Sunday, June 10, 2018

RG.15- From Dirt to Grass

As everyone heads to the grass, a quick recap of what happened on the clay.

1. Simona Halep, ROU
...Halep's long quest for a slam title finally came to an end in her fourth major final, and her third in Paris in five years. Naturally, after having previously lost leads during her unsuccessful attempts, she dropped the 1st set vs. Sloane Stephens and staged a comeback from a break down in the 2nd to win in three.

2. Petra Kvitova, CZE
...Petra ran out of gas in Paris, losing in the 3rd Round to Kontaveit, but she'd won thirteen straight clay matches prior to that, claiming back-to-back titles in Prague and Madrid, as well as leading the Czechs back to the Fed Cup final with a 2-0 mark (in Germany) against Kerber and Goerges. Overall, she was 15-2.
3. Elise Mertens, BEL
...the Belgian's busy '18 campaign continued. In singles, she went went 16-2, with her only two losses coming at the hands of Halep. Between back-to-back tour singles titles in Lugano (where she also won the WD) and Rabat, Mertens had a hand in three points in Belgium's 4-0 Fed Cup WG Playoff win over Italy.
4. Kiki Bertens, NED
...Bertens lost in two TB to Kerber in Paris, but won in Charleston (def. Keys and Goerges) and became the first Dutch woman to reach a Premier Mandatory final in Madrid (def. Sakkari, Sevastova, Wozniacki, Sharapova and Garcia).

5. Demi Schuurs, NED
...Schuurs didn't have the great results in Paris that she may have been looking for, but she won titles in Rome (w/ Ash Barty) and Nurnberg (w/ Katarina Srebotnik), not to mention notching a Fed Cup doubles win (w/ Lesley Kerkhove) over the Williams Sisters.
6. Karolina Pliskova, CZE
...Pliskova's clay court run slowed down in the final stretch (Rome 2r/RG 3r), but it still produced a big FC semifinal win over Kerber, a title in Stuttgart and a SF run in Madrid (which included wins over BOTH eventual RG finalists Halep and Stephens).
7. CZE & USA Fed Cup Teams
...they're baaack. Both of them. The Czechs, after a year "sabbatical," have cruised into yet another FC final (that's six in seven years), where they'll face a U.S. squad looking to defend last year's title.

8. Elina Svitolina, UKR
...Svitolina's clay court season was a disppointment, as she got little traction early on and at RG suffered her earliest slam exit (3r) in over ayear (and worst in Paris since '14). But her defense of her Rome title still stands as her '18 highlight to this point, as she lost just one set, defeating three eventual RG quarterfinalists (Kasatkina, Kerber & Halep, as well as Round of 16er Anett Kontaveit) en route, handling the Romanian love & 4 in the final. With Halep's slam crown, the spotlight on the Ukrainian's issues in majors will only grow harsher.
9. Sloane Stephens, USA and Madison Keys, USA
...for the second time in three slams, the Bannerette friends made dual runs. Both times Stephens handed Keys a loss, in the U.S. Open final and Roland Garros semis. Keys added a Charleston final four run early in the clay season, while Stephens came oh so close -- up a set and break on Halep at RG -- to capturing her second major title.
10. Yui Kamiji, JPN
...the Japanese wheelchair star fought off a challenge from young Dutch player Diede de Groot, reclaimed her #1 ranking and defended her title in the Roland Garros final. She's won seventeen straight singles matches since losing to de Groot in the Australian Open final. Still, though, de Groot's runner-up finish takes back the #1 ranking after Paris. On to Wimbledon...
HM- Garbine Muguruza, ESP
...Muguruza won a title this spring, but it was on hard court in Monterrey. An otherwise mediocre clay campaign, though, was given an emphatic (though still ultimately wanting) finish when the Spaniard looked to be on her way to another slam final before being stopped cold by Simona Halep in the semifinals.

RISERS: Caroline Garcia/FRA, Johanna Larsson/SWE and Yulia Putintseva/KAZ
SURPRISES: Mihaela Buzarnescu/ROU, Daniela Seguel/CHI and Bernarda Pera/USA

VETERANS: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS, Sam Stosur/AUS and Polona Hercog/SLO
COMEBACKS: Maria Sharapova/RUS, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova/SVK and Pauline Parmentier/FRA
FRESH FACES: Dasha Kasatkina/RUS, Anett Kontaveit/EST and Maria Sakkari/GRE
JUNIOR STARS: Coco Gauff/USA, Eleonora Molinaro/LUX and Caty McNally/USA
DOUBLES: Katarina Srebotnik/SLO, Krejcikova/Siniakova, CZE/CZE and Makarova/Vesnina, RUS/RUS
ITF: Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK, Vera Lapko/BLR and Taylor Townsend/USA
NCAA: Astra Sharma/AUS (Vanderbilt) and Arianne Hartono/NED (Mississippi)

DOWN: Kristina Mladenovic/SVK, Latisha Chan/TPE (WD) and GER Fed Cup Team

1. Mihaela Buzarnescu, ROU
2. Viktoria Kuzmova, SVK
3. Maria Sakkari, GRE
4. Wang Qiang, CHN
5. Vera Lapko, BLR
6. Bernarda Pera, USA
7. Caroline Dolehide, USA
8. Rebecca Peterson, SWE
9. Jasmine Paolini, ITA
10. Fanny Stollar, HUN
11. Ankita Raina, IND
12. Danielle Collins, USA
13. Emiliana Arango, COL

