Monday, November 03, 2014

Wk.44- Where There's a Wang, There's a Way

Come on now, you didn't think I was going to scrap that headline idea just because no one named Wang ultimately WON a title this past week, did you? If you did... well, obviously, you're new around here.

As far as this week, while there was actual tennis played over the seven days preceding the "Ms.Backspin"-deciding Fed Cup final in Prague, much of the WTA news centered around a Dane and a little race in New York City.

Got my bib for the race today! Almost time for the @nycmarathon!! Race day is Sunday.. #bringiton @teamforkids

A photo posted by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) on

Officially ready for the @nycmarathon!! Best accessory ever! @vanityprojects #nails

A photo posted by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) on

More on that as we go...

S: Andrea Petkovic/GER def. Flavia Pennetta/ITA 1-6/6-4/6-3
S: Magda Linette/POL def. Wang Qiang/CHN 3-6/7-5/6-1
D: Ar.Rodionova/Savchuk (AUS/UKR) d. XY.Han/K.Zhang (CHN/CHN)

...well, so much for Petko "limping" (but only figuratively... whew!) into the Fed Cup final, huh? After coming to Sofia on a three-match losing streak, and sporting a 6-7 record since winning the title in Bad Gastein and then reaching the Stanford semifinals, the German timed her surge perfectly, taking the Tournament of Champions crown to run her season title haul to a career-best three (she'd only won two others since earning her first season-ending WTA ranking back in 2004). Petkovic won two of three round robin matches (def. Pironkova & Cibulkova, losing to CSN), then took out Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals and Flavia Pennetta in the final. Petko's appearance in the final ties Genie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic for the most on different surfaces in '14 (for Petkovic: green clay, red clay and now hard court), and she stands alone as the only woman to lift a trio of trophies (w/ Charleston and B.G.) on those three surfaces. She'll finish the season at #14, just her second career Top 20 campaign. The other came when she was #10 in 2011, the last time Petkovic had a healthy season before this one. I guess all the crossing of fingers staved off the worst... so let's keep on doing it, all right?

RISERS: Garbine Muguruza/ESP & Duan Ying-ying/CHN
...Muguruza's 2014 season has been a hit-and-miss affair since she returned from July '13 ankle surgery to qualify for and win her first tour title in Hobart in Week 2, then followed it up with a Round of 16 result in Melbourne. A final in Florianopolis and upset of Serena Williams at Roland Garros (she reached the QF) were surrounded by eleven events in which the Spaniard failed to string together multiple victories. She ended her season strong in Sofia, though, going 3-0 in round robin play with Top 20 wins over Ekaterina Makarova, Flavia Pennetta and Alize Cornet before losing to Petkovic in the semifinals. The 21-year old finishes at a career-best #21 for '14. Duan, 25, reached the semifinals at the WTA 125 Challenger in Ningbo, putting up wins over #1-seed Luksika Kumkhum (they could meet again in the QF this week in Taipei), Elizaveta Kulichkova and Ekaterina Bychkova. A two-time slam qualifier this year, Duan has still yet to reach the Top 100, having climbed as high as #104 last year. She's currently ranked #124 in the world, the seventh-highest Chinese woman (including the retired Li Na).
SURPRISES: Magda Linette/POL & Paula Kania/POL
...the Poles cornered the market in Ningbo. Well, half of the semifinals, at least. Facing off with each other, one was assured of reaching the final. Linette, 22, defeated Wimbledon and U.S. Open qualifier Kania, 22 this coming Thursday, and went on to win the title by taking her third three-setter of the week. She'd advanced past Shahar Peer in three in the 1st Round, overcome a 6-1/4-0, 30/love deficit against Zheng Saisai in the QF, and then battled back from a set and a break down to Wang Qiang in the final. I guess you can say, unlike another Pole over the last season and a half, Linette currently has the ability to close, huh? She jumped up to #117 from #143 in the new rankings.
VETERANS: Flavia Pennetta/ITA & Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP
...Pennetta wasn't even supposed to be in the year-ending Tournament of Champions, but was included in the round robin competition after Jelena Jankovic ended her season early due to injury. The 32-year old Italian (nearly) made the most of her opportunity, notching RR wins over Alize Cornet and Karolina Pliskova, then knocking out Suarez-Navarro in the semifinals to reach her second final of the season (previously winning Indian Wells). After seeing her results slip after her I.W. title in the spring, Pennetta gathered herself in the closing weeks of the season, reaching the U.S. Open QF and adding in some great doubles play with Martina Hingis, and now a TOC runner-up result which raised her season-ending ranking to #13. It's Pennetta's fourth career Top 20 finish (all since turning 25), but her first since '11 and highest since finishing at #12 in '09. TOC semifinalist CSN defeated Andrea Petkovic and Tsvetana Pironkova in RR play. The 26-year old Spaniard finishes the year at #18, her second consecutive Top 20 season after winning her maiden tour title in Oeiras in the spring.

