Wednesday, September 06, 2017

US.10 - One Fish Two Fish, Red-White-and-Blue Fish!

Practice makes perfect, or as close to it as CoCo Vandeweghe is likely to get. Until maybe her next match, that is.

The quarterfinalists in the first match up on Ashe Court on Day 10 couldn't have been more polar opposites when it comes to demeanor.

World #1 Karolina Pliskova is the Czech with the calm exterior and laid back personality. She sports a subtle, though blunt and forthright, brand of commentary, often on the failures of her own game. #20 CoCo Vandeweghe has for quite a while almost been too easily viewed as a brash American stereotype, with a blunt and in-your-face exterior and sometimes-judgmental attitude directed outward rather than inward. While it's taken (and still is, on some level) a while for many to get a full grasp of Pliskova as she took her time figuring out to perform her best on the biggest stages in the sport, Vandeweghe has often been easy for many to dislike while she elbowed for attention on some of those same large stages.

But a funny thing happened today, as the two players who both sought to reach their second slam semifinal of the season almost seemed as if they had exchanged personalities after they met for the coin toss at the start of play.

For in this match it would be Vandeweghe who'd often appear the more focused and calm of the two. Oh, she cracked a racket at one point (that's almost an every-match prerequisite for showing up with a full tennis bag in her case), and even a matter-of-fact conversation that CoCo had with the chair umpire about a minor detail (whether she should have a first or second serve after a replay challenge) held a touch of an untoward tone about it (though it was likely just the vibe that she sometimes gives off without even trying). But, all in all, this was a "CoCo 2.0." Much like previously moved-forward semifinalist Sloane Stephens and still-to-play quarerfinalist Madison Keys, Vandeweghe has come to this U.S. Open prepared to show how much she's changed and grown through experience, not allowing pressure, preconceived notions nor temporary downturns in her play to send her off the rails toward certain defeat. Having improved her fitness in recent seasons, then her willingness to do something other than try to hit aces on every serve, this season she's at least attempted to work on the space between her ears, as well. A sport psychologist has seemingly -- though she'll still slip up at times -- helped her professionalism flourish (well, improve... enough that it's often noticeable), while summer coaching pick-up Pat Cash has been an unlikely, but good, fit when it's comes to helping her stay loose but also keep her eyes on the task at hand. Today, Vandeweghe didn't need to audaciously stoke the crowd to get herself going. With a game plan in mind from the start, she simply paid attention to controlling what she could within the lines. It showed that she may have indeed finally come into her own as a personality both on and off the court. One that makes the game more interesting, though the equal parts love/hate dynamic of her being will likely always still apply.

"Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered."
"Dr. Seuss"

Meanwhile, as Vandeweghe was generally a sedate-but-effective version of herself, it was the usually calm Pliskvova who was seen smacking and then tossing a racket (and a water bottle), and occasionally looking irritated and frustrated, either by a call that didn't go her way, or having to wait for calm or quiet in the stands before serving. While the Czech had the greater history at this slam, where she defeated both Williams Sisters a year ago and pushed Angelique Kerber to three sets in the final, it was New York-born (but California adapted) Vandeweghe who seemed more at home, more at ease. More herself. The 2.0 version, at least.

It was Vandeweghe who jumped at the first opportunity in the match, breaking Pliskova in game #3 of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead. The Czech held at love in game #7, and led love/30 on the Vandeweghe serve in the next game. But CoCo came back strong, firing an ace to go up 40/30. Two DF gave Pliskova a break point, but Vandeweghe saved it by taking a Pliskova backhand return off the line and creating a behind-the-baseline crosscourt shot into the far corner to stay alive in the game. The Czech got the break on her second chance, moving in on a return, then following up with a hooking forehand winner to even things at 4-4. Pliskova double-faulted to fall behind love/30 in the next game. But she reached game point and ran forward to the net to reach a short return, slicing a forehand into the opposite corner that Vandeweghe couldn't get back, holding for 5-4. Pliskova's big chance arrived in the match's tenth game. There, she held a set point on Vandeweghe's serve, only to see the Bannerette save it and ultimately win on her third GP with a backhand winner. While the Czech had failed to secure the opening set, she could still win it in the eventual tie-break.

Or not.

The TB would last eleven points, but ten of them would be won by the server. The one exception was the very first point, when a deep-in-the-corner backhand return from Vandeweghe elicited a Pliskova error to put her up 1-0. The Czech never lost a second point on serve, but also never got the mini-break back. Her sprayed return gave the TB to Vandeweghe by a 7-4 score. Pliskova tossed her racket after the error, then her water bottle soon afterward.