14. Bianca Andreescu, CAN
15. Georgina Garcia Perez, ESP
HM- Irina Khromacheva, RUS

1. Petra Kvitova, CZE
2. Sloane Stephens, USA
3. Viktoria Kuzmova, SVK
4. Alona Ostapenko, LAT
5. Miyu Kato/Makoto Ninomiya, JPN
6. Vera Lapko/Lidziya Marozava, BLR
7. Elise mertens, BEL
8. Genie Bouchard, CAN
9. Bianca Andreescu/Gaby Dabrowski, CAN

10. Simona Halep, ROU
11. Ash Barty, AUS
12. Karolina Pliskova, CZE
13. Madison Keys, USA
14. Garbine Muguruza, ESP
15. Johanna Konta, GBR
16. Alison Van Uytvanck, BEL
17. Kurumi Nara, JPN
18. Maria Sakkari, GRE
19. Ons Jabeur, TUN
20. Chanel Simmonds, RSA
HM- Emilie Francati/Maria Jespersen, DEN
1. Sylvain Bruneau, CAN
2. Kathy Rinaldi, USA
3. Toshihisa Tsuchihashi, JPN
4. Petr Pala, GER
5. Florin Segarceanu, ROU
6. Andis Juska, LAT
7. Matej Liptak, SVK
8. Tatiana Poutchek, BLR
9. Jens-Anker Andersen, DEN
10. Rene Plant, RSA
HM- Helen Asciak, MLT

SURPRISES: Lesley Kerkhove/NED, SVK FC and MLT FC
VETERANS: Anastasija Sevastova/LAT and Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP
COMEBACKS: Dasha Gavrilova/AUS, CZE FC and ROU FC
FRESH FACES: Montserrat Gonzalez/PAR and Chiraz Bechri/TUN
JUNIOR STARS: Eleonora Molinaro/LUX, Claura Tauson/DEN and Francesca Curmi/MLT
DOUBLES: Simmonds/Le Roux (RSA) and Grammatikopoulou/Sakkari (GRE)
DOWN: Angelique Kerber/GER, Sam Stosur/AUS and RUS FC
MOST IMPROVED: Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK, Maria Sakkari/GRE and Ons Jabeur/TUN

1. Rome QF - Maria Sharapova def. Alona Ostapenko
One of those situations where all the hype was worth it. In their first meeting, the two RG champions, one past and one reigning, battled for 3:11 in a back-and-forth battle that was in question until the final game. Ostapenko nearly blew a 5-2 1st set lead, failing to secure four SP on Sharapova's serve and ultimately seeing the Russian serve for the set at 6-5, then held a SP at 6-5 in the TB before the Latvian (who'd twice DF'd when up 3-1 and 4-3) took the breaker 8-6. Ostapenko threatened to erase Sharapova's break lead in the 2nd, only to hand it back after getting things back on serve at 4-3. Sharapova maintained a similar break lead at 4-2 in the 3rd, and got within two points of the win at 5-3 while Ostapenko dealt with a leg injury that occurred when she did a rare (for her, at least) end-of-point split. The 20-year old saved two MP down 5-4 and managed to get things to 5-5, only to see Sharapova get the break to close the match two games later. In the end, Sharapova won 128 points to Ostapenko's 126, while the Latvian led 34-32 in winners (and had 61 UE's to the Russian's 49). While '17 RG champ Ostapenko suffered a 1st Round upset in Paris, Sharapova advanced to her first slam QF since her return from suspension.

2. Strasbourg Final - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Dominika Cibulkova
The Russian wins a crazy one in 3:35, saving two MP down 5-4 in the 3rd. After trailing 4-2 in the deciding TB, Pavlyuchenkova won four straight points to reach her own double MP. She didn't get either, but then took the final two points to secure the title. She had 73 winners on the day, 13 aces and 49 UE's, edging Cibulkova 136-134 in total points.
3. Madrid Final - Petra Kvitova def. Kiki Bertens
With both seeking their second clay title of '18, Kvitova and Bertens battled through fatigue and aching bodies for nearly three hours before the Czech once again emerged as the Madrid champ for a third time. Bertens held break advantages in both the 1st and 2nd sets, but her inability to take the initial match lead ultimately proved her undoing when she couldn't overtake Kvitova in the deciding set. With Kvitova serving up 4-2 in the 3rd, Bertens got things back on serve with a break in game #7. But Petra was not to be denied, immediately breaking back a game later and holding serve to finish things off.
4. Madrid 3rd Rd. - Dasha Kasatkina def. Garbine Muguruza
The Russian was back on the job, knocking off one of the tour's highest ranked players, but also having difficulty putting away the match's biggest points and making herself work longer and harder than might have been necessary. In the two most recent matches between them, Kasatkina and Muguruza split, with both winners coming back from MP down to prevail. So you expected that things would get interesting here at some point. Kasatkina won 16 of 22 points to end the 1st, then lost a 4-2 lead in the 2nd. Muguruza broke to lead 5-4, then saved a BP while knotting the match by converting on her second SP attempt. Kasatkina again jumped to a lead in the 3rd, breaking for 3-1 and holding to go up 4-1. But with eight BP chances to take a 5-1 lead, the Russian saw Muguruza hold in a 20-minute, 28-point game, then quickly break to get things back on serve at 4-3. But the Russian stopped the slide a game later, breaking on her *first* BP chance in game #8, then saving a BP and serving things out a game later.
5. Rome 2nd Rd. - Maria Sakkari def. Karolina Pliskova
A great win for Sakkari, but one that will be remembered for umpire Marta Mrozinska wrongly failing to overturn a clear line call. Still, though she had a right to be frustrated and angry, Pliskova's act of attacking the umpire's chair with her racket following the match, smashing a hole in its side as Sakkari winced and did her best to avoid any shrapnel was a step too far.


