Tuesday, July 10, 2018

W.8- Two Sets to Guts-and-Glory

Angelique Kerber and Dasha Kasatkina are separated in age by nearly a decade, but they're a perfect tennis match. Today in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, they joined forces on Centre Court to produce a wonderful example of 20th century tennis nearly two decades into the new millennium.

The difference in career experience and accomplishment between #11-seeded Kerber, 30 years old and a former #1 and two-time slam champion, and #14 Kasatkina, barely 21 and seeking to reach her first career slam semifinal, is considerable. But the two seem to be drawn like magnets to one another. Knotted at 3-3 in their head-to-head series, today they were playing for the seventh time in less than two years. They'd met as recently as just a few weeks ago in Eastbourne, with Kerber winning a 3rd set TB in the quarterfinals.

While their match today ultimately ended with a "routine" looking scoreline, it was anything but.

A meeting between the two can be expected to have many things, from a large dose of variety, long rallies, the Russian pulling off every shot in the How-To-Tennis guidebook (and a few only available in the "updated" version you can purchase online), the German's defensive scrambles turning into suddenly shocking offense, and several instances when you see sweat glistening off both as they bend over in exhaustion after a particularly exciting adventure caper (complete with its own catchy theme song) and recognize that *this* is what guts and glory look like in a sports setting.

And that's what we got, too. In fact, about the only thing we didn't see was a 3rd set. Ah, who knows what we missed out on.

In the early going, it looked as if a 3rd set wasn't even going to be a possibility. Kerber broke out on top in the 1st, getting the best of Kasatkina from the baseline as the Russian failed to force the issue with increased aggression in an attempt to alter the course of events. The German led 4-2. Finally, Kasatkina had a breakthrough in game #7. Up 15/40 on Kerber's serve, she end one of the match's typical crosscourt rallies with a backhand winner to get the break. But a DF from the Russian a game later allowed Kerber to get the break right back. Kerber took the set 6-3.

It established a frustrating pattern for Kasatkina, who'd often fluctuate between being brilliant and frustratingly inconsistent all day. A little more steadiness from the grinding *and* flashy (an intriguing combination, to say the least) Hordette and they two might *still* be playing. Kerber, by contrast, played a steady game. No big highs, but also no big lows. She staked out the "middle" and maintained it from the first point until the last. It turned out to be her key to victory.

Kerber again seized control early in the 2nd set, taking a 3-1 lead. She was often seen pulling Kasatkina forward to the net and then firing a passing shot by her. Time was running out the Russian. But then, like the swashbuckler-in-tennis-gear she is, Kasatkina swooped in and helped turn this match into something "more."

Kasatkina still had to battle against her own up-and-down nature, though. After playing a great game to get the break to level the score at 3-3, she squandered a chance to consolidate the win a game later. Kasatkina pushed out her reply to a bad Kerber drop shot, then double-faulted to fall behind 15/30. With a Centre Court breeze behind her, she fired a forehand long and was down two BP. A backhand error contributed the game to the cause of the German, who reclaimed her break lead and prevented Kasatkina from getting on the sort of roll that might guide her down the path to victory. If the Russian could simply get the match into a 3rd set, she'd still have a chance. Doing so, though, would prove unworkable.

Kasatkina had two BP on Kerber's serve in game #8, wasting both with errors. But when what seemed to be her *final* chance arrived she stepped up once again. Or, really, she *jumped* up. BP #3 came via a jump slice crosscourt backhand drop shot (now that's a new one -- maybe it should just be called a "Kasatkina" since few would even dare to dream), then she whipped a crosscourt forehand that took Kerber well outside the sideline to break for 4-4. But, again, Kastakina wasn't able to hold steady.

Up 30/love a game later, she fired a forehand well out off as a response to a short Kerber return that had clanged off the German's racket frame. Kerber got to BP after winning a 24-shot rally, then fired a forehand winner to the corner to end a rally and break the Russian to lead 5-4. She wasn't able to serve out the match, though. Kastakina got the break to get things back even at 5-5. But the Russian's errors put her down love/30 in the next game. A DF and she found herself BP down. Kerber reached a drop shot and put a winner into the corner to lead 6-5 and get another chance to serve out the win.

The final game turned out to be a semi-masterpiece of guile and audacity. Kerber actually led 40/15 and it seemed as if it would end quickly, but it turned out to be a 16-point, 7-MP tussle highlighted by a 25-shot rally (to reach MP #6) that saw, just to name a few moments, Kasatkina slip and fall behind the baseline, then recover and race back to the other side of the court, pull off a drop shot, but then see it answered by a point-winning volley from Kerber.

