Friday, May 20, 2016

RG.Q- Paris in the Springtime...before Day 1

Before the start of play, a quick recap of the preliminary battles to reach the main draw...

A look back at the qualifying rounds in Paris...

1. Viktoriya Golubic, SUI (23, #132)
...the Swiss Fed Cup hero qualifies for a second time at a slam in 2016, knocking off Michaella Krajicek, Tereza Smitkova and a '15 RG Round of 16 success story, #9 Andreea Mitu, to reach her first MD in Paris.

2. Sorana Cirstea, ROU (26, #99)
...the Swarmette's '16 comeback story (she ended last year at #244) continues. A RG quarterfinalist in 2009, Cirstea reached her first MD in Paris since '14 with wins over Jana Cepelova and Elise Mertens. She was one of three qualifiers to not drop a set all week.

3. Daniela Hantuchova, SVK (33, #172)
...oldest RG qualifier Hantuchova is in her 14th career RG MD, but this is the first time she had to go through qualifying to do it. With four RG Round of 16 results in her career, she didn't lose a set in three Q-matches, opening with a win over #7 Anna Tatishvili and ending by taking out Jennifer Brady.

4. Sara Sorribes Tormo, ESP (19, #196)
...the youngest and lowest-ranked RG qualifier, Sorribes upset #16 Tamira Paszek and Stephanie Foretz before taking down fellow teen Ivana Jorovic in the Q3 to secure her slam debut appearance in the 1st Round. She didn't lose a set in any of her matches.
5. Lucie Hradecka, CZE (30, #146)
...the Czech saved 4 MP in her Q3 match vs. Grace Min. Additional wins over #17 Han Xinyun and Richel Hogenkamp gives Hradecka her 26th shot in a slam MD. So far, she's 9-25.


Cagla Buyukakcay, TUR (26, #85): the Istanbul singles champ's career year continues. She'll make her slam debut after wins over Martic and #22 Koukalova.
Veronica Cepede Royg, PAR (24, #160): a RG qualifier for a second straight year, VCR makes it three South Americans (w/ Pereira and Duque) in the MD with wins over #21 Oprandi, Kanepi and Haas. She's still seeking her first career slam victory.
Louisa Chirico, USA (20, #77): a Madrid semifinalist as a qualifier, #1 Q-seed Chirico held her position with wins over the likes of Hlavackova and Khromacheva. She was in the RG MD in '15 as a wild card (via that "disputed" USTA "Playoff").
Katerina Siniakova, CZE (20, #107): a $100K title winner last week, Siniakova makes it eight Czechs in the MD. She's 1-4 in career slam MD matches.
Ipek Soylu, TUR (20, #175): the Istanbul doubles champ's career year continues. She'll make her slam deubt after wins over #13 Rodina, Oudin and #8 Kozlova,
Sachia Vickery, USA (21, #164): wins over #15 Peterson, Burger and Ferro put Vickery in her fifth career slam MD. She's 1-3, with her sole win coming in 2013 at the U.S. Open.

Maryna Zanevska, UKR (22, #141): her second straight '16 slam Q-run after notching victories over Erakovic, Karatantcheva and #18 Kucova. She's 0-3 in slam MD.

Silvia Soler Espinosa, ESP (28, #128): SSE lost to Siniakova in the Q3, but got into the MD due to Caroline Wozniacki's late withdrawal. She reached the 3rd Round in Paris in 2014.

DOWN: Petra Cetkovska, CZE
...the 31-year old Czech's injury-riddled career has continued to drag her down in 2016. After a good U.S. Open slam run in '15 which saw her defeat Christina McHale and save four MP vs. Caroline Wozniacki and win their dramatic 2nd Round night match, the former world #25 took a 6-1 1st set off eventual champ Flavia Pennetta in the 3rd Round. She lost in three, but it was still her best career result in New York. But a back injury (who ISN'T dealing w/ a similar injury this year?) delayed her '16 season start until Miami, and her 6-0/2-0 ret. loss to Kristina Kucova in the opening Q-round speaks to her still not being ready to play. She's 0-4 on the season, having lost 32 of 34 games in her last three matches after a 6-4/6-4 loss to Sabine Lisicki at the Australian Open. Here she is in better recent times, at least:

Q1: Vania King d. #4 Patricia Maria Tig
King surges back from a break down in the 3rd set to take out the Madrid quarterfinalist in the opening Q-round
Q2: Ipek Soylu d. Melanie Oudin
Little MO hasn't played in a slam MD match since the 2013 Wimbledon, and it's been three years since she won a match there. But after still more health issues, this match ended her five-major stretch of not even being able to contest the qualifying rounds. In Paris, she at least got a Q1 victory. So, hopefully, yet another comeback attempt for the world #334, the WTA's 2009 "Newcomer of the Year," is now officially gaining a bit of steam. Oudin is 7-7 in singles since returning to action in late March.
Q3: #2 Cagla Buyukakcay d. #22 Klara Koukalova 6-1/6-3
Q3: Ipek Soylu d. #8 Kateryna Kozlova 6-3/7-6(2)
there hasn't been a woman from Turkey in a slam singles MD since Ipek Senoglu in 2010. But come this week there will be TWO in action in Paris.
Q3: #23 Viktoriya Golubic d. #9 Andreea Mitu
The Swarmette was a surprise RG Round of 16 participant a year ago. Not this year, though.

Q3: Lucie Hradecka d. Grace Min
In a crazy duel to join the MD, Min saved at least a dozen BP in the 3rd set and held four MP. Hradecka, who failed to serve out the match at 8-7, saved four BP at 10-9. Min stopped play during the match's final point, calling for the umpire to check a mark that she felt had gone long. But when the umpire ruled the ball in, the veteran Maiden had "converted" MP and made it into the MD.

