Wednesday, June 03, 2015

RG.11- A Compton Yankee on King Chatrier's Court *

Hmmm, so should someone just go ahead and start engraving Serena Williams' name on the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen right now? You know, just to save a little time on Saturday.

World #1 Williams' straight sets win over #17-seeded Sara Errani in today's Roland Garros quarterfinal was never really in doubt. The best hope that Errani had was the memory of her performance against Serena in Fed Cup earlier this spring, and the far flung belief that history could repeat itself on this day. On slow clay in Italy in front of a partisan crowd, Errani served for the match against a not-at-her-best Williams playing in just her second '15 match on the surface.

But this was different. Well, sort of, even in April Errani had failed to get the win (though she did win in the deciding doubles vs. Serena later that same day). So, you know, she sort of came in on a wing and prayer... and the wing was broken and the prayer went unanswered.

It was pretty evident throughout that Williams wasn't worried about the diminutive 2012 RG finalist's game, and knew that it was really just a case of getting her own proverbial ducks in order and, maybe more importantly, rounding her game into something resembling a consistent condition if she's going to push her way through two more matches in Paris this week and tick up that "19" on her career slam title counter one more notch to "20." Because, you know, that'd be one better, wouldn't it?

Bedeviled by slow starts in recent rounds, Williams dropped the 1st set in her last three matches (the last time she did that and won all three contests was in 1999, during her first slam run at the U.S. Open as a 17-year old). Serena avoided such a predicament this time. She opened with a hold of serve, then broke Errani to go up 2-0. The Italian got two break point chances a game later, converting her second with a passing shot down the line that Williams could only get a racket on. But after that minor hiccup, echoing U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez's "brilliant" assessment of the tournament, the match was "Serena's to lose."

Williams broke back for 3-1, saved a break point and held for 4-1, then was never troubled again. Errani only reached deuce one more time on the American's final five service games, never holding about BP. Williams served out the 1st set at 6-1, then after six straight holds of serve in the 2nd broke Errani for a 4-3 lead. She aced the Italian to go up 5-3, then finally put away the win on her fourth match point in a six-deuce Errani service game to win 6-3/6-1 in an hour and eight minutes.

"Trivial Americans go to Paris when they die." - Mark Twain

Perhaps that is why Williams is in the City of Light now, while she still has so much life left to live, on court and off.

This will be Williams 27th career slam semifinal, fourth-best all time, as she takes another step toward seeking to be first woman since Jennifer Capriati (2001) to open the season by winning in both Melbourne and Paris, the first since herself (2002-03) to win three consecutive slam titles, to double-up the combination of her two closest competitors (Martina Navratilova and Margaret Court) when it comes to slam wins after age 30, and to join Steffi Graf as the only two players -- male or female -- with at least three wins at all four slams in the Open era.

1969 Margaret Court
1970 Margaret Court
1973 Margaret Court
1988 Steffi Graf
1991 Monica Seles
1992 Monica Seles
2001 Jennifer Capriati

1969-71 Margaret Court
1983-84 Martina Navratilova
1988-89 Steffi Graf
1993-94 Steffi Graf
2002-03 Serena Williams
1972 Billie Jean King
1981-82 Martina Navratilova
1982-83 Chris Evert
1989-90 Steffi Graf
1991-92 Monica Seles
1995 Steffi Graf
1996 Steffi Graf
1997-98 Martina Hingis

6...Serena Williams (2 at 30, 2 at 31, 1 at 32, 1 at 33)
3...Martina Navratilova (2 at 30, 1 at 33)
3...Margaret Court (2 at 30, 1 at 31)
2...Billie Jean King (30 & 31)
2...Chris Evert (30 & 31)
1...Virginia Wade (31)
1...Ann Haydon Jones (30)

"An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven't been done before." - Mark Twain

Well, Serena has a ways to go before her career can fully live up to such a notion... but she's working on it.

In "Spinal Tap" language, Williams didn't quite turn things up to "11" today on Chatrier, but she was closer than she's been this entire tournament.

But, hey, she's got two more rounds to work with. Even "Serenativity" takes practice.

=DAY 11 NOTES= the day's other quarterfinal, Timea Bacsinszky went about once again proving that, sometimes, good things do indeed come to good people. As the Swiss woman has reached unexpected new career heights (titles, "The Queen of Mexico," a Top 20 ranking and now, a slam semifinal berth), she has never ceased to have a ready smile and cheery disposition when it comes to suddenly living out the tennis career that she'd pretty much given up on two years ago.

