Wk.41- It Don't Mean a Thing If Caro Ain't Got that Asian Swing
Who had another good week in Asia? Caro, that's who.
*WEEK 41 CHAMPIONS*
LINZ, AUSTRIA (Hard/Indoor)
S: Dominika Cibulkova/SVK def. Viktorija Golubic/SUI 6-3/7-5
D: Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson (NED/SWE) d. Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Kveta Peschke (GER/CZE) 4-6/6-2 [10-7]
HONG KONG, CHINA (Hard/Outdoor)
S: Caroline Wozniacki/DEN def. Kristina Mladenovic/FRA 6-1/6-7(4)/6-2
D: Chang Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE/TPE) d. Naomi Broady/Heather Watson (GBR/GBR) 6-3/6-1
TIANJIN, CHINA (Hard/Outdoor)
S: Peng Shuai/CHN def. Alison Riske/USA 7-6(3)/6-2
D: Peng Shuai/Christina McHale (CHN/USA) d. Magda Linette/Xu Yifan (POL/CHN) 7-6(8)/6-0
Co-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Caroline Wozniacki/DEN and Dominika Cibulkova/SVK
...still a brick house, Wozniacki's sudden change of fortune continued last week in Hong Kong. After having been just 13-14 on the season prior the start of the U.S. Open, the Dane raised her record to 19-3 since then with her second 4Q title run to go along with the surprise Flushing Meadows semifinal result that kicked things off. Wozniacki posted wins over Zheng Saisai, Heather Watson, Wang Qiang, and defending champ Jelena Jankovic to reach her 42nd career final, doing so without dropping a set. Then, in her first tour final in China since 2010, she outlasted Kristina Mladenovic in three sets to take career title #25 and move back into the Top 20 after having been ranked at #74 at the start of the U.S. Open less than two months ago.
In Linz, Cibulkova's comeback season hit yet another high point, as she reached her sixth '16 final and picked up her third title of the season. It puts her in a six-way tie for the tour lead. The Slovak, who recently returned to the Top 10, also qualified for her first WTA Finals with her string of straight sets wins over Belinda Bencic, Annika Beck, defending champ Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Carla Suarez-Navarro and Viktorija Golubic. A runner-up at the Linz event in 2011, Cibulkova's title this time around makes her the first player with two (w/ Katowice) indoor titles in 2016.
RISERS: Kristina Mladenovic/FRA, Dasha Gavrilova/AUS and Alison Riske/USA
...in Hong Kong, Mladenovic's quest for her first WTA singles title continued. And even after wins over Nao Hibino, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Gavrilova to reach her third career tour final, that quest will have to continue beyond this week. The Pastry fell in the deciding match to Caroline Wozniacki, but only after taking a 2nd set TB to force a final set. Mladenovic will go from #54 to #42 on Monday.
Gavrilova's Hong Kong experience didn't last as long as Kiki's, but she pulled off the biggest win of her career. A week after reaching the Beijing QF with wins over Christina McHale, Timea Bacsinszky, and Caroline Garcia, the Aussie topped that performance with a straight sets win over #1 Angelique Kerber to reach her first semifinal of the season, as well as reclaim some of the early season magic that shot her to stardom Down Under at the Australian Open in January. With her ranking inching up to #37 this week, Dasha might soon find herself in good position for a seed next season in her to Melbourne, too.
Meanwhile, Riske is having one of the most under-the-radar good seasons on tour. Her second appearance in the Tianjin final (she won the event two years ago) was her third at the WTA level in 2016, as she'll rise to #41 (one off her career-high) on Monday after having ended the 2015 season at #97. Her wins over Timea Babos, Magda Linette, Han Xinyun, and Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach her fourth career WTA final were enough to allow her to pass the likes of Mladenovic, Bencic, Ostapenko, McHale, Jankovic, Bouchard, and Errani in the tour rankings JUST THIS WEEK in her jump from #56. Unfortunately, the rain at the Chinese event may have compromised Riske a little, as she had less than two hours to recover from her three-set semifinal before having to return to play the final against a decidedly more fresh Peng Shuai.
