Friday, January 27, 2017

AO.12 - The Day Before the Day

So, Venus... how's it goin'?

...the first title of this Australian Open was delivered in the women's doubles final on Friday with #2-seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova combining to defeat #12 Andrea Hlavackova & Peng Shuai 6-7(4)/6-3/6-3 to claim their second AO title in the last three years.

It's the fourth slam crown for Safarova & Mattek-Sands, who now stand just a Wimbledon title away from a Career Doubles Slam as a duo.

...the girls singles finalists were determined on Friday, and just when it looked like one player would be in the final, well, she suddenly wasn't.

In the first semifinal to finish, #11-seeded Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine defeated #16-seeded Hordette Elena Rybakina, jumping out with an early break lead in the 1st, then getting a late break in the 2nd to finish off a 6-1/7-5 win. Kostyuk, 14, reached the Grade 1 Traralgon final last week, and she'll now try to become the third Ukrainian girl to become a junior slam singles champ, with the most recent being Elina Svitolina in Paris in 2010. She'd be the first to win in Melbourne.

The other semi nearly ended about the same time as the first, as #7 Bianca Andreescu got a late break in the 2nd set and served for the match at 6-5. The Canadian, looking for a chance to join Genie Bouchard as the only Canadians ('12 Wimbledon) to win a girls slam title, had served out the 1st at 6-4 vs. #1-seed Rebeka Masarova (who'd tried to challenge on SP, only to be told, "no challenges on this court). But but couldn't do the same with more on the line vs. the '16 Roland Garros junior champ. After getting to within two points of the final at 30/love, Andreescu was broken by Masarova to force a TB, Andreescu fell behind there by a 3-1 score before getting things to 4-4. But the Swiss teen, who reached a tour-level semifinal in her WTA debut last fall in Gstaad, took the breaker 7-5 to force a deciding set. Andreescu, who'd been playing with a big wrap on the left leg all week, took a medical timeout after the set, then saw Masarova run away with the 3rd, winning at love.

Masarova now gets the chance to become the first Swiss to take the AO girls crown, but she'd hardly be the first from Switzerland rack up multiple junior slams. Both Martina Hingis (1993-94 RG, '94 Wimbledon) and Belinda Bencic ('13 RG & Wimbledon) picked up titles during their junior careers.

If she'd reached the final, Andreescu would have been trying to become the latest to sweep the girls singles & doubles titles in Melbourne, a feat accomplished no less than six times since 2003 ('03 Strycova, '06 Pavlyuchenkova, '11 Mestach, '12 Townsend, '13 Konjuh & '14 Kulichkova), as she's still set to compete in the girls double final with Carson Branstine vs. Maja Chwalinska & Iga Swiatek later on Friday. the mixed semifinals, #2-seeded Sania Mirza & Ivan Dodig won a 10-5 3rd set tie-break to eliminate Sam & Sam (Stosur & Groth). This was Mirza/Dodig's third straight 3rd set super-TB win, and they even saved four MP in the QF vs. Dabrowski/Bopanna in a 12-10 victory. The win gives Mirza the opportunity to play for a fourth career slam MX crown. After claiming Australian Open (2009) and Roland Garros (2012) titles with Mahesh Bhupathi, she last won at the U.S. Open with Bruno Soares in 2014.

They'll next play Abigail Spears & Juan Sebastian Cabal, straight sets winners over fellow unseeded duo Elina Svitolina & Chris Guccione (Australia's last chance for a title) in the other semi .

...also on Friday, the wheelchair doubles champions were crowned. #1-seeds Jiske Griffioen & Aniek van Koot took home their second AO title as a duo (w/ 2013) with a 3 & 2 win over #2 Diede de Groot & Yui Kamiji. Griffioen now has five AO doubles titles (she won three w/ Esther Vergeer from 2006-08), while van Koot has one additional win in Melbourne other than her two titles with Griffioen. Teenage Dutch soon-to-be-star de Groot was playing in her first career slam final (her biggest titles have come at last year's Doubles Masters w/ Lucy Shuker, and a Paralympic Silver w/ Marjolein Buis in Rio), while Kamiji was seeking her fourth straight AO title, winning the last three years with Jordanne Whiley (2014-15) and Buis (2016).

Griffioen and Kamiji will also face off in the singles final tomorrow.

..."Oh, my," ON DAY 12: Look, and weep.


S tatou brousíme svahy!! #modrak #nádhernýden #snowboarding #sumava ??

