Monday, October 16, 2017

Wk.41- The Days are Short, but the Russians are Aplenty

The final weeks of the 2017 season have arrived.

Time for seasons to end...

I was always going to finish my season with a smile no matter what ??

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Ahojky! Letošní sezóna byla v mých ocích úspešná a mám zase spoustu zážitku a krásných vzpomínek, ale bohužel pro me koncí dríve, než bych si prála. Doufala jsem, že se ješte letos vrátím na kurty, ale stále me trápí zranené zápestí a radeji se uzdravím, abych byla 100% na tu príští! Zdraví je na prvním míste! Vše má svá pozitiva a delší dovolená mi snad dodá o to víc energie a sil na príští rok! Dekuji za vaši podporu, kterou mi dáváte! Moc si toho vážím! Hi guys! Unfortunately I had to end my season early this year because of my wrist injury. I was hoping I would be able to still play some matches but I decided I rather heal it properly to be able to start the next season 100%! I have a lot of great memories from this 2017 season! Thank you for your support this year I really appreciate it and look forward to the next one!

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Time for names and numbers to be counted...

Time for a final rush to judgment the winner's circle before the curtain comes down...

Time for 2018 plans to be set...

And 2017 finishes to be written...

And so we go...

S: Maria Sharapova/RUS def. Aryna Sabalenka/BLR 7-5/7-6(8)
D: Irina-Camelia Begu/Sara Errani (ROU/ITA) d. Dalila Jakupovic/Nina Stojanovic (SLO/SRB) 6-4/6-3
S: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS def. Dasha Gavrilova/AUS 5-7/6-3/7-6(3)
D: Chan Hao-ching/Chan Yung-jan (TPE/TPE) d. Lu Jiajing/Wang Qiang (CHN/CHN) 6-1/6-1
LINZ, AUSTRIA (Int'l/Hard Indoor)
S: Barbora Strycova/CZE def. Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK 6-4/6-1
D: Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson (NED/SWE) d. Natela Dzalamidze/Xenia Knoll (RUS/SUI) 3-6/6-3 [10-4]

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Maria Sharapova/RUS and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS
...fourteen years ago, a 16-year old Sharapova claimed her maiden tour singles title in Tokyo, and the now 30-year old has maintained a solid foothold on and off the court in Asia ever since. Not surprisingly, since her return from suspension, the Russian has seemingly been on the receiving end of her most fervently positive fan reactions from the fans on the continent. So it goes to figure that it would be there -- in Tianjin, China to be exact -- that the Russian would pick up her first title in her "second" career (unless you'd say "third," counting her post-shoulder surgery comeback as her "second"... by the way, she claimed her first title in Asia in that one, too, by winning in Tokyo in late 2009, breaking an 18-month title-free stretch).

Sharapova's clean, no-sets-lost sweep through the draw as a wild card entrant began with a win over Irina-Camelia Begu, picked up steam with a follow-up over Magda Linette, got serious with a semifinal takedown of defending champ Peng Shuai, then finished up with a tough 7-5/7-6 win over a player eleven years her junior, Aryna Sabalenka, who was playing in her maiden final. If that didn't make Sharapova feel "old" enough, the Belarussian teenager idolized her as a kid.

?? title 11 ,3rd of 2017!!! So happy ! ?? ??????? ???? ?? ????????? , 3 ????? ? ??????!@simivey

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Career title #36 comes twenty-nine months after Sharapova last won in Rome in May '15, her longest-ever title drought since she won #1 back in 2003. She's now picked up a title in fourteen of her fifteen seasons on tour, and will jump from #86 to #57 in the new rankings

In Hong Kong, the second half of the Hordette two-fer for Week 41 came in the form of Pavlyuchenkova, who by now has perfected the art of the "underachieving-but-underrated-great-but-also-frustrating season." Rounding out a week in China that included wins over Timea Babos, Jacqueline Cako, Naomi Osaka and Wang Qiang without dropping a set to reach her 17th career final, Pavlyuchenkova set forth on Sunday to win career title #11, which would break her seventh place tie with Fed Cup mentor/enabler Anastasia Myskina on the all-time Russian WTA title list topped by Sharapova. In the end, the final was both appropriately "apocalyptic," but also not. The Pavlyuchenkova/Dasha Gavrilova tilt started late due to a typhoon off the Hong Kong coast, and there was a half-hour rain delay at 5-5 in the 3rd set after the Russian had failed to convert two MP. She was ultimately broken by the Aussie to force a deciding TB. But then, as has become the Pavlyuchenkovian way, things turned out all right, as she handled Gavrilova when it mattered most, picking up her third title of the season (her most ever), with only Elina Svitolina's five wins now standing above her on the '17 season list.

After being stuck in a season-ending rankings rut in the #20's the last four years, Pavlyuchenkova now looks set for her first Top 20 season since her only previous such campaign back in 2011, when she climbed as high as #13 before finishing at #16. She'll rise three spots to #18 on Monday.

