Thursday, July 12, 2018

W.10- The Great Wall of Kerber

Thursday's women's semifinals at Wimbledon revolved around three veteran players (aged 36, 30 and 29) who've shown resilience in the face of adversity, either on or off court, and a 21-year old kid who's mostly only known great success. We've seen much of both on the tennis tour. The former more lately, and the latter more often in the past than in today's game.

In the end, experience won out in both encounters.

First up on Centre Court was a first-time clash between former Australian and U.S. Open champ Angelique Kerber, the 30-year old #11 seed, and former Roland Garros winner Alona Ostapenko, seeded #12 at age 21. Their games are as much in contrast as their tennis histories. While Kerber practices the art of long rallies, Ostapenko prefers the shorter variety. As much as young Latvian Thunder relishes employing a game that is the sport's version of a sweeping jugular slash, the veteran German relies just as much on a slow-bleed defensive style of play bolstered by quick stabbing attacks of offense. A season after Kerber, who had to wait until her late 20's to find her greatest success, followed up her career year with a '17 campaign in which she seemed mentally fatigued and filled with doubt (falling from #1 to outside the Top 20 in the biggest non-injury/retirement related drop in the rankings for a year-end #1 in tour history), she's rebounded to reclaim her place in the game over the past six-plus months. Ostapenko, a junior slam champion and bundle of confidence who startlingly won a major (and first tour title) just days after leaving her teenage years behind, has positioned herself at the leading edge (and perhaps in the driver's seat) of the new generation of talent pushing through the lines to reach the upper echelon of the WTA.

Which brand of tennis would win out was the question, as both would have to feel out the other's unfamiliar game in the early going.

Ostapenko opened the match with a double-fault, but then fired a forehand winner down the line on the next point, perfectly encapsulating her style before anyone had even settled into their seat. A few winners, a saved break point, and a final ace later and she'd held for 1-0.

In the opening games, the Latvian's groundstrokes were finding her range, as she mixed in a few "acceptable" errors with drop shots, making it difficult for Kerber to use her anticipation to gain an advantage. She'd already fired off twelve winners by the time she held for 2-1. But, as she has quietly done over the fortnight, Kerber protected her serve well. Not having to fight tooth and nail to hold, she maintained contact with the Latvian on the scoreboard and gradually got close to overturning it with a break. After reaching BP and deuce in her first two return games, Kerber reached BP again in the third, but Ostapenko pulled out some typically big groundstrokes and managed to hold for 3-2.

Some less experienced players may have immediately tried to change tactics and become ultra-aggressive to combat Ostapenko's quick start, but Kerber held her ground and didn't succumb to the pressure of the power shots coming back at her. She continued to play out her game plan of strong defense, waiting for her opportunity to strike and recognizing that the match could very well simply fall into her lap. And it would soon enough.

But that moment arrived only after Kerber nearly lost a 40/15 lead on serve in game #6, holding before Ostapenko could truly challenge for the first break of the match. The German then took advantage of a few errors off the Latvian's racket to reach BP for the third time in the set a game later. Ostapenko shot a backhand long and Kerber had the first break at 4-3. After taking a 40/love lead on serve, Kerber saw Ostapenko's power strokes get things to deuce. But the German then pulled out her own weapon, a first serve that had been serving her well in set (89% of 1st shots in, winning 68%) and fired an ace to hold for 5-3.

By now, Ostapenko's increasingly negative winner/error mix had already begun to turn against her. She fell behind 15/30 in game #9, and on BP down the Latvian ended the set the same way she'd started it -- with a DF. It gave the 1st to Kerber at 6-3, the maiden set dropped by Ostapenko at this slam. After the Latvian had gotten ooff to such a thunderous start, her unforced error total (19) by now slightly outpaced her number of winners (18). Meanwhile, Kerber held a much more contained 6/2 W/UE ratio.

As the 2nd set rolled out, Kerber was now fully playing *her* game, not Ostapenko's. She was getting to balls and creating longer rallies, eliciting errors through the repetition, and finding new and increasing opportunities to take charge. She held in game #1 and then took a 15/40 lead in Ostapenko's service game with a rally-ending slice drop shot winner from the baseline. An Ostapenko error a point later put Kerber on top 2-0. The 21-year old's back was now officially up against the (Great) wall (of Kerber).

