Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wk.42- Good Things Come to Goerges Who Wait

Sometimes, it's worth the wait. Even when the wait is a little *extra* long...

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (Premier/Hard Indoor)
S: Julia Goerges/GER def. Dasha Kasatkina/RUS 6-1/6-2
D: Timea Babos/Andrea Hlavackova (HUN/CZE) d. Nicole Melichar/Anna Smith (USA/GBR) 6-2/3-6 [10-3]
S: Carina Witthoeft/GER def. Monica Puig/PUR 6-3/7-5
D: Lesley Kerkhove/Lidziya Marozava (NED/BLR) d. Genie Bouchard/Kirsten Flipkens (CAN/BEL) 6-7(4)/6-4 [10-6]

...after a frustrating year of getting just close enough to be happy, but still disappointed she didn't get more, Goerges took her last opportunity in the WTA regular season to grab all that she could while the the 2017 lights were still on. Last week in Moscow, the 28-year old German advanced to her fourth final of the season, notching wins over the likes of Yulia Putintseva, Lesia Tsurenko and Natalia Vikhlyantseva to get the chance to play in her tenth career final. After having not won one since 2011, and riding a six-final losing streak, Goerges destroyed home favorite Dasha Kasatkina in a 6-1/6-2 championship "contest" that probably wasn't really as close as that blowout scoreline would even suggest. With the win, Goerges edges out the Hordette for the final available berth in the Elite Trophy field, climbs back into the Top 20 (she last finished a season there in 2012) and becomes the highest-ranked German (moving past 2016 world #1 Angelique Kerber). She even went over 400 aces for the season during the Kremlin Cup, joining Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova as the only woman to do so on tour since 2008.

Needless to say, it was a long time coming for Goerges to find herself back here (right down to the additional seconds before her MP ace was confirmed via a replay challenge in the final), and just as much deserved for one of the tour's most talented -- but often overlooked, overshadowed and just-outside-the-spotlight -- players.
RISERS: Dasha Kasatkina/RUS, Monica Puig/PUR and Elise Mertens/BEL
...last week, Kasatkina was back where she reached her first WTA final and won the doubles crown in 2015 w/ Elena Vesnina (and returned to the final a year later with Dasha Gavrilova). She added a third Kremlin Cup final appearance in three years, this time in singles. The 20-year old Hordette reached her second WTA final (she's the reigning Charleston champ) without dropping a set against the likes of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Katerina Siniakova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Irina-Camelia Begu. But, with a spot in the Elite Trophy field at stake, she was out-hit by Germany's Julia Goerges in a 1 & 2 demolition that never saw the Russian gain any sort of foothold against her woman-on-a-mission opponent. The win pushes Kasatkina up three places and back into the Top 25, but leaves her just one spot behind the career high she set in August of last year.

In Luxembourg, Puig's busy month of worry and fundraising efforts for her hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rican homeland ended with her first tour-level singles final since won Olympic Gold last summer in Rio over Angelique Kerber. Incidentally, Puig's run of the past week also *opened* with a victory over Kerber, then was further bolstered by victories against Alison Van Uytvanck, Naomi Broady and Elise Mertens to advance to her third career tour final (not including Rio). She fell to Carina Witthoeft in straight sets, but will rise eleven spots to #58. Both on the court and after the final, Puig showed her support for her island home. She and Maria Sharapova will head to Puerto Rico together this coming week to assist in the relief efforts.

SURPRISES: Lesley Kerkhove/Lidziya Marozava (NED/BLR) and Naomi Broady/GBR
...Kerkhove & Marozava teamed to reach their second final together ('16 Bastad RU), picking up the maiden tour title for both by winning the Luxembourg final in a 10-6 deciding tie-break over Genie Bouchard (once again proving adept in doubles, if not singles) and Kirsten Flipkens. Kerkhove and Marozava are the 14th and 15th first-time WD champions of 2017.

Also in Luxembourg, Broady reached the main draw of a tour event as a lucky loser for the second straight week. After losing in the 1st Round despite holding a 4-0 3rd set in her match in Linz, last week the Brit notched wins over Germany's Tatjana Maria and Sabine Lisicki, the second victory after being down a set and 5-3 and saving two MP, to reach her first QF of the season (and first on tour since a Kuala Lumpur semi in February of last year, another result obtained due to a win over Lisicki in which she staged a late rally, winning 12 of 13 points to close out the match after trailing 5-4 in the 3rd). She's the second LL to reach the QF in a tour event this season (Hobart - Cepede Royg), but didn't manage to top her *own* best result in such a role, as Broady reached the SF in Quebec City two years ago despite having lost in qualifying.
VETERANS: Pauline Parmentier/FRA and Chan Yung-Jan/TPE Luxembourg, the #101-ranked Pastry made her way through qualifying and posted her first two-MD win week since July -- and just her second since back-to-back 3rd Rounds in Indian Wells and Miami in March, both just prior to the "LOL incident". The 31-year old got MD wins over defending champ Monica Niculescu, Veronica Cepede Royg and Johanna Larsson to reach her first tour-level SF since Katowice in April 2016. Parmentier won her only two WTA singles crowns in 2007-08, including a maiden final win over an 18-year old Vika Azarenka in what was the Belarussian's second tour-level singles final.

