Friday, September 07, 2018

US.12 - The Day Before the Day

Tomorrow, Naomi Osaka gets Serena Williams. Just like she wanted.

All righty then.

Part II: Tomorrow.

...with a light schedule on men's semifinal day, the juniors and wheelchair players hit the courts to pare down the fields.

And there will NOT be a third straight Bannerette crowned the U.S. Open girls singles champion.

#16 Lea Ma was ushered out by #3 Wang Xinyu in the resumption of their 3rd Round match today, and then #1 Coco Gauff was upset in three sets in the QF by Ukrainian qualifier Dasha Lopatetskaya, who'd already knocked off #6 Clara Tauson and Eli Mandlik earlier in the tournament.

Also advancing to the semis was #11-seeded Pastry Clara Burel, who defeated Brit Emma Raducanu. Burel reached the AO girls final in January, losing to Liang En-shuo. #3 Wang (CHN) defeated #9 Naho Sato of Japan, giving her a semifinal result in Melbourne, London and New York this year. And #4 Maria Camila Osorio Serrano took out #8-seeded Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez, as the Colombian makes it back-to-back years with at least one South American girl in the junior semis (and the second straight year with a Colombian, as well).

...wheelchair play finally started, and the top seeds had little difficulty reaching the semis. After losing to Aniek van Koot in Chicago last week, #1 Diede de Groot defeated her fellow Dutch today, 6-1/6-2. Japan's #2-seeded Yui Kamiji double-bageled Marjolein Buis (NED), and Germany's Sabine Ellerbrook won love & 4 over Dana Mathewson of the U.S.. South Africa's Kgothatso Montjane, moving up of late, took out Brit Lucy Shuker 4 & 4.

#1-seeds de Groot & Kamiji also advanced to the doubles final, where they'll take on #2 Buis/van Koot.

LIKE ON DAY 12: From before the start of the U.S. Open. So far, the weight hasn't been too much.

View this post on Instagram

I used to run around here when I was little ??

A post shared by Naomi Osaka ????? (@naomiosakatennis) on

LIKE ON DAY 12: Yep, sort of knew that the Big Sascha/Osaka pairing might end up being HUGE by the end of 2018.

LIKE ON DAY 12: Building the Perfect Madison, Pt.56

AND IF THAT ONE WASN'T TO YOUR LIKING... ON DAY 12: ...then try *this* post-tournament perspective-showing tweet on for size, courtesy of the (for about 24 more hours) reigning Open champ.

MEMORIES (& *the* "what if"" of the last quarter century... ON DAY 12:

Seles then won four of the *next* five slam titles (giving her 7 in 8 slam appearances from the '91 to '92 AO), then was stabbed in the back during a changeover in Stuttgart in spring '93. She missed over two years, and only won one more major from then until her final season in 2003.

LIKE ON DAY 12: A suggestion for Ash & CoCo...

LIKE ON DAY 12: Finally, time for the party...

(ROLLS EYES)... ON DAY 12: Further proof that the old, tired two-pronged take on women's tennis still exists, no matter what actually happens between or outside the lines. Either...

1) the top players win all the majors, so that means "no one else is any good"; or

2) everyone is good and different players win, so that means the top players aren't good enough.

...and, finally... the end of this two-week long musical mash-up has arrived.

Of course, I couldn't leave without playing something from Madonna. Seemingly built for controversy, she's been an affirming force, a conversation-starter (and ender) and, in the end, a survivor of the music and culture wars for over three decades (and not just because she's now unbelievably the last living member of the four-headed 1980s/90s pop music "royal family" that included herself, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Prince, either.).

Why, just the other week, the Michigan native stirred the pot again simply by paying tribute to the late Aretha Franklin at an awards show. Speaking of the influence of the Motown legend on her own dreams and career, the whole thing turned into a biographical recap of Madonna's life. Presented with irony by Madonna herself.