Kerber then held at 15 for a 3-0 lead. At 3-1, Ostapenko moved forward and put away a backhand swing volley winner for a 15/30 edge, but the German responded by creating another variety-filled rally that produced an Ostapenko error that allowed her to hold for 4-1. Fighting to stay alive, the Latvian took an early lead on her serve, but she continued to hit out and hope. It was a tactic and pattern that served her well in Paris last year, and through the first five rounds at this Wimbledon, but Kerber was getting the best of her on his day, but all the Latvian could do was go forward with what she knows she does best -- hit. Ostapenko was soon down 30/40. She missed a forehand wide and contributed another brick in the Kerber wall, falling down 5-1.

With Kerber serving for the match, though, Ostapenko suddenly caught a mini-wave of momentum. As the German hesitited, Latvian Thunder's big shots began to find their mark again and she carved out multiple BP chances. Kerber saved two (the second w/ an ace), and held a MP (Ostapenko denied it with a backhand winner into the corner), but then a big return from the Latvian toppled an off-balance Kerber, who briefly went to the ground. Then, on BP #3, Ostapenko's deep forehand off the line caused Kerber to fling her reply long, completing the break of serve that cut the score to 5-2.

With Ostapenko picking up steam, it may have been imperative for Kerber to *not* be forced to a 3rd set, where the Latvian's free-flowing shots might start to consistently paint lines and possibly even overturn a result that seemed quite set in stone moments earlier. After all, it's what had happened vs. Simona Halep in last year's Roland Garros final.

Serving for the win again at 5-3, and trying to avoid the "on-the-ropes" look she'd picked up over the previous two minutes from growing into something larger and more deadly, Kerber again found herself BP down. But it was then that the Latvian netted a backhand return, then did it again to give Kerber her second MP. In the final rally of the day, a desperate Ostapenko fired hard shot after hard shot at the German, who remained steadfast in her defensive position at the baseline, blunting the power by effectively blocking the shots back, challenging Ostapenko to continue her barrage without error. Finally, the Latvian flaired a forehand wide of the sideline and any potential comeback scenario was smited.

Kerber's 6-3/6-3 win came after just 1:08, but the final result was not without a few tense moments in the closing points. To be continued until these two next meet again, hopefully soon, where Ostapenko can try (crossing fingers) to prove that she *can* continue to improve and find ways to problem solve via the sort of "Plan B" game plan that might have forced a match like this -- or one vs. another player who plays similarly to the German -- into a deciding 3rd set. Latvian Thunder will always rely on her power game -- it's the unconscious nature of her style that makes her so deadly -- but it's the addition of a little more nuance and unpredictability (such as the drop shots she successfully employed early on today) that will get her back into the grand slam winner's circle.

As it is, the final stats told both the differences between the two players as well as the story of the match. Ostapenko fired off 30 winners to Kerber's 10, but it wasn't enough to overcome her 36 UE (vs. Kerber's measly 7) combined with the German's 77% first serve percentage (winning 61%) and 73% win percentage on her second serves. Thus, Kerber now goes on to play in her fourth slam final, and second at SW19 in three years. She's a win away from a title that would put her three-quarters of the way to a Career Slam.

Her opponent on Saturday was always going to be a familiar one: either Serena Williams, the 7-time Wimbledon champ who defeated Kerber in the final at this event two seasons ago after having been her victim in the Australian Open final six months earlier, or Julia Goerges, her friend and Fed Cup teammate in what would be the first all-German women's final at the All-England Club since the pre-World War II era Championships held eighty-seven years ago in 1931.

...and on Day 10, Serena Williams was back on her old stomping (and roaring) grounds. A little older. A little wiser. And carrying a few extra diapers in tow.

With a 19-match Wimbledon winning streak dating back three years, new motherhood and the recovery from another health scare, as well as a focused acknowledgement of her place in the game's history providing a inspiration nudge, #25-seed Serena has worked her way through the draw at this Wimbledon as she always has when she's arrived at a major with questions about her form and readiness to add another shiny bobble to her slam trophy case. Step by step, never taking anything for granted... but finding her way to the end nonetheless.