1. Charleston SF - Kiki Bertens def. Madison Keys
After dropping the 1st set, Keys led the 2nd 5-3, only to see Bertens win three straight games and hold two MP at 6-5. Bertens failed to convert either, though she had a chance on #2 and hit the ball almost directly to Keys at the net for the put-away volley rather than going for an outright winner that likely would have ended the match. Keys took control in the TB, and raced to a lead in the 3rd. She served for the match and held a MP at 5-4, but was broken, then failed to serve things out again at 6-5. The Dutch woman won the deciding TB 7-5 to prevent Keys from reaching her second Charleston final in four years, then went on to take the title herself.
2. Rome 2nd Rd. - Dasha Gavrilova def. Garbine Muguruza
The Aussie saves two MP (Garbi DF'd on the first) and overcomes a 4-0 3rd set deficit to take out the world #3 in 3:08, closing out the match after two o'clock in the morning. "Challenge accepted... signed, the U.S. Open."

2. Roland Garros 1st Rd. - Belinda Bencic def. Deborah Chiesa
Bencic, last seen in Indian Wells and probably last remembered for her 1st Round upset of Venus in Melbourne, finally returned to the court in Paris. Her meeting with the Italian qualifier saw Chiesa hold five MP in the 2nd set, three in a row at one point. But she couldn't secure her first career MD win. The pair traded breaks often, but it was Bencic's hold for 5-4 in the 3rd that proved key. Ultimately, she won the match with a break of Chiesa's serve in game #12. After it was over, a relieved Bencic collapsed onto the court in celebration after finally closing things out on her own fourth MP.
3. Roland Garros 2nd Rd. - Dasha Gavrilova def. Bernarda Pera
After coming back from a set down to win a dramatic 1st Round match over Sorana Cirstea, Gavrilova did it again in a seesaw contest with Pera. Leads meant little in this one, as the Bannerette was up a break at 2-1 in the 1st, only to see Gavrilova win four in a row to lead 5-2, then Pera counter with a five-game run of her own to take the set 7-5. In the 2nd, Pera led 3-1, went up a double-break and held a MP at 5-2 before it was Gavrilova who won five straight to take a 7-5 set to send things to a 3rd after the Bannerette's unfortunate collapse. Again, the U.S. player, who reached the 3rd Round as a lucky loser in Melbourne in January, took an early break lead and was up 2-0 in the 3rd, only to see the Aussie again win five straight to lead 5-2. Then Pera won five straight... err, no, wait... sorry, force of habit. *This* time the player with the lead actually held onto it as Gavrilova closed out a victory in 2:35 to reach the Final 32 for the first time in Paris.
4. Roland Garros 1st Rd. - Maria Sharapova def. Richel Hogenkamp
The Russian led 6-1/3-1, then nearly saw the bottom drop out of her 2018 RG hopes. Sharapova broke Hogenkamp to lead 4-3, but dropped the final three games of the set to lose it 6-4. When Hogenkamp jumped to a 3-0 lead in the 3rd, having won eight of nine games, she forced Sharapova to call upon the experiences that have earned her the reputation as a fighter en route to completing her Career Slam. Her run of good results on the clay this spring surely came in handy here, as after a lack of match play and lingering injuries led her to drop her first four three-set matches of '18, Sharapova won three of four of them while following up her Madrid QF with a SF in Rome. After holding for 3-1, around the time the sun was finally peeking through the clouds on what had been an oft-drizzly, overcast Parisian day, she broke Hogenkamp a game later, then held for 3-3 after escaping a 15/40 hole. With the big shots that had briefly abandoned her earlier now returning to the forefront of her game, Sharapova took total command. She broke her opponent's serve two more times, sweeping the final six games of the match to win. She'd go on to reach her first QF in Paris since winning the title in 2014.
5. Stuttgart 1st Rd. - Anett Kontaveit def. Kristina Mladenovic
While Garcia was snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in Stuttgart, Mladenovic was on the opposite end of that equation. She held two MP in the 2nd set, and served for the match at 5-4 in the 3rd, ultimately losing to Kontaveit (52 winners) while battling herself (29 W/39 UE) on the stats sheet in the 3:09 contest.
5. Roland Garros 3rd Rd. - Yulia Putintseva def. Wang Qiang
{utintseva finally put an end to the career slam run of Wang in Paris, but she had to come back from a 6-1/4-1 deficit, then climb out of a 3-0 hole in the 3rd, as well, before ultimately getting the to reach her second career slam Round of 16 (w/ '16 RG QF, which she'd go on to match)). She then celebrated the way only she can...