The 2nd set, though, is where CoCo 2.0 truly and noticeably shined. As things got more serious, so did she. With the semis on the line, Vandeweghe was all business, and rarely missed a beat in the game. When it counted, she fired returns deep into the court and was able to use that early advantage to further move Pliskova off the court with angled groundstrokes, then get her on the move so that her power was less accurate and effective. Winning a high percentage of first serve points (81% for the match, 10% more than the Czech), often serving on the outside of the servie box to get Pliskova moving and not allow her to blast shots from a perfect position in the middle of the court, CoCo kept things in check on serve, as well.

With Vandeweghe up 2-1, Pliskova double-faulted to fall behind love/30, then sailed a forehand to make it 15/40. A deep second serve return into the corner produced a too-long forehand off the Czech's racket and handed the Bannerette the break lead at 3-1. Vandeweghe blinked ever so slightly a game later, firing an early DF and seeing her backhand deliver a handful of errors that gave the break back. But she'd refocus and pull it all back together immediately, breaking back for a 4-2 lead with a forehand passing shot.

Serving for the match at 5-3, Vandeweghe went down 15/30 when Pliskova fired a winner behind her, but her own forehand on the baseline evened up the score. She would face a BP, but Vandeweghe forced another Pliskova error as the Czech failed to get her running forehand back over the net as she was made to chase a Vandeweghe shot along the baseline. Vandeweghe moved Pliskova from one corner to the other, hitting a forehand behind her for a winner, to reach match point. She failed to convert it, but got another chance when she again pulled Pliskova to one side of the court, then fired a winner into the vacated side.

On MP #2, Pliskova's forehand couldn't handle Vandegewhe's big serve and it was over, as CoCo became the third U.S. woman to hit her way into the semis, the most at Flushing Meadows since 2004 (and still with a chance for all four for the first time since 1981), winning 7-6(4)/6-3 and picking up her second #1 win of the season.

Even in her post-match interview, Vandeweghe showed a level of maturity she's sometimes been incapable of displaying, noting that she was wrong when she won the junior title at age 16 (in 2008) and thought getting to this position would be easy and fast. It's been anything but. Still just 25, CoCo has gone from being a one-time top junior who was viewed as having gone on to have a disappointing pro career to a late(r) bloomer who might not have yet reached her ultimate potential, but is very closet to being able to do so.

It was good that she immediately went to thank the contingent in her Player's Box after match point, too, as it's been their patience and insistence on her dedication to legitimate improvement (on and off court) that has brought Vandeweghe to the center stage of her home slam with a semifinal result that fully backs up the final four run she posted in Melbourne in January, and the team leadership-by-example role she grew into while leading the U.S. squad to this year's Fed Cup final.

As a member of the group of three (for now) U.S. players still standing, this is precisely the sort of "team" (even though it's not, really) atmosphere where CoCo has shown she can thrive. With teammates on the other side of the draw as well as the other side of the net, and with a stadium full of full-throated backers in the stands, Vandeweghe is "allowed" to let her CoCo flag fly as boldly as she wishes, and it never costs her support. But she's learned, as surely was the case today, that sometimes showing a measure of control in such an environment is often just as important.

In fact, it could be the difference between a nice career stepping stone result at Flushing Meadows and one that could be a career-defining moment that will stick with her for the rest of her days.

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."

...Pliskova's failure to reach the final means that we'll have (another) new #1 on Monday, as Garbine Muguruza assumes the top spot.

Barring a title run by the Czech or another of the six contenders for #1 heading into this U.S. Open, this is probably the best development for all involved. If, say, Simona Halep or Elina Svitolina would have backed into the #1 ranking without winning the title it Would have simply set up a rehash of past discussions that does no one any good, least off all the slam-less #1 that would have to answer all of THOSE QUESTIONS all over again. Muguruza has been the most in-form player all summer, won Wimbledon and is a two-time slam champ.

It feels right.

For the moment, at least. This might not be the last exchange of the #1 ranking this year -- it's already the sixth change at the top since January, two off the tour record for a season -- as we could see a few more before the season-ending #1 might come down to the WTA Finals in Singapore. That would be another pressure situation in which we could see who will step up one final time before new mom Serena Williams returns to the scene in 2018.

Mark your calendar.