Meanwhile, though she didn't actually play in Week 42, it was a big week for Chan Jung-Jan. Prior to her third straight appearance in the WTA Finals doubles field, she and Martina Hingis were named Doubles Team of the Year by the tour, and on Monday she moves into a tie for the #1 doubles ranking with her Swiss partner. Chan is the 36th woman to reach the top ranking, but just the second from Taiwan, joining Hsieh Su-Wei (2014).


...a week after her singles semifinal (as a qualifier) and doubles title in Tianjin, back-from-suspension Errani (#180) maintained her roll in the $60K challenger in Suzhou, China. The 30-year old rode all the way to the title, winning three-setters over Julia Glushko and #2-seed Kurumi Nara before downing 19-year old Guo Hanyu 6-1/6-0 in the final. It's Errani's first singles title of any kind since February of last year, and her first on the ITF circuit since 2007. She jumps 35 spots to #145 on Monday.

FRESH FACES: Carina Witthoeft/GER and Natalia Vikhlyantseva/RUS
...22-year old Witthoeft became the second German singles champion of the week (and fourth different of '17, with none of them having yet been named Angie) with her maiden final appearance and tour-level title in Luxembourg. After fighting through a tough 1st Rounder over Varvara Lepchenko (3rd set TB), Witthoeft took out Evgeniya Rodina, #2-seed Kiki Bertens, Pauline Parmentier (3 sets) and Monica Puig in the final to become the 13th maiden WTA singles champion of the season. She jumps from #73 to #52 with the result, just three off her career high.

In Moscow, 20-year old Vikhlyantseva posted her third SF-or-better result of 2017, including another in a previous Russian stop in Saint Petersburg, with a final four finish built upon victories over veterans Kaia Kanepi, Elena Vesnina and Alize Cornet. The Hordette pushed eventual champion Goerges like no other player at the Kremlin Cup, seizing the only set the German lost all week in their semifinal contest before being edged out 7-5 in the 3rd. She'll jump twelve spots in the rankings to edge one spot past her previous high, coming in at #55.
DOWN: Angelique Kerber/GER good a week with numbers as Goerges just had, her countrywoman Kerber had pretty much the opposite. After recent weeks proved to produce no sign of a late season bounce from her encouraging semifinal run in Tokyo (with her 1st Round loss as the Luxembourg #1 seed to Puig she went 1-3, making her 2-6 since Wimbledon outside of her 3-1 week in Japan), Kerber saw Goerges' title run in Moscow not only knock her nearly out of the Top 20 (down 8 to #19)one year after she'd been #1 heading into what would be a season-ending WTA Finals runner-up result, but she's now not even the top ranked woman from Germany. Kerber is set to compete in the Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai, giving her a final chance to possibly remain in the Top 20, but her '17 finish is still set to be the worst year-after rankings finish for a previous season's #1 -- barring seasons w/ long injury layoffs or retirement -- since the first official year-end rankings debuted in 1975.

#1 = 1976 Chris Evert, USA
#1 = 1977 Chris Evert, USA
#2 = 1978 Chris Evert, USA
#1 = 1979 Martina Navratilova, CZE
#3 = 1980 Martina Navratilova, CZE
#1 = 1981 Chris Evert-Lloyd, USA
#2 = 1982 Chris Evert-Lloyd, USA
#1 = 1983 Martina Navratilova, USA
#1 = 1984 Martina Navratilova, USA
#1 = 1985 Martina Navratilova, USA
#1 = 1986 Martina Navratilova, USA
#2 = 1987 Martina Navratilova, USA
#1 = 1988 Steffi Graf, FRG
#1 = 1989 Steffi Graf, FRG
#1 = 1990 Steffi Graf, FRG
#2 = 1991 Steffi Graf, GER
#1 = 1992 Monica Seles, YUG
#8 = 1993 Monica Seles, YUG
#1 = 1994 Steffi Graf, GER
#1 = 1995 Steffi Graf, GER
#1 = 1996 (co) Steffi Graf, GER
#2 = 1996 (co) Monica Seles, USA
#28 = 1997 Steffi Graf, GER (knee surgery)
#2 = 1998 Martina Hingis, SUI
#2 = 1999 Lindsay Davenport, USA
#1 = 2000 Martina Hingis, SUI
#4 = 2001 Martina Hingis, SUI
#12 = 2002 Lindsay Davenport, USA (injured/missed 3 slams)
#3 = 2003 Serena Williams, USA
#8 = 2004 Justine Henin-Hardenne, BEL
#1 = 2005 Lindsay Davenport, USA
#25 = 2006 Lindsay Davenport, USA (back injury/out 5 months)
#1 = 2007 Justine Henin-Hardenne, BEL
NR = 2008 Justine Henin, BEL (retired)
#8 = 2009 Jelena Jankovic, SRB
#4 = 2010 Serena Williams, USA
#1 = 2011 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
#10 = 2012 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
#2 = 2013 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
#1 = 2014 Serena Williams, USA
#1 = 2015 Serena Williams, USA
#2 = 2016 Serena Williams, USA
?? = 2017 Angelique Kerber, GER (#19 this week)

ITF PLAYERS: Polona Hercog/SLO and Taylor Townsend/USA
...Hercog was at it again in Italy, grabbing her fifth ITF title of the year (and second in two weeks) in the $25K challenger in Pula. After polishing off her title run a week ago by allowing just one game in the final, the 26-year old Slovene picked up right up where she left off. Consecutively allowing just 2, 3, 5, 5 and 5 games over the course of five matches, she took the title with a 6-4/6-1 victory in the final over Mexico's Renata Zarazua. Hercog jumps another ten spots in the rankings to #110 on Monday. She had seven straight Top 100 seasons from 2009-15 before falling out in '16 while sitting out nine months due to a series of injuries.

