Saturday, June 03, 2017

RG.7- French Twist/Twist French

Well, you knew it was going to happen eventually.

But at least half the matches scheduled to take place today managed to be completed on Day 7. And the story had a decidedly French twist.

Yesterday, Kristina Mladenovic advanced to her first Roland Garros Round of 16 with a comeback victory over Shelby Rogers (from 5-2 down in the 3rd to win 8-6, after also having to win from behind to take a 9-7 final set in the 1st Round). On Saturday, history seemed to be repeating itself, as another French woman, one who respects other competitors and former doubles partners and teammates without questioning their integrity or denigrating their patriotism advanced, as well.

Caroline Garcia, like Mladenovic, has never advanced so far in Paris -- or any slam, for that matter. Today, she too was forced to stage a dramatic 3rd set rally, rallying to overcome Taiwanese vet Hsieh Su-Wei. Garcia and Mladenovic have shared the court quite a bit in the past, including en route to the '16 Fed Cup final and when they teamed to last year to become the first all-French duo to win the RG doubles since 1971, and the first French-born pair to do so since 1945. Of course, since then, Mladenovic chose to dismissively sneer at Garcia's decision to end their doubles partnership to focus on singles this year, then disrespected her and questioned her patriotism when she also decided that she didn't want to participate in Fed Cup despite the French Federation's bold threats against any French players who harbored such individual goals.

In today's match, Hsieh staged a comeback of her own to force the 3rd set, and had the chance to serve for the match at 6-5. But Garcia broke, then held, meaning that after failing to serve things out Hsieh now had to hold to just keep on playing. She managed to do it for 7-7, but not two games later under the same do-or-die circumstances. The Pastry's break to win the 16-game 3rd set ended the 2:39 match, won by Garcia by a 6-4/4-6/9-7 score. While Mladenovic is in the other half of the singles draw, Garcia's opponent in the Round of 16 will nevertheless still be a fellow French woman. It'll be Alize Cornet, one of the three (w/ Mladenovic and Pauline Parmentier) Pastry Fed Cuppers who simultaneously "LOL'ed" Garcia's announcement that a back injury would prevent her from playing in the nation's tie in April.

(In case you were wondering, no, Garcia did not stoop to "LOL" Mladenovic when she, too, later first experienced back issues of her own last month and has continually worn her injury like a badge of honor while storming through the first week of this Roland Garros.)

On Chatrier on Day 7, Cornet put forth a fairly undramatic big win, and even post-match celebration (especially for her... Tatjana Maria and her lawyers would never believe it) after her 6-2/6-1 destruction of #9-seed Aga Radwanska, against whom the French woman had been just 1-7 against before today. Cornet, playing without any sort of official coach (her boyfriend is assuming the role for RG), managed to out-Aga Aga today, utilizing drop shots and the like to deadly effect. Of course, Radwanska hasn't really been herself all year. She came into Paris recovering from a foot injury that had limited her clay season to just one match prior to RG. Her loss here drops her to 11-9 on the season, but at least she has the grass courts to look forward to. The Pole has reversed the fortunes of her season there before.

Cornet's thirteenth Top 10 win (third of '17) gets her to her second career RG Round of 16, meaning three Pastries have reached the 4th Round in Paris for the first time since 1994, when Mary Pierce, Julie Halard and Alexia Dechaume-Balleret advanced as far.

Of course, with Cornet and Garcia matching up -- perhaps on Chatrier, which Cornet loves, and Garcia has been known to avoid like she would Kiki in an insult contest -- it means at least one French women will play in the quarterfinals, becoming the first to do so since Marion Bartoli in 2011. If Mladenovic knocks off defending champion Garbine Muguruza, it'll be two. 1994 was also the last time that happened, as Pierce (RU) and Halard reached the final eight.

Of course, as is so often the case with French players, that's not the *whole* story. There's always a twist, and sometimes it's even a touch bit unsavory at that.