=The Tennis Sisters Had a Good Winning Percentage in the Opening Q-Round... but the sample size was admittedly very small=
Q1 - #18 Kristina Kucova d. Petra Cetkovska 6-0/2-0 ret.
Q1 - #23 Viktoriya Golubic d. Michaella Krajicek 7-5/6-0

=The A Tennis Sisters Coasted in the 3rd Set of the Second Q-Round=
Q2: #18 Kristina Kucova d. Miyu Kato 2-6/6-4/6-0

=Though Disappointment was Still Ultimately Lurking Around the Corner...again=
Q3: Maryna Zanevska d. #18 Kristina Kucova 6-2/3-6/6-2
...just as she did in Melbourne, Kucova falls one win short of reaching her first slam MD since 2011.

2006 Julia Vakulenko/UKR
2007 Timea Bacsinszky/SUI & Raluca Olaru/ROU
2008 Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez/ESP & Yanina Wickmayer/BEL
2009 Yaroslava Shvedova/KAZ
2010 Kaia Kanepi/EST
2011 Sloane Stephens/USA
2012 Kiki Bertens/NED
2013 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova/SVK
2014 Grace Min/USA
2015 Veronica Cepede Royg/PAR
2016 Viktoriya Golubic/SUI
[2016 slams]
AO: Naomi Osaka, JPN
RG: Viktoriya Golubic, SUI

Tessah Andrianjafitrimo/FRA - the 17-year old Pastry makes her slam debut
Oceane Dodin/FRA - a WC at a third consecutive slam, she got MD AO & US wins in '15
Myrtille Georges/FRA - the Pastry makes her slam MD debut at age 25
Amandine Hesse/FRA - a WC once again, she notched a 1st Rd. win in Paris last year
Alize Lim/FRA - 0-2 in RG MD matches, she's a WC there for a third straight time
Virginie Razzano/FRA - a WC for the second straight year, she reached the Rd. of 16 in '09 and upset Serena in the 1st Rd. in 2012
Arina Rodionova/AUS - the Aussie makes her RG MD debut
Taylor Townsend/USA - the winner of the USTA Playoff, she reached the RG 3rd Rd. in '14 (after also winning the Playoff)

AO - Priscilla Hon, AUS (17)
AO - Kimberly Birrell, AUS (17)
AO - Maddison Inglis, AUS (17)
RG - Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, FRA (17)
AO - Oceane Dodin, FRA (19)
RG - Oceane Dodin, FRA (19)
AO - Samantha Crawford, USA (20)
RG - Taylor Townsend, USA (20)
AO - Naomi Osaka, JPN (18)
RG - Sara Sorribes Tormo, ESP (19)
RG - Louisa Chirico, USA (20)
AO - Maria Sakkari, GRE (20)
RG - Katerina Siniakova, CZE (20)
RG - Ipek Soylu, TUR (20)

=OLDEST 2016 SLAM...=
RG - Virginie Razzano, FRA (33)
AO - Tammi Patterson, AUS (26)
RG - Arina Rodionova, AUS (26)
RG - Daniela Hantuchova, SVK (33)
RG - Lucie Hradecka, CZE (30)
RG - Cagla Buyukakcay, TUR (26)
RG - Sorana Cirstea, ROU (26)
AO - Zhang Shuai, CHN (26)
RG - Silvia Soler-Espinosa, ESP (28)

#196 - Sara Sorribes Tormo, ESP (RG)
#175 - Ipek Soylu, TUR (RG)
#172 - Daniela Hantuchova, SVK (RG)
#170 - Maria Sakkari, GRE (AO)
#169 - Viktoriya Golubic, SUI (AO)
#167 - Luksika Kumkhum, THA (AO)
#164 - Sachia Vickery, USA (RG)
#160 - Veronica Cepede Royg, PAR (RG)

=MOST 2016 SLAM Q=
2 - Viktoriya Golubic, SUI
2 - Maryna Zanevska, UKR

2 - Oceane Dodin, FRA

=CONSECUTIVE SLAM Q - active streaks=
2 - Viktoriya Golubic, SUI (2016 AO, 2016 RG)
2 - Maryna Zanevska, UKR (2016 AO, 2016 RG)

2 - Veronica Cepede Royg, PAR

3 - Oceane Dodin, FRA (15 US/16 AO-RG)

3 - Alize Lim, FRA (2014-16)
2 - Oceane Dodin, FRA (2015-16)
2 - Amandine Hesse, FRA (2015-16)
2 - Virginie Razzano, FRA (2015-16)

2 - Louisa Chirico, USA (2016 AO WC, 2016 RG Q)

QF AO - Zhang Shuai, CHN
3rd Rd. AO - Naomi Osaka, JPN
2nd Rd. AO - Nicole Gibbs, USA
2nd Rd. AO - Kristyna Pliskova, CZE
2nd Rd. AO - Maria Sakkari, GRE
2nd Rd. AO - Anastasiya Sevastova, LAT
2nd Rd. AO - Wang Qiang, CHN
[wild cards]
2nd Rd. AO - Han Xinyun, CHN
[lucky losers]

3...China (3/0)
3...Czech Repubic (1/2)
3...United States (1/2)
2...Switzerland (1/1)
2...Turkey (0/2)
2...Ukraine (1/1)
LL: ESP (0/1)

Artist: Paul Thurlby (2013)

All for now. RG Preview and Week 20 recap to come.


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