So many people were shocked. But, come on, was anyone really surprised that Madonna managed to make the moment about Madonna? Wouldn't it have been disappointing if she hadn't? I mean, she wouldn't be Madonna if the moment wasn't made to be viewed by everyone else through her own personal Madonna-colored glasses, right? Isn't that sort of why so many people love her, or hate her, or blow hot and cold about her, depending on the decade?

She's Madonna. She was born for this. Or she's created the legend that she was, at least. And even that, too, is so Madonna.

My personal Madonna Louise Ciccone countdown...

[#10 - "Santa Baby" - most like the original Eartha Kitt version more, but there's room for a light-hearted second rendition]

[#9 - "Material Girl" - mostly because of the Marilyn Monroe-inspired video]

[#8 - "Into the Groove"]

[#7 - "Ray of Light"]

[#6 - "Vogue"]

[#5 - "Papa Don't Preach"]

[#4 - "Cherish"]

[#3 - "Express Yourself"]

[#2 - "Like a Prayer"]

[#1 - "Borderline"]

#17 Serena Williams/USA vs. #20 Naomi Osaka/JPN

#13 Barty/Vandeweghe (AUS/USA) vs. #2 Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA)

Mattek-Sands/J.Murray (USA/GBR) vs. Rosolska/Mektic (POL/CRO)

(Q) Dasha Lopatetskaya/UKR vs. #3 Wang Xiyu/CHN
#4 Maria Camila Osorio Serrano/COL vs. #11 Clara Burel/FRA

[ (#1 Gauff/McnNally (USA/USA) or #7 Osorio Serrano/Price (COL/USA) ] vs. #5 Garland/Uchijimi (TPE/JPN)
Beck/Navarro (USA/USA) vs. Baptiste/Hewitt (USA/USA)

#1 Diede de Groot/NED vs. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
Kgothatso Montjane/RSA vs. #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN

#1 de Groot/Kamiji (NED/JPN) vs. #2 Buis/van Koot (NED/NED)

View this post on Instagram

NYC till next time... ??

A post shared by Victoria Azarenka (@vichka35) on

2007 Kristina Kucova, SVK
2008 Gabriela Paz, VEN
2009 Heather Watson, GBR
2010 Yulia Putintseva, RUS & Sloane Stephens, USA
2011 Grace Min, USA
2012 Vicky Duval, USA
2013 Tornado Alicia Black, USA
2014 Marie Bouzkova, CZE
2015 Dalma Galfi, HUN
2016 Viktoria Kuzmova, SVK
2017 Maria Lourdes Carle, ARG & Emiliana Arango, COL
2018 Dasha Lopatetskaya, UKR
AO: Liang En-shuo, TPE
RG: Leylah Annie Fernandez, CAN and Caty McNally, USA
WI: Wang Xinyu, CHN and Wang Xinyu, CHN
US: Dasha Lopatetskaya, UKR

[FRA Champions]
[FRA Finalists]
2005 Mary Pierce
[FRA Semifinalists]
2002 Amelie Mauresmo
2006 Amelie Mauresmo
[FRA Quarterfinalists]
1970 Francoise Durr
1994 Mary Pierce
1997 Sandrine Testud
1999 Mary Pierce
2000 Nathalie Tauziat
2001 Amelie Mauresmo
2003 Amelie Mauresmo
2004 Amelie Mauresmo
2005 Amelie Mauresmo
2006 Tatiana Golovin
2012 Marion Bartoli
2015 Kristina Mladenovic
[FRA Rd. of 16]
1968 Francoise Durr (3rd Rd.)
1969 Francoise Durr (3rd Rd.)
1971 Francoise Durr (3rd Rd.)
1971 Gail Chanfreau (3rd Rd.)
1972 Francoise Durr (3rd Rd.)
1976 Francoise Durr
1983 Pascale Pararis
1990 Nathalie Tauziat
1992 Mary Pierce
1993 Mary Pierce
1993 Nathalie Tauziat
1996 Sandrine Testud
1997 Mary Pierce
1998 Nathalie Dechy
1998 Mary Pierce
1998 Nathalie Tauziat
1999 Amelie Mauresmo
1999 Julie Halard-Decugis
2000 Sandrine Testud
2000 Mary Pierce
2001 Sandrine Testud
2001 Nathalie Tauziat
2003 Mary Pierce
2004 Mary Pierce
2005 Nathalie Dechy
2006 Virginie Razzano
2006 Aravane Rezai
2007 Marion Bartoli
2008 Amelie Mauresmo
2008 Severine Bremond
2008 Marion Bartoli

