Sunday, December 08, 2013

Backtalk V - December 8

I'm sure hoping that Citizen Anna has our backs, since...

The higher the hair, the closer to absolute power, right?

Love/Love... answering the question, "What do Italians do during the offseason?," here are Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta making a dual appearance on Italy's version of "Dancing with the Stars":

Love/15... a pair of $25K challengers were the biggest prizes on the ITF calendar in this 49th week of 2013. Poland's Magda Linette (Pune, IND) and Swede Rebecca Peterson (Merida, MEX) walked away with those titles. Peterson defeated Indy De Vroome in her championship match, running her ITF final record to 3-0 this season.

In all, three Hordettes were crowned singles champions this weekend: Ekaterina Alexandrova (her third title of '13), Maria Marfutina (#2) and Natela Dzalamidze (#2).

Elsewhere, in her first tournament (junior or ITF level) since June, Barbara Haas got to "shake her Djibouti" by winning a $10K title in Djibouti, Djibouti, defeating Taiwan's Lee Hua-Chen in straight sets in the final. It's the 17-year old Austrian's second career challenger win.
Love/30... meanwhile, Petra Kvitova and Radek Stepanek have officially "gone public":

Here's the translated (from Czech) interview where they discuss their (not unlikely, if you look back at Radek's romantic history) relationship. By the way, they'll be teaming up in Perth for the Hopman Cup at the end of the month.
Love/40... in the Eddie Herr junior event in Bradenton, Florida, 16-year old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, the #10 seed who caught some attention around here for some of her junior slam match wins this past season, grabbed the 18s title at the Grade 1 event, defeating Egypt's Sandra Samir, the #12 seed, in the final.

Earlier in the tournament, 15-year old Romanian Jaqueline Cristian had knocked off Tornado Black in the QF, then lost to Samir in the first career Grade 1 semifinals for both girls. In the other semi, Ostapenko defeated top-seeded Varvara Flink (RUS) in a two and a half hour match "highlighted" by arguments with the chair umpire and disagreements between the players (and a coach), as well. Following a score dispute -- recounted here by Colette Lewis on Zoo Tennis -- Flink refused to shake Ostapenko's hand after the match, and the Russian's irate coach also had words with the Latvian teen.

1993 Tatiana Panova, RUS
1994 Anna Kournikova, RUS
1995 Eugenia Kulikovskaya, RUS
1996 Andrea Sebova, SVK
1997 Zsofia Gubacsi, HUN
1998 Virginie Razzano, FRA
1999 Aniko Kapros, HUN
2000 Edina Gallovits, ROU
2001 Jelena Jankovic, SRB
2002 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2003 Kateryna Bondarenko, UKR
2004 Monica Niculescu, ROU
2005 Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
2006 Urszula Radwanska, POL
2007 Melanie Oudin, USA
2008 Lauren Embree, USA
2009 Daria Gavrilova, RUS
2010 Samantha Crawford, USA
2011 Yulia Putintseva, RUS
2012 Ana Konjuh, CRO
2013 Jelena Ostapenko, LAT

30/40... Vika, holding up a wall. Hmmm, is The Rad on the other side?

Obviously, we all can handle the truth... and we want Vika on that wall!

1. $10K Barranquilla COL QF - Maria Paulina Perez Garcia d. Paula Andrea Perez Garcia
Another pair of sisters, twin 17-year old Colombians, meet with one sibling fated to come up short.
2. $10K Barranquilla COL Doubles Final - Perez Garcia/Perez Garcia d. Koch-Benvenuto/Roldan
But, no worry, the sisters made up in the victory circle.
3. $10K Hong Kong 2nd Rd. - Lee Hye-Min d. Lu Jia-Xiang 6-4/7-6
$10K Hong Kong QF - Lu Jia-Jing d. Lee Hye-Min 6-4/6-3
one Chinese sister has the back of the other.
4. $10K Hong Kong Doubles Final - Hong Seung-Yeon/Lee Hye-Min d. Lu Jia-Jing/Lu Jia-Xiang 4-6/7-6/16-14
but Lee comes back to help take out BOTH sisters in the doubles final, and...
5. $10K Hong Kong Final - Zhao Di d. Lu Jia-Jing
Jia-Jing's bad 3rd set luck carries over to the singles final, too.

Advantage, Donna Vekic's new doubles partner?...

Deuce... in a few other stops on the ITF circuit, two of last week's winners were prevented in their efforts to claim back-to-back titles.

In the Barranquilla, Colombia $10K, Maria Fernanda Herazo Gonzalez (COL) defeated Maria Koch-Benvenuto to stop the Chilean vet from winning her fourth circuit crown of the year. And Swarmette Elena-Teodora Cadar knocked off Belarusian teen Iryna Shymanovich, ending her hopes of winning her second career pro title just a week after winning her first.
Advantage, Team G-G-G-Genie... so, what's cookin' with Genie?

Oh, apparently, it's Genie HERSELF!
Match... and, finally, don't you just love it when Vika rubs elbows... err, I mean wax... with a legend?


All for now.


Blogger Diane said...

Well, it's not as deliciously twisted as their "Vogue" routine (which has disappeared from the Internet)--what could be?--but that performance is just another great Italian moment. What is it about Italy? They just don't take themselves that seriously, do they?

Sun Dec 08, 08:00:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

You know, it's too bad Navratilova didn't dress the way Schiavone did there when she was on DWTS. She might have gotten along a little better when it came to doing what she needed to do.

Sun Dec 08, 09:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

While the list differs from the one on the website dedicated to the Australian Open Wild Card Playoff event, the USTA's latest press release (issued today) has, I assume, "officially" set the women's field as:

Madison Brengle
Julia Cohen
Vicky Duval
Nicole Gibbs
Grace Min
Shelby Rogers
Maria Sanchez
Sachia Vickery

The 8-player tournament takes place in Norcross, Georgia from December 20 to 22

Mon Dec 09, 02:57:00 PM EST  

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