Friday, January 28, 2022

AO.12 - The Day Before the Day










=DAY 12 NOTES=
...a virtual "dream team" from the start, with the two already having won a combined twelve major doubles/mixed titles in their careers, #5-seeded Kristina Mladenovic & Ivan Dodig worked together to add another today by winning the Mixed Doubles title in Melbourne, defeating Aussies Jaimee Fourlis & Jason Kubler 6-3/6-4 to deny the home favorites in their bid to become just the second all-AUS duo to win the crown since 2005.



One wonders if this title run, her eighth major win (5 WD/3 MX), might mark yet another important course change in the Pastry's career. After starring in doubles in the 2010's, a few seasons ago Mladenovic began to pull back from much of her doubles work in favor of singles, only to see her singles results plummet and then have no real WD workload to sustain her (and boost her confidence) throughout the year.

Before this slam, Mladenovic hadn't played MX at a major since the '19 AO, and had done so only twice since reaching the 2016 semis in Paris. A season ago, she only participated in a single WD event at a slam (a 1r loss at SW19), despite the previous season having won both AO and RG titles (not back-to-back... remember, it was 2020), recently being the doubles #1, and winning four WD majors between 2018-20.

Even if the key to Mladenovic (now the singles #88, after having reached the Top 10 in late '17) regaining her singles form isn't the rediscovering of her doubles prowess, doubles-for-doubles-sake could still make the French woman, still just 28, one of the most successful tennis players in the world. Yes, there's the case of a Barbora Krejcikova, who rose to fame in doubles, then picked up her singles racket and has been able to sustain big results in both for over a year. But in '22 that feels more like an exception than any sort of new rule, and the way Mladenovic has gone about things she's managed to somehow go from peak success in one discipline and rising success in a second to hardly any success in either in recent seasons.

That hardly seems to be the way to go. Maybe this title run will change her thinking.

...in the junior singles semis, reigning Traralgon champ Sofia Costoulas (#8) of Belgium continued to carry over her pre-AO momentum, advancing into the girls final by defeating Aussie Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz 6-4/6-1. She'll be looking to become the first Belgium to win the AO girls crown since An-Sophie Mestach in 2011. With Kempenaers' loss, the last Aussie girl to win the crown remains Siobhan Drake-Brockman in 1995.



Both semis began simultaneously, but only the Costoulas/CKP match, on MCA, was able to finish without incident under a closed roof. Rain stopped play on the outdoor courts, forcing the second semi between #13 Liv Hovde of the U.S. and top-seeded Croat Petra Marcinko indoors (following the first semi) after play had been stopped with the score knotted 3-3 in the 1st set.

Marcinko ultimately prevailed in three sets, improving her junior mark since last October to 21-1 (w/ 1 walkover), including the s/d sweep at the Orange Bowl event in December that saw her leap into 2021's year-ending #1 ranking.

Marcinko will seek to become the third Croat girl to win the AO crown, after Mirjana Lucic (1997) and Jelena Kostanic (1998) in back-to-back years more than two decades ago.

...the girls doubles final remains to be played on Day 12, with #1 seeds Clervie Ngounoue & Diana Shnaider (USA/RUS) facing off with unseeded Canadians Kayla Cross & Victoria Mboko in the first GD final contested in Melbourne since 2020.






..FAREWELL ON DAY 12:




..WELL, IT'S REALLY FIVE, BUT... ON DAY 12:

I know what they did. They looked at her slam performance chart and forgot that RG (which de Groot didn't win) rather than the U.S. Open was the *last* slam to take place in 2020. Give her a few months and it might very well be six...





..NIGHT 11 ON DAY 12:




..THIS ON DAY 12:




..JUST IN CASE ANYONE WAS CURIOUS ON DAY 12:




..ALMOST TWO WEEKS LATER, THE AUDACITY OF THE ARROGANCE IS STILL STUNNING (not to mention hilarious) ON DAY 12:




..NEW MEMBERS OF THE CLUB ON DAY 12:




..AUSSIE ASH ON DAY 12:



Next she clicks her heels?









=WOMEN'S SINGLES FINAL=
#1 Ash Barty/AUS vs. #27 Danielle Collins/USA

=WOMEN'S DOUBLES SF=
#1 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) vs. Danilina/Haddad Maia (KAZ/BRA)

=MIXED DOUBLES FINAL=
#5 Mladenovic/Dodig (FRA/CRO) def. (WC) Fourlis/Kubler (AUS/AUS) 6-3/6-4

=WHEELCHAIR SINGLES FINAL=
#1 Diede de Groot/NED def. Aniek Van Koot/NED 6-1/6-1

=WHEELCHAIR DOUBLES FINAL=
#1 de Groot/Van Koot (NED/NED) def. #2 Kamiji/Shuker (JPN/GBR) 7-5/3-6 [10-2]

=GIRLS SINGLES FINAL=
#1 Petra Marcinko/CRO vs. #8 Sofia Costoulas/BEL

=GIRLS DOUBLES FINAL=
#1 Ngounoue/Shnaider (USA/RUS) def. Cross/Mboko (CAN/CAN) 6-4/6-3


















kosova-font

*CAREER SLAM FINALS - ACTIVE*
33...Serena Williams, USA (23-10)
16...Venus Williams, USA (7-9)
8...Kim Clijsters, BEL (4-4)
5...Simona Halep, ROU (2-3)
5...Victoria Azarenka, BLR (2-3)
4...Naomi Osaka, JPN (4-0)
4...Angelique Kerber, GER (3-1)
4...Garbine Muguruza, ESP (2-2)
4...Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS (2-2)
3...ASH BARTY, AUS (2-0)*
3...Petra Kvitova, CZE (2-1)
2...Sofia Kenin, USA (1-1)
2...Sloane Stephens, USA (1-1)
2...Samantha Stosur, AUS (1-1)
2...Karolina Pliskova, CZE (0-2)
2...Vera Zvonareva, RUS (0-2)

*SLAM FINALS IN 2020's*
2 - Naomi Osaka, JPN (2-0)
2 - ASH BARTY, AUS (1-0)*
2 - Sofia Kenin, USA (1-1)
1 - Barbora Krejcikova, CZE (1-0)
1 - Emma Raducanu, GBR (1-0)
1 - Iga Swiatek, POL (1-0)
1 - DANIELLE COLLINS, USA (0-0)*
1 - Victoria Azarenka, BLR (0-1)
1 - Jennifer Brady, USA (0-1)
1 - Leylah Fernandez, CAN (0-1)
1 - Garbine Muguruza, ESP (0-1)
1 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS (0-1)
1 - Karolina Pliskova, CZE (0-1)
[by nation]
4 - USA (1-2)*
2 - JPN (2-0)
2 - AUS (1-0)*
2 - CZE (1-1)
1 - (1-0) GBR,POL
1 - (0-1) BLR,CAN,ESP,RUS

