Thursday, June 02, 2016

RG.12- "Close," "Far" and Serena

Stop me if you've heard this story before.

In a big grand slam match, a somewhat sluggish Serena Williams fell behind on the scoreboard against a game, lower-ranked opponent. She dropped the 1st set, and came within a point of seeing that opponent serve for a straight sets victory. But Williams managed to win THE key game of the match, seized control of the action and never looked back.

Yep, that's what happened in Paris today. Intellectually, you still know that Serena could very well lose in Paris before this tournament is over... it's just, after moments like this, you have a difficult time truly envisioning it.

One day after Williams handled Elina Svitolina 1 & 1 in the quarterfinals with the Ukrainian's coach, Serena's former rival Justine Henin, in the stands, she faced off in today's quarterfinal with Yulia Putintseva -- an aggressive, fiery, demonstrative and diminutive Russian-born Kazakh with more power than one might expect -- with Martina Hingis, another former Serena rival, watching from the 21-year old's Player's Box. Hingis had worked with Putintseva in the past at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in Paris run by Williams' current coach. Oh, and Putintseva lists Henin as her tennis idol and often goes to YouTube to watch old videos for inspiration, too. So it almost felt as if this was something of an "all-hands-on-deck" situation, an attempt to end Serena's chances of becoming the first woman to defend the singles title in Paris since Henin won her third straight in 2007.

Why, you'd almost thing she was a reality tv star running for the Republican nomination for president or something. After all, the entire effort ultimately had about as much success as that failed, haphazard stop-the-madness endeavor did this spring.

On a cold and breezy day in Paris, though, the conditions seemed ripe for Putintseva, the challenger, to seize her career moment in the spotlight. Serena was slow out of the gate, and Putintseva's efforts to keep her from "spreading her wings" (usually by hitting shots into her body and out of her power stroke zone) were working. The longer the rallies went, the better the #60-ranked Kazakh's chances were of winning them. After a brief rain stoppage in game #3, Putintseva went up a break at 2-1 with a forehand winner. She carelessly gave away her break advantage three games later, beginning and ending game #6 with back-to-back errors as Williams got back on serve at 3-3. But then Serena let slip a 40/love lead on her own serve in game #11, as Putintseva broke for 6-5. With the set now on her racket, Putintsova whoop-whoop-whooped and clenched her fist-fist-fist as she burst into the changeover area with the power of the world behind her.

She'd played tight opening sets vs. Williams in the past, but Serena won them and then put away the victory a set later. This time, though, that didn't happen. Well, the first part didn't, at least, as Putintseva held to win a 7-5 set that lasted forty-four minutes.

Putintseva opened the 2nd set with a break, with Williams still struggling to get comfortable with her footwork as the Kazakh's body shots kept her off balance. But the challenger failed to back it up despite taking a 40/15 lead on serve a game later. Williams reached BP with a backhand return winner, then broke back with an overhead smash. Another break put Serena up 3-1, and she seemed to have righted her ship at 4-1.

But in game #7 Williams netted a running forehand and opened the door for mayhem by handing Putintseva a BP. She then double-faulted to cut her own lead to 4-3. The Kazakh battled back to deuce from love/40 down a game later, firing a forehand winner down the line to reach game point after using a drop shot to bring Williams to the net. She held for 4-4 when Serena fired a shot long to end a rally. In game #9, Putintseva held her first BP after Serena sent a ball wide. A point later, Williams charged the net, causing Putintseva to flinch and shoot a ball out. The challenger got a second BP chance after Williams sailed an easy forehand from her position in the middle of the court, getting once again to within one point of having the chance to serve out the match. But when a Williams shot skidded off the net cord, landing deep in the court and disrupting the timing of what would be a Putintseva error, the moment was suddenly gone.


Williams held for 5-4, and everything was different. A game later, at 15/15, Putintseva failed to put away a crosscourt shot into an open court behind Serena. The Kazakh saved one set point with a drop volley to end a long rally.

But then she double-faulted to hand Williams a 6-4 2nd set.

Williams got an early break for a 2-0 lead in the 3rd. Another Putintseva DF put her BP down at 3-0. Serena broke for 4-0. Putintseva avoided a bagel and got on the board, and then forced Williams to use four match points to finally put the match away. She did, of course, with an ace, to win 5-7/6-4/6-1.

