Sunday, September 04, 2016

US.7 - Whoa, Caro

Well, it looks like the Dane might just be back.

Once the match-up was set for today's quarterfinal between Madison Keys and Caroline Woznicki, you knew it COULD be a problem for the #8 seed. While the current world #74 arrived in New York off a bad performance in New Haven and a season (year+) filled with injury and disappointment, she IS a former #1-ranked player in the world and a two-time U.S. Open finalist. Just one year ago, she was still ranked in the Top 5 after her previous return to relevance, which included a runner-up result to Serena Williams in NYC two years ago. Ever since escaping vs. Taylor Townsend in the 1st Round, Wozniacki's confidence has grown and her old groundstroke consistency from her #1 days has returned, mixed in with a tad of the '14 aggression that seemed to speak at the time to a new era for her career.

So far, it's worked like a charm.

While Keys has herself managed to escape on quite a few occasions at this slam -- being two points from defeat vs. Alison Riske in the 1st Round in a match that ended a nearly 2 a.m., then coming back from 5-1 down in the 3rd Round her last time on the court vs. Naomi Osaka -- and learned a great deal from those experiences, the possibility still lives and breathes that her game could go off the rails in the hail of errors if given the opportunity. While Keys has gotten better at extricating herself from such trouble over the past year, her own inconsistencies and inability to "throttle down" her shots can still bring down her own game, whether she's playing a fellow power player or not. In fact, versus an in-form Wozniacki, a player who can get multiple balls back with great defense and make Keys hit extra shots (inside the lines, in possible), the risk seemed even greater that Keys could be her own worst enemy today. Wozniacki knows very well how to take advantage of such an opponent. If Caro continued her upward progression, while Keys hit a bad streak, well, this one had the potential to play out in direct opposition to the relative (current) standing of the two on tour.

And that's just what happened.

In their Round of 16 encounter, Wozniacki jumped on Keys early with a break of serve. She led 3-1, served well enough to not allow her opponent to immediately bounce back, and kept her shots consistently deep enough in the court to thwart much of Keys' power advantage. Serving for the 1st set at 5-3, Wozniacki stepped in to fire a forehand winner down the line and into the corner for a winner to get to 30/15. A Keys backhand miss gave her a set point, and the Dane responded with a well-placed second serve that took Keys to the sidelines of the court and produced a forehand that went into the net. At 6-3, Wozniacki had only gotten a single break (on six chances) in the set. But she'd converted the one she needed, while never facing even a single BP on her own serve. While Keys had fifteen unforced errors, Wozniacki had just four.

One set down. One more to go.

The same story played out in the 2nd set. Keys missed a volley to fall behind 15/30 in the opening game, then consecutive backhand errors led to a break that saw Wozniacki take a 1-0 lead. Keys managed to break to get back on serve at 2-2, but then double-faulted on BP a game later to hand the advantage back. A Wozniacki hold for 4-2 put Keys in a similar position to the one she'd faced vs. Osaka. Only the Dane didn't crumble down the stretch and open the door wide for a miraculous comeback.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Wozniacki's double-fault offered Keys a glimpse of hope at 30/30. But once Keys helped things along by playing back-to-back shots in a rally to the Dane's always-reliable backhand side, the hopes faded fast. The rally continued, and ended with a Keys error. Really, as was anticipated by this point in the match. It gave Wozniacki her first MP. She then put a serve up the middle that Keys netted on her return attempt.

The Dane's 6-3/6-4 win suddenly has her in a major quarterfinal for the first time in two years, smiling like it's 2009 all over again, and breathing new life into that old notion of hers that she "has time" to get things right and achieve ultimate success in the sport, no matter how much carping she hears from all corners of the tennis world.

Maybe she was right, after all. Well, at least she has been for the past week.

As you know, Wozniology-101 is a class that is perpetually in session.

...already waiting for Wozniacki in the quarterfinals was Anastasija Sevastova, the 26-year old Latvian who return last season from her 2013 retirement reached yet another high mark as she became the first player from her nation to advance so far in a major since Larisa Savchenko twenty-two years ago at Wimbledon.

