Monday, October 03, 2022

Wk.39- Egyptian Herstory Made in Italy

There they go again...






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*WEEK 39 CHAMPIONS*
TALLINN, ESTONIA (WTA 250/Hard Court Indoor)
S: Barbora Krejcikova/CZE def. Anett Kontaveit/EST 6-2/6-3
D: Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiia Kichenok (UKR/UKR) def. Nicole Melichar-Martinez/Ellen Perez (USA/AUS) 7-5/4-6 [10-7]
PARMA, ITALY (WTA 250/Red Clay Outdoor)
S: Mayar Sherif/EGY def. Maria Sakkari/GRE 7-5/6-3
D: Anastasia Detiuc/Miriam Kolodziejova (CZE/CZE) def. Arantxa Rus/Tamara Zidansek (NED/SLO) 1-6/6-3 [10-8]




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PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Mayar Sherif/EGY
...after seeing Ons Jabeur become the leading lady on tour when it comes to historic firsts, especially when it comes to players from North Africa, Sherif -- no stranger herself to becoming the first (Egyptian) to accomplish any number of tennis feats the last couple of years -- ramped up her game this week in Parma.

The 26-year old is now fully back from an early season foot injury that cost her two months of activity (from post-RG until summer hard courts) just as she was reaching new heights, including becoming the first Egyptian woman to win a MD match in Paris and winning a pair of WTA 125 titles. During her absence, she reached a career high of #44 in July.

This week, entering with a #74 ranking in her seventh event back (after starting 0-4, and going 3-6), Sherif became Egypt's first WTA singles champ, running off wins over Anna Bondar, Simona Waltert and Lauren Davis to reach her second career semifinal (she was RU in Cluj Napoca in '21). With the schedule backed up, both the semis and final were contested on Saturday, meaning that Sherif followed up a 2:50 win over Ana Bogdan with a straight sets victory -- her first vs. a Top 10 (and Top 50) player -- over Maria Sakkari to claim the crown.

Sherif will jump 25 spots on Monday, back into the Top 50 (#49).


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RISERS: Anett Kontaveit/EST and Maria Sakkari/GRE
...headlining the first tour event held in Estonia, Kontaveit gave the crowd their money's worth, from escaping a near-collapse in her opening match vs. Wang Xiyu (Kontaveit led 4-0 in the 3rd, served at 5-2 and had 2 MP, but saw the set soon knotted at 5-5) to defeating Tereza Martincova, Ysaline Bonaventure (in 3) and then Kaia Kanepi in an all-EST semi for a spot in the final.

She reached the final with a 4 & 4 win over her countrywoman, her eleventh title match berth since the start of last year, only to lose to Barbora Krejcikova, ending her 24-match indoor hard court winning streak (her overall indoor streak had ended on the Stuttgart clay in April).

Granted, Kontaveit is in nowhere near the form she was a year ago, when she rode a 26-2 run to the WTAF, coming into the week having gone just 4-4 since her Hamburg final in July, which itself had come after a 4-6 stretch while she dealt with the lingering effects of her early season bout with Covid. Still, her runner-up result at least seems to send her in a positive direction toward the start of '23.



Sakkari's week (again) didn't end the way she'd wish, as she remains title-less for more than three years, but the Greek's trademark fight continues to give her opportunities on the WTA (and slam) level. As long as she maintains her effort, one expects that elusive ability to lift champion's trophies will *eventually* become part of her skill set.

As it turned out, though, Parma provided the latest example of Sakkari battling and coming out on top -- coming from a set down to defeat Kateryna Baindl, Arantxa Rus and Maryna Zanevska (where she climbed out of a love/40 hole at 2-3 in the 3rd) in consecutive matches before a straight sets win over Danka Kovinic to reach her third final of the season -- only to then come up short at the final turn, this time against first-time tour champ Mayar Sherif, ranked 67 spots below the two-time tour semifinalist and Top 10 Spartan.

Even with the loss, which leaves Sakkari 1-5 in career tour finals, Parma was Sakkari's best result since a SF on the grass in Berlin this summer, and while the titles continue to slip through her fingers she's shown some progress when it comes to late-stage results in '22. Before her Saint Petersburg final in February, she's lost 12 of her last 13 singles semifinal matches. With her win this week, she's gone 3-2 in semis this season, improving her overall career record to 6-16.

Sakkari will extend her Top 10 ranking streak to 64 weeks on Monday, the second longest active run behind Aryna Sabalenka (98).
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SURPRISES: Danka Kovinic/MNE and Ysaline Bonaventure/BEL
...Kovinic managed a 1st Round encounter with Serena Williams at the U.S. Open, after previously having bobbed up with good results at Indian Wells (def. Teichmann and Pliskova) and in the season's first two majors (a win over Raducanu in Melbourne, and a RG 3rd Round), but it's been a sometimes trying season for the Montenegrin as she's seen her ranking begin at #98, fall outside the Top 100 by spring and never rise higher than #65. But as the season winds down she managed to finally post an encouraging result this week in Parma as the offseason soon beckons.

Ranked #78, Kovinic recorded back-to-back wins over Oceane Dodin and Sloane Stephens (winning the 1st set from 5-3 down, and the match despite 12 DF) for her first multi-win MD tour-level result since Paris, then got another over Jasmine Paolini for her first WTA semi since the Charleston 250 in the spring of last year. Her run ended at the hands of Maria Sakkari in what was arguably the Greek runner-up's best match of the week.

She'll jump 12 spots to #66 on Monday.



In Tallinn, #138 Bonaventure qualified with victories over Georgina Garcia Perez and Mirjam Bjorkland to reach her first tour-level MD since Roland Garros, then added wins over Shelby Rogers and Jil Teichmann, her first in WTA play since Prague last summer. Having not appeared in a tour QF since Hamburg last year (the event before Prague), Bonaventure took Anett Kontaveit to three sets before finally bowing out.

The Waffle will climb to #122 on Monday, within sight of her career high (in 2019) of #109.


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VETERANS: Kaia Kanepi/EST and Ana Bogdan/ROU
...37-year old Kanepi fell in the all-Estonian semi vs. Anett Kontaveit on home soil (well, indoor hard court), but reached her second '22 WTA semifinal (w/ Washington RU) with victories over Alona Ostapenko (w/ a love 3rd), Ann Li and Karolina Muchova (3rd set TB).

Kanepi will remain at #32 on Monday, just one off her season high (August), her best standing on tour since 2014.



In Parma, Bogdan continued her recent good run, posting her second straight tour semifinal (w/ Portoroz) with wins over Laura Pigossi, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (her first win in four meetings) and Irina-Camelia Begu. Bogdan fell in the semis to Mayar Sherif, but will crack the Top 50 for the first time on Monday, coming in at a new career high of #46.

34-15 on the year, and 16-4 in her last 20, the 29-year old's last five events have included a tour-level final (Warsaw), two semis, a 125 title (Iasi) and a Q2 loss in U.S. Open qualifying.