COMEBACKS: Naomi Cavaday/GBR & Irina Falconi/USA
...the Cavaday Train continues on down the tracks. After returning this season from her 2011 retirement, the Brit claimed her third comeback title this weekend in Stockholm, taking her second $10K crown there in as many weeks. Her three-set win in the final over Russia's Margarita Lazareva gives the 25-year old twelve straight wins, a 20-1 mark in her last twenty-one, and a 25-4 record for the season. Meanwhile, Falconi took the lead in the USTA's race for a wild card into the 2015 Australian Open, winning the title at the $50K New Braunfels, Texas challenger, the second event in the three-tournament stretch that serves as a playoff for a spot in the women's main draw in Melbourne. Falconi had her breakout performance at the 2011 U.S. Open, defeating Klara Zakopalova (now Koukalova) and Dominika Cibulkova and reaching a career-high ranking of #73 in October of that year, but she entered last week having lost five straight challenger finals from 2010-13 and was ranked #132. Falconi broke free again "deep in the heart of" with victories over Nicole Vaidisova (a "lucky loser" after her qualifying defeat), Mathilde Johansson, Julia Boserup and Jennifer Brady in the final. It's Falconi's fifth career ITF win, as she raised her ranking to #114. NOTE: Falconi reached the QF last week in the first USTA event of the playoff. Also picking up points in the race this past week were Boserup (SF, after a QF), Alexa Glatch (QF) and Grace Min (a QF after her RU a week ago).

FRESH FACES: Wang Qiang/CHN & Gabriela Dabrowski/CAN
...Wang, 22, has been lurking in the shadows of the ITF and WTA tours the last season or two, but has emerged ever so slowly over the course of 2014. She's claimed four ITF titles this season, qualified at the U.S. Open and got her first career slam MD win, and took the singles Gold at the Asian Games. She reached the Ningbo challenger final last week with wins over Ksenia Pervak and Duan Ying-ying, and the result pushed her into the Top 100 (exactly #100, in fact) for the first time. Meanwhile, 22-year old Dabrowski jumped from #201 to a career-best #164 after claiming the $50K challenger title in Toronto, taking out Tatjana Maria in the SF and then American Maria Sanchez in the final. Dabrowski, who had a great junior career that included the '09 Orange Bowl title (she was the first Canadian to win since Carling Bassett in '82), reached her first pro singles final in this same event in 2011. After going 0-4 in pro finals, the Ottawa native returned to Ontario and claimed her first career singles title there. Ah, sweet redemption comes full circle.

Psst... Gabriela, at this summer's D.C. event, is the one on the left
DOWN: Ekaterina Makarova/RUS
...the Hordette avoided the dreaded Down award a week ago, but her luck runs out this week. As the #1 seed in the Tournament of Champions in Sofia, the Russian went 0-2, losing all four sets she played before finally pulling out of the event with a back injury before her final scheduled round robin match. As things have turned out, Makarova's season seems to have flashed before her eyes since her career-best performance at the U.S. Open in September, where she reached her first career slam singles SF in NYC and picked up the doubles title with Elena Vesnina. Her losses last week end her nearly-Top 10 season of '14 with four straight singles defeats over three events, giving her a 3-5 mark since Flushing Meadows, as well as a 0-2 record in doubles (at the Kremlin Cup and WTA Finals) with Vesnina. Still, none of it puts a damper on her season, which she'll end at a year-end career best of #12, with a good shot to become the latest Hordette to reach the Top 10 early in 2015.

