doubles Final: =new event=
14 Top Seeds: Jankovic/Peng
=============================

=SF=
#1 Jankovic d. Q.Wang
#3 Bencic d. #2 Peng
=FINAL=
#3 Bencic d. #1 Jankovic

...included with a new event, you get one JJ and a fresh packet of Swiss Miss. Here's to them mixing well.


The season review begins next... with Backspin's personal season MVP List up first. All for now.

6 Comments:

Blogger Colette Lewis said...

Bellis lost in 2nd rd of the juniors at US Open, not the 1st

Mon Oct 06, 09:19:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Thanks, Colette. Forgot that win over Renata Zarazúa. ;)

(Should see a Dr. about that maybe.)

Mon Oct 06, 12:21:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

I think the biggest takeaway from your post this week is that not only does Sharapova not charter private jets every where...she rides in economy! LONG DISTANCE!

*mind blown*

Tue Oct 07, 03:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

FWIW, Eric, I was on a flight (economy class) across the aisle from Venus a couple of years ago. I've seen other top players fly in coach, too.

Tue Oct 07, 04:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

Diane, stop, just stop. I can't take it. LOL.

Tue Oct 07, 06:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

And here I thought I couldn't possibly have a champion pick (in this case, in Linz) pull out mid-tournament for a THIRD straight week.

Why, OF COURSE it could happen... and just did.

Wed Oct 08, 04:47:00 PM EDT  

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