Monday, August 06, 2018

Wk.31- Interestinger and Interestinger...

WTA Week 31 (to WTA Week 30): "So, I'll see your pair of maiden champions, the youngest final match-up in thirteen years and and a 17-year old who became the tour's first-ever lucky loser tournament queen, and raise you champions that include a 30-year old Doctor who was forced out of the game for nearly two years due to injury and a 33-year old multiple slam winner back from wrist surgery who had to save four match points in the final en route to her first singles title since 2016. Whatta you say to *that*?"

WTA Week 30: "Ummm...."

WTA Week 32: (shoves Week 30 aside) "Don't worry. I've got this."


Oh... yes, I like *that* idea.

Now, back to tennis. ;)

S: Mihaela Buzarnescu/ROU def. Maria Sakkari/GRE 6-1/6-0
D: Latisha Chan/Kveta Peschke (TPE/CZE) d. Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiia Kichenok (UKR/UKR) 6-4/6-1
WASHINGTON, D.C. USA (Int'l/Hard Court)
S: Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS def. Donna Vekic/CRO 4-6/7-6(7)/6-2
D: Han Xinyun/Darija Jurak (CHN/CRO) d. Alexa Guarachi/Erin Routliffe (CHI/NZL) 6-3/6-2
F: Springfield Lasers def. Philadelphia Freedoms 19-18

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Mihaela Buzarnescu/ROU
...finally, Buzarnescu was the sole survivor. Of course, after injuries and near-retirement, the 30-year old Swarmette has already done more than enough in her *second* tennis career to qualify for the title. This time, though, she has an *actual* title in hand to provide tangible evidence of her resilience.

In San Jose, the 30-year old Romanian became the tour's latest thirtysomething maiden champ, finally winning her first tour title after reaching her seventh QF, sixth SF and third final of the season. Wins over Sachia Vickery, Amanda Anisimova, Ajla Tomljanovic and Elise Mertens set up a battle for a first career title between Buzarnescu and Maria Sakkari. It was no contest. Buzarnescu coasted to a 6-1/6-0 win. Fittingly, she sealed the deal with an ace.

In a season chocked full of stories, Buzarnescu's may be the "craziest." After being a top junior, injuries wrecked her career. She missed nearly two full years in 2013-14, but found her way back to the sport after she suddenly felt no more pain after having filled her time earning a Ph.D. in sport science. The Romanian only made her MD tour debut last summer (at the U.S. Open) after more than a dozen failed qualifying attempts. She got her maiden MD win in Linz in October. Since January, she's recorded five Top 20 wins (3 Top 10), reached a slam Round of 16 in Paris, won her first tour title and will make her Top 20 debut on Monday. "Interesting" doesn't really do her justice.

In recent years, stories similar to Buzarnescu's, at least on at smaller scale much of the time, have become more and more commonplace. Success after injury-devastated (and briefly ended, or nearly so) careers is the topic of another story almost on a weekly basis. But that doesn't make Buzarnescu's or that of any other player any less remarkable or inspiring, for there are far more tales that *didn't* have such encouragingly bright moments than there are those that have.


RISERS: Donna Vekic/CRO and Danielle Collins/USA things turned out, Vekic's least favorite moment this week in Washington *didn't* involve a bug.

It's a shame, really, because the 22-year old Croat was often the very best (and gutsy) version of herself for four and a half matches. Unfortunately, her week of work won't likely be remembered for her straights wins over Caroline Dolehide, Magda Linette and Zheng Saisai, nor her 3 MP-saving 15-13 3rd set TB victory over Fanny Stollar in the 2nd Round. In her first final since last summer in Nottingham, she led Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4/5-4 and held two MP on the Russian's serve. Sveta saved them and sent things to a TB, where Vekic recovered from an early mini-break to hold two more MP. But the Russian's defense combined with Vekic's nerves and some wayward shots flipped the match script. She lost the breaker 9-7 and, well, if anything had happened other than what actually *did* there wouldn't be any bad memories for Vekic to lock away, learn from and/or move past starting tomorrow morning. She spent an extra long break off-court between sets (you know everyone's waiting when Tennis Channel starts a time clock in the corner of the screen), and never really recovered from her inability to finish Kuznetsova off. She fell behind 5-0, served with red eyes and at least avoided a bagel set. She got a hold and a quick break back (and with Sveta, well, you *never know...*), but that was it. Kuznetsova broke Vekic's serve to get the win.

In surely a tough moment, Vekic managed to do well in her post-match speech to the crowd, only nearly breaking once while she recounted how her weekend ended (it was saying sorry for not winning her first title for her current coach that almost upset the emotional apple cart).

Hopefully Vekic will respond to this disappointment in a way similar to how she did after dropping a tough 3:10 match vs. Johanna Konta at last year's Wimbledon. She returned to SW19 in June and knocked off Sloane Stephens in the 1st Round and reached her first slam Round of 16. This was her first event since that run. So, one year from now, could we be saying hello to Donna Vekic, 2019 Washington champ? We'll see.

In San Jose, Collins thrived in her return to North American hard courts, as one might expect from someone who played in six WTA & WTA 125 events on the continent during the opening months of 2018, a stretch during which she went 18-5, won at 125 crown, reached the Indian Wells Round of 16 (def. Keys), Miami semis (wins over CoCo and Venus) and Monterrey QF. She recorded just four MD wins during the spring clay and grass court season in Europe, and obviously viewed the tour's return to the U.S. as her chance to reclaim her early '18 mojo. Well, she did that, even if she did stumble in the final moments.

Wins over Danielle Lao and Vera Lapko preceded a QF match vs. Vika Azarenka in which the former #1's ongoing banner week went up in flames when she was forced to retire up 7-6/0-3 after having having issues with her knees, lower back (the official reason for retirement) and difficulty breathing. Of course, Collins was then immediately attacked in many corners of Tennis Twitter for not being comforting enough to Vika after having complained about Azarenka's on-court noise, something for which she was then criticized for herself. Whatever. Really, the only thing that mattered was what happened next. In the semis, Collins squandered a set and 4-1 lead vs. Maria Sakkari, who scrambled back to become the one of the two to reach her maiden tour final.

