Friday, July 13, 2018

W.11- The Day Before the Day

Again, they are one. They are SerenAngie.

Tomorrow (at some point)...

...on Friday the 13th, the day that one men's semi threatened to never end, and the AELTC refused to allow the other to do the same...

The girls singles final was set on Day 11. It'll be a no-seeds affair, though surely one where pro event experience paid off handsomely for Iga Swiatek and Leonie Kung.

17-year old Swiatek opened this Wimbledon with a win over #1-seeded Whitney Osuigwe, and she'll end it playing to become the first Polish girls slam champion in eleven years. Her 7-5/7-6 victory today over #4-seeded Wang Xinyu (CHN) puts her one win away from being crowned the fourth Pole to win the junior crown at SW19.

1995 Wimbledon - Aleksandra Olsza (W)
1996 Australian Open - Magdalena Grzbowska (W)
2005 Wimbledon - Aga Radwanska (W)
2006 Roland Garros - Aga Radwanska (W)
2007 Wimbledon - Ula Radwanska (W)
2007 US Open - Ula Radwanska (RU)
2018 Wimbledon - Iga Swiatek

Meanwhile, Swiss qualifier Leonie Kung, 17, won her seventh straight match at this event to also reach her maiden junior slam final. She defeated big-hitting lefty Wang Xiyu, the #10 seed who saved a MP and upset #3 Coco Gauff in the QF, in three sets to advance. She's seeking to become the fourth different girl to lift a junior slam title while representing Switzerland (though one, Rebeka Masarova, is now playing under a Spanish flag).

1948 Wimbledon - Violette Rigollet (RU)
1993 Roland Garros - Martina Hingis (W)
1994 Roland Garros - Martina Hingis (W)
1994 Wimbledon - Martina Hingis (W)
1994 US Open - Martina Hingis (RU)
2013 Roland Garros - Belinda Bencic (W)
2013 Wimbledon - Belinda Bencic (W)
2016 Roland Garros - Rebeka Masarova (W)*
2017 Australian Open - Rebeka Masarova (RU)*
2018 Wimbledon - Leonie Kung
*-now representing ESP

Both Wangs lost in the singles semis, but they're the #1 seeds in the doubles and advanced to the GD semis today.

...the talked-about (really, and not just here, either) possible Wimbledon Wheelchair final between #1 Diede de Groot and #2 Yui Kamiji won't be happening. At least not in 2018. For the third straight year of singles play at SW19, Kamiji failed to reach the final.

De Groot handled her business, defeating South Africa's Kgothatso Montjane (whose Wimbledon debut has been a good one) 6-1/7-5 to reach the final, avoiding a 3rd set after having trailed 5-4 in the 2nd. Playing in her fifth straight slam singles final, the Dutch #1 will seed to defend her Wimbledon crown and win her second major of 2018.

Her opponent in the final won't be Kamiji, though, but instead countrywoman Aniek van Koot. The two-time slam winner (both in 2013, in the pocket between the Vergeer era and the post-Esther period where Kamiji and the now retired Jiske Griffioen took the lead in the sport) defeated the Japanese #2 seed in a 13-11 3rd set TB, preventing Kamiji from playing for the title and to become the first player to win all eight singles and doubles slam crowns in a career.

With Kamiji, though the most accomplished player in the span, still being unable to reach her first Wimbledon singles final, it brings to mind what de Groot said in the Wimbledon Live interview I mentioned yesterday. When asked about the differences about playing on grass, she said that on hard court 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 an hour on grass, though she usually does so for two hours each day on HC). That being the case, I wonder if Kamiji's size -- she's the smallest of the top players, and likely has the shorter arms, meaning she's probably working even *harder* to maneuver around the court than a player such as de Groot on this surface. I don't know if that might explain Kamiji's lack of the same success at Wimbledon as in the other majors, but it would seem to be something to think about, considering she lost in a 3rd set TB this year as well as last year (SF vs. Sabine Ellerbrock), and also lost in three sets (1st Rd.) in '16, again to van Koot.

In the doubles, top-seeded de Groot & Kamiji combined their efforts to eliminate Katharina Kruger & Montjane 6-0/6-0, while the other semi was suspended due to darkness with Ellerbrock & Lucy Shuker leading #2 Marjolein Buis/van Koot 3-1 in the 3rd set.

