Monday, September 04, 2017

US.7 - One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish!

Watching what played out on Day 7 in Maria Sharapova's fourth consecutive match played on Ashe Court (oh, the humanity), one couldn't help but wonder if the Russian's 1st Round opponent, was watching, too.

Somewhere, Simona Halep, the #2 seed who drew the short straw and was tasked with facing five-time slam champ Sharapova in her return to slam action, might have been wondering why *she* couldn't have been playing the Russian in the Round of 16 rather than on Night 1. For, in many ways, Anastasija Sevastova displayed many of the traits, and employed quite a few of the tactics, that the Romanian was likely hoping to use to defeat Sharapova for the first time in seven meetings on Monday night. But on that occasion, Sharapova was fresh, ready to fight, and with a body that wasn't dragging and aching heading into the second week of a major after having played just one pre-event tune-up match all summer.

The big-time, "Opening Night" match that kicked off the week will likely continue to be a memorable calling card for this Open as the years go by, so it's fitting that the second week has begun with a call back to it. What Halep couldn't do on that night -- namely make Sharapova hit ball after ball, hoping her physical condition and lack of match play might cause her to lose a step, make more and more errors, and then ultimately be able to take advantage of a "TKO-style" situation in the final stages of a three-setter and get the win -- Sevastova *was* able to do this afternoon.

"Congratulations! Today is your day!"
"Dr. Seuss"
Theodor Geisel (1904-91)
...children's book author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher, and artist

Sevastova -- the surprise, formerly-retired, sudden U.S. Open quarterfinalist of 2016 who has operated well below the radar at this slam while generally having been bypassed as "last year's comeback story" in New York -- sports a game style that may have been able to challenge the '06 Open champ on another day, what with her penchant for extending rallies with speedy defense, mixing up the pace of play with spins and slices, and bringing Sharapova forward to the net. But it's also true that on this day all the things that made Sharapova a shaky second week bet at this tournament a week ago finally played out down the stretch of this three-set 4th Round encounter.

While Sharapova got out to the early lead in the 1st set, breaking for 3-1, the Latvian never went away. Almost as stealthily as she'd moved through this draw, she'd gotten the break back and held serve for 4-4. But with her back against the proverbial wall, Sevastova was in the position of being the second player to serve, needing to hold in the closing games to stay alive in the set. Serving down 5-6 and trying to force a tie-break, Sevastova saw Sharapova come in behind a big return and put away a winner to reach double set point. A crosscourt backhand winner got the break and secured a 7-5 1st set win.

Sevastova got the early break in the 2nd, and it didn't take long for the first signs of Sharapova's TWO-week slam limitations to emerge. As usual, the fight was there. We especially saw it in one rally when the Russian twice pulled off lefty shots to stay alive and won the point when Sevastova finally failed to get a drop shot attempt over the net. But the Russian was being made to work "extra," as she has through her run at this Open, and the wonder was when it would finally be *too* much, and the returns would no longer come in in her favor. Sharapova needed to win this match in straight sets to avoid finding out when the scales of tennis opportunity would finally turn against her, and time was running out. But she did have a shot.

Sharapova held for 3-4 in the two-lefty-shots game, but one game later made one of the more curiously bad decisions we've ever seen from her during the heat of a match. With a BP on Sevastova's serve, she slowly walked to the net to inspect a shot that she'd nailed on the baseline at the Lavtian's feet. Sevastova could only catch the ball on a short hop and couldn't get it back, but it was called out by the linesperson. She seemed to consider a replay challenge, but didn't ask for one. Problem is, replays showed that the shot had indeed hit the line, and a challenge would have given her the break and put things back on serve at 4-4. Shortly afterward, Sevastova held for 5-3, then served out the set two games later, forcing Sharapova into her third three-set match in seven days after playing just one other match since mid-May after a string of retirements and withdrawals with leg and forearm injuries (she'd played at various times this past week with sleeves to keep her muscles warm, as well as theraputic tape on her forearms) after returing from her fifteen-month suspension.