A point later Kerber just missed completing a drop and lob combo to win the match (on MP #6), then finally did on MP #7 when Kasatkina failed to get back the German's forehand as Kerber's 6-3/7-5 win allows her to return to the Wimbledon semis for a third time.

The match, though it lasted just two sets, highlighted much of what draws one to Kasatkina. She's got nothing but fight in her on the court, has every shot (and then some), and is a fun listen off it, too. If she could just corral it all she'll win a major, and "the rest" will all go hand-in-hand. At this early stage of her game's development, even with only one tour-level singles title in her column, she's got almost too many wins over top players to count (well, not really -- she has seven Top 10 wins in '18, and eight Top 3 wins the last two seasons. This Wimbledon she even managed to reach the QF without having to play a 3rd set, so she would have still been fresh for more fight had she won today. Her long-match tendencies have sometimes come back to bite her late in events. Either way, she equaled her best slam result with this run, her second of back-to-back major QF. The Hordette's best slam prior to '18 was the U.S. Open (3rd Rd. in her debut, then a Round of 16 last year), so we're likely to hear from her again on a major stage before the summer if over. In fact, it'd be criminal if the USTA can't get her on Ashe in a night match the first week (hmmm, maybe she'll draw an unseeded Vika early on?).

Meanwhile, Kerber was somewhat hidden in this draw. But now she's the highest seed remaining, and will play for her second Wimbledon final berth in three years. In fact, the German is THIS CLOSE to having had a *fantastic* season. Consider, after her disappointing '17 campaign followed up her HUGE '16, she opened '18 at 10-0 with a singles title (14-0 w/ Hopman Cup play), has won multiple matches at 10 of 13 events, returned to the Top 10, had MP on Simona Halep in the Australian SF, and is now again a match away from her fourth career slam final and the opportunity to be 3/4 of the way to a Career Slam. Not only that, but she lost to the eventual Dubai (Svitolina/SF), Miami (Stephens/QF), Rome (Svitolina/QF), RG (Halep/QF) and Eastbourne (Wozniacki/SF with a MP) champs, as well.

Maybe that's partly why she stuck to the steady-as-she-goes approach today. After seeing it all play out, on both ends of the spectrum in 2016-17, she knows how fine a line there is between success and failure. Such knowledge could be the difference between whether this Wimbledon is simply another sign of Kerber's return to form, or her next *grand* moment in the spotlight.

...while Kerber and Kasatkina were dueling with swords, knives and throwing stars for two compelling sets on Centre Court, Court 1 played host to a pair of fire-ballers in #12 Alona Ostapenko and Dominika Cibulkova.

They sought to engage in a contest to see which of the two could outhit the other. While the storm that is Latvian Thunder has remained mostly tucked away and on view to only the sort of storm chasers who actively seek her out at this slam, the damage she's left behind in her wake through the first four rounds surely has produced a "this was no boating accident" sense of awe and potential dread as the numbers have come in: no sets lost coming into today, as well as 94 winners in eight sets, two of them won at love, a dominant win over a former Wimbledon semifinalist (Kirsten Flipkens) and a decided lack of pressure weighing on her shoulders a month past her Roland Garros title defense attempt lasted just one round. Ah, yes. We've seen this sort of storm before in a major, and it ended with Ostapenko lifting the La Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen above her head in Paris last year. Were it not for the presence of other previous slam champions remaining in this draw, there would be little compunction felt in announcing that a session with the Venus Rosewater Dish on Centre Court was hers to lose. After all, when Ostapenko, a former SW19 junior champ, is on few can hope to match her hitting power, and if she's consistently accurate even fewer can hope to stay with her.

Cibulkova, for one, wasn't able to today.

Early on, though, Ostapenko had some difficulty keeping her shots inside the lines. She fell behind 3-1 in the 1st set, dropping serve after having led 30/15, as her UE total (12) through less than the first half of the set had already nearly equaled her full match total (15) from her Round of 16 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. In game #5, in which Cibulkova held a GP, Ostapenko's thudding backhand return winner set her up with a BP, which she converted with an (expected) huge deep return combined with a (surprisingly delicate) drop shot to get things back on serve at 3-2. At 5-5, the 21-year old fired two winners and, along with a DF from the 29-year old Slovak, had triple BP. A second serve backhand return was whacked down the line to give her a chance to serve for the set. An ace gave Ostapenko a 40/love lead, and she closed out the 1st at 7-5 with another ace, winning her eighth consecutive point, and twelfth of thirteen.