...there was some heightened level of expectation surrounding the Simona Halep/Daria Kasatkina 3rd Rounder on Day 7. Five years apart in age, not only do their games have similarities, but both also came into Paris nursing ankle injuries after falls in Rome. #3-seeded Halep, the Madrid champ and Rome finalist this clay season, came in having not lost a set in her opening two rounds in Paris, while #26 Kasatkina had done the same, finally ending surging qualifier Marketa Vondrousova's run two days ago. A good match was anticipated.

And then Simona Halep showed up and decided that she was having none of that.

The Romanian broke the Russian to start the match, and just kept doing it... while also putting up near perfect service games of her own. She broke for 3-0, then 5-0. In just twenty-seven minutes, she'd bageled Kasatkina, who suddenly was having a flashback to oddly reminiscent moments earlier this season, when she suffered four other bagel set defeats (she'd had seven in her entire pro career heading into '17) before finally finding her footing in the clay season and winning her maiden tour title in Charleston. Halep's 1st serve was cruising along at a 75% clip in the set, with her winning 60% of 1st serves and 80% of 2nd. It made you wonder if Rafa Nadal's birthday wish had been granted and he'd finally gotten a chance to see how he'd fair on the women's tour... or something like that.

But Kasatkina finally began to make things competitive in the 2nd, but only after Halep had extended her lead to 6-0/3-1, 40/30. The Hordette's break of Halep's serve knotted things at 3-3, then she got another two games later. She served for the 2nd set at 5-3, and even held a set point. But Halep broke to get thing back on serve. Still, Kasatkina held three more SP in game #10. The Swarmette held for 5-5, though, then broke the Russian and served for the match after winning her third straight game. She got it done, too, once again not allowing a short, bad stretch to flip the script and define her in this match. Her 6-0/7-5 win puts Halep into her third RG Round of 16, and keeps alive the possibility that she could pull *two* rabbits out of her hat at this Roland Garros, winning her first slam title *and* rising to the #1 ranking. If she does the former, she'll achieve the latter. it turned out, the decision to push the Caroline Wozniacki/CiCi Bellis match as far into the evening as possible at least might have prevented that match from getting *two* days behind schedule, as it wasn't immediately finished up on Saturday (it was second up on Court 2), but managed to be completed before everyone turned out the lights early on the grounds.

Bellis, leading 5-2 in the 2nd set when play resumed, continued her aggressive ways and closed out the stanza, forcing a 3rd. But it was there that the Dane finally found her way and began breaking down the Bannerette's game. Both got early breaks in the final set, but Wozniacki's second proved to be the difference. It gave her a chance to serve for the match at 5-3. She did it, and even had back-to-back aces (!!!) to end the match, winning 6-2/2-6/6-3. She's into just her second Round of 16 in Paris, and her first since reaching the QF in 2010. She'll face Svetlana Kuznetsova.

...meanwhile, before the rains came, doubles wins were posted by the likes of Chan Yung-Jan/Martina Hingis, Ash Barty/Casey Dellacqua, Chan Hao-Ching/Barbora Krejcikova and Irina-Camelia Begu/Zheng Saisai, who upset #8-seeded Abigail Spears/Katarina Srebotnik.

..."AND AFTER KEEPING QUIET ABOUT ELENA ALLLLLL WEEK..." ON DAY 7: All right, who talked? Shaaaame.

For CSN, it's her fifth Round of 16 at Roland Garros. She made her first, going all the way to the QF, in her Paris debut in 2008.

...LIKE ON DAY 7: Sveta... who can *truly* be commended for being honest, without a weird desire to try and take out fellow players out at the knees with accusatory criticism being part of the equation

...LIKE ON DAY 7: Meanwhile, in other Aussie tennis news, the Rodionova worries are over -- the little one has been found

...LIKE ON DAY 7: And in the Land of Petra...