#13-seeded Julia Goerges, too, was similarly invigorated. A new team around her, new home and new confidence has helped her live out a whole new career over the past season and a half. She's gone on the best extended run of her tennis life (last summer until January of this year -- and reaching seven finals since last June, after playing in one from 2012-16 and six in her entire career), notched five Top 10 wins since last August (after having none for over two years, and a total of six over a four-season stretch), reached the Top 10 and today was playing in her first career slam semifinal at age 29. And she was going it at Wimbledon, where she'd lost five straight 1st Round matches before last week, having convinced herself that she couldn't play on grass despite owning the sort of big serve and groundstrokes that often thrive on the surface. Thanks to the changes she's made on the outside, thoughts like that have now been transformed to more confident ones on the inside. Needless to say, the German is but the latest poster child for the recent spate of WTA players finding new and better realities as age 30 comes within earshot (for Goerges, the day comes this November).

Of course, it was her "luck" that she was playing the biggest match of her career against a player whose age may be seven years older (36) than her own, but who was also playing in *her* 35th career major semifinal. Umm, yeah.

After several moments in her past having felt the pressure of big matches, Goerges held her own in the 1st set vs. Williams today. In game #2, after taking a 40/love lead, her seemingly-innocuous DF nearly allowed Serena to crack open the set. Williams reached BP before the German found her footing with a running crosscourt forehand winner and then went on to hold, overcoming what may have been a hairline fracture in her big stage exterior.

While Goerges had managed to overcome herself, now she only had to deal with Serena. Gulp. Ah, many have dared to dream, only to leave empty-handed. The German would prove to be only the latest to follow suit.

Things were even in the 1st at 2-2, but in what would be the latter stages of the set Serena looked more and more like the 23-time major winner she has been, still is, and always will be until she decides she's tired of all the hard work it takes to add to her overwhelming legacy between the white lines. She hit her shots a little harder, a little deeper, and with a little more intent behind them, raising her game and daring Goerges to follow.

Williams got the break of serve to lead 4-2, then two games later ripped a backhand return winner crosscourt to go up love/40 in game #8. Serena offered up a barrage of big shots aimed at Goerges, who finally slid one wide as Serena got the break to win a fourth straight game and take the set at 6-2.

Things were again knotted at 2-2 in the 2nd, but Williams soon again took control. Down 2-3, Goerges unwisely tried a backhand slice drop shot from behind the baseline while BP down. It didn't cross the net. Serena broke for a 4-2 lead. As she served for the match at 5-3, Williams had dropped just one point on serve in the 2nd. But after a DF, followed by a Goerges passing shot winner, Serena was down love/40. She saved two BP, but a big Goerges forehand blasted a return off a second serve. Williams couldn't get the ball back, and Goerges had the break to get back on serve at 5-4.

Of course, Serena is still Serena. But at least Goerges tried. The German soon found herself down love/30 a game later, then she DF'd to face MP. An lob attempt over Williams landed just long, and Serena took the match by a 6-2/6-2 score. But Goerges' final push *had* managed to make this second SF of the day the longer of the two, clocking in at 1:10.

Serena's tenth appearance in the Wimbledon final is the 30th of her career in majors. One more title will tie Margaret Court's all-time mark of 24, setting up the possibility of setting a new (and probably unbreakable in any of our lifetimes, and maybe ever) all-time record on home soil at Flushing Meadows later this summer. This only adds to the remarkable run of success of Serena and sister Venus at SW19. Fifteen finals this century have included at least one Williams (10-Serena, 9-Venus), with only four years (2006,'11,'13 & '14) going without over the last nineteen editions of the tournament. But those aren't the only crazy numbers she's put up...

Ah, but this one is downright frightening...


Angie has her work cut out for her.

...there were big surprises in the junior draw today, as both remaining Bannerettes -- #3 Coco Gauff and #13 Caty McNally, who met in the Roland Garros and Roehampton finals in recent weeks -- fell.

Gauff, a day after rallying to defeat Maria Carle lost to #10 Wang Xiyu of China 4-6/7-6(1)/6-4. Gauff had a MP at 5-4 in the 2nd set. The lefty 17-year old Wang, cramping in the 3rd, nearly blew a 4-0 lead in the decider, but managed to survive, saving BPs to go up 5-4, then breaking Gauff's serve in the final game (on a DF, unfortunately, by the 14-year old).