The Latvian drew first blood in the 2nd, breaking for 2-1. After the two exchanged breaks the next two games, Ostapenko held for 4-2 and 5-3. Coming back from 15/30 down, Cibulkova held in game #9 to force Ostapenko to serve out the win. With no fuss or muss, she did it at love, ending things with a backhand winner into the corner to win 7-5/6-4. She finished with 33 winners, upping her total to 127 through five matches (an avg. of 25.4 per match... good, but still behind her shocking 42.7 stat en route to winning RG last season).

Adding another "first Latvian woman to..." (reach the Wimbledon semis) notation to her career bio, Ostapenko makes herself the first multi-slam semifinalist of the Generation PDQ set, of which she was also the first to claim a major. Kasatkina couldn't make it an all-PDQ semi, which would have been as big a statement as any made by the tour's newly twentysomethings so far. But, hey, it's just a matter of time, though.

Whether Ostapenko can become also become the first multi-slam finalist (or winner) of the group remains to be seen. After all, semifinal opponent Kerber has proven (especially in '16) that she can handle power. This will be their first meeting, as would a match-up between the Latvian and either of the other two semifinalists in a potential championship match.

It may ultimately turn out to be the case, though, that this really *was* Ostapenko's slam to win. She's still a bit away from being able to legitimately claim the right to see her name listed amongst the legendary winners of this event. But, well, check back in a few days. By then, things may have changed.

...the second-up QF matches of the day sported a foursome of players achieving later in their career. Serena Williams, of course, but also Julia Goerges (fielding her best career results over the past year as she approaches her 30th birthday, and in her first slam QF), Kiki Bertens (surging after a cancer score a few seasons ago), and Camila Giorgi (in her first slam QF six years after her initial breakthrough Round of 16 run at SW19).

Good friends #13 Goerges and #20 Bertens met on Court 1. Bertens arrived seeking her second career slam SF (RG '16), but first on a surface on which she wouldn't previously have been expected to excel. But increased aggression had enabled her to take out the likes of Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova in back to back rounds en route to the quarterfinals, leading to another contest against a big-serving opponent. Goerges came into the match as the WTA season and tournament leader in aces (Bertens was #3 for the fortnight, with Serena sandwiched between them).

It was Bertens who stayed above the fray in the opening sections of the match, winning the serving and baseline battles with the German. She took the 1st set at 6-3, then overcame a 4-2 deficit in the 2nd. She knotted the set at 4-4, then held for 5-5 after climbing out of a love/30 hole. But Goerges gradually was able to carve into the effectiveness of Bertens' serve, going about things differently on a tactical basis, chipping back her returns and generally preventing the Dutch woman from taking control of rallies. The German held and converted a BP point on Bertens serve to take the 2nd set 7-5. She jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead in the 3rd as her own winners count edged over 30, then carried her new momentum through to the end. From 4-1 up, Goerges won ten of eleven points, firing a running, stretch forehand crosscourt and mid-way into the deuce box on Bertens' side of the net, out of reach of the Dutch woman, to take a love/40 lead. She got the break and soon served out the 3-6/7-5/6-1 victory to become the latest first-time slam semifinalist at Wimbledon. That makes it nine consecutive Wimbledons in which at least one maiden final four run has occurred, as well as in nineteen of the last twenty-one majors since Wimbledon '13.

Along with Kerber, this makes this the first slam with two Germans in the semis since 1993 (RG: Graf/Huber) and the first time it's happened at Wimbledon in the Open era. The last time it happened before that was 1931, when Cilly Aussem & Hilde Krahwinkel met in the final.

In the other QF on Centre Court, Serena looked to *not* add to her past troubled slam history with fiery Italians (see '15 U.S. Open semi and Roberta Vinci) vs. Giorgi. Yet, lo and behold, the big-hitting 26-year old proved a relentless opponent for the 36-year old Williams for much of what turned out to be a three-set affair. Firing balls hard and deep on the baseline, Giorgi followed the pattern made somewhat famous at this tournament fourteen years ago by Maria Sharapova when faced with the prospect of Serena being across the net, keeping her off-balance, unable to get a full swing at the ball or have the opportunity to have a good angle to produce groundstroke winners.

It worked. For a while.

Williams failed to convert a BP in the opening game, and it allowed Giorgi to keep a half-step ahead in the 1st set even while Williams won her opening two service games at love. Up 3-2, Giorgi carved out a BP chance of her own and won the game with a deep-shot-and-Serena-off-balance-error to lead 4-2. Williams had four BP to get back on serve a game later, but the Italian saved them all (leaving Williams 0-for-5 in the set). Two games later, she held to take the 1st 6-3, the first set lost by Serena at this slam. Actually, it ended a 12-set streak that began with her comeback win over Ash Barty after dropping the 1st vs. the Aussie in the 2nd Round in Paris last month, and was her first lost set at SW19 after claiming twenty in a row since losing a 1st set TB vs. Christina McHale in the 2nd Round in 2016.