ITF PLAYERS: Katerina Siniakova/CZE & Barbora Krejcikova/CZE
...these two former junior doubles slam-winning Czechs still seem to mirror each other on the court, even when they're playing in different tournaments. A few weeks ago, while Siniakova reached her first career WTA semi and won the doubles title in Moscow, Krejcikova reached her own WTA doubles final in Luxembourg. This week, 18-year old Siniakova took the $50K challenger in Nantes, France with wins over Richel Hogenkamp, Gioia Barbieri, #1-seeded Anna Schmiedlova and Ons Jabeur in the final. It's the Czech's sixth career ITF singles title over the last two seasons, as she's won all six pro career finals to which she's advanced. Meanwhile, fellow 18-year old Maiden Krejcikova claimed her eighth career ITF singles title at the $25K event in Istanbul. She knocked off Ksenia Palkina, Valeria Solovyeva, Jana Fett and Viktorija Golubic in the final en route to her third '14 challenger win.
JUNIOR STAR: Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov/ESP
...a week after Paula Badosa Gibert, another Top 10 junior from Spain, won this honor, it goes to another, girls #9 Bolsova Zadoinov. The 16-year old won the doubles crown with Andrea Gamiz at the $10K pro event in Benicarli, Spain. Gamiz had beaten the teenager in the singles semifinals, so I guess the Venezuelan sort of "owed her one." The Moldova-born Spaniard now has four career ITF doubles titles to go along with the two she's won (so far) in singles.


Caro Corner, the moment before the moment...

Race day!! #video #teamforkids

A video posted by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) on

And the moment after the event...

1. TOC Final - Petkovic d. Pennetta
The bad news: Italians were a combined 2-7 in tour singles finals in 2014. The good news: Pennetta DID get one of those wins, taking her biggest career title in Indian Wells.
2. Ningbo QF - Linette d. Sai.Zheng
Zheng led this one 6-1/4-0, 30/love. Hmm, well, considering this result, if in a Li-less WTA Saisai might be the "new Peng" then maybe Shuai will be the "new Na?" Yeah, yeah... I think I'm just trying to talk myself into considering picking Peng to succeed Li as AO champ in the 2015 Prediction Blowout next month. To be continued in December...
3. Ningbo 2nd Rd. - Wang Yan d. Wang Yafan
The betting money was on Wang. Yep. One of the side issues of the burgeoning Chinese contingent on tour will be some ultra confusing draws. The scoreline in most places for this one read, "Y.Wang d. Y.Wang," which wasn't really helpful at all. Ningbo's field alone included three Wangs, 3 Zhangs, 2 Hsiehs, 2 Chens, a Zheng, a Yang and a Chang. I think I just heard Brad Gilbert's head explode with the possibilities for forehead-slapping wordplay.
4. TOC RR - Cornet d. Makarova
This victory added a fifth win to Cornet's already tour-leading total of victories over #1 seeds in 2014.
5. TOC RR - Suarez-Navarro d. Petkovic
Petko really wanted another shot at CSN in Sofia, but didn't get the honor in either the semifinals or final. It all turned out well for her, though, revenge or no revenge.

6. TOC RR - Suarez-Navarro d. Pironkova
Well, Bulgarian Pironkova finally earned her way into her home nation's event due to her maiden title in January, after having been given a crowd-attracting wild card the last two years in Sofia. It didn't help her results. For the second straight year, she went 0-3, dropping her TOC record to 1-8, with eight straight losses.
7. Ningbo Final - Linette d. Q.Wang
These two could meet again this week in the 2nd Round in Taipei.
8. Ninggo SF - Linette d. Kania
. Polish women's tennis thrives without a Radwanska in sight.
9. $50K Toronto Final - Gabriela Dabrowski d. Maria Sanchez
Bannerette Sanchez had a nice week in Ontario, knocking two Top 3 seeds (#1 Taylor Townsend, #3 Romina Oprandi) before losing to #8 Dabrowski, and picked up the doubles crown with Townsend. It's the second time the 24-year old has lost an ITF singles final to a Canadian this season, having dropped the Raleigh decider to Heidi El Tabakh in May.
10. $10K New Braunfels Final - Irina Falconi d. Jennifer Brady
19-year old Jennifer Brady, a sophomore at UCLA, has added her name to the growing list of Bannerettes to watch in recent months. She made her WTA tour debut in August in U.S. Open qualifying (she lost to Carina Witthoeft), and since won her first ITF challenger in Redding in September. Wins last week over Naomi Osaka, Mariana Duque Marino, Grace Min and Mayo Hibi have already helped to push her ranking into the Top 300 to #267. She's 27-9 on the season.
HM- $10K Heraklion Final - Dalma Galfi d. Julia Grabher
Delays pushed the semifinals to Sunday in this one, with the final being contested today. There, 16-year old Hungarian qualifier Galfi, who defeated Reka-Luca Jani in the semis, grabbed her first career singles title against the Austrian. Galfi reached this year's Wimbledon girls doubles final with eventual U.S. Open girls singles champ Marie Bouzkova.