The most appreciative player of her success in memory, Bacsinszky's joy has been evident solely in her Twitter posts. Seemingly her most telling hashtag throughout her '15? "#LoveMyJob." That is, when it wasn't "#ComebackKid, #NeverTooLate, #WhereIsTheLimit, #Limitless" or some combination of all those and more. She even had a particularly memorable encounter with a reporter a while back.

After early success (a singles title in '09, and a Top 40 ranking), injuries and an abusive relationship with her father/coach essentially sapped Bacsinszky's desire to play and knocked her out of the game. She mostly ranked in the #200's from 2011-13, and had decided to pursue a post-tennis career in hotel management two years ago before she was informed via an automated message that she was ranked high enough to attempt to qualify for Roland Garros in the spring of '13. Deciding to give it one last try, she took time off to train. She lost her first match in Paris, but the process provided the spark that reignited the love of the game that she'd grown up with.

Flashforward to today, and the biggest surprise of the 2015 season was in Paris once again, only this time she was the #23 seed in the woman's draw handing fellow first-time slam quarterfinalist Alison Van Uytvanck a 6-4/7-5 defeat to become the first Swiss woman to reach the RG semifinals since 2001 (Bacsinszky's Fed Cup teammate and Hall of Famer Martina Hingis), and the first to go so far in any slam since 2004 (Patty Schnyder in the AO).

After getting out to a quick two-break lead at 3-0 in the 1st, the Belgian tightened things considerably the rest of the way, but Bacsinszky more than rose to the occasion, firing 39 winners and bringing a smile to everyone who couldn't help but be happy that she'll go forward in the draw. Sheesh... maybe even Van Uytvanck herself.

As for the secret to her success? Well, maybe it's the ability to keep things light. Where some players are a bundle of energy on game day, let alone the biggest single day of her career, Bacsinszky was posting this hours before she took the court for her QF match:

Share a smile? Bacsinszky makes it far easier than most, if not all.

"It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them." - Mark Twain

Timea doesn't have to worry about that. She's now got BOTH ends of the equation covered.

Who knows, maybe she'll even bring things full circle one day and open a hotel in Paris. She could "Chez Bacsinszky." Surely she'd only hire the most agreeable French employees, right? the last two women's doubles semifinals, Lucie Safarova's crazygoodshelovesitsomuch trip to Paris continued as she and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (#7 seeds) knocked off the #1 Dream Team Duo of Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, who served for the 1st set but ultimately lost in straights 7-5/6-2. Ah, but which team really IS the "Dream Team?"

This loss drops Hingis/Mirza to 21-4 since they teamed for the first time a few months into the season. Their losses have come to Martic/Vogt (after Hingis & Mirza rushed back from Fed Cup week, which included two singles matches that left Hingis tired and limping... so that one gets an asterisk), Babos/Mladenovic and Mattek-Sands/Safarova (now twice!). So maybe the REAL dream team is the latter duo? BMS & Safarova first teamed at the Australian Open, and they won the title. They're a combined 18-3 with losses to Olaru/Savchuk, Dellacqua/Shvedova (who are in the RG semis) and, hmmm, Babos/Mladenovic. So as the only team with wins over BOTH teams, might longtime friends Timea & Kiki -- tied with Hingis/Mirza for the tour lead w/ three titles in '15 -- ACTUALLY be the "Dream Team" of 2015. Not yet, yet they're at least building a mid-season case for later inspection.

The numbers surely say it's a three-team race:

3 - Hingis/Mirza (2 hard, 1 green clay)
3 - Babos/Mladenovic (1 hard, 2 red clay)
2 - Mattek-Sands/Safarova (1 hard, 1 red clay)
=MOST TITLES - INDIVIDUALS (doubles/mixed)=
5 - Hingis (4/1)
4 - Mirza (4/0)
3 - Mattek-Sands (3/0)
3 - Babos (3/0)
3 - Mladenovic (3/0)
2 - Bonaventure (2/0)
2 - HC.Chan (2/0)
2 - Liang (2/0)
2 - Medina-Garrigues (2/0)
#1 - Mirza
#2 - Hingis
#3t - Errani
#3t - Vinci
#5 - Mladenovic
#1 - Hingis/Mirza
#2 - Mattek-Sands/Safarova
#3 - Babos/Mladenovic
#4 - Makarova/Vesnina
#5 - Garcia/Srebotnik mixed, the Mattek-ification of this Roland Garros continued as Bethanie & Mike Bryan advanced to the final with a win over Katarina Srebotnik & Horia Tecau. Srebotnik, a three-time RG Mixed champion, was looking for her sixth career Mixed slam title, which would have tied her for third on the women's Open era list with Margaret Court, behind only Martina Navratilova (10) and Billie Jean King (7). She'll have another shot at Wimbledon, though, the only title she needs to complete her Career Mixed Slam. Meanwhile, Mattek-Sands is still in the running for two more 2015 slam titles to go along with the one she took home from Melbourne (she also won the AO Mixed in '12).