*ACTIVE SINGLES PLAYERS - FIRST SLAM FINAL*
1997 U.S. Open - Venus Williams
1999 U.S. Open - Serena Williams (W)
2001 Roland Garros - Kim Clijsters
2004 U.S. Open - Svetlana Kuznetsova (W)
2010 Roland Garros - Samantha Stosur
2010 Wimbledon - Vera Zvonareva
2011 Wimbledon - Petra Kvitova (W)
2012 Australian Open - Victoria Azarenka (W)
2012 Roland Garros - Sara Errani
2013 Wimbledon - Sabine Lisicki
2014 Roland Garros - Simona Halep
2014 Wimbledon - Genie Bouchard
2015 Wimbledon - Garbine Muguruza
2016 Australian Open - Angelique Kerber (W)
2016 U.S. Open - Karolina Pliskova
2017 Roland Garros - Alona Ostapenko (W)
2017 U.S. Open - Madison Keys
2017 U.S. Open - Sloane Stephens (W)
2018 U.S. Open - Naomi Osaka (W)
2019 Roland Garros - Ash Barty (W)
2019 Roland Garros - Marketa Vondrousova
2019 U.S. Open - Bianca Andreescu (W)
2020 Australian Open - Sofia Kenin (W)
2020 Roland Garros - Iga Swiatek (W)
2021 Australian Open - Jennifer Brady
2021 Roland Garros - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2021 Roland Garros - Barbora Krejcikova (W)
2021 U.S. Open - Leylah Fernandez
2021 U.S. Open - Emma Raducanu (W)
2022 Australian Open - Danielle Collins

*RECENT WTA TOP 10 SINGLES DEBUTS*
2019 [3]
Aryna Sabalenka/BLR
Ash Barty/AUS
Bianca Andreescu/CAN
2020 [1]
Sofia Kenin/USA
2021 [6]
Iga Swiatek/POL
Barbora Krejcikova/CZE
Maria Sakkari/GRE
Ons Jabeur/TUN
Anett Kontaveit/EST
Paula Badosa/ESP
2022 [1]
Danielle Collins/USA

*AO MIXED DOUBLES CHAMPIONS - since 2014*
2014 Kristina Mladenovic & Daniel Nestor, FRA/CAN
2015 Martina Hingis & Leander Paes, SUI/IND
2016 Elena Vesnina & Bruno Soares, RUS/BRA
2017 Abigail Spears & Juan Sebastian Cabal, USA/COL
2018 Gaby Dabrowski & Mate Pavic, CAN/CRO
2019 Barbora Krejcikova & Rajeev Ram, CZE/USA
2020 Barbora Krejcikova & Nikola Mektic, CZE/CRO
2021 Barbora Krejcikova & Rajeev Ram, CZE/USA
2022 Kristina Mladenovic & Ivan Dodig, FRA/CRO

*SLAM MX TITLES - active*
5...Katarina Srebotnik, SLO
4...Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA
3...Latisha Chan, TPE
3...Desirae Krawczyk, USA
3...Barbora Krejcikova, CZE
3...Sania Mirza, IND
3...KRISTINA MLADENOVIC, FRA
3...Samantha Stosur, AUS

*RECENT MX SLAM CHAMPIONS*
[2018]
AO: Gaby Dabrowski/Mate Pavic (CAN/CRO)
RG: Latisha Chan/Ivan Dodig (TPE/CRO)
WI: Nicole Melichar/Alexander Peya (USA/AUT)
US: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jamie Murray (USA/GBR)
[2019]
AO: Barbora Krejcikova/Rajeev Ram (CZE/USA)
RG: Latisha Chan/Ivan Dodig (TPE/CRO)
WI: Latisha Chan/Ivan Dodig (TPE/CRO)
US: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jamie Murray (USA/GBR)
[2020]
AO: Barbora Krejcikova/Nikola Mektic (CZE/CRO)
[2021]
AO: Barbora Krejcikova/Rajeev Ram (CZE/USA)
RG: Desirae Krawczyk/Joe Salisbury (USA/GBR)
WI: Desirae Krawczyk/Neal Skupski (USA/GBR)
US: Desirae Krawczyk/Joe Salisbury (USA/GBR)
[2022]
AO: Kristina Mladenovic/Ivan Dodig (FRA/CRO)

*CAREER OVERALL SLAM TITLES - ACTIVE*
[singles/doubles/mixed]
39 - Serena Williams, USA (23-14-2)
23 - Venus Williams, USA (7-14-2)
9 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA (0-5-4)
8 - KRISTINA MLADENOVIC, FRA (0-5-3)
8 - Samantha Stosur, AUS (1-4-3)
7 - Barbora Krejcikova, CZE (1-3-3)
6 - Kim Clijsters, BEL (4-2-0)
6 - Sania Mirza, IND (0-3-3)
6 - Katarina Srebotnik, SLO (0-1-5)

*RECENT AO "Ms. OPPORTUNITY" WINNERS*
2016 Johanna Konta, GBR
2017 CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
2018 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2019 Danielle Collins, USA
2020 Sofia Kenin, USA
2021 Jennifer Brady, USA and Karolina Muchova, CZE
2022 Danielle Collins, USA

*RECENT GIRLS DOUBLES SLAM CHAMPIONS*
[2018]
AO: Liang En-Shuo/Wang Xinyu (TPE/CHN)
RG: Caty McNally/Iga Swiatek (USA/POL)
WI: Wang Xinyu/Wang Xiyu (CHN/CHN)
US: Coco Gauff/Caty McNally (USA/USA)
[2019]
AO: Natsumi Kawaguchi/Adrienn Nagy (JPN/HUN)
RG: Chloe Beck/Emma Navarro (USA/USA)
WI: Savannah Broadus/Abigail Forbes (USA/USA)
US: Kamilla Bartone/Oksana Selekhmetova (LAT/RUS)
[2020]
AO: Alex Eala/Priska Madelyn Nugroho (PHI/INA)
RG: Eleonora Alvisi/Lisa Pigoti (ITA/ITA)
[2021]
RG: Alex Eala/Oksana Selekmeteva (PHI/RUS)
WI: Kristina Dmitruk/Diana Shnaider (BLR/RUS)
US: Ashlyn Krueger/Robin Montgomery (USA/USA)
[2022]
AO: Clervie Ngounoue/Diana Shnaider (USA/RUS)

*RECENT AO "JUNIOR BREAKOUT" WINNERS*
2015 Tereza Mihalikova, SVK
2016 Sara Tomic, AUS
2017 Marta Kostyuk, UKR
2018 Liang En-shuo, TPE
2019 Clara Tauson/DEN and Anastasia Tikhonova/RUS
2020 Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, AND
2021 DNP
2022 Angella Okutoyi/KEN and Meshkatolzahra Safi/IRA