In Florence, South Carolina, Townsend swept the singles and doubles titles at a $25K challenger for the second straight week. Townsend saved a MP in the semifinals -- down 6-5 in the 3rd set TB, after she'd fallen behind despite taking the opening five points -- against Danielle Collins, then returned on Sunday to defeat Ysaline Bonaventure 6-1/7-5 in the final. Her two ITF titles are her most in a single season since 2014. The WD title run with Maria Sanchez makes Townsend a combined 17-0 over the past two weeks, and has lifted her ranking within shouting distance of a return to the Top 100. She was #126 entering the week.
JUNIOR STARS: Wang Xin Yu/CHN, Priska Nugroho/INA and Megan Smith/AUS
...#2-seeded Wang (jr.#10), 16, ended girls #1 Whitney Osuigwe's 11-match winning streak, taking the Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup title with a 6-4/6-4 win in the final.

15-year old Osuigwe, coming off her Pan American Closed Championships title in Oklahoma last week, was looking to put down another result toward her claiming the year-end junior #1 ranking. The first of what turned out to be three (in a trio of all-Hordette slam finals) U.S. junior slam winners in '17 with her girls title run at Roland Garros, Osuigwe would be the third Bannerette to top the season-ending junior rankings since 2012, following Taylor Townsend in 2012 and CiCi Bellis in '14. Three of the current girls Top 4 players hail from the United States.

Both Osuigwe and Wang will be in Chengdu this week in the elite eight-player Junior Masters Junior Masters competition.

In Singapore, the Future Stars champions were crowned in the lead up competition to the WTA Finals, with Indonesian 14-year old Nugroho becoming one of the two 2017 junior girls crowned in the competition's fourth year in the city. Australia's Smith picked up the 16s title.

DOUBLES: Timea Babos/Andrea Hlavackova (HUN/CZE)
...the duo continued their great fall run, upping their record to 15-1 since their U.S. Open quarterfinal result, with appearances in four straight finals and, with the Kremlin Cup run this week, three titles. They won three 3rd set TB in their four matches in Moscow, defeating Cornet/Mladenovic (10-8) in the 1st Round, Krejcikova/Siniakova (10-8) in the semis and Melichar/Smith (10-3) in the final, with the latter getting the trophy that allowed Hlavackova to defend the title she won at the event last year with Lucie Hradecka. They've picked up four titles together in '17 (behind only Chan/Hingis), as well as a fifth for both women with different partners.

Where there's a will there's a way...

1. Moscow QF - Irina-Camelia Begu def. Vera Lapko
Poor, Vera. She had a MP at 5-4 in the 3rd, and served up 40/love to force a deciding TB at 5-6 down in the 3rd. She'd won ten straight matches (ITF/qualifying/MD).

2. Moscow 2nd Rd. - Aliaksandra Sasnovich def. Kristina Mladenovic
Make it ten straight losses for the Pastry, this one as the #1 seed. Yet, still, her early season numbers were good enough to slip her into the Top 10 on Monday. With Konta shutting down her '17 season (and parting ways w/ coach Wim Fissette, incidentally, making the Belgian a big-name "free agent" this offseason), Mladenovic will be first alternate at the WTA Finals. If she ends up playing because of an injury to Garcia, I'm afraid we're all doomed.
3. Moscow 2nd Rd. - Lesia Tsurenko def. CoCo Vandeweghe
So, Sabalenka reached a final a week ago. Lapko is in nice form, and Sasnovich joined her in the Kremlin Cup QF last week. In Luxembourg, Marozava won her maiden tour doubles title. And Vika is training hard (in between taking almost-too-cute-for-the-internet photos of her son, of course). So, Belarus is trending up heading into the Fed Cup final. Between U.S. Open semifinalist/"dream team" FC roster Stephens, Keys (who probably won't even be *able* to play), Venus and CoCo... the Bannerettes, ummm, not so much.

4. Moscow 1st Rd. - Magdalena Rybarikova def. Maria Sharapova 7-6(3)/6-4
Moscow 1st Rd. - Dasha Kasatkina def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6(2)/6-1
"don't be bringing your Week 41 titles to Week 42 thinking they mean anything." Of course, Sharapova was playing her sixth match in seven days, and Pavlyuchenkova was, well, you know, just being Pavlyuchenkova.
5. Moscow Final - Julia Goerges def. Dasha Kasatkina 6-1/6-2
Luxembourg Final - Carina Witthoeft def. Monica Puig 6-3/7-5
and if you guessed in January that *four* Germans would win titles in 2017, and none would be named Kerber, then you've won the lottery.
6. Luxembourg 1st Rd. - Johanna Larsson def. Genie Bouchard
And on this very day, naturally, the WTA chose to post this promo on Twitter:

The thread commentary is predictable (and often valid).
7. Luxembourg 1st Rd. - Andrea Petkovic def. Petra Martic
Petko saved three MP, and soon after the match posted this...