Lucie Hradecka, as well, can still sweep the doubles titles in Paris. BMS will have a big hand in whether or not the Czech pulls it off (and vice versa), though, as Mattek-Sands/Safarova will meet Hlavackova/Hradecka in the doubles semis, while BMS/M.Bryan take on Hradecka/Marcin Matkowski in the mixed final. the juniors, three of the top four seeded girls have reached the quarterfinals. The only nation with more than one player remaining is the U.S., with Bannerettes Katerina Stewart (#3) and CiCi Bellis (#4) still alive.

So far, the USTA hasn't lobbied to have Louisa Chirico replace Stewart in what's left of the draw... buy maybe we should cross our fingers and toes (just to be sure) in hopes that Katerina gets her chance.

Today, #12-seeded Spaniard Paula Badosa Gibert eliminated the last Canadian standing in any of the Roland Garros draws, #6 Charlotte Robillard-Millette. Bellis, a day after saving a match point, defeated #13-seeded Czech Miriam Kolodziejova, while Stewart took out Hordette Anna Blinkova, the #14 seed. Elsewhere, Junior Swiss Miss Jil Teichmann took out #8 Brit Katie Swan (the AO jr. RU), #16 Anna Kalinskaya (the last Russian standing) defeated American Caroline Dolehide, and Hungary's Fanni Stollar defeated Spain's Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov. German Katharinka Hobgarski, who last week won the junior Grade A Astrid Bowl in Belgium, advanced, as well, and will face top-seeded Maiden Marketa Vondrousova.

In the boys singles, four of the final eight are Americans, including #2 Harry Taylor Fritz (six-foot-five), #6 Michael Mmoh (a measely six-foot-one), #13 Tommy Paul (ditto) and unseeded, six-foot-ten 17-year old Reilly Opelka. Opelka swept the final four games to defeat #1-seeded Brazilian Orlando Luz in three sets today.

Meanwhile, the Tessah Andrianjafitrimo Watch officially ended on Day 11, as the #2-seeded duo of Sonya Kenin & Katie Swan defeated the Pastry (w/ Aussie Seone Mendez) to reach the girls doubles QF.

...the wheelchair competition is underway, and all four women who've won slam singles titles in the post-Vergeer era are alive in the semifinals.

Two-time slam champ #1 Yui Kamiji, who came up a loss in the AO final in January short of concurrently holding all seven grand slam WC titles, will face two-time champ Aniek Van Koot (NED). Japan's Kamiji defeated Van Koot in the finals of both RG and the U.S. Open last year, as well as in three slam doubles finals, then she and Jordanne Whiley (GBR) won their fifth straight slam crown in Melbourne, defeating Van Koot and Jiske Griffioen in that final, as well.

#2 Griffioen (NED) was the player who defeated Kamiji in the AO singles final to claim her first major singles crown, and she'll face two-time slam winner Sabine Ellerbrock (GER) in the other semi.

If Kamiji and Griffioen both advance to the final it'll be their fifth meeting in the last five slams. Kamiji won in their three semifinal match-ups in '14 before the Dutch woman took their contest in the Melbourne final.

Griffioen & Van Koot, who swept the majors to win a Doubles Grand Slam in 2013, have reached the WC doubles final. Kamiji/Whiley, who've won the five slams since the Dutch team's run, will play their semi tomorrow.


So, just how loud will the talk of a Grand Slam get if Djokovic wins this title... and would it be louder than the same discussion if Serena wins this weekend, as well? Forget about the Open era, it's only happened in men's OR women's tennis six times EVER. And it's never happened twice in the same season.