1. Roland Garros 1st Rd. - Kateryna Kozlova def. Alona Ostapenko
What a difference a year makes. Back in Paris for the first time since her maiden slam run at RG, Ostapenko had trouble holding serve right from the start. The Latvian would continually get the break back but would be unable to avoid giving it away again almost immediately. After leveling things at 4-4, she was broken for 5-4 in the 1st. She denied Kozlova when she served for the set once, only to then drop serve again and see the Ukrainian secure the lead with a hold for 7-5. After taking a 2-0 lead, Ostapenko fell behind a break in the 2nd at 3-2. The two traded breaks again in games 6 and 7 until Kozlova finally pulled away, even while dealing with a nasty blister on her heel. For Kozlova, in just her second tournament back after cracking cartilage in her right knee at Indian Wells, it was her first career Top 30 win, and her second slam MD victory (w/ '17 U.S.). Ostapenko's loss made her the first defending RG champ to exit in the 1st Round since Anastasia Myskina in 2005 (and it happened on Day 1 on the opening NONE have ever exited so quickly). Ostapenko would go on to lose 1st Round matches in WD and MX, as well.

2. Charleston 2nd Rd. - Kristyna Pliskova def. Petra Kvitova
A sure-fire resume-building result for Pliskova, who ended Kvitova's 5+ year, 24-match, 19-set streak of success vs. fellow Czechs. Of course, it wasn't "easy." She led 5-2 in the 3rd, and with a history that includes such high profile losses as her own vs. Monica Puig in Melbourne in '16 (Kristyna had 31 aces and 5 MP) and Dominika Cibulkova in Indian Wells last year (she led 6-2/4-2 and served for the match w/o having faced BP all day, only to lose the match in three, failing to convert a MP), *no* match is *ever* over until it, you know, actually is. Kvitova saved six MP before Pliskova finally converted on #7 when Petra sailed a return long.
3. Roland Garros 3rd Rd. - Mihaela Buzarnescu def. Elina Svitolina
A year ago, Svitolina held MP on Simona Halep in the RG quarterfinals, only to crumble. This year, Halep won her first major title in Paris, while Svitolina, one of the pre-tournament favorites, fell to ANOTHER Romanian (who'd come to Paris w/o a MD win at a major in her career) in the 3rd Round. The 30-year old Swarmette lefty has been one of the best stories in the sport over the past year, coming back from injuries and after deciding to pursue a Ph.D while she was out of action. She was #377 when Roland Garros was being played last spring, and this year managed to be seeded at a major for the first time. Playing with aggression and confidence worthy of someone with a bushel of slam MD wins (and maybe more), Buzarnescu jumped on Svitolina and dared her to fight back. She tried, but it was never enough. The Romanian took the 1st set 6-3, holding a 14-3 edge in winners, winning 72% of first serve points (to Svitolina's 50%), and even 60% of her second, while converting both of her BP chances. Svitolina mostly righted her problems in the 2nd set, but still found herself in a dogfight. Buzarnescu led 17-8 in winners, but Svitolina's late break for 5-4 after displaying great defense and seeing the Romanian miss an overhead gave her a chance to serve out the set. She held a SP, but was broken and soon found herself serving two games later just to STAY in the match while down 6-5. The Ukrainian went up 40/15, but squandered the lead and was MP down. Her rally-ending backhand error secured the win, Buzarnescu's first career Top 5 victory and one that got her into her first slam Round of 16 result.

4. Fed Cup WG Playoff Match #2 - Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK def. Aryna Sabalenka/BLR 6-2/2-6/7-6(5)
Match #4 - Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich/BLR 6-1/7-6(3)
and here it seemed as if Kuzmova's big win to clinch Slovakia's first ever win over Russia back in February was going to be her Fed Cup season highlight. Even with the doubles loss, this double-barreled blast may have left that one in the dust in short order. Unfortunately for her and the other Slovaks, it wasn't enough to take the tie from Belarus, which won 3-2.

5. Roland Garros 1st Round - Wang Qiang def. Venus Williams
Wang secured the first Top 10 win of her career, defeating Williams after overcoming a 3-0 2nd set deficit to hand Venus her first 1st Round loss at a major since the '15 RG. Williams was the First Seed Out at Roland Garros. It's just her eleventh one-and-done in her Open era record 78 career major appearances. Eight have come since 2011, while she lost early just three times from 1997-2010. With her AO 1st Round exit at the hand of Belinda Bencic in January, this was her first career back-to-back such results at majors.

Anyone for some grass? (Well, you know what I mean.) See...?

Cool animation in that video, by the way (even "La Divine" makes an appearance), and it's yet another example of something the WTA tour could do to promote the players. But I'm sure the next campaign will just be another take on the fashion shoot/strong is beautiful theme that they've gone to a bit *too* often at this point.

