Sunday, January 29, 2017

AO.14 - Take It Easy, Australia

Has it been a month already?

As the tour collects itself and heads up and away from Down Under, which players soared the highest and produced the most memorable moments of January?

1. Serena Williams, USA
...well, this is sort of obvious, right? While she started slowly in Auckland, Serena arrived in Melbourne knowing that her tough draw wouldn't allow her to simply round into form as the tournament went along. Focused and ready from Day 1, she won the third major title (of her now Open era record of 23) of her career without dropping a set, just one fewer than Martina Navratilova's record of four such slam runs. Just what Serena needs, another record to chase. Here's ANOTHER that's now in her rearview mirror: no one has won more Australian Open titles in the Open era than her, either. Serena's win in the final over sister Venus was one more declaration of the historic path the siblings have staked out for the last two decades, and it says a great deal about the breadth and depth of her career that Williams was barely even aware that she'd reclaimed the #1 ranking she lost last summer with the victory. Later, noting that even during the trophy presentation, Margaret Court's all-time major total of 24 titles was already being mentioned, Serena only half-jokingly lamented, "23...24...25. It's never enough." Of course, the day will come when she'll win no more titles. But that day hasn't arrived just yet. At least for a while, for Serena, 35 really IS "the new 25." Maybe more than we even know, as she won't turn 36 until after the U.S. Open.
2t. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE

...recently-elevated doubles #1 BMS is on a truly remarkable run. Not only has she gone 2-for-2 in 2017, winning titles with both Sania Mirza (Brisbane) and Lucie Safarova (AO), but she also ended 2016 on a four-final run in WD. She's gone a combined 27-1, 5-1 in finals, over the two-season stretch following her Olympic Gold in MX with Jack Sock last summer. She and Safarova are 23-1 since the start of the U.S. Open, losing only in the WTA Finals championship match, and have won back-to-back slam crowns. It was enough to make Team Bucie dance Down Under.

3. Venus Williams, USA
...over the last few years, even after she'd learned to live with and thrive despite her Sjogren's syndrome, returned to the Top 10 and played in a slam semifinal ('16 Wimbledon), we'd accepted that Venus would likely never be able to rise to her previous heights, and had begun to enjoy and be grateful for HER, no matter her results. Well, now she's gone and done it, hasn't she? Her heartwarming run in Melbourne to her first slam final in eight years, naturally against Serena, served to remind us that she was the first Williams to make her mark in the sport. And the way she's enjoying it all, would anyone really be TRULY shocked if, even while she's set to turn 37 this year, it's Venus who turns out to ultimately also be the LAST Williams standing on tour a few years down the road?

4. Karolina Pliskova, CZE
...coming into 2017 off her U.S. Open final run and anchoring another Fed Cup title for the Czechs, Pliskova was untouchable in winning the Brisbane title in Week 1. She was just as good in the early going in Melbourne, too, but had to scrape and claw to live up to her #5 AO seed, coming back from 5-2 down in the 3rd set vs. Jelena Ostapenko in the 3rd Round, then winning a three-set "Dasha Show" match under the lights vs. Daria Gavrilova. She was ultimately out-hit in the Mirjana Lucic-Baroni fairytale semifinal run's glorious moment in the Aussie sun, but her QF result is still her second-best ever at a slam, and yet another building block upon which to build a career year hallmarked by (hopefully) wire-to-wire success.

5. Johanna Konta, GBR
...a year after her breakout performance in Melbourne (SF), the level of the Brit's play was raised at nearly every turn in January. A semifinal in Shenzen turned into a dominant title run in Sydney, then a slugging performance that carried her all the way to the AO QF, only ended by eventual champ Serena Williams in a match that sure felt like quite possibly a "de facto" final even though it came two rounds before the championship match.
6. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
...coming eighteen years and several lifetimes worth of anxiety and uncertainty after her original slam semifinal performance at Wimbledon in 1999, no one saw the 34-year old Croat rising to such heights once again this month in Melbourne. Not even her, though she never gave the sources of her by now well-known struggles the satisfaction of ever seeing her give up. It'll be difficult for her storybook AO run to be overtaken as the most unexpected and heartwarming occurrence this ENTIRE season, and it's not even February yet. I mean, if even Venus reaching another slam final at 36 couldn't top it, can you imagine what it might take to actually do it? I'm not sure we could even handle a story THAT amazing.

7. CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
...make way for CoCo. Sure, she may act the role of the proverbial bull in a china shop sometimes, but the form she displayed over the course of her breakthough semifinal run in Melbourne is, quite simply, career-changing. If she can maintain it, even on a part-time basis, that is. With AO victories that combined to produce takedowns of the world #1, AO defending champ, three of 2016's major title holders AND two former slam finalists, Vandeweghe powered her way through -- yes, I do actually mean THROUGH -- her opponents and came out on the other side quite possibly a changed player ready to fully overcome the one thing that has often held her back. Namely, herself. If she can do it, she could be ready for a deep slam encore in London. Maybe even deeper than the semi she put up in Australia.

8. Katerina Siniakova/CZE, Lauren Davis/USA and Elise Mertens/BEL
...the season's opening weeks produced three first-time title winners. 2016's first such champion didn't become a reality until April.
9. Sania Mirza, IND
...Martina, who? While former partner Hingis has had difficulty finding a parter she can consistently win with since the break-up of their short-but-legendary run of dominance, Mirza wins with everyone. Of course, she generally gets the pick of the litter when it comes to having a strong #2 beside her on the court, but that's beside the point. In January alone, she won a title in Brisbane with Mattek-Sands, reached the Sydney final with Barbora Strycova and even the MX final in Melbourne with Ivan Dodig.
10. Andrea Hlavackova/Peng Shuai, CZE/CHN
...2017's newest "power duo," Hlavackova teamed to win the Shenzhen title and reach the AO doubles final, knocking off the likes of Mirza/Strycova and Makarova/Vesnina along the way.

Yui Kamiji, JPN
...the former WC #1 took care of some unfinished business in Melbourne, finally winning the AO singles crown for the first time after twice falling in the final in recent years. She's now needs only a Wimbledon singles title to complete a career collection of all eight slam titles. No player in WC history has accomplished the feat. Current #1 Jiske Griffioen is a U.S. Open singles title short, while Esther Vergeer never got to play Wimbledon singles, as that competition wasn't contested for the first time until 2016.
Marta Kostyuk, UKR
...the 14-year old won the AO girls title, taking out #1-seeded Rebeka Masarova in three sets in the final to become the third junior slam champ -- w/ Kateryna Bondarenko & Elina Svitolina -- to hail from Ukraine

French Hopman Cup Team
...Kristina Mladenovic teamed up with Richard Gasquet to claim the Hopman title in Perth in Week 1. While Kiki went 2-2 in singles, her win over Belinda Bencic in the final round robin match (and subsequent deciding MX win over Bencic & Roger Federer) sent France into the final, where the duo won a 2-1 tie over the U.S. team of CoCo Vandeweghe/Jack Sock.



RISERS: Elina Svitolina/UKR & Daria Kasatkina/RUS
SURPRISES: Jennifer Brady/USA & Madison Brengle/USA
VETERANS: Barbora Strycova/CZE & Mona Barthel/GER
COMEBACKS: Ash Barty/AUS & Sorana Cirstea/ROU
FRESH FACES: Jana Fett/CRO & Anna Blinkova/RUS
JUNIOR STARS: Iga Swiatek/POL, Bianca Andreescu/CAN & Destanee Aiava/AUS
DOUBLES: Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson (NED/SWE) & Raluca Olaru/Olga Savchuk (ROU/UKR)
ITF: Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor/ESP
DOWN: Angelique Kerber/GER, Aga Radwanska/POL & Simona Halep/ROU

1. Australian Open 3rd Rd. - Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Jelena Jankovic
The two vets battled for 3:36, as Kuznetsova failed to put away the match after leading 6-4/4-1, but made up for it by coming back from 3-0 down in the 3rd. With these two, would you expect anything less, or more?

2. Brisbane 2nd Rd. - Garbine Muguruza def. Daria Kasatkina
The first big-time tussle of the new season took 2:59 to complete, saw Kasatina lead 3-1 and serving in the 3rd, then serve for the match and hold a MP at 7-6 in the deciding tie-break. Muguruza won the final three points. To be continued. Somewhere. At a date to be determined later.
3. Brisbane QF - Elina Svitolina def. Angelique Kerber
Hints of Kerber's January issues -- inconsistent serving and too many errors -- were exposed early by Svitolina, who pulled off her third #1 win (one over Serena in Rio, and two over Kerber) since last summer. Kerber would lose in the 2nd Round in Sydney to Kasatkina, then in the 3rd Round in Melbourne to Vandeweghe.