With at least de Groot and Kamiji's fates decided as far as their participation in the finals, here are some additional notes of note:

* - de Groot has reached both the singles & doubles finals at the last five slams, as well as in both of the season-ending s/d Masters events in '17

* - Kamiji will be going for her fifth straight Wimbledon doubles title, having won the last four with new mother Jordanne Whiley

While I'd picked Kamiji to complete the set of eight titles in the preseason Prediction Blowout, I also predicted de Groot to have all eight titles (collecting them in a far shorter window of time) by the end of the 2019 season. That one is surely in play, as she very well could pull off the feat before Kamiji gets another shot at taking the Wimbledon singles title next year.

She's got four of the eight, and a win in the doubles this weekend would give her five. If she'd also win the U.S. Open singles ('17 RU) later this summer, de Groot would need just the AO doubles (she's been RU the last two years) and RG singles (RU this year). It's certainly there for the taking. If she worked it right, she could even be the reigning champ in all eight events when arrives in London for next year's Wimbledon.

AO SINGLES: 2018 Champion
AO DOUBLES: [RU-2017,2018]
RG DOUBLES: 2018 Champion
WI SINGLES: 2017 Champion
US DOUBLES: 2017 Champion

So, Diede could *really* be "The Great" very soon. mixed doubles... wait for it... Vika is still alive!

Victoria Azarenka advanced to the MX final, the fourth of her slam career but her first in a decade ('08 RG w/ Bob Bryan), along with defending champ Jamie Murray, who won the title last year with Martina Hingis. They eliminated the all-Brit duo of Harriet Dart & Jay Clarke. A win would give her MX titles at Wimbledon, Roland Garros and the U.S. Open, as well as having won a MX Olympic Gold for Belarus in 2012 (at Wimbledon, by the way). It would leave her an Australian Open MX crown short of becoming the first person to collect all five in a career.

In the other semi, Nicole Melichar (w/ Alexander Peya) kept alive her hopes of a WD/MX sweep, reaching the final with a win over Katarina Srebotnik (her Career Mixed Slam will have to wait) & Michael Venus. Melichar is also in the women's doubles final with Kveta Peschke, who at 43 is looking to become the oldest slam winner since Martina Navratilova's last MX crown in 2006 at age 49.

Melichar & Peschke won today over Gaby Dabrowski & Xu Yifan. They'll meet RG champs Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova for the title. The young Czechs took out the veteran duo of Alicja Rosolska & Abigail Spears on Friday. As was the case in Paris, Krejcikova/Siniakova are past junior champions at this slam. In fact, they swept the RG/WI/US girls doubles titles in '13 (when Krejcikova was also an AO GD finalist w/ a different partner).

The pair are looking to become the first duo to sweep both the RG & WI titles in fifteen years.

1972 Billie Jean King & Betty Stove
1980 Kathy Jordan & Anne Smith
1984 Martina Navratilova & Pam Shriver
1990 Jana Novotna & Helena Sukova
1992 Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva
1993 Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva
1994 Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva
1997 Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva
1998 Martina Hingis & Jana Novotna
2003 Kim Clijsters & Ai Sugiyama

And, yes, that Krejcikova, a protege of the late Jana Novotna, has reached the final at SW19 on the 20th anniversary of Jana's singles/doubles Wimbledon title sweep is surely enough to list her as the second "Spirit of Jana" honoree for this slam. In fact, since fellow finalist Nicole Melichar of the U.S. was actually born in Brno, Czech Republic -- the same as both Novotna and Krejcikova -- *she* deserves a place in the circle of honor, as well.

I guess this award is simply going to be about collecting "Jana-ites" worthy of induction into the Novotna Ring of Honor... and I'm good with that.

Ummm... ON DAY 11: So tell me again why best-of-five sets is such a great thing, and why players holding serve *all* the time is (apparently) "better" tennis.

Then again...

LIKE ON DAY 11: First Sabine, now Julia. There's something about Germans writing "thank-you" notes during grass court season...

LIKE ON DAY 11: Hey, an old HBO commentating team reunion (and they were pretty good *on* the court, too).

LIKE ON DAY 11: Oracene, baby... on her baby having a baby and then (whatever comes next).

...and, finally...lame, lame, lame.

A grand slam doesn't have a "curfew" (see Melbourne and Flushing Meadows), and if the little village that hosts it does, perhaps another little village should be found that doesn't.

Meanwhile, the start of the women's final is pushed back to, well, who knows. Because, you know, what should *they* care? Shocking, I know.

Yeah, I wonder...

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

#3 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) vs. #12 Melichar/Peschke (USA/CZE)

Azarenka/J.Murray (BLR/GBR) vs. #11 Melichar/Peya (USA/AUT)

Iga Swiatek/POL vs. (Q) Leonie Kung/SUI

#1 Wang Xinyu/Wang Xiyu (CHN/CHN) vs. #4 Carle/Gauff (ARG/USA)
Hewitt/Stearns (USA/USA) vs. #2 McNally/Osuigwe (USA/USA)

#1 Diede de Groot/NED vs. Aniek van Koot/NED

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

?? ?? ?? ???? ?????