*JUNIOR SLAM HISTORIES" WINNERS*
[BEL winners]
1947 WI: Genevieve Domken
1949 WI: Christiane Mercelis
1993 WI: Nancy Feber
1997 RG: Justine Henin
2003 WI: Kirsten Flipkens
2003 US: Kirsten Flipkens
2011 AO: An-Sophie Mestach
[CRO winners]
1996 US: Mirjana Lucic
1997 AO: Mirjana Lucic
1998 AO: Jelena Kostanic
2013 US: Ana Konjuh



kosova-font







TOP QUALIFIER: Hailey Baptiste/USA
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): #1 Ash Barty/AUS
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): Madison Keys/USA
TOP LATE ROUND (SF-F): xx
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2 - #8 Kamilla Rakhimova/RUS def. Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva/AND 6-7(5)/7-6(8)/6-4 (VJK wins 1st from triple SP down; Rakhimova saves 2 MP in 2nd, winning 10-8 TB; 3:17)
TOP EARLY RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2r - Clara Tauson/DEN def. #6 Anett Kontaveit/EST 6-2/6-4 (breakout performance of early rounds)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3r- #8 Paula Badosa/ESP def. Marta Kostyuk/UKR 6-2/5-7/6-4
TOP LATE RD. MATCH (SF-F/WC/Doub.): xx
=============================
FIRST VICTORY: #30 Camila Giorgi/ITA (def. Potapova/RUS)
FIRST SEED OUT: #18 Coco Gauff/USA (1r lost to Wang Qiang)
FIRST SLAM MD WINS: (9) - Lucia Bronzetti/ITA, Jaqueline Cristian/ROU, Maddison Inglis/AUS, Nuria Parrizas Diaz/ESP, Gabriela Ruse/ROU, Wang Xinyu/CHN, Wang Xiyu/CHN, Maryna Zanevska/BEL, Zheng Qinwen/CHN
UPSET QUEENS: Romania
REVELATION LADIES: China
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Canada (0-2 1r, #23 Fernandez out; Andreescu/Bouchard DNP)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Hailey Baptiste/USA, Lucia Bronzetti/ITA, Martina Trevisan/ITA, Zheng Qinwen/CHN (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Maddison Inglis/AUS (3rd Rd.)
LAST AUSSIE STANDING: Ash Barty (in SF)
Ms. OPPORTUNITY: Danielle Collins/USA
IT (Teen Stars-in-Waiting): Marta Kostyuk/UKR and Clara Tauson/DEN
COMEBACK PLAYER: Madison Keys/USA
CRASH & BURN: Emma Raducanu, GBR (2nd) and & Leylah Fernandez, CAN (1st) ['21 US F]
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF MELBOURNE: Amanda Anisimova/USA (3rd Rd. - saved 2 MP, def. defending champ Naomi Osaka)
KIMIKO VETERAN CUP: Alize Cornet/FRA and Kaia Kanepi/EST
LADY OF THE EVENING: Ash Barty/AUS
AUSTRALIAN LANGUARGE ARTS AWARD: Tennis Australia tries to push unvaccinated Novak Djokovic through Aussies borders, yet bans on-ground items featuring protests in support of Peng Shuai
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: Krejcikova/Siniakova, Danilina/Haddad
JUNIOR BREAKOUTS: Angella Okutoyi/KEN and Meshkatolzahra Safi/IRA





All for Day 12. More tomorrow.

Read more...

Thursday, January 27, 2022

AO.11 - Great, Greater... Greatest?

Another slam, a little bit closer to greatness. At this point in our story, dominant women's wheelchair #1 Diede de Groot is both the chased *and* the chaser.




As has already been the case for a number of years, de Groot represents the face of women's wheelchair tennis, as well as being one of the most celebrated para-athletes in the world. Through her high-profile sponsorship deal with Nike, that standing would seem likely to only grow -- perhaps exponentially -- with each passing year.

While the 25-year old Dutch star's role as the frontrunning champion that all others are chasing in the sport is well-defined, with the Golden Slam season of a year ago placing her in a category filled only by herself, de Groot's career path has become both wider and more narrow. Her ability to stake out new ground in the sport, via both on and off court awareness, will remain vast for as long as she picks up a racket, but the direction of her career from here forward is currently in the process of changing. Well, actually, it *already* has, it's just a matter of when she publicly acknowledges it and fully takes up the notion of "The Chase."

None of this has come as a surprise.

De Groot's time at the top level of wheelchair tennis has played out just as many thought was possible years ago when she was first being touted as the "next great champion" as a teenager, billed as the once-in-a-generation talent who could re-write the sport's changing record books and insert her own name at the top of many, if not most, of the lists therein.

Until de Groot arrived, though there were many other champions, women's wheelchair tennis was defined by *the* greatest player in the game's history: the unmatched Esther Vergeer. Vergeer won pretty much everything there was to win in the sport -- including a string of 470 straight singles matches -- for more than a decade until the end of her career in 2012. She was described as possibly the most dominant athlete in professional sports, bar none, as she put down a foundation upon which the women's game could thrive in her absence. The (eventual) visibility of Vergeer's career alone may have virtually put women WC tennis on the international map.

Vergeer just happens to be de Groot's countrywoman, as well as her mentor.

Following her dominant 6-1/6-1 win over Aniek Van Koot in the Australian Open women's final in Melbourne today, de Groot's position atop the wheelchair pyramid feels even *more* unquestioned than in her outrageously special '21 campaign. Van Koot, with whom de Groot won the doubles title yesterday, was quite simply never in the match. The more veteran Dutch star, who has often successfully toiled in the shadows of others (including, at the start of her career, Vergeer) never found her game in the final, just days after having upset world #2 Yui Kamiji in the opening round. But, save for a final service game (at 6-1/5-0) in which de Groot seemed to blink (if only for an instant) and failed to serve out the match while committing a handful of unforced errors, the world #1 was perhaps in as commanding a form in the 58-minute encounter as she's ever been.



The win is de Groot's 42nd straight in singles (she hasn't lost since *last* January), and her two collected sets were the 77th and 78th she's won in the last 80 sets she's played. In completing her ninth career sweep of both the s/d titles at a major (all in the last 14 slam events contested), de Groot has now won 13 slam crowns in both disciplines. Her total of 26 puts her behind only Vergeer (42 in an era in which there weren't a full complement of eight major titles to be had in a calendar year) in women's WC history. [Note: Today, men's AO champ Shingo Kunieda, 37, picked up his 47th overall slam win.]

Afterward, de Groot noted that her '21 goals had centered around the Paralympics, where she (of course) picked up her first career Golds in both singles and doubles, but that *this* year she was putting her focus on the slams. De Groot didn't actually emphatically state it with that comment, but since with every slam win she inches that much closer to some of Vergeer's career marks, then it's safe to say that "The Chase" is now a two-woman race.

Not to be the mythical "greatest women's wheelchair player ever." Vergeer has been, is, and will always be that. But to possibly become the "player of record" in the sport's history. It's greatest and best-known champion. De Groot is well on her way to claiming that title as her own.

Because of the path set down by Vergeer's success, the opportunities are greater for the current generation of WC athletes, and no woman has threatened to take better advantage of it than de Groot. In recent years, not only has Wimbledon added a singles competition, but last year the U.S. Open and Paralympic events were held in the same season for the very first time. (The bonus attention that de Groot's Golden Slam accomplishment received as a result, one would hope, will at least go a little way toward making such an occurrence the norm rather than the exception.)