RISERS: Dasha Gavrilova/AUS and Wang Qiang/CHN she did when she reached both the singles and doubles finals in Moscow last October, Gavrilova is closing out her season in a rush. In Hong Kong, the Aussie advanced to her fourth career final (all in the past twelve months) with wins over Miyu Kato, Shelby Rogers (helping to re-stage their historically long U.S. Open 2nd Rounder from this summer, but with a far different result), Lizette Cabrera and Jennifer Brady. She then faced off with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a late-starting, three-set, weather-interrupted final in which she broke the Russian after saving two MP down 4-5 in the 3rd, then broke her again to force a deciding TB for the title. Pavlyuchenkova won it 7-3, but the result will provide Gavrilova, with her Kremlin Cup RU points falling off in the coming week, with a little extra cushion between herself and Ash Barty (for now) -- and maybe a resurgent Sam Stosur -- when it comes to holding onto her top-ranked Aussie standing once 2018 arrives.

As the season draws closer to its end, Wang continues to impress down the stretch of her revelatory 2017 campaign. In Hong Kong, the 25-year old reached her first tour-level semifinal after notching wins over Chang Kai-chen, Luksika Kumkhum and Stosur, as well as reaching her first maiden WTA doubles final with Lu Jiajing. After reaching a pair of WTA 125 Series finals (winning one) and two other semis in recent seasons, Wang has stepped up to produce her first Top 50 campaign in '17. Since losing in three sets to Dasha Kasatkina in the 1st Round at Flushing Meadow, she's gone 8-5 in the 4Q Asian swing, posting upset wins over the likes of Wozniacki, Cirstea, Mladenovic and a post-Open title Stephens. Earlier in the season, she came mouthwateringly close to what would have been a great win -- falling to Svitolina in 3 at I.W. -- and a career-definer at Wimbledon -- a three-set loss to Venus, but even earlier in '17 put down the confidence-building foundation for her recent success with wins over the likes of Vesnina (Rome), Garcia (Madrid), Mladenovic (Dubai), Peng (Zhenghou 125 via ret. in the 3rd set), Sakkari (Prague), Vekic (Miami), Niculescu (Shenzhen) and, yes, even Ostapenko (Dubai). She'll rise to another new career high ranking of #46 on Monday.


SURPRISES: Mihaela Buzarnescu/ROU and Jennifer Brady/USA
...after maintaining a high level of success on the ITF circuit for years -- winning 20 singles and 33 doubles titles -- despite battling through numerous injuries, 29-year old Buzarnescu has finally found her way to the WTA tour following a very good junior career more than a decade ago (she was the #4-ranked girl in '06, and had been a year-end Top 10er the previous season along with players with names such as Azarenka, Radwanska, Wozniacki and Cibulkova). After playing just twelve events in '16 and ending the season at #351, she completed her PhD in Physical Education and Sport last December. Buzarnescu has since played her '17 season like a Swarmette on a mission, piling up match wins and picking up four consecutive ITF crowns in June/July. She qualified at the U.S. Open to reach her first career slam MD (and first MD at *any* event higher than the ITF circuit). After returning to the challengers to pick up her fifth '17 ITF win, last week the Romanian qualified to reach her first career non-slam tour-level MD in Linz. After getting Q-round wins over Alexa Glatch, Kayla Day and Lesley Kerkhove, Buzarnescu proceeded to record her maiden MD WTA wins over Anett Kontaveit, Ajla Tomljanovic and Belinda Bencic (on her sixth MP, after the Swiss had saved five over the 2nd and 3rd sets after falling behind 5-2 in both) to reach the semifinals. She also reached the doubles semis with Oksana Kalashnikova, another career first. After having had just one Top 200 season (#155 in 2011) in a career that saw her play her first pro event in 2004, Buzarnescu entered this past week at #105 and will climb into the Top 100 for the first time on Monday at #89. She'll be the nineteeth Romanian to reach the Top 100, and the oldest player to ever make her debut there.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Brady also reached her first career WTA semifinal, and notched her first non-slam MD tour-level wins since her QF run in Guangzhou in September '16. The 22-year old Bannerette made her slam MD debut Melbourne in January, reaching the Round of 16, a result she matched this summer at the U.S. Open. But those six wins (and another at Wimbledon) were her only MD tour-level victories in '17 until she took out Misa Eguchi, Zhang Shuai and Nicole Gibbs this week. She lost to Dasha Gavrilova in the semis, but will jump eleven spots to a new career-high of #59 on Monday, making her ninth of ten U.S. women ranked in the Top 60.


VETERANS: Barbora Strycova/CZE and Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK
...Strycova and Rybarikova faced off for the Linz title in just the third tour-level singles final this year in which both the top two seeds advanced to the championship match. In the end, it was Strycova who celebrated with her first title in six years... and some tasty Kaiserschmarrn during her post-match press conference.

A year after her completing her career season, the 31-year old Czech is now finishing her *2017* season strong. Since reaching the U.S. Open doubles semifinals while subbing for Bethanie Mattek-Sands as Lucie Safarova's partner, Strycova has gone 11-3, this week following up her Tokyo (where she got a 1st Round victory over Rybarikova) and Beijing (def. a retiring then-#1 Muguruza) QF runs with her eighth career singles final, and first title since winning her only other tour crown in Quebec in 2011. After sweeping through Marina Erakovic to take the 2nd and 3rd sets by a 6-1/6-0 score in her last title run, Strycova had lost ten consecutive sets in five final appearances, dropping her career record to 1-6. But after gathering a head of steam with her previous results, the Czech lost just once while posting victories over Madison Brengle, Jana Fett (the sole three-setter), Tatjana Maria and Mihaela Buzarnescu before finally ending her finals slump with a straight sets win over Rybarikova. Strycova still won't climb back into the Top 20 (#23) for the first time since a brief one-week stay immediately after Roland Garros, but has likely wrapped up her second straight Top 25 season after recording the best season-ending ranking (#20) of her career a year ago.