A post shared by Victoria Azarenka (@vichka35) on

*WC SLAM SINGLES FINALS - since 2013, post-Vergeer*
10 - Yui Kamiji, JPN (6-4)
8 - ANIEK VAN KOOT, NED (2-5)(0-1 Para)
6 - Jiske Griffioen, NED (4-2)(1-0 Para)-ret.
6 - Sabine Ellerbrock, GER (2-5)
1 - Marjolein Buis, NED (1-0)
1 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR (1-0)

2017 AO - #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. #1 Jiske Griffioen/NED
2017 RG - #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
2017 WI - Diede de Groot/NED def. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
2017 US - #1 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. #2 Diede de Groot/NED
2018 AO - #2 Diede de Groot/NED def. #1 Yui Kamiji/JPN
2018 RG - #1 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. #2 Diede de Groot/NED
2018 WI - #1 Diede de Groot vs. Aniek van Koot/

2009 Korie Homan/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2010 Esther Vergeer/Sharon Walraven, NED/NED
2011 Esther Vergeer/Sharon Walraven, NED/NED
2012 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek van Kook, NED/NED
2013 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek van Koot, NED/NED
2014 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2015 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2016 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2017 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2018 de Groot/Kamiji vs. ??

25 - Esther Vergeer, NED [9-6-0-10]...[14+4]
6 - Yui Kamiji, JPN [1-3-0-2]...[1+0]*
4 - Jiske Griffioen, NED [2-1-1-0]...[3+1]
3 - Monique Kalkman, NED [0-0-0-3]...[2+1]
2 - Diede de Groot, NED [1-0-1-0]...[1+0]*
2 - Daniela Di Toro, AUS [0-0-0-2]...[0+0]
2 - Sabine Ellerbrock, GER [1-1-0-0]...[0+0]*
2 - Maaike Smit, NED [0-0-0-2]...[1+1]
2 - Chantal Vandierendonck, NED [0-0-0-2]...[1+0]
2 - Aniek van Koot, NED [1-0-0-1]...[1+0]*

[AO-RG-WI-US...WC Masters+Paralympics]
21 - Esther Vergeer, NED [7-5-3-6]...[10+3]
14 - Jiske Griffioen, NED [5-3-2-4]...[7+1]
12 - Yui Kamiji, JPN [4-3-4-1]...[2+0]*
11 - Aniek van Koot, NED [3-4-2-2]...[3+1]*
9 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR [2-2-4-1]...[2+0]*
7 - Sharon Walraven, NED [2-1-2-2]...[2+1]
5 - Marjolein Buis, NED [2-2-0-1]...[1+1]*
5 - Korie Homan, NED [1-1-1-2]...[1+1]
3 - Maaike Smit, NED [2-1-0-0]...[4+2]
2 - Diede de Groot, NED [0-1-0-1]...[2+0]*
2 - Florence Gravellier, FRA [2-0-0-0]...[0+0]

2006 Vera Zvonareva & Andy Ram, RUS/ISR
2007 Jelena Jankovic & Jamie Murray, SRB/GBR
2008 Samantha Stosur & Bob Bryan, AUS/USA
2009 Anna-Lena Groenefeld & Mark Knowles, GER/BAH
2010 Cark Black & Leander Paes, ZIM/IND
2011 Iveta Benesova & Jurgen Melzer, CZE/AUT
2012 Lisa Raymond & Mike Bryan, USA/USA
2013 Kristina Mladenovic & Daniel Nestor, FRA/CAN
2014 Samantha Stosur & Nenad Zimonjic, AUS/SRB
2015 Martina Hingis & Leander Paes, SUI/IND
2016 Heather Watson & Henri Kontinen, GBR/FIN
2017 Martina Hingis & Jamie Murray, SUI/GBR
2018 Azarenka/J.Murray vs. Melichar/Peya

