*2016 ROLAND GARROS WOMEN'S FINAL 16*
#1 - Serena Williams
#2 - Aga Radwanska
#4 - Garbine Muguruza
#5 - Simona Halep
#9 - Timea Bacsinszky
#11 - venus Williams
#14 - Carla Suarez-Navarro
#15 - Svetlana Kuznetsova
#17 - Madison Keys
#20 - Elina Svitolina
#24 - Samantha Stosur
#28 - Irina-Camelia Begu
#58 - Kiki Bertens
#60 - Yulia Putintseva
#102 - Tsvetana Pironkova
#108 - Shelby Rogers
4...United States (Keys, Rogers, S.Williams, V.Williams)
2...Romania (Begu, Halep)
2...Spain (Muguruza, Suarez-Navarro)
[by career slam Round-of-16's]
[w/ consecutive slam Round of 16's]
[by career RG Round of 16's]
[w/ consecutive RG Round of 16's]
=Tiers: Green 1-2, Blue 3-7, Pink 8-15, Orange 16-26,
Red 27-34, Purple 35-42, White 43-50, Off-Book (10)=
3 - Garbine Muguruza
4 - Simona Halep
9 - Aga Radwanska
12 - Venus Williams
13 - Timea Bacsinszky
14 - Elina Svitolina
15 - Madison Keys
26 - Carla Suarez-Navarro
33 - Samantha Stosur
34 - Svetlana Kuznetsova
[Purple - none]
47 - Irina-Camelia Begu
Off-Book - none
Unlisted - Kiki Bertens
Unlisted - Tsvetana Pironkova
Unlisted - Yulia Putintseva
Unlisted - Shelby Rogers
ALSO: Petrova (21), Zvonareva (16)
[WTA slam Round of 16's since 2010 - active]
[2016 slam Rd. of 16's - youngest]
18 - Belinda Bencic (AO)
20 - Madison Keys (AO)
21 - Margarita Gasparyan (AO)
21 - Daria Gavrilova (AO)
21 - Annika Beck (AO)
21 - Anna-Lena Friedsam (AO)
21 - Madison Keys (RG)
21 - Yulia Putintseva (RG)
21 - Elina Svitolina (RG)
[2016 slam Rd. of 16's - oldest]
35...Venus Williams (RG)
34...Serena Williams (RG)
34...Serena Williams (AO)
32...Samantha Stosur (RG)
30...Svetlana Kuznetsova (RG)
29...Barbora Strycova (AO)
[2016 slam Rd. of 16's - unseeded]
AO - Annika Beck, GER
AO - Anna-Lena Friedsam, GER
AO - Margarita Gasparyan, RUS
AO - Daria Gavrilova, AUS
AO - Johanna Konta, GBR
AO - Barbora Strycova, CZE
AO - Zhang Shuai, CHN (Q)
RG - Kiki Bertens, NED
RG - Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL
RG - Yulia Putinteva, KAZ
RG - Shelby Rogers, USA
[2016 slam Rd. of 16's - 1st-time GS 4th Rd.'s]
AO - Annika Beck, GER
AO - Anna-Lena Friedsam, GER
AO - Margarita Gasparyan, RUS
AO - Daria Gavrilova, AUS
AO - Zhang Shuai, CHN
RG - Yulia Putintseva, KAZ
RG - Shelby Rogers, USA
[2016 slam Rd. of 16's - lowest-ranked]
#133 - Zhang Shuai, CHN (AO)
#108 - Shelby Robers, USA (RG)
#102 - Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL (RG)
#72 - Anna-Lena Friedsam, GER (AO)
#60 - Yulia Putintseva, KAZ (RG)
#58 - Margarita Gasparyan, GER (AO)
#58 - Kiki Bertens, NED (RG)
#55 - Annika Beck, GER (AO)
[2016 slam Rd. of 16's]
2...Madison Keys, USA
2...Aga Radwanska, POL
2...Carla Suarez-Navarro, ESP
2...Serena Williams, USA
[2016 slam Rd. of 16's - by nation]
=DAY 7 NOTES=
...in the day's featured match on Chatrier, Serena Williams was forced to dig into her champion's heart to finally put down Pastry Kristina Mladenovic on a stormy, rainy day in a match that went on a little longer than it likely had to. Partly because of long weather delay, but also party because of Williams herself.