For top-seeded Rybarikova, her runner-up result was her best since her surprise Wimbledon semifinal run this ummer. The 29-year old Slovak had gone just 8-8 since SW19, but her string of victories over Richel Hogenkamp, Carina Witthoeft, Sorana Cirstea and Viktorija Golubic ('16 RU) placed her in her first tour-level final since New Haven in 2014. She failed to pick up her first title since claiming the fourth of her career in 2013 in Washington, but she'll inch up to a new career high of #26 this week.

COMEBACKS: Belinda Bencic/SUI and Sara Errani/ITA
...having not played since April, Bencic returned from wrist surgery a few weeks ago. The 20-year old compiled an 8-1 record in two ITF challengers, winning a $100K singles title and reaching a doubles final. Via a wild card in Linz, the Swiss participated in her first tour-level event since her return. Wins over Kirsten Flipkens (one MP saved) and Lara Arruabarrena (3 sets) got her into her first tour-level QF since her SF run on the grass in Rosmalen last summer. She battled qualifier Mihaela Buzarnescu for a spot in the semis, dropping the 1st set and coming back from 5-2 down in both the 2nd and 3rd while and saving a total of five MP before the Romanian finally won on #6. But rather than be too upset with the loss, Bencic has instead decided to focus on the progress she's made from where she was six months ago. She'll jump from #228 to #190 on Monday.

After serving her short suspension for the "tortellini incident," Errani (#280) charged back into action last week in Tianjin. After making her way through qualifying, the 30-year old advanced all the way to the semifinals with victories over Kateryna Kozlova, Beatriz Haddad and Christina McHale (in a contest that saw the women combine for both a long bathroom break and MTO late in the 2nd set) before falling to teenager Aryna Sabalenka. She'll jump 100 spot to #180 in the new rankings. Meanwhile, playing with Irina-Camelia Begu, Errani took the doubles title, defeating top-seeded K.Bondarenko/Kudryavtseva to reach her 41st tour-level WD final (but only her sixth w/o Roberta Vinci), then defeating Jakupovic/Stojanovic to take the title. It's Errani's 26th (first since January '15), and Begu's sixth (second this season).

Sara Errani beat Christina McHale 5/7 7/6 6/1! #Wta #Tianjin #QuarterFinals

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FRESH FACES: Aryna Sabalenka/BLR and Zhu Lin/CHN
...Sabalenka's breakthrough campaign has been sharpening its message in recent weeks. The big-hitting 19-year old Belarussian made an early mark as a capable #2 on the upstart BLR Fed Cup team, winning two matches (and putting a scare into Kiki Bertens in a loss, quite possibly leading to a break in confidence from the Dutch woman that led to the streak-ending singles defeat that played a key role in Belarus' 1st Round upset of the Netherlands). She posted her first career MD slam win at Wimbledon and reached her first tour SF last month in Tashkent. Last week, wins over Han Xinyun, Duan Yingying, Zhu Lin and Sara Errani got her into her first tour singles final, where she faced off with childhood idol Maria Sharapova. She dropped a tight decision, playing just well enough -- but not quite good enough in the biggest moments -- to lose in frustrating fashion in straight sets, 7-5/7-6(8). After coming up just short of the Top 100 (#101) after Tashkent, Sabalenka breaks through in a big way this week, as she'll jump to #76. After going 2-2 in home FC ties vs. the Dutch and Swiss, Sabalenka should be on hand next month when Belarus (possibly with Vika Azarenka on board, which could bump Sabalenka down to a bench role if '17 FC star Aliaksandra Sasnovich holds onto her top level spot) heads back to Minsk to face off with the U.S. in an attempt to win the nation's maiden Fed Cup championship.

In Tianjin, 23-year old Zhu once again put up one of her best tour-level results in a tournament in Asia. The world #113 reached her maiden tour SF in Kuala Lumpur last season, and last week posted her third QF finish after previous results in Taipei City (February) and Nanchang (July). Of course, her HUGE win was a 1st Round upset of Petra Kvitova, which she followed up with a victory over veteran Hsieh Su-wei before losing to Sabalenka. She'll debut at her new career-high rank of #106 on Monday.

DOWN: Anett Kontaveit/EST
...Karmic Kiki is the #1 seed this week in Moscow, so hold this space for the next edition. As for this one...

Make no mistake, Kontaveit has had a great year. 2017 has included her maiden tour title (and finals on hard, grass and clay), a career-high ranking (#27 in July), wins over Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber (the latter when the German was #1), a Wimbledon 3rd Round run and QF in Rome. But as her results have fallen off the table in the season's closing weeks, what's developed is something of a browbeating ending to the season that might leave the 21-year old Estonian with a bad taste in her mouth when it really shouldn't be the case. Kontaveit's 1st Round loss in Linz to Mihaela Buzarnescu was has fourth straight defeat, and she's gone 1-8 starting with her loss in the Gstaad final in July. Before that she'd experienced a 17-3 stretch, and 34-9 period going back a few more months. She's got to be tired, but there she is again the Luxembourg draw for the coming week.

