Sunday, September 16, 2018

Wk.37- Hsieh What?

Do you Hsieh Su-wei how Hsieh Su-wei Hsieh Su-wei's?

(or something like that)





*WEEK 37 CHAMPIONS*
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN (Int'l/Hard Court)
S: Hsieh Su-wei/TPE def. Amanda Anisimova/USA 6-2/6-2
D: Eri Hozumi/Zhang Shuai (JPN/CHN) d. Miyu Kato/Makoto Ninomiya (JPN/JPN) 6-2/6-4
QUEBEC CITY, QUE CANADA (Int'l/Carpet)
S: Pauline Parmentier/FRA def. Jessica Pegula/USA 7-5/6-2
D: Asia Muhammad/Maria Sanchez (USA/USA) d. Darija Jurak/Xenia Knoll (CRO/SUI) 6-4/6-3



PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Hsieh Su-wei/TPE
...Hsieh has often been a marvel to watch, with her brand of angles, spins, sudden forehand winners and/or sneaking-into-the-net volleys serving to flummox, frustrate and sometimes even take down some of the biggest names in the sport, usually on the biggest stages available. In Melbourne and London this year, she reached her first slam Round of 16's since 2008, recording her two biggest career wins (#3 Muguruza/AO & #1 Halep/WI, a season after her first career Top 10 win at RG over Konta) along the way. One thing the 32-year old Taiwanese vet hadn't done in a while, though, was win a singles title. Well, she took care of that this weekend in Hiroshima.



After going three sets in her opening match against Polona Hercog, Hsieh warmed up her Tennis Sudoku skills as the week went on and she worked her way through the likes of Mandy Minella, Ajla Tomljanovic (who impressively *did* get a set off her in their first career meeting, though she only two two *games* in the next two) and Wang Qiang to reach her first tour-level singles final since 2012, when she won tour titles in Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou.

Once there, she tamed the highlight-worthy game of 17-year old Bannerette Amanda Anisimova, reaching deep into her bag of brilliant props and playing all her many shots en route to a 2 & 2 victory. Poor thing, AA really had no reason to have any idea of what to expect. On occasion, the teenager had to be content to simply enjoy a performance of Hsieh's Traveling Death-defying Roadshow of Tennis Sudoku from a front row seat.

Scene 1: The Dipsy-do and Volley too



To be cont'd...
===============================================
RISERS: Wang Qiang/CHN and Ajla Tomljanovic/AUS
...Wang has had quite the spring/summer. Since Strasbourg, the 26-year old has gone a combined 20-7 in singles. She recorded her first career Top 10 win at Roland Garros over Venus Williams, won her first tour-level singles title in Nanchang in July, successfully defended her Asian Games Gold medal in August, then pulled off her second '18 slam "First Seed Out" win (def. Rybarikova, after Venus had been the RG FSO) at the U.S. Open, and followed it up with another win (Begu) to reach her first slam 3rd Round. Last week in Hiroshima, she reached the semifinals with wins over Priscilla Hon, Luksika Kumkhum and Magda Linette. On Monday, Wang will be at a new career high rank of #41.



Tomljanovic's 2016 shoulder injury (and eventual surgery) has been an obstacle the Aussie (a Top 50 player in' 15) has been forced to overcome for much of the last two years. After ending '17 on a 12-4 run in a series of $80K/$100K & 125 Series events, as the '18 season has progressed, Tomljanovic has developed into a consistent performer as she's put her injury farther away in her rear view mirror. She reached her first tour singles final in three years this May on clay in Rabat (losing to Mertens), as well as two WTA 125 semis and, with this week's result in Hiroshima, four more tour-level QF on two additional surfaces (Mallorca/grass, Monterrey & San Jose/hard). Wins over Fiona Ferro and Zhu Lin highlighted this week, which ended with a three-set loss to eventual champ Hsieh Su-wei.


===============================================
SURPRISE: Jessica Pegula/USA
...24-year old Buffalo native Pegula has had one of those careers consistently dragged down by injuries. She reached her career high (#123) in 2013. In 2015, she qualified for her only career slam MD, and notched a 1st Round U.S. Open win over Alison Van Uytvanck before pushing Dominika Cibulkova to three sets a round later. In 2016, she reached her first career tour-level semifinal in Washington. But she also missed seven months due to injury last season, and came into Quebec City having not played a WTA MD match since losing in the 1st Round (Grace Min in three) in this same event last September. After beginning the year ranked outside the Top 600, Pegula has managed to stay healthy enough over the course of '18 to play nearly sixty singles matches, reaching two challenger finals and posting four more SF results on the ITF circuit. Ranked #227 last week, she qualified and ran off MD wins over Kristyna Pliskova, Ons Jabeur, Petra Martic and Sonya Kenin to reach her first career final. She fell in straights to Pauline Parmentier, and is still seeking her maiden pro singles crown on *any* level (she's 0-5 in ITF finals), but she'll climb 86 spots in the rankings on Monday and jump back into the Top 150 at #141. She's 41-17 in singles on the year.


===============================================
VETERANS: Pauline Parmentier/FRA and Zhang Shuai/CHN
...did anyone really see Parmentier coming in 2018?