Much like the Dane, Sevastova seems to be getting better with every round. After her upset of #3 Garbine Muguruza two rounds ago, she's held her ground and not squandered the amazing opportunity placed before her. Today it was #13 Johanna Konta who fell by the wayside. In truth, the Latvian, who has yet to lose a set at this U.S. Open, dominated the Brit during the match, as Konta could never really get her game in order long enough to make a true push for the victory. But it was Sevastova's on-court gestures and sometimes berating of herself and her condition that at least made the match SEEM closer than it was.

Watching her today, she sometimes reminded me a great deal of Jelena Dokic, who often had the same sort of look on her face -- with an occasion out-of-nowhere smile thrown in, as was the case with Sevastova -- during the prime of her career as she'd seemingly be giving a running, and often biting, commentary on her play throughout the match. Of course, their games are very different, as Dokic relied on big shots for winners. While Sevastova can do that (she had 20 forehand winners alone today), she can also spread the ball around and seems to be thinking through things a great deal more than Backspin's all-time fave ever did.

Sevastova went up 3-0 in the 1st set today, and while she argued with herself throughout the set she still was in position to serve it out at 5-3. She held a SP, but dropped serve. Oh, she looked like she wanted to tear down Ashe Stadium brick by brick... with her bare hands. And then she went back out and broke Konta to take the 1st set.

In the 2nd, she took a 4-1 lead. Serving at 4-2, she fell behind love/40 and was broken. As Konta came close to drawing even at 4-3, Sevastova again surged and got the break. Once again, she served at 5-3. She held two MP, but was again broken when Konta placed a perfect lob into the backcourt. Again, the Latvian wanted to break something. And she did -- Konta, three games later to close out the 6-4/7-5 match.

So, a semifinalist will come from a "comeback queen" QF match-up between #74 Wozniacki and #48 Sevastova. Just like everyone foresaw a week ago.

"The crazy women's tennis tour." The Most Interesting Tour in the World. Take your pick.

...lost in the stories of the other two newly-minted quarterfinalists on Sunday was a 33-year old Italian who'd be a bigger story if, you know, she hadn't come this way before about twelve months ago.

Roberta Vinci, with the back of her left leg sporting physio tape and perhaps dealing with something of a back injury (or maybe it was just fatique, which she mentioned and seemed after the match) got off to another quick start against Lesia Tsurenko today, taking a 3-1 lead. But the Ukrainian got back on serve and forced a tie-break. She led 5-4, but Vinci swept the final three points. She didn't surrender her lead in the 2nd set, winning 7-6(5)/6-2 to reach her fourth career QF. All the results have come since she turned 29, and was five months from age 30.

THAT is the new WTA, and the sport as a whole. And it opens up the future to all sorts of "common" accomplishments that a decade or more ago would have seemed too loopy to believe possible. You know, like a 33-year old tennis star possibly being the THIRD-oldest player in the quarterfinals of a major... and no one even blinking an eye at such a fact.

Aching and very tired, but exceedingly happy, during her on-court interview with Mal Washington (ah, I always liked him as a player -- "Hey, Mal!") following this match on Armstrong, Vinci she talked about loving this tournament, New York and the fans. You almost felt as if she might actually reference the longtime tourism campaign slogan of "I ❤ NY!," or maybe even "pull a Jimmy Connors" and say something along the lines of "this is what they paid for, this is what they want." But, alas, no dice.

Maybe next time?

Speaking of, this year's Open -- and this Labor Day weekend, especially -- is the 25th anniversary of the semifinal run of a then 39-year old Connors in 1991. I didn't do a re-post of my "Backspin Time Capsule" for that this year, but here it is, anyway.

At the beginning of the season, Vinci said that this would likely be her last season, but later backtracked on that as she got off to a good start in her 2016 campaign. One year after seeing her good friend Flavia Pennetta make a big announcement following their match-up in the women's final, it might be worth bringing that up now, as Vinci once again will surely find herself on Ashe in the QF (vs. either Kerber or Kvitova, where she'd be the "underdog," for what that's worth). Hopefully, that'll just be a little note, though, and not a foreshadowing of anything to come later in the week.

...junior action began on Sunday in Flushing Meadows.

The two top-ranked Russians both were forced to three sets, but won. #1 Anastasia Potapova (Wimbledon girls champ) defeated the U.S.'s Maria Mateas, 7-6(4)/5-7/6-1, while #2 Olesya Pervushina made it past Hungary's Panna Udvardy, 4-6/6-3/6-4. Meanwhile, #4 Amanda Aminsisova, the 14-year old who notched a win in women's qualifying, defeated Spain's Eva Guerrero, 6-1/6-4. But #14-seed Kaja Juvan (SLO) was upset by China's Wang Xiyu, 6-4/6-1.