SURPRISE: Viktorija Golubic/SUI
...in the same week in which she was nominated by the WTA for "Most Improved Player of the Year" AND celebrated her 24th birthday, Golubic added another chapter in Linz to her dreamy '16 campaign. After previous star turns in Fed Cup and as a maiden title winner in Gstaad, Golubic reached her second career WTA singles final with wins over Laura Siegemund, Julia Goerges and top-seeded Garbine Muguruza, who retired from their QF match after falling and injuring her ankle at 4-4 in the 3rd set. Golubic advanced to the final after Madison Keys, who'd already qualified for the WTA Finals, pulled out of their semifinal match. The Swiss then lost a straights sets final to Dominika Cibulikova, who also qualified for the wTA Finals with her victory. She'll jump from #62 to a career-best #54 on Monday.
VETERANS: Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS, Alize Cornet/FRA and Jelena Jankovic/SRB
...all three did good things last week, but came up a bit short.
Jankovic, showing good late-season signs of further competitiveness at age 31, reached the Hong Kong semifinals (her third SF-or-better result of '16, though she lost to eventual champ Caroline Wozniacki) with wins over the likes of Samantha Crawford, Aleksandra Krunic and Cornet, but it comes in the event at which she was the defending champion, so she'll see her ranking slip from #37 to a point where she's perilously holding onto a Top 50 ranking at #47. She hasn't finished a season outside the Top 28 since 2003. Still, after a mostly forgettable year, JJ has posted a 9-4 4th Quarter record and has (at least for now) quelled any worried notions about how much longer we'll have her around. She's surely exploring the final chapters as we speak, but she remains and will always be a "Queen." Queen Chaos, that is.
Love this headline in today's Sunday Morning Post, but JJ will ALWAYS be queen you guys. Always ?????? pic.twitter.com/EYDFrDn4TF— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) October 16, 2016
Cornet fell to Jankovic in the Hong King QF, but only after posting a win over Varvara Lepchenko and, yes, ANOTHER Williams Sister. After those three big wins over Serena a few seasons ago, she got the very first of her career over Venus (in their seventh meeting) in a three-setter in the 2nd Round, one year after having lost to her 1 & 1 in the QF of this same event last year.
Meanwhile, in Tianjin, Kuznetsova reached the semifinals with wins over Pauline Parmentier, Donna Vekic and Naomi Osaka (saving 2 MP), but her loss to Alison Riske cost the Russian any chance to make the field of eight for Singapore. It also robbed her a chance to make 2016 her first multiple title-winning campaign since 2009, though she's not quite out of chances to still do that just yet.
(AFTER-POST NOTE: Serena's late Sunday night pull-out from the WTA Finals gives Sveta another chance for Singapore.)
COMEBACK: Peng Shuai/CHN
...my, this Peng comeback has certainly grown wings all of a sudden, hasn't it?
A $100K singles runner-up result in May was followed by two doubles title runs in the summer and early fall. A tour-level 4Q win over Zheng Saisai in Guangzhou was soon joined by a win over Venus Williams in Beijing. Then, last week, Peng WENT THERE. After a career spent playing in the shadow of multiple slam-winner Li Na -- which has included a U.S. Open semifinal run also a 0-6 record in tour-level singles finals -- 30-year old Peng returned to her hometown of Tianjin as a wild card entrant into the MD and became the seventh Chinese woman to lift a WTA singles trophy. In fact, she lifted two pieces of hardware, as she also claimed the doubles with Christina McHale. Of course, it helped a little that opponents were falling left and right before her. Peng got a 1st Round walkover from Zhang Shuai, then another from Aga Radwanska in the QF. In between, she recorded a straight sets win over Chang Kai-Chen, then finished off a rain-delayed, three-set, two-day SF (though only a few games were played on Sunday,) over Danka Kovinic to reach the final. Once there, Peng got the benefit of playing Alison Riske just ninety minutes after the Bannerette had completed her own FULL semifinal match. Peng won in straight sets. The Chinese vet was ranked #259 at the start of the U.S. Open, in which she got a main draw slot via her own protected ranking after missing time last year due to back surgery. She lost in the 1st Round to Varvara Lepchenko in three sets. On Monday, Peng will find herself on the cusp of a return to the Top 100, at #108.
In doubles, Peng teamed with McHale to take the title, winning a pair of 3rd set tie-breaks in their four matches, and securing the crown in the final with a straight sets win over Magda Linette & Xu Yifan (the latter a WD defending champ at the event). The title comes a week after the pair upset Makarova/Vesnina in Beijing, and two weeks after they took out Garcia/Mladenovic during a Wuhan SF run. One now has to wonder if the two might be a possible regular duo in '17, though former doubles #1 Peng has been successful with multiple partners this season, having also won titles with both Andrea Hlavackova and Asia Muhammad. Peng is 20-4 in career WTA doubles finals. For McHale, it's her second title of '16, along with her victory with another Chinese player, Han Xinyun, in January.