4. Australian Open 1st Rd. - Naomi Osaka def. Luksika Kumkhum
Osaka went up against Thai Kumkhum in Melbourne and lived to tell the tale. But she had to come back from a set down to do it, then avoid a late 3rd set collapse after failing to convent two MP at 5-4.


1. Australian Open 1st Rd. - Lucie Safarova def. Yanina Wickmayer
Serving to stay in the match while down 6-3/6-5, Safarova fell behind love/40, and it seemed just a matter of time before it'd be over and Bethanie Mattek-Sands would have her doubles partner all to herself for the rest of this tournament. But that was when Safarova decided she wasn't ready to go. Here's how things went:

2. Australian Open 3rd Rd. - Karolina Pliskova def. Jelena Ostapenko
Against the unrelenting Latvian, Pliskova fell behind two breaks in the 3rd and saw Ostapenko serve for the match at 5-2 and 5-4. Finding a way to win when she wasn't at her best, the Czech reached into her "experience bag" and pulled out defense and, ultimately, her big serve to move forward.

3. Australian Open 2nd Rd. - Jennifer Brady def. Heather Watson
In her first career slam MD, qualifier Brady saves five MP against the Brit, paving the way for her first career Round of 16 result in a major.

4. Brisbane 1st Rd. - Roberta Vinci def. Kateryna Bondarenko
Reinvigorated after deciding to play on in '17, Vinci reached the QF in Week 1 and was the only player to take a set off champion Karolina Pliskova. She also saved five MP vs. Bondarenko in her opening match, erasing a 1-5 3rd set deficit to get the victory.
5. Australian Open Girls SF - Rebeka Masarova def. Bianca Andreescu
#7-seed Andreescu got a late break in the 2nd set and served for the match at 6-5. Looking for a chance to join Genie Bouchard as the only Canadians ('12 Wimbledon) to win a girls slam title. But she couldn't do it with so much on the line vs. the #1 seed and '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, which the Swiss took at 7-5 to force a deciding set. Andreescu, who'd been playing with a big wrap on her left leg all week, took a medical timeout after the set, then saw Masarova run away with the 3rd at love. On the bright side, Andreescu returned a few hours later and won the girls doubles title.


1. Auckland 2nd Rd. - Madison Brengle def. Serena Williams
Week 1 play was highlighted by #72-ranked Brengle's windy conditions upset of Williams, which made her just the second (w/ Sloane Stephens, '13 AO) U.S. player that Serena has ever lost to who was younger than herself. Williams had beaten Brengle 6-0/6-1 in their only previous match-up. The other seasons in which Serena suffered her first loss of the season BEFORE the Australian Open? 2007, '09 and '10. The other thing those three seasons had in common was that she was crowned AO champ all three years. Well, we know what happened in Melbourne, don't we?

2. Australian Open 1st Rd. - Shelby Rogers def. Simona Halep
Suffering from tendinitis in her knee, Halep fell in the 1st Round in Melbourne for the second straight year. #52 Rogers faced just one BP on the day, making the Romanian the First Seed Out of the Australian Open and a virtual afterthought in a very story-filled slam.

3. Australian Open 4th Rd. - CoCo Vandeweghe def. Angelique Kerber
In her first slam as the #1-ranked player in the world, as well as the defending champion, Kerber's "off" form continued in Melbourne. Hours after men's #1 Andy Murray had also lost on Rod Laven Arena court in a far more shocking defeat than this one (to Mischa Zverev), Kerber did the same against Vandeweghe, who powered her way past the German, winning the final five games of the match to pick up the first non-Williams over a world #1 for a U.S. woman since 2001.
4. Australian Open 1st Rd. - Anna Blinkova def. Monica Niculescu
The 18-year old qualifier was faced with the challenge that is the "unconventional" game of the Romanian. And she didn't blink. Get it? Early on, Blinkova was handling things pretty well, hitting through the veteran's variety of spins and awkward-looking shots. She took the 1st set 6-2, but eventually began to not only have to deal with her on-court opponent, but also the Aussie heat that threatened to take her down all by itself, or at least soften her up enough to give Niculescu a better shot at doing it. With a slightly unbalanced gait, though, Blinkova found a way to emerge with a victory in her grand slam debut. Guzzling water, looking like she'd just run a marathon, with one of those huge ice-filled collars draped over her shoulders, she came out of the changeover area after breaking Niculescu for a 5-4 lead in the 3rd set and finished off the Romanian in short order, completing a sweep of the final eleven points to survive. Literally. Barely.
5. Brisbane Q1 - Destanee Aiava def. Samantha Crawford 6-0/6-4
Brisbane 1st Rd. - Destanee Aiava def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands 2-6/6-3/6-4
Ms. Aiava, welcome to the big leagues. The 2000's officially have their first tennis poster child, and her name is Destanee (though she prefers Desi). The 16-year old Aussie secured the first MD win on tour by a player born in the new millennium, and also became the first play a slam MD match.