De Groot is the best player in the world in both singles and doubles, as well as the best on all surfaces, and she attained slam-winning form earlier than most. The greatest players not named Diede of the recent era all have come up short in at least one of those categories, as Van Koot has always been a more consistent doubles threat, Kamiji has never been able to win on grass, and another Dutch #1, the just-back-from-retirement Jiske Griffioen (the first woman to win the Wimbledon singles) didn't fully development her singles prowess until relatively late in her career.

While the very act of surpassing Vergeer's mark of 21 singles slam wins would be a headline-grabbing accomplishment for de Groot (it's something she could conceivably do during the '24 season, in another year in which the Paralympic spotlight will shine brightly), it's her chance at several more short-term firsts that could form the building blocks to her eventual legend.

De Groot won her Golden Slam (which also included a WC Masters title sweep) last season, but there are still more historic doors to burst through.

In 2019, she just missed out on becoming the first woman to sweep all eight slam titles, falling to Van Koot (w/ whom she won the Doubles Grand Slam that year) in the Wimbledon final. Last year, de Groot was a Wimbledon doubles title short of the 8-for-8 feat once again. In a year "focused" on the slams, maybe that mark gets knocked down in '22. [Note: In the pre-full major schedule era, Vergeer was 7-for-7 in slam titles in '09 and '11.] Come '24, the possibity of going 8-for-8, plus sweeping the Paralympics Golds remains, as well.

Back-to-back singles Grand Slams? A Double Grand Slam? A Double Super Slam? A Double Golden Slam? It's a crazy potential To-Do list, but none of it is beyond de Groot's grasp. Maybe matching one of Vergeer's undefeated seasons is a bridge *slightly* too far, but don't be *so* sure. So far in 2022, de Groot is a combined 10-0. She's gone 47-1 in singles in 2021-22, while also going 29-2 in doubles (where she's riding a 17-win run).

With every accomplishment de Groot checks off her career list, like Vergeer before her, she brings along women's WC tennis right with her. Aussie Dylan Alcott -- sorry, make that Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott -- has done much to bring the (Quad) wheelchair game to the attention of many, but with the ending of this AO he'll no longer be an active player. Watching a true legend-in-the-making in someone like de Groot carrying out her success over however many more years can only help to carry the sport that much further when it comes to public consciousness. Already with a prime spot in the tennis majors, the only international sporting events where para-athletes share the stage and attention with their able-bodied counterparts, gaining the respect of any who choose to watch, wheelchair tennis is likely *the* most visible para-sport in the world. With (hopefully) the full support of Nike (which has already managed to sneak her into some major ad campaigns), de Groot is set to be the preeminent active athlete in the para-sport movement.

On that level, the remainder of de Groot's career could play a part in a storyline that carries far beyond the lines of a tennis court.

It'll be a heavy burden to try to carry. Is de Groot up to the task(s)? Well, during the post-match photo session with the WC title trophy today, she stopped to note how heavy the actual hardware was. So she set the trophy in her lap and shook out her arms... then picked it up again.



De Groot is already nicknamed "Diede the Great." It's going to be fun to see she if she can pull off what might have one seemed an impossible feat in the sport -- truly earning a moniker of "Diede the Greatest."




=DAY 11 NOTES=
...in a day session that included no men's or women's singles matches (yet the WC singles final were put on Court 8?), doubles took up much of the schedule.

In the WD semis, unseeded Anna Danilina & Beatriz Haddad Maia (Week 2 champs in Sydney) led by a set and 5-3, holding a MP, before #2 Shuko Aoyama & Ena Shibahara forced a 3rd set. But, after having to clean the slate and start again, the Kazakh-Brazilian duo took the final set 6-4 to reach their first career slam final.



Their opponents will be the top seeds, as Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, who handled #3 Veronika Kudermetova & Elise Mertens (the Belgian won the AO crown w/ Aryna Sabalenka in '21) in straight sets to reach the final for a second consecutive year.



A win would give the Czechs four major titles, their first AO crown, and would bring them one big title away from becoming the first women's pair in history to complete a Career Super Slam with titles at all four majors, the Olympics and year-end championships. At the moment, they're AO and U.S. Open titles short.

...on Night 9, the all-Aussie due of Jaimee Fourlis & Jason Kubler took another step in their unexpected MX doubles run, reaching the final in their first tournament together (they were a last minute combination, and Kubler originally was noncommital about playing because he said he wasn't very good at doubles). So far, the pair have upset last year's finalists (Stosur/Ebden) and ended Sania Mirza's final AO en route to the championship match. They'll next face the #5-seeded pair of Kristina Mladenovic (a two-time MX champ, including the '14 AO) and Ivan Dodig (3-time MX champ) for the title. The last Aussie duo to win in Melbourne were Jarmila Gajdosova & Matthew Edben in 2013, and just two teams (w/ Stosur/Draper '05) have won in the last 29 years.



...under the lights in the women's semis, #1 Ash Barty will seek to become the first Aussie woman to reach the AO singles final since 1980, where she'd have a chance to complete the third leg of a potential Career Slam. Her opponent, Madison Keys, would reach her second career slam final ('17 U.S.) with a victory. Barty, playing in her fifth night match in six rounds, has yet to face a Top 20 player at this major and has dropped just seventeen total games. Keys has lost 42, and had to rally from a set and a break down vs. Wang Qiang (winning a 3rd set TB) in the 3rd Round, but has since posted wins over an array of foes that included #8 seed Paula Badosa and #4 Barbora Krejcikova (after opening with a 1st Round win over '20 AO champ Sofia Kenin).

The semifinal nightcap will see #7 Iga Swiatek and #27 Danielle Collins decide which will reach a maiden AO final, with Swiatek looking for her second final ('20 RG) in sixteen months.






..R.I.P. ON DAY 11:










=WOMEN'S SINGLES SF=
#1 Ash Barty/AUS vs. Madison Keys/USA
#27 Danielle Collins/USA vs. #7 Iga Swiatek/POL

=WOMEN'S DOUBLES SF=
#1 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) vs. Danilina/Haddad Maia (KAZ/BRA)

=MIXED DOUBLES FINAL=
(WC) Fourlis/Kubler (AUS/AUS) vs. #5 Mladenovic/Dodig (FRA/CRO)

=WHEELCHAIR SINGLES FINAL=
#1 Diede de Groot/NED def. Aniek Van Koot/NED 6-1/6-1

=WHEELCHAIR DOUBLES FINAL=
#1 de Groot/Van Koot (NED/NED) def. #2 Kamiji/Shuker (JPN/GBR) 7-5/3-6 [10-2]

=GIRLS SINGLES QF=
#1 Petra Marcinko/CRO def. Lola Radivojevic/SRB
#13 Liv Hovde/USA def. #6 Michaela Laki/GRE
Charlotte Kempanaers-Pocz/AUS def. Carolina Kuhl/GER
#8 Sofia Costoulas/BEL def. #2 Diana Shnaider/RUS