McNally was upset by Swiss qualifier Leonie Kung, who posted a 7-6/7-5 win for her sixth consecutive victory in this event and her third over a seeded player. The other Wang in the quarterfinals, #4-seeded Xinyu (an AO jr. semifinalist) knocked off unseeded Ukrainian Viktoriia Dema 6-7(4)/7-6(4)/6-3; while Poland's Iga Swiatek was all over Brit Emma Raducanu, winning love & 1.

None of the remaining junior quarterfinalists have yet won a junior slam crown, so there will be a maiden champ. Also, this all means this Wimbledon is just the second in the last seven years (and third in nine) in which the Roehampton winner didn't carry over the momentum to a title at SW19. Of the remaining girls, the best Roehampton result was a QF finish from Wang Xinyu (where she lost to McNally). Wang Xiyu went out in the 3rd Round (to Alexa Noel), Kung lost in the 2nd (also to Noel), and Swiatek didn't compete in the event.

Wang & Wang, the #1 seeds in the girls doubles, were one of the eight teams to advance to the QF today. While there are no Bannerettes left in singles, half the remaining doubles duos have at least one U.S. player, including #4 Gauff (w/ Carle, and they could play the Wangs in the SF), #2 McNally/Whitney Osuigwe, #7 Noel (w/ Ireland's Georgia Drummy) and unseeded Dalayna Hewitt/Peyton Stearns. mixed doubles, Brit Harriet Dart's great AELTC experiences continue, as she and Jay Clarke knocked off #10-seeded veterans Abigail Spears/Juan Sebastian Cabal, winners of last year's AO crown, to reach the semis. Victoria Azarenka, too, is still alive. She and Jamie Murray (who came back from 5-1 down in the 3rd and saved MP earlier in the tournamant) took down #4 Schuurs/Rojer in a 7-5 3rd set. Those two duos will play each other.

Katarina Srebotnik's hopes for a Career Mixed Slam survive, as she and Michael Venus (#9 seeds) defeated #3 Latisha Chan/Ivan Dodig in a love 3rd set. The other QF didn't happen, as #2 Ekaterina Makarova/Bruno Soares handed a walkover to #11 Nicole Melichar/Alexander Peya (no idea which of the two was injured/ill).

...wheelchair play began today, and world #1 Diede de Groot *was* ready. The Dutch defending champion defeated veteran German Sabine Ellerbrock, her opponent in last year's final, 4 & 3 today. She'll next face South African Kgothatso Montjane, a three-set winner over Katharina Kruger (GER), 3-6/2-6/6-1. #2 Yui Kamiji (JPN), seeking to complete a career sweep of every title at the four slams, won a close two-set match over Marjolein Buis (NED), 6-4/6-4, while another former Dutch slam champ, Aniek van Koot, won 2 & 1 over Brit Lucy Shuker.

Additionally, I don't know if there's anywhere to view it now, but if there is it'd be worth seeing the nice interview with de Groot that took place on Wimbledon Live today.

LIKE ON DAY 10: Petra just chillin' and such...



Candid ?? #itaintcominghome ????

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...and, finally, just because.

#11 Angelique Kerber/GER vs. #24 Serena Williams/USA

Rosolska/Spears (POL/USA) vs. #3 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE)
#12 Melichar/Peschke (USA/CZE) vs. #6 Dabrowski/Xu Yifan (CAN/CHN)

(WC) Dart/Clarke (GBR/GBR) vs. Azarenka/J.Murray (BLR/GBR)
#9 Srebotnik/Venus (SLO/AUS) vs. #11 Melichar/Peya (USA/AUT)

Iga Swiatek/POL vs. #4 Wang Xinyu/CHN
#10 Wang Xiyu/CHN vs. (Q) Leonie Kung/SUI

#1 Wang Xinyu/Wang Xiyu (CHN/CHN) vs. #5 Garland/Liang (TPE/TPE)
#4 Carle/Gauff (ARG/USA) vs. Allen/Martins (GBR/GBR)
#8 Burel/Parry (FRA/FRA) vs. Hewitt/Stearns (USA/USA)
#7 Drummy/Noel (IRL/USA) vs. #2 McNally/Osuigwe (USA/USA)

#1 Diede de Groot/NED vs. Kgothatso Montjane/RSA
Aniek van Koot/NED vs. #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN

#1 de Groot/Kamiji (NED/JPN) vs. Kruger/Montjane (GER/RSA)
Ellerbrock/Shuker (GER/GBR) vs. #2 Buis/van Koot (NED/NED)

Bye bye London! It was a great @wimbledon! ???? Yes I’m sad not to hold any ?? but guess what? I enjoyed every day of my path here...being healthy playing sport I love,back on court next to my best friend, having fun on and off the court, supported by our amazing team, fighting in matches against the best people in my sport, experiencing multiple happiness of winning,filming fun videos, exploring London, drinking tons of ??, meeting friends and fans..I’m grateful for all those little moments and great people I have around me!?? So I don’t need ?? to be happy...but next time I will fight even harder to have it as well! ?? #alwaysenjoythepresentmoment #teambucie #teamsafi @matteksands @robsteckley @filiphavaj @austinteesmith @sandsjustin #thankyou

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9...Venus Williams (5-4)
2...Petra Kvitova (2-0)
2...Garbine Muguruza (1-1)
2...Maria Sharapova (1-1)
1...Genie Bouchard (0-1)
1...Sabine Lisicki (0-1)
1...Aga Radwanska (0-1)
1...Vera Zvonareva (0-1)

2000 Venus Williams def. Lindsay Davenport 6-3,7-6
2001 Venus Williams def. Justine Henin 6-1,3-6,6-0
2002 Serena Williams def. Venus Williams 7-6,6-3
2003 Serena Williams def. Venus Williams 4-6,6-4,6-2
2004 Maria Sharapova def. Serena Williams 6-1,6-4
2005 Venus Williams def. Lindsay Davenport 4-6,7-6,9-7
2006 Amelie Mauresmo def. Justine Henin-H. 2-6,6-3,6-4
2007 Venus Williams def. Marion Bartoli 6-4,6-1
2008 Venus Williams def. Serena Williams 7-5,6-4
2009 Serena Williams def. Venus Williams 7-6,6-2
2010 Serena Williams def. Vera Zvonareva 6-3,6-2
2011 Petra Kvitova def. Maria Sharapova 6-3,6-4
2012 Serena Williams def. Aga Radwanska 6-1,5-7,6-2
2013 Marion Bartoli def. Sabine Lisicki 6-1,6-4
2014 Petra Kvitova def. Genie Bouchard 6-3,6-0
2015 Serena Williams def. Garbine Muguruza 6-4,6-4
2016 Serena Williams def. Angelique Kerber 7-5,6-4
2017 Garbine Muguruza def. Venus Williams 7-5,6-0
2018 Serena Williams vs. Angelique Kerber

9 - Martina Navratilova
8 - Helen Wills-Moody
7 - Serena Williams
7 - Steffi Graf
7 - Dorothea Douglass-Lambert Chambers
6 - Blanche Bingley-Hillyard
6 - Billie Jean King
6 - Suzanne Lenglen
5 - Venus Williams
5 - Charlotte Cooper-Sterry
5 - Lottie Dodd
4 - Louise Brough
[Open era]
9 - Martina Navratilova
7 - Steffi Graf
7 - Serena Williams
5 - Venus Williams
4 - Billie Jean King
3 - Chris Evert
2 - Petra Kvitova
2 - Evonne Goolagong
[oldest Wimbledon champ - Open era]
Serena Williams (34y/9.5m) - 2016 Wimbledon
Serena Williams (33y/9m,3w) - 2015 Wimbledon
Martina Navratilova (33y/8m,3w) - 1990 Wimbledon
OLDEST non-OPEN ERA: Charlotte Cooper Sterry (37y/9.5m) - 1908
[oldest Wimbledon finalists - Open era]
Martina Navratilova (37 yrs, 258 days) — lost '94 WI to C.Martinez
Venus Williams (37/28 days) - lost '17 WI to Muguruza
Serena Williams (34/287) — '16 WI, def. Kerber

24...Margaret Court
23...Serena Williams
22...Steffi Graf
19...Helen Wills-Moody
18...Martina Navratilova
18...Chris Evert
12...Billie Jean King
12...Suzanne Lenglen

