Sunday, September 09, 2018

US.14 - I Know What You Did This Summer

The U.S. Open is over, so who were the stars of the summer?

1. Naomi Osaka, JPN: She.Has.Arrived.
2. Simona Halep, ROU: Her early U.S. Open exit notwithstanding, Simona had a superior hard court summer, coming within a MP of pulling off the first-ever back-to-back sweep of Montreal and Cincinnati.
3. Aryna Sabalenka, BLR: Osaka's city exploits, and victory over *her* in the Round of 16, doesn't mean that the Belarusian wasn't still the breakout star of the North American summer
4. Kiki Bertens, NED: Does a "clay court specialist" win the singles title in Cincinnati? I didn't think so.
5. Anastasija Sevastova, LAT: the Bucharest champ and first-time slam semifinalist truly does love NYC
6. Serena Williams, USA: #24 will have to wait until '19.
7. Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS: Don't count Sveta (the '18 D.C. champ) out just yet.
8. Olga Danilovic, SRB: in Moscow, the 17-year old Serb became the first ever lucky loser to win a tour singles title
9. Ash Barty/CoCo Vandweghe, AUS/USA: your 2018 U.S. Open women's doubles champions
10. Wang Qiang, CHN: the Nanchang champ also defended her Asian Games Gold medal

RISERS: Alize Cornet/FRA, Madison Keys/USA and Mihaela Buzarnescu/ROU
SURPRISES: Zheng Saisai/CHN and Petra Martic/CRO
VETERANS: Lesia Tsurenko/UKR, Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP and Kaia Kanepi/EST
COMEBACKS: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/USA, Patty Schnyder/SUI and Allie Kiick/USA
FRESH FACES: Marketa Vondrousova/CZE, Karolina Muchova/CZE and Maria Sakkari/GRE
JUNIOR STARS: Wang Xiyu/CHN, Clara Burel/FRA and Dasha Lopatetskaya/UKR
DOUBLES: Demi Schuurs/NED and Latisha Chan/TPE
ITF: Fernanda Brito/CHI, Wang Xinyu/CHN and Iga Swiatek/POL
FED CUP: Charlotte Roemer/ECU
WHEELCHAIR: Diede de Groot/NED
DOWN: Elina Svitolina/UKR and Caroline Wozniacki/DEN
MOST IMPROVED PLAYERS: Sonya Kenin/USA, Claire Liu/USA and Anastasia Potapova/RUS

1. Montreal Final - Simona Halep def. Sloane Stephens
Halep and Stephens came together for another classic final, and yet another Match of the Year contender. Halep led 4-1 in the 1st, but as both players jumped on the poor second serves of their opponents things got tight rather quickly. Halep served for the set at 5-4, but soon had to hold at 5-6 just to reach a TB. She saved a pair of SP to get there, then quickly fell behind 4-0. After getting one mini-break back, the Romanian DF'd to fall into a 5-1 hole. Back-to-back errors from the serving Stephens turned a 5-2 lead into a suddenly-close 5-4. Another Halep DF gave Stephens two more SP, but she failed to convert either, with her fourth of the set going away via a net cord shot that sailed beyond the baseline. Halep won a 20-shot rally with a backhand winner into the corner to reach her first SP, which she got with a Stephens return error to win 8-6.

Up 4-2 in the 2nd, Stephens saved two BP and forced a 3rd set when she converted on her fourth SP (after being 0-for-7 in the match).
Halep led 2-0 in the 3rd, but Stephens got back to even at 2-2, only to see Halep break to reclaim the lead as the two continued to trade off breaks of serve. Serving at 5-3, Halep DF'd on MP, and saw Stephens save two more on her own serve in game #9. Finally, serving for the match at 5-4, Halep fired an ace up the "T" to secure the title.
2. Cincinnati Final - Kiki Bertens def. Simona Halep
I think Halep is going to have 70% of the nominees for Match of the Year. This won't likely be a contender for #1, but it was still a great final. Halep seemed ready to embrace the history of becoming the first Canada/Cincy back-to-back champ, but Bertens had other thoughts. The Dutch woman led the 2nd set 4-1, but once the world #1 battled her way back, saved a SP at 5-4 and had a MP at 6-5 in the TB, Halep's first Cincinnati title appeared destined to be hers. But Bertens threw caution to the wind, upped her aggression, and stole the TB 8-6. With Simona frustrated and tiring in the heat after two LONG weeks, Kiki seized her opportunity and turned up the heat just a little more. After Halep broke serve in game #3 after falling behind 2-0, Bertens' immediate break back a game later showed that she wasn't going to wilt. She ended things with an ace. Of course... because that's what a good hard court player liki Kiki does, right?