Live from the red carpet.

serenawilliams(@Serena Williams)???? ?

1. $50K Nantes Doubles Final - Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiia Kichenok d. Foretz/Hesse
The Ukrainian twins are now 18-19 in ITF doubles finals as a duo. Lyudmyla picked up career title #23, while Nadiia grabbed her 20th.

2. Ningbo Doubles Final - Arina Rodionova/Savchuk d. X-Y.Han/K.Zhang
The Russian-turned-Aussie picked up her biggest doubles title yet, adding a WTA 125 Series crown to her twenty-four career ITF wins. Rodionova reached the WTA level Hong Kong doubles final with Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in September, losing to the Pliskova sisters.
3. TOC RR - Pennetta d. Karolina Pliskova
When Makarova pulled out of her final round robin match (after going 0-2), citing a back injury, Pliskova transformed from "alternate" to "participant" and made her tournament debut. Next weekend, she's scheduled to appear in her maiden Fed Cup tie, as well.
HM- $10K Oslo Doubles Final - Guarachi/Stojanovic d. Maryna Kolb/Nadiya Kolb
The Kolb sisters, aged 17 and 21, respectively, didn't quite follow in the footsteps of their countrywomen Kichenoks this weekend, as they're still seeking their first all-family title. Nadiya also reached the singles semifinals.

**2014 WTA TITLES**
7...Serena Williams, USA
4...Maria Sharapova, RUS
4...Ana Ivanovic, SRB
3...Petra Kvitova, CZE

**BEST 2014 WIN PCT. - 2+ FINALS**
100% - Serena Williams (7-0)
100% - Maria Sharapova (4-0)
100% - ANDREA PETKOVIC (3-0)
100% - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2-0)
75% - Petra Kvitova (3-1)
67% - Ana Ivanovic (4-2)
67% - Li Na (2-1)

**2014 WTA...**
[titles on most surfaces]
3 - ANDREA PETKOVIC = Green Clay,Red Clay,Hard
2 - Serena Williams = Hard,Red Clay
2 - Maria Sharapova = Red Clay,Hard
2 - Simona Halep = Hard,Red Clay
2 - Petra Kvitova = Grass,Hard
2 - Ana Ivanovic = Hard,Grass
[finals on most surfaces]
3 - Genie Bouchard = Red Clay,Grass,Hard
3 - Ana Ivanovic = Hard,Red Clay,Grass
3 - ANDREA PETKOVIC = Green Clay,Red Clay,Hard

2003 3=Kim Clijsters,Anastasia Myskina
2004 3=Lindsay Davenport,Anastasia Myskina
2005 3=Maria Sharapova
2006 3=Justine Henin-Hardenne
2007 3=Justine Henin,Jelena Jankovic
2008 3=Jelena Jankovic,Aga Radwanska
2009 3=Caroline Wozniacki
2010 -
2011 3=Petra Kvitova,Caroline Wozniacki
2012 4=Serena Williams
2013 3=Serena Williams,Simona Halep
2014 3=Andrea Petkovic

11-6...United States
6-8...Czech Republic
1-4...Slovak Republic

**2014 WTA $125K CHALLENGERS...**
[low-ranked finalists]
#422 Liu Fangzhou, CHN - Nan Chang (lost to Peng)
#163 Duan Yingying, CHN - Suzhou (lost to Friedsam)
#143 MAGDA LINETTE, POL - Ningbo (def. Q.Wang)
#111 WANG QIANG, CHN - Ningbo (lost to Linette)
#100 Anna-Lena Friedsam, GER - Suzhou (def. Duan)
[low-ranked semifinalists]
#422 Liu Fangzhou/CHN - Nan Chang 125 (RU)
#163 Duan Yingying/CHN - Suzhou 125 (RU)
#157 PAULA KANIA/POL - Ningbo 125 (SF)
#152 Misa Eguchi/JPN - Suzhou 125 (SF)
#143 MAGDA LINETTE/POL - Ningbo 125 (W)

Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
Elina Svitolina, UKR
Lara Arruabarrena, ESP
Shahar Peer, ISR
Bojana Jovanovski, SRB
Zhang Shuai, CHN
Alison Van Uytvanck, BEL
Peng Shuai, CHN
Anna-Lena Friedsam, GER
Magda Linette, POL