In the 3rd, Sevastova broke to open the set, and held for 2-0. But with Sharapova seemingly being a step slower as the match had progressed, her late arrival to balls was producing more and more errors, often sprayed shots on the forehand side. Sevastova went up a double-break at 3-0, and Sharapova was additionally treated by a trainer for a blister on her hand. But, even with all things seemingly going in her favor, Sevastova couldn't help but struggle a bit down the stretch while trying to close out the match (as she'd say later when asked about it, "That's me"). Up 15/love on serve, having won fourteen of fifteen points, the Latvian melted down and gave away one of her breaks, double-faulting twice and arguing with her player's box section all the way.

But with Sharapova compromised, and Sevastova not in the mood to give away anything more, the game wasn't destined to be a turning point in the match. Sevastova gathered herself and three games later got the double-break advantage back at 5-2. Serving for the match, Sevastova saw Sharapova's 50th unforced error on the day make it double match point. Throwing any caution she might have to the wind, Sharapova saved them both with return winners, and continued to hit out as she saved a third MP. But, on #4, Sharapova's lunging backhand return attempt of a Sevastova serve went wide and the Latvian locked up a 5-7/6-4/6-2 win to reach to the U.S. Open quarterfinals for a second straight year.

Playing an efficient game, with twenty winners to fourteen UE's, Sevastova has carved out another "second chance" for herself. This time, though, it's a second chance to be at her best in a U.S. Open quarterfinal, as a year ago she played injured against Caroline Wozniacki and wasn't able to put up the sort of fight that full health would have allowed. So, I guess what goes around comes around for Sevastova, as she's now one win away from making it TWO Latvians playing in slam semifinals in 2017.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
"Dr. Seuss"

In some ways, with this result, all three players with links to this match -- Sevastova, Sharapova and even Halep -- are now destined to take something good from this Open.

While Sevastova goes forward to seek her fortune, and Halep is left to lament her "bad timing" while still being able to hold her head up high for the effort, Sharapova's run at this Open comes to an end only after having brought the expected and necessary star power to an event that was suddenly lacking it from Day 1 when it came to big names (see what's left of the bottom half of the men's draw to see the continued effect... as if the Nadal/Federer -- and del Potro -- combo doesn't produce a finalist in the top half then you might have to pay people to true feign interest in the championship match). She gave the event the attention and dose of cache it so desperately needed. But she also provided drama, good tennis and, hopefully, a step toward an eventual return to some form of normalcy on "the Maria front" after more than a year and a half of enough ill-advised, unnecessary and, more accurately, simply asinine reactions from all corners to make one physically ill.

Maybe as Sevastova moves ahead, and Sharapova moves forward, many others will be able to put their heads down and move on.

...while many were salivating over the possibility of a Sharapova vs. Stephens quarterfinal match-up, it ultimately didn't come to fruition. But Sloane is still alive in the draw, with a three-set win today over Julia Goerges that will lift her to at least #51 after being ranked in the #900's earlier this summer.

After going up 40/love while attempting to serve out the 1st set, a suddenly tentative Stephens squandered those three set points, but converted on her fourth. After falling behind 3-0 in the 2nd and seeing the German win the set force a 3rd, Stephens against recovered quickly, grabbing the lead early carrying it until the end of the match, winning 6-3/3-6/6-1.

It's Stephens' first QF in New York, and her first at any slam since the 2013 Wimbledon, her summertime follow-up to her breakout semifinal run in Melbourne earlier that season. This is third straight event this summer in which she's posted four match wins, making her 12-2 since her 1st Round loss in Washington to Simona Halep that left her 0-2 on the season after she'd returned at Wimbledon after an eleven-month absence due to a foot injury.

...while Sharapova won't be re-living any of her old NYC glory in the second week of this major, Venus Williams still harbors hope for the 20th anniversary of her U.S. Open debut to include her third trip to a slam final this season, something she hasn't done since she lost in the first three finals of the original "Serena Slam" back in 2002 when she was a mere 22 years old.