=GIRLS DOUBLES SF=
#1 Ngounoue/Shnaider (USA/RUS) vs. (WC) Kempenaers-Pocz/Preston (AUS/AUS)
Cross/Mboko (CAN/CAN) vs. #2 Marcinko/Svendsen (CRO/DEN)


















kosova-font

*WHEELCHAIR SLAM SINGLES TITLES*
21 - Esther Vergeer, NED [9-6-0-6]
13 - DIEDE DE GROOT, NED [3-2-3-4]*
8 - Yui Kamiji, JPN [2-4-0-2]*
4 - Jiske Griffioen, NED [2-1-1-0]*
3 - Aniek van Koot, NED [1-0-1-1]*
3 - Monique Kalkman, NED [0-0-0-3]

*WC SLAM SINGLES FINALS - active*
20 - Yui Kamiji, JPN (8-12)
16 - DIEDE DE GROOT, NED (13-3)*
14 - ANIEK VAN KOOT, NED (3-11)*
6 - Jiske Griffioen, NED (4-2)
1 - KG Montjane, RSA (0-1)
1 - Momoko Ohtani, JPN (0-1)

*AO WHEELCHAIR CHAMPIONS*
2002 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2003 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2004 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2005 WC Classic 8's at AO: Mie Yaosa, JPN
2006 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2007 Esther Vergeer, NED
2008 Esther Vergeer, NED
2009 Esther Vergeer, NED
2010 Korie Homan, NED
2011 Esther Vergeer, NED
2012 Esther Vergeer, NED
2013 Aniek van Koot, NED
2014 Sabine Ellerbrock, GER
2015 Jiske Griffioen, NED
2016 Jiske Griffioen, NED
2017 Yui Kamiji, JPN
2018 Diede de Groot, NED
2019 Diede de Groot, NED
2020 Yui Kamiji, JPN
2021 Diede de Groot, NED
2022 Diede de Groot, NED

*RECENT WC SINGLES SLAM FINALS*
[2017]
AO: Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Jiske Griffioen/NED
RG: Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
WI: Diede de Groot/NED def. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
US: Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Diede de Groot/NED
[2018]
AO: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
RG: Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Diede de Groot/NED
WI: Diede de Groot/NED def. Aniek van Koot/NED
US: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
[2019]
AO: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
RG: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
WI: Aniek Van Koot/NED def. Diede de Groot/NED
US: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
[2020]
AO: Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Aniek Van Koot/NED
US: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
RG: Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Momoko Ohtani/JPN
[2021]
AO: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
RG: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
WI: Diede de Groot/NED def. KG Montjane/RSA
US: Diede de Groot/NED def. Yui Kamiji/JPN
[2022]
AO: Diede de Groot/NED def. Aniek Van Koot/NED

*WHEELCHAIR SLAM TITLES*
[singles/doubles]
42 - Esther Vergeer, NED (21/21)
26 - DIEDE DE GROOT, NED (13/13)*
25 - Yui Kamiji, JPN (8/17)*
23 - Aniek Van Koot, NED (3/20)*
18 - Jiske Griffioen, NED (4/14)*
13 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR (1/12)

*AO "ZOMBIE QUEEN OF MELBOURNE" WINNERS*
2008 Jelena Jankovic, SRB
2009 Dinara Safina, RUS
2010 Serena Williams, USA
2011 Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2012 Kim Clijsters, BEL
2013 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2014 Li Na, CHN
2015 Maria Sharapova, RUS
2016 Monica Puig, PUR
2017 Lucie Safarova, CZE
2018 Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2019 Karolina Pliskova, CZE
2020 Coco Gauff, USA ("Zombie Teen Queen")
2021 Simona Halep, ROU
2022 Amanda Anisimova, USA




kosova-font







TOP QUALIFIER: Hailey Baptiste/USA
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): #1 Ash Barty/AUS
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): Madison Keys/USA
TOP LATE ROUND (SF-F): xx
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2 - #8 Kamilla Rakhimova/RUS def. Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva/AND 6-7(5)/7-6(8)/6-4 (VJK wins 1st from triple SP down; Rakhimova saves 2 MP in 2nd, winning 10-8 TB; 3:17)
TOP EARLY RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2r - Clara Tauson/DEN def. #6 Anett Kontaveit/EST 6-2/6-4 (breakout performance of early rounds)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3r- #8 Paula Badosa/ESP def. Marta Kostyuk/UKR 6-2/5-7/6-4
TOP LATE RD. MATCH (SF-F/WC/Doub.): xx
=============================
FIRST VICTORY: #30 Camila Giorgi/ITA (def. Potapova/RUS)
FIRST SEED OUT: #18 Coco Gauff/USA (1r lost to Wang Qiang)
FIRST SLAM MD WINS: (9) - Lucia Bronzetti/ITA, Jaqueline Cristian/ROU, Maddison Inglis/AUS, Nuria Parrizas Diaz/ESP, Gabriela Ruse/ROU, Wang Xinyu/CHN, Wang Xiyu/CHN, Maryna Zanevska/BEL, Zheng Qinwen/CHN
UPSET QUEENS: Romania
REVELATION LADIES: China
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Canada (0-2 1r, #23 Fernandez out; Andreescu/Bouchard DNP)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Hailey Baptiste/USA, Lucia Bronzetti/ITA, Martina Trevisan/ITA, Zheng Qinwen/CHN (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Maddison Inglis/AUS (3rd Rd.)
LAST AUSSIE STANDING: Ash Barty (in SF)
Ms. OPPORTUNITY: Nominees: Swiatek, Collins, Fourlis (MX)
IT (Teen Stars-in-Waiting): Marta Kostyuk/UKR and Clara Tauson/DEN
COMEBACK PLAYER: Madison Keys/USA
CRASH & BURN: Emma Raducanu, GBR (2nd) and & Leylah Fernandez, CAN (1st) ['21 US F]
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF MELBOURNE: Amanda Anisimova/USA (3rd Rd. - saved 2 MP, def. defending champ Naomi Osaka)
KIMIKO VETERAN CUP: Alize Cornet/FRA and Kaia Kanepi/EST
LADY OF THE EVENING: Ash Barty/AUS
AUSTRALIAN LANGUARGE ARTS AWARD: Tennis Australia tries to push unvaccinated Novak Djokovic through Aussies borders, yet bans on-ground items featuring protests in support of Peng Shuai
DOUBLES STAR: xx
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Nominees: Sofia Costoulas/BEL, Charlotte Kempanaers-Pocz/AUS, Angella Okutoyi/KEN, Meshkatolzahra Safi/IRA





All for Day 11. More tomorrow.

Read more...

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

AO.10 - Danimal Down Under

In the Australia Day opener, it was a case of it never being too late to try again vs. the plan to get knocked down seven times but get up eight (or whatever number is appropriate).




Both #27 Danielle Collins and Alize Cornet have traveled tough roads to get within a game of this Australian Open's semifinals. Cornet, in her 63rd try, was already the woman who'd had to play the most slams ever before reaching her maiden major quarterfinal; while Collins, at just 26, in recent years has had to deal with both a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis as well as surgery for endometriosis (she had a tennis ball-sized cyst removed from her uterus last April), recovering to have perhaps her best career stretch of results over the back-half of '21.