...the women's doubles champions were crowned at the start of Day 15, and they're a pair of Czech Maidens claiming their maiden slam title. Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, partners since way back (they won the '13 RG junior doubles), prevented Eri Hozumi & Makoto Ninomiya from becoming the first all-Japanese duo to win a major title (they were already the first to reach a final) with their 6-3/6-3 victory. The result ends Siniakova's nearly three-year (eight final) doubles title drought, as she gets overall win #3. It's Krejcikova's second tour-level crown.

So, considering Halep's junior past in Paris, I guess experience was the name of the game at this RG, huh?

NOTE: Krejcikova & Siniakova also won the Wimbledon and U.S. Open girls doubles titles in 2013. Hmmm.

...the grass season has begun on the ITF circuit, with Alison Riske taking the title in the $100K Surbiton event, defeating Conny Perrin 6-2/6-4 in the final. Riske, who lost to Halep in the 1st Round in Paris (see below), didn't drop a set all week. The Pittsburgh native has always shined on the grass. In fact, her proficiency on the surface a few years ago played a large part in her decision to move forward with her tennis career after a Q-run and semifinal berth in Birmingham in 2010 led to her making her Wimbledon debut via a wild card from the AELTC. The rest, as they say, is history. This is Riske's second career ITF crown on grass, having won the $50K event in Eastbourne two years ago (she also reached the WTA-level grass final in Nottingham that summer).

In the Hua Hin $25K in Thailand, Mexico's Victoria Rodriguez swept both the singles and doubles titles, defeating Julia Glushko in the singles final and joining with Kiwi Erin Routliffe in doubles. They're her eighth and fourteenth career circuit titles, respectively.

In Brescia, Italy it was Kaia Kanepi taking out local favorite Martina Trevisan 6-4/6-3, saving two SP in the 1st set and coming back from 3-0 down in the 2nd. Bol, 20-year old Tamara Zidansek (SLO) claimed the biggest title of her career with a win the WTA 125 Series final over Poland's Magda Linette. (NOTE: I've been eyeing Zidansek as a possible candidate for 2019's "Player Whose Name You'll Know...," but she's just improving too quickly and has likely now outrun any sort of prediction. Drat! So, one to a "deeper cut" selection.)

...HMMM... ON DAY 15: How long before Alexis Olympia can do that?

...YOU KNOW... ON DAY 15: Yesterday was actually a big moment for Darren Cahill, too. Fifteen months after the Miami Ultimatum, the roll-of-the-dice has worked brilliantly. First the #1 ranking, and now Roland Garros.

So I guess *all* coaches will now threaten to quit on their pupils, then? Umm, yeah, I don't think that would be particularly wise in most cases. But for Halep, the biggest kick in the butt she needed included being presented with the knowledge that she was disappointing someone else. I suppose that's another insight into Simona herself, hmmm?

...LIKE ON DAY 15:

...LIKE ON DAY 15: The day after...

...and, finally...

2015 Ana Konjuh d. Monica Niculescu
2016 Karolina Pliskova d. Alison Riske
2017 Donna Vekic d. Johanna Konta
QF: Konta d. Barty
QF: Rybarikova d. Ahn
QF: Safarova d. Pironkova
QF: Vekic d. Sakkari
SF: Konta d. Rybarikova
SF: Vekic d. Safarova
F: Vekic d. Konta
2015 Kops-Jones(Atawo)/Spears d. Rae/Smith
2016 Hlavackova/Peng d. Dabrowski/Yang Zhaoxuan
2017 Adamczak/Sanders d. Rae/Robson
SF: Adamczak/Sanders d. Konta/Wickmayer
SF: Rae/Robson d. McHale/Watson
F: Adamczak/Sanders d. Rae/Robson
WS: #1 Barty, #2 Rybarikova
WD: #1 L.Kichenok/Kudryavtseva, #2 N.Kichenok/An.Rodionova

#1 Barty d. #5 Buzarnescu
#8 Giorgi d. #2 Rybarikova
#1 Barty d. #8 Giorgi
Buzarnescu/Watson d. Konta/Wickmayer