Standing in her way today was Spanish veteran Carla Suarez-Navarro (Venus led the head-to-head 4-3, though it was 2-2 on HC), in the rare position of being unseeded at a slam for the first time since the 2013 AO. While CSN has never "broken through" to a semifinal at slam level (sort of like how it took her six years and five final appearances to finally claim her maiden tour singles title in '14), she *has* often flashed at the majors during her career. She reached the QF in Paris in her slam MD debut in 2008, then did it again in her AO debut the following season. In her thirteenth career Round of 16, after posting earlier wins over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Ekaterina Makarova, she was seeking her sixth appearance in a major QF.

Early on, Williams looked to be all about making this an elementary affair. She outhit Suarez-Navarro in the 1st set, winning it 6-3. But after falling behind an early break in the 2nd, dropping her serve in consecutive service games to start the set, Venus was plagued by errors throughout. CSN finished off the set by breaking Williams again, winning the 2nd 6-3 and forcing the 37-year old into her second three-set match at this Open.

But the 3rd set was where Williams, the new aunt, rediscovered the form that has made her a constant second week slam conversation piece in 2017. After getting the early break, she coasted to the finish line while displaying some of her best tennis of the year. On match point, she came to the net to pull off a perfect low volley winner to close out the the 6-3/3-6/6-1 match. Even she had to smile at the audacity of it all.

Into the 39th slam quarterfinal of her career, and her fourth in the last six majors, Williams is 19-3 on the slam stage in 2017. She'll be seeing a familiar face, but in a different place, in the next round.

In the night match on Ashe, "Good Petra" (hmmm, or was it "Great Petra" on occasion?) extended her unexpected run in New York City, winning a momentum-bending contest in which the Czech's big, sweeping, angled forehand shots turned fate in her favor and showed pre-tournament favorite Garbine Muguruza just how "the other half" has often lived on the other end of the Spaniard's run of summer dominance.

In a match-up of two-time slam winners, as well as players at the center of two of the most compelling storylines of the summer, it was Muguruza who broke out on top in the early stages. Having been in high-flying form since Wimbledon, while before the past week Kvitova hadn't won multiple matches at any event in her return since Birmingham, Muguruza seemed a good bet to run away and hide from yet another opponent. She displayed great defense to keep alive a rally, then saw Kvitova's high backhand volley go wide and allow her to take a break lead at 3-1. Muguruza held for 4-1.

In game #6, Kvitova took a 40/love lead, but then struggled to hold. Muguruza successfully challenged a converted game point to keep the game alive, but ultimately couldn't put away any of the three BP chances the Czech held in the 16-point, 11-minute game to stay close at 4-2. Little did we know that the match had effectively turned. While Kvitova's forehand shots picked up speed, accuracy and angle from here on out, Muguruza's shot hit a snag and she seemed to lose confidence in it. The Czech fired a forehand out of reach of Muguruza in game #7 to reach double break point, then the Spaniard's forehand went long to hand Kvitova a break to get back on serve.

Winning her ninth of twelve points, Kvitova reached GP and held to win a third straight game and knot the set at 4-4. Muguruza saved a BP and held a game later. The two exchanged breaks late and went to a tie-break, where Muguruza had the early mini-break lead at 2-0. Kvitova got the score even at 2-2 then, up 4-3, saw Muguruza badly miss an open court volley, lifting the ball beyond the baseline to give the Czech a 5-3 lead. She double-faulted a point later and Kvitova had a triple set point. She'd only need two, as she followed up a big serve with a put-away volley to win 7-4, snatching the momentum away from Muguruza, who'd seemed ready to extend her slam sets-winning streak.

Muguruza might have still found her way back in the match, but her own oft-errant forehand refused to get out of her way. And then Kvitova made it all (mostly) elementary.

"He took the Who’s feast, he took the Who pudding, he took the roast beast. He cleaned out that ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took their last can of Who hash"

While Kvitova's forehand was promoted from good to lethal, Muguruza's became more and more unreliable. A string of errors led to a break that put the Czech up 3-1 in the 2nd set. Serving to stay in the match at 5-2, Muguruza was pulled from one side of the court to the other by the groundstrokes of Kvitova, who came in to the net and put away a smash off a high bouncing ball to reach double MP. But back-to-back errors allowed Muguruza to hold for 5-3, as she lifted her game slightly and proved that her summer transformation was no illusion. Only down one break, she really did believe she still had a chance to get back into the match. But it wasn't meant to be.