While many thirtysomething players have had resurgent campaigns, that of the 32-year old Pastry has to count as quite possibly the most unexpected. When she won the career singles title #4 in Instanbul in April it came nine years and nine months after her *last* one in Bad Gastein in 2008. Well, she only had to wait five months to get #4, picking up the Quebec City trophy this week after sending Veronika Kudermetova, Christina McHale (7-5 3rd), Varvara Lepchenko, Heather Watson (7-6 3rd) and Jessica Pegula (in the final) packing.



Parmentier will move up 21 spots to #48 on Monday, within striking distance (approx. 200 pts.) of the career high (#40) she reached a decade ago in 2008.

In Hiroshima, Zhang added another pair of good results to what has been quite a good month or so. While she was the #1 singles seed in the event, the 29-year old enterered with just a combined 17-21 singles mark this season in WTA and challenger events. But work at the end of the summer showed that she was trending upward as the season reached its 4th Quarter. First she won four matches to reach the Asian Games singles final (taking the Silver after a loss vs. Wang Qiang), played into the U.S. Open semis in both WD (w/ Stosur) and MX (w/ Peers), and this week she reached her second '18 tour-level singles semi (w/ Prague) with wins over Magdalena Frech, Nao Hibino and defending champ Zarina Diyas. In doubles, she teamed with Eri Hozumi to grab her sixth tour-level WD crown, and her second of '18 (Istanbul).

Factoring in her Asian Games work with her three Hiroshima singles wins, Zhang has now finally jumped over .500 for the season (24-23).
===============================================
COMEBACKS: Rebecca Marino/CAN and Timea Bacsinszky/SUI
...Marino's long journey back from her depression-related retirement in 2013 finally made it's way around to the WTA-level event in her home nation of Canada this week. After winning her comeback's first four ITF singles titles over the course of '18, the Vancouver-born Marino, a tour singles finalist in Memphis back in 2011, recorded her first win of any kind in a WTA event since Week 1 of '13 (first MD win since October '11 in Luxembourg over Pavlyuchenkova) with her 6-2/6-2 victory over Tatjana Maria. An additional victory over Georgina Garcia Perez gave her her first WTA QF result since posting the same result in this very tournament in 2011, when she defeated countrywomen Stephanie Dubois and Aleksandra Wozniak before losing to Michaella "The Dutch Artist" Krajicek.



Meanwhile, since her wrist surgery last year, Bacsinszky has managed some doubles success (winning Saint Petersburg w/ Zvonareva in February, as well as reaching the Gstaad final and U.S. Open 3rd Rd.), but heading into this past week's $80K challenger in Biarritz, France she was 0-9 in singles. So, while the 29-year old didn't ultimately take the singles title, that she ran off four wins -- def. Zavatska, Bara, Sramkova and Ormaechea -- before falling in straights in the final to Tamara Korpatsch counts as something of a sudden downpour after a year-long drought. Bacsinszky's last singles victory was at last year's Wimbledon, her final tour event before her return in January.


===============================================
FRESH FACES: Amanda Anisimova/USA and Sonya Kenin/USA
...there are some Bannerettes in Generation PDQ, too. Teens Anisimova and Kenin put on separate shows on opposite sides of the world in Week 37.

In Hiroshima, just-turned-17 Anisimova (#134) made her way through qualifying (dropping 1 set in 3 matches), then impressively took down the likes of Jana Fett, Zheng Saisai, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and #1-seeded Zhang Shuai without dropping a set, reaching her first tour final, where she was (well, you know what Hsieh Su-wei can sometimes do to a big-hitters) taken out by a player fifteen years her senior. On Monday, when she jumps 39 spots to a new career high of #95, Anisimova will be the only player under 18 in the Top 100 (Moscow champ Olga Danilovic, also 17, will be just outside at #105), and the highest ranked player under 19 (just a few spots ahead of Dayana Yastremska).



Hmmm, it was just two years ago that Naomi Osaka reached *her* first tour final at around this time of the year, also in Japan.

In Quebec City, 19-year old Kenin reached her second career tour semifinal (w/ Mallorca) after notching wins over Mona Barthel, Franckie Abanda and Monica Puig. She lost in three sets to Jessica Pegula. Kenin reached the 3rd Round at the just-completed U.S. Open, defeating Madison Brengle and Maria Sakkari before losing to eventual quarterfinalist Karolina Pliskova, though she led the Czech 4-2 in both the 1st and 2nd sets.