3. Moscow Final - Olga Danilovic def. Anastasia Potapova
Potapova was 2-0 ('16 AO & Roehampton) in their junior head-to-head, winning a pair of straight sets matches. But this match-up of two 17-year olds was a back-and-forth affair. Lucky loser Danilovic came back from 4-1 down (w/ points for 5-1) to win the 1st at 7-5, then DF'd on MP when serving for the title at 5-4 in the 2nd. In the 3rd, it was Potapova who lost a break lead as the Serb's aggression and big groundstrokes finally dragged her across the match's finish line first... and into tour history.

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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.

2. Montreal 2nd Rd. - Simona Halep def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
The Russian had the Romanian by the tail, but she hollered and she let her go. After playing just seven games on Day 1 of this one (Pavs 4-3), the bulk of the contest took place on Day 2. There, Pavlyuchenkova dropped the 1st set despite holding SP (Halep won it on SP #4), and led 4-2 in the 3rd, as well. Despite suffering from foot blisters that would plague her all week, Halep prevailed to run her career record vs. the Hordette to 8-0 and went on to win the title.
3t. Montreal 2nd Rd. - Ayrna Sabalenka def. Caroline Wozniacki
A week earlier, Sabalenka fell in the opening round of San Jose qualifying to #258 Maria Sanchez. In Quebec, she saved 3 MP vs. #2 Wozniacki and avenged her loss to the Dane in the Eastbourne final, firing 15 aces and 64 winners en route to the biggest win of her career in the 2:31 contest.

Cincinnati 2nd Rd. - Aryna Sabalenka def. KAROLINA PLISKOVA
After previously this summer falling to the Belarusian in Eastbourne despite holding a 4-1 3rd set lead, Pliskova failed to close her out in Cincy even after holding two MP at 5-4 in the 3rd. A game later, the Czech DF'd on BP and Sabalenka served out yet another comeback win.

Cincinnati 3rd Rd. - Aryna Sabalenka def. Caroline Garcia
Garcia served at 5-4 and had a MP, but couldn't stop Sabalenka from recording her third win from MP down in back-to-back events. She swept the final four games.

1. U.S. Open 2nd Rd. - Karolina Muchova def. Garbine Muguruza
In a match that ended after 1 a.m. on Armstrong, #202-ranked Czech qualifier picked up her first slam MD win in just her second tour-level MD event. Muguruza led 2-0 in the 3rd, and had a BP for 3-0.
2. U.S. Open 1st Rd. - Kaia Kanepi def. Simona Halep
Sure, veteran Kanepi has been a second week slam player in the past, including a quarterfinalist in NYC in '17, but her win over Montreal champ/Cincinnati finalist Halep (she'd been a MP away from becoming the first to ever win the events in back-to-back weeks) amde the Romanian the first world #1 to exit the Open in the 1st Round in the Open era.
3. U.S. Open 3rd Rd. - Marketa Vondrousova def. Kiki Bertens
The Cincinnati title-winning Dutch woman was bested by the world #103, 19-year old Czech lefty Vondrousova, who perfectly played a pair of TB to reach her first slam Round of 16. Bertens serving for the 1st set at 5-4, and led the 3rd at 4-2.

...well, another women's slam title was earned on Sunday (by TWO players), and it happened without any needless drama. Imagine that. In fact, it had *actual* drama. Tennis drama, that is.

With Timea Babos & Kiki Mladenovic looking to add a U.S. Open crown to their '18 AO win (and the Pastry get three-quarters of the way to a Career WD Slam), Ash Barty & CoCo Vandeweghe saved two 2nd set MP, won a TB to force a 3rd, then won it in *another* TB on their own third MP to win 3-6/7-6(2)/7-6(6). Mladenovic's unfortunate DF on MP prevented the sort of triumphant finish one might have wished, but beggars can't be choosers at this point, right?

