Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012-13 Offseason Update - December 16th

The 2013 season is two weeks away... but "The Backspin Before Christmas" is even closer.

* - first off, a "this too shall pass" pat on the back from this space to a (once again) "misunderstood" Caroline Wozniacki, who, while she may not have exactly had any idea how imitating (though not really "making fun of") the body of Serena Williams the other day was going to be (mis?)interpreted by so many people -- many of whom probably know nothing about her or tennis -- certainly didn't do so with any meanspirited malice, let alone anything resembling "racism," in her heart. Remember, Wozniacki and Williams ARE friendly with each other, as the Dane visited Serena in the immediate aftermath of her medical emergencies a while back.

This isn't a "Radwanska situation"... but, never overlook the possibility that It might have had SOMETHING to do with all this. After all, I hear that the ability to disregard the power of a Radwanska "suggestion" is a rare skill.

Imagine: (a whisper in Caro's ear in the middle of the night... "stuff your top and skirt with towels so that you'll look like Serena -- everyone will LOVE it. Trust me.")

Always making trouble.

* - elsewhere, the biggest news was that the remaining Australian Open wild card playoff tournaments were concluded over the weekend.

In Melbourne, Belgrade-born Bojana Bobusic, 25, who played NCAA tennis at California, claimed Tennis Australia's instant WC berth with a win in the playoff final over Monique Adamczak. Bobusic also defeated Arina Rodionova and Ashleigh Barty in the mini-tournament, and will be making her third career appearance in a slam main draw. She's 0-2 in slam MD matches, both coming in Melbourne , in 2004 and '12. In last year's AO 1st Round, she lost 6-1/6-3 to (then-#30 seed) Angelique Kerber.

Many of the "usual suspects" who generally appear in the TA playoff tournament weren't in the draw this time around, including Anastasia Rodionova, (now-Kiwi) Sacha Jones and Jelena Dokic, who is expected to be out through January after undergoing what is being called "minor" (if there is such a thing for a tennis player, that is) wrist surgery.

Speaking of the Rodionovas, it's interesting that Arina (who had her 23rd birthday this weekend) was included in the all-Aussie playoff, considering she's still listed on the WTA site as representing Russia (though not on TA's playoff site). Of course, she's been living in Melbourne with her sister for a while now, but, from what I can tell, isn't yet an "official" Australian. She was granted permanent residency in December '11 after having been initially denied Australian citizenship in January of that year. I suspect it means she'll be a "full" Aussie, like her sister, soon. Of course, her Twitter account humorously lists her as a "professional homeless tennis player," so I guess that means the process is not yet complete. Ha!

Here's a particularly nice photo of the Rodionova sisters -- Arina (L) & Anastasia (R) -- at the '11 Australian Open players party (oh, and I see that someone is "giving Anastasia a hand -- or two -- in that dress," too):

Meanwhile, in the U.S.'s AO wild card playoff tournament, Madison Keys won the USTA's automatic WC berth with a 7-5/6-3 win in the final over Mallory Burdette. Keys had knocked off Bethanie Mattek-Sands, making her way back after last year's shoulder tear, in Saturday's semifinals. Keys, who's been on a hot streak lately, with two ITF singles crowns in the late-going of the the '12 season, also won the USTA's AO playoff tournament last year.

Here are Keys and Burdette -- along with the on-court crew -- after today's match.

The wild card playoff for the Asia/Pacific wild card was held a few weeks ago. The remaining wild cards into the main draw will be chosen by whatever committees or federations do such things in the weeks leading up to a grand slam.

Asia/Pacific WC: Zhang Yuxuan, CHN (won playoff)
Australian WC: Bojana Bobusic, AUS (won playoff)
U.S. WC: Madison Keys, USA (won playoff)
French player
Australian player
Australian player
Australian player
Australian player
Asia/Pacific WC: Wu Di, CHN (won playoff)
Australian WC: Ben Mitchell, AUS (won playoff)
U.S. WC: Tim Smyczek vs. Rhyne Williams winner in playoff final
French player
Australian player
Australian player
Australian player
Australian player

...season's greetings from Petra Kvitova to her fans:

...and, finally, the annual "Twas the Backspin Before Christmas" post is coming soon. I'll post a few "teasers" during the week, with the final one coming on Friday (courtesy of Women Who Serve's Diane). The holiday tale will then arrive soon afterward.

First Hint: be afraid... be very afraid.

All for now.


Blogger Diane said...

It seems to whisper in her ear pretty often :)

Tue Dec 18, 11:07:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

It seems as if it might possibly email and text Caro quite often, as well. ;)

Tue Dec 18, 11:54:00 AM EST  

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