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COMEBACKS: Barbora Krejcikova/CZE and Karolina Muchova/CZE
...doubles success (three majors!) aside, injuries and illness have wreaked havoc with Krejcikova's singles' campaign as she came into Week 39 at just 16-14 and having fallen from a season-opening #5 to (this past week) #27. Coming into Tallinn, she'd had just one multi-win event since Wimbledon, and just two since her QF at the Australian Open (part of a 7-2 start).

Her rebound week included wins over Alja Tomljanovic, Marta Kostyuk, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Belinda Bencic (from a set down, in almost three and a half hours, on her 6th MP) to reach her first final since Sydney some 38 weeks ago.

Krejcikova handled home favorite Anett Kontaveit 2 & 3 in the final (on an indoor hard court, which is even more impressive), picking up her fourth career title and first since winning in her own home nation in Prague in July of last year.

She'll be back in the Czech Republic this coming week in Ostrava!!!, and could face Bencic again in the 2nd Round.



While a slew of her fellow Czechs -- from Bouzkova and Fruhvirtova, to Siniakova and Krejcikova -- have picked up their first '22 singles titles in recent weeks, Muchova continues to mark her progress by simply remaining healthy and (hopefully) stringing a few wins together. She accomplished both in Tallinn.

Entering the week ranked all the way down at #224 after having played just 13 matches (6-7) this season, Muchova was without a tour MD win since the 2nd Round of Roland Garros (over #3 Sakkari, after which she retired from her next match and had gone 1-4 since, with another retirement). In Estonia, she posted wins over Jessika Ponchet (dropping just 2 games) and Viktorija Golubic (from a set back) to reach her first QF since Wimbledon of *last year*. She fell in a 3rd set TB vs. Kaia Kanepi after a break-free final set, but will at least climb back into the Top 200 (#189) with the result and, most importantly, will be *able* to be back at it this coming week within Czech borders in Ostrava!!!.

Who knows, though the draw is a bit stacked (she opens vs. Haddad, and *could* see Iga in the QF), maybe it'll finally be "her turn."


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FRESH FACES: Anastasia Detiuc/Miriam Kolodziejova, CZE/CZE
...well, I guess we now have two more Czechs to throw into the mix for Petr Pala's BJK Cup stew. The Czech Republic could almost be like an Olympic bobsled unit in Cup play, forming a Czech I, Czech II and even Czech III crew that could compete with almost anyone.

Detiuc (23) & Kolodziejova (25) picked up their maiden tour titles in Parma, defeating the #3 seeds (Danilina/Maleckova) and winning a pair of MTB (SF vs. Kania/Voracova and F vs. Rus/Zidansek) to take the crown.

Kolodziejova made a name for herself in her junior days, winning a pair of girls' doubles majors (alongside Marketa Vondrousova) in 2015. She and Detiuc won a pair of $60K challengers on clay this spring and summer, while Kolodziejova has individually picked up five ITF wins, and Detiuc four, in '22.


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DOWN: Martina Trevisan, ITA
...this spring, Trevisan soared higher than she ever had. She went on a 10-match winning streak, taking the Rabat title and then reaching the Roland Garros semifinals.

Back on clay, the Italian's 1st Round loss in Parma to Sara Sorribes Tormo isn't a "bad" loss on its face, but it's her third straight defeat (w/ an additional walkover in Cleveland) and drops her to 3-8 since the end of her run in Paris (she's 1-6 in her last seven).

Trevisan ended 2021 at #113, then climbed all the way to #27 after RG and rose as high as #24. She'll remain at #30 on Monday, still by far the highest ranked Italian (#60 Giorgi is second) even as the "second tier" of the nation's players (Bronzetti, Paolini, Cocciaretto, Stefanini and, in recent weeks, even teenager Matilde Paoletti) begin to make more and more noise a bit further down the ladder.
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ITF PLAYERS: Julia Grabher/AUT and Madison Brengle/USA
...recent success continued to carry over for two of the biggest ITF winners this week, as Grabher and Brengle added more hardware to their '22 mantle.

Grahber, who claimed a $60K in August, won her biggest career title in a WTA 125 in Bari during the U.S. Open, and cracked the Top 100 in September, won the San Sebastian, Spain $60K challenger, defeating Week 38 ITF winner Aliona Bolsova (who still picked up a WD crown) in a 6-3/7-6 final. It's Grabher's third ITF title this season, and the 26-year old will jump to another new career high at #85 this week.



Next up on the agenda for the Austrian will be reaching her first slam MD. Thus far, she's failed in all 12 of her slam qualifying attempts.

In Templeton, California, 32-year old Brengle picked up her second $60K crown in as many weeks, completing a title run by dropping just one set (the 1st set in the final vs. U.S. teenager Robin Montgomery) all week while defeating the likes of Arianne Hartono, Nao Hibino and Sophie Chang. It's Brengle's 18th career ITF title in 29 finals to go along with her two career WTA 125 wins. She's 0-1 in her lone tour final, in Hobart in 2015.

Brengle will be back in the Top 50 on Monday for the first time since 2016.


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JUNIOR STARS: Solana Sierra/ARG and Kaitlin Quevedo/USA
...junior stars have been thriving on the ITF circuit all season long, and the trend continued this past week.

18-year old Sierra, the RG girls' runner-up in the spring, won her third straight title in the $15K in Eldorado, Argentina, taking the honors without dropping a set and finishing off fellow Argentine Luisina Giovannini in a 6-3/6-3 final to take the crown. Over the course of her 15-match ITF winning streak, the first two legs of which came *before* her crushing 2nd Round loss to Iva Jovic (the Argentine had led 5-0 in the 3rd, and held 3 MP before losing an 11-9 TB) in the 2nd Round of U.S. Open junior play, Sierra has won 30 of 31 sets.



In Cancun, 16-year old Quevedo, in just her fourth pro event, grabbed her second title (after previous W-SF results in Cancun in September) with a 6-2/6-3 win over Israel's Mika Dagan Fructman. Quevedo lost in the doubles final in her first pro WD competition, as well.


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DOUBLES: Lyudmyla & Nadiia Kichenok, UKR/UKR
...the majority of the tour's most well-known sibling doubles combinations are either over (Bondarenko, Williams... maybe), rare (Pliskova) or seemingly (?) played out (Chan). The Kichenoks are no longer regular doubles partners (Lyudmyla has been formidable w/ Alona Ostapenko in '22, though), but they've had success when they *have* combined over the years.

The twins took the Tallinn crown this week, their fourth tour-level title as a pair in their first final since the 2018 Elite Trophy event. The Ukrainians dropped no sets en route to the final, then took out Nicole Melichar-Martinez (in her fifth final in her last six events) & Laura Siegemund in a 10-7 MTB for the win.

Both twins have now won eight WTA titles, but this is Lyudmyla's third this season (after winning two after reaching four finals w/ Ostapenko, while also reaching two slam SF), while Nadiia's last title came in Chicago in August '21 (when she and Raluca Olaru teamed to defeat Lyudmyla in the final).