The world #1 wasn't in her very best form, and it caused her to nearly be dragged to a 3rd set before ultimately grinding out a victory. But her inability to convert a bushel of BP chances in the 2nd set did cost her a couple of hours of annoyance as the two women were forced to wait out a violent storm that hit Paris just as they were about to start a 2nd set tie-break.
Mladenovic had a good accounting of herself on the day, even if the result didn't ultimately go as well as she might have dreamed. Employing a series of drops shots and lobs (probably TOO often, actually, though they were generally quite effective), staged comebacks from several deep break point holes and forced Williams to raise the level of her game on more than one occasion to prevent things from getting "sticky."
At 4-4 in the 1st, Mladenovic fired back-to-back return winners to start game #9. A volley hit to Williams' feet gave her a BP, then she got another with a drop shot and forehand pass combination. But Serena's unreturnable serves saved both chances. On BP #3, the Pastry hit a forehand return into the net after running around a backhand and attempting to fire the ball crosscourt. It was the opening that Williams needed. She blasted an ace up the middle to reach game point, then finished off the hold for 5-4. She let out a loud yell before heading to the changeover area.
A Mladenovic double-fault put her down love/30 a game later, then Serena put away an easy winner after reaching yet another drop shot from the Frenchwoman. "Come on!," Williams screamed. At love/40, Mladenovic saved her first BP/SP with serve-and-volley tactics, then another with an ace. On her third chance, Williams' big return of serve produced a forehand error from Mladenovic as Serena grabbed a 6-4 set in fifty-two minutes.
In the 2nd, Serena had many chances to put a stranglehold on the match, but couldn't quite do it. Mladenovic twice held after falling down love/40. She saved BP again in game #8 and held for 4-4 as Serena stood at 0-for-9 on break point chances in the set. With dark clouds looming, Mladenovic held twice to force a tie-break. But then the thunder claps and pelting rain knocked everyone off the court -- as well as most of the power on the tournament grounds. When play resumed the world viewing audience received only one high camera angle of the court, and just faint audio (if that).
It was a little like watching that old Lenglen/Wills video from 1926 that I featured a couple of days ago.
Mladenovic hadn't gotten tight during the two-hour break. She came out ready to play, going up a mini-break on the first point and taking a 3-0 lead. She held two serves for 5-2, but was still only up a single mini-break. Williams cut the lead to 5-4, then leveled things after reaching a Mladenovic drop shot and hitting a winner down the line. She completed her sweep of the Pastry's two serves with a smash to reach MP at 6-5. A Mladenovic lob seemed to give Williams a chance to knock off the final needed point, but her smash went long and things went back on serve.
Mladenovic attempted to act as a conductor, waving her arms to fire up the crowd even more.
The Frenchwoman hit a winner on Williams' second MP, but a DF handed her a third. Serena reached another Mladenovic drop shot, but sent it long to make the score 8-8. Another drop (!!) went off the net and Williams failed to get the ball back, giving the Pastry a set point at 9-8. Williams put away a Mladenovic lob for 9-9. Mladenovic saved MP #4 with a winner, but on MP #5 sent a forehand wide to give Williams a 6-4/7-6(10) win to reach an eleventh Round of 16 in Paris (and 52nd overall in her slam career).
Naturally, Serena had to let out another long yell to celebrate.
Now, onto the Round of 16.