A photo posted by Barbora Strycova?? (@barborastrycova) on

?????? #vNebi

A photo posted by Kristyna Pliskova (@kristynapliskova) on

..."BAD, DASHA!" ON DAY 12:

...LIKE ON DAY 12: Venus. Period. No alternative facts needed.

...Hmmm... ON DAY 12: Is that CoCo using The Force?

...LIKE ON DAY 12: CoCo definitely NOT using The Force...

#TBT to when my mother wanted me to be a dancer ????

A photo posted by CoCo Vandeweghe (@cocovandey) on

...LIKE ON DAY 12: Memories...

...and, finally... I can still remember when I first heard "Waltzing Matilda," as it was played over and over again during CBC's coverage of the Sydney Olympics back in 2000. Even when I hear it now, I still have the same reaction I did then. Even though I only retain the meanings of about half the Aussie-centric lyrics, I can't get it out of my head for days.

The animation with on-screen lyrics helps tell the story, though.

So, I guess the guy essentially committed suicide after stealing a sheep?


Although, now I want a tucker bag.

#13 Venus Williams/USA vs. #2 Serena Williams/USA

#2 Mattek-Sands/Safarova (USA/CZE) d. #12 Hlavackova/Peng (CZE/CHN) 6-7(4)/6-3/6-3

Spears/Cabal (USA/COL) def. Svitolina/Guccione (UKR/AUS)
#2 Mirza/Dodig (IND/CRO) def. (WC) Stosur/Groth (AUS/AUS)

#1 Rebeka Masarova/SUI def. #7 Bianca Andreescu/CAN
#11 Marta Kostyuk/UKR def. #16 Elena Rybakina/RUS

#3 Andreescu/Branstine (CAN/USA) vs. Chwalinska/Swiatek (POL/POL)

#1 Jiske Griffioen/NED def. #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN 6-3/6-2

#1 Griffioen/Van Koot (NED/NED) vs. #2 de Groot/Kamiji (NED/JPN)

Trophy position ??

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on

1997 Martina Hingis & Natasha Zvereva, SUI/BLR
1998 Martina Hingis & Mirjana Lucic, SUI/CRO
1999 Martina Hingis & Anna Kournikova, SUI/RUS
2000 Lisa Raymond & Rennae Stubbs, USA/AUS
2001 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2002 Martina Hingis & Anna Kournikova, SUI/RUS
2003 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2004 Virginia Ruano-Pascual & Paola Suarez, ESP/ARG
2005 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Alicia Molik, RUS/AUS
2006 Yan Zi & Zheng Jie, CHN/CHN
2007 Cara Black & Liezel Huber, ZIM/USA
2008 Alona Bondarenko & Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR/UKR
2009 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2010 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2011 Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta, ARG/ITA
2012 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Vera Zvonareva, RUS/RUS
2013 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2014 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2015 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
2016 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
2017 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE

38...Serena Williams, USA (22-14-2)
23...Venus Williams, USA (7-14-2)
22...Martina Hingis, SUI (5-12-5)
[won slam WS-WD-MX - active]
Martina Hingis, SUI (5-12-5)
Samantha Stosur, AUS (1-2-3)
Serena Williams, USA (22-14-2)
Venus Williams, USA (7-14-2)
[most slam WD titles - active]
14...Serena Williams, USA
14...Venus Williams, USA
12...Martina Hingis, SUI
5...Sara Errani, ITA
5...Liezel Huber, USA
5...Roberta Vinci, ITA
3...Sania Mirza, IND
2...Andrea Hlavackova, CZE
2...Lucie Hradecka, CZE
2...Hsieh Su-Wei, TPE
2...Vania King, USA
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS
2...Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
2...Anabel Medina-Garrigues, ESP
2...Peng Shuai, CHN
2...Yaroslava Shvedova, KAZ
2...Samantha Stosur, AUS
2...Elena Vesnina, RUS
2...Zheng Jie, CHN
[slam MX titles - active]
5...Martina Hingis, SUI
5...Katarina Srebotnik, SLO
4...Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
3...Sania Mirza, IND
3...Samantha Stosur, AUS
2...Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2...Anna-Lena Groenefeld, GER
2...Liezel Huber, USA
2...Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
2...Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
2...Serena Williams, USA
2...Venus Williams, USA
1...Elena Bovina, RUS
1...Casey Dellacqua, AUS
1...Andrea Hlavackova, CZE
1...Lucie Hradecka, CZE
1...Jelena Jankovic, SRB
1...Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
1...Melanie Oudin, USA
1...Laura Siegemund, GER
1...Elena Vesnina, RUS
1...Heather Watson, GBR

