Wk.8- A Cat in a Hat is Worth Two in the Backcourt
In Doha, the cats were on a perpetual "hot tin roof..."
Cat on the loose! ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/teFmr8CNJM— WTA (@WTA) February 24, 2016
So this just happened at Mladenovic-Strycova. A let had to be played on MP because a... cat... came on court. Then Strycova sealed the win.— Abe Kuijl (@AbeKuijl) February 22, 2016
Not just once, either. To the point where a "Cat Point" became a thing.
causing a catastrophe like pic.twitter.com/rk7D5voj04— WTA Reactions (@WTAreactions) February 24, 2016
Why, it was enough to even put an Italian on edge (before a certain Pole came along and pushed her over it, of course).
Meanwhile, in Acapulco, the Future got a little bit closer...
Talk about a "cat in a hat"...
*WEEK 8 CHAMPIONS*
DOHA, QATAR (Premier $2.517m; HCO)
S: Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP def. Jelena Ostapenko/LAT 1-6/6-4/6-4
D: Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE/TPE) d. Sara Errani/Carla Suarez-Navarro (ITA/ESP) 6-3/6-3
ACAPULCO, MEXICO (Int'l $227K; HCO)
S: Sloane Stephens/USA def. Dominika Cibulkova/SVK 6-4/4-6/7-6(5)
D: Anabel Medina-Garrigues/Arantxa Parra-Santonja (ESP/ESP) d. Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson (NED/SWE) 6-0/6-4
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP
...CSN failed to win a singles title in 2015, but her early-season success included runs to finals in Antwerp, Miami and Rome and a career-high ranking of #8 in May. She perhaps suffered for all the work in the back-half of the season, though, as she limped across the finish line with a 6-13 slump that included an eight-match losing streak from June into September. Last week in Doha, the Spaniard at least took care of a bit of that unfinished business, winning just her second tour singles title (she'd been 1-8 in finals), and her first since 2014 in Oeiras. Suarez-Navarro's impressive week -- which also included a trip to the doubles final with Sara Errani -- included wins over Timea Bacsinszky, Elena Vesnina, Aga Radwanska (2 & love) and Jelena Ostapenko in a three-set final secured by CSN after having gotten off to a slow start while dropping the 1st set to the teenager by a 6-1 score. She jumps back into the Top 10 this week from #11, all the way up to a NEW career-high of #6.
It's only right to live a trophy life ?? pic.twitter.com/zjU4nhbwkC— Sloane Stephens (@SloaneStephens) February 28, 2016
RISERS: Sloane Stephens/USA and Zheng Saisai/CHN
...while much of the talk at the start of the season when it came to pupil/coach combos centered on Muguruza/Sumyk and Halep/Cahill, the new duo that has risen to the top of the conversation as a result of actual success -- unlike the other two -- is Sloane Stephens' pairing with Kamau Murray. In their first event together, Stephens grabbed her second career title without dropping a set in Auckland. While her Australian Open didn't go quite as well as she would have liked, Stephens went into Acapulco last week and grabbed career title #3 in her third appearance in a tour singles title. After surviving a three-set 1st Round encounter with Louisa Chirico in which she dropped the opener, Stephens reeled off nine straight sets over Chirico, Olga Govortsova, Naomi Osaka, Yanina Wickmayer and Dominika Cibulkova in the final to take a one set advantage over the Slovak veteran. As it turned out, Stephens was forced to go three sets in the championship match, but she came through with flying colors in the clutch, winning a tight contest in a 3rd set tie-break to run her '16 season record to 11-1, become the first woman to win two singles titles and inch just a little closer (going from #24 to #23) to rejoining the Top 20 after a two-plus season quest for consistency following her '13 Australian Open semifinal result. As it's turned out, "second chance" success has bred only more of the same since Stephens raced to her maiden tour title last summer in Washington. Before that event, she'd been 0-6 in career tour semis. Since then, she's gone a combined 6-0 in semis AND finals. Now she's secured more career singles titles than the likes of Belinda Bencic, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Garcia and fellow AO semifinalists Genie Bouchard and Madison Keys, and has equaled the total of Elina Svitolina. Next stop...?
