Sunday, May 29, 2016

RG.8- Cliffside Views at Affordable Rates

Day 8 arrived with promise, but it ended with business left in various unfinished stages.

Is Good Garbi here to stay? Has Halep finally settled into her seat above the Cliffs of Simona for all eternity? Is Shelby Rogers REALLY in the Roland Garros quarterfinals?

Well... maybe, with luck and a good night's sleep, and you bet your life.

=DAY 8 NOTES= the first of the four scheduled Round of 16 matches on Sunday, Garbine Muguruza found herself staring down a player whose career very well could resemble her own almost a decade down the road from today. Svetlana Kuznetsova is, after all, an "above-.500 sometimes in spite of herself" version of the sort of player the Spaniard looks to be. One that can soar to great heights, when she's not crashing for explainable reasons. Sometimes within the same match. Or set. Or even game if the breeze is blowing just right.

Kuznetsova has been a Fed Cup force her entire career, while Muguruza has been at her most dominant while representing her country in scary-good outings the last two years. Kuznetsova has been as high as #2 in the rankings, but never #1. Muguruza has been to #3 (but could be as high as #2 after this RG). Kuznetsova, for all the headaches her inconsistency has given herself and others, has still won two slams. Even with all we know, it's hard to TRULY call her an "underachiever." She's accomplished far too much to be dismissed in such a way.
Muguruza hasn't yet climbed high enough on the WTA mountain to be favorably compared with Kuznetsova quite yet... but give her time.

In the match-up between the two today, you knew there'd be a moment when all THAT would reach a point when Muguruza -- or Sveta, depending on who was in the lead -- would make the "decision" about which way her game would go on this day. Eight games into the 2nd set, the moment of truth arrived.

Serving up 6-3/4-3, Muguruza fell behind 15/40 on serve. A crosscourt rally ended when a Muguruza shot went wide to get things back on serve at 4-4. Would this be the moment when that other Sveta (the good one) would suddenly take over and the other Garbia (yeah, THAT one) would start to sulk and sink and find her way out the back door? As it turned out, no. Muguruza immediately broke back and had a chance to serve out the match.

She reached double MP at 40/15, then failed to put away her first chance, then double-faulted on the second to reach deuce. Uh-oh. MP #3 came and went. So did MP #4. Finally, on MP #5, Kuznetsova showed mercy and finally sent a ball wide to end the 6-3/6-4 match and send the Spaniard to her third straight RG quarterfinal.

Nice to see you, Good Garbi. Take a seat and stay awhile. Please.

...Irina-Camelia Begu's spring clay court run has been fantastic, but you figured that it wasn't likely to have a great ending for the Swarmette just based on the law of averages and physical limits. Three straight three-setters in Paris didn't help her surely looming fatigue factor, either. On Day 8 she finally hit the wall.

The wall's name was Shelby. Shelby Rogers.

No one really saw the #108-ranked Bannerette's Paris run coming. Probably not ever her. No matter how much she wanted it to become a reality, she didn't truly know that it could until today. But while proving that hard, hard work CAN pay off, the Charleston native (and former ball girl) put up yet another impressive win today with a 6-3/6-4 victory to surge into her maiden slam quarterfinal and likely make quite a few fans-for-life. The list of victims that already includes Karolina Pliskova, Elena Vesnina (Charleston finalist) and Petra Kvitova now has another name scrawled at the bottom. Will it add another soon?

Rogers is the first U.S. women to reach the QF in Paris while not also being named Williams since 2005. Tomorrow, weather permitting, Madison Keys will try to become the second.

Oh, did someone mention the weather? Yeah, well, it played and fiddled with the hearts and minds today. A mid-day delay wasn't devastating, but it was enough to prevent the late-starting final two women's Round of 16 match-ups from getting finished.

Of course, since one of those matches involved none other than Aga Radwanska, won has to wonder if some Radwanskian (as in "The") influence might be at hand. But considering that Aga herself was quite possibly annoyed and inconvenienced the most by what happened, the Threat Level for Paris remains at CALM. For now.

