Sunday, August 27, 2017

US.Q- Before They Can Make it There...

If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. But some have to go through qualifying first.

A look back at the U.S. Open qualifying rounds...

1. Kaia Kanepi, EST (32, #421/PR)
...back in action in June after being out a full year, the thirtysomething Estonian, a '10 U.S. Open and five-time slam quarterfinalist in her career, is in her first MD at a major since the '15 Open. After nearly squandering a huge 2nd set lead vs. #30 Louisa Chirico (after dropping the 1st set) in the second round, Kanepi rallied to win there and took out #1-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei in the final to qualify.

2. Mihaela Buzanarescu, ROU (29, #133)
...the Swarmette makes her belated slam MD debut after a banner ITF career that has seen her win 19 singles titles (her first came at age 16 in '04, and she's 12-2 since '11). She knocked off Marie Bouzkova, Grace Min and #4-seed Mariana Duque this week.
3. Nicole Gibbs, USA (24, #121)
...Gibbs comes into this Open having won six straight 1st Round matches at hard court slams, from the '14 U.S. Open to this year's Australian (she reached the 3rd Rd. at both the first and most recent major in that streak). After opening with a tight two-set win over NCAA #1 Francesca Di Lorenzo, Gibbsy took three sets each to take out vet Patty Schnyder and Naomi Broady.

4. Viktoria Kuzmova, SVK (19, #135)
...the 19-year returns to the Open in the women's MD on year after reaching the girls singles final. She didn't lose a set vs. Usue Arconada, Basak Eraydin and #12 Franckie Abanda.
5. Claire Liu, USA (17, #293)
...the youngest of three 17-year olds in the MD (WC Kayla Day and fellow qualifier Sofya Zhuk), the Wimbledon girls champ (and RG Jr. finalist) continued her breakout campaign (she also won a pair of $25K titles this spring) with wins over Caroline Dolehide and Sesil Karatantcheva, coming back from a break down in the 3rd vs. the Bulgarian.


Anna Blinkova, RUS (18, #117): already a '17 qualifier in Melbourne and London, the '15 Wimbledon girls finalist notched her first career win at a major earlier this year at the Australian Open
Lesley Kerkhove, NED (25, #170): she'd never advanced past the Q2 at any slam before this, but Kerkhove's career year continues with her slam MD debut in New York. She reached her first tour-level QF in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year.
Allie Kiick, USA (22, #633/PR): the Bannerette has had at tough year, battling cancer and seeing her ex-NFL running back father's dementia become public. But at least she's found something on the other side of it all, and will make her slam debut after outlasting a retiring Vicky Duval (a fellow survivor) in the final Q-round.

Kateryna Kozlova, UKR (23, #115): a two-time '17 slam qualifier (w/ RG), the Ukrainian came back from a set down to defeat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the final round. She's 0-5 in career slam MD matches.
Danielle Lao, USA (26, #218): the Little Giant, a former USC star, makes her slam debut after taking out #20 Jana Fett in the final qualifying round

Tereza Martincova, CZE (22, #122): the Czech saw her opening round opponent (Grammatikopoulou) serve for the match. Obviously, she wasn't successful in the endeavor, as Martincova is now making her slam MD debut.
Rebecca Peterson, SWE (22, #197): she'll make her slam debut after wins over #5 Zarina Diyas and young Aussie Destanee Aiava
Ipek Soylu, TUR (21, #163): wins over two teens (Anisimova/Cabrera) and a 21-year old (Boulter) puts the Turk into her second career slam MD (RG '16). Countrywoman Cagla Buyukakcay, who lost in qualifying this week, reached the Open 3rd Round last year.
Sachia Vickery, USA (22, #155): her only slam MD win came at the '13 U.S. Open. She qualified this week without dropped a set, defeating #6 Kateryna Bondarenko and Jamie Loeb.