SURPRISE: Cagla Buyukakcay/TUR
...since the breakout Heart Award-winning 2015 Fed Cup performance in which she put up career-best wins over Heather Watson and Elina Svitolina, 26-year old Buyukakcay had already registered additional victories over the likes of Alexandra Dulgheru, Klara Koukalova, Ana Konjuh and Julia Glushko BEFORE last week. Now, three straight Top 160 season finishes are already being looked to be trumped (small "T") by the Turk in '16, as her Week 8 3rd Round run included yet another career breakthrough, including a 1st Round victory over Lucie Hradecka and a career-best upset of world #12 and defending Doha champ Lucie Safarova in the Czech's long-awaited return to action. Buyukakcay's result lifts her from #162 to #128 this week, just twenty spots behind the career-high (#108) she reached last February.
VETERANS: Anabel Medina-Garrigues/Arantxa Parra-Santonja (ESP/ESP), Andrea Petkovic/GER and Aga Radwanska/POL
...the all-33 year old Spanish combo of AMG & APS claimed the doubles crown in Acapulco, winning their second title as a duo in their fifth final together over the past year. They'd lost in three straight final appearances before defeating Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson in straight sets in the championship match. Medina-Garrigues now has twenty-six career WTA doubles crowns, while Parra-Santonja has nine.
Petkovic, a week after notching Dubai wins over Camila Giorgi and Jelena Jankovic en route to the QF, followed up with a Doha SF run that included victories over Ekaterina Makarova, CoCo Vandeweghe and Garbine Muguruza. Unfortunately, the German's nice stretch ended via retirement in her semi vs. Jelena Ostapenko due to the upper leg injury (not knee or ankle, thankfully) that began to noticeably bother her around the time she'd taken a 5-1 1st set lead (and held a SP). From that point, Petko lost seven straight games before finally being forced to throw in the towel after meekly dropping serve to open the 2nd set.
Meanwhile, one of the few exceptions to the burning dumpster fire that has been the WTA Top 10 in recent weeks has been Radwanska. For the past seven months, the Pole has been the model of consistency. With yet another semifinal result in Doha, the world #3 has put up W-1st-SF-W-W-W-SF-SF results since the U.S. Open. Beginning with the start of the grass court season last summer, she's gone 49-12, reached two slam semis and won the WTA Finals title. If she'd been able to win last week in Doha she'd have moved past Angelique Kerber into the #2 ranking, but after previous wins over Kateryna Bondarenko and Monica Niculescu, then a time capsule-worthy, clinic-in-amazing-shotmaking victory over Roberta Vinci, A-Rad's level of play was quite a few levels below normal in her semifinal loss to CSN.
COMEBACKS: Dominika Cibulkova/SVK and Elena Vesnina/RUS
...'15 Achilles surgery has caused Cibulkova's return to the top of the game to take some time. The '14 Australian Open finalist finished that year at #11, but fell to #38 a season ago because of her injury layoff. She arrived in Acapulco last week ranked #66, but rode a resurgent wave into her first final since winning the very same Acapulco event title in '14 a month after her runner-up result in Melbourne. Cibulkova opened with a double-bagel win over Lourdes Dominguez-Lino, then received a walkover from top-seeded Vika Azarenka before defeating Johanna Larsson and Christina McHale to advance to her twelfth career final, where she lost to Sloane Stephens in a 3rd set tie-break. The run only lifts her ranking to #57 this week, though.
Meanwhile, Vesnina qualified in Doha with wins over Ons Jabeur and Naomi Broady, then pulled off MD upsets of Simona Halep (from 7-6/4-1 down) and Caroline Wozniacki (3 sets) to reach her first Premier QF since 2013. In doubles, she and Daria Kasatkina (who teamed to win the Kremlin Cup last fall) ended the 41-match winning streak of Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza to reach the semifinals. The run lifts Vesnina's singles ranking back into the Top 100. The Russian's #111 finish last season brought to an end her nine-year run of Top 100 finishes.
FRESH FACES: Jelena Ostapenko/LAT and Elena Ruse/ROU
...18-year old Ostapenko finally looks to have managed to escape the short-term dark shadow of her controversial Week 1 debacle against Naomi Broady in Auckland, an incident characterized, depending on how you look at it, either by an immature and frustrated reaction on Ostapenko's part after losing a big lead or a vast overreaction in the case of the Brit after the Latvian wasn't defaulted for "throwing"/"letting slip" a racket that hit a ball kid. Or both. And that's not even addressing the post-match confrontation. At any rate, the teenager now looks to have re-assumed the role of "rising star" that she began to fill late last season. In Doha, the #88-ranked Ostapenko arrived thinking she'd have to play qualifying (where Broady lost, by the way), but enough players withdrew to get her into the main draw, where she knocked off Zarina Diyas before notching the biggest win of her career in the 2nd Round over Petra Kvitova (the teenager's second career Top 10 victory), then following that up by knocking out Zheng Saisai and outlasting a retiring Andrea Petkovic to reach her second WTA singles final ('15 Quebec City). After taking the opening set from Carla Suarez-Navarro, Ostapenko proceeded to allow her maiden title to slip gradually away after dropping back-to-back 6-4 sets. Still, she rises to #42 on Monday, having already reached her 2016 season objective of reaching the Top 50 before the calendar has even been flipped over to March.