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WHEELCHAIR: Diede de Groot, NED
...as summer turns to fall, de Groot just keeps rolling along.

The Dutch great swept another pair of singles/doubles titles this week, this time at the Sardinia Open in Italy. Her four singles wins, with the last coming in the final in a 7-6/6-2 victory over Aniek Van Koot, extended her winning streak to 69 matches (33-0 in '22) and 18 straight titles over the past two seasons. She's won 132 of her last 135 sets.

De Groot and Van Koot combined to claim the doubles, defeating Lucy Shuker/Cornelia Oosthuizen 6-0/6-1 to improve to 20-1 as a duo this season.

In 2021-22 -- during which she's won back-to-back singles Grand Slams, six of eight doubles majors and collected two Paralympic Gold medals -- de Groot has gone a combined 118-4 in s/d (74-1 in singles).
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1. Tallinn SF - Barbora Krejcikova def. Belinda Bencic
...6-7(5)/7-6(2)/6-2. Down a set. Krejcikova failed to put away three BP chances in the 2nd (2 in game 3, 1 in game 11) as Bencic took the set into a TB with a chance to end it in two. But Krejcikova won it 7-2, then pulled away to win in 3:22, converting on her sixth MP, despite converting just 3 of 20 BP chances on the day while facing down just two on her own serve (Bencic put away 1) on the day.


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2. Parma Final - Mayar Sherif def. Maria Sakkari
...7-5/6-3. This week's WTA-101 history lesson included Sherif becoming the tour's first Egyptian singles champion, as the 26-year old did it in style with her first Top 10 win (another Egyptian first).


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3. Tallinn QF - Kaia Kanepi def. Karolina Muchova
...6-2/3-6/7-6(6). Neither woman dropped serve in the 3rd, with only one game (#4) seeing either hold BP (3 for Kanepi). Of course, once the TB arrived, the returner won 9 of 14 points, with Kanepi finally putting away her third MP.


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4. Tallinn 1st Rd. - Anett Kontaveit def. Wang Xiyu
...3-6/6-2/7-5. Kontaveit's final run in Estonia *could* have gone so wrong. She led Wang 4-0 in the 3rd, and twice served for the match, holding two MP before the set became knotted at 5-5.

After getting past a "moment" with the lights, Kontaveit went on to sweep the final two games to keep her indoor hard court streak alive (for a few more rounds before it finally ended at 24).


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5. Parma QF - Maria Sakkari def. Maryna Zanevska
...2-6/6-4/6-4. Sakkari's run to the final included a lot of hard work, none of it more treacherous than her survival vs. the Belgian, when she fought her way out of a love/40 hole on serve at 2-3 to avoid going down a break in the deciding set.


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6. Tallinn Final - Barbora Krejcikova def. Anett Kontaveit
...6-2/6-3. With Kontaveit's loss, home nation singles finalists are 3-3 in '22. Ash Barty's Adelaide and AO wins take up most of the space, but don't forget Marie Bouzkova's Prague title run.


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7. Tallinn 1st Rd. - Linda Noskova def. Diane Parry
...2-6/6-3/6-4. Noskova went out to Haddad Maia a round later, but her win over Parry was enough to get her back into the Top 100. She was upset by fellow teen Czech Nikola Bartunkova in the opening round of Ostrava!!! qualifying.


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8. Tallinn SF - Anett Kontaveit def. Kaia Kanepi
...6-4/6-4. Sometimes something just *has* to happen, and then it does.


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9. Tallinn 1st Rd. - Kaia Kanepi def. Alona Ostapenko
...4-6/6-4/6-0. Ostapenko's second consecutive match in which she went out with a love set. Naturally, this one came after she'd managed to nearly overturn Kanepi's 5-0, 40/love lead in the 2nd, which the Estonian eventually won 6-4.
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10. Tallinn 1st Rd. - Jil Teichmann def. Laura Siegemund
...6-4/7-6(7). Teichmann gets a win to end her three-match losing streak, only to fall to Ysaline Bonaventure a round later. Since her Madrid SF/Rome QF/RG 4r (10-3) run, the Swiss woman has gone 3-7.
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11. Ostrava!!! Q1 - Bernarda Pera def. Barbora Palicova 6-1/6-3
Ostrava!!! Q2 - Bernarda Pera def. Nikola Bartunkova 6-0/3-6/6-2
...Bernarda the Czech Crusher. How rude... and in the Czech Republic, too. Pera faces Petra Kvitova in the 1st Round.
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12. Parma 2nd Rd. - Lauren Davis def. Sara Sorribes Tormo
...3-6/6-4/7-5. Another nice win in a good recent run (6-3 starting w/ her U.S. Open 3rd Rd.) for Davis. After leading 4-0 in the 2nd, the Bannerette edged the Spaniard to force a 3rd, where she rallied from 4-2 down to win five of the final six games.
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13. Monastir Q2 - Despina Papamichail def. Kristina Mladenovic
...2-6/6-2/6-4. Since you're probably wondering... the answer is "13."
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14. Ostrava!!! Q1 - Georgina Garcia Perez def. Daria Snigur
...4-6/7-6(5)/6-4. It's not easy to follow up big wins. Since her upset of Simona Halep at Flushing Meadows, Snigur has gone 2-4. In Ostrava!!! qualifying, she led GGP 6-4/5-2, served for the match and twice got within two points of the win before being forced into a TB, where she held a mini-break lead at 4-3 and again got within two of victory before the Spaniard pulled away and won in three.
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15. $25K Austin TX Final - Peyton Stearns def. Clervie Ngounoue
...6-1/6-0. The reigning 2022 NCAA women's champion wins her second career ITF crown -- her first since turning pro -- in the same town where the spent her college years.


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HM- Tallinn Q1 - Eva Lys def. Aleksandra Krunic
...6-4/5-4 ret. Unfortunately, Dasha issn't the only player to have now suffered an ACL tear in the season's closing stretch.


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1. Tallinn Final - Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiia Kichenok (UKR/UKR) def. Nicole Melichar-Martinez/Ellen Perez (USA/AUS)
...7-5/4-6 [10-7]. The Kichenok twins' fourth tour title together allows them to claim sole possession of third place on the all-time title list for sibling pairs, behind only the Williams and Chan sisters.


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2. $25K Lisbon POR Final - Francisca & Matilde Jorge def. Irene Burillo Escorihuela/Andrea Lazaro Garcia
...6-2/6-2. Portuguese sisters Francisca and Matilde, aged 22 and 18, win their fifth title in nine '22 challenger finals as a pair.
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3. Monastir Q2 - Linda Fruhvirtova def. Rebeka Masarova
...5-7/6-1/7-6(8). In what was an eight-break 3rd set, Fruhvirtova led 3-1 but fell behind 5-4 and had to save four MP before Masarova forced a deciding TB. The Czech led 5-3 before the Spaniard tied things up at 7-7 before the Chennai champ pulled out the win to reach the MD.
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Oh, great. Another made-up exhibition "team event" to not give two craps about.