What comes next? Who knows... but if January is any indication, it'll be pretty good.

...on Sunday night, before the big Rafa/Roger time machine ride, the Mixed Doubles title was decided before the crowd gathered at Rod Laver Arena.

Playing in her third careed MX final (and her second vs. Sania Mirza), Abigail Spears teamed with Juan Sebastian Cabal to pick up her first career slam title with a 6-2/6-4 win over Mirza & Ivan Dodig.

Maintaining the unofficial theme of this AO, Spears is 35, two and a half months older than fellow Bannerette (and '17 AO champ) Serena Williams.

...LIKE ON DAY 14: Strycova, the blindfold game assassin/microwave queen...

...LIKE ON DAY 14: Petko being Petko...

...LIKE ON DAY 14: The look on your face when you've almost completed your trophy set...

...LIKE ON DAY 14: The thing is, Henri Leconte sort of played like this when he was ACTUALLY playing...

...See...? ON DAY 14: A little scary AND disarming at the same time.

...LIKE ON DAY 14: Hmmm, or maybe it should be dislike?

...and, finally... let's see if maybe Serena's win might have broken my mini-jinx with these picks. I mean, for Melbourne alone, my junior pick (Andreescu) served for the final in the semis, coming within two points of the win before losing the set and being bageled in the 3rd. Then, my unofficial wheelchair singles pick (Griffioen) blew a 3-1 3rd set lead in the final. But at least I got my Serena pick right, after I'd held my breath and gone against predicting her to win the title at the last three slams (hey, I was only wrong once there, at least). So, I've got two champion picks correct in '17 (I had Pliskova in Brisbane), and it's not even February yet. It took me until late April to get win #2 last season, when I ended up with a total of nine, which wasn't a horrible rebound, though it was by far my worst year of picking winners since I've been keeping track of such things.

So, there's optimism in the air... and hopefully that won't feel like a Trumpwellian alternative fact by this time next week. Although, there IS a tournament in Russia this week, so...

16 Singles Final: Vinci d. Bencic
16 Doubles Final: Hingis/Mirza d. Dushevina/Krejcikova
17 Top Seeds: Halep/Cibulkova

#8 Kasatkina d. #6 Vinci
#3 Kuznetsova d. #2 Cibulkova
#3 Kuznetsova d. #8 Kasatkina, what an interesting field. A handful of top players (Halep/Cibulkova/DC Vinci) coming off disappointing AO results, a few vets (Venus/Sveta) who'll be picking up and carrying on very soon after making some noise in Melbourne, as well as some home-grown (Kasatkina/Vesnina/Makarova) or born (Gavrilova/Shvedova) talents who could spark in the friendly surroundings. And then there's another (Ostapenko), about whom we might quickly see how much a confidence-building slam result will impact the rest of her season. Also, it's the first official indoor event of the season. The sticky wicket here is that last year's semifinal (Bencic d. Kasatkina) is a 1st Round match-up this year due to the Swiss star's injury-related low ranking. Does Bencic have enough '17 match play to pick up where she left off a year ago? I'll say no, and push the Russian through. It could be enough to give her enough momentum to grab her first title (or at least reach her maiden final). But there are enough questions swirling around Kasatkina's section that I'm going to go away from her when it comes to picking a winner. Sveta has won twice in Moscow, so this would be a first for her. Oh, and Saint Petersburg is also where Kuznetsova was born, so...

TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN (Int'l/Hard Outdoor)
16 Singles Final: V.Williams d. Doi
16 Doubles Final: Chan/Chan d. Hozumi/Kato
17 Top Seeds: Svitolina/Stosur

#1 Svitolina d. #8 Jankovic
#5 Siniakova d. (WC) Safarova
#1 Svitolina d. #5 Siniakova

...the field in this event is a significant improvement upon the inaugural version won last year by Venus, and it's switched weeks on the schedule with the opening Fed Cup rounds. As it turns out, that's probably good news for this event, as well as the level of competition in 2017's first FC weekend.