It wasn't quite as crushing a final note as that experienced by Donna Vekic this weekend, but Collins will likely be thinking about what might have been until she can replace the memory with something else once she gets back on the court. At any rate, she'll come in at a new career high of #35 this week.

A post shared by Harriet Dart (@harriet_dart) on

SURPRISE: Harriet Dart/GBR
...the unexpected summer of Harriet Dart continued in Washington. Going into this week, the season had already seen the 22-year old Brit win her biggest career singles ($25K in February) and doubles ($50K in April) titles before summer had even begun. Since then, her grass court work ($100K Surbiton SF, Manchester QF and Ilkley QF) earned her a Wimbledon wild card. After upsetting Kristyna Pliskova in Eastbourne she took her twin sister Karolina to three sets in the SW19 1st Round, then rode her momentum all the way to the Mixed Doubles semis with Jay Clarke. She reached her career high in singles (#167) last month. In D.C., she qualified for the MD, allowing just five total games to Shuko Aoyama and Alexa Guarachi, before losing to Belinda Bencic in the opening round. She'll edge up six spots to #172 on Monday, just 13 rankings points off another career high.

Sometimes I’m hungry and other times I’m asleep ??

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VETERANS: Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS and Andrea Petkovic/GER of the preseason's leading questions for 2018 revolved around whether or not Sveta had one more comeback in her. Having undergone wrist surgery for the injury that ended her season early last fall, the 33-year old returned to action in March. She lost her first three matches. She arrived in Washington, where she won the title in her only full-event appearance in 2014, having gone just 4-10 on the season, only winning multiple matches in one event (Istanbul in April). Ranked #128, her lowest standing since an identical ranking in July 2002, more than two years before her U.S. Open title run in 2004, she suddenly caught fire over the course of one rainy week in D.C., reaching her first SF since Madrid '17, and first final since last season in Indian Wells. Through it all, she hadn't dropped more than two games in a set in four consecutive wins over Kristie Ahn, Ana Bogdan, Yulia Puntintseva and Andrea Petkovic. Playing her 41st career tour-level final against Donna Vekic, though, you knew such a run couldn't hold up. We *were* talking about Sveta, after all -- queen of the longest matches, well, *ever* in many cases in numerous places.

True to form, the drama finally arrived as the afternoon turned to early evening in the nation's capital.

Vekic led 6-4/5-4, with her first serve in great form. She held two MP there before coming back from a break down in the 2nd set TB. She took a break lead there and ultimately held two more MP, only to see Kuznetsova's rally-extending defense paint her into a corner, eliciting poorly-timed errors as the pressure of the moment got the advantage of the Croat. Once Kuznetsova took the TB 9-7, and everyone waited while Vekic took quite a while returning to the court after both players had taken an off-court break, you sort of had a sense of what was to come. Kuznetsova raced to a 5-0 lead as an emotional Vekic served through tears. Sveta failed to serve out the match at 5-1, but got the break a game later to claim her first title since winning the Kremlin Cup in 2016. Her 18th career win will raise her ranking to #87, and suddenly the prospect of an in-form Kuznetsova will be thrown into they already broiling summertime stew of a tour that is now producing headline-worthy results *each and every week.* Could be interesting.

As always, Sveta's words of wisdoom for her opponent, who moments earlier had cracked ever so slightly (but she held on) during her speech to the crowd, were more than worth their weight in prize money and trophy hardware.

In Washington, the somewhat under the radar mini-resurgence of Petkovic got its North American legs. After barely finishing in the Top 100 last year (#97) after having done so in seven of the previous eight seasons in spite of numerous injuries, including a #10 finish in her career season of 2011, the German began '18 with an opening qualifying round loss to Russian Polina Monova in Brisbane. She didn't let it set her back, though. She knocked off Petra Kvitova in Melbourne, got some revenge on Monova in Saint Petersburg qualifying, reached a $100K semi and upset Kristina Mladenovic at Roland Garros. Still, she entered the week ranked just #91. After a win over Jamie Loeb, though, she picked up yet another big-name victory, taking down Sloane Stephens to record her first Top 10 win since 2016. She followed up by saving 3 MP vs. Belinda Bencic to reach her first tour-level semifinal since doing so in this same event last summer. She ultimately fell to Svetlana Kuznetsova, and her ranking will only inch up two spots on Monday. But, you know, we got to see the Petko Dance a few times, too. So, on balance, it was a good week.

Speaking of, here's a little history of the German's beloved dance move...

Hmmm, I sense a "Carl Talk" coming to Backspin Academy in a few months.

"The Petko Dance: A History," with an after-Talk bonus: "The Philosophy of Tennis as It Pertains to Life (an open-ended conversation)"
COMEBACKS: Johanna Konta/GBR and Allie Kiick/USA
...not long ago, Konta was worthy of being under consideration as the best hard court player on tour. From summer '15 until the '17 grass court season, the Brit went a combined 84-23 on HC, won titles in Sydney, Miami and Stanford, reached the Beijing final and Australian Open semis, and posted ten of the first twelve Top 10 wins of her career on the surface. Her hard court slam stretch in the period was 4th-SF-4th-QF. Since her grass success last summer, which included a Wimbledon semi and all the off-court pressures that go into that (not to mention some coaching changes), her HC slam results have dipped (1st-2nd) and she arrived in San Jose with a 15-13 mark (with a 5-0 chunk of that in Fed Cup) on the surface. Then this happened...

@johannakonta takes 1??2?? games in a row to advance at @mubadalasvc! ????

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She followed up handing Williams her worst career loss with a win over Sonya Kenin to reach the QF, where she lost to Elise Mertens. Was her week in California a mere blip on the radar helped along by an underprepared or unfocused Serena, or a sign that Konta (ranked #48 this past week after being as high as #4 last July) may have finally righted the ship enough to shine as brightly at this time of the year as she did before her star-making SW19 turn? What remains of the summer may give us an indication.