There's Davis Cup and Fed BJK Cup, and the rest is just a money grab by players who play while at the same time complain about "too short" offseasons and not enough time to recuperate.

Meanwhile, the one that actually worked and served a purpose (Hopman Cup) was ultimately doomed to extinction.

















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*2022 FIRST-TIME WTA CHAMPIONS*
Anastasia Potapova, RUS - Istanbul (21/#122)
Martina Trevisan, ITA - Rabat (28/#85)
Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA - Nottingham (26/#48)
Bernarda Pera, USA - Budapest (27/#130)
Marie Bouzkova, CZE - Prague (24/#66)
Linda Fruhvirtova, CZE - Chennai (17/#130)
MAYAR SHERIF, EGY - PARMA (26/#74)
[doubles]
Bernarda Pera, USA (Melbourne 2)
Jessie Pegula, USA (Melbourne 1)
Kaitlyn Christian, USA (Guadalajara)
Catherine Harrison, USA (Monterrey)
Sabrina Santamaria, USA (Monterrey)
Aldila Sutjiadi, INA (Bogota)
Magda Linette, POL (Charleston)
Sophie Chang, USA (Hamburg)
Angela Kulikov, USA (Hamburg)
Anna Bondar, HUN (Palermo)
Alicia Barnett, GBR (Granby)
Olivia Nicholls, GBR (Granby)
Marta Kostyuk, UKR (Portoroz)
Tereza Martincova, CZE (Portoroz)
ANASTASIA DETIUC, CZE (PARMA)
MIRIAM KOLODZIEJOVA, CZE (PARMA)

*2022 REACHED FINAL IN HOME NATION*
Adelaide 1 - Ash Barty, AUS (W)
Australian Open - Ash Barty, AUS (W)
Palermo - Lucia Bronzetti, ITA
Prague - Marie Bouzkova, CZE (W)
San Jose - Shelby Rogers, USA
TALLINN - ANETT KONTAVEIT, EST

*2022 MULT.DIFFERENT WTA CHAMPIONS BY COUNTRY*
5 - CZE (Bouzkova,L.Fruhvirtova,Krejcikova,Kvitova,Siniakova)
4 - RUS (Alexandrova,Kasatkina,Potapova,Samsonova)
4 - USA (Anisimova,Keys,Pera,Stephens)
2 - GER (Kerber,Maria)
2 - ROU (Begu,Halep)
1 - 15 nations

*2022 SUB-.500 WINNING PCT. IN WTA FINALS (2+)*
0.000 - Veronika Kudermetova (0-3)
0.000 - MARIA SAKKARI (0-3)
0.000 - Alison Riske-Amritraj (0-2)
0.000 - Aryna Sabalenka (0-2)
0.000 - Aliaksandra Sasnovich (0-2)
0.250 - ANETT KONTAVEIT (1-3)
0.333 - Alona Ostapenko (1-2)
0.333 - Elena Rybakina (1-2)

*WTA ALL-SISTERS DOUBLES TITLES*
22 - Serena & Venus Williams, USA
14 - Chan Hao-Ching & Latisha Chan, TPE
4 - LYUDMYLA & NADIIA KICHENOK, UKR
3 - Karolina & Kristyna Pliskova, CZE
3 - Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
1 - Chris & Jeanne Evert, USA
1 - Katerina & Manuela Maleeva, BUL
1 - Cammy & Cynthia MacGregor, USA
1 - Aga & Ula Radwanska, POL
1 - Adriana & Antonella Serra-Zanetti, ITA

*2022 WTA DOUBLES FINALS*
6 (2-4) = NICOLE MELICHAR-MARTINEZ, USA
5 (5-0) = Katerina Siniakova, CZE
5 (4-1) = Jessie Pegula, USA
5 (2-1+WL) = LYUDMYLA KICHENOK, UKR
5 (2-3) = Veronika Kudermetova, RUS
5 (2-3) = Ellen Perez, AUS
5 (1-3+L) = Elise Mertens, BEL
4 (3-1) = Gaby Dabrowski, CAN
4 (2-2) = Anna Danilina, KAZ
4 (2-2) = Coco Gauff, USA
4 (1-1+WL) = Alona Ostapenko, LAT
4 (1-2+L) = Zhang Shuai, CHN

*2022 WTA CHAMPIONS BY RANKING*
#1 - Ash Barty (Adelaide 1)
#1 - Ash Barty (Australian Open)
#1 - Iga Swiatek (Stuttgart)
#1 - Iga Swiatek (Rome)
#1 - Iga Swiatek (Roland Garros)
#1 - Iga Swiatek (US Open)
#2 - Iga Swiatek (Miami)
#4 - Iga Swiatek (Indian Wells)
#4 - Ons Jabeur (Berlin)
#8 - Iga Swiatek (Doha)
#9 - Paula Badosa (Sydney)
#9 - Anett Kontaveit (Saint Petersburg)
#10 - Ons Jabeur (Madrid)
#10 - Dasha Kasatkina (Granby)
#12 - Dasha Kasatkina (San Jose)
#15 - Simona Halep (Toronto)
#20 - Simona Halep (Melbourne 1)
#21 - Alona Ostapenko (Dubai)
#21 - Leylah Fernandez (Monterrey)
#21 - Belinda Bencic (Charleston)
#22 - Angelique Kerber (Strasbourg)
#23 - Elena Rybakina (Wimbledon)
#24 - Ekaterina Alexandrova (Seoul)
#27 - Barbora Krejcikova (Tallinn)
#30 - Ekaterina Alexandrova (Rosmalen)
#30 - Liudmila Samsonova (Tokyo)
#31 - Petra Kvitova (Eastbourne)
#32 - Beatriz Haddad Maia (Birmingham)
#35 - Caroline Garcia (Cincinnati)
#45 - Irina-Camelia Begu (Palermo)
#45 - Caroline Garcia (Warsaw)
#45 - Liudmila Samsonova (Cleveland)
#48 - Beatriz Haddad Maia (Nottingham)
#57 - Sloane Stephens (Guadalajara)
#60 - Liudmila Samsonova (Washington)
#64 - Zhang Shuai (Lyon)
#66 - Marie Bouzkova (Prague)
#74 - Mayar Sherif (Parma)
#75 - Caroline Garcia (Bad Homburg)
#78 - Amanda Anisimova (Melbourne 2)
#81 - Bernarda Pera (Hamburg)
#82 - Katerina Siniakova (Portoroz)
#85 - Martina Trevisan (Rabat)
#85 - Petra Martic (Lausanne)
#87 - Madison Keys (Adelaide 2)
#122 - Anastasia Potapova (Istanbul)
#130 - Bernarda Pera (Budapest)
#130 - Linda Fruhvirtova (Chennai)
#237 - Tatjana Maria (Bogota)





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Honestly, none of them (well, maybe Delpo... but he'd barely played for the last decade as it was). Personally, for me, tennis is about equal parts "what happened today" and "what's going to happen 1-3 years from now." The past is the history, pretty much immediately... which is why I haven't really spent a moment contemplating the careers/absences of any of the horde of '22 retirees and likely would do the same with whichever ones come next. (Well, all right, maybe I'd miss Simona for a little while.)