34 - Chris Evert (18-16), 1973–1988
32 - Martina Navratilova (18-14), 1975–1994
31 - Steffi Graf (22-9), 1986–1999
30 - SERENA WILLIAMS (23-6), 1999–2018
18 - Evonne Goolagong (7-11), 1971–1980
16 - Venus Williams (7-9), 1997–2017
13 - Monica Seles (9-4), 1990–1998

16...Venus Williams (7-9)
10...Maria Sharapova (5-5)
4...Svetlana Kuznetsova (2-2)
4...Victoria Azarenka (2-2)
4...Simona Halep (1-3)
3...Garbine Muguruza (2-1)
3...Caroline Wozniacki (1-2)
2...Petra Kvitova (2-0)
2...Francesca Schiavone (1-1)
2...Sloane Stephens (1-1)
2...Samantha Stosur (1-1)
2...Vera Zvonareva (0-2)

6 - Maria Sharapova (2-4)
4 - Victoria Azarenka (2-2)
4 - Li Na (2-2) - ret.
4 - Simona Halep (1-3)
3 - Garbine Muguruza (2-1)
2 - Kim Clijsters (2-0) - ret.
2 - Petra Kvitova (2-0)
2 - Francesca Schiavone (1-1)
2 - Sloane Stephens (1-1)
2 - Samantha Stosur (1-1)
2 - Caroline Wozniacki (1-1)
2 - Venus Williams (0-2)
2 - Vera Zvonareva (0-2)

5 - Petra Kvitova (5-0)
4 - Simona Halep (2-2)
3 - Elina Svitolina (3-0)
3 - Elise Mertens (3-0)
3 - Caroline Wozniacki (2-1)
2 - Garbine Muguruza (1-1)
2 - Julia Goerges (1-1)
2 - Kiki Bertens (1-1)
2 - Timea Babos (1-1)
2 - Sloane Stephens (1-1)
2 - Ash Barty (1-1)
2 - Dasha Kasatkina (0-2)
2 - Mihaela Buzarnescu (0-2)
2 - Dominika Cibulkova (0-2)
2 - Aryna Sabalenka (0-2)

*WTA FINALS (ACTIVE) - 2015-18*
17 - Simona Halep (9-8)
16 - Caroline Wozniacki (7-9)
14 - Karolina Pliskova (7-7)
13 - Petra Kvitova (11-2)
12 - Elina Svitolina (10-2)
10 - Dominika Cibulkova (4-6)
8 - Aga Radwanska (6-2)
8 - Garbine Muguruza (5-3)
8 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (5-3)
8 - Venus Williams (4-4)
8 - Julia Goerges (3-5)
8 - Kristina Mladenovic (1-7)

*CAREER WTA FINALS - all-time*
239 - Martina Navratilova
230 - Chris Evert
138 - Steffi Graf
127 - Evonne Goolagong
93 - Lindsay Davenport
85 - Monica Seles
83 - Venus Williams
77 - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
68 - Martina Hingis
61 - Justine Henin

Martina Navratilova (37y,258d) — lost '94 WI to C.Martinez
Venus Williams (37/28) - lost '17 WI to Muguruza
Venus Williams (36/226) — '17 AO, lost to S.Williams
Serena Williams (35/125) — '17 AO, def. V.Williams
Martina Navratilova (34/325) — '91 US, lost to Seles
Serena Williams (34/287) — '16 WI, def. Kerber
Serena Williams (34/252) — '16 RG, lost to Muguruza
Serena Williams (34/127) — '16 AO, lost to Kerber

10..Serena Williams (at 30/31/32/33/34/35)
3...Martina Navratilova (2 at 30, 1 at 33)
3...Margaret Court (2 at 30, 1 at 31)
2...Billie Jean King (30 & 31)
2...Chris Evert (30 & 31)
1...Flavia Pennetta (33)
1...Li Na (31)
1...Virginia Wade (31)
1...Ann Haydon Jones (30)

*SLAMS BY NATION - 2010-18*
13 - USA
21 - USA (S.Williams)
8 - RUS
5 - GER (Kerber),ITA

[since Navratilova & Evert era]
Steffi Graf, GER [5-9-9-8]
Justine Henin, BEL [3-4-2-3]
Martina Hingis, SUI [6-2-1-3]
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, ESP [2-6-2-2]
Monica Seles, YUG/USA [4-4-1-4]
Maria Sharapova, RUS [3-3-2-1]
Serena Williams, USA [8-4-10-8]
Venus Williams, USA [2-1-9-4]