...Venus didn't follow Serena onto court as she did in the last round, though she DID another woman from France. In a Lenglen match that was also interrupted by the big storm, the older Williams defeated Alize Cornet 7-6(5)/1-6/6-0, ending the wild story of the emotional Pastry at this slam, while keeping her own alive some nineteen years after she made her slam debut in Paris in 1997 at age 16 with a win over Naoko Sawatmatsu. Venus lost in the 2nd Round to Pastry Nathalie Tauziat that year, then fell in her opening match at Wimbledon (vs. Magdalena Grzybowska) a few weeks later.
But by the end of the summer she was playing in the U.S. Open final vs. Martina Hingis.
This is Venus' best RG result since 2010. Her last QF in Paris came back in 2006.
She also was given a questionable coaching violation during this match. "Just don't go there," an upset Venus (a truly rare sight) told the umpire, saying that she plays by the rules.
Venus Williams, mad at the ump: "I'm 36 and I've never had a coaching violation."— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) May 28, 2016
Venus is right -- except for the fact that she's 35.
June 17th will be the big day, by the way.
- in Saturday's other 3rd Round matches, '15 quarterfinalist Elina Svitolina got her first career win over '15 semifinalist (the point at which her true "competitive" career essentially ended, it seems) Ana Ivanovic, 6-4/6-4.
So, the international waiting game can officially end -- AnaIvo will indeed make her wedding date, which is scheduled for June 5, the day after the RG women's final. Of course, when you're a tennis player set to be married a day after the final of the only major tournament you've ever won, one year after you came without one match of playing for that title again for the first time in nearly a decade... well, I think we know your head was never into REALLY contending for this slam anyway. So just go away now.
Timea Bacsinszky, a semifinalist in Paris last year, is two wins from returning to that stage after a 6-4/6-2 victory over Pauline Parmentier. The Pastry's defeat means she joins Mladenovic and Cornet in sharing the "Last Pastry Standing" honor for this RG.
Yulia Putintseva blitzed Karin Knapp 6-1/6-1 to advance to her first career slam 4th Round.
Dominika Cibulkova has had the better clay court season, but Carla Suarez-Navarro ended her RG run today 6-4/3-6/6-1. CSN is a win away from her third career QF in Paris.
Madison Keys advanced over Monica Puig, following up her surprise run to the Rome final with her first career Round of 16 at RG with a 7-6(3)/6-3 win. After saving set points and breaking Keys' serve, Puig eventually served for the 1st set at 6-5, but Keys broke back then overcame a 3-1 deficit in the TB by winning six straight points to close out the set.
Keys joins Serena, Aga and CSN as the only women with 4th Round results at both slams of 2016, while there are four Bannerettes in the final 16 in Paris. The last time there were more was 2003, when there were five (Serena, Venus, Davenport, Capriati and Rubin). Since then there have also been four still alive at this stage in 2004 (Serena, Venus, Davenport & Capriati) and '13 (Serena, Stephens, Mattek-Sands and the very-much-missed Jamie Hampton).
- Meanwhile, out on the edge of the grounds on Court 16 in the schedule shuffle, Kiki Bertens continued her now-magical spring against the lead NextGen Hordette, #29-seeded Daria Kasatkina.
Kasatkina had a hard time moving to her backhand, but still battled down to her last breath. In fact, after falling behind 5-2 in the 3rd set and saving five MP in a single game as Bertens served for the match, the 19-year old probably should have won. After breaking for 4-5, the Russian twice served for the match herself at 7-6 and 8-7, only to see the Dutch player break back both times. Serving down 8-9, Kasatkina reached game point to extend the match, but Bertens turned the tables once more and soon had her sixth MP. The Hordette saved it, but Bertens finally converted on her seventh try, winning 6-2/3-6/10-8 as Dutch tennis dealt yet another blow to Russia in 2016.
Bertens, matching her Round of 16 RG result from '14, has now won ten straight singles matches, as well as six consecutive in doubles. The 16-0 combined record has come over a fifteen-day stretch.