[ESP Champions]
1994 Arantxa Sanchez
[ESP Finalists]
1992 Arantxa Sanchez
[ESP Semifinalists]
1990 Arantxa Sanchez
1993 Arantxa Sanchez
1995 Conchita Martinez
1996 Conchita Martinez
[ESP Quarterfinalists]
1989 Arantxa Sanchez
1991 Arantxa Sanchez
1991 Conchita Martinez
1997 Arantxa Sanchez
1998 Arantxa Sanchez
2012 Carla Suarez-Navarro
2018 Carla Suarez-Navarro
[ESP Rd. of 16]
1988 Arantxa Sanchez
1989 Conchita Martinez
1993 Conchita Martinez
1995 Arantxa Sanchez
1996 Arantxa Sanchez
1997 Magui Serna
1998 Conchita Martinez
1999 Arantxa Sanchez
1999 Conchita Martinez
2000 Magui Serna
2000 Arantxa Sanchez
2011 Carla Suarez-Navarro
2016 Carla Suarez-Navarro
2017 Carla Suarez-Navarro
2017 Garbine Muguruza

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #13 Kiki Bertens/ NED
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #20 Naomi Osaka/JPN
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q1: #23 Marta Kostyuk/RUS def. Valentyna Ivakhnenko/RUS 4-6/7-6(6)/7-6(4) (saved 6 MP)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - #10 Alona Ostapenko/LAT def. Andrea Petkovic/GER 6-4/4-6/6-4
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 4th Rd. - #20 Naomi Osaka/JPN d. #26 Aryna Sabalenka/BLR 6-3/2-6/6-4
TOP NIGHT SESSION WOMEN'S MATCH: 2nd Rd. - (Q) Karlina Muchova/CZE def. #12 Garbine Muguruza/ESP 3-6/6-4/6-4
FIRST VICTORY: (Q) Jil Teichmann/SUI (def. Jakupovic/SRB)
FIRST SEED OUT: #31 Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK (1st Rd. - Q.Wang/CHN; second con. FSO at major for Rybarikova)
REVELATION LADIES: Belarus (four -- Azarenka, Lapko, Sabalenka, Sasnovich -- into 2nd Round of a slam for the first time ever)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Switzerland (1-4 1st Rd.; Golubic double-bageled, Bacsinszky love 3rd set)
CRASH & BURN: #1 Simona Halep/ROU (lost 1st Rd. to Kanepi/EST; first #1 to lost 1st Rd. at U.S. Open in Open era)
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEW YORK: Katerina Siniakova/CZE (1r: Kontaveit served for match at 5-4, 30/love in 3rd, Siniakova wins set 7-5, taking 12/14 points; 2r: Tomljanovic served for match at 6-5 in 3rd; opponent served for match in 1st and 2nd Rounds and saved MP)
IT ("Court"): (new) Louis Armstrong Stadium (four of top 5 women's seeds -- #1 Halep, #2 Wozniacki, #4 Kerber, #5 Kvitova -- fall in first three rounds on the newly rebuilt #2 show court, as well as slam winner #12 Muguruza and summer stars #13 Bertens and #26 Sabalenka)
Ms.OPPORTUNITY: #20 Naomi Osaka/JPN and #19 Anastasija Sevastova/LAT (first-time slam finalist and semifinalist)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Karolina Muchova/CZE (3rd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Victoria Azarenka/BLR (3rd Rd.)
LAST BANNERETTE STANDING: #17 Serena Williams/USA (in final)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominee: S.Williams, Mattek-Sands
VETERAN PLAYER (KIMIKO CUP): Nominees: S.Williams, Mattek-Sands
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: Babos/Mladnevic, Barty/Vandeweghe
BROADWAY-BOUND: Kaia Kanepi/EST (new Armstrong Stadium premieres w/ Day 1 def. of #1 Halep)
LADY OF THE EVENING: Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP (ended Sharapova's undefeated night streak)
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Dasha Lopatetskaya/UKR