At a new career high of #62 on Monday, Kenin will be the highest-ranked teenager on tour, slightly ahead of #66 Vera Lapko and #69 Marketa Vondrousova.
===============================================
DOWN: Lauren Davis/USA
...after ending 2017 at #50 (her sixth straight Top 100 season), Davis entered the week at #213. The diminutive Bannerette has fallen off the table since her 3rd Round loss in Melbourne to Simona Halep, a 3:45 match in which Davis held triple MP before ultimately losing a 15-13, 2:22 3rd set. Davis suffered through a 1-11 stretch after losing to Halep, and after going 1-1 in Quebec City qualifying (losing to Jessica Pegula) she's now just 4-15 overall in '18. Two of those wins (vs. Cepelova and Petkovic) came in the opening rounds of the AO, while only victories over Sara Sorribes Tormo (in a June $100K) and #491 Amanda Rodgers in the opening Q-round in Quebec have followed.
===============================================
ITF PLAYER: Tamara Korpatsch/GER
...Korpatsch's title run in the $80K Biarritz challenger was likely overshadowed by former Top 10 player and two-time slam semifinalist Bacsinszky's run to the final, but the result earned the 23-year German her seventh career ITF crown, and the biggest to date. She's won seven straight ITF finals (all on clay) dating back to 2015.


===============================================
JUNIOR STARS: Leylah Annie Fernandez/CAN and Diana Shnaider/RUS
...a week after reaching the U.S. Open girls quarterfinals, 16-year old LAF made her tour-level MD debut in Quebec City, posting a 1st Round win over fellow Canadian Gaby Dabrowski, 6-3/7-5. Earlier this year, #13-ranked girl Fernandez reached the RG junior semis (wins over Osorio Serrano and Garland) and won a Grade A title in Brazil (def. Noel, Price and Tauson).



In the Grade 2 Smash Academy tournament, 14-year old Hordette Shnaider defeated fellow Russian Maria Bondarenko 0-6/6-4/6-3 in the event final. The unseeded teenager had defeated #1 seed Sophia Biolay (FRA) 3 & 3 in the QF, and improves to 29-3 in non-team event singles in '18. Shnaider will now be the youngest player ranked in the junior Top 100 this week, after winning G2, G3 and G4 titles in her six events this season. She's one of three teens born in 2004 or earlier ranked in the Top 500, with Coco Gauff and Linda Noskova, the latter who recently defeated Shnaider in the final of the European Junior Championship (14s).

Shnaider was the "polka dot bandana" girl from Russia's ITF World 14s title (w/ Erika Andreeva) performance last month.

02.06 Diana Shnaider - Tennis Europe Junior Masters 2017
===============================================
DOUBLES: Eri Hozumi/JPN and Asia Muhammad/Maria Sanchez, USA/USA
...in Hiroshima, Hozumi joined with Zhang Shuai to take the WD crown. As the #2 seeds, they defeated #3 Shuko Aoyama (the two-time defending champ) and Duan Yingying in the semis, then completed their no-sets-lost week with a 2 & 4 win in the final over #1-seed Miyu Kato & Makoto Ninomiya. Hozumi has a doubles history with both of her opponents in the final, reaching three tour finals (and a 125) while partnering Kato (2-1 in '16, and playing in the Auckland final this January), and reaching the Roland Garros championship match with Ninomiya this spring. It's Hozumi's second tour-level WD title, joining with the one she won in Katowice with Kato two seasons ago.



In Quebec City, Muhammad teamed with Sanchez to follow up their Chicago WTA 125 Series final run with an even better one this week. The all-Bannerette pair are the first all-U.S. duo to pick up a title on tour this season, and they did it while dropping just one set all week, a 10-7 3rd set TB over #3 Krawczyk/Olmos before winning 4 & 3 over #2 Jurak/Knoll in the final. Muhammad, in particular, has had something of a "second tier" all-level and discipline breakthrough season, picking up her third career tour-level WD title (the others were in '15 & '16) to go along with the $100K she won this summer in Ilkley (when she reached back-to-back $100K WD finals) and two other $60K's, while also winning a $25K singles crown (February) and winning the USTA U.S. Open Wild Card Playoff ahead of playing her second career slam MD singles match in Flushing Meadows a full ten years after she played her first there in '08.



Sanchez won her only previous WTA WD title in Auckland in 2014.
===============================================
WHEELCHAIR: Viktoria Lvova/RUS
...in the ITF 3 Series Madrid Fundacion Emilio Sanchez Vicario event in Spain, 19-year old Russian Lvova (WC #18) swept the singles and doubles titles. The #1 seed, she went three sets in her QF and SF matches, then defeated #2 seed Emmanuelle Morch (FRA) 6-3/6-2 in the final. Lvova and Donna Jansen took the doubles title, defeating Nalani Buob(SUI) & Morch in the final.