=since Azarenka first #1 in January 2012=
2012: 9 (won 8) MIAMI/A.Radwanska
2013: 9 (won 8) WIMB/Bartoli
2014: 4 (won 1) AO/Li, WIMB/Kvitova, MTL/A.Radwanska
2015: 6 (won 4) IW./Halep, MADRID/Kvitova
2016: 1 (won 0) AO/Kerber
2017: -
2018: 3 (won 0) IW/Osaka, RG/Halep *
TOTAL: 32 (won 21) *
* - Williams in Wimbledon final

=since Azarenka first #1 in January 2012=
AO - Azarenka
RG - Sharapova
WI - S.Williams
US - S.Williams
AO - Azarenka
RG - S.Williams
WI - Bartoli
AO - Li
WI - Kvitova
AO - S.Williams
RG - S.Williams
WI - S.Williams
AO - Kerber
RG - Halep
WI - ?

120 - Martina Navratilova
96 - Chris Evert
89 - Venus Williams
74 - Steffi Graf
65 - Billie Jean King
50 - Jana Novotna
49 - Lindsay Davenport
46 - Maria Sharapova
44 - Virginia Wade
43 - Aga Radwanska

2007 Ula Radwanska, POL
2008 Laura Robson, GBR
2009 Timea Babos, HUN & Miyabi Inoue, JPN
2010 Kristyna Pliskova, CZE
2011 Ash Barty, AUS
2012 Genie Bouchard, CAN
2013 Louisa Chirico, USA
2014 Alona Ostapenko, LAT
2015 Sofya Zhuk, RUS
2016 Dayana Yastremska, UKR
2017 Ann Li, USA
2018 Wang Xinyu/CHN & Wang Xiyu/CHN

2007 Venus Williams, USA
2008 Tamarine Tanasugarn, THA
2009 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2010 Vera Zvonareva, RUS
2011 Maria Sharapova, RUS
2012 Mirjana Lucic, CRO
2013 Marion Bartoli, FRA
2014 The White Shorts (of Victoria Azarenka)
2015 Aga Radwanska, POL
2016 Serena Williams/Venus Williams, USA/USA
2017 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2018 Serena Williams, USA

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #1 Simona Halep/ROU
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #12 Alona Ostapenko/LAT
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2: #8 Mona Barthel/GER def. Oceane Dodin/FRA 6-3/1-6/8-6 (saves a MP in game #12 of the 3rd w/ Dodin DF at 6-5)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - #32 Aga Radwanska/POL def. (Q) Elena-Gabriela Rus/ROU 6-3/4-6/7-5 (wins 14-min.,23-pt.,8-deuce game #10 in 3rd, saving 6 MP)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3rd Rd. - Hsieh Su-wei/TPE def. #1 Simona Halep 3-6/6-4/7-5 (def. world #1 from 5-2 down in 3rd, Halep served at 5-3 and had MP at 5-4)
FIRST VICTORY: Yanina Wickmayer/BEL (1st Rd. def. M.Barthel/GER)
FIRST SEED OUT: #19 Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK (lost 1st Rd. to S.Cirstea/ROU)
UPSET QUEENS: United States
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Ukraine (1-4 1st/2nd Rd; year after Svitolina to 4th/Tsurenko to 3rd, Svitolina 1st Rd. is worst slam since '14 and none to 3rd Rd.)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Evgeniya Rodina/RUS (4th Rd.)
LAST WILD CARDS STANDING: Katie Boulter/GBR, Ons Jabeur/TUN and Katie Swan/GBR (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST BRITS STANDING: Katie Boulter, Johanna Konta and Katie Swan (all 2nd Rd.)
IT ("??"): Nominees: Kasatkina ("Swashbuckler"), Kamiji, Swiatek, Kung, Dart
CRASH & BURN: #8 Petra Kvitova/CZE (two-time champ, pre-tournament favorite and '18 tour title-leader loses in 1st Rd. to Aliaksandra Sasnovich/BLR, dropping 3rd set at love)
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF LONDON: Katerina Siniakova/CZE (Down 5-2 to Vandeweghe, who served at 5-3 in final set in 1st Rd., wins 8-6; down 5-2 to Jabeur, served at 5-3 in final set in 2nd Round, saved MP and wins 9-7)
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: Spears, Azarenka, Srebotnik, Dart
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Nominees: Kerber, Peschke
SPIRIT OF JANA (NOVOTNA) HONOREE: Donna Vekic/CRO (follows up emotional '17 loss to Konta in 2nd Round -- after which Brit consoled her at the net ala the Duchess of Kent w/ Jana in 1993 -- w/ 1st Rd. upset of #4 Stephens; advances to first career slam Rd. of 16)
JUNIOR BREAKOUTS: Wang Xinyu/CHN and Wang Xiyu/CHN
June 26 official: In Eastbourne, Aga Radwanska, playing in her first event in two months, saves 2 MP vs. Dasha Gavrilova (both via DF), win a 2nd set tie-break, then takes the 3rd set at love. Gavrilova has 17 DF on the day.
Day 3 observed: As insects swarm the AELTC grounds on Flying Ant Day, reigning AO champ #2 Caroline Wozniacki falls on the infested Court 1 to Ekaterina Makarova, becoming the sixth Top 8 seed to fall in the tournament's first three days. Aga Radwanska flirts with staging a comeback from a set and 5-1 down and force a 3rd set (after having saved 6 MP in the 1st Rd.), saving a MP vs. Lucie Safarova before the Czech staves off a total of seven BP in a game to hold and secure the win. It's Aga's first career "Rad Day" defeat. Later, rain interrupts play for the first time in the fortnight.