All for Day 12. More tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

My Human Behavior and the Social Environment class paper (complete with audio tapes) was entitled: "The Adolescent Female and the Pop Culture Idol: Some Psychodynamic Implications of the Wannna Be/Madonna Relationship." I had hoped to publish it, but by the time I was able to submit it, that Madonna phase had passed, and I didn't think it would be considered relevant.

Your choices are similar to mine. Ray of Light, Vogue, Express Yourself, Like a Prayer, and Borderline are all favorites. So are Hanky Panky, Take a Bow, and Human Nature.

I've never been a fan of the music video genre, but I appreciate some of them, and many of those that I appreciate are Madonna's. I've always been moved by Ray of Light.

Fri Sep 07, 08:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Well, she's always been in total control of how she's presented, in whatever form (of many) she's chosen to take over the years. Sometimes the images are just as important as the music/lyrics, and (especially early on) she was a master of manipulating those opportunities in an attempt to push her career/name/image forward, and sometimes into the face, of as many people as she could. It produced quite a few iconic visuals in those early videos.

It's become fashionable now to bash her for being selfish or desperate for attention sometimes, and I think some who should know better are just willfully blind to giving her credit for how she able to construct herself from the ground up. As a result, many who weren't around to see all that really don't know what they missed.

"Ray of Light" didn't immediately come to mind until I started jogging my memory to did this, and I was like, "oh, yeah -- I liked that one." Probably could have put it slightly higher.

I probably should have included "La Isla Bonita," too (always liked that)... and I almost put in "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" just for the heck of it. ;)

Fri Sep 07, 10:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

"La Isla Bonita" is quite good and has proven to be somewhat of a Madonna classic. I like the entire Evita soundtrack. Did you, by chance, read "The Madonna Diaries"? They were published in either Vogue or Vanity Fair, I forget which.

Fri Sep 07, 10:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

I'm not sure if I read it when it came out, but I do remember the magazine cover (Vanity Fair).

A link to a copy of the article: Here

I read through most of it. A few quotes (just because):

* * *

Went to a cocktail party last night and collected everybody’s germs. The custom here is to kiss everyone hello instead of shaking hands.

* * *

I spent the rest of the conversation defending myself and the choices I’ve made in my career. I often say I have no regrets, but I suppose in the end I do. If I had known that I would be so universally misunderstood, maybe I wouldn’t have been so rebellious and outspoken. I never thought I’d say these words, but I am so tired of having to explain myself and I am so tired of being told, “You’re so intelligent! Not what I expected at all!” Could an idiot have come this far in life? I wonder if I could ever have been the kind of sweet, submissive, feminine girl that the entire world idealizes. I’m trying to stay positive, but I felt like crying all day. I’m so sick of seeing unflattering paparazzi photos of myself in magazines and newspapers. They find the ugliest ones and blow them up just to torture me. There’s a really good one where it looks like my security guard is grabbing my breast. My hair is completely messed up and I look like I just received shock treatment. Charming.

* * *

I have decided that acting in movies is a very humiliating job. People sit around all day, turning you from left to right, whispering behind the camera, cutting your nose hairs, plucking stray eyebrow hairs, and patting down your sweat while they fill in the lines on your face with Spackle. When they are setting up the next shot, you are told to go and wait in your trailer like a good little doggy and this is where you have an ample time to be hypercritical of yourself. You wonder if you’re pretty enough or good enough or thin enough or attractive enough and you inevitably feel like a slab of beef. Rare, medium, or well done. It doesn’t matter as long as peole want to eat you.