Of course, even winning the 1st vs. Serena at a major doesn't necessarily mean much. She came into the day with a winning record (38-35) in such matches.

After holding from love/30 down to lead 2-1 in the 2nd, Williams finally found her game and pulled away. Firing a rally-ending forehand crosscourt into the corner got her a break lead a game later. Serving for the set at 5-3, Giorgi couldn't get back a big serve and Williams yelled, "Come on!" on her way to the changeover area. An early break in the 3rd was all Serena needed to seize control in the 3rd. Serving at 5-4, she held at love with a deep forehand that Giorgi netted with her response, securing Williams her 19th straight Wimbledon victory (SW wins #19 at SW19... naturally, right?) and 35th career slam SF berth.

Serena has won nine straight Wimbledon semifinal matches. Her last loss? It came eighteen years ago, when she fell to Venus, who'd go on to win her FIRST major title two days later in the final vs. Lindsay Davenport. Weeks earlier, Ostapenko had just turned three... years old.

...meanwhile, Timea Babos & Kristina Mladenovic should keep an eye out, for yet another #1-seeded woman fell today. After WS #1 Simona Halep and GS top seed Whitney Osuigwe saw their Wimbledon's cut short, so today did MX #1 Gaby Dabrowski & Mate Pavic. The AO champs (and RG finalists) were upset on Tuesday by a pair of Brits, Harriet Dart (who gave Karolina Pliskova some trouble last week, after having beaten Kristyna the week before) & Jay Clarke.

Also, #3-seeded RG champs Latisha Chan & Ivan Dodig eliminated '16 Wimbledon MX winners Heather Watson & Henri Kontinen.

...the junior Round of 16 is set, and there won't be an all-Bannerette girls final this time around. Not because the U.S. juniors have performed poorly -- there are three remaining, tied with China for the most -- but because they're all concentrated in the bottom eight of the draw.

Must like the women's draw, most of the top seeds have been shipped off. Yesterday it was #1 Whitney Osuigwe, and today it was #2 Liang En-shuo (who became the first girls slam champ from TPE in Melbourne, but lost on Tuesday to China's Zheng Qinwen), #5 Alexa Noel (falling to Ukraine's Viktoriia Dema, leaving the top half without its highest-ranked U.S. girl), #7 Eleonora Molinaro (the dominant junior performer, until today, was *double-bageled* by TPE's Joanna Garland) and #8 Clara Tauson (Bannerette Lea Ma took out the Dane). Just two Top 8 seeds reached the final sixteen.

#3 seed and Roehampton champ Coco Gauff is still alive, though. She defeated Slovak Lenka Stara, so at least one of the seven kingdoms has been vanquished. Don't worry, Coco, there are more to conquer.

Fellow Bannerettes joining Gauff are Ma and #13 Caty McNally, the Roehampton (and RG) runner-up. The strong contingent from Asia includes the aforementioned Garland and Zheng, as well as #4 Wang Xinyu (CHN), #9 Yuki Naito (JPN), #10 Wang Xiyu (CHN) and #12 Naho Sato (JPN). The sole remaining Brit, Emma Raducanu, defeated #11 Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada, while Iga Swiatek (who def. Osuigwe) advanced past Switzerland's Simona Waltert. #15 Maria Carle (ARG) kept South America in contention with a win over the U.S.'s Dalayna Hewitt, while #14 Elisabetta Cocciaretto didn't follow in the footsteps of fellow Italian Giorgi, defeating another Bannerette, Katie Volynets.

LIKE ON DAY 8: 14. Already a junior slam champ. Coached by Patrick Mouratoglou. Confident ("I want to be the best I can be and be the greatest."). Hmmm.

LIKE ON DAY 8: What Courtney said...

(clears throat)

OF NOTE ON DAY 8: And this lineup doesn't result from chaos, but rather from depth of field. It could have happened even without the massive loss of seeds in the early rounds.

LIKE ON DAY 8: Your new/latest doubles #1...

SCHEDULED RELEASED ON DAY 8: Commence "the disrespect of it all"-styled conniption fit, tennis world...

And save some outrage for when it happens (and far worse) to a women's #1, defending major champ or reigning slam queen.



...and, finally...