ITF PLAYER: Polona Hercog/SLO
...since the 26-year old from Slovenia returned to action in the Roland Garros qualifying rounds after a nine-month absence, Hercog has continued to produce the sort results that made her a Top 100 player from 2009-15. Since winning a $60K title and soon after reaching the Wimbledon 3rd Round -- her best slam result since 2010 -- as a qualifier, she's maintained her roll. This week in Italy in the $25K in Santa Margherita di Pula, Hercog picked up her fourth ITF crown since her return, and her third since the start of September. Her 6-1/6-0 win in the final over Hordette Valentyna Ivaknenko will lift the former world #35 (2011) to #120.

JUNIOR STARS: Wang Xiyu/CHN and Whitney Osuigwe/USA Tianjin, 16-year Wang made her tour-level MD debut via a wild card, and the world #933 (jr. #40) got her first career WTA victory with a 6-3/7-6(8) victory over Danka Kovinic. She lost in the 2nd Round to tournament defending champ Peng Shuai. Earlier this year, Wang reached the Roland Garros girls doubles semis, and was the GD runner-up at the U.S. Open.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, junior #2 Osuigwe added another title to a season that already includes a Roland Garros girls singles crown and Grade 1 wins at the Ascuncion (Paraguay) and Banana (Brazil) Bowls early in the year. Top-seeded Osuigwe, 15, won the Grade B1 crown at the Pan-American Closed Championships without dropping a set, defeating fellow Bannerette (jr. #44, #3 seed) Natasha Subhash, 16, 6-4/6-3 in the final. It'll be enough to return her to the #1 ranking this week after having had a brief relationship with the spot earlier this year. Osuigwe has gone 18-3 from the start of the RG junior competition until now, and is 37-6 on the year.
DOUBLES: Chan Hao-ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE/TPE) and Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson (NED/SWE)
...Martina or no Martina, Chan Yung-jan (aka "Latisha") is unstoppable. After running off four straight titles, and 18 consecutive matches, with Hingis by her side, she teamed up once again with sister Hao-ching (aka "Angel") in Hong Kong. The pair then went to work defending the title they won there last year and claiming their tenth overall tour-level crown as a duo, making them just the second all-sister combo (after Venus & Serena) to win double-digit titles. It's the Taiwanese siblings' second title of the season, having also defended a title in Taipei City earlier this year. Yung-jan's 28th WTA crown ups her tour season lead for most titles to two over her "other" partner as her eleventh championship run extends her personal winning streak to 22 matches. For Hao-ching, it's career win #13.

In Linz, Bertens & Larsson also defended the doubles title they won a year ago, giving both woman (Nurnberg for Bertens, Seoul for Larsson) a second successfully defended WD crown this season. They've won eight overall as a duo, four titles in 2017 alone, and now two in consecutive outings (w/ Seoul) in Asia this fall. They reached the final without dropping a set, but had to take a 10-4 3rd set TB over Dzalamidze/Knoll in the final to claim the crown.

Slam champion baby-steppin' (back)

When you're denied a wild card into the Kremlin Cup, but then the only person who can take away your spot in the WTA Finals field pulls out the tournament and you're safely through as the first Pastry in the season-ending championships field since 2006, anyway.

Garcia (France)
Halep (Romania)
Muguruza (Spain)
Ostapenko (Latvia)
Pliskova (Czech Republic)
Svitolina (Ukraine)
V.Williams (United States)
Wozniacki (Denmark)

1. Hong Kong Final - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Dasha Gavrilova
A typhoon. A late start. Blown match points, then a half-hour rain delay. (But, amazingly, no JJ!) And, finally, a deciding tie-break that ended things after three hours. Gavrilova missed out on career title #2, as well as becoming the only active Aussie woman not named Sam to have multiple tour singles titles. Barty has one, as well. For now.
2. Linz QF - Mihaela Buzarnescu def. Belinda Bencic
Bencic, who came back from 5-2 down in the 2nd and 3rd sets, saved three MP in the 2nd, then two more in the 3rd before finally going out.

3. Tianjin Final - Maria Sharapova def. Aryna Sabalenka
Sharapova's first final match-up vs. a teenager since she defeated Cibulkova in Amelia Island in 2008, and just the fifth she's faced in 59 career WTA finals.
4. Hong Kong 1st Rd. - Caroline Wozniacki def. Genie Bouchard
TPFKAGB is 2-10 in her last twelve, and 3-11 since defeating Cornet, Sharapova and Kerber in Madrid in May.
5. Linz Final - Barbora Strycova def. Magdalena Rybarikova
The Czech avoids a loss that would have made her 1-7 in career WTA singles finals, leaving the likes of Lucie Hradecka (0-7) and Kiki Mladenovic (1-6) with the "ugliest" career marks still in circulation.
6. $25K Sumter Final - Taylor Townsend def. Ulrikke Eikeri
Townsend wins ITF singles title #4, and took home doubles crown #13, as well (w/ Jessica Pegula).
7. $15K Buenos Aires Final - Fernanda Brito def. Thaisa Grana Pedretti
For the second straight week, the 25-year old Chilean swept the singles and doubles title at an ITF event.