...ANNUAL (x4) DISLIKE ON DAY 7: U.S. tennis coverage continues to employ the as-little-tennis-as-possible gameplan. Well, at least when it's not the let's-focus-on-this-meaningless-2nd-set of a best-of-five men's contest when truly dramatic 3rd sets of women's matches are happening elsewhere. Drama which the likes of Tennis Channel doesn't even bother to mention is going on, except for when it's over, or when the screen is split nto four boxes to show what one might be able to see if they wanted to pay for Tennis Channel Plus, never mind the fact that they might already be paying to watch Tennis Channel, which likes to employ the as-little-important-tennis-as-possible gameplan. Well, at least when it's not the let's-focus-on-this-meaningless-...

...WEIRDNESS ON DAY 7: (retweeted by Canadian player Gaby Dabrowski, by the way)

...DISLIKE ON DAY 7: Sigh...

So sorry you feel disrespected

A post shared by Madison Keys (@madisonkeys) on

Of course, this is coming on a day when "CNN is ISIS" was trending on Twitter. So... you know.

(You ever get the feeling that we're just living in a giant snow globe, someone dropped it and it's leaking fluid all over the carpet?)

Asking for a friend.

...I'M JUST SAYIN' ON DAY 7: Sania has probably had a lot of practice with this *on* the court the last few weeks. Things'll get better soon, though.

Inhale.Exhale.Let go.

A post shared by Sania Mirza (@mirzasaniar) on

...and, finally, it's nearly Round of 16 time. So...

(or as complete as things can be when there are still four 3rd Round matches to finish on Sunday, at least)

*2017 RG WOMEN'S FINAL 16*
[by ranking]
#4 - Simona Halep
#5 - Garbine Muguruza
#9 - Svetlana Kuznetsova
#11 - Venus Williams
#12 - Caroline Wozniacki
#14 - Kristina Mladenovic
#22 - Samantha Stosur
#23 - Carla Suarez-Navarro
#27 - Caroline Garcia
#31 - Timea Bacsinszky
#43 - Alize Cornet
#47 - Jelena Ostapenko
[by age]
36...Venus Williams
33...Samantha Stosur
31...Svetlana Kuznetsova
28...Carla Suarez-Navarro
27...Timea Bacsinszky
27...Alize Cornet
26...Caroline Wozniacki
25...Simona Halep
24...Kristina Mladenovic
23...Garbine Muguruza
23...Caroline Garcia
19...Jelena Ostapenko
[by nation]
3...France (Cornet,Garcia,Mladenovic)
2...Spain (Muguruza,Suarez-Navarro)
1...Australia (Stosur)
1...Denmark (Wozniacki)
1...Latvia (Ostapenko)
1...Romania (Halep)
1...Russia (Kuznetsova)
1...Switzerland (Bacsinszky)
1...United States (V.Williams)
[by career slam Round-of-16's]
48 - Venus Williams
31 - Svetlana Kuznetsova
18 - Caroline Wozniacki
12 - Samantha Stosur
12 - Carla Suarez-Navarro
10 - Simona Halep
8 - Garbine Muguruza
4 - Timea Bacsinszky
4 - Alize Cornet
2 - Kristina Mladenovic
1 - Caroline Garcia
1 - Jelena Ostapenko
[w/ consecutive slam Round of 16's]
5...Venus Williams
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova
2...Garbine Muguruza
[by career RG Round of 16's]
12...Svetlana Kuznetsova
10...Venus Williams
6...Samantha Stosur
5...Carla Suarez-Navarro
4...Garbine Muguruza
3...Timea Bacsinszky
3...Simona Halep
2...Alize Cornet
2...Caroline Wozniacki
1...Caroline Garcia
1...Kristina Mladenovic
1...Jelena Ostapenko
[w/ consecutive RG Round of 16's]
4...Garbine Muguruza
3...Timea Bacsinszky
2...Simona Halep
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova
2...Samantha Stosur
2...Carla Suarez-Navarro
2...Venus Williams
[by preseason ""Grand Slam Master List" rankings]