The wheelchair draw is out, with all the usual suspects. Diede de Groot is the top seed, with Yui Kamiji at #2. Still no North Americans in the singles or doubles draws, though Dana Mathewson (USA) *is* currently the sixth-ranked WD player, and all the other Top 8 WD players (and #11) are teamed up in the four-team draw. De Groot and Kamiji form a very high-powered combo at the top of the doubles draw, with de Groot's countrywomen, Marjolein Buis & Aniek van Koot, the #2 seeds. Kamiji & Jordanne Whiley have won the Wimbledon doubles four straight years, but the Brit is still out after having a baby.

#12 Alona Ostapenko/LAT vs. #11 Angelique Kerber/GER
#13 Julia Goerges/GER vs. #24 Serena Williams/USA

#1 Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA) vs. Rosolska/Spears (POL/USA)
#3 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) vs. Maria/Watson (GER/GBR)
#12 Melichar/Peschke (USA/CZE) vs. #15 Begu/Buzarnescu (ROU/ROU)
#6 Dabrowski/Xu Yifan (CAN/CHN) vs. Mattek-Sands/Safarova (USA/CZE)

(WC) Dart/Clarke (GBR/GBR) def. #1 Dabrowski/Pavic (CAN/CRO)
#10 Spears/Cabal (USA/COL) vs. Flipkens/Haase (BEL/NED)
#4 Schuurs/Rojer (NED/NED) def. #14 Hozumi/McLachlan (JPN/JPN)
#12 Larsson/Middelkoop (NED/SWE) vs. Azarenka/J.Murray (BLR/GBR)
A.Chan/Mektic (TPE/CRO) vs. #9 Srebotnik/Venus (SLO/AUS)
#3 L.Chan/Dodig (TPE/CRO) def. #16 Kontinen/Watson (FIN/GBR)
#11 Melichar/Peya (USA/AUT) def. #6 S.-Hlavackova/Roger-Vasselin (CZE/FRA)
Stephens/Sock (USA/USA) vs. #2 Makarova/Soares (RUS/BRA)

Iga Swiatek/POL vs. #16 Clara Burel/FRA
Emma Raducanu/GBR vs. Joanna Garland/TPE
#4 Wang Xinyu/CHN vs. #14 Elisabetta Cocciaretto/ITA
#12 Naho Sato/JPN vs. Viktoriia Dema/UKR
Lea Ma/USA vs. #10 Wang Xiyu/CHN
#15 Maria Carle/ARG vs. #3 Coco Gauff/USA
(Q) Leonie Kung/SUI vs. #9 Yuki Naito/JPN
#13 Caty McNally/USA vs. Zheng Qinwen/CHN

x vs. x
x vs. x
x vs. x
x vs. x

#1 Diede de Groot/NED vs. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
Katharina Kruger/GER vs. Kgothatso Montjane/RSA
Lucy Shuker/GBR vs. Aniek van Koot/NED
Marjolein Buis/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)x

*CAREER SLAM SF - active*
35 - SERENA WILLIAMS (29-5/0-0 in '18]
23 - Venus Williams (16-7)
20 - Maria Sharapova (10-10)
7 - Victoria Azarenka (4-3)
7 - ANGELIQUE KERBER (3-3/0-1)
7 - Caroline Wozniacki (3-4/1-0)
6 - Simona Halep (4-2/2-0)
6 - Jelena Jankovic (1-5)
5 - Svetlana Kuznetsova (4-1)
5 - Petra Kvitova (2-3)
5 - Samantha Stosur (2-3)
5 - Aga Radwanska (1-4)
4 - Vera Zvonareva (2-2)
4 - Garbine Muguruza (3-1/0-1)
3 - Sloane Stephens (2-1/1-0)
3 - Madison Keys (1-2/0-1)
3 - Sara Errani (1-2)
3 - Genie Bouchard (1-2)
2 - Francesca Schiavone (2-0)
2 - ALONA OSTAPENKO (1-0/0-0)
2 - Dominika Cibulkova (1-1)
2 - Sabine Lisicki (1-1)
2 - Karolina Pliskova (1-1)
2 - Lucie Safarova (1-1)
2 - Timea Bacsinszky (0-2)
2 - Johanna Konta (0-2)
2 - Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (0-2)
2 - Ekaterina Makarova (0-2)
2 - CoCo Vandeweghe (0-2)
1 (1-0) = none
1 (0-0) = GOERGES
1 (0-1) = Bertens,Flipkens,Mertens(2018),Peng,Petkovic,Pironkova,