**ALL-TIME WTA TOP 10 SEASONS - 1975-2014**
19 - Martina Navratilova
14 - Chris Evert
13 - Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, SERENA WILLIAMS
11 - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Venus Williams
10 - Lindsay Davenport, Gabriela Sabatini
9 - Manuela Maleeva-F., Conchita Martinez, MARIA SHARAPOVA
8 - Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Pam Shriver
11...Venus Williams
5...Victoria Azarenka
5...Jelena Jankovic
5...Svetlana Kuznetsova
4...Vera Zvonareva
3...Kimiko Date-Krumm
3...Samantha Stosur
2...Jelena Dokic
2...Sara Errani
2...Daniela Hantuchova
2...Nadia Petrova
1...Andrea Petkovic
1...Francesca Schiavone
1...Nicole Vaidisova
CAPS: 2014 Top 10

The WTA reacts...

And so does NYC...

Thank you @Nasdaq this is so awesome!!

Zdjęcie zamieszczone przez użytkownika Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) Wł.

And then a certain German adds her oh-so-very-Petko reaction to the mix...

Caro Corner: Postscript...

My secret to finishing the marathon.... The carb loading the day before ?????? not one but 2 popcorns lol..

Une photo publiée par Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) le

FED CUP FINAL (Prague, CZE; Hard Court Indoor)
CZE: Kvitova, Safarova, Ka.Pliskova, Hradecka
GER: Kerber, Petkovic, Lisicki, Goerges

CZE d. GER 3-1 (or maybe 3-2)

...even in Prague, it's not all that difficult to envision a German victory. Petkovic, who has shined in a pair of Day 1, tone-setting FC victories in both of Germany's ties this season, obviously comes in as the hot player. Kerber has been lethally lights-on in FC play in '14, too. But, really, as usual, this one will likely comes down to how goes Kvitova. Petra may need to go 2-0 again for the Czechs to win. Two years ago, with Kvitova coming off her sick bed and only able to contribute one victory against Serbia in the FC final in Prague, Safarova stepped in to fill the void. But against this deeper German team, though, that might not be enough. One key roster decision that could prove vital: the absence of doubles specialist Groenefeld (ala Krunic, a Good Luck Charm?) on Germany's roster, should the title turn on a deciding doubles match. She was replaced with Lisicki, who conceivably might not even get on the court with Kerber and Petkovic ahead of her in the expected pecking order. With that in mind, I'll go with the Czechs by a 3-1 score (with the skipping of either the fourth singles, or doubles, match) if Kvitova goes 2-0, or 3-2 should she not go undefeated.

To the victors go the "Ms.Backspin" spoils.

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (WTA $125K Challenger/HC)
13 Final: Van Uytvanck d. Wickmayer
13 Doubles Final: Garcia/Shvedova d. Friedsam/Van Uytvanck
14 Top Seeds: Friedsam/Kumkhum

#7 Q.Wang d. Doi
#3 Sai.Zheng d. Duan
#3 Sai.Zheng d. Q.Wang

...Zheng, my pick in Ningbo, should have taken out Linette in the QF, only to lose a big lead to the Pole and then see HER take the title. Take Two.

LIMOGES, FRANCE (WTA $125K Challenger/HC)
13 Final: =new event=
13 Doubles Final: =new event=
14 Top Seeds: #2 Garcia/#3 Niculescu

Siniakova d. #3 Niculescu
Konjuh d. #9 Mladenovic
Siniakova d. Konjuh

...I likely would have gone with Beck as Siniakova's opponent in the final, but Konjuh upset the #4-seeded German on Monday. So, I'll go with a final that's a rematch of last year's Australian Open girls championship... only with a different winner.

An Aga update...

And, following the recent Backspin tradition, I can't go without a look-in at Sania preparing for her award-accepting close-up...

And delivering a dose of reality to the masses...

Later this week, it's the arrival of the latest edition of the 2014 BSA's -- The Player Award Lists.

Note: Late switch -- it'll be the "Rankings Round-Up" this week instead of the Player Lists.

All for now.


Blogger Diane said...

Sania looks completely awesome. Still makes me sad that that forehand (certainly one of the very best of all time) became so vulnerable and she had to give up singles. What a loss for the tour--in more ways than one. Class act, that one.

So H and H are reunited. Think Safarova and Peng will throw in together, or maybe Hsieh and Peng will reunite? I really liked Safarova and Mladenovic as a team.