Wta dubs title #2 !!!! ?? Thanks Peng Shuai for playing with me and thanks so much Tianjin! ???? pic.twitter.com/dYj4M546RX— Christina McHale (@ChristinaMcHale) October 16, 2016
FRESH FACES: Danka Kovinic/MNE and Oceane Dodin/FRA
...21-year old Kovinic had a very good week in Tianjin, though she'll ultimately take a bit of a hit in the rankings (dropping outside the Top 70) since her semifinal run didn't quite match her appearance in the final at the same event one year ago. Still, wins over Duan Yingying (a '16 title winner), Shelby Rogers (a '16 tour finalist and RG QF) and Olympic Gold Medalist Monica Puig, as well as a three-set semifinal loss to eventual champion Peng Shuai in a rain-delayed match that was finished on Sunday makes this one of the Montenegrin's best weeks on tour.
In Linz, 19-year old Dodin continued her recent late summer/early fall run of success, which has included a semifinal on the grass in Eastbourne, her maiden tour title in Quebec City, a $25K challenger win and a $100K runner-up. Last week, she made her way through qualifying and reached the QF, staging a comeback in a typically big-hitting match against Kristyna Pliskova, then following up with a win over Sorana Cirstea before falling to Madison Keys. Already at a career-best #89 last week, Dodin will rise to #83 on Monday on the wave of her current 18-2 run.
DOWN: Angelique Kerber/GER
...with the weight of a long, career-best year physically wearing heavier and heavier on her with the end of the season in sight, the world #1 is just trying to drag herself over the finish line at this point. She's been getting some things done since her U.S. Open triumph, with last week's QF result giving her an overall 7-4 mark in the 4Q. Not great, but hardly an embarrassment. But a week after falling in straight sets to Elina Svitolina in Beijing, the German did the same against Dasha Gavrilova in Hong Kong, after having struggled to get past Louisa Chirico a round earlier. "It's a long season and we've been playing for ten months," Kerber said, adding, "I think I need a few days off because I am tired."
Before her exits at these two events, the last time Kerber had lost in straight sets in back-to-back tournaments was in the spring, when she endured a four-tournament stretch which say her go out each time without a usual long, drawn-out fight. Then, she followed up a straight sets loss in her opening matches in Doha and Indian Wells with a similar semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka in Miami before retiring in the 2nd set of the Charleston semis against Sloane Stephens.
With Serena Williams scheduled to return to action along with Kerber at the WTA Finals, we'll soon see all the scenarios necessary for Kerber (or Williams) to secure the season-ending #1 ranking. But with three round robin matches (at least) on tap in Singapore, will Kerber have enough in the tank to do what she will have to in order to hold off an expected-to-be well-rested and fully healthy Serena? Along with the curiosity concerning Aga Radwanska's "year after" outing at the event, THAT will certainly be THE story of the week.
Or not, as this came in about the time of this post going up, as Serena is now out of the WTA Finals, meaning that the scramble for the title that occurred in Singapore very well could be repeated this time around, as well.
ITF PLAYERS: Olivia Rogowska/AUS and Arantxa Rus/NED
...Rogowska, 25, claimed her twelfth career challenger crown in the $25K event in Cairns, Australia with a win over Slovak teen Viktoria Kuzmova. At #357 heading into last week, the Aussie had essentially dropped off the radar over the past eighteen months. So much so that even Tennis Australia had stopped handing out all those generous slam wild cards that kept giving her opportunity after opportunity (as in seven consecutive free passes into the Australian Open MD), to no avail. After climbing as high as #102 in 2014, when she won her most recent challenger crown before this week, Rogowska finished at #274 in 2015, her worst season-ending standing since 2008, when she was only 17. But after going through a nine-match losing streak from September of last year until March of this one, she's finally started to find her game again over the past three months. After not reaching a singles QF of any kind since June '15, Rogowska has reached five over the past few months: a QF ($25K Baton Rouge) and SF ($25K Winnipeg) in July, another QF ($25K Gatineau) and SF ($25K Tweed Heads) in August and September, respectively, and then this week's title run. She's a combined 21-8 over the four-month stretch.