...the final quarterfinal between Madison Keys (in her FOURTH night match in five rounds... what is this, the AO or Wimbledon with only one home player alive from the 3rd Round forward?) and qualifier Kaia Kanepi will take place tonight on Ashe.'s schedule was already an abbreviated one, and daytime rain even cut into that. Aside from the singles action on both sides of the draw, the only scheduled matches were doubles quarterfinals. And only one of those was completed, as Safarova/Strycova advanced to make it not a total loss for Czech tennis on this day.

...yesterday's play set the girls singles round of 16, and as was the case in Paris and London it's a Bannerette-dominated field. After placing five and six juniors in the Final 16 at RG and SW19, respectively, there are again six U.S. representative still breathing at Flushing Meadows. Three Hordettes also still stand, along with girls from seven other countries (two from South America, in fact, in a nice development).

With so many U.S. players in the mix, the Roland Garros and Wimbledon girls singles finals were ultimately both all-Bannerette affairs, and the chances aren't too shabby that we might see a major three-peat on that front at this Open (with a fourth and fifth different player in the fifth and sixth final slots, too).

LIKE ON DAY 10 9: The ayes... err, flies... err, fly... has it.

LIKE ON DAY 10: Yes, another Chakvetadze sighting!

...and, finally... the Colt Please-Win-This U.S. Open Challenge list is down to one...


#20 CoCo Vandeweghe/USA def. #1 Karolina Pliskova/CZE
#15 Madison Keys/USA vs. (Q) Kaia Kanepi/EST
#9 Venus Williams/USA def. #13 Petra Kvitova/CZE
Sloane Stephens/USA def. #16 Anastasija Sevastova/LAT

#7 Hradecka/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) def. Klepac/Martinez-Sanchez (SLO/ESP)
#3 Safarova/Strycova (CZE/CZE) def. #9 Dabrowski/Xu Yifan (CAN/CHN)
#5 Babos/Hlavackova (HUN/CZE) vs. #4 Mirza/Peng (IND/CHN)
H.Chan/Sh.Zhang (TPE/CHN) vs. #2 Y.Chan/Hingis (TPE/SUI)

#1 Hingis/J.Murray (SUI/GBR) vs. Vandeweghe/Tecau (USA/ROU)
#3 H.Chan/Venus (TPE/NZL) vs. An.Rodionova/Marach (AUS/AUT)

Anastasia Kharitonova/RUS vs. (WC) Katie Volynets/USA
(WC) Dalayna Hewitt/USA vs. (WC) Coco Gauff/USA
#3 Elena Rybakina/RUS vs. Elisabetta Cocciaretto/ITA
#10 Simona Waltert/SUI vs. Maria Lourdes Carle/ARG
#8 Olga Danilovic/SRB vs. Naho Sato/JPN
(Q) Paula Arias Manjon/ESP vs. #4 Amanda Anisimova/USA
(WC) Kelly Chen/USA vs. Emiliana Arango/COL
#15 Sofya Lansere/RUS vs. Elysia Bolton/USA

#1 Danilovic/Kostyuk (SRB/UKR) vs. xx
xx vs. #7 Lansere/Rakhimova (RUS/RUS)
#8 Bolton/A.Li (USA/USA) vs. xx
xx vs. xx

*WTA SINGLES #1's - by year first reached*
1975 Chris Evert, USA
1976 Evonne Goolagong, AUS
1978 Martina Navratilova, USA
1980 Tracy Austin, USA
1987 Steffi Graf, FRG/GER
1991 Monica Seles, YUG
1995 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, ESP
1997 Martina Hingis, SUI
1998 Lindsay Davenport, USA
2001 Jennifer Capriati, USA
2002 Venus Williams, USA
2002 Serena Williams, USA
2003 Kim Clijsters, BEL
2003 Justine Henin, BEL
2004 Amelie Mauresmo, FRA
2005 Maria Sharapova, RUS
2008 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2008 Jelena Jankovic, SRB
2009 Dinara Safina, RUS
2010 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2012 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2016 Angelique Kerber, GER
2017 Karolina Pliskova, CZE
2017 Garbine Muguruza, ESP

2008: 5 = Henin,Sharapova,Ivanovic*,Jankovic*,S.Williams
2002: 4 = Davenport,Capriati,V.Williams*,S.Williams*
2006: 4 = Davenport,Clijsters,Mauresmo,Henin
2017: 4 = Kerber,S.Williams,Ka.Pliskova*,Muguruza*
*-first-time #1