2002 Vera Dushevina/RUS def. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2003 Kirsten Flipkens/BEL def. Anna Chakvetadze/RUS
2004 Kateryna Bondarenko/UKR def. Ana Ivanovic/SRB
2005 Agnieszka Radwanska/POL def. Tamira Paszek/AUT
2006 Caroline Wozniacki/DEN def. Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK
2007 Ula Radwanska/POL def. Madison Brengle/USA
2008 Laura Robson/GBR def. Noppawan Lertcheewakarn/THA
2009 Noppawan Lertcheewakarn/THA def. Kristina Mladenovic/FRA
2010 Kristyna Pliskova/CZE def. Sachie Ishizu/JPN
2011 Ash Barty/AUS def. Irina Khromacheva/RUS
2012 Genie Bouchard/CAN def. Elina Svitolina/UKR
2013 Belinda Bencic/SUI def. Taylor Townsend/USA
2014 Alona Ostapenko/LAT def. Kristina Schmiedlova/SVK
2015 Sofya Zhuk/RUS def. Anna Blinkova/RUS
2016 Anastasia Potapova/RUS def. Dayana Yastremska/UKR
2017 Claire Liu/USA def. Ann Li/USA
2018 Iga Swiatek/POL vs. Leonie Kung/SUI

2008 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2009 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2010 Vania King & Yaroslava Shvedova, USA/KAZ
2011 Kveta Peschke & Katarina Srebotnik, CZE/SLO
2012 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2013 Hsieh Su-Wei & Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN
2014 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2015 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
2016 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2017 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
2018 Krejcikova/Siniakova vs. Melichar/Peschke

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: Swiatek, Kung
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: Azarenka, Melichar
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Nominees: Kerber, Peschke
SPIRIT OF JANA (NOVOTNA) HONOREES: 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), Barbora Krejcikova/CZE (Novotna protege reaches WD final on 20th anniversary of late her coach's singles/doubles title sweep in '98) and Nicole Melichar/USA (Brno-born Bannerette in both doubles and mixed finals)
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 11. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

I think the theory about Yui is correct. Without Whiley to pick her up, she gets exposed a little more.

Serena lost to the only Top 10 player she met in her comeback-Venus.

I wouldn't mind a tiebreak after 10 all in the 3rd/5th set at a major.

Stat of the Day-24- The number of slams Won by German women in the Open Era.

Why does 24 keep coming up? Actually, with Graf having 22, Serena had a chance to tie Germany at the 2016 Australian Open. As fate would have it, Kerber won, putting Germany 2 up.

Then they met at Wimbledon, and the lead was back to 1. Kerber won the USO, and went 2 up again. Serena won the very next slam, and it seems like Kerber/Germany has been waiting just for Serena to come back.

I kid, but the fact that Germany only has 24 slams is a bit surprising. Goerges became the 8th German since the computer rankings started to have reached the Top 10. So you would think that they would have had even more chances.

Top 10 Germany-Listed with highest ranking.
1-Stefanie Graf
1-Angelique Kerber
4-Anke Huber
4-Claudia Kohde-Kilsch
5-Sylvia Hankia
6-Bettina Bunge
9-Andrea Petkovic
10-Julia Goerges

Ironically, what this does is push one of the more important Germans to the wayside.

You see, the first German woman to reach a slam final in the Open Era was Helga Masthoff. Ranked 6th in the world, she reached the French Open final in 1970.

Stastically, one of the weirdest careers ever, making you wonder-is she overrated, or underrated? Her first slam was Wimbledon in 1963, and her last was the French Open in 1978, when she reached the QF as a qualifier.

She finished with 1 slam final, 3 SF, and 6 QF out of her 26 slams. Good numbers, but also the red flag. That's right, she had a career that spanned 16 years, yet only played 26 slams. That is 6 1/2 years worth if played consecutively, or 64 slams she could have played. She missed more time than Del Potro!

And the trope is true about her not playing Australia much. She only played it twice, similar to the USO. So she never played all 4 slams in a year. Never more than 3 in a row, plus missed all of the slams in 1967 and 1969.

Makes you wonder what could have been.

Fri Jul 13, 07:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

I would like that little village to be in, say, the Czech Republic or Netherlands.

Fri Jul 13, 08:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Or maybe there could just be an "Isner Rule" and it only applies to his matches.

Welcome to "Breakfast at Den Bosch." ;)

[From Wikipedia]
Once a year, 's-Hertogenbosch changes its name to "Oeteldonk". "Donk" is a reference to a dry place in the marsh. The frog is however a symbol often used during Carnival, and it is a symbol of the Oeteldonk Marsh.

This change only lasts for the three days of Carnival even though this original meaning has disappeared to the background. The Mayor then hands over his duties temporarily to "Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel tot den Bobberd" during this three-day festival. "Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel tot den Bobberd" is the host of Prince Carnaval "Prince Amadeiro XXV" when he visits Oeteldonk.

Sounds good. ;)

Fri Jul 13, 09:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

It does! Certainly better than that disaster in London.

Fri Jul 13, 09:52:00 PM EDT  

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