Meanwhile, at the $25K in Eqeuerdreville-Hainnevile, France, Rus won her second October challenger with wins over the #1 (Ivana Jorovic), #2 (Maryna Zanevska) and #4 seeds (Lesley Kerkhove) en route to the twelfth ITF title of her career. The 25-year old Dutch will climb back into the Top 200 this week, after finishing the last two seasons on the outside looking in. Rus was a Top 100 player in 2011 and '12, rising as high as #61.
Of note in Rus' final, she defeated Zanevska, who officially became a Belgian citizen this month after having previously represented Ukraine throughout her career. A product of Justine Henin & Carlos Rodriguez's tennis academy in Belgium, Zanevska has trained and lived in the country since 2008 and is now listed under "BEL" in the WTA rankings.
JUNIOR STARS: Kayla Day/USA, Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK and Kaja Juvan/SLO
...for the top-ranked junior (and U.S. Open girls champ), every day is "Kayla Day." The 17-year old swept the singles and doubles titles at the Pan-American ITF Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Day's win over Ellie Douglas in the final gives her twelve consecutive singles victories (and a 16-1 run) in junior competition, as well as an 8-1 stretch in doubles after her title turn with Sofia Sewing.
In Bol, Croatia, 15-year old Juvan won her maiden pro singles title in just the fourth event of her career. The #18-ranked girl, the Slovenian teenager qualified to reach the MD, then knocked off both Pantuckova sisters -- Magdalena in the 2nd Rd., Gabriela in the SF -- en route to her second '16 final, where she downed Croat Tena Lukas 6-3/6-1. In that previous $10K challenger in June, Juvan also defeated Magdalena P., only to lose to Gabriela P. in the final. In the Grade A Milan junior event in May, she strung together wins over Morgan Coppoc, Elena Rybakina, Charlotte Robillard-Millette, Katarina Zavataska and Anstastasia Potapova before falling to Olesya Pervushina in the final.
As for Kuzmova, the push continues. The 18-year old U.S. Open girls finalist has maintained a constant presence on the ITF circuit all season, reaching a total of eight singles finals, winning four. Entering last week at #249 on the WTA computer, the Slovak reached her third $25K final since Flushing Meadows, losing in Cairns, Australia, to Olivia Rogowska after putting up wins over the #1 (Asia Muhammad) and #3 (Miyu Kato) seeds at the event.
DOUBLES: Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE/TPE) and Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson (NED/SWE)
...in Hong Kong, the Chan sisters locked away their eighth career title as a duo, further solidifying their standing as the SECOND most successful sibling doubles duo in tour history (you KNOW which pair are #1). After winning a 10-2 3rd set tie-break over Chan Chin-Wei & Zhu Lin in the 1st Round, the Taiwanese pair didn't lose another set all week, finally defeating the all-Crumpet duo of Naomi Broady & Heather Watson in the final. With their third title of the season, the Chans thus inject themselves once more into the mix for the mythical moniker of the tour's "best" doubles team (even if they're not nominated for the award by the WTA).
Really, though, they SHOULDN'T be in the running since, after getting off to a quick start -- two titles in their first five events -- this win finally ends the Chans' fifteen-event title drought, a eight-month stretch in which they appeared in just one final (Eastbourne) before this week.
In Linz, Bertens & Larsson reached their sixth final as a duo (all since January of last year), claiming their fourth title together with a 10-7 3rd set tie-break win in the final over the veteran pair of Anna-Lena Groefened & Kveta Peschke (at 41, the oldest finalist on tour in '16... and likely the near future, at least until Kimiko Date-Krumm's comeback in '17). The pair won a previous '16 title together in Nurnberg, but for Larsson it's her third win this season, having also won in Seoul last month with Kirsten Flipkens.
@Gibbsyyyy well, Russia, Putin, Trump... The chain's not really that long ??— Peter Pan (@i_am_peterpan_) October 13, 2016
1. Hong Kong QF - Gavrilova d. Kerber
...6-3/6-1. Kerber has already suffered three losses as #1, this one coming against the lowest-ranked (#38) player to record any of the nine wins over top-ranked players on tour this year. Gavrilova had been 0-6 vs. the German.
2. Tianjin Final - Peng d. Riske
...7-6(3)/6-2. The seventh Chinese woman to win a tour singles title, at 30, Peng is the oldest to win her maiden crown.
