Friday, July 08, 2016

W.12- The Day Before the Day

2007 U.S. Open 1st Rd. - S.Williams 6-3/7-5
2012 Cincinnati QF - Kerber 6-4/6-4
2012 WTA Championships rr - S.Williams 6-4/6-1
2013 WTA Championships rr - S.Williams 6-3/6-1
2014 Miami QF - S.Williams 6-2/6-2
2014 Stanford Final - S.Williams 7-6(1)/6-3
2016 Australian Open Final - Kerber 6-4/3-6/6-4
2016 Wimbledon Final - ??
OVERALL S.Williams 5-2
Slams: tied 1-1
Hard: S.Williams 5-2
Clay: --
Grass: --
Outdoor: S.Williams 3-2
Indoor: S.Williams 2-0
Tie-breaks: S.Williams 1-0
Winner of 1st set: 7-0
Three-setters: Kerber 1-0
Finals: S.Williams 2-1

...a quick rundown of the action from Friday:

The first ever Wimbledon WC singles final is set, and it'll be an all-Dutch affair as #1 Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot will meet for the third time in the last five major finals.

Van Koot, 25, was the first to punch her ticket to the championship match, taking out 24-year old Brit Jordanne Whiley 7-5/6-3. Whiley, the '15 U.S. Open champ, was angry and left Court 16 about as quickly as she could once the match was over. She had good reason to feel that way, too, as she squandered many an opportunity on Friday that might have led to her having the chance to become forever known as the Brit who won the first Wimbledon WC singles championship.

Whiley had served for the 1st set at 5-3, only to quickly fall down love/40 and be broken. But a game later she had a SP on Van Koot's serve before the two-time slam winning Dutch woman held in a three-deuce game. Van Koot then broke Whiley and served for the set herself at 6-5. Whiley reached BP, but Van Koot again held, pulling off a drop shot and lob combination on SP to close out the :50 set.

In the 2nd, Van Koot opened with a break, then put away three more to take a 5-0, triple-break lead. But she had a difficult time putting Whiley away. The Dutch woman twice was broken while serving for the match. Finally, at 5-3 she reached MP and took the match on her second MP opportunity in the game when Whiley couldn't get back a deep ball.

Van Koot is now 23-4 vs. Whiley, but will next face off with her countrywoman (and doubles partner) Griffioen, a winner of three slam singles titles and who sports a 23-12 record vs. Van Koot.

31-year old Griffioen's semifinal opponent was 28-year old Roland Garros champ Marjolein Buis, also from the Netherlands. Griffioen arrived on Court 17 with a 23-5 record vs. Buis, but it would turn out to be a struggle. Buis served for the 1st set at 5-4, only to see her awkward-looking, often off-balance serve (with an exceedingly high toss... the WC version of Steffi Graf's monster tosses, on some level) deliver a break via a DF on BP. Griffioen pushed ahead 6-5, then held a SP on Buis' serve in game #12. Buis held to force a TB, which she handily won 7-1.

Griffioen jumped on her countrywoman in the 2nd set, breaking in the opening game, holding from love/40 down in game #2 and ultimately taking the set at love. Griffieon held an early break lead in the 3rd, then after Buis got the break back the #1 seed broke for a 5-4 lead and served for the match. She wasn't able to get it done, though, and the set went to a deciding TB. This time, Buis didn't race to the lead, Griffioen did. She took a 4-2 advantage and reached MP at 6-3 with a pretty high backhand volley off a Buis retrieval of a drop shot. She claimed the match (after her fifth service toss attempt to start the point, as her nerves were obviously causing a few issues) with a backhand winner off the baseline just past and behind Buis for a 6-7(1)/6-0/7-6(3) win.

Griffioen and Van Koot's 36th meeting in singles with be their sixth in grand slam competition. Van Koot in 3-0 in the previous five match-ups that took place before the final, but Griffioen has won both meetings to decide slams.

