Wednesday, July 11, 2018

W.9- Coming Home

Tomorrow, *they* will be coming home.

Pick a card. Any card...

...well, I *did* warn them.

A day after the mixed doubles #1 seeds fell, the same thing happened to the women's doubles #1's on Day 9. Alicja Rosolska & Abigail Spears knocked off #1's Timea Babos & Kristina Mladenovic, 7-6(4)/6-3. The Nottingham champs and $100K Southsea finalists are 11-2 on the grass this summer.

Then, of course, that Feder-ling guy, also a #1 seed lost, too. So, top seeds have failed to reach even the semis in WS, MS, WD, MD and MX, so far. In the GS, too. The #1's in boys singles, and in both junior doubles draws are still alive. Wheelchair play begins tomorrow.

In the other doubles quarterfinals, #12 Nicole Melichar & Kveta Peschke defeated #15-seeded Swarmettes Irina-Camelia Begu & Mihael Buzarnescu, and #6 Gaby Dabrowski/Xu Yifan ended the comeback journey of Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova.

Meanwhile, though the AELTC has yet to outwardly do anything to honor the dual 20th and 25th anniversaries of the late Jana Novotna's most famous Wimbledon moments, there *is* a lingering reminder of the Hall of Famer roaming around the grounds in the form of fellow Brno-born Maiden Barbora Krejcikova. Novotna's final protege joined with Katerina Siniakova to rally for a win over Heather Watson & Tatjana Maria on Wednesday to reach the semifinals.

The Czechs just won the Roland Garros title, where Krejcikova talked about Jana when accepting the trophy.

[from the NYT article]
Krejcikova grew emotional as she closed her speech in the trophy ceremony on a more personal note.

“I would like to dedicate this victory to Jana Novotna,” she said, her voice cracking slightly.

After the final, Krejcikova said that the last time she had seen Novotna before she died, Novotna had told her to “go win a Grand Slam.”

“She was special,” said Krejcikova.

It's been fifteen years since a duo swept the RG/WI doubles, something which has been done ten times in the Open era by seven different teams. Only Novotna was a member of two different teams to do it.

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, if Krejcikova were to win the WD title, there would be TWO winners of the inaugural "Spirit of Jana" award for this Wimbledon. The more the merrier.)

...the final four MX teams advanced into the QF today, and Vika Azarenka is part of one of them (with some help from Jamie Murray).

A win at SW19 would bring Azarenka one major MX title away (AO, where she reached a final in '07) from completing a Career Mixed Slam, as well as becoming the first player ever to win all four majors *and* a Mixed Olympic Gold. She's won RG with Bob Bryan, and the U.S. Open and Olympics with Max Mirnyi.

Also advancing today were Ekaterina Makarova/Bruno Soares (winners of the 2012 U.S. Open), Abigail Spears/Juan Sebastian Cabal ('17 AO champs -- and Spears is the only woman alive in both WD & MX) and Katarina Srebotnik/Michael Venus (the Slovenian is a Wimbledon MX title away from her own Career Mixed Slam).

...the juniors completed the 3rd Round on Day 9, leaving eight girls in singles. The field is quite evenly divvied up by world region.

3 - Western Europe
2 - Asia
2 - North America
1 - Eastern Europe

Western Europe has produced a trio on non-seeds for the QF, as Poland's Iga Swiatek (above) knocked off her second seed (#16 Clara Burel/FRA) in the event, while Brit Emma Raducanu (def. Joanna Garland/TPE) and a qualifier, Swiss Leonie Kung (def. #9 Yuki Naito/JPN, also with her second win over a seed), advanced today.

Eastern Europe has contributed Ukraine's Viktoriia Dema, whose win over #12 Naho Sato/JPN gives her two seeded victims at this Wimbledon, as well. China two Wangs -- #4 Xinyu (def. #14 Elisabetta Cocciaretto/ITA) and #10 Xiyu (def. Lea Ma/USA) -- fill both of Asia's spots, while the U.S. still has a pair of viable options in the hunt as the nation seeks back-to-back Wimbledon girls champions, and five Bannerette slam winners at the last six majors (and 6 of 8).

The last time U.S. girls won two straight Wimbledon junior crowns was when Bannerettes won three straight from 1977-79 (Lea Antonoplis, Tracy Austin and Mary-Lou Piatek). The U.S. has already put up back-to-back winners in the last two RG and U.S. Opens.

RG: Whitney Osuigwe (2017) and Coco Gauff (2018)
WI: Claire Liu (2017) and ?? (2018)
US: Kayla Day (2016) and Amanda Anisimova (2017)

The final two U.S. girls aren't a surprise, based on recent results. #3 Coco Gauff and #13 Caty McNally met in the RG final last month, as well as in the Roehampton championship match, with Gauff winning both. Quarterfinal victories from both would have them facing off in the semis at SW19.

Both had to fight to survive today. McNally outlasted China's Zheng Qinwen 1-6/7-6(4)/6-1, managing to do something her idol failed to on this Wednesday.

I saw some mentions online how much McNally resembles another CoCo, as in Vandeweghe. Well, yep, I guess I see a resemblance...

Gauff, too, got a fight from #15-seeded Argentine Maria Carle, a semifinalist in last year's U.S. Open juniors, where she also lost to the Bannerette. Carle had an early break lead on Gauff in the 1st, but eventually found herself serving to stay in the set at 4-5. She saved two BP/SP, then broke Gauff and served out the set. Gauff, 14, edged her out in a tight 2nd set, then broke the 18-year old to take a 2-0 lead in the 3rd. Carle had three BP chances to get back on serve in game #5, but Gauff held her off to take a 4-1 lead. She broke Carle's serve to end the match, winning 5-7/6-4/6-2 to keep alive the possibility of becoming the first girl to sweep the RG/WI titles since Belinda Bencic in 2013, and just the second to do it in the last twenty-two years.