1996 Anke Huber d Helena Sukova
1997 Ruxandra Dragomir d. Miriam Oremans
1998 Julie Halard-Decugis d. Miriam Oremans
1999 Kristina Brandi d. Silvija Talaja
2000 Martina Hingis d. Ruxandra Dragomir
2001 Justine Henin d. Kim Clijsters
2002 Eleni Daniilidou d Elena Dementieva
2003 Kim Clijsters d. Justine Henin-Hardenne
2004 Mary Pierce d. Klara Koukalova
2005 Klara Koukalova d. Lucie Safarova
2006 Michaella Krajicek d. Dinara Safina
2007 Anna Chakvetadze d. Jelena Jankovic
2008 Tamarine Tanasugarn d. Dinara Safina
2009 Tamarine Tanasugarn d. Yanina Wickmayer
2010 Justine Henin d. Andrea Petkovic
2011 Roberta Vinci d. Jelena Dokic
2012 Nadia Petrova d. Ula Radwanska
2013 Simona Halep d. Kirsten Flipkens
2014 CoCo Vandeweghe d. Zheng Jie
2015 Camila Giorgi d. Belinda Bencic
2016 CoCo Vandeweghe d. Kristina Mladenovic
2017 Anett Kontaveit d. Natalia Vikhlyantseva
QF: Konjuh d. Rodina
QF: Vikhlyantseva d. Rus
QF: Kontaveit d. Witthoeft
QF: Tsurenko d. Mladenovic
SF: Vikhlyantseva d. Konjuh
SF: Kontaveit d. Tsurenko
F: Kontaveit d. Vikhlyantseva
1996 Savchenko-Neiland/Schultz-McCarthy d. Boogert/Sukova
1997 Melicharova/Vildova d. Habsudova/Labat
1998 Appelmans/Oremans d. Cristea/Melicharova
1999 Farina/Grande d. C.Black/Boogert
2000 de Lone/Pratt d. Barclay/Habsudova
2001 Dragomir Ilie/Petrova d. Clijsters/Oremans
2002 Barclay/Muller d. Lamade/Mag.Maleeva
2003 Dementieva/Krasnoroutskaya d. Pierce/Petrova
2004 McShea/Sequera d. Kostanic/Schaul
2005 Medina-Garrigues/Safina d. Benesova/Llagostera-Vives
2006 Yan Zi/Zheng Jie d. Ivanovic/Kirilenko
2007 L.Chan/Chuang d. Medina-Garrigues/Ruano Pascual
2008 Erakovic/Krajicek d. Dekmeijere/Kerber
2009 Errani/Pennetta d. Krajicek/Wickmayer
2010 Kudryavtseva/An.Rodionova d. King/Shvedova
2011 Zahlavova-Strycova/Zakopalova d. Cibulkova/Pennetta
2012 Errani/Vinci d. Kirilenko/Petrova
2013 Begu/Medina-Garrigues d. Cibulkova/Parra-Santonja
2014 Erakovic/Parra-Santonja d. Krajicek/Mladenovic
2015 Muhammad/Siegemund d. Jankovic/Pavlyuchenkova
2016 Kalashnikova/Shvedova d. Knoll/Krunic
2017 Cibulkova/Flipkens d. Bertens/Schuurs
SF: Cibukova d. Flipkens d. Knoll/Vandeweghe
SF: Bertens/Schuurs d. Kichenok/Kichenok
F: Cibulkova/Flipkens d. Bertens/Schuurs
WS: #1 Vandeweghe, #2 Mertens
WD: #1 Mertens/Schuurs, #2 Bertens/Flipkens

#1 Vandeweghe d. #4 Kontaveit
Kuzmova d. Kr.Pliskova
Kuzmova d. #1 Vandeweghe
#1 Mertens/Schuurs d #4 Knoll/Smith

#1 Simona Halep/ROU def. #10 Sloane Stephens/USA 3-6/6-4/6-1

#6 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) def. Hozumi/Ninomiya (JPN/JPN) 6-3/6-3

#2 L.Chan/Dodig (TPE/CRO) def. #1 Dabrowski/Pavic (CAN/CRO) 6-1/6-7(5) [10-8]

#16 Coco Gauff/USA def. Caty McNally/USA 1-6/6-3/7-6(1)

McNally/Swiatek (USA/POL) def. #3 Natio/Sato (JPN/JPN) 6-2/7-5

#1 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. #2 Diede de Groot/NED 2-6/6-0/6-2

#2 de Groot/van Koot (NED/NED) def. #1 Kamiji/Buis (JPN/NED) 6-1/6-3

Reunited with my restless fella ???? #saturdaychill

A post shared by Elina Svitolina???? (@elisvitolina) on

2006 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, USA/AUS
2007 Katarina Srebotnik, SLO
2008 Anabel Medina-Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, ESP/ESP
2009 Virginia Ruano Pascual, ESP
2010 Katarina Srebotnik, SLO
2011 Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka, CZE/CZE
2012 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2013 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
2014 Anna-Lena Groenefeld, GER
2015 Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
2016 Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic, FRA/FRA
2017 Gaby Dabrowski, CAN
2018 Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE

2006 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, USA/AUS
2007 Alicia Molik & Mara Santangelo, AUS/ESP
2008 Anabel Medina-Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, ESP/ESP
2009 Anabel Medina-Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, ESP/ESP
2010 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2011 Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka, CZE/CZE
2012 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2013 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
2014 Hsieh Su-Wei & Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN
2015 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
2016 Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic, FRA/FAR
2017 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
2018 Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE

3...Makarova/Vesnina (1-2)
3...Klepac/Martinez-Sanchez (0-3)
2...Babos/Mladenovic (1-1)
2...Garcia Perez/Stollar (1-1)
2...Kudryavtseva/Srebotnik (1-1)
2...Melichar/Peschke (1-1)
2...Flipkens/Larsson (0-2)
4...Demi Schuurs (4-0)
3...Katarina Srebotnik (2-1)
3...Kirsten Flipkens (1-2)
3...Ekaterina Makarova (1-2)
3...Elena Vesnina (1-2)
3...Andreja Klepac (0-3)
3...Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez (0-3)
2...Ash Barty (2-0)
2...Gaby Dabrowski (2-0)
2...Elise Mertens (2-0)
2...Raluca Olaru (2-0)
2...Timea Babos (1-1)
2...Georgina Garcia Perez (1-1)
2...Hsieh Su-wei (1-1)
2...Alla Kudryavtseva (1-1)
2...Nicole Melichar (1-1)
2...Kristina Mladenovic (1-1)
2...Kveta Peschke (1-1)
2...Fanny Stollar (1-1)
2...Barbora Strycova (1-1)
2...ERI HOZUMI (0-2)
2...Johanna Larsson (0-2)
2...Andrea Sestini-Hlavackova (0-2)