After Kvitova double-faulted and had another error to lose a 30/love lead a game later, another DF gave Muguruza the first of what turned out to be three BP opportunities in the game. But she failed to secure any of them. On Kvitova's third MP, Muguruza directed a forehand behind the Czech, but it sailed beyond the baseline, ending the 7-6(4)/6-3 match that puts Petra into the U.S. Open quarterfinals for a second time, her first such result at a major since she did it in New York two years ago.

In another match-up of multiple slam winners, Kvitova will face Venus in the quarterfinals. The Czech holds a 4-1 advantage against Williams, including a 2014 Wimbledon 3rd Round win in which Venus held a MP (Petra ultimately won her second SW19 crown). One win away from completing a Career SF Slam, Kvitova is already living above the clouds. What happens in the next match won't change that.

But it will be on of those rare slam matches where good feelings will win out no matter who wins, but it'll also be bittersweet as it'll mean the end of the road in this Open for another. With so many comeback stories populating the WTA landscape, you'd think we'd be used to such things by now. But they always seems to come up behind us and unexpectedly tap us on the shoulder, doesn't it? doubles, #1 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina came back from a set down to defeat the all-sister (but not sisters) duo of Nadiia Kichenok/Anastasia Rodionova, while #3 Lucie Safarova/Barbora Strycova defeated the *other* Kichenok (Lyudmyla, with Barbora Krejcikova) in three, and #4 Sania Mirza & Peng Shuai won a 3rd set TB over Sorana Cirstea/Sara Sorribes-Tormo. The Dashas, though, lost out in three sets to Chan Hao-Ching & Zhang Shuai.

Meanwhile, #2-seeded Chan Yung-Jan & Martina Hingis, who've won almost everything *except* a slam title in their first season of partnership, advanced to the doubles QF with a 6-4/7-5 win over Mladenovic/Pavlyuchenkova. The duo is now 41-6 this season, with six titles, but they came up short of the final (SF & QF) in their previous two slam MD appearances in '17. Also, while it's been noted that this is the 20th anniversary of Venus' run to the singles final in her debut Open, it should be noted that it's also the 20th anniversary of Hingis' only singles title at Flushing Meadows.

By the way, the doubles QF features one Chan sister versus the other, as Martina & Yung-Jan face off with Hao-Ching and Zhang. If Chan/Hingis win, we could see a Hingis vs. Mirza (w/ Peng) semifinal meeting.

...junior action began on Day 7, and just like in the women's draw, a Top 8 seed was sent packing in the early going. #7-seeded Bannerette Taylor Johnson lost to Argentina's Maria Carle. #13-seeded Brit Emily Appleton fell to the U.S.'s Katie Volynets. Swiss Miss Lulu Sun defeated #11-seeded Ann Li (the RU half of the all-U.S. Wimbledon Girls final). And, after losing to her in the 1st Round of the Wimbledon junior competition (on an 8th MP) earlier this summer, #3-seeded Hordette Elena Rybakova took out Bannerette Ellie Douglas in a love 3rd set today. ITF action, 17-year old Dayana Yastremska won the all-Ukrainian battle with Katarina Zavatska, defeating the xx-year old 6-0/6-1 in the final of the $60K Dunakeszi (HUN) challenger. It's the '16 Wimbledon girls finalist's second career ITF crown, and the biggest to date. And she can hold a trophy and flowers while standing on one foot, too.

LIKE ON DAY 7: "I'm crushing your head."

And if you were never a Kids in the Hall fan...

LIKE ON DAY 7: Petra being Petra


Lucie could do a coffee table book filled with photos of coffee. #coffeewithlucie

...and, finally... we're getting down to the nitty gritty in the Colt Nitty Gritty Hard Court Band Challenge for this U.S. Open...