===============================================








1. Quebec City Final - Pauline Parmentier def. Jessica Pegula
...7-5/6-2.
Parmentier joins Serena Williams and Mihaela Buzarenscu (who played in one the day after the big 3-0h) as the only three 30+ multiple singles finalists in '18, while she's the only player 30-and-over to pick up a pair of titles (Kerber's first was when she was still 29).
===============================================
2. Hiroshima SF - Amanda Anisimova def. Zhang Shuai
...7-6(4)/7-5.
Still 16 just two weeks ago, Anisimova tops Potapova (17y,4m) and Olga Danilovic (17y,6m) as the youngest singles finalist this season, and the youngest on tour since 2013 (D.Vekic-Birmingham).
===============================================
3. Quebec City 1st Rd. - Varvara Lepchenko def. Aryna Sabalenka
...6-4/7-6(5).
Sometimes you get Boom-Boom, sometimes you get Bye-Bye.
===============================================
4. Hiroshima 1st Rd. - Viktorija Golubic def. Misaki Doi
...0-6/6-3/7-6(1).
On the other end of the Japanese tennis spectrum, Doi -- MP away from perhaps preventing Angie Kerber from becoming *Angie Kerber* at the 2016 AO -- has had a fit of troubles ever since. A Top 40 player as recently as '17, though she's had some ITF success of late ($100K and $25K titles and another $25K final), Doi's last WTA MD win came in May of last season. She had the chance to end that slide here, as she held three MP vs. the Swiss and twice served for the match. Unfortunately, it all ended in tears and defeat.
===============================================
5. Quebec City 1st Rd. - Christina McHale def. Dayana Yastremska
...2-6/6-2/7-6(1).
McHale had lost six straight tour-level MD matches coming into the week, and 25 of 29 contests after losing the 1st set. But she ralled to defeat the young Ukrainian, who led 5-3 in the 3rd and served for the match.
===============================================
6. Quebec City 1st Rd. - Ons Jabeur def. Lucie Safarova
...7-6(4)/3-6/7-5.
Hmmm, I wonder who had a bet on this match...?




Hmmm...


===============================================
7. Hiroshima QF - Zarina Diyas def. Kateryna Kozlova
...6-7(3)/6-2/7-5.
Defending champ Diyas never lost her serve in this three-hour battle, but broke Kozlova at 5-5 in the 3rd and waltzed off with the win. It may have taken much out of her, though, as she lost in straight sets to Zhang Shuai in the next round.
===============================================
8. $15K Cairo EGY Final - Charlotte Roemer def. Lamis Alhussein Abdel Aziz
...6-3/6-4.
In a match-up to determine a first-time pro singles champ, recent Fed Cup star Roemer (ECU), who reached her first career challenger final in April, wins out over the 20-year old Egyptian.
===============================================


A whole new world...






But still an old one, as the Washington Post sports department (a thin shadow of its former one-of-the-best-in-the-nation self, trust me) continues to embarrass itself this summer when it comes to its coverage of women's tennis...



Even before this (and Sally Jenkins' doozy of a column on page A1 last weekend), this was how the Wimbledon final -- won by Angie Kerber, not that that was immediately apparent, or even secondarily -- was treated the next morning...


And, just for a comparison, this was how Francesco Molinari's British Open win, with an attention-getting Tiger Woods close finish, was handled just a short time later, when the actual story *wasn't* lost amid the personal sentiment...



1. Hiroshima Final - HSIEH SU-WEI def. Amanda Anisimova
...6-2/6-2.


Cont'd...

Scene 2: Not a Fortuitous Forehand... Simply Deadly Design



Scene 3: Cat, Meet Mouse


===============================================
2. Hiroshima Q2 - Amanda Anisimova def. ULA RADWANSKA
...6-1/3-6/6-4.
Ula sighting! Before her straight sets loss in the final, the teenager's only dropped set in seven Q/MD matches came to Aga's sister. The four games Anisimova gave up in the 3rd was the most she lost in any of the twelve sets the Bannerette won, as well. The world #29 in 2012, U-Rad is currently ranked #359. She's posted wins this season over Priscilla Hon, Tara Moore, Tereza Smitkova, Katie Swan and Wang Xinyu.
===============================================
3. Hiroshima 2nd Rd. - ANNA KAROLINA SCHMIEDLOVA def. Viktorija Golubic
...5-7/7-5/6-3.
AKS lost to Anisimova a round later, but she still posted just her second tour-level QF result (w/ her Bogota title earlier this year) since 2015. The '15 QF run was in Wuhan, and at the time was the Slovak's fifth QF-or-better finish in a six event stretch. She then proceeded to lose 20 of her next 25 matches.
===============================================
HM- $15K Frydek-Mistek CZE SF - GABRIELA PANTUCKOVA walkover MAGDALENA PANTUCKOVA
...
three of the Czech sisters' six career matchups have either been walkovers or ended via a retirement, including three of four over the last two years (Magdalena retired in their Budapest challenger final last month, as well). Gabriela ultimately lost her bid for her fifth title of the season, losing to Poland's Marta Lesniak in a three-set final. Magdalena herself has reached five challenger finals since May, winning one.
===============================================


Truth, justice and the covering of the ass...

As the week played out in the aftermath of the U.S. Open final, there was some common sense achieved in many corners about what actually happened on the Ashe court, rather than the scene as it played out in the fevered minds of some who spoke early, often and loudly, often without utilizing any little real knowledge of the situation or rules of the game. There was at least some attempt at a walk-back of immediate emotional responses by others, as well as the usual attempt to privately patch up a mess of its own making by the USTA...

Also, some pointed words from none other than Barbora Strycova (I'm using the link because many Tweets link to a more truncated version of the article), who makes a lot of good points, setting aside the irony of, you know, *Barbora Strycova* critiquing another player's angry/emotional reactions on the court. Of course, maybe the Czech is actually a perfect critic, because she *isn't* a perfect on-court actor. The social media trolls who pass off her comments with the usual insulting "what has *she* won" wave of the hand sort of miss the point, as well as reinforce the notion that Serena is both seeking to be treated equally, as well as being treated differently because she's *Serena Williams*, as if she can only be judged by another 23-time slam champion. And since, you know, that would only leave Margaret Court as the judge and jury, I think the problem with that is quite apparent.