8. Moscow Q1 - Valentini Grammatikopoulou def. Margarita Gasparyan
Sure, she lost after having held two MP, but the 23-year old Hordette is finally back. After more than a year away. After three knee surgeries. After fears that her promising career may be over.

Hopefully, there soon won't be a need to be melancholy about Gasparyan's winning past, which included a title in Baku in '15, a Top 50 ranking early last season, as well as a Round of 16 result in her Australian Open debut (and just third major MD ever) in 2016.


1. Hong Kong Final - CHAN HAO-CHING/CHAN YUNG-JAN def. LU JIAJING/Wang Qiang
Chan Yung-Jan won ten tour doubles titles form 2009-16. She's won eleven this season.

2. Hong Kong 2nd Rd. - NAOMI OSAKA def. VENUS WILLIAMS
Venus won in the 3rd Round at Wimbledon this summer in their only previous meeting.

3. Hong Kong 2nd Rd. - Samantha Stosur def. AGA RADWANSKA
Aga is looking for the finish line (she was up a set and a break), while Sam found a port in the late-season comeback storm. Radwanska, who began 2017 at #3, is just 41 ranking points away from falling outside the Top 20. It's been a decade since she finished a season ranked so low.

For the first time ever, the Kichenok twins faced off against each other in a doubles match. The Ukrainian sisters have played 22 matches together on all levels in '17, going 12-10.
5. Moscow Q1 - ARINA RODIONOVA def. Anastasia Potapova 6-3/6-1
Moscow Q1 - Olga Savchuk def. Dayana Yastremska 3-6/6-2/6-4
narrowly avoiding a Kremlin Cup qualifying match-up featuring the '16 Wimbledon girls finalists and recent $80K challenger doubles title partners.
HM- Linz 1st Rd. - Viktoriya Tomova def. NAOMI BROADY
Broady got into the draw as a lucky loser, then lost after leading 4-0 in the 3rd. There has to be an unfair name for something like that, right?

When the music is ??????

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5 - Elina Svitolina, UKR
3 - Karolina Pliskova, CZE
2 - Garbine Muguruza, ESP
2 - Alona Ostapenko, LAT
2 - Caroline Garcia, FRA
2 - Johanna Konta, GBR
2 - Kiki Bertens, NED
2 - Katerina Siniakova, CZE

Sydney - Johanna Konta. GBR
Hobart - Elise Mertens, BEL
Australian Open - Serena Williams, USA
Bogota - Francesca Schiavone, ITA
[Biel - Marketa Vondrousova, CZE] - none in MD, 2 in Q
Nurnberg - Kiki Bertens, NED
Bucharest - Irina-Camelia Begu, ROU

7 - Caroline Wozniacki, DEN (1-6)
5 - Elina Svitolina, UKR (5-0)
5 - Simona Halep, ROU (1-4)
4 - Kristina Mladenovic, FRA (1-3)
1...Daria Kasatkina (1-0)
1...Elena Vesnina (1-0)
1...Ekaterina Makarova (1-0)
1...Svetlana Kuznetsova (0-1)
1...Natalia Vikhlyantseva (0-1)
* - Vera Zvonareva (0-1 - WTA 125)
3...Karolina Pliskova (3-0)
2...Katerina Siniakova (2-0)
1...Petra Kvitova (1-0)
1...Marketa Vondrousova (1-0)
1...Barbora Krejcikova (0-1)
1...Kristyna Pliskova (0-1)
1...Lucie Safarova (0-1)

36 - MARIA SHARPOVA (2003-17)
17 - Svetlana Kuznetsova (2002-16)
16 - Elena Dementieva (2003-10)
13 - Nadia Petrova (2005-12)
12 - Vera Zvonareva (2003-11)
12 - Dinara Safina (2002-09)
10 - Anastasia Myskina (1999-05)

9 yr, 3m+ = K.Bondarenko, UKR [6/08 Birmingham > 9/17 Tashkent]
7 yr, 1m+ = A.Sevastova, LAT [5/10 Estoril > 6/17 Mallorca]
6 yr, 1m = B.STRYCOVA, CZE [9/11 QUEBEC > 10/17 LINZ]
5 yr = T.Babos, HUN [2/12 Monterrey > 2/17 Budapest]
4 yr = Zhang Shuai, CHN [9/13 Guangzhou > 9/17 Guangzhou]

14 years - Muguruza (23) def. V.Williams (37) - Wimbledon
11 years - SHARAPOVA (30) def. SABALENKA (19) - TIANJIN
11 years - Schiavone (36) def. Arruabarrena (25) - Biel
11 years - Pavlyuchenkova (25) def. Schiavone (36) - Rabat
10 years - Stosur (33) def. Gavrilova (23) - Strasbourg

36y,9m,3w - Francesca Schiavone, ITA (Bogota)
35y,4m - Serena Williams, USA (Australian Open)
33y,2m - Samantha Stosur, AUS (Strasbourg)
31y,6m,3w - Peng Shuai, CHN (Nanchang)
31y,1m,3w - Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR (Tashkent)
30,7m,3w - Elena Vesnina, RUS (Indian Wells)

