Thursday, January 23, 2014

AO 12 - And Now the Two Shall Link (AO Edition)

On the eve of the Australian Open women's final, a little something different for today.

As this first slam of 2014 winds down, for the first time since this tournament began there will be no women's singles matches played.

(Excuse me while I pause to go down on one knee to thank the Tennis Gods for this brilliant favor.)

This slam's first champions -- in women's, junior and wheelchair doubles -- will be crowned today, and then the evening will conclude with the thirty-third meeting between Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer in the second men's semifinal. I'd like to be able to get a nap and watch that one in-the-dead-of-night-and-early-morning-light without having a recap to complete, so I'll pick up things here after the women's champion has been crowned.

Before then, here's a quick look back, in link form, as some of the highlights of the careers of both Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova, as I discussed them at the time:


Week 39: "The Asian Assault" [wins first title in Guangzhou]
Week 1: "Act 1, Scene 1 (2008)" [def. Azarenka to win Gold Coast]
Week 23: "Hips Don't Lie, But Early Grass Court Results Might" [wins grass title in Birmingham]
Week 2: "Bare Bones Backspin" [def. Clijsters to win Sydney]
AO Day 11: "Clijsters & it should be" [def. Wozniacki in SF]
AO Final: "Kim, You Doll" [runner-up to Clijsters]
RG Day 9: "Four Upbuilding Discourses, Pt.2" [def. Kvitova in 4th Rd.]
RG Day 12: "Works of Love" [def. Sharapova in SF]
RG Final: "The Woman with the Rose Tattoo" [wins Roland Garros]
Clay Court Awards: "Born this Way" [2Q.1 Awards]
Ms. Backspin '11: "2011: Petra." [#2 in "Ms.Backspin" rankings]
Week 33: "A Familiar Feeling" [wins Cincinnati, her first event just days after naming Carlos Rodriguez coach]
Week 1: "Act 1, Scene 1 (2013)" [wins Shenzhen title]
AO Day 9: "Rest for the Wicked" [def. Radwanska in QF]
AO Day 11: "A Peaking Chinese and a Piquing Vika" [def. Sharapova in SF]
AO Final: "Veni, Vidi, Vika" [second AO runner-up]
Week 1: "Act 1, Scene 1 (2014)" [defends Shenzhen title]
AO Day 9: "Seeing is Believing...and Beliebing" [def. Pennetta in QF]
AO Day 11: "An Absence of Radwanskian Malice" [def. Bouchard in SF]


Week 8: "Qatting a Wide Swath" [first big win over Venus in Doha]
Week 15: "A Little Less Green" [reaches first final in Amelia Island]
Week 31: "And a Russian Cat Shall Lead Them" [reached Montreal final, into Top 20 for first time]
RG Day 10: "Two Players, One Path?" [def. Sharapova in QF]
Week 42: "Her Fourth Time's the Charm" [finally wins first title in Moscow]
Miami Special Edition: "26 the Hard Way" [nearly ends Azarenka winning streak]
RG Day 8: "Never Bet Against The Radwanska When Death is On the Line" [def. Azarenka in 4th Rd.]
Week 29: "Picking Up Hardware on All-Olympics Eve" [wins Carlsbad title]
Week 2: "Backspin on the Edge of Tomorrow (Pre-Melbourne Edition)" [double-bageled by Radwanska in Sydney final]
Week 12: "A Kvitova Crash, a Serena Save & Caro Knowing Just How Rory Feels" [nearly upsets Serena in Miami]
Week 30: "The Best Laid Plans of Agas and Slovaks" [gets revenge on A-Rad, def. in Stanford final]
AO Day 10: "To Live and Radwanska Down Under" [def. Halep in QF]
AO Day 11: "An Absence of Radwanskian Malice" [def. Radwanska in SF]

All for Day 12. More tomorrow.


Blogger jo shum said...

Genie's dream boyfriend is facing 3 charges, drunk drive.

Thu Jan 23, 07:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger Hoergren said...

I did many things in my youth when I was young - dumb things too. Bieber has never had a normal youth so now he's living through this in a speedy rush hour. And I don't think it's her wish but what do you answer to that stupid question. Here is a link to an interestin YouTube video about tennis moods - makes sense to me:

Fri Jan 24, 04:54:00 AM EST  
Blogger Zidane said...

In an interview yesterday (in French), Bouchard's father was asked what he would do if Bieber was to ring at his home to take Eugénie for a date. His answer was "Hmm, not sure."

As for Federer-Nadal, well, your inspiration of yore Yogi Berra has the best description for it: déjà vu all over again.

Fri Jan 24, 06:25:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Yeah, I think Federer might have lost all his Melbourne momentum when he failed to convert those match points against Murray in 3rd set of the QF. Even though he won in four sets, the doubt had crept in.

Of course, the Nadal match might have gone the same way no matter what. Once he lost the tie-break, though, you could sort of just check out.

By the way...

1) Errani & Vinci defended their doubles title (I wouldn't have predicted that going in, truthfully), but had to come back from 5-2 down in the 3rd against Makarova/Vesnina to do it. Maybe this is the match we would have gotten had the Hordettes actually decided to play the Fed Cup final? Diane has all the details on Women Who Serve.

2) Mladenovic has a shot at a second Mixed slam. She and Nestor will face Mirza/Tecau in the final. Sania is going for her third.

3) #4 Elizaveta Kulichkova (RUS) will face unseeded Jana Fett (CRO) in the girls final, while #1 Alexander Zverev (GER) will meet #2 Stefan Kozlov (USA) for the boys.

4) In junior doubles, Lucas Miedler & Bradley Mousley (AUT/AUS... so Australia gets a title) won, as did top-seeded Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) & Kulichkova. So, Kulichkova has the chance to become the fourth straight girl to sweep the singles/doubles crowns at the AO (2011: An-Sophie Mestach, 2012: Taylor Townsend, 2013: Ana Konjuh).

5) In WC doubles, both #1 seeds -- Kamiji/Whiley for the women, and Houdet/Kunieda for the men -- won titles.

Fri Jan 24, 01:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger jo shum said...

Federer , if he couldn't get the first set, there was no way. I was there , he tried to play fast and hard, nadal quick return and reply left him standing, when he played the net, incredible passing shots were too good, when he played slower balls, nadal played high and deep balls to get angles. It was like seeing cats and mice. Nadal had way more problems With baby federer than the real one. But this is only the beginning of the year, if he can really cut down his UEs, maybe.

And LI, three times a charm finally. Seriously, stats aligned for her, no top 20 players through 7 matches, no Serena, no Maria, no vika. Played someone who has not beaten her before. And Carlos is super lucky too with his players, first Justine, now li. Wow. He should pick mark 6 numbers.

Sat Jan 25, 08:58:00 AM EST  

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