She ended up retiring from her 2nd Round match. Not enough hugs, I guess.
8. Luxembourg QF - Elise Mertens def. Heather Watson
Mertens has come a long way since trying to retire one game into a match (and, thankfully, failing to do so) in Hobart so she could get to Melbourne for AO qualifying. She ended up winning the Hobart title, and reaching another final in Istanbul in the spring. This was her fifth SF-or-better result in a career year that has seen the 21-year old Belgian rise from #124 to (on Monday) a new career high of #37.


Teliana Pereira... FYI

Chakvetadze sighting!

1. Luxembourg 2nd Rd. - NAOMI BROADY def. Sabine Lisicki
Reversing her Linz LL fate, Broady comes from behind to take out Lisicki after trailing 6-4/5-3, saving a pair of MP to reach her first QF of the season.

Petra is proud, I'm sure... otherwise how do we explain *this* without embarrassing anyone?

2. Moscow 1st Rd. - NADIIA KICHENOK/ANASTASIA RODIONOVA def. Irina Maria Bara/Chantal Skamlova 6-4/6-4
Moscow 1st Rd. - Olga Savchuk/Katarina Srebotnik def. LYUDMYLA KICHENOK/ARINA RODIONOVA 6-2/3-6 [10-7]
and supernatural tennis forces, obviously averting potential worldwide catastrophe (something including the sudden formation of a black hole, I'm sure), prevent a Kichenok/Rodionova vs. Kichenok/Rodionova 2nd Round mash-up from becoming a reality in Moscow. Mladenovic *still* managed to get into the Top 10 by losing, maybe the Tennis Gods' efforts went for naught
3. $25K Pula Final - Ganna Poznikhirenko/Jasmina Tunjic def. TAYISIYA MORDERGER/YANA MORDERGER
Meanwhile, the Morderger twins fail to pick up their third ITF title of the season.
4. Moscow 1st Rd. - Dasha Gavrilova def. KRISTYNA PLISKOVA
Pliskova saved five MP to force the 2nd set TB, and won to take it to three. Not that it mattered.
Pliskova may not end up winning the title in Singapore, but she was positively lethal vs. a poor-serving Venus on the opening day of play.


Do Not Disturb: Childhood memories in progress??

A post shared by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on

7 - Caroline Wozniacki, DEN (1-6)
5 - Elina Svitolina, UKR (5-0)
5 - Simona Halep, ROU (1-4)
4 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS (3-1)
4 - Kristina Mladenovic, FR (1-3)

17 - Marketa Vondrousova (Biel-W) - 17,9m,2w
19 - Ana Konjuh (Auckland-L) - 19,2w
19 - Alona Ostapenko (Charleston-L) - 19,10m
19 - Dasha Kasatkina (Charleston-W) - 19,11m
19 - Aryna Sabalenka (Tianjin-L) - 19,5m,1w
20 - Alona Ostapenko (R.Garros-W) - 20,2 days
20 - Alona Ostapenko (Seoul-W) - 20,3m,2w
20 - Natalia Vikhlyantseva ('s-Hert.-L) - 20,4m
20 - DASHA KASATKINA (MOSCOW-L) - 20,5m,2w
20 - Katerina Siniakova (Shenzen-W) - 20,8m
20 - Ash Barty (K.Lumpur-W) - 20,10m,2w
20 - Donna Vekic (Nottingham-W) - 20,51w

Auckland - Lauren Davis, USA (23/#61)
Shenzhen - Katerina Siniakova, CZE (20/#52)
Hobart - Elise Mertens, BEL (21/#127)
Saint Petersburg - Kristina Mladenovic, FRA (23/#51)
Kuala Lumpur - Ash Barty, AUS (20/#158)
Charleston - Daria Kasatkina, RUS (19/#42)
Biel - Marketa Vondrousova, CZE (17/#233)
Roland Garros - Alona Ostapenko, LAT (20/#47)
's-Hertogenbosch - Anett Kontaveit, EST (21/#49)
New Haven - Dasha Gavrilova, AUS (23/#26)
Quebec City - Alison van Uytvanck, BEL (23/#98)
Tokyo JO - Zarina Diyas, KAZ (23/#100)

5 - CZE: Kvitova,Ka.Pliskova,Siniakova,Strycova,Vondrousova
5 - RUS: Kasatkina,Makarova,Pavlyuchenkova,Sharapova,Vesnina
4 - GER: Barthel,GOERGES,Siegemund,WITTHOEFT
4 - USA: Davis,Keys,Stephens,S.Williams

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, 6m = JULIA GOERGES, GER [4/11 STUTTGART > 10/17 MOSCOW]
6 yr, 1m = B.Strycova, CZE [9/11 Quebec > 10/17 Linz]