17 - Marketa Vondrousova, CZE (Biel-W) - 17,9m,2w
19 - Ana Konjuh, CRO (Auckland-L) - 19,2w
19 - Alona Ostapenko, LAT (Charleston-L) - 19,10m
19 - Dasha Kasatkina, RUS (Charleston-W) - 19,11m
20 - Alona Ostapenko, LAT (Roland Garros-W) - 20,2 days
20 - Alona Ostapenko, LAT (Seoul-W) - 20,3m,2w
20 - Natalia Vikhlyantseva, RUS ('s-Hert.-L) - 20,4m
20 - Katerina Siniakova, CZE (Shenzen-W) - 20,8m
20 - Ash Barty, AUS (Kuala Lumpur-W) - 20,10m,2w
20 - Donna Vekic, CRO (Nottingham-W) - 20,51w

5 CZE: Kvitova,Ka.Pliskova,Siniakova,STRYCOVA,Vondrousova
5 RUS: Kasatkina,Makarova,Pavlyuchenkova,SHARAPOVA,Vesnina
4 USA: Davis,Keys,Stephens,S.Williams
3 AUS: Barty,Gavrilova,Stosur
3 UKR: K.Bondarenko,Svitolina,Tsurenko
2 BEL: Mertens,Van Uytvanck
2 CHN: Peng,Sh.Zheng
2 FRA: Garcia,Mladenovic
2 GER: Barthel,Siegemund
2 LAT: Ostapenko,Sevastova
2 ROU: Begu,Halep

11 (8) - Czech Republic
10 (6) - Russia
8 (4) - United States
7 (7) - Ukraine
7 (3) - Australia
7 (3) - France
7 (2) - Romania
7 (1) - Denmark
6 (2) - Germany
4 (3) - Latvia

12..CHAN YUNG-JAN, TPE (10-1+W)
10..Martina Hingis, SUI (8-1+W)
8...Andrea Hlavackova, CZE (4-4)
6...Timea Babos, HUN (4-2)
6...Ash Barty, AUS (3-3)
6...Casey Dellacqua, AUS (3-3)
5...Ekaterina Makarova, RUS (3-2)
5...Elena Vesnina, RUS (3-2)
5...Lucie Hradecka, CZE (0-5)
5...Katerina Siniakova, CZE (0-5)

*WTA DOUBLES TITLES - all-sister duos*
22 - Serena & Venus Williams
3 - Karolina & Kristyna Pliskova
3 - Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko
2 - Lyudmyla & Nadiia Kichenok
1 - Chris & Jeanne Evert
1 - Katerina Maleeva & Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere
1 - Cammy & Cynthia MacGregor
1 - Aga & Ula Radwanska
1 - Adriana & Antonella Serra-Zanetta

2017 11 - Chan Yung-Jan
2016 8 - Sania Mirza
2015 10 - Martina Hingis, Sania Mirza
2014 5 - Sara Errani, Peng Shuai, Roberta Vinci
2013 5 - Hsieh Su-Wei, Sania Mirza, Peng Shuai, Kristina Mladenovic
2012 8 - Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci
2011 6 - Kveta Peschke, Katarina Srebotnik
2010 8 - Gisela Dulko
2009 7 - Nuria Llagostera Vives, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
2008 10 - Cara Black, Liezel Huber
2007 9 - Cara Black, Liezel Huber
2006 10 - Lisa Raymond, Samantha Stosur
2005 7 - Samantha Stosur
2004 7 - Cara Black, Nadia Petrova, Meghann Shaughnessy
2003 8 - Ai Sugiyama
2002 9 - Lisa Raymond

#LifewithDasha "Hello dear friends and haters..."

Hello dear friends and haters!:) It has been very very long #photoshoot Friday. This evening #LifeWithDasha will be in front of TV ?? I just want to watch my favorite movie and recover from being model?? But what to watch? I have tones of the movies, what are living in my heart. Most of them are melodramas of course. It will be two #DashaChart of favorite movies- Russian and international. International: 1. Untouchables 2. The pursuit of Happiness 3. The notebook 4. Harry Potter (all) 5. Gone girl Russian: 1. ???????17 2. ? ??? ??????? ???????, ? ??? ??????? ???????2 3. ????, ????2 4. ???????????? ???? 5. 9 ???? Can movies change something in your life? What do you prefer in the world of cinema? #Share yours in the comments????

A post shared by Daria Kasatkina (@kasatkina) on

MOSCOW, RUSSIA [Premier/Hard Indoor]
16 Singles Final: Kuznetsova def. Gavrilova
16 Doubles Final: Hlavackova/Hradecka d. Gavrilova/Kasatkina
17 Top Seeds: Mladenovic/Vandeweghe

Kasatkina def. #6 Gavrilova
(WC) Sharapova def. #7 Goerges
(WC) Sharapova def. Kasatkina

...well, Karmic Kiki won't lose in the 1st Round this week. Sure, it's because she's got a 1st Round bye as the #1 seed, but still. Going from China to Russia, Sharapova might be a longshot to win a second straight title. But, you know, Kiki is the #1 seed, so karmic logic says I have to pick Maria.