Aga was busy putting Tsvetana Pironkova -- not as lethal a booby trap as she might be at Wimbledon, but never one to be trifled with in a slam -- away. An early break in the 1st set led to a 6-2 set win, though the total points (42-35) were much closer than that. Another early break seemed to set things up for a repeat in the 2nd. As the late rains came (again) and the other courts were being cleared, Radwanska was holding for a 3-0 lead when the decision was taken out of her hands. 11-2 in career meetings vs. the Bulgarian, Radwanska will now be forced to return to the court on Monday to get victory #12.

In the other Round of 16 match that wasn't finished, Simona Halep appeared to once again to dancing along the edges of those treacherous Cliffs with more and more nimble movement and belief. You know, like those goats that scale the ridiculously steep terrains with crazy moutaineering skill.

As she did in her previous three matches in Paris, Halep walked up to the edge of something dangerous, looked over the side, then kept her balance. In game #6 of the 1st, she faced and saved three BP chances against Samantha Stosur and held for 3-3. A game later, the Romanian took a love/40 lead on the Aussie's serve. She failed to put away her first two BP chances due to errors, but Stosur's long shot got her the break for 4-3. Looking to back up the break, Halep fell down 15/30 a game later and when Stosur's crosscourt winner proved to be out of her reach faced yet another BP. An error from the Aussie led to another lost opportunity, allowing Halep to seize the moment with a point that featured great defense and a volley winner to hold for 5-3.

But then the rains came.

Over the past week in Paris, Halep appears to have started the process of building up some sort of resistance to the fear and frustration these moments have often provided her on big stages in the past. Will it continue to be present when play resumes? We shall see. The Cliffs of Simona offer a brilliant view, after all. But only if you keep your feet.

- Meanwhile, the quest for a fourth straight slam win -- and the only major title they've yet to claim in their brief partnership -- ended for world #1's Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza on Sunday. Clay is the pair's worst surface, but they came into today's 3rd Round match vs. the young Czech duo of Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova sporting a 12-2 clay record this spring, with a title in Rome and finals in Stuttgart and Madrid (they lost both to Garcia/Mladenovic). But today the Maidens dominated them and threw them out the back door and into the yard to be history's play toys, winning 6-3/6-2... a scoreline similar to the 6-1/6-3 one they were on the other side of vs. the Dream Team in Stuttgart a few weeks ago.

While the Czechs didn't decide until a few days before the tournament sign-up date to actually play together in Paris, they've got a great history together, having won three-fourths of a junior doubles Grand Slam in 2013 and picking up a pair of $25K titles while going 14-4 in pro events in 2013-14. This is just their third event together this season, though, and their third victory in Paris lifts their mark to 4-2.

And, of course, anytime I mention these two I feel like I'm required to show their U.S. Open junior doubles victory dance:

So there.

I know I'd like to see what they might come up with.

Of course, there was another big doubles result today, but it sort of got trumped (small "T") by the Hingis/Mirza loss. Yeah, some sisters from Compton lost, as well. You may have heard of them.

Actually, they won today, too. Venus and Serena finished off the doubles match with Diatchenko/Voskoboeva that was suspended on Saturday. They were forced to a 3rd set, but won 7-6(8)/4-6/6-0. In their second outing, the Sisters learned first hand just how greedy Kiki Bertens has suddenly become. She just has to win EVERY match, apparently. She and Johanna Larsson won their seventh straight, cashing a 6-3/6-4 ticket to the quarterfinals. With her singles matches added in, Bertens is currently on a 17-0 combined run over just a little more than two weeks.

Elsewhere, The Bracelet's Paris run ended as she and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni lost to Xu/Yifan.

The quarterfinals are nearly set in both WD and MX, and there are still five woman harboring hopes of a title sweep. Chan Hao-Ching, Chan Yung-Jan, Andrea Hlavackova, Kristina Mladenovic and Elena Vesnina are alive in both draws.

Only Bertens is still in both the singles and WD draws.

- with the U.S. woman achieving great things in Paris, the teen set jumped into the fray on the first day of junior girls action at this Roland Garros. There are ten Bannerettes in the singles draw, and today they were a perfect 6-0, with #3 Kayla Day, #9 Usue Arconada, Claire Liu, Caty McNally, Alexandra Sanford and Morgan Coppoc putting up victories. Still to play are #2 Amanda Anisimova, #10 Sonya Kenin, Michaela Gordon and Maria Mateas.