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All for now.

Read more...

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Wk.38- Hordette Hegemony

Well, Liudmila is back at it again...








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*WEEK 38 CHAMPIONS*
TOKYO, JAPAN (WTA 500/Hard Court Outdoor)
S: Liudmila Samsonova/RUS def. Zheng Qinwen/CHN 7-5/7-5
D: Gaby Dabrowski/Giuliana Olmos (CAN/MEX) def. Nicole Melichar-Martinez/Ellen Perez (USA/AUS) 6-4/6-4
SEOUL, KOREA (WTA 250/Hard Court Outdoor)
S: Ekaterina Alexandrova/RUS def. Alona Ostapenko/LAT 7-6(4)/6-0
D: Kristina Mladenovic/Yanina Wickmayer (FRA/BEL) def. Sabrina Santamaria/Asia Muhammad (USA/USA) 6-3/6-2
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (WTA 125 Challenger/Red Clay Court Outdoor)
S: Tamara Korpatsch/GER def. Viktoriya Tomova/BUL 7-6(3)/6-7(4)/6-0
D: Anna Bondar/Kimberley Zimmermann (HUN/BEL) def. Renata Voracova/Jesika Maleckova (CZE/CZE) 6-3/2-6 [10-5]




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PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Liudmila Samsonova/RUS
...Samsonova is seemingly the WTA's Russian version of Punxsutawney Phil, because whenever she has success more success from her fellow Hordettes seems to follow. This week was no exception, as her title run again served as a pied piper moment for one of her countrywomen (and this time her name wasn't Dasha).



Over the summer, and now the fall, Samsonova has found herself. The Russian's title run in Tokyo gives her three in the past two months, two of them coming without dropping a set, as she's gone 18-1 and risen from #60 to #23 (on Monday) while winning 36 of 40 sets (including 18 straight at one point, and now 28 of the last 30).

This week saw Samsonova open with a straight sets win over Wimbledon champ Elena Rybakina, followed by victories over Wang Xinyu (w/ 12 aces), Garbine Muguruza, Zhang Shuai (40 winners) and, finally, Zheng Qinwen in the final after taking advantage of the Chinese teenager's lone blink in the 1st set (at 5-5, her first DF gave Samsonova her first BP) to take the lead and then further outduel her down the stretch in a 7-5/7-5 win to add another "W" to her W-W-4r-W stretch since her enforced (by the LTA and AELTC) Wimbledon break.


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



RISER: Ekaterina Alexandrova/RUS
...Alexandrova has often been lost in the fog of the recent Hordette resurgence revolving around Liudmila Samsonova, Dasha Kasatkina and Veronika Kudermetova, but over the course of '22 she's proven to be an all-surface threat (w/ SF or better results on both clay and grass this spring/summer). This week saw a hard court title run in Seoul that ended much like her win on the grass at Rosmalen this summer, with a straight sets win in the final that included a love 2nd set.

This week, Alexandrova handled an admittedly "third-tier" handful of opponents in Asia Muhammad (who won a set), WC Han Na-lae and qualifier Lulu Sun to reach her first SF since Rosmalen, and her first this season on hard courts after going 4-4 on the surface this summer. Once deep into the draw, Alexandrova handled Tatjana Maria's unconventional game to reach the final, where she withstood Alona Ostapenko's more straightforward assault (rallying from 5-3 down and saving a SP in the 1st), winning an opening TB and then claiming the 2nd at love after the Latvian suffered a foot injury and offered little defense down the stretch.

Alexandrova's title run, the third of her career, will inch her up to #21 in the rankings, a new career high that *finally* has her knocking on the door of her belated Top 20 debut.
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SURPRISE: Tamara Korpatsch/GER
...in the end, Korpatsch has had the last laugh after speaking up (and out) about being left behind by doubles partner Harmony Tan at Wimbledon after the French woman withdrew as her partner when she found herself in the middle of an unexpected second week singles run.

While the German hasn't won a doubles match since being denied in London, she's emerged from what was a 7-match singles losing streak that began the week *before* Wimbledon to now win back-to-back singles titles in, first, at $60K challenger in Montreaux (SUI) earlier this month and this week claiming her biggest career crown in the WTA 125 in Budapest, reeling off victories over Lucia Bronzetti, Danka Kovinic, Arantxa Rus, Anna Bondar and Viktoriya Tomova in a three-set final in which she lost a 7-6/3-0, 30/love (and serving at 5-4) lead and dropped a 2nd set TB, only to then turn around and blank the Bulgarian in a love 3rd for her 11th straight win.

The 27-year old Korpatsch, who reached what was then her first 125 (and biggest) final in Marbella back in April, will climb to a new career high on Monday, cracking the Top 100 for the first time.


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VETERANS: Tatjana Maria/GER and Zhang Shuai/CHN
...6-7 since her Wimbledon SF experience, in Seoul, Maria had her best result since SW19, reaching her third tour-level semifinal (she has three more in ITF events) of the season, doing so on a third different surface with wins over Genie Bouchard, Kimberly Birrell and Zhu Lin. The German fell to Ekaterina Alexandrova, but her week lifts her (just) past both Jule Niemeier and (the on maternity leave) Angelique Kerber into the German #1 ranking at #70.



In Tokyo, Zhang saved a MP, ate a sandwich (literally... during the match), and upset Caroline Garcia despite the Pasty putting in a ridiculous 27 aces (!!) on the day, then knocked off Petra Martic to reach her third '22 semifinal. She lost in two sets to eventual champ Liudmila Samsonova, falling just shot of her third final appearance of the year but ultimately holding onto her Chinese #1 standing when Zheng Qinwen lost to Samsonova in that final.



Zhang had also received a nice note from Samsonova after their semifinal encounter...


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COMEBACKS: Emma Raducanu/GBR and Kristina Mladenovic/Yanina Wickmayer, FRA/BEL
...with her U.S. Open title defense now in her rear view mirror, Raducanu's "next season" has officially started. After a 2nd Round exit in Portoroz last week, in Seoul the Brit reached her first tour semifinal since her Flushing Meadows run. Wins over Moyuka Uchijima, Yanina Wickmayer and last week's Chennai finalist Magda Linette (ending Raducanu's 0-3 streak in QF) put her within a win of the final.

Raducanu took the opening set in the semis over Alona Ostapenko, only to see her time in Seoul end in the same way that so many of her others have elsewhere over the past year -- with an injury. Down 3-0 in the 3rd, Raducanu retired with a left glute injury, her fourth official in-match retirement this season, accounting for nearly a quarter of her 17 tournament losses in '22 (and she's had a handful of *other* exits precipitated by injury-related fades, as well).


Meanwhile, Mladenovic and Wickmayer, who combined to win the Seoul doubles, are in the process of very different "comebacks."