1938 Don Budge
1953 Maureen Connolly
1962 Rod Laver
1969 Rod Laver
1970 Margaret Court
1988 Steffi Graf ("Golden Slam")

Playing for history... and a whole lot of it.

...LIKE FROM DAY 11: And this shot happened, too.


...POST-HENIN DAY NOTE FROM DAY 11: Kim Clijsters finally won a title at Roland Garros.

Hmmm, does that count as maintaining "good will toward Kim?" Hey, she's STILL the all-time Backspin MVP. (Man, that honor comes in handy sometimes, doesn't it?) She and Martina won the Legends Doubles in Paris last year... that's actually what that picture is from.

(Darn facts ruining my good natured jabs at the Belgian Barbie.)

They could still win it again this time around, too.

...FED CUP 2016 DRAWS FROM DAY 11: The match-ups are now set for February.

=World Group 1st Rd.=
Netherlands at Russia
Switzerland at Germany

The Swarmettes' chances for a 2016 FC title have a potentially huge 1st Round roadblock.

But the Czech roster hasn't been fully stocked in the 1st Round the last few years, but no team has been able to take advantage of that fact. Maybe Romania can? Well, there... now I've made it a certainly that the Maidens will go with Kvitova, Safarova, Pliskova and (take your pick out of a great group).

Oh, and this one...

That should be fun.

=World Group II 1st Rd.=
Spain at Serbia (the Serbs REALLY might need The Bracelet for that one)
Belarus at Canada (would she even dare show up? Or NOT show up? Which would be the worse decision, anyway? Hmmm.)
Australia at Slovak Republic (away from home is usually the Aussies' best bet for success)


Obviously, Team USA should beware the... Captain's roster-making decisions.

...QUESTION FROM DAY 11: Where's Stan????

...LIKE FROM DAY 11: Maybe Maria needs "a spoonful of Sugar(pova)" to make her dream come true?

So this was the other day when Paris was rainy and grey. Secretly my type of weather. If only I could fly...

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on

...and, finally, in case you missed it...

And since we're talking about Li, one has to wonder...

#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #23 Timea Bacsinszky/SUI
#7 Ana Ivanovic/SRB vs. #13 Lucie Safarova/CZE

#1 Novak Djokovic/SRB vs. #3 Andy Murray/GBR
#14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/FRA vs. #8 Stan Wawrinka/SUI

#7 Mattek-Sands/Safarova (USA/CZE) vs. #9 Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE)
#12 Dellacqua/Shvedova (AUS/KAZ) vs. #2 Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS)

#1 Bryan/Bryan (USA/USA) vs. #6 Bolelli/Fognini (ITA/ITA)
#3 Dodig/Melo (CRO/BRA) vs. #5 Rojer/Tecau (NED/ROU)

Hradecka/Matkowski (CZE/POL) vs. #2 Mattek-Sands/M.Bryan (USA/USA)

#1 Marketa Vondrousova/CZE vs. Katharina Hobgarski/GER
#3 Katerina Stewart/USA vs. #12 Paula Badosa Gibert/ESP
Jil Teichmann/SUI vs. #4 CiCi Bellis/USA
Fanni Stollar/HUN vs. #16 Anna Kalinskaya/RUS

Reilly Opelka/USA vs. #6 Michael Mmoh/USA
#13 Tommy Paul/USA vs. Manuel Pena Lopez/ARG
Juan Pablo Ficovich/ARG vs. #4 Corentin Denolly/FRA
#10 Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera/CHI #2 Taylor Harry Fritz/USA

#1 Kolodziejova/Vondrousova (CZE/CZE) vs. Di Lorenzo/Stefani (USA/BRA)
Teichmann/S.Xu (SUI/CHN) vs. #7 Yadlapalli/W.Zheng (IND/CHN)
#6 Dolehide/Stewart (USA/USA) vs. #5 Galfi/Stollar (HUN/HUN)
#5 Arconada/Podoroska (USA/ARG) vs. #2 Kenin/Swan (USA/GBR)

#1 Fritz/Luz (USA/BRA) vs. Sandkaulen/Valkusz (GER/HUN)
#3 Mmoh/Santillan (USA/JPN) vs. Lopez San Martin/Munar (ESP/ESP)
Madaras/Wessels (ROU/GER) vs. #4 Blumberg/Paul (USA/USA)
Denolly/Nikles (FRA/SUI) vs. Capaldo/Espin Busleiman (ARG/ARG)

#1 Yui Kamiji/JPN vs. Aniek Van Koot/NED
Sabine Ellerbrock/GER vs. #2 Jiske Griffioen/NED

#1 Shingo Kunieda/JPN vs. Maikel Scheffers/NED
Nicolas Peifer/FRA vs. #2 Stephane Houdet/FRA

x vs. #2 Griffioen/Van Koot (NED/NED)

x vs. #2 Kunieda/Reid (JPN/GBR)

Next goal: the Danish Olympic track team???