In D.C., Kiick's return from multiple knee surgeries maintained its spring/summer momentum. After allowing just three games in a pair of qualifying matches (1 vs. #1-seeded Y.Bonaventure), the Bannerette notched her second career tour-level MD win, and first since 2014, over Han Xinyun, then rallied in the 3rd set (after having been forced to a 3rd after play had been suspended the day before w/ Kiick leading by a set and 4-4) to defeat Katie Boulter and reach her first career tour QF. This result, coming after her first comeback singles title ($25K Bastad) and a handful of other good results ($25K RU/RU/SF/QF and $80K QF) since mid-April, on Monday will return her to the Top 200 after a three and a half year absence.


FRESH FACES: Maria Sakkari/GRE and Amanda Anisimova/USA
...Sakkari has ridden the tour rollercoaster in 2018. The 23-year old Greek lost her first five matches, then ripped off 18 wins in her next 25 outings, including victories over the likes of Vekic, Barty, Vandeweghe, Krunic, Kontaveit, Bertens, Ka.Pliskova, Minella and Suarez-Navarro. A Roland Garros loss to Dasha Kasatkina, though, turned her fortunes the other way. She came to San Jose on a four-match losing skid, only to again step up her game when things had started to look dire. Wins over Christina McHale and Timea Babos (1 game lost vs. the Hungarian) preceded an upset of Venus Williams (in straights after falling down 3-0 in the 1st). Having reached the semifinals without dropping a set, she lived the rollercoaster experience in a matter of hours, falling behind a set and 4-1 to Danielle Collins, only to pull things back from the edge and rally to reach her maiden tour singles final, and first by a WTA player from Greece since Eleni Daniilidou over a decade ago ('08 Hobart). Once there, she found nothing that worked against Mihaela Buzarnescu, falling 6-1/6-0 to the 30-year old, who was also seeking her first tour singles title. She'll still jump eighteen spots to new career high of #31 this week.

Remember when Caroline Wozniacki was "adopted" by the Yale football team? The Dane ended up winning the New Haven (aka The Wozniacki Open) event four straight times from 2008-11. Well, Sakkari touched a little bit on that ground with the San Jose State Spartan football program this week.

The final didn't ultimately have a "Sakkari Open" finish, but it was still more than noteworthy. Maybe this will be just Chapter One of a larger Spartan story.

Finally back after a four-month absence due to injury, 16-year old Anisimova, the '17 U.S. Open girls champ, has a successful RE-debut for her 2018 season. In San Jose, the Florida native, who shined pretty brightly before she was injured -- reaching a 125 Series SF and the Indian Wells Round of 16, after wins over Pavlyuchenkova and Kvitova, as well as a win over Week 30 singles champ Wang Qiang in her last match in Miami -- qualified with wins over Priscilla Hon and Anna Blinkova (via a 3rd set TB in 2:30), then notched *another* win over Wang before going out to eventual tournament champ Mihaela Buzarnescu in three sets.

DOWN: Madison Keys/USA
...with all the defending champions, future Hall of Famers, and high seeds falling left and right in D.C. and San Jose, there are more than enough candidates to fill this category quite a few times over for this week. Serena Williams suffered her worst-ever defeat, while both #1 seeds (Wozniacki D.C., Muguruza S.J.) withdrew with injuries without playing a match. Washington defending champion Ekaterina Makarova lost in the 1st Round, while '15 winner (and #2 seed) Sloane Stephens fell in the 2nd. In California, #3 Naomi Osaka won just one match. Venus Williams was forced to three sets in her only win and was bounced in straights a round later, while Victoria Azarenka retired with a back injury (while leading the match) in the QF just as she seemed to be ready to make an early North American hard court circuit statement.

But I'll go with Keys, both the San Jose defending champ (when the event was still at Stanford last year) and #2 seed, because her mid-week withdrawal might be the most worrisome. Or not. We'll see. Already having had multiple surgeries on her left wrist, as well as a too-soon comeback and lingering pain, the '17 U.S. Open finalist pulled out with a right wrist injury this week. While the rest either have a history of injury-related exits from tournaments that don't impact their later results, can be expected to pick things up again soon or, you know, are named Serena and one "regular season" match that took place in mid-comeback, as well as around the time that one of the various off-court issues related to her family may or may not have made it difficult to focus on her preparation for the event. The 15th anniversary of her sister's murder was this week, and the man who committed the crime, released from jail earlier this year, was recently arrested for a parole violation.

For Keys, though, even a mention of a wrist injury -- no matter how minor, or whether it concerns her off or dominant side -- raises a cautionary red flag for the remainder of her summer. She's also pulled out of Montreal.
ITF PLAYERS: Laura Siegemund/GER and Asia Muhammad/USA
...Siegemund continues to pick up steam in her (so far exclusively clay court) comeback from knee surgery, as she's put up good results on both the WTA and ITF levels in recent weeks. The 30-year old German had already posted four QF-or-better results in her last five events, including a $60K final and back-to-back tour-level final eight results in Bucharest and Moscow. This week featured a return to the challenger level, as she went to Bad Saulgau, Germany and dropped just one set all week (vs. Barbara Haas in the SF) en rout to taking her 14th career ITF title via a 4 & 2 win in the final over Alexandra Cadantu. It was a good week for the Swarmette, as well, as she ended a six-match losing streak to reach her first singles final since the WTA 125 in Bol in June '17 (she def. Sakkari and Minella en route).

Muhammad, 27, took the $60K challenger in Lexington, Kentucky. The unseeded Bannerette took down #4 Marie Bouzkova and #5 Grace Min, then defeated 18-year old Ann Li ('17 Wimbledon girls finalist) 5 & 1 in the final to pick up her sixth career circuit title, and second of 2018.

JUNIOR STAR: Wong Hong Yi Cody/HKG
...16-year old Wong, the #64-ranked junior, posted back-to-back wins over Top 25 girls en route to taking her maiden Grade 1 crown at this week's top-level event in Nanchang, China. She defeated Lulu Sun 6-1/6-4 in the semis, and led Joanna Garland 3-6/6-3/4-1 in the final when the 17-year old from Taiwan was forced to retire. Prior to this week, Wong's biggest '18 results had been a pair of Grade 1 doubles titles in Nonthaburi and Offenbach. As it is, this is a big leap for her when it comes to singles success. Wong lost in a Grade 4 singles final earlier this season. She did post a win in January over Yuki Naito (jr. #12, w/ three G1/GA finals and QF at RG & Roehampton) in the Australian Open juniors, but this is her first singles title since taking the crown at a Grade 2 in Beijing last September.