It took a while to subdue the perpetually-in-your-face Putintseva, but Serena finally did. As we always anticipate that she will. The challenger knows she came close to authoring a different finish... but she also knows that it's never that simple when Williams is on the other side of the net.

There's the definition of "close," and a definition of "far." They're pretty much directly opposing meanings. But when Williams is involved, things tend to get a little bit fuzzy.

With Serena, that's just the way it is.

...the other quarterfinal match-up of the day was very close to being a Time Travel/Switcheroo Special. I mean, a year ago Timea Bacsinszky was pretty close in Paris to being where Kiki Bertens is now, treading new ground and going along with the wild ride, never wanting it to end. The Swiss had never been beyond the 3rd Round at a major (and that result had come just a few months earlier in Australia) when she staged a Roland Garros semifinal run that very nearly saw her upset Serena Williams to reach the final. Bertens has always had talent, and added to it an amazing Fed Cup history, but her regular tour career has often seen her put up somewhat puzzling results. The 24-year old finished outside the Top 100 last season as her ranking went one way while her confidence rose during what what turned out the start of a FC run that this season would include the Netherlands' shocking upset of Russia in Moscow and a resulting surprise appearance in the FC semifinals (the tie vs. France came down to the deciding doubles).

Something has "clicked" for Bertens this spring, though. Her FC exploits have finally fed into her WTA life. She won a title in Nurnberg -- her first on tour in four years -- just days before the start of play in Paris, and picked up a doubles crown along with it, and the entire experience has apparently removed the ability to lose from her DNA. At least for a while. Bertens opened up her RG run by upsetting #3 seed and AO champ Angelique Kerber, and had already followed up with additional wins over Camila Giorgi, #29 Daria Kasatkina (10-8 in the 3rd set, which saw the ailing Russian stage a huge comeback and twice serve for the match) and #15 seed and Rome finalist Madison Keys before meeting #8 Timea Bacsinszky today, one year after the Swiss had had her own slam breakthrough result.

One sort of expected Bacsinszky's experience might win out over her Dutch opponent today. After all, Bertens HAS to be getting tired by now, right? She came into today having won eleven straight singles matches, and had an additional seven-match doubles run intact until she and Johanna Larsson fell to Garcia/Mladenovic (the same duo that thwarted NED's FC final dreams) yesterday. But Bertens is proving that adrenaline can mean a great deal when it comes to jamming an entire career's worth of hopes into so small a window.

Today, every time Bacsinszky seemed to gain an advantage, Bertens would take it back, level the match, and begin again. Playing from behind the entire 1st set, Bertens was undaunted. She went down a break at 2-1, then got it back a game later. She lost serve again to fall behind 3-2, was content to bide her time, then broke to get back on serve again at 4-4. In game #9, Bacsinszky failed to convert two BP early, saw Bertens fail to put away three game points of her own, then finally broke the Dutch woman on her third try with a forehand winner. Naturally, Bertens broke back for 5-5 a few minutes later. In game #11, Bertens fought off a BP and held for 6-5 despite throwing in two DF in the game. She went up 40/love on Bacsinszky's serve in the next game, then broke her to take the set 7-5 on a forehand error by the Swiss.

Suddenly, Bertens was a set away from being the first Dutch semifinalist in Paris since 1971. She called for a trainer between sets to treat a left calf injury, as the signs of the expected attrition from her magnificent run finally showed themselves.

But it didn't matter.

Bertens surged to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd set. Bacsinszky wasn't through, though. Down 4-0, the Swiss saved four Bertens game points and broke her to get within a single break down. She held for 4-2, then had three BP chances in game #7 get things back on serve. But Bertens managed a hold for 5-2, then broke Bacsinszky one final time to put away a 7-5/6-2 victory.

A year ago, Bacsinszky nearly became the "Roberta Vinci" of Paris (as it turned out, Roberta Vinci herself became the "Roberta Vinci" of NYC a few months later) when she led a very sick Serena by a set and a break at 6-4/3-2 before Williams hacked something up in a towel during a changeover and then never lost another game, sweeping the final ten in arguably the greatest of her career box set of comeback wins on the grand slam stage. Bacsinszky followed up with a QF at Wimbledon, reached the Top 10 and has become one of the most charming personalities on tour while also backing up her previous success.