Had the whole stadium to myself this morning! 7am track session! Gotta love it!

A photo posted by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) on


A photo posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

[by career slam SF]
27 - Serena Williams
5 - Ana Ivanovic
2 - Lucie Safarova
1 - Timea Bacsinszky
[by career RG SF]
4 - Serena Williams
3 - Ana Ivanovic
1 - Timea Bacsinszky
1 - Lucie Safarova
[consecutive slam SF]
2 - Serena Williams
[consecutive RG SF]
[WTA most career slam SF - active]
19...Venus Williams (14-5)
19...Maria Sharapova (10-9)
7...Victoria Azarenka (4-3)
6...Jelena Jankovic (1-5)
5...Svetlana Kuznetsova (4-1)
5...ANA IVANOVIC (3-1)
5...Petra Kvitova (2-3)
5...Caroline Wozniacki (2-3)
4...Samantha Stosur (2-2)
4...Vera Zvonareva (2-2)
[WTA most slam SF since 2010]
9...Maria Sharapova (6-3)
7...Victoria Azarenka (4-3)
6...Li Na (4-2)-ret.
5...Petra Kvitova (2-3)
4...Caroline Wozniacki (1-3)
[WTA Slam SF since 2010 - by nation]
[2015 Slam SF "Grand Slam Master List" rankings]
#1 - Serena Williams (AO/RG)
#2 - Maria Sharapova (AO)
#9 - Ana Ivanovic (RG)
#11 - Ekaterina Makarova (AO)
#20 - Lucie Safarova (RG)
#24 - Madison Keys (AO)
#76 - Timea Bacsinszky (RG)
[2015 Slam SF]
2...Serena Williams
1...Bacsinszky, Ivanovic, Keys, Makarova, Safarova, Sharapova
[2015 First-Time Slam SF]
AO - Madison Keys, USA
RG - Timea Bacsinszky, SUI
[2015 Slam SF - by nation]
[2015 WTA SF]
6...Simona Halep (2-3+W)
5...Maria Sharapova (3-1+L)
4...Caroline Wozniacki (3-1)
4...Carla Suarez-Navarro (3-1)
4...Karolina Pliskova (3-1)
4...Angelique Kerber (2-1+L)
[Players w/ "Career SF Slam" - active; when completed]
Victoria Azarenka, BLR - 2013 RG (30th slam)
Maria Sharapova, RUS - 2007 RG (18th)
Serena Williams, USA - 2003 AO (18th)
Venus Williams, USA - 2001 AO (15th)

52...Chris Evert
44...Martina Navratilova
37...Steffi Graf
27...Serena Williams #
21...Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
19...Evonne Goolagong
19...Martina Hingis
19...Maria Sharapova #
19...Venus Williams #

2006: Henin-Hardenne (W) - Kuznetsova (RU) - Clijsters/Vaidisova
2007: Henin (W) - Ivanovic (RU) - Jankovic/Sharapova
2008: Ivanovic (W) - Safina (RU) - Jankovic/Kuznetsova
2009: Kuznetsova (W) - Safina (RU) - Stosur/Cibulkova
2010: Schiavone (W) - Stosur (RU) - Dementieva/Jankovic
2011: Li (W) - Schiavone (RU) - Bartoli/Sharapova
2012: Sharapova (W) - Errani (RU) - Kvitova/Stosur
2013: S.Williams (W) - Sharapova (RU) - Azarenka/Errani
2014: Sharapova (W) - Halep (RU) - Bouchard/Petkovic
2015: Bacsinszky, Ivanovic, Safarova, S.Williams

unseeded...Clarisa Fernandez, 2002
unseeded...Nadia Petrova, 2003
#30...Samantha Stosur, 2009
#28...Andrea Petkovic, 2014
#23...Timea Bacsinszky, 2015
#21...Sara Errani, 2012 (RU)
#21...Mary Pierce, 2005 (W)
#20...Dominika Cibulkova, 2009
#18...Eugenie Bouchard, 2014
#17...Francesca Schiavone, 2010 (W)
#16...Elena Likhovtseva, 2005
#16...Nicole Vaidisova, 2006
#14...Paola Suarez, 2004
#14...Justine Henin, 2001
#13...Dinara Safina, 2008
#13...Lucie Safarova, 2015
#12...Kim Clijsters, 2001
#11...Marion Bartoli, 2011
#10...Justine Henin, 2005 (W)