Unbelievable, what a fight it was today,no words to describe this feeling!Thanks for the support and messages??rg16 pic.twitter.com/7AiyRJ4nLO— Kiki Bertens (@kikibertens) May 28, 2016
...meanwhile, Serena Williams' 2015 U.S. Open First Round Victim -- Vitalia Diatchenko -- met up again with her "creator" in doubles, joining Galina Voskoboeva to face off with the Sisters at the end of the day. Give it to Valeria, at least she tried to strike a blow for her NYC 1st Round "sacrifice," which ultimately amounted to squat as far as history was concerned. Well, unless you're Flavia Pennetta and the entire Italian International Tennis Nation, I guess.
Lol at Serena saying 'don't do that again' to Diatchenko after she hit Serena when she was not ready to return yet ??— Rämon (@ramonjonath) May 28, 2016
@ramonjonath poor diatchenko. She gets no mercy after sacrificing her career and Achilles for the doomed Serena slam— Bri (@4TheTennis) May 28, 2016
Of course, play was stopped after Venus & Serena won a 61-minute 1st set via a 10-8 tie-break. They'll resume play on Sunday.
...the Girls draw is out. Here are the seeded players:
1. Olesya Pervushina, RUS
2. Amanda Anisimova, USA
3. Kayla Day, USA
4. Anastasia Potapova, RUS
5. Dayana Yastremska, UKR
6. Katie Swan, GBR
7. Georgia Andreea Craciun, ROU
8. Elena Rybakina, RUS
9. Usue Arconada, USA
10. Sonya Kenin, USA
11. Sofya Zhuk, RUS
12. Rebeka Masarova, SUI
13. Marketa Vondrousova, CZE
14. Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, FRA
15. Panna Udvardy, HUN
16. Amina Anshba, RUS
Doing so will probably sink both their chances, but I'll go for an all-Hordette final between #1 Pervushina and #4 Potapova. And I'll take Pervushina to become the fourth different Hordette to win a junior slam since the start of 2014.
...LIKE FROM DAY 7: Hope springing eternal.
Tough match and a tough year, which means I appreciate your support even more. Hoping my favourite grass will help me turn things around ?— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) May 28, 2016
...LIKE FROM DAY 7: Timea... the anti-Garcia?
Maybe that explains why Bacsinszky knocked off Garcia in back-to-back singles finals last year? But Acapulco and Monterrey's stadiums aren't Chatrier.
...LIKE FROM DAY 7: The eternal debate.
Zeh-bra— Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) May 28, 2016
...LIKE FROM DAY 7: Being back on your favored grounds...
Day 1 of grass court season ?? pic.twitter.com/SFNH3tLddq— Michelle L. de Brito (@mikidebrito) May 28, 2016
...IDEA ON DAY 7: I think I know what sort of outfit I'd like to see next on a tennis court.
Hey, if they can do this...
Soccer team's bizarre muscle uniforms look like they're straight out of a horror movie https://t.co/FtRlj5GKTG— For The Win (@ForTheWin) May 13, 2016
Why not have a go at "X-Ray Chic?" Speaking of fashion...
...LIKE FROM DAY 7: Alize Lim's "Joie De Vivre" award-winning moment:
Fashion winner of #RG16 has to be Alize Lim's shorteralls. Flair and fun and function. Possibly the best of the year. Worth the wild card.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 24, 2016
Lenglen would be proud. So, after a week of La Divine, I realized that there's a big hole in the annual Backspin Awards for Roland Garros, and the Frenchwoman should be included. Thus, the Paris-only "Joie De Vivre" Award will be renamed the "Légion de Lenglen" starting now.
As it is, the Légion of Lenglen list of honorees is mostly French (Lim, Mladenovic & Razzano), with the only non-Pastry past winners being RG champs Serena Williams and Francesca Schiavone. Feels about right.
...and, finally, another Lenglen moment.
The impact of Suzanne Lenglen can be felt at both slams held on the European continent. It was the star power and skill of the flamboyant Frenchwoman in the late 1910's and early 1920's that caused the game to outgrow even Wimbledon, leading to the construction of a new, bigger complex in order to accomodate it all in 1922. What resulted are the grounds on which the tournament is still played today. The All-England Club, though her honorary membership was revoked when she turned pro in 1926, still ranks her among the five greatest Wimbledon champions.