Both players have built careers known for drama (between the lines, but sometimes elsewhere, as well) and emotion, with Collins starring in college tennis before reaching the AO semis in '19, and Cornet often flashing in great moments (especially in individual matches in majors) but usually seeing them fail to be accompanied by follow-up accomplishments that would have altered the course of her career (hence the decade and a half drought of slam QF until this week).

Today's match-up didn't have the sort of drama that one might have hoped for, as it essentially was controlled by the power of Collins, with her only stumbling point being a sometimes-inaccurate first serve that allowed Cornet, perhaps still affected by her previous dance in the mid-day sauna against Simona Halep two days ago, to remain competitive. Once Collins closed that slightly-ajar door of opportunity, Collins (aka "Danimal") slammed it shut and ripped through the 2nd set en route to her second AO semifinal.



Once play began, around the same time in the 1st set that Halep had started to show the signs of being adversely impacted by the heat in their 4th Round match, Cornet this time faced an opponent who'd finally carved out an opportunity on her serve. It was in game #4 that the match's first break points popped up, with Collins stretching out four over a five-deuce, 11+ minute game that finally went her way with a big return and swing volley put-away backhand to take a 3-1 lead.

Throughout the set, whenever Collins got her first serve in she generally had an easier time of things (winning 93% of the time), but she only served at a 47% clip and won less than half of her second serve points, allowing Cornet to keep wiithin shouting distance.

Collins built up a 5-2 lead, but held only a single break advantage when she served for the set at 5-3. A handful of Collins unforced errors in the game gave Cornet her first BP of the match via a sprayed backhand by the Bannerette, who then netted a first-shot groundstroke off a Cornet return to drop serve as the set was back on serve.

In the twelfth game, Collins, leading 6-5, took a 15/30 lead on Cornet's serve, and reached her first SP when the French woman pushed a half-volley on the backhand side just wide. Cornet's backhand down the line forced a Collins error to save it. After missing out on another SP chance, Collins got a third via a big return and forehand down the line. The Pastry's forehand error gave the 7-5 set to Collins.

Collins quickly got a BP chance in Cornet's opening service game of the 2nd. She stepped in to whack a forehand return winner to take the 2-0 lead, then held to win her fifth straight game, out-hitting Cornet -- who often had to overplay to make up the difference -- with her big groundstrokes throughout the set. As the Australia Day jets criss-crossed over Laver, Collins fell behind 15/40 in game #5, but pulled the game back, firing an ace to get to deuce and then holding for 5-0 as Cornet netted a backhard return.



Cornet got on the board late, but it was simply a formality. Collins held to win 7-5/6-1 to advance to her second career slam semifinal three years after reaching her first in Melbourne.



Meanwhile, Cornet will now head back into the fold of the regular tour, then take *another* stab at all things slam-related a few months down the road. In Paris, London and then New York. But, hey, at least now she knows how "the other half" lives.






=DAY 10 NOTES=
...the final quarterfinal between #7 Iga Swiatek and Kaia Kanepi was the case of a young player still in the early stages of a potentially elite pro career, less than a year and a half past what might be her first of many slam title runs, facing off with a 36-year old veteran who has found a way to carve out a uniquely remarkable slam career (w/ QF runs at four majors as an unseeded player, as well as recording nine of her overall thirteen career Top 10 wins in majors, including one over #2 Aryna Sabalenka two days ago)

Swiatek has been remarkably consistent in majors since her RG title in the fall of '20, playing into the second week at all five held since (the only player to do so), but not yet having reached her second major semi. Kanepi had never gotten as far, either, but over the course of her six previous slam QF between 2008-17 had once held five MP for her maiden SF berth (vs. Petra Kvitova, against whom she led by a double-break in the 3rd, at the 2010 Wimbledon).

Kanepi would have a chance to right that "wrong" against Swiatek, only to once again come up short.

Throughout the 1st set, Kanepi held off Swiatek and was able to secure key holds. She saved a BP in game #2, two more in game #4 and another in game #6. Then in game #7, after letting a break lead slip through her grasp, Swiatek had two DF and an unforced error and found herself break down. Kanepi's return winner gave her the break and a 4-3 lead. Two games later, Kanepi had four SP chances on Swiatek's serve, but the 20-year old got the hold to end a 16-minute game. Serving at 5-4, the Estonian vet struggled to put away the set, but finally did on her ninth SP.

The two traded off breaks early in the 2nd, with Kanepi breaking to open the set, then Swiatek finally converting her first BP (on #6 in the match) a game later. Swiatek broke to take a 3-1 lead, and led 4-1. But in game #7, the Pole threw in a bad game that nearly sent her AO chances out the window. Two DF and a game-ending backhand UE put the set back on serve at 4-3. After Kanepi held for 4-4, Swiatek spiked her racket on the court in frustration. The set went to a tie-break, where Swiatek let slip an early mini-break lead, but pulled away down the stretch to win 7-2 and force a 3rd set.

Kanepi began to physically struggle through the final stretch, tiring and playing with a bloody blister on her hand, but she still managed to get back Swiatek's early break lead in the set, knotting the score at 2-2. But that was her last stand. Iga broke back a game later, than made it a double-break bulge on the scoreboard two games after that. With Kanepi serving to stay in the match at 5-3 down, Swiatek led love/40, then put together a defensive gem of a point on MP, getting back multiple Kanepi shots on both sides of the court to keep the rally alive, then winning it when Kanepi finally sent a ball outside the line, giving Swiatek a 4-6/7-6(2)/6-3 win in 3:01.



...meanwhile, the "interesting" scheduling of this AO continues as, in what seems like a clear plan to best serve Ash Barty's chances of becoming the first Aussie to be crowned the women's AO champ since 1978 (and *maybe* keep getting those good Australian TV ratings), the world #1 will play under the lights against Madison Keys tomorrow. For the record, that'll be a *fifth* night match in six rounds (and a win would make it six of seven in the final... even the U.S. Open wasn't *that* shameless in Serena's heyday), allowing Barty to avoid the blistering heat for pretty much the entire event (save for a :52 match vs. a qualifier on Day 3, before the real heatwave descended on the tournament).

Additionally, in an attempt to keep things "fair" (I guess), the Swiatek/Collins semi will follow that. So, if you're keeping score, that's *both* semifinals coming after 3:30 a.m. at Backspin HQ (and thereabouts for the home nation of half of the semifinalists involved, it should be noted).

From what I can tell (via AO court schedule summaries that go back to 2009, at least), not even *one* women's semifinal has ever been scheduled under the lights in Melbourne in the past, at least not in the last decade-plus.

Honestly, I'm not sure I'm going to watch either one. I'll just have to take look at the scores in the morning and take their word for it.

It looks, for me, like Day 11's big event is going to be the women's wheelchair final (maybe as it should be?).

...speaking of...



In the women's wheelchair doubles final, top-seeded Diede de Groot & Aniek Van Koot claimed their tenth major as a pair (Van Koot's 20th WD slam overall, de Groot's 13th) with a victory over #2 Yui Kamiji & Lucy Shuker to successfully defend their AO crown. The Dutch pair staged a comeback from 5-3 down in the 1st, winning the final four games, then after Kamiji/Shuker knotted the match, claimed a 10-2 match TB (they led 9-0, and were on top of Kamiji/Shuker from the first point on).