=Tiers: Green 1-3, Blue 4-13, Pink 14-21, Orange 22-32,
Red 33-37, Purple 38-45, White 46-50, Missed List (5)=
x - none
4 - Simona Halep
11 - Garbine Muguruza
12 - Venus Williams

16 - Caroline Wozniacki
18 - Timea Bacsinszky
19 - Svetlana Kuznetsova
20 - Caroline Garcia
21 - Carla Suarez-Navarro

30 - Kristina Mladenovic
x - none
40 - Jelena Ostapenko
45 - Samantha Stosur

Missed List - none
Unlisted - Alize Cornet
[WTA career slam Round of 16's - active]
55...Serena Williams
36...Maria Sharapova
26...Aga Radwanska
22...Victoria Azarenka
22...Jelena Jankovic
21...Patty Schnyder
18...Francesca Schiavone
15...Daniela Hantuchova
15...Petra Kvitova
14...Angelique Kerber
14...Ekaterina Makarova
[WTA slam Round of 16's since 2010 - active]
23...Serena Williams
19...Maria Sharapova
18...Aga Radwanska
17...Victoria Azarenka
14...Angelique Kerber
14...Ekaterina Makarova
13...Petra Kvitova
10...Jelena Jankovic
8...Francesca Schiavone
8...Sloane Stephens
[2017 slam Rd. of 16's - youngest]
19 - Jelena Ostapenko (RG)
21 - Jennifer Brady (AO)
[2017 slam Rd. of 16's - oldest]
36...Venus Williams (RG)
36...Venus Williams (AO)
35...Serena Williams (AO)
34...Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (AO)
33...Samantha Stosur (RG)
31...Svetlana Kuznetsova (RG)
31...Svetlana Kuznetsova (AO)
30...Barbora Strycova (AO)
29...Angelique Kerber (AO)
[2017 slam Rd. of 16's - unseeded]
AO - Mona Barthel, GER (Q)
AO - Jennifer Brady, USA (Q)
AO - Sorana Cirstea, ROU
AO - Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
AO - CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
RG - Alize Cornet, FRA
RG - Jelena Ostapenko, LAT
[2017 slam Rd. of 16's - 1st-time GS 4th Rd.'s]
AO - Mona Barthel, GER
AO - Jennifer Brady, USA
RG - Caroline Garcia, FRA
RG - Jelena Ostapenko, LAT
[2017 slam Rd. of 16's - lowest-ranked]
#181 - Mona Barthel, GER (AO)
#116 - Jennifer Brady, USA (AO)
#79 - Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO (AO)
#78 - Sorana Cirstea, ROU (AO)
[2017 slam Rd. of 16's]
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS
2...Garbine Muguruza, RUS
2...Venus Williams, USA
[2017 slam Rd. of 16's - by nation]
5...USA (4/1)
4...RUS (3/1)
3...ESP (1/2)
3...FRA (0/3)
2...AUS (1/1)
2...CZE (2/0)
2...ROU (1/1)
2...GER (2/0)
1...CRO (1/0)
1...DEN (0/1)
1...GBR (1/0)
1...LAT (0/1)
1...SUI (0/1)

TO PLAY: Svitolina/Linette, Sevastova/Martic, Cepede Royg/Duque, Ka.Pliskova/Witthoeft

Jelena Ostapenko/LAT vs. #23 Samantha Stosur/AUS
#11 Caroline Wozniacki/DEN vs. #8 Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS
#4 Garbine Muguruza/ESP vs. #13 Kristina Mladenovic/FRA
#10 Venus Williams/USA vs. #30 Timea Bacsinszky/SUI
x vs. x
#21 Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP vs. #3 Simona Halep/ROU
#28 Caroline Garcia/FRA vs. Alize Cornet/FRA
x vs. x

Hidden gem in France ????