1/1: Simona Halep
1/8: Simona Halep
1/15: Simona Halep
1/22: Simona Halep
1/29: Caroline Wozniacki
2/5: Caroline Wozniacki
2/12: Caroline Wozniacki
2/19: Caroline Wozniacki
2/26: Simona Halep
3/5: Simona Halep
3/12: Simona Halep
3/19: Simona Halep
3/26: Simona Halep
4/2: Simona Halep
4/9: Simona Halep
4/16: Simona Halep
4/23: Simona Halep
4/30: Simona Halep
5/7: Simona Halep
5/14: Simona Halep
5/21: Simona Halep
5/18: Simona Halep
6/4: Simona Halep
6/11: Simona Halep

1/1: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
1/8: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
1/15: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
1/22: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
1/29: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
2/5: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
2/12: Latisha Chan
2/19: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
2/26: Latisha Chan/Martina Hingis
3/5: Latisha Chan
3/12: Latisha Chan
3/19: Latisha Chan
3/26: Latisha Chan
4/2: Latisha Chan
4/9: Latisha Chan
4/16: Latisha Chan
4/23: Latisha Chan
4/30: Latisha Chan
5/7: Latisha Chan
5/14: Latisha Chan
5/21: Latisha Chan
5/28: Latisha Chan
6/4: Latisha Chan
6/11: Ekatarina Makarova/Elena Vesnina

Coffee Bowl G1: Maria Camila Osorio Serrano/COL
Copa Barranquilla G1: Maria Camila Osorio Serrano/COL
Traralgon G1: Liang En-shou/TPE
Prague G1: Maria Timofeeva/RUS
Australian Open GA: Liang En-shuo/TPE
Mundial Juvenil G1: Gabriella Price/USA
Asuncion Bowl G1: Maria Camila Osorio Serrano/COL
Banana Bowl G1: Maria Camila Osorio Serrano/COL
Yeltsin Cup G1: Lenka Stara/SVK
Porto Alegre GA: Leylah Annie Fernandez/CAN
Nonthaburi G1: Zheng Qinwen/CHN
Sarawak Chief Minister's Cup G1: Naho Sato/JPN
Perin Memorial G1: Clara Tauson/DEN
Trofeo JCF G1: Diane Parry/FRA
U.S. Int'l Spring Chsp G1: Hurricane Tyra Black/USA
Beaulieu-sur-Mer G1: Eleonora Molinaro/LUX
Mediterranee Avenir G1: Yasmine Mansouri/FRA
Santa Croce G1: Zheng Qinwen/CHN
Trofeo Bonfiglio GA: Eleonora Molinaro/LUX
Astrid Bowl G1: Alexa Noel/USA
Roland Garros: Coco Gauff/USA

TOP QUALIFIER: Francesca Schiavone/ITA
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #4 Elina Svitolina/UKR (def. Tomljanovic/Kuzmova in straights)
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #3 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
TOP LATE-ROUND (SF-F): #1 Simona Halep/ROU
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q3: Alexandra Dulgheru/ROU def. Tamara Korpatsch/GER 6-1/5-7/7-6(7) (from MP down and 5-2 in the 3rd for final qualifying berth)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd.: Irina-Camelia Begu/ROU def. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova/SVK 6-4/5-7/9-7 (Begu served for match at 5-3 3rd; AKS saved triple MP at 8-7; Begu converts MP #4 for 3:19 win, denying AKS first slam MD victory since 2015)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3rd Round: #10 Sloane Stephens/USA def. Camila Giorgi 4-6/6-1/8-6 (Giorgi served for the match twice at 5-4 and 6-5 in 3rd)
TOP LATE-RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr.): Girls SF - Caty McNally/USA def. Iga Swiatek/POL 3-6/7-6(6)/6-4 (saved MP)
FIRST VICTORY: Ekaterina Makarova/RUS (def. Zheng Saisai/CHN)
FIRST SEED OUT: #9 Venus Williams/USA (1st Rd/lost to Wang Qiang/CHN)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Latvia (0-2; first slam both DC/#5 Ostapenko and #20 Sevastova out 1st Round after ten consecutive; only second time happened since both first in same slam draw at '16 AO; also combined 0-3 in WD/MX, as well)
LAST QUALIFIERS STANDING: Dolehide/USA, Dulgheru/ROU, Duque-Marino/COL, Frech/POL, Garcia-Perez/ESP, Peterson/SWE (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Pauline Parmentier/FRA (3rd Rd.)
LAST PASTRY STANDING: Caroline Garcia (4th Rd.)
MADEMOISELLE/MADAM OPPORTUNITY: Simona Halep/ROU (maiden slam crown)
IT "NextGen Hordette": Dasha Kasatkina/RUS (first career slam QF)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Maria Sharapova/RUS (first slam QF since suspension)
CRASH & BURN: #5 Alona Ostapenko/LAT (defending champ; lost 1st Rd. to #66 Kozlova; first RG DC out 1st Rd. since '05)
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF PARIS: Yulia Putintseva/KAZ (3rd Rd.: down 6-1/4-1 & 2 MP, 3-0 in 3rd, vs. Wang Qiang; reaches second career slam QF)
DOUBLES STARS: Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE ('13 RG Jr. champs win RG women's)
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Latisha Chan, TPE (first MX title)
JUNIOR BREAKOUTS: Caty McNally/USA and Leylah Annie Fernandez/CAN (first-time slam SF's)
Légion de Lenglen HONOREE: Serena Williams/USA (The Catsuit/Bodysuit II)
Coupe LA PETIT TAUREAU: Mihaela Buzarnescu/ROU [on LPT Day/June 1, #31 seed upset #4-seed, and one-time Henin pupil, Svitolina to record her first career Top 5 win and reach maiden slam Rd. of 16 -- she had zero slam MD win before this RG]