Since the start of 2021, de Groot/Van Koot have now won a pair of AO crowns, as well as Roland Garros, the U.S. Open, Paralympics and WC Masters. They won the season Grand Slam in 2019, as well.

De Groot and Van Koot will face off tomorrow in the women's singles final.

...in women's doubles, #1-seeded Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova advanced to the semis, as did #3 Veronika Kudermetova & (defending champ) Elise Mertens.

In MX, Kristina Mladenovic & Ivan Dodig will play in the final, with the Pastry going for her third MX slam ('13 WI/'14 AO) and eighth overall major crown (w/ 5 WD).







..WOW... ON DAY 10:



In the U.S., we can't even give awards for *athletes* to the athletes who deserve them.



..CANADIAN TENNIS STRIKES AGAIN ON DAY 10:




..HAPPY TO SAY I'VE BEEN ROOTING AGAINST HIS EGOTISTICAL ASS FOR *YEARS* ON DAY 10:



But *of course* he would think that that's the only reason. The most egotistical of asses never think they're an egotisitical ass, but do often think that they're the most persecuted person they know.

Fact is, the vaccination thing (and it was really more about the lying by omission because he didn't think anyone was smart enough to figure out his trickery than it was the lack of vaccination itself) was just the final confirming fact that proved what had been obvious for quite a long time.


...IMAGINE WHAT A YOUNG MONFILS WITH SUCH A MINDSET MIGHT HAVE ACCOMPLISHED...ON DAY 10:



It's not too late, though.





...PEGULA ON BARTY (hmmm, or Josh Allen on Patrick Mahomes?) ON NIGHT 9:










=WOMEN'S SINGLES SF=
#1 Ash Barty/AUS vs. Madison Keys/USA
#27 Danielle Collins/USA vs. #7 Iga Swiatek/POL

=WOMEN'S DOUBLES SF=
#1 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) vs. #3 V.Kudermetova/Mertens (RUS/BEL)
Danilina/Haddad Maia (KAZ/BRA) vs. #2 Aoyama/Shibahara (JPN/JPN)

=MIXED DOUBLES SF=
Hradecka/Escobar (CZE/COL) vs. (WC) Fourlis/Kubler (AUS/AUS)
#5 Mladenovic/Dodig (FRA/CRO) def. #2 Sh.Zhang/Peers (CHN/AUS)

=WHEELCHAIR SINGLES FINAL=
#1 Diede de Groot/NED vs. Aniek Van Koot/NED

=WHEELCHAIR DOUBLES FINAL=
#1 de Groot/Van Koot (NED/NED) def. #2 Kamiji/Shuker (JPN/GBR) 7-5/3-6 [10-2]

=GIRLS SINGLES ROUND OF 16=
#1 Petra Marcinko/CRO def. Denislava Glushkova/BUL
Lola Radivojevic/SRB def. Angella Okutoyi/KEN
#13 Liv Hovde/USA def. #3 Ksenia Zaytseva/RUS
#6 Michaela Laki/GRE def. Dominika Šalková/CZE
Carolina Kuhl/GER def. Ekaterina Khayrutdinova/RUS
Charlotte Kempanaers-Pocz/AUS def. Tereza Valentova/CZE
#8 Sofia Costoulas/BEL def. #9 Celine Naef/SUI
#2 Diana Shnaider/RUS def. Qavia Lopez/USA

=GIRLS DOUBLES QF=
#1 Ngounoue/Shnaider (USA/RUS) vs. #8 Blokhina/Lovde (USA/USA)
Ma.Mushika/Mi.Mushika (JPN/JPN) vs. (WC) Kempenaers-Pocz/Preston (AUS/AUS)
Cross/Mboko (CAN/CAN) vs. Khayrutdinova/Sagandikova (RUS/KAZ)
#7 Guerva/Pridankina (RUS/RUS) vs. #2 Marcinko/Svendsen (CRO/DEN)









40 years ago this week, the Billboard #1 hit in the U.S. featured an Aussie. "Physical" has been played around the grounds in Melbourne quite a bit this past week and a half.




"Physical" was #1 for ten straight weeks on U.S. charts.

In the final week of January '82, the Go-Go's "We Got the Beat" debuted in the Top 100. It'd reach a high of #2 in April, spending three weeks there. Here's a 1982 German TV performance of the song...









kosova-font









kosova-font

*CAREER SLAM SF - active*
40 - Serena Williams, USA (33-7)
23 - Venus Williams, USA (16-7)
16 - Kim Clijsters, BEL (8-8)
8 - Victoria Azarenka, BLR (5-3)
8 - Simona Halep, ROU (5-3)
8 - Angelique Kerber, GER (4-4)
7 - Petra Kvitova, CZE (3-4)
5 - Madison Keys, USA (1-3) *
5 - Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS (4-1)
5 - Garbine Muguruza, ESP (4-1)
5 - Samantha Stosur, AUS (2-3)
4 - Ash Barty, AUS (2-1) *
4 - Naomi Osaka, JPN (4-0)
4 - Karolina Pliskova, CZE (2-2)
4 - Vera Zvonareva, RUS (2-2)
3 - Genie Bouchard, CAN (1-2)
3 - Sara Errani, ITA (1-2)
3 - Sloane Stephens, USA (2-1)
2 - Danielle Collins, USA (0-1) *
2 - Sofia Kenin, USA (2-0)
2 - Sabine Lisicki, GER (1-1)
2 - Alona Ostapenko, LAT (1-1)
2 - Jennifer Brady, USA (1-1)
2 - Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (0-2)
2 - Maria Sakkari, GRE (0-2)
2 - Elina Svitolina, UKR (0-2)
2 - Iga Swiatek, POL (1-0) *
2 - CoCo Vandeweghe, USA (0-2)
1 (W) Andreescu,Fernandez,Krejcikova
1 (W) Pavlyuchenkova,Raducanu,Vondrousova
1 (L) Anisimova,Bencic
1 (L) Flipkens,Mertens,Muchova,Peng
1 (L) Petkovic,Pironkova,Podoroska,Sevastova
1 (L) Vesnina,Wickmayer,Zidansek
--
*-to play SF

[SLAM SF 2020-22]
3 - Ash Barty, AUS (1-1) *
2 - Jennifer Brady, USA (1-1)
2 - Sofia Kenin, USA (2-0)
2 - Naomi Osaka, JPN (2-0)
2 - Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (0-2)
2 - Maria Sakkari, GRE (0-2)
2 - Iga Swiatek, POL (1-0) *
2 - Serena Williams, USA (0-2)
1 - Victoria Azarenka, BLR (1-0)
1 - Danielle Collins, USA (0-0) *
1 - Leylah Fernandez, CAN (1-0)
1 - Simona Halep, ROU (0-1)
1 - Angelique Kerber, GER (0-1)
1 - Madison Keys, USA (0-0) *
1 - Barbora Krejcikova, CZE (1-0)
1 - Petra Kvitova, CZE (0-1)
1 - Karolina Muchova, CZE (0-1)
1 - Garbina Muguruza, ESP (1-0)
1 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS (1-0)
1 - Karolina Pliskova, CZE (1-0)
1 - Nadia Podoroska, ARG (0-1)
1 - Emma Raducanu, GBR (1-0)
1 - Tamara Zidansek, SLO (0-1)
--
*-to play SF