McNally, whose brother John is the #15 seed in the boys draw, got the biggest win of the bunch, taking out #6-seeded Brit Katie Swan ('15 AO Jr. finalist). Coppoc upset #11-seed Sofya Zhuk (the '15 Wimbledon girls champ) 6-1/6-0.

Elswhere, while Aga didn't get to finish her match, a young fellow Pole did today. Her name? Iga. As in girls qualifier Iga Swiatek. The 14-year old knocked off #7-seeded Georgia Andreea Craciun of Romania. Swiatek reached the girls 14s Orange Bowl final in 2014, losing in an 8-6 3rd set to Anastasia Potapova.

If you ever wonder just how long it takes for the top juniors to really begin to have a tour-level impact, well, I think it's interesting to take a look at the season-ending girls Top 10 from 2013. It hasn't taken long for a few of them...

*2013 GIRLS TOP 10*
1.Belinda Bencic, SUI
2.Ana Konjuh, CRO
3.Varvara Flink, RUS
4.Barbora Krejcikova, CZE
5.Ivana Jorovic, SRB
6.Katerina Siniakova, CZE
7.Tornado Alicia Black, USA
8.Darya Kasatkina, RUS
9.Louisa Chirico, USA
10.Elise Mertens, BEL pre-RG junior action, another Hordette picked up a girls title of note as Amina Anshba won the Grade 1 Astrid Bowl in Belgium with a win in the final over Aussie Seone Mendez. The 16-year old #5-seed, in addition to #13 Mendez, also notched victories over the #12 and #1 (Yuki Naito) seeds at the event. Anshba went into the event hot off her run to the final of a Grade A in Milan.

- in Week 21 ITF action, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka claimed the largest title of the weekend in a $50K challenger in Tianjin, China. The 18-year old's fourth career title, her biggest so far, came with a win over Serbian Nina Stojanovic in the final. Sabalenka will move into the Top 200 for the first time when the tour's updated rankings are released following Roland Garros.

In the same event, Peng Shuai's comeback effort posted another QF result and a win over #1 seed Hiroko Kuwata. Peng lost to Sabalenka.

Turkish tennis has been soaring to new heights on the WTA tour, and 22-year old Melis Sezer is busy working her way through the challenger circuit, as well. Sezer swept the singles and doubles at a $10K event in Baku this weekend, defeating Belarus' Sadafmoh Tolibova in the final to grab her seventh career title. The two won the doubles title as a duo.

In Warsaw, former USC Trojan Sabrina Santamaria won her first career pro singles title with a victory in the final over Italian Deborah Chiesa. The 2013 NCAA women's doubles champion with Kaitlyn Christian, Santamaria took the doubles crown with Finnish vet Emma Laine. The 30-year old has won thirty-nine career ITF doubles titles.

In La Bisbal d'Emporda, Spain it was Mexico's Renata Zarazua who won her first career ITF singles title, defeating Spain's Irene Burillo Escorihuela in the $10K final.

...LIKE FROM DAY 8: This.

...REALIZATION FROM DAY 8: That if Radio Roland Garros' Gigi Salmon and Courtney Nguyen were two kids sitting next to each other in class, you get the feeling that at some point the teacher would have to say, "Gigi and Courtney... if you don't behave I'm going to have to move you two away from each other."

Of course, this realization was born while listening to the brief giggling fit that developed today when the two were casually discussing (as one might) how a certain men's defending singles champion is sporting more "snugly-fitting" shirts this year, and the acknowledgement that he's somewhat "barrel-chested" as it is.

As I've said before, RRG is as close as I've heard to the old HBO Wimbledon coverage -- interesting, informative, entertaining and sometimes naturally hilarious commentary, as well as a production that gives a full sense of what is going on in the entire tournament as it happens. It shouldn't be so difficult for other coverage (with cameras, no less) to be like this, but apparently it is. I feel like one could not even watch a single match, and only listen to RRG coverage, and yet have a better sense of this tournament than you could watching the so-called complete coverage in the U.S..

ESPN (not even in Paris), NBC (only in Paris) and Tennis Channel are just lazy, thinking that a camera, a match and a few voices are sufficient. That isn't necessarily so. It doesn't HAVE to be that way.