Wickmayer returned this season after having a baby, and her title this week is her first of any kind since she returned to action, not to mention her first since winning an ITF WD crown in '19 and first win at tour level since being a WTA singles/doubles champ in '16.

Mladenovic hasn't really *gone* anywhere, but both her singles (due to results, and DF) and doubles (due to inactivity) standings have lagged over the past year. She came into the week at #135 in singles (FRA #8), and was even at an obscenely low (for her) #23 in doubles. In singles, she won a match (w/ 13 DF) over a #469-ranked Korean WC, but then lost a round later to Magda Linette (w/ 12 more in a match in which the Pastry held 2 MP), failing to collect back-to-back WTA MD wins for the first time since Portoroz last September.

Mladenovic/Wickmayer had to win an 11-9 MTB in the 1st Round, but then didn't drop a set the rest of the way, taking out Chennai finalists Blinkova/Dzalamidze and the #3 (Alexandrova/Sizikova) and #1 (Muhammad/Santamaria) seeds in straights the rest of the way.

The win gives Wickmayer three career WTA WD titles, while Mladenovic now has 27, including three this year with three different partners. Wickmayer is Mladenovic's 19th different pro title-winning WD/MX partner in her career (+ Gasquet in the Hopman Cup event), with her spreading the wealth with five (Garcia, Danilovic, Haddad Maia, Wickmayer and Ivan Dodig) in '22 alone across all levels. The win finally pushes Mladenovic back into the doubles Top 20.


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FRESH FACES: Zheng Qinwen/CHN and Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva/AND
...has the 2023 season started early? Because Zheng already seems to be arduously working on her inevitable (right?) *huge* rise up the rankings that'll occur over the next twelve months.

While the 19-year old didn't win her maiden tour title (it's just a matter of time, though) in Tokyo, she did just about everything else, from winning 19 straight points in a 1st Round win over Misaki Doi, to picking up a Top 5 win over #4 Paula Badosa. After a victory over Claire Liu to reach her first WTA semi since Week 1, Zheng took down Veronika Kudermetova in a 3rd set TB to reach her first career tour-level singles final (at #36, she'd been the highest-ranked player without a career final appearance).

Zheng couldn't get past the streaking Liudmila Samsonova (but it was close, at 7-5/7-5) to win title #1 or become the new CHN #1 (she'll be #28, two spots behind Zhang Shuai), but check back in a year when she'll likely have already banked multiple titles, reached (at least) a slam semi and is (at worst) nipping at the heels of the Top 10.



Meanwhile, in Seoul, VJK lost in qualifying (to Lulu Sun) only to then join the main draw as a lucky loser and become the first Andorran to win a tour-level MD match with a 1st Round victory over Chloe Paquet. The 2020 AO junior champ, 17, then followed up with another over Rebecca Marino to reach the QF before falling in straight sets to Alona Ostapenko.



VJK climbs 33 spots on Monday, just nipping (by 1) her best career standing to reach a new high of #153. She's the third-youngest player ranked in the Top 200, behind only Chennai champ Linda Fruhvirtova and reigning RG girls winner Linda Noskova.
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DOWN: Dasha Saville/AUS
...before Caroline Garcia's summer surge, Saville was a legitimate (possible) front-runner for 2022 Comeback Player of the Year, returning from Achilles surgery to climb from #419 to the Top 50 (#55 this past week), reaching her first slam 3rd Round (RG) in four years, her first tour singles final (Granby) and 1000 QF (Miami) in five, and recording a pair of Top 10 wins (and not cheapies, either -- Jabeur at I.W. in 3, Pegula in D.C. in 2).

Well, all of that came to grinding halt (after one game) in Tokyo.

As usual, Saville's week was eventful. It began with her being present at the draw when she learned that she'd face Naomi Osaka in the opening match of her return to Japan.



She then got to take part in some local activities...



Then came the match. And after just one game...



At first, there was hope (and a little bewilderment)...



Then the reality (a torn ACL in her left knee), nearly a decade after having reconstructive right knee surgery in 2013.



So, we now enter into *another* comeback phase, one surely filled with more entertaining social media updates and distractions (so there's that). But, in tennis terms: bad for Dasha, bad for her fans... but at least it'll mean more face time for doggo Tofu (whose birthday was apparently this past week).
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ITF PLAYERS: Aliona Bolsova/ESP and Madison Brengle/USA
...in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia, Bolsova picked up her biggest career title (and first since '18) by knocking off three seeds (#4 Elsa Jacquemot, #6 Tena Lukas, #2 Alexandra Cadantu Ignacik) to reach the final, then defeating Slovenian Nina Potocnik 7-5/6-1 to claim her seventh career challenger crown.

A former NCAA product (Oklahoma State and Florida Atlantic), Bolsova reached the Round of 16 as a qualifier at Roland Garros in 2019, and has posted a pair of MD U.S. Open wins (2019-20). The Spaniard has fallen in slam qualifying at the last five majors, though, four times in the opening round.

Maybe this week begins her march back, as she'll return to the Top 200 on Monday after having dropped out in April. Bolsova ranked as high as #88 in the summer of '19 after her run in Paris.



In Berkeley, California, the week's U.S.-based $60K went to Brengle. The 32-year old, who has quietly now competed in 32 consecutive slam MD after previously losing in 24 straight slam qualifying tournaments, gets to within an eyelash of a Top 50 return (and #50 Sloane Stephens) with her 17th career ITF win.

Victories over Whitney Osuigue, Johanne Svendsen and Diana Shnaider set up a final match-up with China's Yuan Yue, her nation's revelation this year as she's on the cusp of cracking the Top 100 (she started '22 at #312) after reaching the 3rd Round of the U.S. Open earlier this month. Yuan saw her 5-2 1st set lead evaporate, but won a TB, only to see Brengle drop just five games in the final two sets.

Brengle's win gives her singles titles (either ITF of 125) in seven consecutive seasons, and in 11 of the past 12 years.
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JUNIOR STARS: Liv Hovde/USA and Cara Maria Mester/ROU
...reigning Wimbledon junior champ Hovde, 16, reached and won her first pro final in the $15K in Lubbock, Texas, taking the title without losing a set and completing her week with a 7-6/6-1 win over Carson Branstine.

This was just the third pro event for Hovde, who officially turned pro this summer. Back in March, in her debut in Arcadia (CAL), Hovde reached the QF after posting wins over Harriet Dart and Kayla Day. Hovde breaks into the Top 900 on Monday.

The Czechs have been a dominant force in the J1 events this season, but in Cairo we got a Romanian champion in 17-year old Mester.

Having already made a mark in her first two ITF outings earlier this season -- QF and SF runs as a qualifier, going a combined 12-2 in '22 in pro events -- Mester knocked out the #8 and #4 seeds en route to the Cairo semis, where she then took out a pair of Czechs in Laura Samsonova (star of the CZE 14u team title) and Amelie Smejkalova in back-to-back matches to claim the title.