And, back to work...





And the opening up of yet another battlefield, too. Oh, why not? (Rolls eyes.)










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#beautifulplace

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????

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Dinner for 2, please. #ThankYou

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*MULTIPLE WTA SINGLES TITLES in 2018*
5 - Petra Kvitova, CZE [S.P'burg,Doha,Prague,Madrid,Birm]
3 - Simona Halep, ROU [Shenzhen,Roland Garros,Montreal]
3 - Elina Svitolina, UKR [Brisbane,Dubai,Rome]
3 - Elise Mertens, BEL [Hobart,Lugano,Rabat]
2 - Caroline Wozniacki, DEN [Australian Open,Eastbourne]
2 - Angelique Kerber, GER [Sydney,Wimbledon]
2 - Naomi Osaka, JPN [Indian Wells,US Open]
2 - Kiki Bertens, NED [Charleston,Cincinnati]
2 - PAULINE PARMENTIER, FRA [Istanbul,Quebec City]

*2018 FIRST-TIME FINALISTS*
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)
Hiroshima - AMANDA ANISIMOVA, USA (#134, 17)
QUEBEC CITY - JESSICA PEGULA, USA (#227, 24)

*2018 BIGGEST AGE DIFFERENCE IN FINAL*
16 years - Osaka (20) def. S.Williams (36) - US Open
15 years - HSIEH (32) def. ANSIMOSVA (17) - HIROSHIMA
11 years - Kuznetsova (33) def. Vekic (22) - Washington

*2018 YOUNGEST SINGLES FINALIST*
AMANDA ANISIMOVA, USA (HIROSHIMA-L) - 17,2w
Anastasia Potapova, RUS (Moscow MO-L) - 17,4m
Olga Danilovic, SRB (Moscow MO-W) - 17,6m,1w
Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (Lugano-L) - 19,11m,1w
Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (Eastbourne-L) - 20,1m,3w
Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (New Haven-W) - 20,3m,3w
Naomi Osaka, JPN (IW-W) - 20,5m
Dasha Kasatkina, RUS (Dubai-L) - 20,9m,2w
Alona Ostapenko, LAT (Miami-L) - 20,9m,3w
Dasha Kasatkina, RUS (IW-L) - 20,10m,1w
Naomi Osaka, JPN (US Open-W) - 20,10m,3w

*2018 OLDEST SINGLES CHAMPION*
33y,1m,1w - Svetlana Kuzntsova, RUS (Washington)
32y,7m,2w - PAULINE PARMENTIER, FRA (QUEBEC CITY)
32y,3m - Pauline Parmentier, FRA (Istanbul)
32y,8m,2w - HSIEH SU-WEI, TPE (HIROSHIMA)
30y,10m,2w - Tatjana Maria, GER (Mallorca)
30y,6m - Angelique Kerber, GER (Wimbledon)
30y,3m - Mihaela Buzarnescu, ROU (San Jose)

*QUALIFIER/LUCKY LOSER/PR/UNSEEDED WILD CARD IN FINAL*
Brisbane - Aliaksandra Sasnovich, BLR (23, #88, Q)
Saint Pet. - Petra Kvitova, CZE (27, #29, WC) [W]
Stuttgart - CoCo Vandeweghe, USA (26, #16, WC)
Gstaad - Mandy Minella, LUX (32, #226, PR)
Moscow MO - Anastasia Potapova, RUS (17, #204, WC)
Moscow MO - Olga Danilovic, SRB (17, #187, LL) [W]
Hiroshima - AMANDA ANISIMOVA, USA (17, #134, Q)
QUEBEC CITY - JESSICA PEGULA, USA (24, #227, Q)

*LOW-RANKED FINALISTS IN 2018*
#227 - JESSICA PEGULA, USA (QUEBEC CITY)
#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)
#134 - AMANDA ANISIMOVA, USA (HIROSHIMA)
#132 - Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, SVK (Bogota) [W]
#128 - Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS (Washington) [W]
#122 - Pauline Parmentier, FRA (Istanbul) [W]
#112 - Zheng Saisai, CHN (Nanchang)
#105 - Alison Riske, USA (Nurnberg)

*TOP 10 SINGLES PLAYERS FROM JAPAN - by debut*
1994 Kimiko Date
2003 Ai Sugiyama
2018 Naomi Osaka

*RECENT WTA TOP 10 DEBUTS*
=2016=
Belinda Bencic, SUI
Roberta Vinci, ITA
Madison Keys, USA
Johanna Konta, GBR
=2017=
Elina Svitolina, UKR
Alona Ostapenko, LAT
Caroline Garcia, FRA
Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
=2018=
Julia Goerges, GER
Sloane Stephens, USA
Naomi Osaka, JPN