Simona Halep - Madrid 2016-17
Kiki Bertens - Nurnberg 2016-17
Caroline Wozniacki - Tokyo TPP 2016-17
Sania Mirza - Brisbane 2016-17
Chan/Chan - Taipei City 2016-17
Martina Hingis - Rome 2016-17
Abigail Spears - Stanford 2016-17
Makarova/Vesnina - Rogers Cup 2016-17
Andrea Hlavackova - Quebec City 2016-17
Shuko Aoyama - Tokyo JO 2016-17
Johanna Larsson - Seoul 2016-17
Chan/Chan - Hong Kong 2016-17
Bertens/Larsson - Linz 2016-17

11 - Chan Yung-Jan, TPE
9 - Martina Hingis, SUI (+2 MX)
4 - Kiki Bertens, NED
4 - Johanna Larsson, SWE
4 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA

Monique Adamczak, AUS
Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
Nao Hibino, JPN
Dalila Jakupovic, SLO
Jiang Xinyu, CHN
Quirine Lemoine, NED
Nicole Melichar, USA
Alona Ostapenko, LAT
Nadia Podoroska, ARG
Arantxa Rus, NED
Storm Sanders, AUS
Anna Smith, GBR
Tang Qianhui, CHN
Gaby Dabrowski, CAN
Abigail Spears, USA

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

*2017 TOP 10 DEBUTS*
Elina Svitolina, UKR
Alona Ostapenko, LAT
Caroline Garcia, FRA
Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
[Top 10ers - France, by Top 10 debut]
1975 Francoise Durr
1994 Mary Pierce
1998 Nathalie Tauziat
1999 Amelie Mauresmo
1999 Julie Halard-Decugis
2000 Sandrine Testud
2007 Marion Bartoli
2017 Caroline Garcia
2017 Kristina Mladenovic

[by debut in #1 spot]
1984 Martina Navratilova, USA (former TCH)
1985 Pam Shriver, USA
1990 Helena Sukova, TCH
1990 Jana Novotna, TCH/CZE
1991 Gigi Fernandez, USA
1991 Natalia Zvereva, USSR/BLR
1992 Larisa Neiland, LAT (former USSR)
1995 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, ESP
1997 Lindsay Davenport, USA
1998 Martina Hingis, SUI
1999 Anna Kournikova, RUS
2000 Corina Morariu, USA
2000 Lisa Raymond, USA
2000 Rennae Stubbs, AUS
2000 Julie Halard-Decugis, FRA
2000 Ai Sugiyama, JPN
2002 Paola Suarez, ARG
2003 Kim Clijsters, BEL
2003 Virginia Ruano Pascual, ESP
2005 Cara Black, ZIM
2006 Samantha Stosur, AUS
2007 Liezel Huber, RSA/USA
2010 Serena Williams, USA
2010 Venus Williams, USA
2010 Gisela Dulko, ARG
2011 Flavia Pennetta, ITA
2011 Kveta Peschke, CZE
2011 Katarina Srebotnik, SLO
2012 Sara Errani, ITA
2012 Roberta Vinci, ITA
2014 Peng Shuai, CHN
2014 Hsieh Su-Wei, TPE
2015 Sania Mirza, IND
2017 Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
2017 Lucie Safarova, CZE
2017 Chan Yung-Jan, TPE

[singles finals]
1972 Chris Evert d. Kerry Reid
1973 Chris Evert d. Nancy Richey
1974 Evonne Goolagong d. Chris Evert
1975 Chris Evert d. Martina Navratilova
1976 Evonne Goolagong d. Chris Evert
1977 Chris Evert d. Sue Barker
1978 Martina Navratilova d. Evonne Goolagong
1979 Martina Navratilova d. Tracy Austin
1980 Tracy Austin d. Martina Navratilova
1981 Martina Navratilova d. Andrea Jaeger
1982 Sylvia Hanika d. Martina Navratilova
1983 Martina Navratilova d. Chris Evert-Lloyd
1984 Martina Navratilova d. Chris Evert-Lloyd
1985 Martina Navratilova d. Helena Sukova
1986a Martina Navratilova d. Hana Mandlikova
1986b Martina Navratilova d. Steffi Graf
1987 Steffi Graf d. Gabriela Sabatini
1988 Gabriela Sabatini d. Pam Shriver
1989 Steffi Graf d. Martina Navratilova
1990 Monica Seles d. Gabriela Sabatini
1991 Monica Seles d. Martina Navratilova
1992 Monica Seles d. Martina Navratilova
1993 Steffi Graf d. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1994 Gabriela Sabatini d. Lindsay Davenport
1995 Steffi Graf d. Anke Huber
1996 Steffi Graf d. Martina Hingis
1997 Jana Novotna d. Mary Pierce
1998 Martina Hingis d. Lindsay Davenport
1999 Lindsay Davenport d. Martina Hingis
2000 Martina Hingis d. Monica Seles
2001 Serena Williams w/o Lindsay Davenport
2002 Kim Clijsters d. Serena Williams
2003 Kim Clijsters d. Amelie Mauresmo
2004 Maria Sharapova d. Serena Williams
2005 Amelie Mauresmo d. Mary Pierce
2006 Justine Henin-Hardenne d. Amelie Mauresmo
2007 Justine Henin d. Maria Sharapova
2008 Venus Williams d. Vera Zvonareva
2009 Serena Williams d. Venus Williams
2010 Kim Clijsters d. Caroline Wozniacki
2011 Petra Kvitova d. Victoria Azarenka
2012 Serena Williams d. Maria Sharapova
2013 Serena Williams d. Li Na
2014 Serena Williams d. Simona Halep
2015 Aga Radwanska d. Petra Kvitova
2016 Dominika Cibulkova d. Angelique Kerber
[doubles champions]
1973 Rosie Casals / Margaret Court
1974 Billie Jean King / Rosie Casals
1979 Francoise Durr / Betty Stove
1980 Billie Jean King / Martina Navratilova
1981 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1982 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1983 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1984 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1985 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1986a Hana Mandlikova / Wendy Turnbull
1986b Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1987 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1988 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1989 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1990 Kathy Jordan / Liz Smylie
1991 Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver
1992 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario / Helena Sukova
1993 Gigi Fernandez / Natalia Zvereva
1994 Gigi Fernandez / Natalia Zvereva
1995 Jana Novotna / Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1996 Lindsay Davenport / Mary Joe Fernandez
1997 Lindsay Davenport / Jana Novotna
1998 Lindsay Davenport / Natasha Zvereva
1999 Martina Hingis / Anna Kournikova
2000 Martina Hingis / Anna Kournikova
2001 Lisa Raymond / Rennae Stubbs
2002 Elena Dementieva / Janette Husarova
2003 Virginia Ruano-Pascual / Paola Suarez
2004 Nadia Petrova / Meghann Shaughnessy
2005 Lisa Raymond / Samantha Stosur
2006 Lisa Raymond / Samantha Stosur
2007 Cara Black / Liezel Huber
2008 Cara Black / Liezel Huber
2009 Nuria Llagostera-Vives / Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez
2010 Gisela Dulko / Flavia Pennetta
2011 Liezel Huber / Lisa Raymond
2012 Maria Kirilenko / Nadia Petrova
2013 Hsieh Su-Wei / Peng Shuai
2014 Cara Black / Sania Mirza
2015 Martina Hingis / Sania Mirza
2016 Ekaterina Makarova / Elena Vesnina