All for now.


Blogger colt13 said...

Good fields at both tournaments this week.

Even without a slam, Kvitova is Player of the Year so far.

Quiz Time!

Simona Halep became the second Romanian woman to win a slam. We also know Ruzici was the first. But who was the first woman from Romania to win a WTA singles title?

A.Mariana Simionescu
B.Lucia Romanov
C.Florenta Mihai
D.Virginia Ruzici

Interlude-Wimbledon entry list has been out for a couple of weeks, so French Open runs meant nothing for this, but do for the USO. Putinseva was barely in, but now up to 55. Williams is 183, but that doesn't matter, as she has the protected ranking, as does Siegemund. Bouchard should make it into qualies, but is 196, barely above Lucic-Baroni. And since Bencic missed the French last year, her 2nd rd ouster improved her ranking, now up to 69.

Well, there is a right answer, but it isn't as cut and dry as it seems. Romanov couldn't be the right answer, as she never won a tournament. Her claim to fame is reaching the French Open QF in 1982.

It also isn't Florenta Mihai, who famously reached the French Open final in 1977, but didn't actually win her first tournament until later that season.

Mihai might be the old time version of Bouchard, and not in a good way. After winning the Swedish Open(WTA), and Westchester*(unclear if WTA or ITF) in 1977, 1978 set up to be a great year. But physical maladies,and a 9 match losing streak, 12 counting Fed Cup, she dropped from 28 to 101.

Then the streak finally ended, lost 3 more matches, was involved in a car accident early in 1979, missed 6 months, and was never the same player.

So that leaves two choices. Ruzici and Simionescu, also known as Bjorn Borg's wife for a short time, both reached finals in 1975. The same one! (D)Ruzici won the South Orange event, making her the first, while Simionescu won Edinburgh in 1976, making her the second.

Sun Jun 10, 06:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yeah, I won't do a "Ms.Backspin" update until after Wimbledon, but I'd agree that Kvitova would be on top at this point (w/ the titles, FC, and two 13+ win streaks showing her greater consistency of results).

Ah, I'd gone with Mihai.

You find all sorts of individual stories that I didn't really know about with these posts. It's very interesting. ;)

Just looked her up. Mihai died only a few year ago. Ruzici gets mentioned often, but Mihai's "first to..." honors get lost.

Sun Jun 10, 07:21:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Oh, news... de Groot's improvement on her '17 RG result actually moves her PAST Kamiji and back to #1 even though she lost to her in the final. WC just gets interestinger and interestinger...

Mon Jun 11, 12:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger jo shum said...

Halep finally ! I had hoped she would. Otherwise I don’t think anyone could survive 4 loses in GS and still come back. Long time coming. I thought though, she won coz she was coming from behind and her head wasn’t so messed up. As she always squandered leads in final....

Svitolina disappointing. Played so well before.

Muguruza, only big stage player ?

Wed Jun 13, 12:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Ah, nice to hear from you Jo! :)

Yes, I had the same wonder if having the scenario reversed in the finally allowed her to play with less "pressure." Now I guess she needs to try to "win from ahead" to get rid of her final slam issue.

Svitolina seems to be very similar to Zverev on the men's tour: great regular results, wins over top players, but flames out in the slams. At least Zverev finally reached a semi in Paris, so maybe she'll finally get to that stage soon and continue on her usual, step-by-step progression toward something bigger.

Mugu is an interesting one...

Wed Jun 13, 04:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

I meant Zverev finally reached his first slam quarterfinal. Still, either way, pretty much the same comparison. ;)

Wed Jun 13, 10:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

The Usual Suspects showed up now that grass season is upon us.

Vandeweghe, Konta, Vekic, and Flipkens.

All of Vandeweghe's titles have been on grass.

Vekic has a grass title, beating Konta last year. Today's matchup will be the 3rd time in the last year they have played each other on grass.

Konta's only grass final was the loss to Vekic.

Flipkens also previously reached a grass final, Den Bosch in 2013, when sh lost to Halep.

What is the over/under on Krunic shots in the next blog? From the Vandeweghe match alone?

Krunic going for her first title on any surface.

Sat Jun 16, 02:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

Go Bracelet!!

Sat Jun 16, 05:29:00 PM EDT  

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