*YEARLY SLAM WINS BY RUSSIAN/BELGIAN/WILLIAMS*
=since 1999 U.S. Open=
1999 1/1
2000 2/4 (Davenport/Pierce)
2001 2/4 (Capriati-2)
2002 3/4 (Capriati)
2003 4/4
2004 4/4
2005 4/4
2006 2/4 (Mauresmo-2)
2007 4/4
2008 3/4 (Ivanovic)
2009 4/4
2010 3/4 (Schiavone)
2011 1/4 (Li/Kvitova/Stosur)
2012 3/4 (Azarenka)
2013 2/4 (Azarenka/Bartoli)
2014 2/4 (Li/Kvitova)
2015 3/4 (Pennetta)
2016 1/4 (Kerber-2/Muguruza)
2017 1/4 (Ostapeko/Muguruza/Stephens)
2018 0/4 (Wozniacki/Halep/Kerber/Osaka)
--
TOTAL: 49/77 titles won by RUS/BEL/WILLIAMS
...(49) 23 Serena, 7 Venus, 7 Henin, 5 Sharapova, 4 Clijsters, 2 Kuznetsova, 1 Myskina
--
2018 first season since 1998 w/o title won by RUS/BEL/WILLIAMS

*MOST CONSECUTIVE DIFFERENT SLAM WINNERS*
=NINE=
1937 AO: Nancye Wynne
1937 RG: Hilde Sperling
1937 WI: Dorothy Round
1937 US: Anita Lizane
1938 AO: Dorothy Bundy
1938 RG: Simone Mathieu
1938 WI: Helen Wills-Moody
1938 US: Alice Marble
1939 AO: Emily Westacott
=current streak: EIGHT=
2017 AO: Serena Willimas
2017 RG: Alona Ostapenko
2017 WI: Garbine Muguruza
2017 US: Sloane Stephens
2018 AO: Caroline Wozniacki
2018 RG: Simona Halep
2018 WI: Angelique Kerber
2018 US: Naomi Osaka

*FIVE DIFFERENT SLAM+WTAF WINNERS IN SEASON*
=2005=
AO: Serena Williams
RG: Justine Henin-Hardenne
WI: Venus Williams
US: Kim Clijsters
WTA: Amelie Mauresmo
=2017=
AO: Serena Williams
RG: Alona Ostapenko
WI: Garbine Muguruza
US: Sloane Stephens
WTA: Caroline Wozniacki
=2018??=
AO: Caroline Wozniacki
RG: Simona Halep
WI: Angelique Kerber
US: Naomi Osaka
WTA: ??

*2018 GRADE 1/A/SLAM JUNIOR CHAMPS*
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
PG Co. Int'l HC G1: Katie Volynets/USA
Banque Nationale du Canada G1: Clara Tauson/DEN
U.S. Open: Wang Xiyu/CHN










TOKYO (PPO), JAPAN (Premier/Hard Court Indoor)
=RECENT WS FINALS=
2009 Sharapova d. Jankovic
2010 Wozniacki d. Dementieva
2011 A.Radwanska d. Zvonareva
2012 Nadia Petrova d. A.Radwanska
2013 Kvitova d. Kerber
2014 Ivanovic d. Wozniacki
2015 A.Radwanska d. Bencic
2016 Wozniacki d. Osaka
2017 Wozniacki d. Pavlyuchenkova
=======================================
'18 TOP SEEDS
WS: #1 Wozniacki, #2 Garcia
WD: #1 S.-Hlavackova/Strycova, #2 Dabrowski/Xu Yifan



GUANGZHOU, CHINA (Int'l/Hard Court Outdoor)
=RECENT WS FINALS=
2012 Hsieh Su-wei d. Robson
2013 Zhang Shuai d. V.King
2014 Niculescu d. Cornet
2015 Jankovic d. Allertova
2016 Tsurenko d. Jankovic
2017 Zhang Shuai d. Krunic
=======================================
'18 TOP SEEDS
WS: #1 Sabalenka, #2 Cornet
WD: #1 Christian/Santamaria, #2 Voskoboeva/Zvonareva



SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (Int'l/Hard Court Outdoor)
=RECENT WS FINALS=
2012 Wozniacki d. Kanepi
2013 A.Radwanska d. Pavlyuchenkova
2014 Ka.Pliskova d. Lepchenko
2015 Begu d. Sasnovch
2016 Arruabarrena d. Niculescu
2017 Ostapenko d. Haddad Maia
=======================================
'18 TOP SEEDS
WS: #1 Ostapenko, #2 Bertens
WD: #1 Begu/Olaru, #2 Jakupovic/Jurak

*SINGLES SF*
#1 Ostapenko d. #5 Van Uytvanck
(PR) Gasparyan d. #2 Bertens
*SINGLES FINAL*
#1 Ostapenko d. (PR) Gasparyan


All for now.

6 Comments:

Blogger colt13 said...

One round away from a Pliskova matchup, but Kr. Pliskova not playing well enough to reach it.

Anisimova didn't win, but always a good sign when a teen can reach a final away from their home country.

Stat of the Week-69- The amount of WTA titles won by women loosely affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres.