*SLAM SF - DECADE OF 2010's - 2010-18*
10 - Maria Sharapova (6-4)
7 - Victoria Azarenka (4-3)
6 - Simona Halep (4-2)
6 - Li Na (4-2)-retired
6 - Caroline Wozniacki (2-4)
5 - Venus Williams (2-3)
5 - Petra Kvitova (2-3)
5 - Aga Radwanska (1-4)
4 - Garbine Muguruza (3-1)
4 - Samantha Stosur (2-2)
3 - Kim Clijsters (2-1)-retired
3 - Sara Errani (1-2)
3 - Sloane Stephens (2-1)
3 - Vera Zvonareva (2-1)
3 - Madison Keys (1-2)
3 - Genie Bouchard (1-2)
2 - Francesca Schiavone (2-0)
2 - Karolina Pliskova (1-1)
2 - Sabine Lisicki (1-1)
2 - Flavia Pennetta (1-1)-retired
2 - Marion Bartoli (1-1)-retired
2 - Lucie Safarova (1-1)
2 - Timea Bacsinszky (0-2)
2 - Johanna Konta (0-2)
2 - Ekaterina Makarova (0-2)
2 - CoCo Vandeweghe (0-2)
1 (1-0) = Cibulkova,Henin(retired)
1 (0-0) = GOERGES
1 (0-1) = Bertens,Dementieva,Flipkens,Ivanovic(retired),Jankovic,Mertens,

*2018 WTA SF*
6 - Simona Halep (4-1+L)
5 - Petra Kvitova (5-0)
4 - Caroline Wozniacki (3-1)
4 - Elise Mertens (3-1)
4 - Mihaela Buzarnescu (2-2)
4 - Garbine Muguruza (1-2+W)
3 - Elina Svitolina (3-0)
3 - Dasha Kasatkina (2-1)
3 - Ash Barty (2-1)
3 - Karolina Pliskova (1-2)
3 - Anastasija Sevastova (1-2)

*2015-18 WTA SF*
28 - Simona Halep - 9/6/7/6
27 - ANGELIQUE KERBER - 8/11/3/5
25 - Karolina Pliskova - 8/6/8/3
23 - Caroline Wozniacki - 7/4/8/4
22 - Elina Svitolina - 6/7/6/3
20 - Aga Radwanska - 8/9/2/1
19 - Garbine Muguruza - 5/3/7/4
18 - Petra Kvitova - 5/6/2/5
17 - SERENA WILLIAMS - 9/6/1/1
15 - JULIA GOERGES - 0/4/7/4
15 - Caroline Garcia - 2/4/7/2
15 - Dominika Cibulkova - 1/9/3/2
14 - Venus Williams - 5/3/5/1
12 - Madison Keys - 2/6/2/2
12 - ALONA OSTAPENKO - 1/2/7/2
12 - Johanna Konta - 0/5/6/1
12 - Kristina Mladenovic - 3/3/5/1
11 - Kiki Bertens - 1/5/3/2
11 - Maria Sharapova - 7/0/2/2
11 - Sloane Stephens - 3/3/3/2

#246 Sabine Lisicki/GER = Taipei City
#186 Victoria Azarenka/BLR = Miami
#183 Stefanie Voegele/SUI = Acapulco (RU)
#152 Wang Yafan/CHN = Taipei City
#141 Dalila Jakupovic/SLO = Bogota
#139 Rebecca Peterson/SWE = Acapulco
#132 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova/SVK = Bogota (W)
#130 Vera Lapko/BLR = Lugano
#122 Sachia Vickery/USA = Auckland
#122 Pauline Parmentier/FRA = Istanbul (W)
#121 Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK = Budapest

2004 Maria Sharapova, RUS
2005 Venus Williams, USA
2006 Severine Bremond, FRA
2007 Marion Bartoli, FRA
2008 Zheng Jie, CHN
2009 Elena Dementieva, RUS
2010 Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL
2011 Petra Kvitova, CZE
2012 Aga Radwanska, POL
2013 Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
2014 Lucie Safarova, CZE
2015 Garbine Muguruza, ESP
2016 Elena Vesnina, RUS
2017 Magdalena Rybarikova, SVK
2018 Julia Goerges, GER

2017 Diede de Groot/NED d. Lucy Shuker/GBR
2018 Yui Kamiji/JPN d. Diede de Groot/NED
2016 Jiske Griffioen/NED d. Aniek Van Koot/NED
2017 Diede de Groot/NED d. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
2018 ?