DOUBLES: Latisha Chan/Kveta Peschke (TPE/CZE) and Han Xinyun/Darija Jurak (CHN/CRO)
...finally, after trudging her way through fourteen tournaments with six different partners in the wake of Martina Hingis' retirement and her now rare team-ups with sister Angel (just two events in '18, going 3-2 in the I.W./Miami swing in March), Chan found success this week in San Jose with veteran Peschke. Just 18-14, with one WD final appearance this season (she and Hingis were 33-5 with 5 titles at this time a year ago), Chan teamed up this week with the 43-year old Czech for the first time (they'd split eighteen career match-up as opponents going back to 2007). They never lost a set. Of course, it didn't hurt that they got a 1st Round bye, and a QF walkover. After getting a SF win over Kato/Ninomiya, the pair won a 6-4/6-1 final over twins Lyudmyla & Nadiia Kichenok. The Ukrainians, of course, had literally a lifetime of partnering to fall back on. Really, though, they're 22-20 in ITF finals, and are now 2-3 in tour-level championship matches, though they haven't won one since 2016. In contrast to Chan/Peschke, they had to pull out three straight matches via 3rd set TB just to reach the final.

It's Peschke's 30th career tour title, and Chan's 29th. Chan, who won the RG Mixed crown with Ivan Dodig a few months ago, hadn't won a WD title with anyone other than her sister Angel or Hingis since 2010 (Zheng Jie in Kuala Lumpur). This is Peschke's second '18 win, having won Prague with Nicole Melichar in May. That pair also just reached the Wimbledon final.

In Montreal, Chan will be partnering Ekaterina Makarova.

In Washington, another set of first-time partners, Han & Jurak, proved to be too much for Alexa Guarachi & Erin Routliffe, who were seeking to add a WTA final win to their spotless (5-0) ITF final mark together since last November. Han/Jurak, who'd faced off as doubles opponents just five times beginning with their first-ever meeting back in 2006, had to fight their way into the final. They won a 3rd set TB in the 1st Round, and another (vs. Bencic/Kalinina) in the QF, their first of two matches on Saturday after rain backed up the D.C. schedule big-time over the course of the week, setting up a sweep of their final four sets of the weekend. After a semifinal win over Bonaventure/Stollar, Han & Jurak defeated Guarachi (Gstaad winner w/ Krawczyk) & Routliffe (two-time NCAA WD champ w/ Maja Jensen at Alabama) 3 & 2 to take the crown. It's tour title #5 for 34-year old Jurak, and #3 for Han, 28.


WHEELCHAIR: Natalia Mayara/BRA
...a week after claiming the Beligian Open doubles title with Dana Mathewson, 24-year old Brazilian Mayara (WC #12) swept the titles at the Austrian Open (ITF 2 Series) in Gross Siegharts. After defeating world #10 Michaela Spaanstra (NED) in the semis, Mayara faced off with South America's top-ranked woman, #12 Angelica Bernal (COL), for the third time in three weeks. After splitting a pair of meetings at the British and Belgian Opens, Mayara won the rubber match with a 7-6(4)/6-2 victory to claim the title, her second singles crown of the year. She's reached two additional WS finals in '18, losing in Baton Rouge to Aniek van Koot (3 sets) and Spaanstra in the Open de Vendee event in France. Mayara and Bernal teamed to take the doubles, defeating Katharina Kruger & Spaanstra in a 10-8 3rd set TB in the final.


This sounds like something I might have said...

Meanwhile, at first I was mildly exasperated by this, then I tilted my head a bit and realized that, as poor a behavior note as it was, it fits into the "Most Interesting Tour" marketing lexicon. It should be part of the mix as much as the great moments. Interesting is as interesting does.

If only all tennis coverage (and one tour in particular) had the sense to think outside the service box a little when it comes to marketing the sport and its personalities in one brilliant *and* messy, I-dare-you-not-to-look, ball. I mean, the WTA is only the most successful women's sport in the world, with an overabundance of the most recognizable names in global women's sport. It shouldn't be such a struggle for those on the side of the equation that should already know all this.

And with that, though this is an ad for Riga and not Alona or the WTA... THIS is how you do it.

An instant classic.

1. Washington Final - Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Donna Vekic
Vekic led 6-4/5-4 and held two MP on Kuznetsova's serve, then had two more in the 2nd set TB. Emotionally crushed, she quickly fell down 5-0 in the 3rd on her way to the sort of predictable finish that often accompanies such a missed opportunity. Sveta becomes the sixth player to win a title from MP down this season. Naturally, she saved twice as many as any of the other five.
2. Washington 2nd Rd. - Donna Vekic def. Fanny Stollar
Vekic had *her* MP-saving moment this week, too. After leading 3-0 in the 3rd vs. Stollar, she soon saw the Hungarian serve for the match and hold three MP. Vekic saved them, avoided fumbling away a 4-2 TB lead and won the 28-point breaker on her sixth MP.

3. San Jose SF - Maria Sakkari def. Danielle Collins
Sakkari battled for this win on Saturday night (is it any wonder she had nothing left on Sunday?), overcoming a 6-3/4-1, double-break deficit, and trailing 2-0 in the 3rd, to clip Collins and reach her maiden tour final.

4. Washington 2nd Rd. - Andrea Petkovic def. Sloane Stephens
Petko's first Top 10 win since 2016 (Doha vs. Muguruza), and just her fourth since claiming seven such victories in her banner 2011 campaign.

5. San Jose Final - Mihaela Buzarnescu def. Maria Sakkari
Buzarnescu is just the fifth thirtysomething maiden champ on tour in the 2000's, but the second in a matter of months (w/ Tatjana Maria in Mallorca).