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DOUBLES: Gaby Dabrowski/Giuliana Olmos, CAN/MEX
...a week after winning a title in Chennai with former (pre-injury) running mate Luisa Stefani, Dabrowski reteamed w/ recent partner Olmos to pick up their second '22 crown (w/ Madrid) in Tokyo. The #2 seeds, the duo got an opening win over (naturally) Stefani (and Ena Shibahara) seemingly mere hours after having celebrated with the Brazilian in India, then handled the #3 (Krawczyk/Schuurs) and #4 (Melichar-Martinez/Perez, in their fourth final in the last five events, along with a U.S. Open semi) seeds to take the title.

It's Dabrowski's 14th career title (#3 in '22), while Olmos now has five.


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1. Tokyo 2nd Rd. - Zhang Shuai def. Caroline Garcia
...4-6/7-6(5)/7-6(5). Zhang pulled off something of a Houdini act here, as Garcia fired 27 aces (besting Zheng Qinwen's tour best of 21 this season, and the most on tour since Kristyna Pliskova's 28 in '19, also in a loss), led 67-21 in winners (but *did* have 49 UE), 123-112 in total points, held a MP and dropped serve just *once* (w/ just 2 BP opportunities presented) in the 2:30 match.

Garcia had come back from 5-2 down in the 2nd to force a TB, but lost it as Zhang extended the match. In the 3rd, the Pastry had MP at 5-4, only to lose a two-deuce game as the Chinese veteran held, then went on to win another TB.

Of course, the biggest attention-getter from this one was Zhang's mid-match "sandwich break"...



I guess Shuai had Caro for "dessert," then?
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2. Tokyo Final - Liudmila Samsonova def. Zheng Qinwen
...7-5/7-5. In a match-up that could take place in the latter stages of a major come 2023-24, it was a fairly nip-and-tuck affair. Samsonova, on her only BP chance in the 1st, got the break of Zheng when she was handed the BP by a DF (Zheng's first of the match) at 5-5. In the 2nd, the two exchanged breaks in games #5 and #6, then Samsonova took a break lead at 6-5 and again slammed the door the shut, holding at love to lock away the title.

The loss is Zheng's first in a pro singles final. She'd been 1-0 in WTA 125 challengers, and 8-0 on the ITF circuit.

With Ekaterina Alexandrova's win in Seoul, this marks the third time in two months that Samsonova has been joined by another Hordette in a week's singles champion winner's circle.



#36 Zheng had been the highest-ranked player who'd never reached a tour final. Her result this week transfers the designation to Anna Kalinskaya (#51 on Monday). It would have been Anna Bondar, based on last week's standings, but she falls to #60 this week, behind additional final-less players Marta Kostyuk and Wang Xiyu.
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3. Seoul 1st Rd. - Alona Ostapenko def. Jeong Bo-young
...6-4/3-6/7-6(2). You never know what you're going to get with Ostapenko. After her 8-3 grass season, she arrived in Seoul having gone 2-3 on summer hard courts. She ultimately reached her 13th career final, and third this season.

Case in point, after knocking off a string of former slam winners earlier this year, the Latvian barely escaped 19-year old Korean wild card Jeong (#698) here, as she was forced to win a 3rd set TB to begin a week that ended with a final (but also a love set).



It was but the first salvo in an uneven "Ostapenko Experience"...

Seoul 2nd Rd. - Alona Ostapenko def Gasanova
...6-3/5-7/7-5. Against the Russian, Ostapenko survived after Gasanova served at 5-3 in the 3rd and held a MP.



Against Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, Ostapenko trailed 2-0 in the opener, then won 8 straight games and 12 of the final 13. In the semifinals, Ostapenko dropped the 1st set after having held an early break, but forced a 3rd set and won it with Emma Raducanu's latest retirement three games in.



Seoul Final - Ekaterina Alexandrova def. Alona Ostapenko
...7-6(4)/6-0. Ostapenko held a break lead three times in the 1st, served at 5-3 (broken at love) and held a SP at 6-5, but couldn't secure the set. After falling down a break early in the 2nd, she took an MTO for a foot injury, then won just one point in the final three games.


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4. Seoul 2nd Rd. - Magda Linette def. Kristina Mladenovic
...4-6/7-6(5)/6-2. Looking for her first back-to-back WTA MD wins in a year, Mladenovic had two MP chances against last week's Chennai finalist but couldn't convert. Her 12 DF gave her 25 for her two singles matches in Seoul.



She *did* come back to win the doubles title, though.

Meawhile, can you blame Linette for trying to get in on the act after seeing Aga and Iga win so many fan-voted Best Shot polls over the years?


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5. Tokyo 1st Rd. - Gaby Dabrowski/Giuliana Olmos def. Ena Shibahara/Luisa Stefani
...6-3/6-1.

GABY: Hey, didn't we just win something together the other day?

LUISA: Yep.
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6. Seoul 1st Rd. - Victoria Jimenez Kastinseva def. Chloe Paquet
...6-2/6-2. The maiden tour-level MD win by the 17-year old Andorran (no connection to the new Star Wars series "Andor") came in oxymoronic fashion, with VJK as a lucky loser.


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7. Tokyo 1st Rd. - Fernanda Contreras def. Sofia Kenin
...7-6(7)/6-4. There are few things more annoying on WTA Tour Twitter than when the official account intentionally misleads people into thinking that a player has achieved a *true* career first, but neglects to mention that she's already won a *slam* MD 1st Round match (at this year's RG), essentially negating this win as a truly "groundbreaking" moment.

Stop doing that.


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8. Tokyo 2nd Rd. - Zheng Qinwen def. Paula Badosa
...6-3/6-2. #4 Badosa, with her '21 Indian Wells title points weeks from dropping off, loses here to fall into a 1-5 skid. This was Zheng's second Top 5 hard court win this summer/fall, but the first she got the chance to finish (Ons Jabeur retired in Toronto).


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9. Tallinn Q2 - Linda Noskova def. Heather Watson
...6-1/7-6(0). Another Crusher is loose in a WTA draw. Can she follow in Linda Fruhvirtova's Chennai footsteps?

Goal #1: #105 Noskova is trying to climb back into the Top 100 this week.
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10. $60K Vrnjacka Banja SRB SF - Nina Potocnik def. Mia Ristic
...0-6/6-0/6-4. Wild card Ristic is the European 16u champ, as well as a junior J1 and ITF title ($25K) winner in '22. She failed to reach her biggest career final in her sixth pro event, but managed to post good earlier wins over Elina Avanesyan and Cristina Dinu.

Along with 17-year old Lola Radivojevic, the Serbs are developing a teen corps to keep an eye on (and for the Bracelet to show the ropes come Cup time).
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1. Tokyo 1st Rd. - Naomi Osaka def. Dasha Saville
...1-0 ret. In her return to Japan for the first time since her 3rd Round Tokyo Olympics exit last year, Osaka plays just one game, as Saville injuries her knee and is forced to retire. Before the next round, Osaka was also out.