Could Bertens stage similar drama against Serena tomorrow? Well, all she needs to do is to look to Bacsinszky for inspiration. It won't be easy, but it CAN happen.

- Well, as it turns out, Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza will be playing for the title at Roland Garros, after all. Just in the mixed doubles... against each other.

With their quest for a fourth straight slam title thwarted by the young Czechs earlier in the tournament, both women have managed to still make the most out of a disappointing situation. Well, at least one of them will. Both sides of the world's #1 doubles duo won a pair of mixed doubles matches on Thursday, with Hingis/Paes dispatching AO champs Vesnina/Soares in the QF, then Hlavckova/Roger-Vasselin in the SF via a 10-7 TB; while Mirza/Dodig took out YJ.Chan/Mirnyi (in a 10-6 TB) and Mladenovic/Herbert, who staged a late rally before falling in yet another 3rd set TB (12-10) in the day's final match on Lenglen.

While one feat didn't happen for Hingis in Paris, she's got the chance for another. She's won four career MX slam titles, but has never won at Roland Garros. A win in the final and she'll become just the seventh woman to attain a Career Mixed Slam, but just the fifth to do it in the Open era. She'd join only Daniela Hantuchova as active woman's players to have secured the accomplishment (not counting Cara Black, whose designation is likely retired, but I don't believe it's "official" -- the vet from Zimbabwe was the last to complete the full career set, in 2010).

Cara Black
Margaret Court
Daniela Hantuchova
Doris Hart
Billie Jean King
Martina Navratilova
[won each slam in Open era]
Cara Black
Margaret Court
Daniela Hantuchova
Martina Navratilova
NOTE: The Open era began four months after King's final AO mixed title in 1968

For her part, Mirza (w/ three MX titles) needs only a Wimbledon title for a Career Mixed Slam of her own (mental note). Meanwhile, Hingis/Paes could pull off an ever more rare trick -- becoming just the fourth DUO to complete a Career MX Slam. They came within a missing RG title last year of a true Mixed Grand Slam, winning in Melbourne, London and New York. They lost in the 2nd Round in Paris.

Margaret Court/Ken Fletcher
Doris Hart/Frank Sedgeman
Margaret Court/Mary Riessen

The last male/female combo to do it came when Court/Riessen won the U.S. Open in 1975. It's the only time a pair has done it with titles all four slams being claimed in the Open era, so Hingis/Paes would be just the second.

- the juniors were playing up a storm (no pun intended) on Thurday, with some girls playing up to three matches in order to get the singles and doubles draws up to speed.

Italy's pair of survivors -- Federica Bilardo and Lucrezia Stefanini -- both failed to reach the QF. Bilardo lost her 3rd Round match to #12 Swiss Rebeka Masarova, while Stefanini won her 2nd Rounder over #14 Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, but fell in the next match to #4 Anastasia Potapova. Bilardo is still alive in the girls doubles QF with fellow Italian Tatiana Pieri.

Elsewhere, the second of the two remaining Hordettes -- #1 Olesya Pervushina -- defeated #13 Marketa Vondrousova, the former girls #1, in a 7-5 3rd set in a contest in which she saved MP. Pervushina has won twenty straight matches, and is 34-2 (24-2 in juniors, 10-0 pro events) on the season. #2 Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. defeated fellow Bannerette Michaela Gordon, sweeping the final four games of the 3rd set after falling behind 4-2. Qualifiers Ioana Minca (def. #9 Arconada) and Iga Swiatek (def. #10 Kenin), French wild card Emmanuelle Salas (def. #5 Yastremska) and unseeded Katarina Zavatska (def. #3 Day) also remain.

Russia is the only nation with multiple girls left in the final eight, with the United States, Switzerland, Romania (Minca), France, Poland (Swiatek) and Ukraine (Zavatska) all with one each. Three of the Top 4 seeds advanced, but only Masarova sports a seed amongst the other five.

- wheelchair action got underway today, and there was one very big result.

Quarterfinal singles saw reigning U.S. Open champ Jordanne Whiley upset #1-seeded Jiske Griffioen, the defending RG champ and winner of three of the last four majors.