6. San Jose QF - Danielle Collins def. Victoria Azarenka
...6-7(4)/3-0 ret.
Vika takes one step forward in California, but hopefully not *two* back. After winning out over Kateryna Bondarenko in three sets in the 1st Round, she allowed just one game to Anna Blinkova and led Collins here before various ailments (knees, back, breathing) conspired to take her out. Hopefully this isn't the sort of setback that will wreck yet another summer hard court season.
7. Washington QF - Andrea Petkovic def. Belinda Bencic
Petko saves three MP and wins despite the Swiss holding a 105-102 points lead, as well as a 40-26 winners edge. The 42-24 UE numbers surely worked against Bencic.

8. Washington 2nd Rd. - Kristie Ahn/Lauren Davis def. Shuko Aoyama/Renata Voracova
...5-7/6-4 [11-9].
A monster win for Ahn/Davis as far at this tournament goes, for not only were Aoyama/Voracova the #2 seeds and defending champions, but Aoyama won the WD in Washington in four of the first seven years the tournaments has been held (and reached a fifth final). The Bannerette pair lost in the semis to Guarachi/Routliffe.
9. San Jose 1st Rd. - Ashley Kratzer def. Alison Riske
The 19-year old's maiden WTA win. She led 5-1 in the 3rd, and held on for #1.
10. San Jose Q1 - Maria Sanchez def. Aryna Sabalenka
As the Sabalenka Turns. Out-aced 8-to-1, the Belarusian fell to #258-ranked Bannerette Sanchez.
11. Washington Q1 - Alexa Guarachi def. Francesca Di Lorenzo
The match note here was that Guarachi was a qualifying "alternate" thirty minutes before the match.
12. San Jose SF - Mihaela Buzarnescu def. Elise Mertens
Now playing under new coach Dieter Kindlemann, Mertens hadn't lost a set all week (def. Konta in the QF) until Buzarnescu took the 2nd and 3rd. Playing with an arm injury, she won just four games in those sets, and it's hard *not* to wonder if this might be the first sign of the Belgian's overscheduling (and combined WS/WD success) coming back to bite in the season's closing months.
13. San Jose 1st Rd. - Timea Babos def. Kristina Mladenovic
It was a year ago this week -- though in D.C, not S.J. -- that Mladenovic's long losing streak began. This year, the Pastry fell to her doubles partner, who won her third straight in the series.
14. Washington 1st Rd. - Andrea Petkovic def. Jamie Loeb
The week's first sighting!

15. $15K Biella ITA Final - Bianca Turati def. Nastassja Burnett
A week after losing to her in another $15K final in Schio, Turati (Univ. of Texas) gets her first ITF win since 2015.

16. Montreal Q1 - Rebecca Marino def. Vera Lapko
Marino's win over the #69-ranked Belarusian is the biggest of her comeback, no matter that she lost in the next round to Wang Qiang.
17. Montreal Q1 - Sofya Zhuk def. Samantha Stosur
The former U.S. Open champ falls to the 18-year old '15 Wimbledon junior champ. Zhuk defeated Bernarda Pera a round later to reach the MD.
18. $25K Forth Worth USA Final - Maria Mateas def. Robin Anderson
The 19-year old Dukie wins her maiden pro title, taking out ex-UCLA Bruin Anderson.


HM- WTT Final - Springfield def. Philadelphia
The Lasers (including Vania King) finally pick up their first King Cup in Year 23 of their existence.


Superhero-like tendencies?

Definitely all-around entertainer tendencies...

1. San Jose 1st Rd. - Johanna Konta def. SERENA WILLIAMS
In the middle of the night (back home), Konta strung together twelve consecutive games to hand Serena the worst full-match loss of her career.

2. San Jose 1st Rd. - Victoria Azarenka def. KATERYNA BONDARENKO
In a battle of WTA moms, Vika failed to convert three MP in the 2nd set and had to battle for 2:40, playing past midnight while overcoming a 2-0/40-love 3rd set deficit vs. the Ukrainian to get the win. This was their first meeting since 2010. Azarenka is now 5-0 in the series, but the previous "other lifetime" victories came in straight sets.

Even with the loss, though, K-Bond will always have this rally...

3. San Jose 2nd Rd. - VENUS WILLIAMS def. Heather Watson
Watson knows all about getting close vs. a Williams Sister. Remember, three years ago at Wimbledon, the Brit led Serena 3-0 (double-break) in the 3rd in their 3rd Round match. She served at 5-4, and was two points away from the win. Serena went on to win the title, of course. Though Watson won the MX crown at SW19 a year later.

At a combined age of 43, Chan & Peschke are collectively the oldest doubles champions on tour in in 2018.

A (recently) rare dual Pliskova sighting...

My dve???????

A post shared by Kristyna Pliskova (@kristynapliskova) on

@simonahalep’s got hops! ???? @couperogers . Repost from @dc10s

A post shared by WTA (@wta) on

Meanwhile, the Legend of Steph continues? (Maybe one January we'll get that Steph photo with Leo & mom.)

Exploring options to beat jetleg! #coffeewithlucie #montreal ??????

A post shared by Lucie Safarova (@lucie.safarova) on

#MTL ?

A post shared by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

Indian Wells: Naomi Osaka, JPN (20/#44) - def. Kasatkina
Rosmalen: Aleksandra Krunic, SRB (25/#55) - def. Flipkens
Mallorca: Tatjana Maria, GER (30/#79) - def. Sevastova
Moscow MO: Olga Danilovic, SRB (17/#187) - def. Potapova
Nanchang: Wang Qiang, CHN (26/#78) - def. Sai.Zheng
San Jose: MIHAELA BUZARNESCU, ROU (30/#24) - def. Sakkari

33y,1m,1w = SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA, RUS (Washington)
32y,3m = Pauline Parmentier, FRA (Istanbul)
30y,10m,2w = Tatjana Maria, GER (Mallorca)
30y,6m = Angelique Kerber, GER (Wimbledon)

Australian Open: Caroline Wozniacki (2 MP=2r/Fett)
Charleston: Kiki Bertens (1 MP=SF/Keys)
Strasbourg: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2 MP=F/Cibulkova)
Rosmalen: Aleksandra Krunic (1 MP - SF/Vandeweghe)
Eastbourne: Caroline Wozniacki (1 MP=SF/Kerber)
Washington: SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA (4 MP=F/Vekic)