For the second straight week, 18-year old Swarmette Ruse swept the singles and doubles titles at a $10K challenger in Antalya, Turkey. Ruse just broke into the Top 500 last week, and her third ITF title since December -- which included a three-set win in this weekend's final over Slovenia's Nina Potocnik -- will serve to give her even more momentum as she heads off into the spring
DOWN: Petra Kvitova/CZE, Simona Halep/ROU, Kristina Mladenovic/FRA and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova/SVK
...yep, this category is packed once again. Kvitova, for one, at least opened up nicely in Doha with a dominating win over countrywoman and Dubai finalist Barbora Strycova (her 18th straight win over fellow Czechs), but then she yet again returned one round later to turn a 1st set victory over #88 Jelena Ostapenko into another disheartening three-set defeat in which she won just three total games in the final two sets. Kvitova, 2-6 in '16 (and 6-12 since the U.S. Open) falls to #9 in the new rankings.
HALEP— Fabio Valente (@FabioValenteTNN) February 23, 2016
From 7-6,4-1 up, Simona lost to Vesnina 7-6,4-6,1-6 in #Doha…
Not to be outdone, Doha #2-seed Halep lost to another player ranked outside the Top 100 (her third such loss in the past year, with another vs. a #98), falling to Elena Vesnina despite having held a 7-6/4-1 lead. The Romanian dropped eleven of the final twelve games, once again making it very easy to question her decision to indefinitely postpone nasal surgery because she was "playing well" (though the whole basis of that notion was a Fed Cup win over a badly stumbling Kvitova, so make of that what you will), as well as to bring in Darren Cahill as her full-time coach, as the "official" change of their relationship status hasn't exactly shown to have had the slightest positive impact on the Romanian's results. Her slide could pick up even more steam in the next few weeks as her '15 results in Indian Wells (W) and Miami (SF) are set to be defended. Or lost. With five losses in her last six matches, Halep falls to #5 this week.
Meanwhile, because they simply aren't doing enough to continue to be be exempt from this category, Schmiedlova's 1st Round loss in Doha to Yulia Putintseva drops her to 1-5 in WTA action this season, with all five defeats coming in straight sets. Her only "W", as well as her one Fed Cup victory, came in a match in which she had to come back from a set down to get the win (so she's lucky she's not 0-8). Even with her atrocious start, though, she's only dropped to #30 from her '15 season-ending rank of #26. So far. Meanwhile, Mladenovic's poor serving put her into an immediate 5-0 hole in her 1st Round Doha match vs. Strycova. She rebounded somewhat to avoid a whitewash, but she still lost 6-3/6-4 to fall to 3-6 on the season in WTA play (she's also 1-1 in FC). Days after dropping the Dubai doubles final, Kiki & Caroline Garcia lost their opening match in Doha, as well.
ITF PLAYERS: Kristyna Pliskova/CZE and Zhang Shuai/CHN
...at least one of the Pliskova twins is seeing progress. And it's not Karolina, who lost 1 & 1 in the 1st Round in Doha to Margarita Gasparyan. Instead, it's Kristyna, who won the $50K challenger in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland to grab her ninth career ITF crown, defeating Swiss Amra Sadikovic 7-6(4)/7-6(3) in the final. Holding to form, the Czech's huge serve led her charge to the title, as she put in consecutive ace totals of 12, 10, 15, 12 and 19 through each round of the tournament.