Whiley fill face German Sabine Ellerbrock in the semis. 40-year old Ellerbrook, the senior player in the group, won the RG title in 2013. Whiley's best friend and doubles partner, #2 Yui Kamiji, defeated Aniek Van Koot, with Dutch Marjolein Buis up next. Kamiji won in Paris in 2014.

In the doubles, Kamiji & Whiley joined forces to knock out both their respective AO doubles partners, Buis (AO champ w/ Kamiji) and Lucy Shuker (w/ fellow Brit Whiley) to reach the final. Buis defeated doubles partner Shuker in singles today.

Kamiji has won seven of the past nine WC doubles slams, six of them with Whiley by her side. Griffioen & Van Koot, who've played in thirteen straight slam doubles finals, are still to play their semifinal vs. Ellerbrock & Charlotte Famin (Ellerbrook def. the Pasty in singles today).

...LIKE FROM DAY 12: Practice time, Cagla Buyukakcay style.

Court. ✓
Net. ✓
Racket. ✓
Balls. ✓
Wastebasket. ✓
Traffic cone. ✓

...LIKE FROM DAY 12: The art of simultaneously delighting some while angering others.

[ Expect to eventually see a CoCo Vandeweghe mention here under similar circumstances... only in the "Dislike" category, I suspect. Hey, it's not an unbiased science, I guess. ]

...LIKE FROM DAY 12: Having a good, soft team member for support...

...LIKE FROM DAY 12: Pulling a Timea... or going out with dignity, no excuses (or lawsuits) and appreciating the entire ride.

Of course, don't mess with the expert...

...LIKE FROM DAY 12: When truth is crazier than reality, and vice versa...

And consider: Pastry Kiki defeated Dutch Kiki in doubles and is still alive in the semifinals, while Mirza beat Pastry Kiki today in the mixed semis and will play for the title.

Every women's champ in Paris might need to be rewarded with a Kiki merit badge.

...LIKE FROM DAY 12: Lenglen Law #46

...and, finally, another Lenglen moment.

Suzanne Lenglen was known for her groundbreaking fashion style, both on and off the court. It was all from the inventive mind of French design Jean Patou. So, who exactly was he?

While Patou is forever linked with Lenglen and his work with athletic (or athletic-looking) female activewear in the 1920's and 1930's, within the industry, that might not even be what he's MOST known for.

Here's a rundown of his life and professional accomplishments from various sources, as well as a sampling of some of the looks he created for Lenglen, whose worldwide presence helped to initially make a name for him in fashion circles...

(1)- from
(2)- from
(3)- from Encyclopedia of Fashion
(4)- from
(5)- from Whistling Wood International School of Fashion & Design

“Certain dressmakers desire to pass for an artist.
I have one ambition: that is to have good taste.”
- Jean Patou

JEAN PATOU (1880-1936)

" Love him for: being the dignified designer, for inaugurating the monogram and for creating the perfumes of stars. " (2)

" Jean Patou is a lesser known brand today than Chanel, but in the 1920s they both ruled. He is credited with creating the ‘designer tie’ for men and pioneered the boyish gaeconne look for women. He was praised for his ultramodern and sporty style. When Suzanne Lenglen, the French tennis star wore Patou’s long white sleeveless cardigan and a fly-away white pleated skirt for her game it became sensational news. He left his mark when he created the most expensive fragrance ‘Joy’ that is still loved by people. He also created the first suntan lotion. Jean Patou had an extravagant way of living yet his designs were simple, youthfully classic and most importantly wearable. " (5)


" Fashion history records that Jean Patou is best known for Joy, the world's most expensive perfume, and for his famous cubist sweaters. His contributions to fashion were, however, much more substantial and far reaching. His genius was his ability to interpret the times in which he lived and translate the ideals of that era into fashion. In Paris during the 1920s, couture was evolving from serving a few wealthy clients into a huge autonomous industry and Patou recognized couture's tremendous potential, both in France and in the United States. Patou helped expand the industry by introducing sportswear, expanding his business into the American market, emphasizing accessories and, like Paul Poiret, offering his customers a signature perfume.