A post shared by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on

*FRENCH WOMEN IN RG ROUND OF 16 - since 1994*
1994 Mary Pierce (RU), Julie Halard, Alexia Dechaume-Balleret
1995 Mary Pierce
1996 -
1997 Mary Pierce
1998 Sandrine Testud
1999 Julie Halard-Decugis
2000 Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce (W)
2001 Sandrine Testud
2002 Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce
2003 Amelie Mauresmo
2004 Amelie Mauresmo
2005 Mary Pierce (RU)
2006 Amelie Mauresmo
2007 Marion Bartoli
2008 -
2009 Virginie Razzano, Aravane Rezai
2010 -
2011 Marion Bartoli
2012 -
2013 -
2014 Pauline Parmentier
2015 Alize Cornet
2016 -
2017 Alize Cornet, Caroline Garcia, Kristina Mladenovic

2006 Agnieszka Radwanska/POL d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS
2007 Alize Cornet/FRA d. Mariana Duque-Marino/COL
2008 Simona Halep/ROU d. Elena Bogdan/ROU
2009 Kristina Mladenovic/FRA d. Daria Gavrilova/RUS
2010 Elina Svitolina/UKR d. Ons Jabeur/TUN
2011 Ons Jabeur/TUN d. Monica Puig/PUR
2012 Annika Beck/GER d. Anna Schmiedlova/SVK
2013 Belinda Bencic/SUI d. Antonia Lottner/GER
2014 Daria Kasatkina/RUS d. Ivana Jorovic/SRB
2015 Paula Badosa Gibert/ESP d. Anna Kalinskaya/RUS
2016 Rebeka Masarova/SUI d. Amanda Anisimova/USA

TOP QUALIFIER: Marketa Vondrousova/CZE
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #23 Samantha Stosur/AUS
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q3: Quirine Lemoine/NED def. Arantxa Rus/NED 2-6/7-6(3)/6-3 (down 6-2/5-3, saved 2 MP)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - #13 Kristina Mladenovic/FRA def. Jennifer Brady/USA 3-6/6-3/9-7 (back injury; down 3-0 in 3rd; on third attempt to serve out match)
FIRST VICTORY: Petra Kvitova/CZE (def. Boserup/USA)
FIRST SEED OUT: #31 Roberta Vinci/ITA (1st Rd.-lost to Puig/PUR)
UPSET QUEENS: South Americans (Duque Marino/COL & Cepede Royg/PAR)
REVELATION LADIES: Muslim woman (LL Jabeur/TUN first Arab in 3rd Rd.; Buyukakcay/TUR 1st Rd. win for second straight year)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Germany (2-5 in 1st Round; Kerber first #1 out so early)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: In 3rd Rd.: Martic, Mattek-Sands(L)
LAST PASTRY STANDING: In 4th Rd.: Cornet, Garcia, Mladenovic
IT "??": Nominees: Ostapenko, Mladenovic
CRASH & BURN: #1 Angelique Kerber/GER (first #1-ranked woman to lost RG 1st Rd.; first at any slam since '01)
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF PARIS: Kristina Mladenovic/FRA (1st Rd.- down 3-0 in 3rd to Brady, wins 9-7; 3rd Rd. - down 5-2 in 3rd, wins 8-6 vs. Rogers)
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Nominees: V.Williams, Kuznetsova, Stosur, Sevastova
Légion de Lenglen HONOREE: Nominee: Halep, Cornet, Mladenovic, Garcia, Jabeur, Muguruza, Kuznetsova

Artist: Paul Thurlby

All for Day 7. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

Some pretty nice 3rd and 4th rd matchups id the rain holds off.

And an apology for doing something too similar, didn't expect the French R16 post since the 3rd rd isn't over.

Stat of the Day-15-The amount of times French women have put up a QF or better result since the beginning of the Open Era.