It's the first slam title for both. Barty had been 0-4 in previous slam WD finals with now-retired partner Casey Dellaqua.

...#1 Diede de Groot won her first U.S. Open women's wheelchair singles crown, defeating #2 Yui Kamiji 6-2/6-3 one day after they combined to take the doubles. It's the 21-year old Dutch woman's fourth career slam singles win, tying Jiske Griffioen for third all-time behind Esther Vergeer (25) and Kamiji (6). It's de Groot's sixth win in seven meetings against Kamiji over the last year, after having lost eleven of the first thirteen matches in their head-to-head series.

It keeps alive de Groot's drive to become the first WC player win all eight slam singles and doubles titles. She needs the AO doubles and RG singles, while Kamiji is just a Wimbledon singles crown short.

...Wang Xiyu became the first Chinese girl (mainland, so no TPE -- Liang En-shuo became the first Taiwanese to do it in Melbourne in January) to be crowned a slam junior singles champ, defeating Pastry Clara Burel 7-6(4)/6-2 in Sunday's final. At Wimbledon this summer, Wang and Wang Xinyu became the first all-CHN duo to win a slam GD crown.

The Li Na Generation has arrived. And it likely isn't going anywhere, nor thinning out anytime soon.

Coco Gauff & Caty McNally (or "McCoco") won the doubles, defeating the fellow all-Bannerette pair of Hailey Baptiste & Dalayna Hewitt 6-3/6-2 in the final. McNally also won the RG GD title with Iga Swiatek earlier this year.

...Petra Martic defeated Mona Barthel in the WTA 125 Challenger final in Chicago, winning 6-4/6-1. It's the 27-year old Croat's biggest career title. Barthel teamed with Kristyna Pilskova to win the doubles.

...meanwhile, Wimbledon junior champ Iga Swiatek won yet another pro level challenger title, taking the $60K event in Montreux, Switzerland with a 2 & 2 win over Belgian Waffle Kimberley Zimmermann. The 17-year old Pole is 4-0 in ITF finals in 2018, and 7-0 in her career.

19-year old Rebeka Masarova won her maiden pro title, as well as her since ending her representation of SUI earlier this year. The Basel-born Spaniard, the '16 RG girls champ, picked up her first ITF singles title in Badenweiler, Germany with a 6-2/7-5 win over, of course, Swiss player Nina Stadler.

Masarova was playing in her first singles event of the year, having missed nearly the entire season after undergoing knee surgery following a slip on a wet court during a practice session in January.


LIKE ON DAY 14: On the Night After, and The Day After...

LIKE ON DAY 14: Match-dot-Laura

LIKE ON DAY 14: Petko at 31 25


DISLIKE ON DAY 14: That it looked like there were about 10-20 people in the stands (at least viewable from the camera angle) for the de Groot/Kamiji wheelchair singles final, held (as usual) at the same time as the men's final. Why not switch things up for once and have it *open* a court schedule on the final Sunday, rather than close one out in the shadow (and humm) of the final event on Ashe?


DISLIKE ON DAY 14: Any further discussion of you-know-what.

WELL... ON DAY 14: This doesn't count...

LIKE ON DAY 14: Finally, we get to see Naomi's dad...


SUGGESTION ON DAY 14: We call him/her (it doesn't matter) "Naomi."

Hopefully, he/she will remember, you know, once he/she shockingly transforms into a full-fledged bird of prey and his/her pick of the lot of us all.

#20 Naomi Osaka/JPN def. #17 Serena Williams/USA 6-2/6-4

#13 Barty/Vandeweghe (AUS/USA) def. #2 Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA) 3-6/7-6(2)/7-6(6)

Mattek-Sands/J.Murray (USA/GBR) def. Rosolska/Mektic (POL/CRO) 2-6/6-3 [11-9]

#3 Wang Xiyu/CHN def. #11 Clara Burel/FRA 7-6(4)/6-2

#1 Gauff/McNally (USA/USA) def. Baptiste/Hewitt (USA/USA) 6-3/6-2

#1 Diede de Groot/NED def. #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN 6-3/6-4