Hmmm, well, mission accomplished, I guess. I'm not sure what business #67-ranked, Australian Open quarterfinalist Zhang Shaui had playing a $25K challenger in Rancho Santa Fe (in southern California) this past week rather than taking part in one of the TWO WTA events on the schedule (including one in Mexico), but she at least made her efforts not a TOTAL waste of time, picking up the title in a 1-6/7-5/6-4 victory in the final over Vania King, who'd had five GP opportunities to take a 6-1/4-1 lead in the match. It's the 27-year old Chinese vet's seventeenth career ITF singles crown (she's also claimed single WTA and WTA 125 events in her career). Of some note, King has never won an ITF singles title, with her only pro singles crown (to go along with her combined nineteen doubles titles) being a tour-level win in Bangkok in 2006 when she was just 17.
JUNIOR STARS: Elena Rybakina/RUS and Tereza Mihalikova/SVK
...as one of my pre-season junior slam winner picks, Rybakina wasn't very successful in Melbourne. But the 16-year old Hordette -- the #48-ranked junior -- jumped back into the mix in the Grade 1 Yeltsin Cup held in Kazan, Russia, where the late Russian president (and enthusiastic tennis fan and supporter) spent his childhood years.
DOUBLES: Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE/TPE) & Sara Errani/Carla Suarez-Navarro (ITA/ESP)
...with Lucie Safarova's illness taking her doubles combo with Bethanie Mattek-Sands off the board, it was pretty much assumed that the Chan sisters were the SECOND-best doubles team on tour heading into 2016. In recent weeks, they've begun to prove the notion correct. Since securing Taiwan's Fed Cup zone promotion over Japan with a deciding doubles clincher, the sisters have now won back-to-back tour titles to officially slot themselves right behind Hingis/Mirza in the Road to Singapore. Title #7 as a duo (now one-third of the way to the Williamses' all-time sister record of 21) came this weekend in Doha as they ran the NEW tour-best active winning streak to eight matches (15-4 overall in '16) with SF/F victories over Kasatkina/Vesnina and Errani/Suarez-Navarro. Since last summer's event in Toronto, the Chans have gone 39-6 vs. all teams NOT the Dreamers (1-5), who avoided a showdown in the semis with the sisters when their 41-match streak came to an end in the QF.
Errani/CSN didn't win the Doha title, and how much they'll actually play together in '16 is in question (with their respective singles success, and CSN's long-standing partnership with Muguruza a sometimes-option), but it's become pretty clear the last two weeks that they're a force to be reckoned with whenever they DO join forces. A week ago, they knocked off top-seeded Mattek-Sands/Shvedova in Dubai and ultimately reached the SF. In Doha, they knocked off #5-seeded Hlavackova/Hradecka and #2 Mattek-Sands/Shvedova (again) to reach the final.
Just in case Carla and Garbi don't get as much practice as '16 moves along, Spanish FC Captain Conchita Martinez seems to be doing her due diligence and covering all the bases when it comes to finding a back-up Fed Cup doubles team.
It's not being "cocky" if it's true, right?
The junior Slam champions from 2013-2014. pic.twitter.com/ufGzzz1hWJ— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 27, 2016
1. Doha 1st Rd. - Vesnina d. Halep
...6-7(1)/6-4/6-1. The #118-ranked Russian trailed 7-6/4-1 before winning eleven of the final twelve games to once again send Halep packing in the opening stages of an event. Halep, perhaps dealing with a calf injury (when isn't there an issue below the knees or above the neck with the Swarmette?) double-faulted to close out the 2nd. You've got to wonder if Cahill's tenure is about to be put "on the clock" before the end of spring... or maybe the official arrival of it?
2. Doha QF - Kasatkina/Vesnina d. Hingis/Mirza
...2-6/6-4 [10-5]. Navratilova/Shriver can rest easy (not that they ever lost any sleep that their 109-match streak was ever REALLY in jeopardy), as the Dream Teamers saw their undefeated stretch end at forty-one matches at the hands of the Kremlin Cup champs.
Hmmm, maybe additional Melanie/Martina hikes are going to have to wait for the offseason?
Best preparation.. Hiking in the mountains with mom pic.twitter.com/pFokwmCwpm— Martina Hingis (@mhingis) February 22, 2016
3. Doha 2nd Rd. - Ostapenko d. Kvitova
...5-7/6-2/6-1. Something is rotten here, and Kvitova needs to either grab hold quickly, take a break or hire a new set of eyes before it gets much uglier. I hear there's a lefty, Czech-born Wimbledon champion out there who's professed an affinity for her game in the past. I'm just sayin... in case of emergency, break glass. Well...