At least they sold those tickets for that one match game, though.
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2. Tokyo QF - Veronika Kudermetova def. Beatriz Haddad Maia
...6-7(4)/7-6(6)/6-1. In the first of Kudermetova's back-to-back three-hour matches, the Hordette rallied from 5-2 down in the 1st to force a TB. She led 4-2, but Haddad won it 7-4. In the 2nd, it was the Brazilian who forced a TB after trailing 5-2, and this time Kudermetova won it, then took control in the decider.


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3. Tokyo SF - Zheng Quinwen def. Veronika Kudermetova
...5-7/6-3/7-6(3). In her second consecutive three-hour match, Kudermetova trailed 4-1 in the 1st, but ran off six of seven games to take the set. Zheng didn't squander her 4-1 lead in the 2nd. Neither woman was broken in the 3rd, with Zheng holding at love to force the deciding TB, which she took to reach her maiden tour final.

Kudermetova stands at #13 in the rankings, matching her career high, and would be in the WTAF should the season end today (she's #9, but #8 Halep's season is over), but she remains conspicuously without much "closing" ability in '22. This was her third straight semifinal loss, and while she's reached three finals from her six SF this season, two of those advancements came via walkover. Once she's reached finals this year, she's so far gone 0-3. With just a few more wins, she could be ranked somewhere around #8.


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4. Seoul 1st Rd. - Yanina Wickmayer def. Linda Fruhvirtova
...6-1/6-4. After an extremely quick turnaround from her Chennai title.
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5. Parma Q2 - Erika Andreeva def. Rebeka Masarova
...6-2/6-2. Andreeva, 18, follows up qualifying runs at Flushing Meadows and Lausanne with another in Parma.


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*2022 WTA WS TITLES w/o LOSING A SET*
Australian Open - Ash Barty, AUS
Miami - Iga Swiatek, POL
Rome - Iga Swiatek, POL
Budapest - Bernarda Pera, USA
Hamburg - Bernarda Pera, USA
Prague - Marie Bouzkova, CZE
Cleveland - Liudmila Samsonova, RUS
Tokyo - LIUDMILA SAMSONOVA, RUS

*2022 WTA SINGLES TITLES*
7 - Iga Swiatek (Doha/IW/Mia/Stutt/Rome/RG/US)
3 - Caroline Garcia (Bad Homburg/Warsaw/Cin.)
3 - LIUDMILA SAMSONOVA (Wash./Clev./Tokyo)
2 - Ash Barty (Adelaide/AO)
2 - Beatriz Haddad Maia (Nott./Birm.)
2 - Simona Halep (Melbourne 1/Toronto)
2 - Ons Jabeur (Madrid/Berlin)
2 - Dasha Kasatkina (San Jose/Granby)
2 - Bernarda Pera (Budapest/Hamburg)
[2020-22]
10 - 1/2/7 - Iga Swiatek, POL
7 - 1/5/1 - Ash Barty, AUS (ret.)
5 - 3/0/2 - Simona Halep, ROU
5 - 0/4/1 - Anett Kontaveit, EST
5 - 3/2/0 - Aryna Sabalenka, BLR
4 - 0/2/2 - Dasha Kasatkina, RUS
4 - 0/1/3 - LIUDMILA SAMSONOVA, RUS

*2022 FIRST-TIME WTA FINALISTS*
Laura Pigossi, BRA (#212/27 = Bogota
Martina Trevisan, ITA (#85/28) = Rabat (W)
Claire Liu, USA (#92/21) = Rabat
Kaja Juvan, SLO (#81/21) = Strasbourg
Bernarda Pera, USA (#130/27) = Budapest (W)
Lucia Bronzetti, ITA (#78/23) = Palermo
Ana Bogdan, ROU (#108/29) = Warsaw
Linda Fruhvirtova, CZE (#130/17) = Chennari (W)
ZHENG QINWEN, CHN (#36/19) = Tokyo

*2022 YOUNGEST WTA FINALISTS*
17 - Linda Fruhvirtova, CZE (Chennai - W)
18 - Coco Gauff, USA (Roland Garros - L)
19 - Leylah Fernandez, CAN (Monterrey - W)
19 - ZHENG QINWEN, CHN (Tokyo -L)
[doubles]
17 - Coco Gauff, USA (Doha - W)
18 - Coco Gauff, USA (Stuttgart - L)
18 - Coco Gauff, USA (Roland Garros - L)
18 - Coco Gauff, USA (Toronto - W)

*RECENT MULT.TITLES BY NATION IN WTA WEEK*
2021 Week 7 (ESP) - Muguruza/DUBAI, Sorribes Tormo/GUADALAJARA
2022 Week 32 (RUS) - Kasatkina/SAN JOSE, Samsonova/WASHINGTON
2022 Week 35 (RUS) - Kasatkina/GRANBY, Samsonova/CLEVELAND
2022 Week 38 (RUS) - Alexandrova/SEOUL, Samsonova/TOKYO

*2022 WTA DOUBLES TITLES*
5 - Katerina Siniakova, CZE
4 - Jessie Pegula, USA
3 - GABY DABROWSKI, CAN
3 - Eri Hozumi, JPN
3 - Barbora Krejcikova, CZE
3 - KRISTINA MLADENOVIC, FRA
3 - Makoto Ninimoya, JPN

*2022 WTA DOUBLES FINALS*
5 (5-0) = Katerina Siniakova, CZE
5 (4-1) = Jessie Pegula, USA
5 (2-3) = Veronika Kudermetova, RUS
5 (2-3) = NICOLE MELICHAR-MARTINEZ, USA
5 (2-3) = ELLEN PEREZ, AUS
5 (1-3+L) = Elise Mertens, BEL
4 (3-1) = GABY DABROWSKI, CAN
4 (2-2) = Anna Danilina, KAZ
4 (2-2) = Coco Gauff, USA
4 (1-1+WL) = Lyudmyla Kichenkok, UKR
4 (1-1+WL) = Alona Ostapenko, LAT
4 (1-2+L) = Zhang Shuai, CHN
[2022 finals - duos]
4...L.Kichenok/Ostapenko, UKR/LAT (1-1+WL)
4...V.Kudermetova/Mertens, RUS/BEL (1-3)
4...MELICHAR-MARTINEZ/PEREZ, USA/AUS (1-3)
3...Hozumi/Ninomiya, JPN/JPN (3-0)
3...Krejcikova/Siniakova, CZE/CZE (3-0)
3...DABROWSKI/OLMOS, CAN/MEX (2-1)
3...Gauff/Pegula, USA/USA (2-1)

*WTA ALL-TIME MATCH ACE RECORD*
31 - Kristyna Pliskova (2016 AO 2r- lost Puig)
28 - Kristyna Pliskova (2019 Lux. 2r - lost Puig)
27 - Sabine Lisicki (2015 Birm. 2r - def. Bencic)
27 - CAROLINE GARCIA (2022 Tokyo 2r - lost Sh.Zhang)







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The GOAT retires. No, not her... or him, either.




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All for now.

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