#1 de Groot/Kamiji (NED/JPN) def. #2 Buis/van Koot (NED/NED) 6-3/6-4

2005 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, USA/AUS
2006 Nathalie Dechy & Vera Zvonareva, FRA/RUS
2007 Nathalie Dechy & Dinara Safina, FRA/RUS
2008 Cara Black & Liezel Huber, RSA/USA
2009 Serena & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2010 Vania King & Yaroslava Shvedova, USA/KAZ
2011 Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond, USA/USA
2012 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2013 Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka, CZE/CZE
2014 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
2015 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
2016 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
2017 Latisha Chan & Martina Hingis, TPE/SUI
2018 Ash Barty & CoCo Vandeweghe, AUS/USA
AO: Timea Babos / Kristina Mladenovic, HUN/FRA
RG: Barbora Krejcikova / Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE
WI: Barbora Krejcikova / Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE
US: Ash Barty / CoCo Vandeweghe, AUS/USA

2006 Martina Navratilova, USA
2007 Nathalie Dechy, FRA
2008 Cara Black, ZIM
2009 Carly Gullickson, USA
2010 Liezel Huber, USA
2011 Melanie Oudin, USA
2012 Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
2013 Andrea Hlavackova, CZE
2014 Yui Kamiji & Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR (WC)
2015 Martina Hingis, SUI
2016 Laura Siegemund, GER
2017 Martina Hingis, SUI
2018 Ash Barty & CoCo Vandeweghe, AUS/USA
AO: Timea Babos/Kristina Mladenovic, HUN/FRA
RG: Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE
WI: Diede de Groot/Yui Kamiji, NED/JPN (WC)
US: Ash Barty & CoCo Vandeweghe, AUS/USA

AO: Vera Lapko, BLR
RG: Rebeka Masarova, SUI
WI: Anastasia Potapova, RUS
US: Kayla Day, USA
AO: Marta Kostyuk, UKR
RG: Whitney Osuigwe, USA
WI: Claire Liu, USA
US: Amanda Anisimova, USA
AO: Liang En-shuo, TPE
RG: Coco Gauff, USA
WI: Iga Swiatek, POL
US: Wang Xiyu, CHN

2005 Victoria Azarenka/BLR def. Alexa Glatch/USA
2006 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS def. Tamira Paszek/AUT
2007 Kristina Kucova/SVK def. Ula Radwanska/POL
2008 CoCo Vandeweghe/USA def. Gabriela Paz/VEN
2009 Heather Watson/GBR def. Yana Buchina/RUS
2010 Dasha Gavrilova/RUS def. Yulia Putintseva/RUS
2011 Grace Min/USA def. Caroline Garcia/FRA
2012 Samantha Crawford/USA def. Anett Kontaveit/EST
2013 Ana Konjuh/CRO def. Tornado Alicia Black/USA
2014 Marie Bouzkova/CZE def. Anhelina Kalinina/UKR
2015 Dalma Galfi/HUN def. Sonya Kenin/USA
2016 Kayla Day/USA def. Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK
2017 Amanda Anisimova/USA def. Coco Gauff/USA
2018 Wang Xiyu/CHN def. Clara Burel/FRA

1952 Wimbledon - Rita Davar, IND (RU)
1969 Roland Garros - Kazuko Sawamatsu, JPN (W)
1969 Wimbledon - Kazuko Sawamatsu, JPN (W)
1983 Wimbledon - Patricia Hy, HKG (RU)
1993 US Open - Yuka Yoshida, JPN (RU)
1994 Wimbledon - Jeon Mi-ra, KOR (RU)
1995 Wimbledon - Tamarine Tanasugarn, THA (RU)
1998 Australian Open - Wynne Prakusya, INA (RU)
1999 Wimbledon - Iroda Tulyagnova, UZB (W)
2002 Roland Garros - Angelique Widjaja, INA
2008 Wimbledon - Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, THA (RU)
2009 Wimbledon - Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, THA (W)
2010 Wimbledon - Sachie Ishizu, JPN (RU)
2018 Australian Open - Liang En-shuo, TPE (W)
2018 US Open - Wang Xiyu, CHN (W)
[champions from CHN]
2004 AO GD: Sun Sheng-nan
2014 WI GD: Ye Qiuyu
2018 AO GD: Wang Xinyu
2018 WI GD: Wang Xinyu/Wang Xiyu
2018 US GS: Wang Xiyu