4. Acapulco Final - Stephens d. Cibulkova
...6-4/4-6/7-6(5). In 3:06, Current Sloane shows her mettle and moves to 3-0 in career singles finals. Of course, a certain Swarmette, circa 2013-14 or so, might choose to note how Stephens has become quite proficient in the "smaller" tournaments, but is still looking to hook a "bigger fish" in the Future.
Incredible stuff from Sloane Stephens to defeat Dominika Cibulkova, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5), and take the Acapulco title! pic.twitter.com/aJ41AETcZy— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) February 28, 2016
5. Doha 1st Rd. - Sai.Zheng d. Kerber
...7-5/6-1. Et tu, Angie? No, no, no. Not yet. It was just one of those days.
6. Doha Final - Suarez-Navarro d. Ostapenko
...1-6/6-4/6-4. CSN might have gone 0-4 in finals before winning her first, then 0-3 again before winning her second... but the trend is heading in the right direction. Plus, she's now won as many career titles as Muguruza.
Meanwhile, the latest entry in our "Can You Guess Who Lost?" contest:
Unfortunately I lost my first match but it's great to be back on court and I will work hard to improve for next one! pic.twitter.com/YDux2SDY2F— lucie safarova (@luciesafarova) February 25, 2016
7. Doha 1st Rd. - Buyukakcay d. Safarova
...7-6(6)/7-5. After three months, Safarova finally returns from her illness-related absence in a short-lived attempt to defend her Doha title. Hey, so be it -- before she can take a second step, she had to take a first. And, anyway, it's hard to feel TOO bad when Buyukakcay, ranked #162, also gets a chance to celebrate her first career Top 20 victory. See, I was right to memorize how to spell Cagla's name before last season, after all.
8. $25K Port Pirie Final - Lee Ya-Hsuen/Riko Sawayanagi d. Barty/Dellacqua
...6-4/7-5. Reunited, and it feels so good. But not as good as it likely will later in '16, though. Barty/Dellacqua last played in a final in Birmingham in the summer of '14. They're 2-4 in WTA finals, including 0-3 in slams in 2013, and 1-1 in challengers (they won a $75K in Tokyo when Barty was just 16).
9. Doha QF - Petkovic d. Muguruza
...6-1/5-7/6-2. "Tell me something I don't know," a frustrated and angry Muguruza shot back at Sumyk during their coaching session. While the look on his face was priceless, his, perfectly-timed "you know everything" reply was perhaps as close as we'll get to seeing just how close coaching a temperamental athlete must be to raising a temperamental teenager.
@WTA_insider Garbine: "Tell me something I don't know"— Christopher Levy (@tennis_shots) February 25, 2016
Sam: "Since you know everything...".
The microphone is working now. :)
telenovela de tenis https://t.co/b4XfPYeEqM— WTA Reactions (@WTAreactions) February 25, 2016
10. Doha 1st Rd. - Wozniacki d. Konjuh 4-6/6-3/7-5
Doha 2nd Rd. - Wozniacki d. Gavrilova 6-3/6-3
Doha 3rd Rd. - Vesnina d. Wozniacki 7-5/5-7/6-3
...it was a mixed bag sort of week for the Dane. Right after falling out of the Top 20, she struggled to get by Konjuh in 2:35 after being up a double break in the 3rd, serving at 5-2 and 5-4 (40/love) before finally putting away her ninth match point. She then took down The Unicorn with swift ease, but fell to the qualifier Hordette.
11. Doha 2nd Rd. - Niculescu d. Jankovic
...3-6/6-4/7-5. After 2:46, twenty breaks of serve and Niculescu nearly blowing a 5-2 lead in the 3rd set, JJ was left with a few extra days before celebrating her 31st birthday. Hmmm, maybe THAT explains why the cats were going crazy in Qatar...
Also, it was announced last week that Alize Cornet would miss six months with a back injury. I'm not saying all this is related somehow, but still...
12. Doha 1st Rd. - Kuznetsova d. Goerges
...6-3/6-3. A week after being crushed in Dubai by the German, Sveta gets some payback. Naturally, she lost her next match.
13. Doha 1st Rd. - Vandeweghe d. Bencic
...6-4/6-2. After eight consecutive weeks of action, Bencic was bound to be bounced early at some point. CoCo lost just two points on serve in the 2nd set.