Meanwhile, Brit Katie Swan had to play nearly three hours, but she outlasted Bannerette Caroline Dolehide, 7-5/5-7/7-5. "regular" Week 35 action, the "Junior Star" of the week in 15-year old Pole Iga Swiatek. The #21-ranked junior won the Canadian Junior Championship in Repentigny to claim her first Grade 1 singles title. Swiatek had reached three previous Grade 1 semifinals this season.

The #5-seed, Swiatek defeated #10 Emily Appleton in the 3rd Round, Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals and then received a walkover from #1 Bianca Andreescu in the semis. In the final, she took out #2 Olga Danilovic when the 15-year old Serb retired up a set 6-3/0-2.

Still hoping for a moment where we see Iga and Aga (and maybe even Ula) all together in the same place.

On the ITF circuit, while we had no Sharapova (Witthoeft doesn't count) at the Open, we have a Sharipova here. Uzbekistan's Sabina Sharipova defeated China's Guo Hanyu to take the $25K challenger in Guiyang, China. It's the 22-year old's ninth singles title. In the doubles of that event, Brits Jocelyn Rae & Anna Smith claimed their 13th ITF win as a duo.

Elsewhere, 19-year old Pastry Oceane Dodin won a $25K in Barcelona (her seventh title); while Slovak Lenka Jurikova claimed her fourth 2016 ITF crown in a $10K event in Sankt Polten, Austria. She defeated 19-year old Kristina Schmiedlova in the final. Yes, of course, she's you-know-who's little sister.

Bannerette ChiChi Scholl won her second consecutive title (in her third straight ITF final) in the Schoonhoven, Netherlands, $10K challenger. She also took the doubles crown. And in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 18-year old Slovak Tereza Mihalikova won her fourth '16 event with a victory in the final over Zimbabwe's Valeria Bhunu. Mihalikova, the 2015 Australian Open girls champ (and '16 finalist) is currently on a ten-match winning streak.

And, in the $25K Noto event in Japan, it was 34-year old Japanese vet Rika Fujiwara winning her 29th career ITF doubles crown.

...tonight, we'll have a "PetrAngie" sighting on Ashe, as Kvitova and Kerber lock horns.

I may be back with a recap. Or maybe not. Sort of like with Petra.

If you-know-who takes the court, it could be a quick one and it'll sort of feel like I've already talked about the match, so I'm not sure there will be a point. If it's Good Petra, though, it could be a true classic night match featuring a pair of former slam champions.

So, let's see what happens.

"Coming THIS CLOSE to 'pulling a WICK-mayer'" ON DAY 7: ESPN's Pam Shriver, when talking about the pressure on the shoulders of Keys and Wozniacki in their Round of 16 match, noted that it's even greater "when you know you're going to play someone like Sevastova in the quarters." And she wasn't talking about either player worrying about the monster opponent that awaited them, either.

Oh, Pammy...


"SPEAKING OF POST-MATCH INTERVIEWS ON ESPN..." ON DAY 7: In yet another example of up being down and down being up when it comes to ESPN/ESPN2's coverage of this U.S. Open, when the actual network shows a match (ala Wozniacki/Keys) it's interesting that IT doesn't provide an on-air interviewer or show the post-match interview of the winner on court... something which has been a staple for more than a decade in the coverage of Ashe matches at the event on whichever outlet is the lead broadcaster, and something which ESPN DOES continue in night session coverage.

The interview happened today on WatchESPN, only with Rennae Stubbs being the one with the ESPN microphone talking to Wozniacki after her win, not Shriver or Tom Rinaldi or someone else.

It's as if the actual ESPN network channel isn't even the top dog on a broadcast that it holds the sole rights to.

Of note in the Stubbs interview, she managed to make Wozniacki a bit uncomfortable with a few oddly-posed questions, bringing up her Players Tribune piece and asking her what she's done in her career (or life, maybe?) that she wishes she hadn't. As is often the case with Stubbs, it appeared as if she was fishing for something specific, but when Caro didn't "get her drift" and/or play along, the whole thing just limped along and ended awkwardly with everyone sort of holding their breath. Sort of like 70% of Stubbs' post-match interviews. Earlier in the day, she'd tried to get something out of Sevastova by telling her she was the first Latvian to reach a slam QF since 1994. It got pretty much no response from Sevastova. Stubbs later joked that she probably wasn't even born yet in 1994.