Ah, now it's finally time to find a peaceful billabong, rest my back against a coolibah tree and enjoy the shade. And if a jumbuck wanders by, it'll have no worries, mate. I still don't a tucker bag.

And that I can understand all that explains why I no longer know what day it is, I guess.

#2 Serena Williams/USA def. #13 Venus Williams/USA 6-4/6-4

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

Spears/Cabal (USA/COL) def. #2 Mirza/Dodig (IND/CRO) 6-2/6-4

#11 Marta Kostyuk/UKR def. #1 Rebeka Masarova/SUI 7-5/1-6/6-4

#3 Andreescu/Branstine (CAN/USA) def. Chwalinska/Swiatek (POL/POL) 6-1/7-6(4)

#2 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. #1 Jiske Griffioen/NED 6-7(2)/6-3/6-3

#1 Griffioen/Van Koot (NED/NED) def. #2 de Groot/Kamiji (NED/JPN) 6-3/6-2

On (much loved) point

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on

2005 Samantha Stosur & Scott Draper, AUS/AUS
2006 Martina Hingis & Mahesh Bhupathi, SUI/IND
2007 Elena Likhovtseva & Daniel Nestor, RUS/CAN
2008 Sun Tiantian & Nenad Zimonjic, CHN/SRB
2009 Sania Mirza & Mahesh Bhupathi, IND/IND
2010 Cara Black & Mahesh Bhupathi, ZIM/IND
2011 Katarina Srebotnik & Daniel Nestor, SLO/CAN
2012 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Horia Tecau, USA/ROU
2013 Jarmila Gajdosova & Matthew Ebden, AUS/AUS
2014 Kristina Mladenovic & Daniel Nestor, FRA/CAN
2015 Martina Hingis & Leander Paes, SUI/IND
2016 Elena Vesnina & Bruno Soares, RUS/BRA
2017 Abigail Spears & Juan Sebastian Cabal, USA/COL

**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

2006 Yan Zi & Zheng Jie, CHN/CHN
2007 Liezel Huber, USA
2008 Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR/UKR
2009 Sania Mirza, IND
2010 Cara Black, ZIM
2011 Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta, ARG/ITA
2012 Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
2013 Jarmila Gajdosova, AUS
2014 Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
2015 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
2016 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
2017 Abigail Spears, USA

TOP QUALIFIER: Elizaveta Kulichkova/RUS
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): #5 Karolina Pliskova/CZE
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #2 Serena Williams/USA
TOP LATE ROUND (SF-F): #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.): Girls SF - #1 Rebeka Masarova/SUI def. #7 Bianca Andreescu/CAN 4-6/7-6(5)/6-0 (Andreescu served up set and 5-3, two points from final)
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: Abigail Spears/USA

All for now.


Blogger Eric said...

Just continuing the discussion you and Colt were having from before regarding What Ifs... If Venus didn't have Serena, maybe she would have become the Gael Monfils of the women's tour; and if Serena didn't have Venus, maybe Serena would be an actress/TV personality... who knows!?

Good coverage guys!

Mon Jan 30, 02:31:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Serena might have gone that direction (she still might, who knows?), but I can't imagine Venus ever being someone who'd take her profession as unseriously as Monfils has during most of his career. Not with Oracene and Richard as her parents.

Thanks! (G says so, too, I'm sure) :)

Mon Jan 30, 12:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger colt13 said...

The thing about tennis, is even the ones that have had their careers shortened by injuries stay around. Look at the Russians, where Anna C and Safina stay close, and Myskina becomes Fed Cup captain.

Venus probably would have retired and become Fed Cup captain by now, Serena seems to like clinics and speeches, so maybe she becomes an instructor at an Evert type academy.

Mon Jan 30, 02:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger colt13 said...

Stat of the Week-1- Amount of times that Serena has won the Australian and French Opens in the same year. Obviously, she is still a favorite, but Serena is aware of history. And although she says she doesn't feel pressure, it will be her first shot at 24. Expect the normal Silver Linings, I mean the Serena Williams playbook. Surprising loss there, questions about injury, and then winning one of the last 2 slams.

Mon Jan 30, 02:51:00 PM EST  

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