Granted, it's largely based on more closely watching the QF and SF at this Wimbledon, but Van Koot appears to be the player in the field who maneuvers herself around the court better than anyone else. Her pinpoint starts and stops, and quick 180-degree turns to get into position to direct balls in desired directions and switch from her backhand to forehand (or vice versa) are quite the feat. If she were only a bit less inconsistent, she might have the most post-Vergeen WC slam titles, an honor that currently resides with Griffioen. Perhaps not coincidentally, Griffioen seems to be the most consistent player in the WC field. Accordingly, Van Koot has now reached more WC singles finals (7) than any woman in the post-Vergeer era, but she hasn't won one since 2013 and has lost four straight slam finals. Griffioen, on the other hand, has the best record (3-1) of any of the players who've appeared in multiple slam finals since 2013 and has won her last three.

Later in the day, #2-seeded Griffioen/Van Koot returned to reach their fifteenth straight slam doubles final (they're 6-8), where they'll meet their usual foes -- #1-seeded Whiley & Yui Kamiji. Best friends Kamiji & Whiley are the two-time defending SW19 champs and have won seven slam titles together.

Venus & Serena Williams returned to action on Friday, squaring off with #8-seeded Julia Goerges & Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. Goerges/Pliskova actually led by a break in both the 1st and 2nd sets, but the Sisters advanced to their sixth Wimbledon final (and fourteen overall at a slam) with a 7-6(3)/6-3 win. Oh, Pliskova.

So far, Venus & Serena are 13-0 in those finals, so should #5-seeded Timea Babos & Yaroslava Shvedova (already a victim of Venus in singles this week) be considered "Poor Souls?" The duo took out #10 Atawo/Spears in today's other semifinal. It's Babos' second career Wimbledon final (lost w/ Kiki Mladenovic in '14), while it'll be Shvedova's sixth career slam WD final. The Kazakh is 2-3, with her first win coming in her only other Wimbledon final, with Vania King in 2010.

Shvedova still has a shot at the Mixed title, as well. She's in the MX semis with Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi. She lost in the 2010 RG final wih Julien Knowle, her best career slam result.

In mixed action today, the semifinals were finally set as Heather Watson & Henri Kontinen advanced to the final four, where they'll meet Jelena Ostapenko (yes, the stubborn and moody Latvian is STILL hanging around... so hold onto your seats) & Oliver Marach. She was in good spirits today, though, so it was safe to approach. See?

Once again, Olesya Pervushina and Anastasia Potapova reached the singles semifinals of a major and once again the doubles partners failed to make it a "Hordette-vs.-Hordette" final (a year after the all-Russian Zhuk/Blinkova championship at SW19). Unlike in Paris, though, one of them DID reach the final, though.

#4 Potapova, 15, defeated #5 Kayla Day (USA) 5-7/6-0/6-2. The Bannerette had served at 5-4 in the 1st, only to be broken in a four-deuce game. Day broke back a game later and served out the set, but only won two games the rest of the way.

In the later-finishing semi, #1 Pervushina fell behind #7-seeded Dayana Yastremska 4-1 in a 1st set TB, but leveled things at 4-4. The 16-year old Ukrainian reached SP when the Russian sprayed a forehand error off a deep ball, then Yastremska claimed the TB at 7-4 when Pervushina missed on a volley. The Ukrainian yelled loudly as she ran to the changeover area. At times today, the eager Yastremska's mannerisms reminded me a little of those of Vika Azarenka.

Pervushina served up 5-3 in the 2nd set, but failed to put the set away. A game later, she went up love/40 on Yastremska's serve, but couldn't secure three SP. After having to save a BP in game #11, the Russian held and the two eventually went to another TB. Pervushina won it 7-2 to force a 3rd set. There, Yastremska won 6-3 as Pervushina failed to take advantage of numerous BP chances -- two in game #1, 2 more in game #5. After faltering there, the Russian was broken in game #6, double-faulting on BP.