* * *

We are trying to get permission to shoot a scene in a basilica, but it seems a certain holier-than-thou bishop won’t allow it because he doesn’t approve of my behavior. I wonder if he would let 75 percent of his parishioners in his church if he knew what they did in their spare time. Now it’s news all over the world that I’m causing problems in Budapest. The bishop will not let me in his church. I am a bad girl. A fallen woman. A sinner. If I gave him an autographed picture he would probably change his mind. The bishop can kiss my ass. I’m not groveling for one more person in the name of this movie. There is no more skin left on my knees. I will never apologize for my behavior. Neither would Evita.


Sat Sep 08, 12:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

* * *

(when she announced she was pregnant)

Well, the world knows and I feel like my insides had been ripped open. The front page of the Post, CNN, even Hungarian radio. What’s the big deal? Don’t millions of women get pregnant everyday? Most of the reaction has been positive, but I wish everyone would just let me do my work. Some people have suggested that I have done this for shock value. These are comments only a man would make. It’s much too difficult to be pregnant and bring a child into this world to do it for the whimsical or provocative reasons. There are also speculations that I used the father as a stud service. Implying that I am not capable of having a real relationship. I realize these are all comments made by persons who cannot live with the idea that something good is happening to me. Something special and wonderful that they cannot spoil. I have been avoiding all my friends’ calls because I know I will be berated for keeping it a secret for so long.

* * *

When the procedure was finished we tried to determine the baby’s sex by moving the camera between its legs, but it showed its complete and utter annoyance with the intrusion by turning away from the camera and refusing to give up any information. A girl/boy after my own heart.

Sat Sep 08, 12:15:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

A friend sent it to me shortly after it was published, and I recall thinking that Madonna had done a really good job of recording what really went on during one of these projects, and she was also unflinchingly honest about her feelings. I remember, toward the end of the Diaries, her saying that making movies was so crazy and stressful, she had begun to understand why so many actors became Scientologists!

Sat Sep 08, 12:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

I'm picking Osaka, but obviously would not be shocked if Serena won. Like Venus is to Pliskova, Osaka's style is somewhat close to Serena's, to the point that if Osaka can handle her nerves, she should win.

The one thing that struck me from the Osaka/Keys match was how much time Osaka had to prepare for her shots. She's seeing the ball well.

Stat of the Day-7- The amount of wins Todd Bodine had in the Xfinity series before he moved up to cup.

In NASCAR, they are similar to tennis in that you have Monster/Xfinity like we have WTA/ITF. Normally, you win on the lower level and earn your cup ride, or you do what Todd did, which was flame out on the cup level, then go back down, and win on your way back. He ended up with 15 Xfinity wins.

Jimmie Johnson was an anomaly, as he only had 1 win before moving up. Now he has multiple championships.

What does all of this have to do with today's match? Well, we know Serena and Venus have played each other in finals, so it isn't rare, but it is when it involves somebody else.

Osaka only has one title. That is on the low side. Famously, Ostapenko had none, but had 7 ITF titles. Osaka has none, same as Serena and Venus. It is rare in this day and age for a player to reach a slam final without an ITF title, but this is happening.

The one thing that also fits the profile? Her Indian Wells run. The fact that she was unseeded means that she had to win 7 matches to win that title. Even Muguruza, who statistically breaks all the rules, managed to have a win streak longer than 7 before she won a slam(Won Hobart-then rounds at AO). Osaka managed to win 8-IW+Serena/Miami, so this isn't an oddity.

Sat Sep 08, 10:40:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yeah, I read the Scientology line in there. Made me laugh. :D

Oh, hadn't thought about the ITF with Osaka. But I guess she did have her early career patterned after the Sisters.

Looking at her career activity page, she played her first official match in Jamaica (!!) in 2011 on the weekend of her 14th birthday. Her first win of any kind came in a doubles match with her sister a month later (vs. a team with a player named Epiphany), and five months after that she recorded her first singles win... vs. a played named Morocco Hitt.

Serena won the Open about four years after her first ITF match, while Venus was in the U.S. Final in '97 less than three years after she recorded her first victory on the ITF level.

Sat Sep 08, 11:28:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home