[SLAM SF BY NATION 2020-22 / 8 slams]
8 - USA (2)
4 - CZE
3 - AUS (1)
3 - BLR
2 - GRE
2 - JPN
2 - POL (1)
1 - ARG,CAN,ESP,GBR,GER,ROU,RUS,SLO

[2022 AO SEMIFINALISTS - career AO SF]
2 - Ash Barty (2020,22)
2 - Danielle Collins (2019,22)
2 - Madison Keys (2015,22)
1 - Iga Swiatek (2022)

*LOWEST-SEEDED WOMEN IN AO SF, since 2015*
Unseeded - 2015 Madison Keys, USA
Unseeded - 2016 Johanna Konta, GBR
Unseeded - 2017 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
Unseeded - 2017 CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
Unseeded - 2018 Elise Mertens, BEL
Unseeded - 2019 Danielle Collins, USA
Unseeded - 2020 Garbine Muguruza, ESP (RU)
UNSEEDED - 2022 MADISON KEYS, USA
#27 - 2022 DANIELLE COLLINS, USA
#25 - 2021 Karolina Muchova, CZE
#22 - 2021 Jennifer Brady, USA (RU)
#21 - 2018 Angelique Kerber, GER
#14 - 2020 Sofia Kenin, USA (W)
#13 - 2017 Venus Williams, USA
#10 - 2015 Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
#10 - 2021 Serena Williams, USA

**AO WHEELCHAIR CHAMPIONS**
2002 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2003 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2004 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2005 WC Classic 8's at AO: Mie Yaosa, JPN
2006 WC Classic 8's at AO: Esther Vergeer, NED
2007 Esther Vergeer, NED
2008 Esther Vergeer, NED
2009 Esther Vergeer, NED
2010 Korie Homan, NED
2011 Esther Vergeer, NED
2012 Esther Vergeer, NED
2013 Aniek van Koot, NED
2014 Sabine Ellerbrock, GER
2015 Jiske Griffioen, NED
2016 Jiske Griffioen, NED
2017 Yui Kamiji, JPN
2018 Diede de Groot, NED
2019 Diede de Groot, NED
2020 Yui Kamiji, JPN
2021 Diede de Groot, NED
2022 ...
[doubles]
2004 WC Classic 8's at AO: Maaike Smit/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2005 WC Classic 8's at AO: Florence Gravellier/Maaike Smit, FRA/NED
2006 WC Classic 8's at AO: Jiske Griffioen/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2007 Jiske Griffioen/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2008 Jiske Griffioen/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2009 Korie Homan/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2010 Florence Gravellier/Aniek van Koot, FRA/NED
2011 Esther Vergeer/Sharon Walraven, NED/NED
2012 Esther Vergeer/Sharon Walraven, NED/NED
2013 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek van Koot, NED/NED
2014 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2015 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2016 Marjolein Buis/Yui Kamiji, NED/JPN
2017 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek van Koot, NED/NED
2018 Marjolein Buis/Yui Kamiji, NED/JPN
2019 Diede de Groot/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2020 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2021 Diede de Groot/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2022 Diede de Groot/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED

*WHEELCHAIR SLAM DOUBLES TITLES*
21 - Esther Vergeer, NED [7-5-3-6]
20 - ANIEK VAN KOOT, NED [6-7-3-4]*
17 - Yui Kamiji, JPN [5-3-6-3]*
14 - Jiske Griffioen, NED [5-3-2-4]*
13 - DIEDE DE GROOT, NED [3-4-2-4]*
12 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR [3-2-5-2]
7 - Sharon Walraven, NED [2-1-2-2]
5 - Korie Homan, NED [1-1-1-2]
5 - Marjolein Buis, NED [2-2-0-1]




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TOP QUALIFIER: Hailey Baptiste/USA
TOP EARLY ROUND (1r-2r): #1 Ash Barty/AUS
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): Madison Keys/USA
TOP LATE ROUND (SF-F): xx
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2 - #8 Kamilla Rakhimova/RUS def. Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva/AND 6-7(5)/7-6(8)/6-4 (VJK wins 1st from triple SP down; Rakhimova saves 2 MP in 2nd, winning 10-8 TB; 3:17)
TOP EARLY RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2r - Clara Tauson/DEN def. #6 Anett Kontaveit/EST 6-2/6-4 (breakout performance of early rounds)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3r- #8 Paula Badosa/ESP def. Marta Kostyuk/UKR 6-2/5-7/6-4
TOP LATE RD. MATCH (SF-F/WC/Doub.): xx
=============================
FIRST VICTORY: #30 Camila Giorgi/ITA (def. Potapova/RUS)
FIRST SEED OUT: #18 Coco Gauff/USA (1r lost to Wang Qiang)
FIRST SLAM MD WINS: (9) - Lucia Bronzetti/ITA, Jaqueline Cristian/ROU, Maddison Inglis/AUS, Nuria Parrizas Diaz/ESP, Gabriela Ruse/ROU, Wang Xinyu/CHN, Wang Xiyu/CHN, Maryna Zanevska/BEL, Zheng Qinwen/CHN
UPSET QUEENS: Romania
REVELATION LADIES: China
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Canada (0-2 1r, #23 Fernandez out; Andreescu/Bouchard DNP)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Hailey Baptiste/USA, Lucia Bronzetti/ITA, Martina Trevisan/ITA, Zheng Qinwen/CHN (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Maddison Inglis/AUS (3rd Rd.)
LAST AUSSIE STANDING: Ash Barty (in SF)
Ms. OPPORTUNITY: xx
IT (Teen Stars-in-Waiting): Marta Kostyuk/UKR and Clara Tauson/DEN
COMEBACK PLAYER: Madison Keys/USA
CRASH & BURN: Emma Raducanu, GBR (2nd) and & Leylah Fernandez, CAN (1st) ['21 US F]
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF MELBOURNE: Nominees: Anisimova (3r- saved 2 MP vs. Osaka); Keys (3r- set and break down vs. Q.Wang)
KIMIKO VETERAN CUP: Alize Cornet/FRA and Kaia Kanepi/EST
LADY OF THE EVENING: Ash Barty/AUS
AUSTRALIAN LANGUARGE ARTS AWARD: Tennis Australia tries to push unvaccinated Novak Djokovic through Aussies borders, yet bans on-ground items featuring protests in support of Peng Shuai
DOUBLES STAR: xx
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Nominees: Sofia Costoulas/BEL, Charlotte Kempanaers-Pocz/AUS, Angella Okutoyi/KEN, Meshkatolzahra Safi/IRA





All for Day 10. More tomorrow.

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