Anna Zaja, GER (26, #230): she'll make her slam debut in NYC after knocking off #27 Jang Su-jeong to finally break through at age 26
Sofya Zhuk, RUS (17, #148): the Hordette, the '15 Wimbledon junior champ (def. Blinkova) who trains at the Henin Academy, didn't drop a set. She lost just five games to Liu Fangzhou (who'd def. Andreescu and #9 Ahn) in the final round.

Into the main draw @usopen

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Liu Fangzhou def. Bianca Andreescu
Voted the tour's monthly Breakthrough Player earlier this hard court summer, the Canadian's U.S. Open MD debut will have to wait. She did well to battle back from 5-2 down in the 3rd, getting things back on serve up 6-5, only to ultimately lose the deciding TB.
(PR) Vera Zvonareva def. #17 Han Xinyun
The 2010 U.S. Open finalist, now a mother and married, notches her first win of any kind at slam level since the 2015 Australian Open.

Sesil Karatantcheva def. #26 Arantxa Rus
Afterward, well down the road from the past, a happy reunion occurred.

Patty Schnyder def. Ysaline Bonaventure
The last time Sneaky Patty, now 38, posted any sort of win at a major was at the 2010 U.S. Open.

Riko Sawayanagi def. #24 Asia Muhammad
Muhammad led 6-2/5-2. The 26-year old Bannerette, who broke into the Top 125 for the first time this spring, played in her only career slam MD match (via a WC) at Flushing Meadows in 2008.
#14 Nicole Gibbs def. (WC) Francesca Di Lorenzo
Stanford grad Gibbs, a two-time NCAA singles champion, defeats current Ohio State star Di Lorenzo, last year's NCAA #1.
#15 Tereza Martincova def. Valentini Grammatikopoulou
The Czech survived her opponent serving for the match, and went on to qualify for her slam MD debut.

Jamie Loeb def. (PR) Vera Zvonareva
In 3:16, Loeb prevails. Serving for the match at 5-4 in the 3rd, a fan fainted in the stands, allowing Loeb to take advantage of the Q-round rules and consult with her coach.

(PR) Kaia Kanepi def. #30 Louisa Chirico
After losing the 1st set, Kanepi went from 4-0 up in the 2nd to 4-5 down. But she righted the ship in time, and ultimately advanced to the MD.
(WC) Claire Liu def. Sesil Karatantcheva
The Wimbledon girls champ comes back from a break down in the 3rd


(PR) Allie Kiick def. (WC) Vicky Duval
...6-3/1-0 ret.
Kiick wins the battle of cancer-surviving Bannerettes, assuming the heartwarming underdog role in the 1st Round vs.New Haven champ Dasha Gavrilova.


Q1 - #12 FRANCKIE ABANDA def. (PR) Alexandra Panova
The returning Hordette, out from October '16 until April of this year, is making her way back. The 28-year old won a $25K title in May, but lost in U.S. Open qualifying just how she did in RG qualifying in Paris -- by dropping a 3rd set TB.

Q3 - #10 Kateryna Kozlova def. ANNA KAROLINA SCHMIEDLOVA
It's now been a full year since AKS' name appeared in a slam MD, and two years since she won a match (reaching the U.S. Open 3rd Rd. in '15). Still, she posted a win this week over #28-seeded Dalma Galfi and surrendered just two games to Caty McNally before losing to the Ukrainian.

2006 Chan Yung-Jan, TPE
2007 Alina Jidkova, RUS
2008 Yaroslava Shvedova, KAZ & Barbora Strycova, CZE
2009 Eva Hrdinova, CZE
2010 Michelle Larcher de Brito, POR
2011 Romina Oprandi, ITA
2012 Magdalena Rybarikova, SVK
2013 Michelle Larcher de Brito, POR
2014 Aleksandra Krunic, SRB
2015 Jessica Pegula, USA
2016 Taylor Townsend, USA
2017 Kaia Kanepi, EST
[2017 slams]
AO: Elizaveta Kulichkova, RUS
RG: Marketa Vondrousova, CZE
WI: Petra Martic, CRO
US: Kaia Kanepi, EST