2006 Nicole Vaidisova, CZE
2007 Justine Henin, BEL *
2008 Ana Ivanovic, SRB *
2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS *
2010 Samantha Stosur, AUS
2011 Li Na, CHN *
2012 Samantha Stosur, AUS
2013 Serena Williams, USA *
2014 Genie Bouchard, CAN
2015 Lucie Safarova, CZE
* - won title

2006 Roland Garros QF (c) - Nadal 2-0 - Djokovic ret.
2007 Indian Wells F (h) - Nadal 2-0
2007 Miami QF (h) - Djokovic 2-0
2007 Rome QF (c) - Nadal 2-0
2007 Roland Garros SF (c) - Nadal 3-0
2007 Wimbledon SF (g) - Nadal 1-1 - Djokovic ret.
2007 Montreal SF (h) - Djokovic 2-0
2007 Masters Cup RR (h) - Nadal 2-0
2008 Indian Wells SF (h) - Djokovic 2-0
2008 Hamburg SF (c) - Nadal 2-1
2008 Roland Garros SF (c) - Nadal 3-0
2008 London F (g) - Nadal 2-0 (7-6/7-5)
2008 Cincinnati SF (h) - Djokovic 2-0
2008 Beijing SF (h) - Nadal 2-1
2009 Davis Cup 1st (c) - Nadal 2-1
2009 Monte Carlo F (c) - Nadal 2-1
2009 Rome F (c) - Nadal 2-0
2009 Madrid SF (c) - Nadal 2-1 (3-6/7-6/7-6[11], Djok 3 MP)
2009 Cincinnati SF (h) - Djokovic 2-0
2009 Paris SF (h) - Djokovic 2-0
2009 Masters Cup RR (h) - Djokovic 2-0
2010 US Open F (h) - Nadal 3-1
2010 ATP Finals RR (h) - Nadal 2-0
2011 Indian Wells F (h) - Djokovic 2-1
2011 Miami F (h) - Djokovic 2-1
2011 Madrid F (c) - Djokovic 2-0 (ends Nadal 37-con clay)
2011 Rome F (c) - Djokovic 2-0 (Djokovic 7 con. titles)
2011 Wimbledon F (g) - Djokovic 3-1 (ends Nadal 20-con Wimb.)
2011 US Open F (h) - Djokovic 3-1
2012 Australian Open F (h) - Djokovic 3-2 (GS F record 5:53)
2012 Monte Carlo F (r) - Nadal 2-0 (8 con. M.C. titles)
2012 Rome F (c) - Nadal 2-0
2012 Roland Garros F (c) - Nadal 3-1 (no "NoleSlam")
2013 Monte Carlo F (c) - Djokovic 2-0 (ends Nadal MC streak)
2013 Roland Garros SF (c) - Nadal 3-2 (Nadal 2nd 5-set RG; 9-7 5th)
2013 Montreal SF (h) - Nadal 2-1
2013 US Open F (h) - Nadal 3-1
2013 Beijing F (h) - Djokovic 2-0 (Nadal replaces as #1)
2013 ATP Finals F (h) - Djokovic 2-0 (22 con. wins)
2014 Miami F (h) - Djokovic 2-0 (1:24)
2014 Rome F (c) - Djokovic 2-1
2014 Roland Garros F (c) - Nadal 3-2 (9th RG)
2015 Monte Carlo SF (c) - Djokovic 2-0
2015 Roland Garros QF (c) - Djokovic 3-0 (ends Nadal 39-con. RG wins, 5-con. titles)
OVERALL: Nadal 23-21
CLAY: Nadal 13-6
SLAMS: Nadal 9-4

41 - Bjorn Borg, Wimbledon 1976-81
40 - Roger Federer, Wimbledon 2003-08
40 - Roger Federer, US Open 2004-09
39 - Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2010-15
31 - Pete Sampras, Wimbledon 1993-96
31 - Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2005-09