11 - Martina Navratilova
10 - Pam Shriver
4 - Lisa Raymond
3 - Cara Black
3 - Lindsay Davenport
3 - Martina Hingis
3 - Liezel Huber
3 - Natasha Zvereva
2 - Margaret Court
2 - Gigi Fernandez
2 - Anna Kournikova
2 - Sania Mirza
2 - Jana Novotna
2 - Nadia Petrova
2 - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
2 - Samantha Stosur

2001 Serena Williams, USA
2004 Maria Sharapova, RUS
2011 Petra Kvitova, CZE
2016 Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
1979 Tracy Austin, USA
1981 Andrea Jaeger, USA
1994 Lindsay Davenport, USA
1996 Martina Hingis, SUI
2014 Simona Halep, ROU

2014 Karman Thandi/IND
2015 Pranjala Yadlapalli/IND
2016 Violet Apisah/PNG
2017 Megan Smith/AUS
2014 Thasaporn Naklo/THA
2015 Chu Jiayu/CHN
2016 Shiori Ito/JPN
2017 Priska Nugroho/INA

2015 Xu Shilin, CHN
2016 Anna Blinkova, RUS

["Tournament of Champions"]
2009 Aravane Rezai, FRA
2010 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2011 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2012 Nadia Petrova, RUS
2013 Simona Halep, ROU
2014 Andrea Petkovic, GER
["Elite Trophy"]
2015 Venus Williams, USA
2016 Petra Kvitova, CZE

Sania isn't at the tour championships for doubles for the first time since 2013, so here she is when she was still a singles star...

Coming soon...

Will the last laugh... err, LOL... come next? If Kiki can become a Top 10er after losing her tenth straight match...

16 Singles Final: Cibulkova d. Kerber
16 Doubles Final: Makarova/Vesnina d. Mattek-Sands/Safarova
17 Top Seeds: Halep; Y.Chan/Hingis

(1) Halep 2-1*
(4) Svitolina 1-2
(6) Wozniacki 1-2
(8) Garcia 2-1*
(2) Muguruza 1-2
(3) Pliskova 3-0*
(5) V.Williams 1-2
(7) Ostapenko 1-2*

#1 Halep d. #7 Ostapenko
#8 Garcia d. #3 Ka.Pliskova
#1 Halep d. #8 Garcia

...though I could be convinced otherwise. Still, Backspin and Simona have a pact for future celebration, and a win here might bring it closer to reality.


@linabeagle Autumn camouflage ????

A post shared by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

All for now.


Blogger Arsdorf said...

Todd - Seldom does your blog leave any question unanswered, but ... what does Carina Witthoeft's Luxembourg trophy symbolize? It's bothering some of us who abhor the usual punch-bowl or dog-watering dish trophies. We're always happy to see the rare creative trophy, but this trophy's symbolism has us baffled.

Sun Oct 22, 10:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, I don't now, other it appearing to be some sort of sea creature or something. I guess it's noteworthy that it's different from the one Niculescu won last year, though the sponsorship hasn't changed.

Actually, looking back, it appears as if it changes every year, so maybe there's some sort of competition between sculptors every year and they choose an art piece without any thought to it signifying anything.