3. Hong Kong Final - Wozniacki d. Mladenovic
...6-1/6-7(4)/6-2. After a 2:40 win over the Pastry, Wozniacki moves into a tie with another Pastry, Amelie Mauresmo, on the all-time WTA titles list with 25.
4. Linz Final - Cibulkova d. Golubic
...6-3/7-5. Cibulkova's seventh career title ties fellow Slovak Daniela Hantuchova.
5. Hong Kong SF - Mladenovic d. Gavrilova
...7-5/6-3. Remember "The Dasha & Kiki Show" from Melbourne? With an 11-9 3rd set won by the Aussie under the lights of Laver, it's still one of the most entertaining matches of the season (and sure to rank rather high on the season-ending BSA lists in a few weeks).
6. Hong Kong 2nd Rd. - Mattek-Sands d. Garcia 4-6/6-2/6-4
Hong Kong QF - Mladenovic d. Mattek-Sands 3-6/6-3/7-6(3)
...days after defeating the two of them in the Beijing doubles final, BMS met both Garcia and Mladenovic in singles in Hong Kong. Kiki had Caro's back. But, still, this was Mattek-Sands' best singles result since last October in Beijing.
Even with her loss, Garcia had quite the week...
7. Linz QF - Golubic d. Muguruza
...5-7/6-3/4-4 ret. Muguruza posted wins over Buyukakcay and Niculescu -- her second straight multi-win event -- before suffering an ankle injury in a fall, leading her to join the long list of retirements and walkovers from top players in Week 41.
Garbine Muguruza didn't get her rolled ankle taped, she got it mummified: pic.twitter.com/uxcYybQFhK— Trenton Jocz (@TrentonJocz) October 14, 2016
8. Hong Kong 1st Rd. - Hibino d. Stosur
...6-3/6-4. Generally, an early loss like this would be a sad occasion. But after Stosur whined about the Sharapova ruling last week, this result just doesn't tug at the heartstings as much as usual.
9. Linz Q1 - Hantuchova d. Davis 4-6/7-6(6)/6-2
Linz Q2 - Hantuchova d. Boserup 4-6/6-4/6-3
Linz Q3 - Minella d. Hantuchova 6-3/6-7(5)/6-4
...the results might not be what they once were, but #239 Hantuchova IS putting in the hours on the court.
10. Linz QF - Keys d. Dodin
...6-3/6-3. Before pulling out of her semifinal, Keys had dropped just fifteen games through three rounds as she followed up a QF (Wuhan) and SF (Beijing) to earn her first WTA Finals berth.
?????? Jakarta, you hold a dear place in my heart! Years ago I met this special one on the left in Jakarta playing juniors.....this week we're back here together, accomplished a good week of tennis--getting my 2nd singles title this year. Thanks to everyone for the support, especially Boyan, Logan, my family and my awesome team back home!!!! #TitleTwo #STtennisSG #TeamSingapore #Represent #SportSG #ActiveSg #NowForABurger #AndAMassage #CantWait
11. $10K Jakarta Final - Stefanie Tan d. Jessy Rompies
...6-4/6-4. The former TCU college star from Singapore picks up her second career ITF title.
12. $10K Antalya Final - Ayla Aksu d. Agnes Bukta
...6-4/2-6/7-5. Another Turk champion. The 20-year old is 7-2 in career challenger finals, including four wins in 2016. Additionally, 16-year old Turk Berfu Cengiz picked up with her maiden doubles title to go with the $10K singles crown she won in Sharm El Sheikh in August.
HM- Linz QF - Cibulkova d. Pavlyuchenkova
...7-6(3)/6-4. The defending champ in Linz, Pavlyuchenkova is 0-6 in QF in 2016.
1. Hong Kong 2nd Rd. - Cornet d. VENUS WILLIAMS
...6-2/3-6/6-2. 3-4 vs. Serena, this win makes Cornet 1-6 against Venus. Before the Pastry's three-set loss to Williams at this year's Roland Garros, which featured a love 3rd set won by Venus, Cornet had never won more games in a set vs. her than the four she'd claimed in the opening set of their first match-ui in the 1st Round of RG back in 2007.
2. Tianjin QF - Kuznetsova d. NAOMI OSAKA
...2-6/6-4/7-6(3). Sveta won just three points on serve in the 1st, but managed to battle back to win, saving two MP along the way, only to lose a three-set semi vs. Riske.