#1 Babos/Hlavackova def. #4 Begu/Olaru

16 Singles Final: Niculescu d. Kvitova
16 Doubles Final: Bertens/Larsson d. Niculescu/Tig
17 Top Seeds: Kerber/Bertens


...really, who knows? Kerber is the #1 seed... but, really? I suppose I'll take a flier on #4-seeded Cirstea (but I'll hold out hope that Jana Fett will win her final qualifying match -- she faces Vickery on Monday -- and m-a-y-b-e get that maiden title in her very last opportunity of 2017).

#1 Bertens/Larsson def. Buzarnescu/Kalashnikova

All for now.


Blogger colt13 said...

A whole bunch of ideas this week, so news you can use.

Luxembourg= Is ? really better than & or #? Probably smart that you did that. As of this writing Fett is in, and Cirstea is losing, but expect Bertens to take a can opener to the bottom half of that draw. So without qualifiers placed-Cirstea-Buzarnescu.

Cabrera has some Ivanovic in her. Still raw, but she is going to be a good one. Whoever coached her early did a good job as her strokes are clean.

In the Year Of The Comeback-Kleybanova, Gasparyan and Friedsam all played this week.

YEC stuff I can't fit into next week's preview.
Ostapenko is the first woman from Latvia to make it in singles. Obviously not a shock. What might be is that she is the first this century in singles or doubles since Neiland's last appearance was 1999. Neiland actually showed up with multiple partners- Sanchez Vicario, Kournikova, Sukova and Meredith McGrath. If you think I forgot Zvereva, that was USSR.

Svitolina is the first woman from the Ukraine to participate. That is more due to timing than anything else. Think back to the dream season the Bondarenko's had in 2008. Won the AO, SF at the French, lost the Bronze match at the Olympics. Had 4700 pts on the year, 2900 at the AO and French alone(2780 in today's WTA), which would have gotten them into this year's field. But between 2003 and 2014, doubles dropped from 8 teams to 4. So Svitolina is making up for something that should have happened 9 years ago.

Garcia is the last newbie. As Todd mentioned, last French woman to make it directly was Mauresmo in 2006. Directly, because Bartoli played multiple times-but only as an alternate. Also, Garcia was in doubles last year, but isn't this year, so there are no women pulling double duty like Pliskova did. First time since 2011 that we don't even have a chance-none did in 2014, but Makarova was a singles alternate. And nobody was really close, as the highest ranked singles player in the doubles YEC is Makarova's partner Vesnina at 20.

Plus the focus on singles was more evident than ever. Total, the 8 finalists played 34 doubles tourneys this year. The only one to play more than 5? Ostapenko with 18.

Something i'm not using as a trivia question. Two women who participated in the 2007 YEC in doubles have returned this year. Who are they? No, not Martina Hingis, but Chan Yung-Jan and Kveta Peschke.

Stat and trivia in next post.

Mon Oct 16, 11:17:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Stat of the Week-29- TBD-

Since we are winding down the season, might as well take a look at 3 random players, and our stat will be in there.

Player A
1 SF, 5 QF

Player B
1 F, 1 SF, 1 QF

Player C
1 F, 2 SF, 6 QF

As you can see, none have won a title, asd the stats are somewhat similar. So who has had the best season, and who are they?

Player A shows off how strong the tour is, as it is the 37th ranked Sorana Cirstea. And 3 of the QF are in her last 4 events.

Player B is the 19th ranked Radwanska. First time for her not being at the YEC since 2010, ending the longest current streak at 6. Halep now has it at 4, counting this year. Yes, that means that in Halep's breakout year, when she won six titles, she didn't make the YEC-finished 15th.

Player C is.....well, not actually a player. It is a combination of players when they have been #1 this year. So has the #1 performed like a B lister? Yes? While Serena won the AO to get to #1, she actually didn't play a match as 1. Those that have reached the #1 spot have had some success otherwise, as they have won a total of 7 titles in other spots. But what do you expect from a year in which not only have we had 3 #1's(actually 5), but 3 #1's that have been 14 or lower at one point this season?

Halep has the next crack to win as a #1 on a big stage.

Quiz Time!
1.Svitolina and Garcia are the 4th and 5th women the last 10 years to have reached the YEC in their career before reaching a slam semi. The other 3 are:
But who is the only woman to do it twice?

2.Austria's Barbara Haas got into the main draw at Linz with a WC. Who is the last Austrian woman to make the draw directly?
A-Barbara Haas
B-Tamira Paszek
C-Lisa Marie Moser
D-Patricia Mayr-Achleitner
E-Yvonne Meusburger

Another premier-more Up/Down in next post

1.Zvonareva was in the YEC in 2008, then got the monkey off her back at the next slam- 2009 AO. It also wasn't Radwanska, as she played in 2011, then reached the Wimbledon final in 2012. It was Azarenka, who on her way up the rankings, played in the YEC in 2009 and 2010, before reaching the Wimbledon SF in 2011.

2.You probably guessed Barbara Haas. That isn't right but an educated guess. The reason that she is back on the list is that she has gotten a WC the last 3 years. But just going Barbara for Austrian tennis history makes sense, as that they have had 2 Top 10 players-Barbara Schett(7) and Barbara Paulus(10).