8 = 2002 (4 different players)
8 = 1995 (3 different players)
6 = 2008 (5 different players)
6 = 2017 (4 different players)*
1/30: Kerber to Serena
3/20: Serena to Kerber
4/24: Kerber to Serena
5/15: Serena to Kerber
7/17: Kerber to Pliskova
9/11: Pliskova to Muguruza

**2017 WINS OVER #1**
2 - Garbine Muguruza, ESP (Kerber/Pliskova)
2 - Elina Svitolina, UKR (Kerber-2)
2 - COCO VANDEWEGHE, USA (Kerber/Pliskova)

**WINS OVER DIFFERENT #1's IN A SEASON - since 2008**
2008 Dinara Safina, RUS (3)
2009 Venus Williams, USA (2)
2010 Samantha Stosur, AUS (2)
2011-15 - none
2016 Elina Svitolina, UKR (2)
2017 Garbine Muguruza, ESP (2)
2017 CoCo Vandweghe, USA (2)

Unseeded - 2000 Elena Dementieva, RUS
Unseeded - 2009 Yanina Wickmayer, BEL
Unseeded - 2011 Angelique Kerber, GER
Unseeded - 2013 Flavia Pennetta, ITA
Unseeded - 2014 Peng Shuai, CHN
Unseeded - 2015 Roberta Vinci, ITA (RU)
Unseeded - 2016 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
Unseeded - 2017 Sloane Stephens, USA
Wild Card - 2009 Kim Clijsters, BEL (W)
#28 - 2011 Serena Williams, USA (RU)
#26 - 2015 Flavia Pennetta, ITA (W)
#20 - 2017 CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
#19 - 2006 Jelena Jankovic,SRB
#17 - 2014 Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
#12 - 2005 Mary Pierce, FRA (RU)
#12 - 2007 Venus Williams, USA
#10 - 2001 Serena Williams, USA (RU)
#10 - 2002 Amelie Mauresmo, FRA
#10 - 2012 Sara Errani, ITA
#10 - 2014 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN (RU)
#10 - 2016 Karolina Pliskova, CZE (RU)
TO PLAY: Kanepi (Q)

un Keys - 2015 Australian
un Vinci - 2015 U.S. Open (RU)
un Konta - 2016 Australian
un Bertens - 2016 Roland Garros
un Vesnina - 2016 Wimbledon
un Wozniacki - 2016 U.S. Open
un Lucic-Baroni - 2017 Australian
un Vandeweghe - 2017 Australian
un Ostapenko - 2017 Roland Garros (W)
un Rybarikova - 2017 Wimbledon
un Stephens - 2017 U.S. Open
#30 Bacsinszky - 2017 Roland Garros
#26 Pennetta - 2015 U.S. Open (W)
#23 Bacsinszky - 2015 Roland Garros
#21 Stosur - 2016 Roland Garros
#20 Muguruza - 2015 Wimbledon (RU)
#20 Vandeweghe - 2017 U.S. Open
TO PLAY: Kanepi (Q)

1978 Australian - C.O'Neil,D.Evers,C.Matison
1976 R.Garros - R.Tomanova,F.Mihai,V.Ruzici
2017 Australian - Lucic-Baroni,Vandeweghe
2010 Wimbledon - Kvitova,Pironkova
2010 Australian - Henin(WC),Zheng
2009 US Open - Clijsters(WC),Wickmayer
1999 Wimbledon - Stevenson(Q),Lucic
1994 Wimbledon - McNeil,G.Fernandez
1983 R.Garros - Jauvosec,Durie
1975 Australian - Chmyreva,S.Barker
1971 Australian - L.Hunt,W.Shaw
1971 R.Garros - M.Schaar,H.Gourlay
NOTE: unseeded Stephens in semifinals, qualifier Kanepi to play

2015 Flavia Pennetta, ITA
2016 Angelique Kerber, GER
2017 Venus Williams, USA
AO: Serena Williams, USA and Venus Williams, USA
RG: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
WI: Venus Williams, USA
US: Venus Williams, USA

Lindsay Davenport (1992 Jr. Champion; 1998 Women's Champion)
Victoria Azarenka: 2005 Jr. Champion, 2012 Women's RU
Martina Hingis: 1994 Jr. RU, 1997 Women's Champion
Svetlana Kuznetsova: 2001 Jr. RU; 2004 Women's Champion
NOTE: CoCo Vandeweghe (2008 Jr. Champion)