31 - Alberta Brianti, ITA (2011 Fes)
30 - Nicole Pratt, AUS (2004 Hyderabad)
30 - Peng Shuai, CHN (2016 Tianjin)
30 - Tatjana Maria, GER (2018 Mallorca)
30 - MIHAELA BUZARNESCU, ROU (2018 San Jose)

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)

Hobart: Mihaela Buzarnescu, ROU (#57, 29)
Taipei City: Kateryna Kozlova, UKR (#85, 23)
Acapulco: Stefanie Voegele, SUI (#183, 27)
Mallorca: Tatjana Maria, GER (#79, 30) = W
Gstaad: Mandy Minella, LUX (#226, 32)
Moscow MO: Anastasia Potapova, RUS (#204, 17)
Moscow MO: Olga Danilovic, SRB (#187, 17) = W
Nanchang: Zheng Saisai, CHN (#112, 24)
Nanchang: Wang Qiang, CHN (#78, 26) = W
San Jose: MARIA SAKKARI, GRE (#49, 23) = L

36 - Serena Williams, USA (Wimbledon-L)
32 - Mandy Minella, LUX (Gstaad-L)
32 - Kirsten Flipkens, BEL (Rosmalen-L)
32 - Pauline Parmentier, FRA (Istanbul-W)

#226 - Mandy Minella, LUX (Gstaad)
#204 - Anastasia Potapova, RUS (Moscow MO)
#187 - Olga Danilovic, SRB (Moscow MO) = W
#183 - Stefanie Voegele, SUI (Acapulco)
#181 - Serena Williams, USA (Wimbledon)
#132 - Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, SVK (Bogota) = W
#128 - SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA, RUS (Washington) = W
#122 - Pauline Parmentier, FRA (Istanbul) = W
#112 - Zheng Saisai, CHN (Nanchang)

*2018 WTA FINALS - both w/o a title*
Moscow MO - Danilovic/SRB (0-0) def. Potapova/RUS (0-0)
Nanchang - Q.Wang/CHN (0-0) def. Sai.Zheng/CHN (0-0)
San Jose - BUZARNESCU/ROU (0-2) def. SAKKARI/GRE (0-0)

2 - Dasha Kasatkina (0-2)
1 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (1-0)
1 - Anastasia Potapova (0-1)
[WTA 125]
1 - Irina Khromacheva (1-0)
1 - Sofya Zhuk (0-1)

72 - Serena Williams, USA
49 - Venus Williams, USA
36 - Maria Sharapova, RUS
29 - Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
25 - Petra Kvitova, CZE
20 - Victoria Azarenka, BLR
20 - Aga Radwanska, POL
17 - Simona Halep, ROU

93...Serena Williams (72-21)
83...Venus Williams (49-34)
59...Maria Sharapova (36-23)
53...Caroline Wozniacki (29-24)
36...Victoria Azarenka (20-16)
35...Jelena Jankovic (15-20)
32...Petra Kvitova (25-7)
31...Simona Halep (17-14)

36 - Maria Sharapova (2003-17)
16 - Elena Dementieva (2003-10)
13 - Nadia Petrova (2005-12)
12 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2010-18)
12 - Vera Zvonareva (2003-11)
12 - Dinara Safina (2002-09)
10 - Anastasia Myskina (1999-05)

18 - Sorana Cirstea (Tashkent '08)
19 - Alexandra Dulgheru (Warsaw '09)
21 - Simona Halep (Nurnberg '13)
22 - Irinia-Camelia Begu (Tashkent '12)
25 - Monica Niculescu (Florianopolis '13)
30 - MIHAELA BUZARNESCU (San Jose '18)

3: GER - Goerges,Kerber,Maria
2: BEL - Mertens,Van Uytvanck
2: CZE - Kvitova,Ka.Pliskova
2: FRA - Cornet,Parmentier
2: RUS - KUZNETSOVA,Pavlyuchenkova
2: SRB - Danilovic,Krunic
2: UKR - Svitolina,Tsurenko

*2018 WTA SF*
6 - Simona Halep (4-1+L)
5 - Petra Kvitova (5-0)
5 - Angelique Kerber (2-3)
4 - Caroline Wozniacki (3-1)
4 - Julia Goerges (2-2)
4 - Anastasija Sevastova (2-2)
4 - Garbine Muguruza (1-2+W)

42 - Kveta Peschke, CZE (Prague)
37 - Katarina Srebotnik, SLO (Nurnberg)
37 - Katarina Srebotnik, SLO (Charleston)
36 - Abigail Spears, USA (Nottingham)
35 - Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, ESP (Mallorca)
35 - Raquel Atawo, USA (Stuttgart)
71...L.CHAN/PESCHKE (28/43) = SAN JOSE
68...Rosolska/Spears (32/36) = Nottingham
67...Klepac/Martinez Sanchez = (32/35) = Mallorca
67...Kudryavtseva/Srebotnik = (30/37) = Charleston
67...Atawo/Groenefeld = (35/32) = Stuttgart
66...Melichar/Peschke = (24/42) = Prague

Lugano - Flipkens/Mertens, BEL/BEL
Madrid - Makarova/Vesnina, RUS/RUS
Rosmalen - Mertens/Schuurs, BEL/NED
Mallorca - Klepac/Martinez Sanchez, SLO/ESP

41 - Sania Mirza, IND
39 - Katarina Srebotnik, SLO (2 in '18)
28 - Anabel Medina-Garrigues, ESP
27 - Sara Errani, ITA (1)
26 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
25 - Andrea S.-Hlavackova, CZE
24 - Samantha Stosur, AUS