Inspired by Jessica Pegula, whose parents own the Sabres, she was one win away from making that total 70, yet the Sabres have never won.

If you are a sports fan, stick around, because this will take some twists and turns.

The Pegula family also owns the Buffalo Bills. Having bought the team from Ralph Wilson's estate, Wilson was an unlikely choice to end up in Buffalo. A minority owner of his hometown Detroit Lions back in the 50's, he tried to buy them, but was turned down. he, along with Lamar Hunt and most of the other original AFL owners, had money, but were turned down by the NFL. One of the few that did not meet that criteria, were the New York Titans-now Jets.

They had ownership that only lasted the first couple of years, and have been behind the 8 ball ever since. Their 11 10 win seasons(in 58 years) is the lowest of the original 8 AFL teams. Even Pegula's Bills have 13, though they have a current streak of 19 without one. And to pile on even more, Boston(New England) topped that total in the last 12 years. 15 consecutive 10 win seasons, and 25 total.

But in recent sports history, the Jets ownership problems are not the worst. That belongs to Seattle, but is related to the mess Charley O. Finley created.

If you are not familiar with Finley, he was a cross between Donald Trump and Stan Lee. A shameless self promoter that never saw a camera he didn't like, his short attention span, and questionable ideas created problems.

Finley tried to buy into his hometown Chicago White Sox in the 50's but was rebuffed. When the Kansas City Athletics owner passed away, he then bought that team. Kansas City had moved from Philadelphia, as that market was too small for both.

To explain why Philly had two teams, you have to know about the craziest way to build a league ever-that worked.In baseball the National League had been around since 1876, while the American League started in 1901. Instead of finding a new place to play, the AL decided to put teams in the same cities as the NL, because they already had fanbases. Hence, the Chicago White Sox, went where the Cubs did. Same with the New York Highlanders(Yankees)/Giants, Boston Red Sox/Braves, St Louis Browns/Cardinals, and Philadelphia Quakers(Phillies)/Athletics. Dertoit and Washington were added, and they went to Cleveland instead of Cincinnati because Cincinnati was the best team.

So Finley had KC to himself, but "negotiated" like Trump, to the point that he symbolically tore up a contract on the baseball diamond. After a decade of feuding, he broke the contract and moved the team to Oakland in 1968. Kansas City sued the league, and said that they deserved a team. The league agreed, and said that they would get a team for 1971. Kansas City said no, you need to do better, and the league settled on 1969.

The league committed to KC, but wanted another team. So they went to the cities Finley had negotiated with-Denver, which got a team in 1993, Toronto, goth theirs in 1977, and Seattle, which was chosen for 1969. Their ownership group was so patchwork that they only made it one year, then a month before opening day in 1970, they sold to Bud Selig, who moved them to Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, the California Golden Seals were an expansion franchise in the NHL that was having problems. A group from Buffalo attempted to buy the team, but the league blocked the sale because they wanted to give the Seals more time in the market.

cont.

Sun Sep 16, 10:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

The NHL decided to give Buffalo and Vancouver expansion franchises. So Buffalo got their team in 1970.

But the Seals still needed an owner, and it turned out to be Charlie Finley. Finley tried to remake the Seals in the A's image, but failed.

By 1974, Finley has won the World Series 3 times, but was ready to bail on his hockey life. The NHL geographically changed in 1974, taking Philadelphia and Pittsburgh out of the west, but then put California in with Buffalo, Boston, and Toronto. California went 0-4-2 vs Buffalo that year, and Buffalo reached the finals, losing to Philly.

That was it for Finley, who tried to sell the team to Denver, and was blocked again. He eventually sold the team back to the league. When they got new owners, the minority ones turned out to be the Gund Brothers, who moved the team to Cleveland. They were merged with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978, making them the last team in any of the 4 major sports to have been contracted.

At this point, the 69 WTA titles haven't been accounted for. Any guesses? Since that has involved the east coast, maybe Meghann Shaughnessy? Wrong, because uncle Dan isn't a sports owner, he is a sportswriter. For the Sabres biggest rival, the Boston Bruins-Boston Globe.

*Note-Dan got Meghann to weigh in on the Serena controversy, so that is up on the Boston Globe site*

Actually, Boston and Buffalo were kindred spirits. or cheaters. Everybody knew that the Boston Garden was old and outdated, so the Bruins didn't play in a regulation rink. Instead of 200 x 85, they played at 191 x 83. Throughout the 80's and 90's, the only other team besides Chicago to do that was Buffalo. Somehow, the Aud in Buffalo was only 196 x 85.

At this point Buffalo is just a team, so back to the Gunds. Fast forward 11 years. In 1991, the Gund brothers wanted to move the Minnesota North Stars to San Jose. The league said no, but if they could find a local buyer, we will give you an expansion franchise. So the Gunds became the owners of the San Jose Sharks.

But the Minnesota portion went bad. They only lasted two more years before they moved to Dallas. Their only highlight? Winning the Stanley Cup final against the Buffalo Sabres.

So Buffalo had value. They also had a scandal, which forced the Rigas family to sell. Enter Tom Golisano, who bought the team in 2003, and will help account for 53 of these titles as he eventually married Monica Seles.