JAN: Angelique Kerber, GER
AO: Angelique Kerber, GER
FEB/MAR: NED Fed Cup Team
I.W./MIAMI: Belinda Bencic, SUI
1Q: Belinda Bencic, SUI
APR/MAY: RUS Fed Cup Team
MAY: Angelique Kerber, GER
RG: Angelique Kerber, GER
2Q Clay Court: Angelique Kerber, GER
JUN: Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
WI: Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
2Q Grass Court: Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
JUL/AUG: Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
AUG: Petra Kvitova, CZE
[2017 Weekly DOWN Award Wins]
6...Angelique Kerber, GER
4...Belinda Bencic, SUI
4...Aga Radwanska, POL
3...Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
3...Simona Halep, ROU
3...Jelena Jankovic, SRB
3...Dasha Kasatkina, RUS
2...Kiki Bertens, NED
2...Caroline Garcia, FRA
2...Martina Hingis/CoCo Vandeweghe, SUI/USA
2...Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
2...Sania Mirza/Yaroslava Shvedova, IND/KAZ
2...Sania Mirza/Barbora Strycova, IND/CZE
2...Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
2...CoCo Vandeweghe, USA

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #3 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #20 CoCo Vandeweghe/USA
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2: Jamie Loeb/USA def. (PR) Vera Zvonareva/RUS 7-6(4)/5-7/6-4 (3:16; delay after fan faints as Loeb to serve out at 5-4 in 3rd)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - (WC) Maria Sharapova/RUS def. #2 Simona Halep/ROU 6-4/4-6/6-3 (Night 1)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): Nominee: QF - #9 V.Williams def. #13 Kvitova 6-4/3-6/7-6(2)
TOP ASHE NIGHT SESSION MATCH: Nominee: 1st Rd. - (WC) Sharapova def. #2 Halep (Night 1)
FIRST VICTORY: Kristyna Pliskova/CZE (1st Rd. - def. Eguchi/JPN)
FIRST SEED OUT: #32 Lauren Davis/USA (1st Rd. - lost to Kenin/USA
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Germany (2-7 1st Rd.; DC Kerber out; one of two w/ a win defeated another German)
CRASH & BURN: #6 Angelique Kerber/GER (lost to Osaka/JPN; second U.S. DC to lose 1st Rd.loss, w/ '05 Kuznetsova; out of Top 10)
ZOMBIE QUEEN: Nominees: U.S. women's tennis; Kuznetsova (down 3 MP vs. Vondrousova in 1st Rd.)
IT ("?"): xx
Ms.OPPORTUNITY: Nominees: Vandeweghe/USA, Kanepi/EST, Stephens/USA
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Maria Sharapova/RUS (4th Rd.)
LAST BANNERETTE STANDING: In QF.: Keys, Stephens(W), Vandeweghe(W), V.Williams(W)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominees: Stephens/USA, Kanepi/EST, Kvitova/CZE
BROADWAY-BOUND: Maria Sharapova/RUS & Simona Halep/ROU (Opening Night)
LADY OF THE EVENING: "The Late Show starring Madison Keys" (3rd Rd. - 1:45am finish, second-latest women's finish to own 1:48 finish last year)
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Nominee: Gauff/USA, Kharitonova/RUS

Preview: "Halep Hears a Who" (Horton Hears a Who!, 1954)
1: "Mugu on the Loose" (Dr.Seuss on the Loose, 1973 [CBS TV])
1.5: "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" (The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, 1958)
2: "Thing One and Thing Two" (The Cat in the Hat, 1957)
3: "The 500 Hats of Svetlana Kuznetsova" (The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, 1938)
4: "Hop on Pop" (Hop on Pop, 1963)
5: "You'll Miss the Best Things If You Keep Your Eyes Shut" (I Can Read with My Eyes Shut, 1978)
6: "A Czech Maiden is Faithful One-Hundred Percent" (Horton Hatches the Egg, 1940)
6.5: "Lists-a-Paleussical" (Seussical, 2000 [Broadway])
7: "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish!" (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, 1960)
8: "Daisy-Head Maiden" (Daisy-Head Mayzie, 1995/2016)
8.5: "The Waiting Place" (Oh, the Place You'll Go!, 1990)
9: "Did Venus Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? , 1956)
10: "One Fish Two Fish, Red-White-and-Blue Fish!" (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, 1960)

All for Day 10. More tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

I feel pretty sure that that mental coach CoCo didn't want has already helped her quite a bit. I wonder if she'll acknowledge it. It also appears that someone has enrolled her in WTA charm school, and I hope she doesn't come out of it the way Serena did.