Actually, she was about four. So, yeah, pretty much. Although, maybe if she'd mentioned the NAME of the player (Larisa Savchenko) she MIGHT have seen a spark of recognition in Sevastova's face.

LIKE ON DAY 7: Kudos to this guy. (And, yes, is sort of my way to half-criticize Simona for saying on air yesterday how much she loves listening to the commentary on ESPN. I mean, we KNOW why she said it, but still...)

LIKE ON DAY 7: An announcement of some note...

...and here's to wishing that Perrin could find her way into a match of some importance at some point, just to see whether we'd get the same sort of avoiding-the-subject commentary then that went on during NBC's Olympics coverage. Just wonderin'.



A photo posted by Carina Witthöft (@carina_witthoeft) on

LIKE ON DAY 7: And to think people griped about a cliffhanger ending to close out the previous season. It's called building anticipation, people.

Michelle understands.

...and, finally...

#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. Yaroslava Shvedova/KAZ
#11 Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP vs. #5 Simona Halep/ROU
#4 Aga Radwanska/POL vs. Ana Konjuh/CRO
#10 Karolina Pliskova/CZE vs. #6 Venus Williams/USA
Caroline Wozniacki/DEN def. #8 Madison Keys/USA
Anastasija Sevastova/LAT def. #13 Johanna Konta/GBR
#7 Roberta Vinci/ITA def. Lesia Tsurenko/UKR
#14 Petra Kvitova/CZE vs. #2 Angelique Kerber/GER

#1 Garcia/Mladenovic (FRA/FRA) def. Hozumi/Kato (JPN/JPN)
Gibbs/Hibino (USA/JPN) vs. #7 Mirza/Strycova (IND/CZE)
#4 Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) vs. #16 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE)
#6 Hingis/Vandeweghe (SUI/USA) def. #11 Zhu Yifan/Zheng Siasai (CHN/CHN)
#12 Mattek-Sands/Safarova (USA/CZE) def. #8 Goerges/Ka.Pliskova (GER/CZE) vs.
(WC) Muhammad/Townsend (USA/USA) def. #3 Babos/Shvedova (HUN/KAZ)
#5 Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) def. #10 King/Niculescu (USA/ROU)
#13 Klepac/Srebotnik (SLO/SLO vs. Kudryavtseva/Lisicki (RUS/GER)

Krejcikova/Draganja (CZE/CRO) vs. #7 Vandeweghe/Ram (USA/USA)
Groenefeld/Farah (GER/COL) vs. Dabrowski/Bopanna (CAN/IND)
(WC) Gibbs/Novikov (USA/USA) vs. x/x
Y-J.Chan/Zimonjic (TPE/SRB) vs. #2 Shvedova/Soares (KAZ/BRA)

At least someone is excited about this.

Wanna be photographer #NYC

A photo posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

2007 Vera Zvonareva, RUS
2008 Anna-Lena Groenefeld, GER
2009 Kim Clijsters, BEL
2010 Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2011 Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond, USA/USA
2012 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2013 Flavia Pennetta, ITA
2014 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2015 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2016 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
AO: Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka, CZE/CZE
RG: Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
WI: Serena Williams/Venus Williams, USA/USA
US: Caroline Wozniacki, DEN

[since 32-seed draw in 2001]
2001 Daja Bedanova, CZE
2002 Elena Bovina, RUS
2004 Shinobu Asagoe, JPN
2007 Agnes Szavay, HUN
2009 Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
2009 Kim Clijsters, BEL (WC) - won title
2009 Melanie Oudin, USA
2009 Yanina Wickmayer, BEK
2010 Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
2011 Angelique Kerber, GER
2013 Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
2013 Flavia Pennetta, ITA
2014 Belinda Bencic, SUI
2014 Peng Shuai, CHN
2015 Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
2015 Roberta Vinci, ITA - reached final
2016 Anastasija Sevastova, LAT
2016 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
NOTE: Konjuh & Shvedova still to play 4th Rd.