1968 Ann Jones
1969 Rosie Casals
1970 Francoise Durr
1971 Judy Dalton
1983 Yvonne Vermaak
1989 Catarina Lindqvist
1994 Gigi Fernandez
1994 Lori McNeil
1996 Meredith McGrath
1997 Anna Kournikova
1998 Natasha Zvereva
1999 Alexandra Stevenson (Q)
1999 Mirjana Lucic
2000 Jelena Dokic
2008 Zheng Jie (WC)
2010 Petra Kvitova
2010 Tsvetana Pironkova
2011 Sabine Lisicki (WC)
2016 Elena Vesnina
2017 Magdalena Rybarikova
#25 - Serena Williams, 2018
#23 - Lucie Safarova, 2014
#23 - Sabine Lisicki, 2013 (RU)
#23 - Venus Williams, 2007 (W)
#21 - Vera Zvonareva, 2010 (RU)
#20 - Garbine Muguruza, 2015 (RU)
#20 - Kirsten Flipkens, 2013
#18 - Marion Bartoli, 2007 (RU)
#16 - Nathalie Tauziat, 1998 (RU)
#16 - Kathy Rinaldi, 1985
#15 - Marion Bartoli, 2013 (W)
#14 - Garbine Muguruza, 2017 (W)
#14 - Venus Williams, 2005 (W)
#13 - Julia Goerges, 2018
#13 - Aga Radwanska, 2015
#13 - Genie Bouchard, 2014 (RU)
#13 - Maria Sharapova, 2004 (W)
#12 - Alona Ostapenko, 2018
#12 - Kimiko Date, 1996
#12 - Billie Jean King, 1982
#11 - Angelique Kerber, 2018
#11 - Bettina Bunge, 1982
#10 - Venus Williams, 2017 (RU)
#10 - Gabriela Sabatini, 1986
#10 - Billie Jean King, 1983

Kiki Bertens, NED
Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
Julia Goerges, GER *
Elise Mertens, BEL
Peng Shuai, CHN
Andrea Petkovic, GER
Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL
Magdalena Rybarikova, SVK
Patty Schnyder, SUI
Elena Vesnina, RUS
Yanina Wickmayer, BEL
NOTE: Ostapenko removed from list w/ 2nd SF

6 - #17-19 (last 2: #17 Makarova '14 US, #18 Bouchard '14 RG)
16 - #20-25 (last 2: #25 S.Williams '18 WI, #21 Kerber '18 AO)
4 - #26-29 (last 2: #26 Pennetta '15 US, #28 Petkovic '14 RG)
4 - #30-32 (last 2: #30 Bacsinszky '17 RG, #30 Bouchard '14 AO)
25 - unseeded (last 2: Stephens '17 US, Mertens '18 AO)
4 - wild card (last 2: Henin '10 AO, Lisicki '11 WI)

2010 Petra Kvitova, CZE
2010 Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL
2011 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2011 Sabine Lisicki, GER (RU)
2012 Aga Radwanska, POL (RU)
2013 Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
2014 Lucie Safarova, CZE
2015 Garbine Muguruza, ESP (RU)
2016 Elena Vesnina, RUS
2017 Magdalena Rybarikova, SVK
2018 Julia Goerges, GER

AO: Sloane Stephens/USA
RG: -
WI: Kirsten Flipkens/BEL
US: Flavia Pennetta/ITA
AO: Genie Bouchard/CAN
RG: Simona Halep/ROU (RU), Andrea Petkovic/GER
WI: Lucie Safarova/CZE
US: Ekatarina Makarova/RUS, Peng Shuai/CHN
AO: Madison Keys/USA
RG: Timea Bacsinszky/SUI
WI: Garbine Muguruza/ESP (RU)
US: Roberta Vinci/ITA (RU)
AO: Johanna Konta/GBR
RG: Kiki Bertens/NED
WI: Elena Vesnina/RUS
US: Karolina Pliskova/CZE (RU)
AO: CoCo Vandeweghe/USA
RG: Alona Ostapenko/LAT (W)
WI: Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK
US: -
AO: Elise Mertens/BEL
RG: -
WI: Julia Goerges/GER

*WEEKS AT WTA SINGLES #1 - w/ titles/slams*
[to July 11]
377 - Steffi Graf (107/22)
332 - Martina Navratilova (167/18)
319 - Serena Williams (72/23)
260 - Chris Evert (154/18)
209 - Martina Hingis (43/5)
178 - Monica Seles (53/9)
117 - Justine Henin (43/7)
98 - Lindsay Davenport (55/3)
71 - Caroline Wozniacki (29/1)
51 - Victoria Azarenka (20/2)
39 - Amelie Mauresmo (25/2)
37 - SIMONA HALEP (17/1)
34 - Angelique Kerber (11/2)
26 - Dinara Safina (12/0)
21 - Tracy Austin (30/2)
21 - Maria Sharapova (36/5)
20 - Kim Clijsters (41/4)
18 - Jelena Jankovic (14/0)
17 - Jennifer Capriati (14/3)
12 - Ana Ivanovic (15/1)
12 - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (29/4)
11 - Venus Williams (49/7)
8 - Karolina Pliskova (10/0)
4 - Garbine Muguruza (6/2)
2 - Evonne Goolagong (68/7)