The Ukrainian won 7-6(4)/6-7(2)/6-3 and is the sixth different girl from her nation to reach a junior slam final. So far, only Kateryna Bondarenko ('04 Wimbledon) and Elina Svitolina ('10 RG) have won major titles.

#1-seeded Pervushinva & Potapova are still alive in the girls doubles QF.





LIKE ON DAY 12: Sesil, after all these years.

...and, finally, the time in drawing near.

#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #4 Angelique Kerber/GER

#5 Babos/Shvedova (HUN/KAZ) vs. Williams/Williams (USA/USA)

#14 Shvedova/Qureshi (KAZ/PAK) vs. #15 Groenefeld/Farah (GER/COL)
Ostapenko/Marach (LAT/AUT) vs. Watson/Kontinen (GBR/FIN)

#7 Dayana Yastremska/UKR vs. #4 Anastasia Potapova/RUS

#1 Pervushina/Potapova (RUS/RUS) vs. #4 Arconada/Liu (USA/USA)
#3 Juvan/Swiatek (SLO/POL) vs. Bolkvadze/McNally (GEO/USA)

#1 Jiske Griffioen/NED vs. Aniek Van Koot/NED

#1 Kamiji/Whiley (JPN/GBR) vs. #2 Griffioen/Van Koot (NED/NED)

5 - Sabine Ellerbrock, GER (2-3)
5 - Yui Kamiji, JPN (2-3)
1 - Marjolein Buis, NED (1-0)
1 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR (1-0)

2013 AO - #1 Aniek Van Koot/NED def. #2 Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
2013 RG - Sabine Ellerbrock/GER def. #2 Jiske Griffioen/NED
2013 US - #2 Aniek Van Koot/NED def. #1 Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
2014 AO - #1 Sabine Ellerbrock/GER def. #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN
2014 RG - #1 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Aniek Van Koot/NED
2014 US - #1 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. #2 Aniek Van Koot/NED
2015 AO - Jiske Griffioen/NED def. #1 Yui Kamiji/JPN
2015 RG - #2 Jiske Griffioen/NED def. Aniek Van Koot/NED
2015 US - Jordanne Whiley/GBR def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
2016 AO - #1 Jiske Griffioen/NED def. Aniek Van Koot/NED
2016 RG - Marjolein Buis/NED def. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
2016 WI - #1 Jiske Griffioen/NED vs. Aniek Van Koot/NED

Ekaterina Makarova - 2012 AO (Serena), 2014 AO (Venus)
Sloane Stephens - 2013 AO (Serena), 2015 RG (Venus)
Angelique Kerber - 2016 AO (Serena), 2016 WI (Venus)

2002 Vera Dushevina/RUS def. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2003 Kirsten Flipkens/BEL def. Anna Chakvetadze/RUS
2004 Kateryna Bondarenko/UKR def. Ana Ivanovic/SRB
2005 Agnieszka Radwanska/POL def. Tamira Paszek/AUT
2006 Caroline Wozniacki/DEN def. Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK
2007 Urszula Radwanska/POL def. Madison Brengle/USA
2008 Laura Robson/GBR def. Noppawan Lertcheewakarn/THA
2009 Noppawan Lertcheewakarn/THA def. Kristina Mladenovic/FRA
2010 Kristyna Pliskova/CZE def. Sachie Ishizu/JPN
2011 Ashleigh Barty/AUS def. Irina Khromacheva/RUS
2012 Eugenie Bouchard/CAN def. Elina Svitolina/UKR
2013 Belinda Bencic/SUI def. Taylor Townsend/USA
2014 Jelena Ostapenko/LAT def. Kristina Schmiedlova/SVK
2015 Sofya Zhuk/RUS def. Anna Blinkova/RUS
2016 #4 Anastasia Potapova/RUS vs. #7 Dayana Yastremska/UKR