Here are the the 2011 and '12 versions, 2013, 2014, and 2015. It seems like almost every year there have been questions about the trophy's meaning, too, and I've seen it listed on "Worst Trophies" lists.

I applaud them for at least being creative about it. Really, only the majors need to have a classic "trophy look" about them.

Sun Oct 22, 11:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Serena went up 3 places in the rankings.

Stat of the Week-2014- The last year in which nobody that lost their first match at the YEC made the SF. The culprits? Bouchard(0-3), Ivanovic(2-1), Sharapova(1-2), Kvitova(1-2).

Mon Oct 23, 03:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

8 On the Up Side-YEC Doubles Edition

Since the WTA does a poor job of promoting doubles, here is some NFL hype music while reading this.

Let's be honest. Doubles should be round robin just like singles. Put them first 2 matches on. It wasn't that long ago that 3 singles matches a day were played at the YEC, so this won't make it much longer.

Due to the fact that so many players switch partners, I will only list titles with current partner for season, and h2h vs field for year. Going back farther doesn't hold much relevance.

1.Chan/Hingis-9 titles(54-6) vs field 17-3. The overwhelming favorite to walk away with the title. Ironically enough, if they were to lose, more likely vs their first matchup in Groenfeld/Peschke as they beat them twice.
2.Makarova/Vesnina-3 titles(37-11) vs field 9-5. The only returning team from last year,as Chan, Hingis, Babos, Hlavacova also do, but with different partners, and the only other current slam champ after Chan/Hingis. Would be a shock if they don't reach the final.
3.Babos/Hlavacova-4 titles(36-11) vs field 4-5. Really only did this in half a season. If they stay together, have a legit shot to win a slam next year.
4.Dabrowski/Xu-2 titles(22-12) vs field 3-6. Miami was their coming out party. Not an elite team by any means, but have played better in bigger events.
5.Barty/Dellacqua-3 titles(36-13) vs field 7-5. Tailed off in the second half, so expectations are low. But you kind of feel that Dellacqua realizes that this may be her last go round as a player, although all the Aussies seem to stay involved in the sport-see Stubbs getting work. Also with Barty a legit threat at getting to and staying in the Top 20 in singles, no clue if she will play as much next year. Enjoy them if these are their last matches together.
6.Bertens/Larsson-4 titles(26-10) vs field 2-4. Fewest amount of matches against the field means that they feasted on lower talent. Nothing wrong with that, but for them to reach the final would be an upset.
7.Groenfeld/Peschke-1 title(30-21) vs field 3-11. A better team than some on this list, but facing Chan/Hingis out of the box. Like the team below, got their stats by volume, as neither player played with a different partner even once.
8.Klepac/Martinez Sanchez-1 title(29-22) vs field 4-11. Even with Martinez Sanchez being a former winner, in 2009 with Llagostera Vives, this is the most unlikely team to make it. Klepac has been a journeywoman, who is at her career high in doubles at 23. Can lightning strike twice?

Tue Oct 24, 11:45:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

They actually did have a doubles RR in 2015, but I think what happened with Muguruza might have caused them to switch course. If you remember, she went 3-0 in singles RR, and had also qualified w/ CSN in doubles. They went 2-1 in RR and ended up reaching the final, while she lost in the singles semifinals. She was noticeably exhausted at the end of the week, with nine total matches, and with a heavy commitment on the weekend when she'd advanced to the semis out of the RR in both competitions.

It's rare now that a singles player will also qualify in doubles, but I wonder if avoiding that again might have played a part in going back to the single-elimination format.

Of course, when the event was in New York, they had single-elimination in singles with a 16-player field. So I guess the format can be fluid from year to year, if they choose to experiment.

Tue Oct 24, 01:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

You are right, they have valid concerns if somebody pulls double duty, but it just seems too sudden to give them one match and that is it.

Maybe a double elimination like the Women's College World Series might work.

Wed Oct 25, 07:18:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Agree. But doubles always seems to get short-shrifted.

Too bad they couldn't have a separate all-women's doubles (and maybe mixed, too) season-ending event, ala the different wheelchair singles and doubles year-end Masters events. They'd probably think it wouldn't attract an audience, but by adding a Mixed component (or maybe having the tours combine to hold both their year-end doubles events together) it might be worth a try.

Ah, ideas shouted into the void... ;)

Wed Oct 25, 12:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

2008 Dinara Safina (3 - Henin/Sharapova/Jankovic)
2009 Venus Williams (2 - S.Williams/Safina)
2010 Samantha Stosur (2 - S.Williams/Wozniacki)
2011 none
2012 none
2013 none
2014 none
2015 none
2016 Elina Svitolina (2 - S.Williams/Kerber)
2017 Caroline Wozniacki (3 - Pliskova/Muguruza/Halep)
2017 Garbine Muguruza (2 - Kerber/Pliskova)
2017 CoCo Vandeweghe (2 - Kerber/Pliskova)

Wed Oct 25, 03:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

2017 Elina Svitolina (2 - Kerber/Halep)

Fri Oct 27, 09:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams it is in tomorrows final. Simona Halep stays at #1 with Carolines win today. As the commentators is saying - it's been a feast of tennis todays semis. Certainly been good matches this week - hope you've seen some of them.