2006 Justine Henin-Hardenne, BEL
2007 Justine Henin, BEL
2008 Zheng Jie, CHN
2009 Serena Williams, USA *
2010 Serena Williams, USA *
2011 Maria Sharapova, RUS
2012 Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2013 Sabine Lisicki, GER
2014 Petra Kvitova, CZE *
2015 Garbine Muguruza, ESP & Maria Sharapova, RUS
2016 Angelique Kerber, GER
2017 Garbine Muguruza, ESP *
2018 Alona Ostapenko, LAT
* - won title

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 ("???"): Nominee: Ostapenko, Gauff, (Jr.)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominee: Mattek-Sands, S.Williams, Kerber
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)
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Nominees: S.Williams, Kerber
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)
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 8. More tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

"You have to be able to compete even if are dead, you don't want to be there, you're throwing up from tennis."

This is pure Safina. From the moment she came on the scene, Kasatkina reminded me of Dinara, and this is peak Dinara!

Tue Jul 10, 08:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

The Jana Novotna Award: If Bethanie wins the title, shouldn't she be considered?

Goerges is winning this. I am sort of kidding, but if you are a numerology person, this is her year. Williams won 3 slams in 2015, Kerber 2 in 2016, and Ostapenko 1 in 2017. So that leaves Goerges.

The other odd thought, is that she brings up the stat that had been dormant. The one where nobody wins a slam without previously reaching a slam QF. In the last 19 years, it has happened twice. And if Goerges was the third, she probably would have to beat the two women that did it-Williams-99 USO, Ostapenko-17 F.

Stat of the Day-1931- The only time in which two German women faced off in a slam final.

As Todd mentioned, Cilly Aussem defeated Hilde Krahwinkel at Wimbledon. But the thing that stands out about this, is that the German was the only winner from a non slam nation in the first 66 years. They skipped years due to WW1 & WW2, but it wasn't until Maria Bueno won it in 1959 that it happened a second time.

Last Wimbledon Title-Slam Nation
1977-Virginia Wade-GBR
1980-Evonne Goolagong Cawley-AUS
2013-Marion Bartoli-FRA
2016-Serena Williams-USA

The Final Four

Grass record last 3 years.
Kerber 21-5
Ostapenko 16-7
Williams 12-0
Goerges 11-6

Williams only has Wimbledon on her resume.

Williams leads Kerber 6-2/1-0 Williams on grass/1-1 last 3 years.
Williams leads Goerges 3-0/no grass/Williams 1-0 last 3 yrd
Kerber leads Goerges 2-1/no grass/none since 2012
Ostapenko 0 vs the field

The only grass matchup of any is the 2016 Wimbledon final.

Top 10 wins last 3 years.
Kerber-17(Grass)V.Williams, Halep(Clay)Kvitova-2, Garcia(Hard)Keys-2, Halep-2, Pliskova-2, S.Williams, Cibulkova, Vinci, Radwanska, V.Williams, Garcia.
Ostapenko-7(Grass)Svitolina, (Clay)Halep, (Hard)Kvitova-2, Muguruza, Pliskova, Svitolina.
Williams-7(Grass)Kerber,(Hard)Radwanska-2, Halep-2, Sharapova, Konta.
Goerges-4(Hard)Svitolina, Radwanska, Mladenovic, Wozniacki.

Now you may be wondering why I did it this time, with no Top 10's left. It is odd, in the fact that none of the 4 have, or will have a Top 10 win here, yet all 4 have been in the Top 10 in the last calendar year, as Serena came into Wimbledon last year at #4.

Going by records, Kerber should be a 55/45 favorite, while Williams should be 65/35. But at a slam where anything and everything has happened, all 4 have a reasonable chance.

Tue Jul 10, 09:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hopefully Dasha's thrill rides will have fewer bad endings, though. ;)

Well, like I said, I wasn't sure how the Jana pick would go other than it being an "I'll know it when I see it"/reminds me of Novotna sort of way. The Vekic consoling in defeat, then returning to have more success did that. Plus, BMS will surely be up for the Comeback (definitely if she wins) or Doubles Star, and Jana's Wimbledon history didn't revolve around a bad injury, either.

Well, technically, Kerber *did* slip into the #10 ranking as Wimbledon started, so I guess she'd count as a Top 10 win though she's only seeded #11.

Wed Jul 11, 12:39:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home