2006 Mihaela Buzarnescu / Raluca Olaru, ROU/ROU
2007 Ksenia Milevskaya / Ula Radwanska, BLR/POL
2008 Noppawan Lertcheewakarn / Sandra Roma, THA/SWE
2009 Valeria Solovyeva / Maryna Zanevska, RUS/UKR
2010 Timea Babos / Sloane Stephens, HUN/USA
2011 Irina Khromacheva / Demi Schuurs, RUS/NED
2012 Gabby Andrews / Taylor Townsend, USA/USA
2013 Barbora Krejcikova / Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE
2014 Ipek Soylu / Jil Teichmann, TUR/SUI
2015 Viktoria Kuzmova / Aleksandra Pospelova, SVK/RUS
2016 Jada Myii Hart / Ena Shibahara, USA/USA
2017 Olga Danilovic / Marta Kostyuk, SRB/UKR
2018 Coco Gauff / Caty McNally, USA/USA
AO: Liang En-Shuo / Wang Xinyu, TPE/CHN
RG: Caty McNally / Iga Swiatek, USA/POL
WI: Wang Xinyu / Wang Xiyu, CHN/CHN
US: Coco Gauff / Caty McNally, USA/USA

1991 Monique Kalkman, NED
1992 Chantal Vandierendonck, NED
1993 Chantal Vandierendonck, NED
1994 Monique Kalkman, NED
1995 Monique Kalkman, NED
1996 Maaike Smit, NED
1997 Daniela Di Toro, AUS
1998 Esther Vergeer, NED
1999 Daniela Di Toro, AUS
2000 Esther Vergeer, NED
2001 Sonja Peters, NED
2002 Esther Vergeer, NED
2003 Esther Vergeer, NED
2004 Maaike Smit, NED
2005 Esther Vergeer, NED
2006 Esther Vergeer, NED
2007 Esther Vergeer, NED
2008 --
2009 Esther Vergeer, NED
2010 Esther Vergeer, NED
2011 Esther Vergeer, NED
2012 --
2013 Aniek van Koot, NED
2014 Yui Kamiji, JPN
2015 Jordanne Whiley, GBR
2016 --
2017 Yui Kamiji, JPN
2018 Diede de Groot, NED

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

**Kamiji vs. de Groot**
2018 US Open Final - DE GROOT 6-2/6-3
2018 British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships Final - DE GROOT 6-2/3-6/3-6
2018 BNP Paribas Open de France Final - DE GROOT 7-5/6-4
2018 Roland Garros Final - KAMIJI 2-6/6-0/6-2
2018 Australian Open Final - DE GROOT 7-6(6)/6-4
2017 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters Final - DE GROOT 7-5/6-4
2017 Open d'Amiens Hauts de France Final - DE GROOT 1-6/7-5/6-3
2017 US Open Final - KAMIJI 7-5/6-2
2017 US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships Final - KAMIJI 5-7/6-3/7-6(12)
2017 British Open WC Tennis Championships Final - KAMIJI 6-4/6-3
2017 BNP Paribas Open de France SF - KAMIJI 6-4/6-3
2017 Japan Open Final - KAMIJI 6-2/6-2
2017 Melbourne Wheelchair Tennis Open SF - KAMIJI 6-3/6-4
2017 Apia Int'l Sydney WC Tennis Open SF - DE GROOT 7-5/7-6(5)
2016 Paralympic Games Bronze - KAMIJI 6-3/6-3
2016 BNP Paribas Open de France Final - KAMIJI 6-3/7-6(4)
2016 Toyota Open Int'l de L'ile de Re SF - DE GROOT 4-6/7-5/1-0 ret.
2015 Sardinia Open QF - KAMIJI 6-1/6-1
2015 BNP Paribas Open de France QF - KAMIJI 6-2/6-4
2014 Swiss Open Starling Hotel Geneva 1st Rd. - KAMIJI 6-1/6-2
NOTES: Kamiji leads 12-8

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #13 Kiki Bertens/ NED
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #20 Naomi Osaka/JPN
TOP LATE-ROUND (SF-F): #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 LATE-RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr.): WD Final - #13 Barty/Vandeweghe (AUS/USA) def. #2 Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA) 3-6/7-6(2)/7-6(6) - saved 2 MP
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 champ 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: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/USA
DOUBLES STARS: Ash Barty & CoCo Vandeweghe, AUS/USA
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 the U.S. Open. Whew!