The truth is since 2013, every player on that list has gotten a MDWC except one. That would be the now retired Yvonne Meusburger, who got in ranked 53 in 2013. Will be curious to see if Antonia Lottner gets one if needed next year, German born, but lives in Austria.

Mon Oct 16, 12:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Up Side

1.Xu Yifan-Doubles specialist goes from winning Zhuhai doubles to a chance to do the same at the big tourney. Won Miami with Dabrowski. And to call her a doubles specialist isn't shade. Case in point, she has 31 wins in doubles this year. She has 4 WTA MD wins in singles......for her career. Surprisingly, 2 more than Dabrowski.
2.Buzarnescu-This year's version of Siegemund, the overnight success that took forever. Similar to Siegemund, who entered her first slam qualy 7 years before she actually made a main draw, the 2006 USO Junior Doubles winner made her first attempt in 2011. On a 26-7 run. Lefty that moves really well.
3.Bertens/Larsson-As much whining as I have done about them underperforming, they won last week, and due to Hradecka's injury, are now in the 8th spot for the YEC. Just like any other playoff system, doesn't matter if your are ranked first or last, you have a chance.
4.Kremlin Q-My way of waffling-I was going to put Vikhlyantseva here as she is due for a good run, but Kanepi just got placed vs her. Kanepi, Lapko and Rybakina have winnable matches, and not convinced that Sharapova doesn't pull a Serena-ie 1 or 2 matches since she has the WC, and a pullout.
5.Rybarikova-Yes, she is slated to play Sharapova. But has something to play for as she is only 2 spots out of Zhuhai-Strycova jumped her. And with bodies falling by the wayside, it is possible that she still will get in even without a win this week.

Mon Oct 16, 12:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Down Side

1.Beck-Pulled a Mladenovic and was playing injured. Did not play between the USO and Linz. Lost in LUX qualies in 3 sets, her first 3 set match since March. That constitutes progress as she has an 8 match losing streak. The worst before her break in which the last 8 sets she played(and lost) went 6-1, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.
2.Kumkhum-I like her game, and let's be honest-if she can bring the same level of play she brought against Ostapenko vs everybody, she would be a Top 30 player. She can hit great winners at the edge of the service box, but standing on the baseline, she gets passed like a traffic cone. So why is someone who is 13-3 in their last 16 matches on the list? Because away from Asia, the Thailand born Kumkhum turns into US Men's Soccer-mediocre. Too soon? She is 2-3 away from Asia. That's right, she has played 13 of her 16 tournaments there this year, and 13 of 19 the year before.
3.Tsurenko-She won today, but she is on a 6-13 streak not including it. She doesn't look bad when I watch but something isn't working. A little bad luck with draws didn't help, as she won Acapulco, then dropped her next 5 matches-to Peng, Haddad Maia, Siegemund, Ostapenko, Pliskova.
4.Kontaveit-Another player that won, but is running on fumes. Has more that the required amt of tournaments, so shutting it down won't cost her many points.
5.Radwanska-Barely hanging on to a Top 20 spot. It is hard to talk about weight, but there is an obvious 5-10 lb drop with someone who already has issues with power players. Begs to ask the question if there are stamina issues too, as she has lost her last 4 3 set matches.

Mon Oct 16, 01:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

On reflection (w/ Cirstea's 2nd set retirement in the 1st Round... naturally), I should have probably hinted at a Bertens "non-pick," as she was in my scrapped semifinal predictions, at least, and she *did* reach the SF last year, as well.

Kontaveit love & 2 over Cepelova today? I might have gone with her, this being an indoor hard court event, but she's been so dragging herself to the finish. Maybe she *does* have one more result in her. She's now 15-3 on HI this season, w/ a final in Biel and $60K title.

Hmmm, I wonder if Konta will be the alternate at Singapore? They almost always get at least one match late in the week.

Very telling #1 stats, though I wonder if at least the W/L stats would look a bit better on the new #1's w/o Kerber's numbers factoring in.

1. Ugh, I went w/ Zvonareva. I wonder what the odds are that Svitolina might become the second with 2 YEC and no slam SF at the end of '18? Probably better than she'd wish to think. She can be expected to be consistent enough to rank high enough, but a semi is hardly a given.
2. Meusburger! Yes! No real reason *why* I picked her, though. ;)

Mon Oct 16, 01:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Kumkhum vs. Kvitova, too. She just needs big targets, I guess.

Ha, good U.S. Nat'l Team reference. My favorite soccer team is *always* whichever one is playing the men's squad. (Waving my imaginary Trinidad and Tobago flag in triumph.) :)

Mon Oct 16, 01:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Konta, Mladenovic, or whoever ends up as alternate has a small window. I assume that the three newbies play all of their matches. Williams is the only winner, and Halep/Wozniacki the only finalists, so if one of those 3 starts off 0-2, and has already had a day off, they may pull a Sharapova and walk away.

Pliskova is the other one that might with an 0-2 start.

Oh, and the other thing I saw and forgot to touch on-Medina Garrigues leaves Ostapenko, becomes Fed Cup Captain. That is an earth mover.

Mon Oct 16, 02:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Concerning the Singapore alternate situation.

Tue Oct 17, 04:32:00 PM EDT  

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