...LIKE FROM DAY 8: La Trufflette and Queen Chaos... linked through fashion.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of JJ in Paris this year after she lost to Tatjana Maria in the 1st Round. Hmmm, imagine if Jankovic had won that match and SHE had been on the other side of the net during all the Cornet drama. It might have been a head-to-head "drama-off" the likes of which may have never been seen in the history of humankind.

On a side note, Marion Bartoli has been seen quite a bit with her on-court interviews, including today's with Rogers...

...LIKE FROM DAY 8: Timea as Atticus Finch...

...LIKE FROM DAY 8: The idea of a revolution being built on a t-shirt...


...TALKING BACK TO THE RADIO ON DAY 8: When the Radio Roland Garros announcers comment on the "wave" breaking out in the stands at an important moment in a match giving "the impression that (the fans) think they're more important than the players."

ME: "It's Paris -- they DO think they're more important than the players. Hello?"

...LIKE FROM DAY 8: Accidental Lenglen tributes like Garbi's...

...and, finally, another Lenglen moment.

While Suzanne Lenglen's career was filled with success and impact, both on and off court, it also had its fair share of controversy and drama, as well as one high-profile loss.

The Frenchwoman won six titles each at Wimbledon and Roland Garros during the period in which she dominated (and played a huge role in re-shaping) the sport that we see today. She never won in the United States during her amateur career, though, and actually suffered a shocking and controversial loss there to Norwegian Molla Mallory in the only match she ever played at the tournament that is now known as the "U.S. Open."

Of course, we ARE talking about Lenglen, after all. So there was a bit more to it than just that. Here are the accounts from various sources about the whole affair:

(1)- from (International Tennis Hall of Fame)
(2)- from
(3)- from Sports Illustrated (Sept.13, 1982 - "The Lady in the White Silk Dress")

- " Between 1919 and 1926, Lenglen lost only one match, a highly controversial default to Molla Mallory at the 1921 U.S. Nationals. Lenglen had lost the first set badly, 6-2, and through fits of coughing and tears, alerted the chair umpire she could not continue. It was the only significant glitch in her career and one of two memorable matches that have been widely chronicled about Lenglen." (1)

- "During this period, Lenglen's only defeat in singles (not counting pre-match withdrawals) occurred in an unscheduled appearance at the 1921 U.S. Championships. To raise reconstruction funds for the regions of France that had been devastated by the battles of World War I, she went to the United States to play several exhibition matches against the Norwegian-born U.S. champion, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory.

Lenglen arrived in New York City the day before the tournament after a stormy and delayed sea voyage, during which she was ill the whole time. Upon arrival, Lenglen learned that, without her permission, tournament officials had announced her participation in the U.S. Championships.Because of immense public pressure, she agreed to play in the tournament despite suffering from what was diagnosed later as whooping cough. As a concession, she was given a day to recover. To her surprise, there was no seeding for the event and her name had been drawn to play Eleanor Goss, a leading American player. Goss immediately defaulted, leaving Lenglen to face Mallory in the second round as her first opponent.

In their match, Lenglen lost the first set 6–2 and just as the second set got underway, she began coughing and burst into tears, unable to continue. The crowd jeered her as she walked off the court, and the American press severely criticised her. This worsened when, under doctor's orders after it was confirmed that she was afflicted with whooping cough, she cancelled her exhibition match. Unaccustomed to such treatment, a devastated Lenglen went home. " (2)

- " America's first glimpse of Lenglen came in August 1921. Against Charles's wishes, Suzanne agreed to play a series of exhibitions in the U.S. for the benefit of "the [war] devastated villages of France." Once in New York, she further agreed to play in the U.S. women's championship, being held that year for the first time at Forest Hills after 34 years in Philadelphia. Charles, back home in Nice too ill to travel, told his friends that Suzanne had made the biggest mistake of her life.