TOP QUALIFIER: Veronica Cepede Royg/PAR
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #11 Angelique Kerber/GER
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #13 Lucie Safarova/CZE
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q1: Wang Yafan/CHN d. #15 Richel Hogenkamp/NED 2-6/7-6(7)/8-6 (saved 4 MP)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2nd Rd. - Francesca Schiavone/ITA d. #18 Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS 6-7(11)/7-5/10-8 (3:49; saved MP; third-longest RG match)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 4th Rd. - #1 Serena Williams/USA d. Sloane Stephens/USA 1-6/7-5/6-3
FIRST VICTORY: (Q) Teliana Pereira/BRA (def. WC Ferro/FRA)
FIRST SEED OUT: #31 Caroline Garcia/FRA (lost 1st Rd. to Vekic/CRO)
REVELATION LADIES: The New Australians
NATION OF POOR SOULS: United States (most players in draw w/ 17, but tied for 4th w/ just 4 1st Round winners)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Lourdes Dominguez-Lino/ESP, Paula Kania/POL, Sesil Karatantcheva/BUL, Teliana Pereira/BRA (2nd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Virginie Razzano/FRA & Amandine Hesse/FRA (2nd Rd.)
LAST PASTRY STANDING: Alize Cornet (4th Rd.)
MADEMOISELLE/MADAM OPPORTUNITY: Timea Bacsinszky/SUI & Alison Van Uytvanck/BEL (play for spot in first slam SF)
IT "??": (Swarmette) Andreea Mitu/ROU (last Romanian standing)
COMEBACK PLAYER: #7 Ana Ivanovic/SRB (1st RG QF since '08 title)
CRASH & BURN: #2 Simona Halep/ROU (lost 2r to Lucic-Baroni/CRO)
ZOMBIE QUEEN: #19 Elina Svitolina/UKR (2nd Rd. vs. Putintseva - down 6-1/3-0, then 4-1 in 3rd; won 9-7 deciding set)
JOIE DE VIVRE: Francesca Schiavone/ITA
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: Mattek-Sands/USA, Hradecka/CZE, Kamiji/Whiley (JPN/GBR), Dellacqua/Shvedova (AUS/KAZ), Vondrousova/Kolodziejova (CZE/CZE), Griffioen/Van Koot (NED/NED)
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Nominees: Vondrousova/CZE, Stewart/USA, Vondrousova/Kolodziejova (CZE/CZE)

* - a nod to Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)

...born Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910). American author, lecturer and humorist. Writer of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Twain's writing and large personality made him a public figure and, ultimately, an American icon. A renowned traveler, Twain entertained fans around the world with his opinionated wit.

All for Day 11. More tomorrow.


Blogger Zidane said...

"most agreeable French [Paris] employees": my [non-Parisian] French friend would tell you this is an oxymoron. He literally couldn't believe it when I mentioned him I had spent 45 minutes for a train reservation in Paris and actually had a good time chatting with the employee who had to deal with my complicated train journey. He then shared this anecdote to his other friends, who couldn't believe it either.

Also, what kind of Scrabble does the BBC play? Z + K + Y = 30 points, not counting the rest. Y + K + Vx2 + C = 31 points, not counting the rest.

Wed Jun 03, 06:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Ha! I know, that's why it "sort of" was said with an implied raised eyebrow... but not totally, since I figured if such a species exists Bacsinszky could likely find a FEW examples to put on display to the public. :)

Wed Jun 03, 07:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

I was in Paris only once, for 2 weeks, amd everyone I encountered was lovely and helpful. That's the only impression I have.

Wed Jun 03, 10:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Oh, well. I guess it's all right to use longtime stereotypes for an occasional chuckle. Either way, I'm sure Timea could bring out the best. :)

Wed Jun 03, 10:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zidane said...

I had a similar experience, Diane. However, I think part of this is because I used English as a first language for most of my stay in France (although not for that specific train reservation anecdote). As Eric hinted the other day: after one day of using French, I realized that it was, sadly enough, simpler.

Wed Jun 03, 10:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

I remember the Parisian sites vividly...the Louvre, Versaille, the Eiffel Tower...I was in high school. I remember people telling me that I should pretend I was from Asia and not from America. This was a year or so after 9/11...era of the Freedom Fries (that might have been a Midwestern/Hick think)...

I just remember the French people smoking a lot and kissing a lot. And that there was not an ice cube to be found.

Thu Jun 04, 12:23:00 AM EDT  

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