Blogger colt13 said...

Vandeweghe having something positive coming out of the year.

Bouchard went to Japan, but Canada is well represented in Quebec City. Out of retirement women Sharon Fichman and Rebecca Marino got WC for doubles-with different partners. Marino also got one for singles. Plus Dabrowski qualified, but now plays another Canadian in Fernandez.

Stat of the Week-379- The career high ranking for Neyssa Etienne, the highest ranked woman from Haiti.

Around the turn of the century, Etienne carved out a small career, winning 1 ITF title in Greenville. More interesting is that she played in the 2000 Olympics as a Tripartite invitation. She lost to Silvia Tajala, but think big picture. With Naomi Osaka winning a slam, but Haiti having absolutely nobody in the rankings, do they make a play for Mari to represent them in 2020? We have had the Uberoi and Rodionova sisters representing different nations at the same time, so might that happen here?

Quiz Time!
Haiti has never had a Top 10 player. So they won't be an option, but of the countries listed, which one has had the highest ranked player?

B.South Africa
D.Great Britian

Gauff/McNally running out of room in their trophy cases.

Well, I assume that you eliminated (C) Luxembourg first, which would be correct. They have never had a Top 10 player, but you might be surprised to know that they have had a Top 20 player-Anne Kremer. The irony there is that even though she won both of her titles in 2000, she didn't reach her career high of 18 until 2002, coming of a career best 3rd rd at the French.

(B)South Africa is also wrong. Amanda Coetzer had a solid 1997. After reaching both the AO and French SF, she won 2 titles, the second being Luxembourg, after which she reached #3.

(A)Croatia is also wrong. No surprise that it involves a slam winner in Majoli, but the numbers are not what you would expect. You see, Majoli reached her career high of 4 in Feb 1996. She was 9 entering the French Open in 1997, and winning that only got her to 5. Then her Wimbledon QF got her back to 4.

So that leaves the answer as (D) Great Britain. Which actually brings up a bunch of different thoughts.

You are probably guessing one of the slam winners, and it isn't Sue Barker. Virginia Wade was #2 in the first ever computer rankings in 1975. And that has been the high water mark. But should she have been ranked that high? She won 6 titles, so maybe yes. But, she did not play Australia. That in itself is not the deal breaker, but she did not play the French either. In fact, after playing all 4 slams in 72 & 73, she played 3 in 74, then only 2 in 75-78, the years in which she ended in order 2,3,4,4.

So a country that has been waiting 41 years for another slam winner, will be going on 44 for a #1 ranked woman.

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

And she'll likely still have Fed Cup, too. Sloane-Keys-CoCo-Mattek? Surely no Serena, but *maybe* (probably not) Venus.

Hmmm, interesting thought about Mari. It'd likely be the only way they could BOTH be Olympians. In the juniors, Swiss Lulu Sun recently switched to NZL essentially so that she could compete in the Youth Olympic Games this fall (though it looks like she didn't switch in time). It doesn't appear as if she's going to remain a Kiwi, though. Not being a junior, I don't know if that's something Mari could do, though.

Quiz: Well, I knew Wade was as high as #2. But I was wondering if this might be a trick question, so I also picked RSA (Coetzer, who I knew had been Top 3, so...)

( Okay, so I was right in the first place. Sorry for thinking you were being deceptive. :D )

Mon Sep 10, 12:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Quebec City has reached the QF. 12.5% chance of a Canadian(Marino) winning. 62.5% chance of a first time winner-Parmentier, Watson, Puig the 3 left with a title.

In Japan, the summer of Wang continues. Plus an American reaches the SF. Only two were in the draw, and Anisimova is the who who did. Riske lost first round, would have played Anisimova in 2nd.

Fri Sep 14, 11:04:00 AM EDT  

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