Everything went wrong from the start. First she caught a bad cold and had to postpone her departure twice. Then, aboard the liner France, she declined to use the deck tennis court that had been set up for her and issued a news bulletin declaring that "the fox-trot and the shimmy were excellent training for tennis." In New York her reception by the press was effusive (MLLE. LENGLEN'S PETIT FEET AMAZE ON ARRIVAL), but she soon learned that her fate in the draw at Forest Hills was to play No. 5-ranked Eleanor Goss in the first round and, probably, the five-time U.S. champion, Mallory, in the second. The seeding of players according to ability to prevent just such an undesirable pairing had not yet been instituted. Even worse, on the day of Lenglen's scheduled first-round match, Goss defaulted and Lenglen, who had had one day's rest and one day's practice, was ordered to play Mallory instead so as not to disappoint the crowd that had gathered at Forest Hills Stadium to see her.

New surface, new ball, new climate and, for her first opponent, the best female player in America. All this without Papa by her side. Lenglen's nerves showed signs of fraying even before her match began. Once it was under way, her strokes lacked power and she coughed intermittently. Mallory, for her part, was at the top of her form. Allison Danzig, who was then a reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle and later became the tennis writer for The New York Times for 45 years, recalls, "Molla had a hell of a forehand. She didn't have a backhand. She had the weakest service I have ever seen. But what a forehand!"

Mallory put her forehand to good use in the first set, winning it 6-2 while Lenglen coughed more frequently. Lenglen had beaten Mallory badly in France the previous year. Now Mallory, backed enthusiastically by her good friend Bill Tilden, who disliked Lenglen intensely because her fame overshadowed his, was about to take her revenge. With the score 0-15 in the first game of the second set, Lenglen, serving, double-faulted and then forfeited the match, saying she was too ill to continue. Holding a towel to her mouth as some spectators booed, she was led sobbing from the court. "Cough and Quit" became Lenglen's middle name in America, and that view of her prevailed until she returned to the U.S. as a pro in 1926 and set the record straight. " (3)

- " A spectator at the Lenglen-Mallory match that day was 15-year-old Helen Wills from Berkeley, Calif., who was in New York to play in the National Junior championships. As Lenglen's successor, Helen Wills Moody was to win eight Wimbledon singles titles. In her book, Fifteen-Thirty, which was published in 1937, Moody recalled her first sighting of Lenglen on the clubhouse veranda at Forest Hills: "She wore a yellow organdie dress, a large hat and a white lapin coat described as ermine by the newspapers. The fur coat on a hot day made me ask why. I was told that she had a cold.... I was impressed, and later even more so when she came out to practice with six racquets." " (3)

- " Once healthy, she (Lenglen) set about preparing herself for redemption. In the singles final at Wimbledon the following year, she defeated Mallory in only 26 minutes, winning 6–2, 6–0, reputedly the fastest Ladies major tournament match on record. The two met again later that year at a tournament in Nice where, with Lenglen showing her complete mastery of the sport, Mallory failed to win even one game. Mary K. Brown relates that she asked Lenglen how she greeted Mallory at the net after the game when they met to shake hands. She said that Lenglen told her that after shaking hands she emitted a couple of gentle 'coughs.' "(2)

Linked in history to Lenglen because of this one match, Mallory is a unique tennis figure in her own right.

- " Although she had won a Bronze medal in singles for Norway at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, and was the many-time champion of her homeland, Mallory was relatively unknown when she arrived in New York City to begin work as a masseuse in 1915. She entered the U.S. Indoor Championships that year unheralded and beat three-time defending champion Marie Wagner 6–4, 6–4, which was the first of her five singles titles at that tournament. She also won the singles title in Cincinnati in 1915.

Mallory had less in the way of stroke equipment than most tennis champions. But the sturdy, Norwegian-born woman, the daughter of an army officer, was a fierce competitor, running with limitless endurance. Robert (Bob) Kelleher, a former president of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and a ball boy during Mallory's era, once said, "She looked and acted tough when she was on the court hitting tennis balls. She walked around in a manner that said you'd better look out or she'd deck you. She was an indomitable scrambler and runner. She was a fighter."