6...Isabella Shinikova, BUL
5...Jaqueline Cristian, ROU
4...Marie Bouzkova, CZE
4...Susanne Celik, SWE
4...Anna Kalinskaya, RUS
4...Tamara Korpatsch, GER
4...Tereza Mihalikova, SVK
4...Angelica Moratelli, ITA
4...Chantal Skamlova, SVK
4...Viktoriya Tomova, BUL

AO: #5 Vera Lapko/BLR def. #2 Tereza Mihalikova/SVK
RG: #12 Rebeka Masarova/SUI def. #2 Amanda Anisimova/USA
WI: #4 Anastasia Potapova/RUS def. #7 Dayana Yastremska/UKR
US: ?

JAN: Vera Lapko, BLR
FEB: Sofya Zhuk, RUS
MAR: Elena Rybakina, RUS
APR: Anna Blinkova, RUS
MAY: Jodie Anna Burrage, GBR
JUN: Rebeka Masarova, SUI
JUN: Amina Anshba, RUS
JUL: Anastasia Potapova, RUS
JUL: Rebeka Masarova, SUI
AUG: Kayla Day, USA
[2016 Weekly JUNIOR STAR Award Wins]
6...Olesya Pervushina, RUS
5...Amina Anshba, RUS
5...Anastasia Potapova, RUS
4...Usue Arconada, USA
4...Kayla Day, USA
4...Rebeka Masarova, SUI
3...Bianca Andreescu, CAN
3...Amanda Anisimova, USA
3...Eva Guerredo, ESP
3...Tereza Mihalikova, SVK
3...Dayana Yastremska, UKR
3...Katarina Zavatska, UKR
2...Anna Blinkova, RUS
2...Jodie Anna Burrage, GBR
2...Georgia Andreea Craciun, ROU
2...Emeline Dartron, FRA
2...Jaimee Fourlis, AUS
2...Kaja Juvan, SLO
2...Anna Kalinskaya, RUS
2...Sonya Kenin, USA
2...Wiktoria Kulik, POL
2...Vera Lapko, BLR
2...Claire Liu, USA
2...Elena Rybakina, RUS
2...Anastasia Zarytska, UKR

TOP QUALIFIER: Taylor Townsend/USA
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #1 Serena Williams/USA
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2: Eri Hozumi/JPN d. (WC) Amanda Anisimova/USA 6-1/2-6/7-6(1) [Hozumi trails 4-0 in the 3rd, saves a MP vs. the 14-year old]
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2nd Rd. - Kateryna Bondarenko/UKR d. Zheng Saisai/CHN (5-7/7-6(5)/7-5; Zheng served up 5-4 2nd and 5-3 in TB; 3:01)
FIRST VICTORY: Cagla Buyukakcay/TUR (def. Falconi/USA)
FIRST SEED OUT: #30 Misaki Doi/JPN (lost 1st Rd. to Witthoeft/GER)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Belgium (0-4 in 1st Rd.)
CRASH & BURN: #32 Monica Puig/PUR (Olympic Gold medalist; lost 1st rd. to Sai.Zheng/CHN)
ZOMBIE QUEEN (TBD at QF): Nominees: #13 Konta (2nd Rd. - collapses at end of 2nd set due to heat vs. Pironkova, wins 6-2 3rd set); #8 Keys (3rd Rd. - down 5-1 vs. Osaka in 3rd set, two points from defeat, wins 7-3 TB); #5 Halep (3rd Rd. - down 3-1 vs. Babos in 3rd set)
IT ("??"): Nominees: Konjuh/CRO, Ka.Pliskova/CZE
Ms.OPPORTUNITY: Nominees: A.Sevastova/LAT, Ka.Pliskova/CZE, C.Suarez-Navarro/ESP
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Lauren Davis/USA, Kayla Day/USA, Vania King/USA (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST BANNERETTE STANDING: In 4th Rd.: M.Keys(L), S.Williams, V.Williams
COMEBACK PLAYER: Caroline Wozniacki/DEN
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM VETERAN CUP (KDK CUP): Nominees: R.Vinci/ITA, V.Williams/USA, Y.Shvedova/KAZ, S.Williams/USA
BROADWAY-BOUND: Nominee: M.Keys/USA, A.Sevastova/LAT
LADY OF THE EVENING: Nominee: M.Keys/USA (won latest-ending women's match - 1:48 a.m.), S.Williams/USA (2-0 under the lights in superhero garb)

All for Day 7.