But, naturally, her legend is far more evident at Roland Garros in her hometown of Paris.
While she never played on the current site of the tournament, Lenglen is the only player to be honored at any of the four majors with BOTH a stadium that bears her name, as well as a championship trophy named in her honor. The La Coupe Suzanne Lenglen is awarded each year to the women's singles champion of Roland Garros. The current trophy was created in 1979. Every women's champ receives a smaller replica, while the original remains the property of the French Tennis Federation (FTF).
[From Wikipedia] "Prior to Lenglen, female tennis matches drew little fan interest, which quickly changed as she became her sport's greatest drawing card. Tennis devotees and new fans to the game began lining up in droves to buy tickets to her matches. Temperamental, flamboyant, she was a passionate player whose intensity on court could lead to an unabashed display of tears. But for all her flamboyance, she was a gifted and brilliant player who used extremely agile footwork, speed and a deadly accurate shot to dominate female tennis for seven straight years. Her excellent play and introduction of glamour to the tennis court increased the interest in women's tennis, and women's sports in general."
In 2001 the FTF organised the first Suzanne Lenglen Cup for women in the over-35 age class. First played in France, the annual event is now held in a different country each year.
Originally designated "Court A", the tournament's second largest stadium (after Chatrier Court) seats 10,068 spectators. Built in 1994, it was renamed Court Suzanne-Lenglen in 1997. A bronze bas relief of Lenglen by the Italian sculptor Vito Tongiani stands over the east tunnel-entrance to the stadium. The court has an underground irrigation system, the first of its kind, to control moisture levels within its clay surface.
While Chatrier Court, named in honor of former French player and FTF President Philippe, is larger (seating nearly 15,000) it also has more of a "generic" quality, in my opinion. It's "boxy" shape and sharp angles aren't nearly as aestethically pleasing as the curved, more unique and recognizable design of what is now Court Lenglen. There's a certain flair to how the stadium seems to resemble something akin to a rising sun behind the fans on either side of the court.
While Court Lenglen, were it to be designed by a truly creative architect today, could surely be made more befitting of its legendary namesake, it seems to fit her just fine. No matter how large a space and role it fills on the grounds, one could never envision the more style-less, rigid-looking Chatrier bearing Lenglen's name.
That simply would not do.
*WOMEN'S SINGLES ROUND OF 16*
#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #18 Elina Svitolina/UKR
#12 Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP vs. Yulia Putintseva/KAZ
Kiki Bertens/NED vs. #15 Madison Keys/USA
#9 Venus Williams/USA vs. #8 Timea Bacsinszky/SUI
#25 Irina-Camelia Beug/ROU vs. Shelby Rogers/USA
#13 Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS vs. #3 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
#6 Simona Halep/ROU vs. #21 Samantha Stosur/AUS
Tsvetana Pironkova/BUL vs. #2 Aga Radwanska/POL
*WOMEN'S DOUBLES ROUND OF 16*
#1 Hingis/Mirza (SUI/IND) vs. Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE)
#11 Klepac/Srebotnik (SLO/SLO) vs. #6 Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE)
#3 Chan/Chan (TPE/TPE) vs. Brengle/Maria (USA/GER)
#10 Goerges/Ka.Pliskova (GER/CZE) vs. #7 Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS)
Krunic/Lucic-Baroni (SRB/CRO) vs. #9 Xu Yifan/Zheng Saisai (CHN/CHN)
Gasparyan/Kuznetsova (RUS/RUS) vs. #4 Babos/Shvedova (HUN/KAZ)
xx vs. xx
xx vs. Bertens/Larsson (NED/SWE)
*MIXED DOUBLES ROUND OF 16*
#1 HC.Chan/J.Murray (TPE/GBR) vs. xx
Voskoboeva/Martin (KAZ/FRA) vs. #6 Hlavackova/Roger-Vasselin (CZE/FRA)
Hingis/Paes (SUI/IND) def. #4 Shvedova/Mergea (KAZ/ROU)
Klepac/Huey (SLO/PHI) vs. #5 Vesnina/Soares (RUS/BRA)
#8 Vandeweghe/B.Bryan (USA/USA) vs. Chuang/Kontinen (TPE/FIN)
Xu Yifan/Draganja (CHN/CRO) vs. xx
#7 YJ.Chan/Mirnyi (TPE/BLR) vs. Jankovic/Zimonjic (SRB/SRB)
xx s. #2 Mirza/Dodig (IND/CRO)