She was a player of the old school. She held that a woman could not sustain a volleying attack in a long match. "I do not know a single girl who can play the net game." Therefore, she relied on her baseline game, consisting of strong forehand attacks and a ceaseless defense that wore down her opponents. She took the ball on the rise and drove it from corner to corner to keep her opponent on the constant run. Her quick returns made her passing shots extremely effective. She once said, "I find that the girls generally do not hit the ball as hard as they should. I believe in always hitting the ball with all my might, but there seems to be a disposition to 'just get it over' in many girls whom I have played. I do not call this tennis." "(2)

- " Mallory’s game was founded on fitness, strength, and size. She could play longer, hit harder, and move around the court better than her opponents. She played with supreme confidence and focus and attacked every rally as if it were match point. " (1)

- " She would ultimately become one of the biggest names the sport has ever seen, winning a record eight U.S. National Women’s Singles Championships against eight different opponents. For that to materialize, however, Mallory would have to defeat the era’s most talented and recognizable players, including Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, Helen Wills, Mary K. Browne, and Frenchwomen Suzanne Lenglen, the game’s most colorful and dominant player, to secure her place in history. She accomplished that task in droves, earned immortality with her enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1958. In 2008, 50 years after her induction, Mallory’s name was placed in the Court of Champions at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center alongside King, Evert, and Navratilova. " (1)

- " Her second round match with Suzanne Lenglen at the 1921 U.S. National Championships brought Mallory her greatest celebrity. Before the match, Bill Tilden advised Mallory to "hit the cover off the ball." Once the match began, Mallory "attacked with a vengeance" and was ahead 2–0 (40–0) when Lenglen began to cough. Mallory won the first set 6–2 and was up 40–0 on Lenglen's serve in the first game of the second set when Lenglen began to weep and walked to the umpire's stand and informed the official that she was ill and could not continue. After the match, the USTA accused Lenglen of feigning illness. The French Tennis Federation (FTF) exonerated Lenglen and accepted her testimony (and a doctor's) that she had been ill. However, Albert de Joannis, vice president of the FTF who accompanied Lenglen during her trip to the United States, quit his post in protest of the FTF's conclusion. He claimed that Lenglen was "perfectly fit" during the match and that, "She was defeated by a player who on that date showed a better brand of tennis."

Mallory won the singles title at the U.S. Championships a record eight times in fifteen attempts, with the last of her titles occurring at age 42 in 1926. Her worst finish there was a quarterfinal loss in 1927 at age 43. In 1926, Mallory hit one of the heights of her career when she came back from 0–4 in the third set of the final against Elizabeth Ryan, saving a match point in winning her eighth championship. Her farewell to the U.S. " (2)

- " Mallory, who played in every U.S. National Championship from 1915-1929, finished her love affair with the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills as a singles semifinalist in 1929. Adding to her record titles were two additional finalist appearances (1923, 1924) and three trips to the semifinals. Her “worst” result was the quarterfinals in 1927. Tack on two U.S. National Women’s Doubles Championship titles (1916, 1917) and three in mixed doubles (1917, 1922, 1923) and the breadth of her career becomes crystallized. Two of those titles came with partner Bill Tilden, a formidable mixed doubles team as the sport has ever seen. On seven other combined occasions Mallory was a doubles and mixed doubles finalist. " (1)

- " Championships was as a 45-year-old semifinalist in 1929, losing to Helen Wills Moody 6–0, 6–0. Mallory is the only woman other than Chris Evert to have won the U.S. Championships four consecutive times. " (2)

#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #18 Elina Svitolina/UKR
#12 Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP vs. Yulia Putintseva/KAZ
Kiki Bertens/NED vs. #15 Madison Keys/USA
#9 Venus Williams/USA vs. #8 Timea Bacsinszky/SUI
Shelby Rogers/USA def. #25 Irina-Camelia Beug/ROU
#3 Garbine Muguruza/ESP def. #13 Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS
#6 Simona Halep/ROU vs. #21 Samantha Stosur/AUS
Tsvetana Pironkova/BUL vs. #2 Aga Radwanska/POL

Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) def. #1 Hingis/Mirza (SUI/IND)
#6 Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) def. #11 Klepac/Srebotnik (SLO/SLO)
#3 Chan/Chan (TPE/TPE) def. Brengle/Maria (USA/GER)
#7 Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) def. #10 Goerges/Ka.Pliskova (GER/CZE)
#9 Xu Yifan/Zheng Saisai (CHN/CHN) def. Krunic/Lucic-Baroni (SRB/CRO)
Gasparyan/Kuznetsova (RUS/RUS) def. #4 Babos/Shvedova (HUN/KAZ)
#5 Garcia/Mladenovic (FRA/FRA) vs. Friedsam/Siegemund (GER/GER)
Bertens/Larsson (NED/SWE) def. Williams/Williams (USA/USA)