2004 Wimbledon - Kateryna Bondarenko
2010 Roland Garros - Elina Svitolina
1993 Roland Garros - Martina Hingis
1994 Roland Garros - Martina Hingis
1994 Wimbledon - Martina Hingis
2013 Roland Garros - Belinda Bencic
2013 Wimbledon - Belinda Bencic
2016 Roland Garros - Rebeka Masarova

2001 Jelena Jankovic/SRB def. Sofia Arvidsson/SWE
2002 Barbora Strycova/CZE def. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2003 Barbora Strycova/CZE def. Victoriya Kutuzova/UKR
2004 Shahar Peer/ISR def. Nicole Vaidisova/CZE
2005 Victoria Azarenka/BLR def. Agnes Szavay/HUN
2006 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS def. Caroline Wozniacki/DEN
2007 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS def. Madison Brengle/USA
2008 Arantxa Rus/NED def. Jessica Moore/AUS
2009 Ksenia Pervak/RUS def. Laura Robson/GBR
2010 Karolina Pliskova/CZE def. Laura Robson/GBR
2011 An-Sophie Mestach/BEL def. Monica Puig/PUR
2012 Taylor Townsend/USA def. Yulia Putintseva/RUS
2013 Ana Konjuh/CRO def. Katerina Siniakova/CZE
2014 Elizaveta Kulichkova/RUS def. Jana Fett/CRO
2015 Tereza Mihalikova/SVK def. Katie Swan/GBR
2016 Vera Lapko/BLR def. Tereza Mihalikova/SVK
2017 Rebeka Masarova/SUI vs. Marta Kostyuk/UKR

1997 Mijrana Lucic / Jasmin Wohr, CRO/GER
1998 Evie Dominikovic / Alicia Molik, AUS/AUS
1999 Eleni Daniilidou / Virginie Razzano, GRE/FRA
2000 Aniko Kapros / Christina Wheeler, HUN/AUS
2001 Petra Cetkovska / Barbora Strycova, CZE/CZE
2002 Gisela Dulko / Angelique Widjaja, ARG/INA
2003 Petra Cetkovska / Barbora Strycova, CZE/CZE
2004 Sun Sheng-Nan / Chan Yung-Jan, CHN/TPE
2005 Victoria Azarenka / Marina Erakovic, BLR/NZL
2006 Sharon Fichman / Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, CAN/RUS
2007 Evegniya Rodina / Arina Rodionova, RUS/RUS
2008 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova / Ksenia Lykina, RUS/RUS
2009 Christina McHale / Ajla Tomljanovic, USA/CRO
2010 Jana Cepelova / Chantal Skamlova, SVK/SVK
2011 An-Sophie Mestach / Demi Schuurs, BEL/NED
2012 Gabby Andrews / Taylor Townsend, USA/USA
2013 Ana Konjuh / Carol Zhao, CRO/CAN
2014 Anhelina Kalinina / Elizaveta Kulichkova, UKR/RUS
2015 Miriam Kolodziejova / Marketa Vondrousova, CZE/CZE
2016 Anna Kalinskaya / Tereza Mihalikova, RUS/SVK
2017 ?

2002 Daniela Hantuchova & Kevin Ullyett
2003 Martina Navratilova & Leander Paes
2004 Elena Bovina & Nenad Zimonjic
2005 Samantha Stosur & Scott Draper
2006 Martina Hingis & Mahesh Bhupathi
2007 Elena Likhovtseva & Daniel Nestor
2008 Sun Tiantian & Nenad Zimonjic
2009 Sania Mirza & Mahesh Bhupathi
2010 Cara Black & Mahesh Bhupathi
2011 Katarina Srebotnik & Daniel Nestor
2012 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Horia Tecau
2013 Jarmila Gajdosova & Matthew Ebden
2014 Kristina Mladenovic & Daniel Nestor
2015 Martina Hingis & Leander Paes
2016 Elena Vesnina & Bruno Soares
2017 ?

2004 Maaike Smit/Esther Vergeer (NED/NED)
2005 Florence Gravellier/Maaike Smit (FRA/NED)
2006 Jiske Griffioen/Esther Vergeer (NED/NED)
2007 Jiske Griffioen/Esther Vergeer (NED/NED)
2008 Jiske Griffioen/Esther Vergeer (NED/NED)
2009 Korie Homan/Esther Vergeer (NED/NED)
2010 Florence Gravellier/Aniek van Koot (FRA/NED)
2011 Esther Vergeer/Sharon Walraven (NED/NED)
2012 Esther Vergeer/Sharon Walraven (NED/NED)
2013 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek van Koot (NED/NED)
2014 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (JPN/GBR)
2015 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (JPN/GBR)
2016 Marjolein Buis/Yui Kamiji (NED/JPN)
2017 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek van Koot (NED/NED)