Blogger Diane said...

7 years later, I'm still not totally convinced that Shriver meant any harm in ner "Wickmayer" moment. She may have; I don't know. She may have what I will describe as "resting sarcasm voice." There is always SO much going on with Shriver's inflection. Also, I don't think of her as being mean-spirited. Quite often, she's the voice (the only voice) of reason among a large group of overpaid clowns who make a mockery of sports commentary.

It certainly didn't sound (or look) good. I recall being stunned when it happened. Oh, Pam.

Sun Sep 04, 09:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yeah, over time, I've come to the same conclusion about her. Often she just doesn't have a filter. Usually, that's a very good thing... especially in the den of thieves that is the ESPN commentating crew. Then, like today with her mini-slip with Sevastova, she just thought that the fact was that one player SHOULD defeat another. Nothing against Wickmayer, but she was right back then, and she MAY be this time, too. And if Wozniacki DOESN'T win that QF, it WILL be looked at as a squandered opportunity, considering Sevastova's lack of any previous results like this one.

I haven't listened to a great deal of actual ESPN commentary from the regular group (it's best left avoided) at this slam, but she WAS indeed the only one I actually heard even bring up the USTA/Bouchard thing. If Genie had lasted longer, I suspect she might have expressed a stronger opinion about it, too. I KNOW none of the other would have, as most are too tied in to the organization to do it. Pammy just thinks it, then says it.

(She's especially a hoot to listen to during Radwanska matches.)

She's easily my favorite part of the whole ESPN lot. Unfortunately, thanks to that clip and the way things are, she'll probably always be more remembered by most for the Wozniacki/Wickmayer thing than her Hall of Fame career.

Mon Sep 05, 12:28:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Didn't realize until phonegate that Baghdatis is married to Karolina Sprem.

Stat of the Day-22- Years since a woman from Latvia has been an a slam QF. But of the nations that have a player in the Top 50(25), are there any with a longer drought entering this slam? Oh, if you think I forgot China, I am going by the official rankings, not the projected ones, although Zheng would be 50 even if Konjuh wins.

Last QF Appearance by nation/slam
BEL-Van Uytvanck-F-2015

So it is Sweden. Ironically, Sweden is at the bottom of this list because Larsson is ranked at 48. Seems hard to believe that their drought has gone so long for two reasons. One is that Lindqvist reached the QF or better at a slam 5 times, so you get used to seeing that flag. The other? Since Sweden's last QF, Austria has had 6(Wiesner, Plischke, Schwartz, Schett, Bammer, Paszek) reach at least one.

Note-Yes, you can quibble about Gigi Fernandez, but since she did compete in the Olympics for Puerto Rico in 84, Puig being the 2nd this year, I put her in.

Mon Sep 05, 10:02:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Since Williams is a heavy favorite over Shvedova, it should be mentioned that USA has beat KAZ at every slam this year.

AO-Keys def Diyas/Shvedova
F-S.Williams def Putinseva
W-V.Williams def Shvedova.

Mon Sep 05, 10:18:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

I'd agree with you on Gigi -- just because it's hard to overlook her as being from PUR, since she's really the ONLY other player of note from there -- though I guess, based on the reactions during the Olympics, there are a lot of Puerto Ricans who'll never forgive her. Hey, as a player capable of achieving the things she was, representing the U.S. was the best decision she could have made for her career.

Sweden is one of those nations that you can't help but ask, "Why?", when it comes to how top players have just gone away. Not just with the women but, even more oddly, with the men, considering a history that includes Borg, Wilander, Edberg, Johansson, Bjorkman, Jarryd, Pernfors and others. There hasn't been a young Swede -- other than the brief shining light that was the late, lamented career of Soderling -- who has been a real player in slams.

Maybe the Ymer brothers can change that, but I don't know.

Mon Sep 05, 10:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Soderling was a treat, wasn't he?

The narrative of the Pliskova/Williams match changed about 7 times, but I will go with this. Pliskova pulled a Serena. The match that comes to mind is the which Henin match in Miami.Serena went down 5-0, then stretched the last game just long enough to figure her out. Then had to save a match point. Pliskova won this because down 1-5, she made a match of it in the 1st, which kept Venus out there longer. Also saved a match point.

Great stuff from both.

Mon Sep 05, 03:51:00 PM EDT  

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