#1 HC.Chan/J.Murray (TPE/GBR) def. Kudryavtseva/Bopanna (RUS/IND)
#6 Hlavackova/Roger-Vasselin (CZE/FRA) def. Voskoboeva/Martin (KAZ/FRA)
Hingis/Paes (SUI/IND) def. #4 Shvedova/Mergea (KAZ/ROU)
Klepac/Huey (SLO/PHI) vs. #5 Vesnina/Soares (RUS/BRA)
#8 Vandeweghe/B.Bryan (USA/USA) def. Chuang/Kontinen (TPE/FIN)
#3 Mladenovic/Herbert (FRA/FRA) def. Xu Yifan/Draganja (CHN/CRO) vs.
#7 YJ.Chan/Mirnyi (TPE/BLR) def. Jankovic/Zimonjic (SRB/SRB)
(WC) Cornet/Eysseric (FRA/FRA) vs. #2 Mirza/Dodig (IND/CRO)

Morning run with a view ??

A photo posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

2006 Wimbledon 2r (Grass) - A.RADWANSKA 7-5 (7-6(5)
2007 Stockholm SF (Hard) - A.RADWANSKA 6-4,6-3
2007 Wimbledon 1r (Grass) - A.RADWANSKA 6-2,6-1
2007 Warsaw 1r (Clay) - A.RADWANSKA 7-5,6-1
2007 Fed Cup (Clay) - A.RADWANSKA 6-2,6-3
2007 Paris QF (Hard) - PIRONKOVA 3-6,6-4,6-3
2008 Istanbul SF (Clay) - A.RADWANSKA 7-6(1),3-6,6-1
2009 Stuttgart 2r (Clay) - A.RADWANSKA 6-3,6-3
2011 Fed Cup (Hard) - A.RADWANSKA 6-2,6-4
2012 Eastbourne 1r (Grass) - PIRONKOVA 6-2,6-4
2013 Wimbledon 4r (Grass) - A.RADWANSKA 4-6,6-3,6-3
2013 Madrid 1r (Clay) - A.RADWANSKA 6-2,6-4
2015 Eastbourne QF (Grass) - A.RADWANSKA 6-2,6-2
2016 Roland Garros 4r (Clay) - ?

[at RG, since 32-seed draw]
2002 Clarisa Fernandez, Mary Pierce, Paola Suarez
2003 Mary Pierce
2004 - none
2005 Sesil Karatantcheva
2006 - none
2007 - none
2008 Kaia Kanepi, Carla Suarez-Navarro (qualifier)
2009 Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sharapova
2010 Yaroslava Shvedova
2011 - none
2012 Yaroslava Shvedova (qualifier)
2013 Svetlana Kuznetsova
2014 Garbine Muguruza
2015 Alison Van Uytvanck
2016 Shelby Rogers
[all slams since 2014]
14 AO - none
14 RG - Garbine Muguruza
14 WI - Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova
14 US - Belinda Bencic
14 US - Peng Shuai
15 AO - Madison Keys
15 RG - Alison Van Uytvanck
15 WI - CoCo Vandeweghe
15 US - Kristina Mladenovic, Roberta Vinci [RU]
16 AO - Johanna Konta, Zhang Shuai (qualifier)
16 RG - Shelby Rogers
NOTE: Unseeded Pironkova, Bertens and Putintseva to finish 4th Rd.