2014 Miami - S.Williams (32) d. Li (32) = 64 combined
2014 Quebec City - Lucic-Baroni (32) d. V.Williams (34) = 66
2015 U.S. Open - Pennetta (33) d. Vinci (32) = 65
2016 none
2017 Australian Open - S.Williams (35) vs. V.Williams (36) = 71

Unseeded - 1978 Chris O'Neil, AUS
Unseeded - 2007 Serena Williams, USA
#12 - 2001 Jennifer Capriati, USA
#7 - 2016 Angelique Kerber, GER
#7 - 2005 Serena Williams, USA
#5 - 1979 Barbara Jordan, USA
#5 - 2008 Maria Sharapova, RUS
#4 - 1995 Mary Pierce, FRA
#4 - 1997 Martina Hingis, SUI
#4 - 2014 Li Na, CHN
NOTE: #13 V.Williams to play '17 final

TOP QUALIFIER: Elizaveta Kulichkova/RUS
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): #5 Karolina Pliskova/CZE
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #2 Serena Williams/USA
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q1 - Ons Jabeur/TUN def. Dalila Jakupovic/SRB 2-6/7-6(5)/7-5 (comeback from 6-2/4-1 down)
TOP EARLY RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - Lucie Safarova/CZE def. Yanina Wickmayer/BEL 3-6/7-6(7)/6-1 (saved 9 MP)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3rd Rd. - #8 Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS def. Jelena Jankovic/SRB 6-4/5-7/9-7 (3:36; blew 4-1 lead in 2nd, back from 0-3 in 3rd)
TOP LATE RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr./Doub.): x
TOP LAVER/MCA NIGHT MATCH: 3rd Rd. - #5 Karolina Pliskova/CZE def. Jelena Ostapenko 4-6/6-0/10-8 (double-break down at 5-2 in 3rd set)
FIRST VICTORY: #29 Monica Puig/PUR (def. Tig/ROU)
FIRST SEED OUT: #4 Simona Halep/ROU (lost to Rogers/USA)
UPSET QUEENS: United States
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Romania (First Loss, First Seed Out & two players ranked in Top 32 ousted in 1st Rd.)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Mona Barthel/GER & Jennifer Brady/USA (4th Rd.)
LAST AUSSIE STANDING: Dasha Gavrilova (4th Rd.)
Ms. OPPORTUNITY: CoCo Vandeweghe/USA
IT (Party): (Ash) "Barty Party"
COMEBACK PLAYER: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni/CRO
CRASH & BURN: #4 Simona Halep/ROU (1st Rd./Rogers; 2 con. AO 1st Rd. exits)
ZOMBIE QUEEN: Lucie Safarova/CZE (1st Rd. - saved 9 MP vs. Wickmayer)
KIMIKO VETERAN CUP: Venus Williams/USA & Serena Williams/USA
LADY OF THE EVENING: Karolina Pliskova/CZE (back from 5-2 in 3rd vs. Ostapenko on Night 6; cancelled "The Dasha Show" on Night 8)
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: Mattek-Sands/Safarova, Spears, Chwalinska/Swiatek
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Nominees: Kostyuk/UKR, Chwalinska/Swiatek

All for Day 12. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

So Venus plays Serena, Roger plays Rafa, Djokovic loses in the 2nd rd, and the winner of the last Women's slam and current #1 is out before the quarters. I'm talking about 2008 Wimbledon. Djokovic lost to Safin, while Ivanovic(French winner) went out to Zheng. Just as in 2008, the person that took out the #1 woman reached the SF, only to be knocked out by a Williams sister.

Stat of the Day-4-Times out of 27 that the loser of the first set has won the Williams sisters battle. Fittingly, each has done it twice.

Fri Jan 27, 12:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger colt13 said...

Also, the last time Venus has made the final of each slam, it has been against Serena

Fri Jan 27, 12:30:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, and in the 2008 Wimbledon final... Venus defeated Serena. Double hmmm...

(Great stats, by the way -- not sure how you figured out that all that happened, but it must have been a "eureka!" moment when you did.) :)

Fri Jan 27, 05:51:00 PM EST  
Blogger Diane said...

My mother's name was Hilda. "Waltzing Matilda" was actually a hit song (along with "My Boomerang Won't Come Back") when I was a kid, and my mother used to dance around the house singing "waltzing with Hilda, waltzing with Hilda." It drove me nuts.

Fri Jan 27, 06:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...


Fri Jan 27, 10:04:00 PM EST  

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