#1 Karolina Pliskova/CZE vs. Jennifer Brady/USA
#20 CoCo Vandeweghe/USA vs. Lucie Safarova/CZE
#4 Elina Svitolina/UKR vs. #15 Madison Keys/USA
Dasha Kasatkina/RUS vs. (Q) Kaia Kanepi/EST
#9 Venus Williams/USA def. Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP
#13 Petra Kvitova/CZE def. #3 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
Sloane Stephens/USA def. #30 Julia Goerges/GER
#16 Anastasija Sevastova/LAT def. (WC) Maria Sharapova/RUS

x vs. x
#3 Safarova/Strycova (CZE/CZE) vs. #9 Dabrowski/Xu Yifan (CAN/CHN)
x 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. Spears/Cabal (USA/COL)
#4 Babos/Soares (HUN/BRA) vs. Vandeweghe/Tecau (USA/ROU)
#7 Dabrowski/Bopanna (CAN/IND) vs. #3 H.Chan/Venus (TPE/NZL)
#8 Hradecka/Matkowski (CZE/POL) vs. An.Rodionova/Marach (AUS/AUT)

I was raised to always walk towards the light and that any darkness will become sunny ??

A post shared by Victoria Azarenka (@vichka35) on

1970 Margaret Court, AUS
1972 Billie Jean King, USA
1976 Chris Evert, USA
1982 Chris Evert-Lloyd, USA
1983 Martina Navratilova, USA
1986 Martina Navratilova, USA
1987 Martina Navratilova, USA
1988 Steffi Graf, GER *
1989 Steffi Graf, GER
1993 Steffi Graf, GER
1995 Steffi Graf, GER
1996 Steffi Graf, GER
1997 Martina Hingis, SUI
2000 Venus Williams, USA *
2001 Venus Williams, USA
2002 Serena Williams, USA
2012 Serena Williams, USA *
* - also won Olympic Gold

Unseeded/Wild Card - Kim Clijsters, BEL (2009)
#26 - Flavia Pennetta, ITA (2015)
#9 - Samantha Stosur, AUS (2011)
#9 - Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS (2004)
#7 - Serena Williams, USA (1999)
#6 - Virginia Wade, GBR (1968)

AO: Karolina Pliskova, CZE
RG: Elina Svitolina, UKR
WI: Kristyna Pliskova, CZE
US: Daria Gavrilova, RUS
AO: An-Sophie Mestach, BEL
RG: Ons Jabeur, TUN
WI: Ashleigh Barty, AUS
AO: Grace Min, USA
AO: Taylor Townsend, USA
RG: Annika Beck, GER
WI: Eugenie Bouchard, CAN
US: Samantha Crawford, USA
AO: Ana Konjuh, CRO
RG: Belinda Bencic, SUI
WI: Belinda Bencic, SUI
US: Ana Konjuh, CRO
AO: Elizaveta Kulichkova, RUS
RG: Darya Kasatkina, RUS
WI: Jelena Ostapenko, LAT
US: Maria Bouzkova, CZE
AO: Tereza Mihalikova, SVK
RG: Paula Badosa, ESP
WI: Sofya Zhuk, RUS
US: Dalma Galfi, HUN
AO: Vera Lapko, BLR
RG: Rebeka Masarova, SUI
WI: Anastasia Potapova, RUS
US: Kayla Day, USA
AO: Marta Kostyuk, UKR
RG: Whitney Osuigwe, USA
WI: Claire Liu, USA
US: ?

2010 Vania King, USA
2011 Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2012 "Future Sloane" (Stephens), USA
2013 Camila Giorgi, ITA
2014 Belinda Bencic, SUI
2015 Lisa Raymond, USA
2016 Kayla Day, USA
2017 Sharapova vs. Halep ("Opening Night")