As Todd has mentioned, if Mladenovic can win her next match, France will have two women in the QF for the first time since 1994.

Francoise Durr-71 QF
Gail Chanfreau-71 QF
Francoise Durr-72 SF
Francoise Durr-73 SF
Odile De Roubin-73 QF
Brigitte Simon-78 SF
Space representing the 80's(0)
Nathalie Tauziat-91 QF
Mary Pierce-94 F
Julie Halard-94 QF
Mary Pierce-00 W
Mary Pierce-02 QF
Amelie Mauresmo-03 QF
Mary Pierce-05 F
Marion Bartoli-11 SF

Some quick notes-The Open Era started with a whimper, as Durr only reached the 4th rd in 68, then the 3rd in 69, then got it in gear, although she never won a slam in the Open Era, as she won the French in 1967.

The other one that stands out, because she is a one slam wonder, and the dividing line for everybody after her, is Brigitte Simon. Simon went 4-1 in 1978, losing to the eventual champ in Virginia Ruzici. But she only went 5-12 in her other MD slam appearances. Also, everybody that came after and reached the QF reached the Top 10 in their career.


Now this may change by one, as Cornet's career high is 11, but isn't even back in the Top 30 yet. On the other hand, it is just a matter of time before Mladenovic meets that standard.

Looks like I will be looking up stuff for Colombia or Paraguay tomorrow.

Sat Jun 03, 06:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yeah, I went ahead and used what I had for the Round of 16 since, if everything is played on Sunday then half the QF spots will already be filled. I might add the final four 4th Rounders' info and use it all again, though. :)

Oh, good about COL/PAR. I've been wondering about the recent histories of any of the South American nations as a whole, as it brings up names you don't hear too often. Argentina -- with Sabatini, then Dulko, for the most part -- has really been the only SA nation with many slam results of note for quite a few decades... and even those aren't as common as you might expect.

Sun Jun 04, 12:02:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Clayniaki did it - QF and win over Kuznetsova in three 61 46 62

Sun Jun 04, 07:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

Zuluaga, a top 10 player, reached qf at French Open and sf at Australian Open.

Sun Jun 04, 08:28:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yes, that was impressive. The TC people often noted her good game plan. Not sure if they ever brought Big Sascha into the equation, as that's something he'd likely have a hand in altering/tweaking.

I've got to think she got reminded she couldn't sit back and wait in this match.

Ah, see, there's one of them. I know I've got her on one of those lists that I keep.

Here we go...

*LOW SLAM (#16+) SF SEEDS 2000-present:*
#32 Zuluaga - 2004 Australian
...she's the lowest-seeded SF slam seed since 2000 (not counting unseeded/wild cards

*LOWEST RANKED WTA CHAMPIONS (not including unranked)*
#579 Widjaja (2001 Bali)
#285 Zuluaga (2002 Bogota)

Of course, now we need need PAR WTA history, which I suspect is even more sparse.

Sun Jun 04, 10:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

And my favorite tennis name of all time :)

Sun Jun 04, 10:31:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

No former champs left, so we'll have a new winner and why not Caroline ;)
Big Sascha has a lot to do with Caros improvement. Both lob, forehand and netplay(partly) is because of him. A little kick to the serve - which has improved too. They have prolonged the cooperation for the rest of the season with an option to continue, which I think they'll do.

Sun Jun 04, 12:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

First time since 1979 AO that there are no former slam winners in the final 8.

Not exactly The Radwanskian Massacre, but 4 slam winners going out in one day is something.

Sun Jun 04, 02:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Forgot to add that this actually had been referred to earlier in the tournament, as this is the year #1 Ruzici pulled a Kerber and lost to Mary Sawyer in the 1st rd.

Sun Jun 04, 04:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sothea hy said...

hello Thank you for sharing such relevant topic with us.
gclub casino

Mon Jun 05, 10:15:00 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home