Belinda Bencic, SUI
Sorana Cirstea, ROU
Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
Anna-Lena Groenefeld, GER
Johanna Konta, GBR [AO '16]
Michaella Krajicek, NED
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
Kristina Mladenovic, FRA
Melanie Oudin, USA
Peng Shuai, CHN
Shelby Rogers, USA [RG '16]
Alexandra Stevenson, USA
Barbora Strycova, CZE
Tamarine Tanasugarn, THA
CoCo Vandeweghe, USA
Alison Van Uytvanck, BEL
Yanina Wickmayer, BEL
Zhang Shuai, CHN [AO '16]

TOP QUALIFIER: Viktoriya Golubic/SUI
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #11 Lucie Safarova/CZE
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q3: Lucie Hradecka/CZE d. Grace Min/USA 6-7(4)/6-1/11-9 (saved 4 MP)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 2nd Rd. - #25 Irina-Camelia Begu/ROU d. CoCo Vandeweghe/USA 6-7(4)/7-6(4)/10-8 (3:38)
FIRST VICTORY: #24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS (def. Sorribes Tormo/ESP
FIRST SEED OUT: #32 Jelena Ostapenko/LAT (lost 1st Rd. to Osaka/JPN)
UPSET QUEENS: The South Americans (players from three S.A. nations in 2nd Round)
REVELATION LADIES: The French (second most players in 2nd Rd.)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Italy (remaining Quartet members Vinci, Errani & Schiavone 0-3; retired Pennetta last not in MD in 2002)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: C.Buyukakcay/TUR, V.Cepede Royg/PAR, L.Chirico/USA and V.Golubic/SUI (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: M.Georges/FRA, V.Razzano/FRA, and T.Townsend/USA (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST PASTRY STANDING: A.Cornet, K.Mladenovic and P.Parmentier (all 3rd Rd.)
MADEMOISELLE/MADAM OPPORTUNITY: Nominees: S.Rogers, Y.Putintseva, T.Pironkova, K.Bertens, M.Keys
IT "Turk": Cagla Buyukakcay/TUR (first Turk w/ GS match win)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominees: T.Pironkova, S.Stosur, V.Williams
CRASH & BURN: #3 Angelique Kerber/GER (1st Rd./Bertens - fifth AO champ out RG 1st Rd. in Open era)
ZOMBIE QUEEN (TBA at QF): Nominees: Cornet (dramatics vs. T.Maria), Bertens (10-8 vs. Kasatkina, on 7th MP)
Légion de Lenglen HONOREE: Alize Lim/FRA ("shorteralls" outfit)

Artist: Paul Thurlby (2013)

All for Day 8. More tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

No one seems to have discussed it much, but that Marion dress JJ wore--I love it! I hope she continues to wear Marion's creations. Marion has such a great sense of color and whimsy.

That's the most I've ever read about Molla Mallory. Very interesting--thanks!

Sun May 29, 08:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Hoergren said...

Quite a few menthal breakdowns this year must be something right in what Yogi Berra is saying (replacing baseball with tennis:

Tennis is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical. Yogi Berra

Finally a good match Aga vs Pironkova and then it's interrupted by rain - they haven't been lucky with the weather and it was 16 centigrades when Aga played. There must be some sort of spell - nah forget it.

Sun May 29, 08:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...


Maybe if JJ had been around a little longer in singles it'd been more of a talking point. Well, that and the zebra stampede, I guess.

It's kind of like when I was in the habit of watching old movies from the 1930's/1940's. You watch one for a particular actor/actress, then run into another that sparks an interest and you end up catching up on them, too. (It's how I got to like Carole Lombard.) :)

Some of Mallory's quotes are fantastic.


There's still a whole week to go... the longer Aga survives, the stranger things could get. (Never forget Singapore...) ;)

Sun May 29, 10:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Hoergren said...

Maybe someone else is casting a spell over French Open. Weather today rain (just seen the radar) and cold 59F and lower after 18.00 - well you never know what you have to deal with. Has it ever occured that a match has been postponed to yet another day?

Mon May 30, 06:26:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Hoergren said...

ANd to Aga - she's playing well right now and to me better than Serena who's not getting up from her rusty playwise - luckily her opponents are weak. She could lose to Svitolina today and then it's open for a takeover of the #1 spot.

Mon May 30, 06:29:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

It's a tough call, but Nothing Sacred is my favorite :)

Mon May 30, 09:20:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Leif - I know Wimbledon has had occasions in the past where there was so much rain in the first week that they had several days washed out and had to play on the middle Sunday (most famously in 1997).

And, of course, the 70-68 5th set match with Isner & Mahut took place over three days.

Mon May 30, 12:25:00 PM EDT  

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