10 - Srebotnik (2010-12,14)
4 - Groenefeld (2012-14,17)
4 - Stubbs (2007-08)
3 - Schiavone (2006)
1 - Benesova (2005)
1 - L.Chan (2018)
1 - Chuang (2010)
1 - Dulko (2005)
1 - Loit (2006)
1 - Melichar (2018)
1 - Raymond (2008)
1 - Rittner (2001)
1 - Vildova (1998)
ITF: Roesch(2004), Vildova(1998)
10 - HC.Chan [Angel] (2013-17)
9 - Hingis (17)
7 - Chuang (2005,07-08)
1 - Dodig (2018 MX)
1 - Peschke (2018)
1 - Spears (2009)
1 - J.Zheng (2010)
125 Series: HC.Chan (2014), Sh.Zhang (2013)
7 - Chuang (2006-07,09)
3 - HC.Chan (2007,11)
2 - C.Chan (2004)
1 - Morita (2009), An.Rodionova (2009), Thongdach (2004), J.Zheng (2011)

1974 Denver Racquets
1975 Pittsburgh Triangles
1976 New York Sets
1977 New York Apples
1978 Los Angeles Strings
1981 Los Angeles Strings
1982 Dallas Stars
1983 Chicago Fyre
1984 San Diego Buds
1985 San Diego Buds
1986 San Antonio Racquets
1987 Charlotte Heat
1988 Charlotte Heat
1989 San Antonio Racquets
1990 Los Angeles Strings
1991 Atlanta Thunder
1992 Atlanta Thunder
1993 Wichita Advantage
1994 New Jersey Stars
1995 New Jersey Stars
1996 St.Louis Aces
1997 Sacramento Capitals
1998 Sacramento Capitals
1999 Sacramento Capitals
2000 Sacramento Capitals
2001 Philadelphia Freedoms
2002 Sacramento Capitals
2003 Delaware Smash
2004 Newport Beach Breakers
2005 New York Sportimes
2006 Philadelphia Freedoms
2007 Sacramento Capitals
2008 Kansas City Explorers
2009 Washington Kastles
2010 Kansas City Explorers
2011 Washington Kastles (undefeated)
2012 Washington Kastles (undefeated)
2013 Washington Kastles
2014 Washington Kastles
2015 Washington Kastles
2016 San Diego Aviators
2017 Orange County Breakers
2018 Springfield Lasers

[fewest games won]
1 = 2018 San Jose 1st - Joanna Konta 1-6/0-6
2 = 1995 Quebec City Q1 - Anne Miller 1-6/1-6
2 = 1998 Okla.City QF - Joanette Kruger 1-6/1-6
2 = 2014 WTA Finals rr - Simona Halep 0-6/2-6
ALSO: 0 = 2007 Zurich 1st - Patty Schnyder 0-6/0-3 ret.
[love sets lost - singles]
1997 Indian Wells Q1 - Alexia Dechaume-Balleret (L)
1999 Roland Garros 3rd - Mary Joe Fernandez (L)
2005 Dubai SF - Jelena Jankovic (L)
2007 Miami F - Justine Henin (W)
2007 Zurich 1st - Patty Schnyder (L)
2008 WTA Chsp rr - Venus Williams (L)
2013 Madrid QF - Anabel Medina-Garrigues (W)
2014 WTA Finals rr - Simona Halep (L)
2018 San Jose 1st - Johanna Konta (L)
ALSO: 2015 Hopman rr - Flavia Pennetta (W)
[love sets lost - doubles]
1997 I.Wells 2nd (w/ Venus) - def. Carlsson/Sidot 0-6/6-3/6-3
1997 I.Wells QF (w/ Venus) - lost to Davenport/Zvereva 3-6/0-6
2015 FC WG PO (w/ Riske) - lost to Errani/Pennetta 0-6/3-6
2018 RG 3r (w/ Venus) - lost to Klepac/Martinez-S. 4-6/7-6(4)/0-6

#6 Svetlana Kuznetsova (Tokyo)
#5 Venus Williams (Australian Open)
#1 Caroline Wozniacki (Miami)
#7 Jelena Jankovic (Miami)
#6 Jelena Jankovic (Stuttgart)
#7 Petra Kvitova (Toronto)
#6 Petra Kvitova (Cincinnati)
#10 Marion Bartoli (Beijing)
#2 Victoria Azarenka (Beijing)
#9 Ekaterina Makarova (Miami)
#5 Garbine Muguruza (Doha)
#3 Sloane Stephens (Washington)

Doha - Petra Kvitova, CZE
Indian Wells - Naomi Osaka, JPN
Miami - Sloane Stephens, USA
Madrid - Petra Kvitova, CZE
Rome - Elina Svitolina, UKR
Canada - x
Cincinnati - x
Wuhan - x
Beijing - x
Doha - Dabrowski/Ostapenko, CAN/LAT
Indian Wells - Hsieh/Strycova, TPE/CZE
Miami - Barty/Vandeweghe, AUS/USA
Madrid - Makarova/Vesnina, RUS/RUS
Rome - Barty/Schuurs, AUS/NED
Canada - x
Cincinnati - x
Wuhan - x
Beijing - x

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

The USTA has had a good run of late, so one had to expect a step back at some point...


Too bad a portion of the "new" grounds couldn't be a little outside Wimbledon's town limits, to work around that whole ridiculous 11 p.m. curfew thing.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC CAN (Premier 5/Hard Court Outdoor)
=2017 WS (Toronto)=
QF: Wozniacki d. Ka.Pliskova
QF: Stephens d. Safarova
QF: Svitolina d. Muguruza
QF: Halep d. Garcia
SF: Wozniacki d. Stephens
SF: Svitolina d. Halep
F: Svitolina d. Wozniacki
=2017 WD (Toronto)=
SF: Makarova/Vesnina d. N.Kichenok/An.Rodionova
SF: Groenefeld/Peschke
F: Makarova/Vesnina d. Groenefeld/Peschke
WS: #1 Halep, #2 Wozniacki
WD: #1 Krejcikova/Siniakova, #2 L.Chan/Makarova

Carol, sing us out...

All for now.


Blogger colt13 said...

OT: Saw the Netflix documentary on Hedy Lamarr. Worth a watch during a rain delay.

Chan wore that #1 ranking like an anvil.

Buzarnescu is oddly similar to Jankovic circa 2006. The majority of her errors are into the net, but if she clears it, she hits deep and doesn't miss much.

Copying myself from last week:
NFL Career Rushing Yards:
Allie Kiick's Dad-3759
Sloane Stephens' Dad-3440

Stat of the Week-19- The number of years it has been since someone repeated at Toronto/Montreal.