1965 Wimbledon - Olga Morozova
1971 Roland Garros - Elena Granatourova
1971 Wimbledon - Marina Kroshina
1975 Wimbledon - Natasha Chmyreva
1975 US Open - Natasha Chmyreva
1976 Wimbledon - Natasha Chmyreva
1986 Wimbledon - Natalia Zvereva
1987 Roland Garros - Natalia Zvereva
1987 Wimbledon - Natalia Zvereva
1987 US Open - Natalia Zvereva
1998 Roland Garros - Nadia Petrova
1999 Wimbledon - Lina Krasnoroutskaya
2002 Wimbledon - Vera Dushevina
2002 US Open - Maria Kirilenko
2006 Australian Open - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2006 US Open - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2007 Australian Open - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2009 Australian Open - Ksenia Pervak
2010 US Open - Daria Gavrilova
2014 Australian Open - Elizaveta Kulichkova
2014 Roland Garros - Daria Kasatkina
2015 Wimbledon - Sofya Zhuk

2000 WI - Maria-Emilia Salerni/ARG def. TATIANA PEREBIYNIS/UKR
2000 US - Maria-Emilia Salerni/ARG def. TATIANA PEREBIYNIS/UKR
2003 AO - Barbora Strycova/CZE def. VIKTORIYA KUTUZOVA/UKR
2010 RG - ELINA SVITOLINA/UKR def. Ons Jabeur/TUN
2012 WI - Genie Bouchard/CAN def. ELINA SVITOLINA/UKR
2014 US - Marie Bouzkova/CZE def. ANHELINA KALININA/UKR
2015 WI - Anastasia Potapova/RUS vs. Dayana Yastremska/UKR

2007 Urszula Radwanska, POL
2008 Laura Robson, GBR
2009 Timea Babos, HUN & Miyabi Inoue, JPN
2010 Kristyna Pliskova, CZE
2011 Ashleigh Barty, AUS
2012 Eugenie Bouchard, CAN
2013 Louisa Chirico, USA
2014 Jelena Ostapenko, LAT
2015 Sofya Zhuk, RUS
2016 Dayana Yastremska, UKR

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #5 Simona Halep/ROU
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #4 Angelique Kerber/GER
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q3: #7 Tamira Paszek/AUT d. Andrea Hlavackova/CZE 6-3/5-7/10-9 ret. (Paszek MP in 2nd, ankle injury; Paszek up 5-3 3rd; Hlavackova ret. w/ cramps, collapses onto back after match)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2nd Rd. #3 Aga Radwanska/POL d. Ana Konjuh/CRO 6-2/4-6/9-7 (3 MP, one on net cord; Konjuh rolled ankle stepping on ball)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 4th Rd. - #19 Dominika Cibulkova/SVK d. #3 Aga Radwanska/POL (6-3/5-7/9-7; 3:00; Radwanska MP, Cibulkova served for match three times, on MP #3)
TOP LATE-RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr.): Nominee: Girls 3rd Rd. - C.Liu d. #3 A.Anisimova 4-6/6-2/13-11
FIRST WINNER: #29 Daria Kasatkina/RUS (def. Duval/USA in :51)
FIRST SEED OUT: #25 Irina-Camelia Begu/ROU (lost 1st Rd. to Witthoeft/GER)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: China (1-4 1st Rd.; only win by LL Duan Yingying)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Jana Cepelova/SVK, Marina Erakovic/NZL, Julia Boserup/USA (all 3rd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Tara Moore/GBR and Evgeniya Rodina/RUS (both 2nd Rd.)
LAST BRIT/CRUMPET STANDING: Johanna Konta/GBR and Tara Moore/GBR (both 2nd Rd.)
IT ("WC First"): J.Griffioen or A.Van Koot
COMEBACK: Nominees: Y.Shvedova, S.Williams/V.Williams
CRASH & BURN: #2 Garbine Muguruza/ESP (reigning RG champ and '15 Wimbledon finalist; lost 1st Rd. in under an hour to qualifier Cepelova/SVK)
ZOMBIE QUEEN (TBD at QF): #19 Dominika Cibulkova/SVK & #3 Aga Radwanksa/POL (Cibulkova saved MP and won 9-7 3rd vs. Radwanska in 4th Rd.; Radwanska won 2nd Rd. vs. Konjuh, saving 3 MP, one on a net cord; Konjuh turned ankle stepping on a ball in game #15 of 3rd set, Radwanska won 9-7)
THE RADWANSKA DAY REMEMBRANCE AWARD (June 26 official/Day 3 observed): 74 s/d matches are scheduled: due to rain, 41 are cancelled, 15 suspended and 18 completed. Only 6 matches were both started and finished solely on Day 3, with 4 of those played under the Centre Court roof. But Aga Radwanska opens the Centre Court schedule and wins without incident, while her '16 RG conqueror Tsvetana Pironkova loses in previously unscheduled C.C. match.
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: T.Babos, Y.Shvedova, H.Watson, J.Ostapenko
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Dayana Yastremska/UKR