JAN: Dasha Kasatkina, RUS
AO: Alona Ostapenko, LAT
FEB/MAR: CiCi Bellis, USA
I.W./MIAMI: Kayla Day, USA
1Q: Katerina Siniakova, CZE
APR/MAY: Marketa Vondrousova, CZE
MAY: Anett Kontaveit, EST
RG: Alona Ostapenko, LAT
2Q Clay Court: Alona Ostapenko/LAT & Marketa Vondrousova/CZE
JUN: Anett Kontaveit, EST
WI: Diede de Groot, NED (WC)
2Q Grass Court: Anett Kontaveit, EST
JUL/AUG: CiCi Bellis, USA
AUG: Elise Mertens, BEL
[2017 Weekly FRESH FACE Award Wins]
5...CiCi Bellis, USA
5...Alona Ostapenko, LAT
5...Anett Kontaveit, EST
4...Elise Mertens, BEL
4...Marketa Vondrousova, CZE
3...Oceane Dodin, FRA
3...Carina Witthoeft, GER
2...Lauren Davis, USA
2...Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA
2...Ana Konjuh, CRO
2...Cornelia Lister, SWE
2...Naomi Osaka, JPN
2...Maria Sakkari, GRE
2...Sara Sorribes Tormo, ESP
2...Natalia Viklyantseva, RUS

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #3 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
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 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: Nominee: Ka.Pliskova (down MP vs. Sh.Zhang in 3rd Rd.); Rogers (down 4-2 in 3rd set vs. Gavrilova in 2nd Rd.); Kuznetsova (down 3 MP vs. Vondrousova in 1st Rd.)
IT ("?"): Nominees: "Dasha" (Kasatkina), "Serb" (Krunic), "Latvian" (Sevastova)
Ms.OPPORTUNITY: Nominees: Kvitova/CZE, Brady/USA, Kasatkina/RUS, Vandeweghe/USA, Svitolina/UKR, Sevastova/LAT
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Maria Sharapova/RUS (4th Rd.)
LAST BANNERETTE STANDING: In 4th Rd.: Brady, Keys, Stephens(W), Vandeweghe, V.Williams(W)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominees: Sharapova/RUS, Stephens/USA, Kanepi/EST, Kvitova/CZE
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Nominees: V.Williams/USA, Safarova/CZE, Kanepi/EST, Sevastova/LAT
BROADWAY-BOUND: Maria Sharapova/RUS & Simona Halep/ROU (Opening Night)
LADY OF THE EVENING: Nominee: "The Late Show starring Madison Keys" (3rd Rd. - 1:45am finish, second-latest women's finish to own 1:48 finish last year)

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)

All for Day 7. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

And comeback player of the year is?

Stat of the Day_26_The number of slams played by Monica Seles after her attack.

Obviously Kvitova inspired this,but in the year of the comeback, it should be noted that Seles played more slams after than before.

She is the big what if,along with Mo Connolly, as to what she could have done.

So to show how good she really was, let's take a look at her second career only, and compare her numbers to that of a current player.

Exhibit A
Titles 20
Highest ranked 2
Career 12 years
Final 1
SF 4
QF 7

Exhibit B
Titles 21
Highest ranked 3"
Career 9 years
Titles 1
Final 4
SF 4
QF 11

Seles is B, Radwanska is A. Also note that the ranking for Seles used was the one she earned in 2000, to show how far she made it back, not the comeback #1 she was given.

Being that Kvitova had already played 34, now 37 slams, she won't have that type of second career, but is similar to both Seles and Radwanska in that she has 20 titles.

Mon Sep 04, 11:09:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Oh, I know about the Comeback question.

I read or heard (at this point in a slam, who knows?) the other day how it was just assumed that Kvitova was Comeback Player of the Year. Maybe, but before this week, if you're going to take into account actual results in handing out the award, it was a multi-player race with a handful of legitimate winners. I suspect that Petra will win the Tour's award, but sometimes the winners in those categories are somewhat suspect.

Lucic won the tour's Comeback award in '14, and Venus in '15, so they'd probably be out of the mix this year.

And, of course, the Seles stabbing was the subject of the very first Backspin "What If? a million years ago. ;)

Mon Sep 04, 12:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

Hmm, the way I see it, Petra is the clear choice for the tour's comeback award, so someone else will get it. I don't think it's ever gone to the player who should have received it.

Mon Sep 04, 01:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yeah, you might be right since she probably edged ahead of everyone else with her performance at this tournament, giving her a big event result to go along with the simple fact that she's playing at all.

Mon Sep 04, 02:31:00 PM EDT  

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