That still leaves 16 unaccounted for. One of the players in his era was Maxim Afinogenov. He spent 9 years with Buffalo, the one in Atlanta. Still active in the KHL, he hasn't played in North America since 2010. And the person that got all of these wins hasn't played since 2010 either. Elena Dementieva.

Hindsight is 20/20. But even at the time, their connection was so strong that Elena played Fed Cup in the US(Alabama), because it was close to Atlanta, where Maxim was at the time. They got married in 2011, have a kid, and seem to be living the fairy tale.

Sun Sep 16, 10:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Quiz Time!
Who is the winningest singles player from Chinese Taipei?

A.Janet Lee
B.Latisha Chan
C.Wang Shi-Ting
D.Hsieh Su-Wei



Tokyo is a premier, so more Up/Down Side.






Answer!
This is actually quite sad. Taipei really doesn't have any history in singles, but can say they have had #1 players in doubles.

A. Janet Lee is wrong. The American born Asian, she never won a singles title, and only got as high as 79 in the rankings. But deserves some notice as her 20 singles wins in Fed Cup, and 29 wins overall, put her 2nd to Wang in both categories.

B.Latisha Chan was needed just to get 4 options. No WTA singles titles, but 17 ITF titles, so she has had some success.

C.Wang Shi-Ting is your answer, as she won 6 titles, doubling Hsieh's total. Interestingly, all 9 of those titles are on hard, and in Asia. Until Hsieh, Wang was the highest ranked player at 26, even though she never got past the 3rd rd of a slam. Hsieh's career high is 23.

Sun Sep 16, 11:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Up Side.

1.Barty-The Tokyo pick to click. Has been solid all year, and if she can get by doubles partner Vandeweghe, she has a shot to run the table. The red flag? 0-6 vs Top 10 this year, but she is in a premier in which only 5 of the Top 10 are there.
2.Ostapenko- Korea pick to click. Draw seems light. If Ostapenko can clean up the serve, and even if she doesn't, she is the best player in the field.
3.Wang-The Guangzhou pick to click. I actually mean Qiang, but Yafan, Xiyu, and Xinyu are all in the bottom half of the draw. And until the qualifiyers are placed, all 6 Chinese women are in the bottom half of the draw.
4.Zvonareva-Started the year at 202, and is now at 137. Gets a rematch of the match years ago against Lisicki, where she collapsed at the end. Lisicki's game has collapsed thisyear, coming in of a 5 match losing streak. On current form, anything less than Zvonareva winning 2 and 3 would be a surprise.
5.Dabrowski- 17 singles matches the last 52 weeks. This will be the 2nd one in a main draw, as she made it through qualies. She also did so just last week.

Sun Sep 16, 11:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Down Side.

1.Sabalenka-I had put her on the list earlier in the week, when she was still on the Guangzhou list. She withdrew, but still should not have played Quebec. In reverse, she had played Quebec, USO, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Montreal, and San Jose, not taking a week off since after Wimbledon.
2.Safarova- Todd's post makes it look like she has shut it down for the year. Already outside of the Top 100, only 3 of her 12 wins this year were against players higher ranked than her-Gavrilova, Martic, Radwanska.
3.Keys-The anti Svitolina. How can somebody with 2 slam SF be ranked 18? Because she has 16 wins in slams this year, and only 9 out of them.
4.Osaka-Deserves every good thing that comes to her. But you have seen her on Ellen. On the Today Show. Etc. Do we really think she has her mind right? Winning a round or teo wouldn't be a shock, but it is insane to expect her to have her US Open level here.
5.Vandeweghe- Just because she draws Barty first round. Has the talent to win, but will probably be in conservation mode. What I mean is that Barty's gameplan should be to dropshot her and test the ankle, but if they team up in doubles that could cause a withdrawal. So assume that Vandeweghe will concede points to make it through the week.

Sun Sep 16, 11:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

C-
Wow, that was a journey. Good stuff! :)

(Though I admit at some point I forgot what the stat was that led you down that rabbit hole.) :D

Hmmm, not sure either one of us included Pegula (as we should have) when we did that WTA/NFL connection thing a while back.

Speaking of the NHL, the Caps started their preseason today... and already seem ready to supplant the Nats (not a shock at this point) and the Redskins (after the way they looked today, at least) as the D.C. sports topic of note.

This all reminded me how when the North Stars moved from Minnesota to Dallas it was one of the rare occasions when the team nickname of the newly located franchise (changed to just the Stars, but in the Lone Star State) worked well in *both* cities. Unlike, say, the New Orleans-to-Utah Jazz.

Quiz: I went with "C" just to avoid the obvious, and because I remembered her playing against Novotna. Ha! Knew it all along. ;)

Playing in Asia is probably both the best and worst thing for Osaka right now. She'll get the adulation and a pass if she's "off," but all the distractions would almost seem to assure that she probably won't be "on" for at least a while. (Hmmm, let me imagine some of the first tweets from Serena fans as soon as she loses a match... or let me choose *not* to imagine.)

Mon Sep 17, 12:55:00 AM EDT  

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