Mon Nov 03, 09:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Eric said...

i was always really curious why Hradecka and Hlavackova split to begin with...

Same with Peng and Hsieh...

Genie should take note re: the Sania picture -- that's how you do heavy eyeliner.

Mon Nov 03, 10:12:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Well, at the WTA Finals, Black noted that Mirza & Hsieh were planning on teaming up since Black wasn't sure how much she was going to play next year (and might have another baby). Of course, as the teams get juggled I suppose plans could certainly change.

Based on how she played in Singapore, I'd think Mirza would have many a taker should she be freed up and looking for a regular partner.

You sort of wonder whether Mladenovic will ever "settle down" with a regular partner. She seems to like to spread the wealth, although she has seemed to be teaming up with Babos more and more often (even this week in Limoges).

I may be remembering wrongly, but I think I remember there might have been something last year about Hlavackova wanting to focus more on her singles this year and not wanting to commit to a regular doubles partner in '14. She didn't have a great singles season, though, and now they're back together. Not sure if that's a coincidence or not.

Yeah, I don't quite understand the Hsieh/Peng thing either, especially since it doesn't look as if Peng is looking to play less doubles after her singles success in '14.

Tue Nov 04, 01:46:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, slight change of plans. Rather than the Player Award Lists this week, it'll be the Rankings Round-Up. I can never tell at this time of the year just when the WTA "officially" ends its season, rankings-wise -- after the TOC, or after the last week of WTA 125's (especially this year, with so many "name" players in Limoges). But an article about Serena on the WTA site this weeks says, "The Year-End WTA Rankings are officially out," so I'll go with the Monday numbers.

Tue Nov 04, 12:21:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diane said...

Ah, I forgot about Mirza and Hsieh. But as you say, that could change again.

Tue Nov 04, 12:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Eric said...

Interesting article for you.

Tue Nov 04, 03:35:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Interesting. I don't know about all the "other" stuff Kiefer talked about regarding Lisicki (sounds a bit like the anti-Sharapova comments from Team Russia years ago, actually), but I talked a bit about the whole overlooking a doubles specialist thing in the post.

Naturally, the more tabloidy comments are getting the attention, not the sensible ones about leaving Groenefeld's doubles expertise off the team.

Lisicki would almost seem to only be an "emergency" team member to play singles if Germany suffers one (or two?) injuries to Kerber and/or Petkovic, while the doubles being in play in the tie is something far more likely. Hmmm, maybe MJF spiked Rittner's food so SHE didn't look so bad for doing essentially the same thing with Team USA earlier this year. :)

This whole thing is another reason why I think the FC should adopt the Davis Cup practice of having the doubles match be automatically scheduled as Match #3, meaning the match would always be played AND would always have meaning. Currently, that's not the case in Fed Cup ties as Match #5 (or #4 if the doubles becomes totally meaningless because the singles have already decided the winner, and the teams want to "throw a bone" to the doubles players).

Totally overlooking doubles, which can decide an entire tie, is becoming too common in FC roster-making decisions (Krunic & Team Serbia, anyone?), and that simple rearranging of the match order would make that a thing of the past... not to mention set up some amazingly dramatic singles matches that decide FC ties in future match-ups in the "new" Match #5.

Tue Nov 04, 05:39:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diane said...

I think that players who cheat should refrain from criticizing other players. Even players who earn the critcism. I think that about covers it.

Tue Nov 04, 05:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

I'd forgotten about this.

Tue Nov 04, 06:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger Eric said...

for you

Thu Nov 06, 01:24:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, not totally aware of Kafelnikov's personality, so I'm not sure what to make of that.

If any true ill will was intended, it's the same sort of "bush league" act we've seen from some Russians regarding Sharapova in the past. But, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he might just be making a harmless joke after seeing that photo that some one doctored up. The headline sort of wants to push you in a certain direction, but is it worthy?

Don't want to overact and jump to a conclusion and act as if it's a provocative act, since it might be nothing of the kind.

Thu Nov 06, 12:19:00 PM EST  
Blogger Eric said...

oh yeah, i don't take any of the e-tabloid articles seriously. i just thought the picture was hilarious.

Thu Nov 06, 01:19:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Kind of like that old Kournikova one here. :D

Thu Nov 06, 06:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Eric said...

my take away from both pictures: look how technology has advanced. You used to have to draw! Now you can photoshop.

Thu Nov 06, 10:55:00 PM EST  

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