*RG "LAST PASTRY STANDING"*
2008 Alize Cornet & Emilie Loit (3rd Rd.)
2009 Virginie Razzano & Aravane Rezai (4th Rd.)
2010 Marion Bartoli & Aravane Rezai (3rd Rd.)
2011 Marion Bartoli (SF)
2012 Mathilde Johansson (3rd Rd.)
2013 Marion Bartoli, Alize Cornet & Virginie Razzano (3rd)
2014 Pauline Parmentier (4th Rd.)
2015 Alize Cornet (4th Rd.)
2016 Alize Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic & Pauline Parmentier (3rd)
*RG "Légion de Lenglen" (formerly "Joie De Vivre," 2011-15) WINNERS*
2011 Virginie Razzano, FRA
2012 Virginie Razzano, FRA
2013 Serena Williams, USA
2014 Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
2015 Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2016 Alize Lim, FRA
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #11 Lucie Safarova/CZE
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): xx
TOP LATE-ROUND (SF-F): xx
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q3: Lucie Hradecka/CZE d. Grace Min/USA 6-7(4)/6-1/11-9 (saved 4 MP)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2nd Rd. - #25 Irina-Camelia Begu/ROU d. CoCo Vandeweghe/USA 6-7(4)/7-6(4)/10-8 (3:38)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): xx
TOP LATE-RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr.): xx
FIRST VICTORY: #24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS (def. Sorribes Tormo/ESP
FIRST SEED OUT: #32 Jelena Ostapenko/LAT (lost 1st Rd. to Osaka/JPN)
UPSET QUEENS: The South Americans (players from three S.A. nations in 2nd Round)
REVELATION LADIES: The French (second most players in 2nd Rd.)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Italy (remaining Quartet members Vinci, Errani & Schiavone 0-3; retired Pennetta last not in MD in 2002)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: C.Buyukakcay/TUR, V.Cepede Royg/PAR, L.Chirico/USA and V.Golubic/SUI (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: M.Georges/FRA, V.Razzano/FRA, and T.Townsend/USA (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST PASTRY STANDING: A.Cornet, K.Mladenovic and P.Parmentier (all 3rd Rd.)
MADEMOISELLE/MADAM OPPORTUNITY: Nominees: S.Rogers, Y.Putintseva, I.Begu, T.Pironkova, K.Bertens, M.Keys
IT "??": Cagla Buyukakcay/TUR (first Turk w/ GS match win)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominees: S.Kuznetsova, T.Pironkova, S.Stosur, V.Williams
CRASH & BURN: #3 Angelique Kerber/GER (1st Rd./Bertens - fifth AO champ out RG 1st Rd. in Open era)
ZOMBIE QUEEN (TBA at QF): Nominees: #25 Begu (three-setters, 10-8 3rd set vs. Vandeweghe), Cornet (dramatics vs. T.Maria), Bertens (10-8 vs. Kasatkina, on 7th MP)
DOUBLES STAR: xx
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM VETERAN CUP (KDK CUP): Nominees: S.Kuznetsova, V.Williams, S.Stosur
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: xx
Légion de Lenglen HONOREE: Alize Lim/FRA ("shorteralls" outfit)
LA PETIT TAUREAU TROPHY: TBA June 1
Artist: Paul Thurlby (2013)
All for Day 7. More tomorrow.