1959 Joan Cross, RSA
1969 Kazuko Sawamatsu, JPN
1983 Pascale Paradis, FRA
1987 Natasha Zvereva, USSR
1994 Martina Hingis, SUI
1996 Amelie Mauresmo, FRA
2013 Belinda Bencic, SUI

LIKE ON DAY 9: Worth another look from Day 8...

LIKE ON DAY 9: ...and a worthy final goodbye for this Wimbledon to the grinding swashbuckler from Russia...

By the way, with Kasatkina not reaching the semis, it extended the string of slam final fours not including a Russian to eight. That's the longest streak since before the Hordette Revolution (22 slams w/o a SF from the '97 U.S. to the '03 AO). Starting with the Myskina/Dementieva final at Roland Garros in 2004, the first of three majors won by Russians that year, there was at least one Hordette in 32 of 37 slam SF until the 2013 RG, and 36/46 up to the 2015 Wimbledon (Maria Sharapova's most recent slam semi). The only Russian to go so far since then has been Elena Vesnina at Wimbledon two years ago.

LIKE ON DAY 9: Martina Classic!


DISLIKE ON DAY 9: 2015 Wimbledon junior champ Sofya Zhuk's Instagram... :(

A post shared by Sofya Zhuk (@sofya_zhuk) on


...and, finally...

Ummm, or not.

#12 Alona Ostapenko/LAT vs. #11 Angelique Kerber/GER
#13 Julia Goerges/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. #10 Spears/Cabal (USA/COL)
#4 Schuurs/Rojer (NED/NED) vs. vs. Azarenka/J.Murray (BLR/GBR)
#9 Srebotnik/Venus (SLO/AUS) vs. #3 L.Chan/Dodig (TPE/CRO)
#11 Melichar/Peya (USA/AUT) vs. #2 Makarova/Soares (RUS/BRA)

Iga Swiatek/POL vs. Emma Raducanu/GBR
#4 Wang Xinyu/CHN vs. Viktoriia Dema/UKR
#10 Wang Xiyu/CHN vs. #3 Coco Gauff/USA
(Q) Leonie Kung/SUI vs. #13 Caty McNally/USA

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)

Best dog

A post shared by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

*SLAMS BY NATION - 2010-18*
13 - USA
20 - USA
8 - RUS
5 - ITA
31 - USA
17 - RUS
11 - GER
9 - CZE
7 - BLR
5 - POL
3 - CAN

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 ?

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, Kasatkina
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominee: 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)
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: Spears, Azarenka, Srebotnik
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Nominees: S.Williams, 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 BREAKOUT: Nominees: Raducanu, Kung
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 9. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

Funny of the day-If Bethanie and Lucie are Team Bucie, are Siniakova/Krejcikova Team Sinia-Kova?

Kasatkina is close. Starting to have good results on all surfaces, and should have a big(Cincinnati/Wuhan?) title before the end of the year.

Stat of the Day-27- The amount of slams it took Klaudia Jans to reach a slam quarter.

Jans is now retired, but for years played with Alicja Rosolska, who in her 47th slam, finally made the QF here, and SF too.

Jans and Rosolska were so linked together at one point, that 18 of Jans' 19 ITF finals were reached together, as were 8 of 10 WTA finals. Oddly enough, they only won one WTA title, as Jans three titles were with different women- Rosolska, Mladenovic, Govortsova.

27 still is a relevant number for this Wimbledon, as grass courter Tatjana Maria reached the QF in her 27th doubles appearance.

Thoughts about tomorrow.
Kerber/Ostapenko has the potential to be a great match. Ostapenko probably has been the best shotmaker the last two weeks, while Kerber's anticipation and net play has been excellent.

Kerber has been better, but has had dips in play, while Ostapenko has been steadier. Also tossing the ball farther back behind her, which is working. I'm saying Kerber, but it could go either way especially if Ostapenko starts to zone in off the backhand.

Williams vs Goerges is all about Serena. The blueprint for Goerges is similar to the Anderson/Federer match, without the facing the match point part.

Serena says that she doesn't feel pressure. we know that is a lie, and the one drawback in not having lost in France is that she probably is more nervous now. It almost feels like the Williams/Vinci match, because Williams is a clear favorite, but it almost feels too easy.

Picking Williams, but if Goerges can weather the storm early, she has a chance.

Wed Jul 11, 06:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

Agree, colt. What would turn the Williams-Goerges match would be for two things to happen: for Julia to not be done in by the occasion, and for Serena’s serve to go off. Normally, that might not even make a difference, but when’s she’s “on,” Julia’s serve can be deadly. She uses it very cleverly. Also, she would need to hit a healthy number of body serves to Serena, whose feet can get in her way.

Kerber-Ostapenko could be a free-for-all. Alona’s improved serving gives her a bit more safety than usual. I sort of wish this were a final.

Wed Jul 11, 09:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Or even Team Krejci-Kova. I guess they're perfectly matched. ;)

Ah, yeah, Kerber/Ostapenko *would* be a great final.

On a side note, ESPN won't know how to promote the final if Serena isn't in it. Their commercials for the semis pretty much consist of: (guy w/ a British accent, of course) "Serena Williams. Watch." Not that that's surprising or anything. :\

Wed Jul 11, 10:24:00 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home