Kayla Day, USA - the 17-year old won the '16 U.S. Open girls title, and gets her second '17 slam WC (after having won the USTA's AO Playoff Challenge earlier) here, as well as her second straight golden ticket into the U.S. Open MD. She got her maiden slam win in the 1st Round last year over Madison Brengle.
Amandine Hesse, FRA - the 24-year old Pastry receives her second '17 slam WC (w/ RG), looking to improve her career 1-2 MD record at majors. She's 0-1 (2014) at the U.S. Open.
Sonya Kenin, USA - the 18-year is an Open WC for the third straight year, having earned her way in each time: '15 USTA 18s champ, then the USTA's WC Playoff Challenge winner the last two years. Kenin won the $60K Stockton challenger with a victory over fellow Open WC Ashley Kratzer in the final, and was a finaliast at $60K Lexington. She's 0-2 in her U.S. Open MD career.
Ashley Kratzer, USA - the 18-year old Californian makes her slam debut after winning the USTA's 18s National Championship in San Diego.
Brienne Minor, USA - the 19-year old from Illinois is the reigning NCAA women's singles champ, winning the title in her sophomore season at Michigan to become the first African-American NCAA singles champ (and the first woman) since Arthur Ashe in 1965.
Arina Rodionova, AUS - the winner of Tennis Australia's WC playoff tournament, she's now tasked with adding another chapter to a career-best summer run that was highlighted by her saving 7 MP vs. Pavlyuchenkova and getting her first career MD win at a major at Wimbledon.
Maria Sharapova, RUS - the 30-year old Russian will play her first slam match since the '16 AO (QF), having missed seven of the last eight majors due to injury or suspension. Champion in 2006, she last played the U.S. Open in 2014 (4th Rd.), and has been in the Open draw just one other time since 2012. She has six match wins in 2017.
Taylor Townsend, USA - Backspin's 2016 U.S. Open Q-Player of the Week, Townsend is 4-8 in slam MD in her career: 4-4 in Paris, 0-4 elsewhere

Francesca Di Lorenzo/Miho Kowase (USA/JPN) - NCAA champions
Taylor Johnson/Claire Liu (USA/USA) - USTA 18s champions

RG - Amanda Anisimova, USA (15)
AO - Destanee Aiava, AUS (16)
AO - Kayla Day, USA (17)
AO - Jaimee Fourlis, AUS (17)
RG - Jaimee Fourlis, AUS (17)
US - Kayla Day, USA (17)
RG - Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, FRA (18)
US - Sonya Kenin, USA (18)
US - Ashley Kratzer, USA (18)
AO - Lizette Cabrera, AUS (19)
US - Brienne Minor, USA (19)
WI - Anastasia Potapova, RUS (16)
WI - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (17)
RG - Marketa Vondrousova, CZE (17)
US - Claire Liu, USA (17)
US - Sofya Zhuk, RUS (17)
AO - Anna Blinkova, RUS (18)
WI - Anna Blinkova, RUS (18)
US - Anna Blinkova, RUS (18)
US - Viktoria Kuzmova, SVK (19)
WI - Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (19)
AO - Natalia Vikhlyantseva, RUS (19)
RG - Francoise Abanda, CAN (20)
WI - Francoise Abanda, CAN (20)
RG - Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA (20)
AO - Elizaveta Kulichkova, RUS (20)
AO - Rebecca Sramkova, SVK (20)