3. Linz 1st Rd. - Dodin d. KRISTYNA PLISKOVA
...6-7(2)/7-5/6-3. Pliskova had extended her winning streak to eight matches after qualifying to reach the MD. Against Dodin in a battle of recent maiden tour champions, the Czech fired 23 aces to the Pastry's 13. But, serving for the match in the 2nd set, Pliskova was broken for the first time in the match and never recovered her momentum.
4. Hong Kong Final - CHAN HAO-CHING/CHAN YUNG-JAN d. Broady/Watson
...6-3/6-1. The Chans' third win this season is the fifth tour title won by an all-sister duo in 2016.
5. Tianjin QF - Peng walkover AGA RADWANSKA
...Aga had lost just five games in the first two rounds before pulling out with a thigh injury. Since her 1st Round upset loss at the Olympics, she's gone 13-2, with two titles, a SF, three QF and a Round of 16 result at the Open.
Where did you find this? Red clay, and the little Davai in the end...?? https://t.co/CIrOrnkPpq— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 13, 2016
**2016 WTA SINGLES TITLES**
3 - Angelique Kerber, GER
3 - Aga Radwanska, POL
3 - Simona Halep, ROU
3 - DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA, SVK
3 - Victoria Azarenka, BLR
3 - Sloane Stephens, USA
2 - Serena Williams, USA
2 - Karolina Pliskova, CZE
2 - CAROLINE WOZNIACKI, DEN
2 - Caroline Garcia, FRA
**2016 TITLE RUNS W/O DROPPING A SET**
Brisbane - Victoria Azarenka, BLR
Shenzhen - Aga Radwanska, POL
Auckland - Sloane Stephens, USA
Kaohsiung- Venus Williams, USA
Miami - Victoria Azarenka, BLR
Rome - Serena Williams, USA
's-Hertogenbosch - CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
New Haven- Aga Radwanska, POL (2)
Beijing - Aga Radwanska, POL (3)
Linz - DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA, SVK
**2016 WTA FINALS**
7...Angelique Kerber (3-4)
6...DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA (3-3)
5...Serena Williams (2-3)
4...Karolina Pliskova (2-2)
3...Aga Radwanska (3-0)
3...Simona Halep (3-0)
3...Victoria Azarenka (3-0)
3...Sloane Stephens (3-0)
3...Madison Keys (1-2)
3...ALISON RISKE (0-3)
[undefeated in multiple finals]
[winless in multiple finals]
0-2...Barbora Strycova (0-2)
**2016 WINS OVER #1**
JAN- Australian Open F - #6 Kerber d. #1 S.Williams
MAR- Indian Wells F - #15 Azarenka d. #1 S.Williams
MAR- Miami 4th - #19 Kuznetsova d. #1 S.Williams
JUN- Roland Garros F - #4 Muguruza d. #1 S.Williams
AUG- Olympics 3rd - #20 Svitolina d. #1 S.Williams
SEP- U.S. Open SF - #11 Ka.Pliskova d. #1 S.Williams
SEP- Wuhan 3rd - #16 Kvitova d. #1 Kerber
OCT- Beijing 3rd - #19 Svitolina d. #1 Kerber
OCT- Hong Kong QF - #38 Gavrilova d. #1 Kerber
**2016 DEFEATED DEFENDING CHAMP, WON TITLE**
Australian Open - Angelique Kerber, GER (F-S.Williams)
Charleston - Sloane Stephens, USA (SF-Kerber)
Prague - Lucie Safarova, CZE (SF-Ka.Pliskova)
[Strasbourg = Caroline Garcia, FRA = QF-Stosur w/o]
Roland Garros - Garbine Muguruza, ESP (F-S.Williams)
New Haven - Aga Radwanska, POL (SF-Kvitova)
Guangzhou - Lesia Tsurenko, UKR (F-Jankovic)
Tokyo TPP - Caroline Wozniacki, DEN (SF-A.Radwanska)
Tashkent - Kristyna Pliskova, CZE (F-Hibino)
[Tianjin = PENG SHUAI, CHN = QF-A.Radwanska w/o]