All for Day 10. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

Re: Diede's Instagram- Is the racket a performance enhancer?

Goerges actually played well, Serena just did everything better.

Ostapenko let some chances slip away, but this was a solid run that bodes well for her future.

I joke about how Ukraine, Estonia, Kazakhstan, and Austria can't get past the QF at a slam, but Latvia has no such problem.

Ostapenko- slam winner in 8th slam.
S.Williams- slam winner in 7th slam.

Ostapenko- First 13 slams- 1 W, 1 SF, 1QF
S.Williams- First 13 slams- 1 W, 1 SF, 4 QF.

The fact that Ostapenko's numbers are even that close are a good thing.

Wimbledon records 2012-2018
Williams 32-2
Kerber 27-6

Stat of the Day-24- Slam titles held by Margaret Court.

I lied, let me start over.

Stat of the Day-24- The number of slams Serena Williams will have in two days.

I lied again, the next one is the real stat, I promise.

Stat of the Day-24- The number of different slam winners since Serena's first.

Actually, what I wanted to look at is how the best does against the best. And her numbers are insane. To the point that she has a winning record against 23 of the other 24. The one she has a losing record against? Doesn't exist, she just hasn't played Ostapenko.

The other thing to notice? She isn't a one hit wonder. In fact, she has at least 3 wins against all 23 she has played. Amazing.

Serena's record vs slam winners
Sharapova 19-2
Azarenka 17-4
V.Williams 17-12
Li 11-1
Wozniacki 10-1
Mauresmo 10-2
Kuznetsova 10-3
Davenport 10-4
Capriati 10-7
Ivanovic 9-1
Halep 8-1
Stosur 8-3
Henin 8-6
Pennetta 7-0
Clijsters 7-2
Schiavone 7-2
Kerber 6-2
Myskina 5-0
Pierce 5-1
Kvitova 5-1
Stephens 5-1
Bartoli 3-1
Muguruza 3-2

Ostapenko 0-0

Thu Jul 12, 07:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Wow, that's a great Serena stat. Though I guess it's not surprising, it's still super-impressive and makes you go, well, "Wow," when you see it. ;)

(And, really, except for Muguruza, the head-to-heads aren't even close.)

Haha. It's weird how we see so many of those monster-sized rackets, isn't it?

Oh, speaking of de Groot, I should have mentioned in the post that most interesting thing about her Wimb.Live interview was what she said about how different it was for a WC player to play on grass. On HC, she said, you move around so easily you almost forget you're in a chair. But on grass you're always aware of it, can't move nearly as quickly, and your arms get incredibly tired (she said she was exhausted after training for less than half the usual amount of time she'd practice on hard court).

Thu Jul 12, 10:13:00 PM EDT  

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