That actually deserves some explaining. Hingis won in 1999 and 2000, making her the last, although Seles won 4 straight right before that, as she won 1995-1998.

However, since the tournament switches sites every year, there have been two instances in which a player has won two consecutive times in either Toronto-Serena 2011 & 13, and Montreal- Mauresmo 2002 & 04.

So even though Svitolina is the defending champ, it means Halep, the 2016 winner, is also on the clock.

Quiz Time!
8 women from China have won WTA singles titles. Li won multiple slams, so she is obvious, but of the other 7, how many have won an event outside of China?


More Up/Down Side coming.

You may be wondering why I didn't make 7 an option. With Wang just winning her first at Nanchang, that was an obvious no. But similar to her, Duan also won her only title at Nanchang, so (D) is wrong.

Yan Zi won her only title in China, so we are down to 4.

(B) is also the wrong answer, although the number 4 is significant, because the 2nd best player in China's history, Zheng Jie, won 4 titles. The proof that her game translated is the fact that none of her 4 titles were won in China.

(C) is wrong, because two time title winner Shuai won both of her titles in China. But that eliminates two, as I mean both Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai.

So (A)2 is correct, as Zheng Jie and Sun Tiantian(Tashkent) are the only women other than Li to have won elsewhere.

As good as Wang as been this year, this is the red flag. Some good results in North America would point her in the right direction.

Mon Aug 06, 10:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Up Side.

1.Svitolina-Not completely sold on her, possibly leaning toward Ostapenko and Hrdlick....oops, Pliskova. Svitolina is fresh though, as this is the 3rd year in a row that Canada is her first event after Wimbledon. And she won last year, so it worked for her. In 2015, she went Wimbledon, Istanbul, Stanford, Canada.
2.Marino-Is still relevant this week, as she has a doubles wc with Branstine. Was initially surprised that she didn't get a MDWC for singles, but she has been playing low level events. In fact, her win in qualies was her first at a WTA event since Auckland 2012, when she was ranked lower than she is now-420. She's now at 310. Last WTA MD win? 2011 Luxembourg vs #15 Pavlyuchenkova. One fun fact about the Rogers Cup? North Americans won the first 59 editions, and that includes Mexico's Melita Ramirez, who won in 1952 and 1953. But the Open Era closed Canada's chances at winning, as they haven't had a winner since 1969, when Faye Urban beat her part time doubles partner Vicky Berner.
3.Karantantcheva- The Tennis Gods have a sense of humor. Sesil is scheduled to play Sharapova, and way back when, think 2005, Sesil accused Sharapova of being scared of her, backing out of an exhibition because she was scared of having "her ass kicked off". They then played, and Sharapova then won 6-0, 6-1. 13 years later they meet again, both having served suspensions, and to this point, neither reaching their past glory.
4.Collins-Plays well on hard, then struggles on other surfaces. Then comes back to hard and plays well again. The best advertisement for college tennis since Lisa Raymond, this should have been expected. College tennis is mainly a one surface sport, with the exception of the Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic, an event that is simply awesome. Mainly because Dick Vitale is associated with it. No surprise if you know his family history, as his daughters Terri and Sherri both played for Notre Dame in the early 90's.
5.Wozniacki- The 2010 winner and 2017 finalist, she may be the one person in the field that uses Canada as a barometer more than Cincinnati. Unclear on her health, and a possible matchup with Svitolina early means she probably won't win, but back on hard should mean more consistency.

Mon Aug 06, 11:11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Quiz: Got it! I thought Zheng had won outside China, and since you didn't have "1" as an option, I thought it must be "2" (A). ;)

There was just recently a very good American Masters on PBS on Lamarr, which included a phone interview with her in her later years that allowed her to essentially be the narrator. Is that the same one (I think it might be).

I was trying to think of another NFL/tennis connection, but I couldn't immediately think of one. :(

Mon Aug 06, 11:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Ah, that Sesil note woke up some echos. :)

Mon Aug 06, 11:15:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Down Side.

1.S.Williams- Looking at this from a purely tennis standpoint. The Konta loss was bad, and normally 6-0, 6-1 isn't defendable, I will do it here, but for Blinkova, who played better than her score indicated. By itself, the Konta loss is bad, but combined with the Osaka loss, it is worse, at it means that it is the first time since 2014 that Williams has lost R32 or earlier more than once in a season. 2014 she did it 4 times, Cepelova, Muguruza, Cornet twice.
2.Garcia Perez- Getting lost of notice because of the big serve. The problem? Take the profile of Naomi Broady- big serve, weaker backhand, tall, angular, and it fits Garcia Perez to a T. Then factor in that she doesn't hit balls on the run well, or balls hit at her. Both will be in USO qualies, and Garcia Perez-Broady, if it happens, would be our version of Anderson-Isner.
3.Wang- Actually high on her this year, but won in China last Sunday(Saturday US), and tried to make it to San Jose, and was visibly struggling. Should have pulled out. Obvious question this week is if the Romanian Energizer Bunny stays in.
4.Van Uytvanck-On the list because she isn't a former winner here-that was Quebec City. Also because if we get to a tiebreak, back the other player. Worst stats on tour this year as she has only won 2 of 12 tiebreaks.
5.Lapko- I actually like her Safina lite game, but has the problem of playing, and losing too many 3 set matches. Already out as she lost to Marino. And that was the 1st rd, so almost no hope for LL spot. Probably Brady, Puig, Riske and Kenin would step in.

Mon Aug 06, 11:23:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Yes, the American Masters is the same one.

Only other football player of the top of my head was Charlie McNeil, Lori's father. He played 5 years in the AFL.

Funny thing is that there will probably be someone obvious that I am missing.

Mon Aug 06, 11:31:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

colt, is the Netflix documentary based on the book? I read that when it came out, and it was a fun read.

Mon Aug 06, 06:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Diane, I am not familiar with the book, but now I will have to look for it.

Tue Aug 07, 09:23:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

I looked it up.It is indeed the basis of the film—“Bombshell”

Tue Aug 07, 07:17:00 PM EDT  

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