14. Doha 1st Rd. - Petkovic d. Makarova 6-3/6-2
Doha 1st Rd. - Gasparyan/Niculescu d. Hantuchova/Makarova 4-6/7-5 [10-3]
...hmmm. What's the bigger story here, that Makarova is still looking for a post-Russian Fed Cup Debacle win, or that she was finally healthy enough to play doubles last week... but she didn't team up with (former, I guess) longtime partner Elena Vesnina?
15. Doha 1st Rd. - Allertova d. Svitolina 7-5/6-4
Doha 2nd Rd. - Suarez-Navarro d. Bacsinszky 6-2/6-2
...what a difference a week makes for Svitolina (I GUESS Justine will give her a mulligan... but only one). What a difference a year makes for 2015 Queen of Mexico Bacsinszky, who showed up in Doha with BOTH thighs wrapped.
HM- Acapulco 2nd Rd. - Cibulkova walkover Azarenka
...Vika pulls out with a left wrist injury, her fifth retirement/walkover exit from a tournament since last summer.
Had urge 2 look up whether people stopped naming their kids Adolf after WWII & this was my fav visual representation pic.twitter.com/QqfwHn91Xh— Nicole Gibbs (@Gibbsyyyy) February 27, 2016
Coach to Vinci "you're not physically tired, you are mental destroyed. Stop complain!" Roberta"did you see what shots she played?"— Angelica Fratini (@angelikf) February 25, 2016
1. Doha QF - Aga Radwanska d. Vinci
...3-6/6-2/6-3. Radwanska may have come up well short in the semifinals vs. CSN, but before that she delivered a brilliant performance in a crazy-good QF match vs. Vinci. In a contest that was either a criminally short 1:51 or a perfectly condensed masterpiece, the quality of the tennis was in no way evident in the deceiving final scoreline. With their somewhat similar, variety-loving styles perfectly complementing one another, Radwanska and Vinci alternated flashes of aggression and trick shot artistry for three complete, crowd-pleasing and awe-inspiring sets of competition that left not only the fans on the sidelines having to pick their jaws off the floor, but the players (well, at least Roberta, who was heard to loudly mutter "Not fair!" at one point), as well.
Same. ?? pic.twitter.com/I0UZuSE8wj— WTA (@WTA) February 25, 2016
An on-fire Vinci dominated the 1st, but Radwanska slowly but surely began to seize control of the match's momentum soon afterward, pulling off roughly (and conservatively) a dozen to twenty shots (including three in a single game, if memory serves correctly) that would be in the running for Shot of the Month/Year if, you know, Aga was a regular mortal and the rules of shotmaking that apply to everyone else were something by which her particularly magical skills were even slightly constrained. Setting Twitter aflame, leaving an in-form Vinci nonetheless shaking her head and then admitting afterward that even she is occasionally surprised when some of her shots land in, this was a case of Aga at her Radwanskian best. So much so that you almost forgive her having nothing left to give a day later in the SF. Vinci's final surge to turn a 4-1 3rd set deficit into a not-a-runaway final stanza secured the goods that ensure this match being included on the short list for, at the very least, the Most Enjoyable match of the year for 2016.
Hope you enjoyed that one as much as me ??— Aga Radwanska (@ARadwanska) February 25, 2016
Yep, Aga. We did.
2. Doha SF - Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan d. Kasatkina/Vesnina 3-6/7-6(5) [10-8]
Doha Final - Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan d. Errani/Suarez-Navarro 6-3/6-3
...we need a Hingis/Mirza vs. Chan sisters clash to cleanse the palate, and give us some clarity. We'll have to wait until Indian Wells, when the Dreamers celebrate their one-year anniversary.
3. Acapulco 1st Rd. - Pavlyuchenkova d. Ula Radwanska
...6-0/2-3 ret. After defeating Richel Hogenkamp in qualifying to reach the MD, U-Rad's reward was to roll her ankle, knocking her out of Acapulco AND Monterrey.
Down 0-6 3-2 to Pavlyuchenkova, U. Radwanska retires. Not even touching the court with her left foot as trainer and doctor help her off.— Fog Mountain (@fogmount) February 23, 2016
4. $25K Port Pirie Final - Haas d. Arina Rodionova
...6-4/5-7/6-4. A week after Rodionova defeated the Austrian en route to a challenger title in Perth, Haas did the same vs. the Aussie in the PP final. Rodionova led 4-2 in the 1st before losing it, then 5-1 in the 2nd before winning it to force a 3rd. In the end, it was Haas for career title #9.