All for Day 12. More tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

Great graphic of Angie and Serena. Can you even begin to imagine what their mental preparation is? This is such a strange period in Serena's career history, yet really, it's probably one we should have come to expect. I just wish people could enjoy the tennis without wrapping it up in so-called historical (you know how I feel about that) and tense rhetoric. There needs to be a mindfulness course for tennis fans, commentators and journalists.

Fri Jul 08, 08:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Hmmmm, the RUS/UKR Girls final sort of goes the direction i'm going today.

Stat of the Day-17- the amount of doubles titles won by sisters. In the Open Era, there have only been two. The Williams Sisters, who are going for their 14th, and the Bondarenko sisters, whose 2008 season has been overlooked. A slam title at the AO, SF at French and Olympics, although they got nothing as they lost the bronze medal match. No Kichenok or Pliskova sisters, although a twin has won in mixed. Melanie Oudin, who didn't win with a Bryan brother, but with Jack Sock.

For those who consider all history, you have the Roosevelts and the Atkinsons. But I didn't count the Cozens sisters. Why? Because they weren't sisters.

Their story is much more twisted and tragic. Daphne Akhurst and Louie Bickerton won the AO in 1929 and 1931. Both also had won with other partners. Daphne Akhurst married Royston Cozens and retired in 1931. She attempted to have children, but had an ectopic pregnancy and died at 29. Two years later, Royston married Louie, and they stayed married for 63 years.

The Williams sisters are in rarefied air. With their 14th title, they will tie for 3rd on the all time list. Frenandez/Zvereva had 14 together, Brough Clapp/Osborne Dupont 19, and Navratilova/Shriver had 20. Martina has an insane total of 31, but as much as you say rivalry, her first was with Chris Evert. Evert's first was with Olga Morozova, which brings up a weird quirk. Their title in 1974, and Savchenko Neiland with Zvereva(2 titles) were it for the old Soviet Union. In fact more former Russians have won than those under the flag, especially since 15 of Zvereva's titles were for Belarus. Add the Bondarenko sisters(UKR), and Shvedova(KAZ), and you have quite a haul. Even Neiland's titles in mixed were for Latvia.

For Russia, Kuznetsova/Zvonareva & Makarova/Vesnina have won as pairs. Kuznetsova, Zvonareva and Safina have won with non Russians, the latter two with Nathalie Dechy.

Fri Jul 08, 08:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

On the bright side, if and when Serena gets the next one maybe that'll calm down for a bit. And it'd be interesting to see HER reaction, too, to not playing with the pressure of a number hanging over her head.

No Chans, either. Though it would seem as if they might have a decent shot to eventually get at least one slam.

Interesting stuff on Akhurst. I didn't really know much of anything about her, other than the AO singles championship trophy being named for her.

Sat Jul 09, 12:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

So glad Serena got her 22.
She was super focused. Good to see her back. Monkey's off her back finally.

Sat Jul 09, 11:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hey, Jo! You should check out Yastremska if you ever get the chance, just to see if she reminds you a bit of Vika, too. I DON'T THINK it's just me... but I'm not 100% sure. ;)

Sat Jul 09, 07:19:00 PM EDT  

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