=OLDEST 2017 SLAM...=
WI - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA (32)
US - Maria Sharapova, RUS (30)
US - Arina Rodionova, AUS (27)
AO - Arina Rodionova, AUS (27)
WI - Naomi Broady, GBR (27)
RG - Myrtille Georges, FRA (26)
RG - Alize Lim, FRA (26)
US - Kaia Kanepi, EST (32)
RG - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA (32)
RG - Sara Errani, ITA (30)
US - Mihaela Buzarnescu, ROU (29)
WI - Marina Erakovic, NZL (29)
WI - Irina Falconi, USA (27)
WI - Arina Rodionova, AUS (27)
US - Anna Zaja, GER (27)
AO - Mona Barthel, GER (26)
WI - Polona Hercog, SLO (26)
US - Danielle Lau, USA (26)
WI - Petra Martic, CRO (26)
RG - Petra Martic, CRO (26)
AO - Stefanie Voegele, SUI (26)
AO - Marina Zanevska, BEL (23)
RG - Ons Jabeur, TUN (22)

#633 - Allie Kiick, USA (US)
#421 - Kaia Kanepi, EST (US)
#294 - Anastasia Potapova, RUS (WI)
#293 - Claire Liu, USA (US)
#285 - Petra Martic, CRO (RG)
#263 - Polona Hercog, CRO (WI)
#246 - Irina Falconi, USA (WI)
#230 - Anna Zaja, GER (US)
#218 - Danielle Lao, USA (US)
#217 - Eri Hozumi, JPN (AO)
#197 - Rebecca Peterson, SWE (US)
#196 - Miyu Kato, JPN (RG)
#191 - Francoise Abanda, CAN (RG)
#189 - Anna Blinkova, RUS (AO)
#187 - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (WI)
#170 - Lesley Kerkhove, NED (US)
#166 - Arina Rodionova, AUS (WI)
#163 - Ipek Soylu, TUR (US)
#160 - Quirine Lemoine, NED (RG)
#155 - Sachia Vickery, USA (US)
#150 - Mona Barthel, GER (AO)

=MOST 2017 SLAM Q=
3 - Anna Blinkova, RUS (AO/WI/US)
2 - Francoise Abanda, CAN (RG/WI)
2 - Ana Bogdan, ROU (AO/RG)
2 - Kateryna Kozlova, UKR (RG/US)
2 - Petra Martic, CRO (RG/WI)
2 - Alison Van Uytvanck, BEL (RG/WI)

2 - Kayla Day, USA (AO/US)
2 - Jaimee Fourlis, AUS (AO/RG)
2 - Myrtille Georges, FRA (AO/RG)
2 - Amandine Hesse, FRA (RG/US)

=CONSECUTIVE SLAM Q - active streaks=
2 - Anna Blinkova, RUS ('17 WI-US)



3 - Sonya Kenin, USA
2 - Kayla Day, USA

3 - Arina Rodionova, AUS (AO WC/WI Q/US WC)
2 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA (RG Q/WI WC)

2 - Arina Rodionova, AUS ('17 WI Q/'17 US WC)
==U.S. Open=
2 - Taylor Townsend, USA ('16 US Q/'17 US WC)

4th Rd. AO - Mona Barthel, GER
4th Rd. AO - Jennifer Brady, USA
4th Rd. RG - Petra Martic, CRO
4th Rd. WI - Petra Martic, CRO
3rd Rd. RG - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
3rd Rd. WI - Polona Hercog, SLO
[wild cards]
3rd Rd. AO - Ash Barty, AUS
3rd Rd. WI - Heather Watson, GBR
3rd Rd. WI - Zarina Diyas, KAZ
2nd Rd. RG - Jaimee Fourlis, AUS
2nd Rd. RG - Chloe Paquet, FRA
2nd Rd. WI - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
[lucky losers]
3rd Rd. RG - Ons Jabeur, TUN
1st Rd. AO - Marina Zanevska, BEL

9...United States (2/1/1/5)
7...Russia (3/0/2/2)
3...Canada (0/1/2/0)
3...Netherlands (0/2/0/1)
3...Romania (1/1/0/1)
2...Belarus (1/0/1/0)
2...Belgium (0/1/1/0)
2...Croatia (0/1/1/0)
2...Czech Republic(0/1/0/1)
2...Germany (1/0/0/1)
2...Japan (1/1/0/0)
2...Slovakia (1/0/0/1)
2...Ukraine (0/1/0/1)

All for now.


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