Linz - DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA, SVK (QF-Pavlyuchenkova)
Hong Kong - CAROLINE WOZNIACKI, DEN (SF-Jankovic)
**2016 SINGLES/DOUBLES CHAMPION IN SAME EVENT**
Nurnberg - Kiki Bertens, NED (WD w/ Larsson)
Wimbledon - Serena Williams, USA (WD w/ V.Williams)
Washington, DC - Yanina Wickmayer, BEL (WD w/ Niculescu)
TIANJIN - PENG SHUAI, CHN (WD w/ McHale)
**2016 WTA DOUBLES FINALS**
**WTA ALL-SISTERS DOUBLES TITLES**
22 - Serena & Venus Williams (1 in 2016)
8 - CHAN HAO-CHING & YUNG-JAN (3)
3 - Karolina & Kristyna Pliskova
3 - Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko
2 - Lyudmyla & Nadiia Kichenok (1)
**2016 OLDEST FINALISTS**
36 - Venus Williams (Stanford-L)
35 - Francesca Schiavone (WTA Rio-W)
35 - Venus Williams (Kaohsiung-W)
41 - KVETA PESCHKE (Linz-L)
36 - Venus Williams (Wimbledon-W)
35 - Martina Hingis (5-4 in finals)
35 - Abigail Spears (Stanford-W)
36 - Venus Williams (Olympics-L)
35 - Martina Hingis (Roland Garros-W)
**2016 LOW-RANKED FINALISTS**
#186 Marina Erakovic/NZL (Rabat lost to Bacsinszky)
#182 PENG SHUAI/CHN (TIANJIN def. Riske)
#170 Silvia Soler-Espinosa/ESP (Bogota lost to Falconi)
#163 Duan Yingying/CHN (Nanchang def. King)
#132 Francesca Schiavone/ITA (Rio def. Rogers)
#132 Oceane Dodin/FRA (Quebec City def. Davis)
[low-ranked champions since 2012]
#208 Melanie Oudin - 2012 Birmingham
#182 PENG SHUAI - 2016 TIANJIN
#174 Lara Arruabarrena - 2012 Bogota
#163 Duan Yingying - 2016 Nanchang
#149 Kiki Bertens - 2012 Fes
**ALL-TIME WTA TITLES**
15.Maria Sharapova (35 titles)
16.Conchita Martinez (33)
17.Tracy Austin (30)
18.Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (29)
19t.Hana Mandlikova (27)
19t.Gabriela Sabatinai (27)
21t.Amelie Mauresmo (25)
21t.CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (25) #
23.Jana Novotna (24)
24.Pam Shriver (21) #
25t.Victoria Azarenka (20)
25t.Aga Radwanska (20) #
#- never won slam singles titles (all in Top 20 have major wins)
**ALL-TIME WTA TITLES - CHINESE**
9 - Li Na (2004,'08,'10-'14)
4 - Zheng Jie (2005-06,'12)
1 - Duan Yingying (2016)
1 - PENG SHUAI (2016)
1 - Sun Tiantian (2006)
1 - Yan Zi (2005)
1 - Zhang Shuai (2013)
[age at maiden title]
20-Yan Zi (2005 Guangzhou)
21-Zheng Jie (2005 Hobart)
22-Li Na (2004 Guangzhou)
24-Zhang Shuai (2013 Guangzhou)
25-Sun Tiantian (2006 Tashkent)
27-Duan Yingying (2016 Nanchang)
30-PENG SHUAI (2016 Tianjin)
Naomi Osaka is not the master of the WTA Frame Challenge...
MOSCOW, RUSSIA (Premier/Hard Indoor)
15 Final: Kuznetsova d. Pavlyuchenkova
15 Doubles Final: Kasatkina/Vesnina d. Begu/Niculescu
16 Singles Top Seeds: Kuznetsova/Suarez-Navarro
#1 Kuznetsova d. #4 Svitolina
#7 Pavlyuchenkova d. #5 Vesnina
#1 Kuznetsova d. #7 Pavlyuchenkova
...Hordettes -- Kuznetsova and Pavlyuchenkova -- has won the last two titles.
LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG (Int'l/Hard Indoor)
15 Final: Doi d. Barthel
15 Doubles Final: Barthel/Siegemund d. Medina-Garrigues/Parra-Santonja
16 Singles Top Seeds: Kvitova/Wozniacki
#1 Kvitova d. #6 Doi
#2 Wozniacki d. #3 Bertens
#1 Kvitova d. #2 Wozniacki
And the recap of the 2016 continues later this week, with a look at the "most valuable" players of the Backspin year.
All for now.