Sat Oct 28, 10:25:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Actually there was another good Danish tennis result today. Clara Tauson 14y8m is in the final in an ITF tournament in Stocholm and it's her second pro circuit tournament ad the second she's in the final in. Has today entered the rankings at #945 - keep an eye on her she's playing really well.

Sat Oct 28, 10:59:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

The moment when you think you have buffering problems, then realize that it is just Svitolina's serve when closing out a match. Seriously, she spun some in against Garcia at 71 mph. Garcia hammered them. So she's in the penalty box.

Wozniacki is the 4th in a row(Halep, Radwanska, Cibulkova)to have not won a slam but reach the YEC final.

Most interesting person next week? Mladenovic. Why? Because for most of this year, the talk was that France finally got somebody to the Top 15. She affects two streaks in Zhuhai, three if talking about her own losing streak, but since Kuznetsova is not playing, even if she loses her first match, as long as it goes to completion, she will have enough points not only to be in the Top 10, so France would have two, which would happen for the first time since 2005(Mauresmo-3, Pierce-5) but would also leave her one point in front of Vesnina even if she won the title, meaning that Russia will not have a player in the Year End Top 10 for the first time since 2002, when Myskina finished 11th. Oh, who finished 10th? Martina Hingis.

Sat Oct 28, 11:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

That is interesting. I wish I knew what was really going on with Mladenovic; the slump was so sudden and so severe.

Sat Oct 28, 12:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Great result from Caro (Wozniacki), though I was starting to wonder in that 1st set vs. Pliskova if she'd hit some sort of wall when Garcia came back to take her out in the RR and steal the group #1 spot and she looked on her way to losing a third straight set.

Wozniacki's first YEC final since 2010, Venus' first since 2009. Both came two sites ago for this event (in Doha).

And either Pliskova or Garcia would have equaled (or added to) Wozniacki in the WTAF final w/o a slam win. Also, I wonder when the last time BOTH finalists had combined for just one singles title in the season? The last time two seeds as low as #5 and #6 reached the final was 2008, when #7 Venus (naturally) def. #8 Zvonareva.

Nothing against Babos/Hlavackova or Bertens/Larsson, but the doubles final really lost a lot of cache with the semifinal results. No one will really pay attention now.

Ironically, this has collectively (as far as W/RU) been the best season by the Russians in a while. Even with Sharapova adding very little, the 7 singles titles were the most since '14 (8) and tied for second most since '10, and the eleven finalists were the most since '13. Pavlyuchenkova & Vesnina still have to play Zhuhai.

Sat Oct 28, 12:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

So you didn't see the semi today - it was epic - just see shot of the day here:
Every time Pliskova geared up Caroline just geared up too.

Sat Oct 28, 01:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

It was at 4 a.m. here. I recorded it and watched back much of it (mostly the 1st set). Great back and forth as far as breaks (sometimes at love), SP saved, etc. Pliskova probably should have won the 1st with all her 3 early SP, then it looked like Caro had it at 6-1 in the TB, then Pliskova looked to have it again w/ 3 more SP. Whew! Wozniacki won the long rallies that mattered most. She really frustrated Pliskova, who didn't play badly but had to do so much to win points.

0-7 vs. Venus (only one three-setter), though, so we'll see...

Sat Oct 28, 03:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

I'm going to flip the script. Even with the 0-7 record, I pick Wozniacki to win. She should bring the same gameplan she did today as Pliskova and Venus are somewhat similar, so maybe 6-4, 6-4. The twist is that she is the one that needs to win in two. If it goes to 3, Venus probably would have worn down the belief, and body(Caro's 3rd straight day).

Either way, a great story for an interesting season.

Sat Oct 28, 04:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Here's a good one: this is just the second time when the four slams and YEC were won by five different women

AO: S.Williams
RG: Henin
WI: V.Williams
US: Clijsters
WTA: Mauresmo

AO: S.Williams
RG: Ostapenko
WI: Muguruza
US: Stephens
WTA: ??

Sat Oct 28, 04:35:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

Wow. What a stat! And it does seem fitting for this year, doesn’t it?

Sat Oct 28, 09:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Would a good headline for Monday be "The great Dane" ;) and 64 64 it was in a very exciting final. 8th time lucky, most aces - 21 - in the WTA finals, most bagels, her 5oth final - her 27th win, her 60th win in 2017 - the new #3 only a spit away from #1. I think 2018 will be a great year for Caroline. Time for playing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond me thinks ;)

Sun Oct 29, 11:07:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

A little fun from a guy in Tennisforum:

1) Caro played 8 finals this year (as a result of going 8-0 in SFs)
2) There’s 8 months between her first and last final (February - October)
3) Singapore final was her 8th top 5 win of the season
4) In her 8th career meeting with Venus
5) At a loss of 8 games
6) Singapore had 8 (singles) players
7) And lasted 8 days
8) 8 years after Caro played her first YEC

Sun Oct 29, 03:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Well, we have to leave a fitting title for when/if she wins one of a handful of other titles, don't we?

Of course, I did that with "The Future is Now" for Stephens, and then the USTA had a tweet that used it about an hour before I posted after the U.S. Open final. :\

"The Great Eight!" (non-Ovechkin relaed) :)

Sun Oct 29, 07:09:00 PM EDT  

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