ITF-Port Pirie($25K)-Final: Barbara Haas df Rodionova 64 57 64 to win her first title of 2016!! Congrats, Barbara!! pic.twitter.com/eiqnWnJMeQ— José García (@garzucho) February 28, 2016
5. $25K Moscow SF - Khromacheva d. Kristina Schmiedlova
...6-2/6-1. The younger Schiedlova had a better week than her sister, taking down the #4 and #5 seeds in Moscow before finally losing to #2 in the semifinals. Khromacheva went on to take the title.
**2016 TITLE RUNS WITHOUT DROPPING A SET **
Brisbane - Victoria Azarenka, BLR
Shenzhen - Aga Radwanska, POL
Auckland - Sloane Stephens, USA
Kaohsiung- Venus Williams, USA
Kaohsiung - Chan/Chan, TPE/TPE
Acapulco - MEDINA-GARRIGUES/PARRA-SANTONJA, ESP/ESP
**2016 WTA OLDEST FINALISTS*
35 - Francesca Schiavone (Rio-W)
35 - Venus Williams (Kaohsiung-W)
34 - Serena Williams (Australian Open-L)
32 - Roberta Vinci (St.Petersburg-W)
35 - Martina Hingis (4-0 in finals)
33 - ANABEL MEDINA-GARRIGUES (Acapulco-W)
33 - ARANTXA PARRA-SANTONJA (Acapulco-W)
**2016 OLDEST DOUBLES DUO CHAMPIONS**
66 - MEDINA-GARRIGUES/PARRA-SANTONJA (33/33) = Acapulco
64 - Hingis/Mirza (35/29) = 4 titles
62 - Chuang/Jurak (31/31) = Dubai
**2016 WTA TEEN FINALISTS*
18 - JELENA OSTAPENKO (Doha-L) - 18,8m,3w
18 - Belinda Bencic (St.Petersburg-L) - 18,11m
17 - Kimberly Birrell (Hobart-L)
**2015-16 WTA SF**
11...AGA RADWANSKA, POL (8/3)
10...Simona Halep, ROU (9/1)
10...Serena Williams, USA (9/1)
10...Angelique Kerber, GER (8/2)
8...Karolina Pliskova, CZE (8/0)
8...Caroline Wozniacki, DEN (7/1)
7...Maria Sharapova, RUS (7/0)
7...Sara Errani, ITA (6/1)
7...Elina Svitolina, UKR (6/1)
**2016 WTA SF BY NATION**
8 - USA
5 - GER
3 - ITA,POL
2 - ESP, FRA, ROU, RUS, SUI, SVK
1 - (17 nations)
[different nations, by season]
2016: 27 (through Week 8)
Meanwhile, the Belgian Barbie -- you remember her and her "accessory," right? -- were busy making Oscar predictions and celebrating a birthday.
Yep, Jada is eight. Time flies.
MONTERREY, MEXICO (Int'l $227K/HCO)
15 Final: Bacsinszky d. Garcia
15 Doubles Final: Dabrowski/Rosolska d. Rodionova/Rodionova
16 Singles Top Seeds: Errani/Wozniacki
Cibulkova d. #4 Konta
#5 Garcia d. Doi
#5 Garcia d. Cibulkova
...it stands to reason that a good bet for the NEW Queen of Mexico might be the player who was the "lady-in-waiting" for the honor last year, right? Yeah, I know... do you eat with that mouth?
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (Int'l $227K/HCO)
15 Final: Wozniacki d. Dulgheru
15 Doubles Final: Liang Chen/Wang Yafan d. Beygelzimer/Savchuk
16 Singles Top Seeds: Vinci/Svitolina
#1 Vinci d. #8 Sai.Zheng
#2 Svitolina d. #4 Beck
#1 Vinci d. #2 Svitolina
...Roberta has to get a gust of wind behind her just knowing Aga isn't anywhere in sight, right? Of course, last week's "mulligan" might lead Svitolina to wanting to "please the teacher" and make up for it by winning a title, too.
Okay, now let's see. This has been a week with JJ celebrating a birthday... AND Flavia... AND GENIE... AND Li Na?
I don't know about you, but I'm feelin 22. pic.twitter.com/DYS6RDd92W— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) February 25, 2016
Happy Birthday to Li Na! ?? ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/gfBdpHppnV— WTA (@WTA) February 26, 2016
That ALMOST explains EVERTHING. The Doha Kitty Revolution is totally understandable now. I think.
All for now.