Wed Sep 06, 09:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, if one said "CoCo will probably always be CoCo," would it mean a "probably not" answer to both?

Thu Sep 07, 10:54:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Delpo again!

Stat of the Day-1- The number of years in which none of the slam winners from that year reached number 1.

The ranking system has been around since 1975, and Muguruza is going the be the 24th #1. She won Wimbledon this year, so that is the normal order. Of course, this year hasn't been in jeopardy, since Serena won the AO and became #1 in the process.

So when did it happen? Some of you will think of it like a Pliskova or Jankovic type situation, where the #1 has never won a slam, but it actually isn't.

Before it actually happened, the closest times involved Martina Hingis, in part because she lost her last 5 slam finals. In 2000, she held the top spot most of the year, but Australian winner Lindsay Davenport snuck in for 6 weeks.

2001 is the year that it almost happened for the first time. Starting from Filderstadt in 2001 through Dubai in 2001, Hingis reached the finals of 10 straight tournaments, going 7-3. So she held the top spot without a slam, but the 2000 YEC, from the start of the year until November, when AO and French winner Capriati knocked her off for a whopping 3 weeks.

So the year turned out to be 2005. Slam winners Clijsters(2), Pierce(5), V.Williams(10), and S.Williams(11) never got to #1 as they were blocked by 6 time title winner Davenport, the YE #1, and 3 time winner Sharapova(4).

Thu Sep 07, 10:58:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

A quick look at the Final Four

Hardcourt records the last three years
Williams 70-28
Keys 60-28
Stephens 43-22
Vandeweghe 35-34

Vandeweghe was the worst record, but is 9-3 on the summer swing. Stephens had a 76 week break between hardcourt wins, from Acapulco 2016 to Toronto 2017.

Head to Head
Keys 2-0 Vandeweghe/Both this summer
Stephens 2-0 Williams/1-0 on HC due to walkover
Vandeweghe 3-1 Stephens/Coco 3-0 on hard, 1-0 in last 3 yrs
Williams 2-0 Vandeweghe/1-0 hard
Keys 2-2 Williams/Keys 2-1 hard
Stephens 1-0 Keys/hard

Top 10 wins last 3 years
Stephens-5(Hard)Pliskova, Kerber, Cibulkova(Grass) Suarez-Navarro(Clay)Kerber.
Keys-9(Hard)Kvitova, Cibulkova, Kuznetsova, V.Williams, Vinci, Muguruza, Svitolina(Clay)Kvitova, Muguruza.
Vandeweghe-9(Hard)Suarez-Navarro, Bencic, Kerber, Pliskova(Grass)Safarova, Vinci, Radwanska, Wozniacki, Konta.
V.Williams-11(Hard)Radwanska-3, Wozniacki-2, Suarez-Navarro, Muguruza, Kuznetsova, Kerber(Grass)Konta(Clay)Konta.

Just like the last slam, Williams is the only person to beat a Top 10 player to make the SF, as Kvitova was 14. Vandeweghe and Keys have both shown improvement as only one of their Top 10 wins were in 2015, they hit the gas after that.

So what can we see from the numbers? That there isn't a clear favorite. Vandeweghe seems to have shown the most improvement, but can she get by Keys? Can all 3 2nd time slam SF find their nerve either there, or in the final, since we are guaranteed a first time finalist?

Also one last look at the rankings of the final 4. 9, 16, 22 & 83. It is rare that the USO winner is ever lower than #9, but with Flavia winning at 26, Vinci unseeded and Pliskova reaching the final at 10, this may be the new normal.

Thu Sep 07, 12:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

To answer your question, Todd: Hard to know! I do believe she's going to mature (just as I believe Serena matured, but for a while, she sounded ridiculous), but I hope that those around her help her take a look at herself without trying to take away her personality. A somewhat more appropriately-behaving CoCo would be nice, but I want her to keep her bad-ass jock self.

Thu Sep 07, 01:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Ah, yes... but now can Delpo do it again?

(Sorry I didn't comment any of this earlier -- I took a daytime sabbatical from the Open since the big matches were at night.)

I figured Davenport had to be involved. I always think since I remember her griping a lot when players were first reaching #1 in seasons they didn't win a slam, and wonder why no one reminded her that she did the same thing.

I hope she can. I've tried very hard to try to embrace the good in-your-face aspects of CoCo since the AO run, but she could make it a little easier without the occasional "incidents." But a little edge is good, too.

Fri Sep 08, 03:53:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home