The 1920s ideal woman was youthful, physically fit, and healthy looking. The truly athletic woman was realized in Suzanne Lenglen, the 1921 Wimbledon tennis star, who wore Patou clothes both on and off the court. The benefits gained by the sports stars and other celebrities publicizing Patou's designs were many. Patou also provided a complete wardrobe for American female aviator, Ruth Elder, as well as many well-known stage stars. Patou customers, most of whom did not play sports, sought to emulate this new look. Patou recognized the need for clothes for the sports participant, the spectator, and for those wishing to appear athletic, both in the U.S. and in Europe. " (3)



" He used jersey, which was originally used for menswear, to design silhouettes that were easier to move in for the more modern and active woman that emerged in the 20’s. Designing for tennis player, Suzanne Lenglen, he set a new scandalous trend, calf-length skirts and a sleeveless cardigan. This new silhouette created a lot of press for Patou including a spread in Vogue featuring Lenglen. " (4)

VOGUE spread (December 1926)
"Suzanne Lenglen Shows How to Dress for Tennis -
Her Jean Patou sports costumes are correct and chic on the court and after the game"

" Patou was born in Normandy, France in 1880. Patou's family's business was tanning and furs.[1] Patou worked with his uncle in Normandy, then moved to Paris in 1910, intent on becoming a couturier. " (1)

" Patou was born and raised in a genteel, privileged background. Arguably, this upbringing gave him an intuitive feel for elegance and societal grace. Elegance for him was understated, subtle. His love and focus on cut, detail and fabric made him an instant favorite amongst the fashionably discerning in Paris.

Patou, notably, had a head for business. " (2)

" In 1912, he opened a small dressmaking salon called "Maison Parry". His entire 1914 collection was purchased by a single American buyer.Patou's work was interrupted by World War I. He was mobilised in August 1914, shortly after the German invasion of Belgium. Patou served as a Captain in the Zouaves. Reopening his couture house in 1919, he became known for eradicating the flapper look by lengthening the skirt and designing sportswear for women and is considered the inventor of the knitted swimwear and the tennis skirt. He, notably, designed the then-daring sleeveless and knee-length cut tennis wear for Suzanne Lenglen. He also was the first designer to popularize the cardigan and moved fashion towards the natural and comfortable.


Patou is credited with inventing the "designer tie" in the 1920s when men's ties, made in the same fabric as the women's dress collection, were displayed in department stores next to Patou's perfume counter. The designer tie style is still prominent amongst contemporary fashion designers, such as Louis Feraud, Timothy Everest, Duchamp and Paul Smith and Patrick McMurray. " (1)

" After establishing robust presence in Paris, he set foot in America and took the style world by storm. As with the other prolific designers if his time, Patou had an inimitable winning charm about him. On one of his New York trips, he effortlessly convinced 6 New York models to return to Paris with him to be his live mannequins!

He was one of the first designers to introduce coveted perfumes in his collection and importantly, the avant garde unisex perfume. " (2)

" In 1925 Patou launched his perfume business with three fragrances created by Henri Alméras. In 1928, Jean Patou created "Huile de Chaldée", the first sun tan lotion.

In the 1930's, Patou's clothes were marketed mostly to rich American women. When the stock market crashed, however, so did the market for luxury fashion. The House of Patou survived through its perfumes, which remain well known today.

The best known of Patou's perfumes is "Joy," a heavy floral scent, based on the most precious rose and jasmine, that remained the costliest perfume in the world, until the House of Patou introduced "1000" (a heavy, earthy floral perfume, based on a rare osmanthus) in 1972. Before Joy, the House of Patou released many other perfumes, many which were to celebrate particular events. For example, Normandie (an oriental forerunner to perfumes such as Yves Saint Laurent's Opium) celebrated the French ocean liner of the same name, and Vacances (a mixture of green and lilac notes) celebrated the first French paid national holidays. Other Patou perfumes of the same time were Amour Amour (the forerunner of Joy, using the same rose notes, but without the jasmine), Adieu Sagesse, Que Sais-Je? (these three were released at the same time; Patou's idea was that the light floral Amour Amour was suitable for blondes; the tart, spicy Adieu Sagesse for redheads, and the heavy floral Que Sais-Je? for brunettes), L'Heure Attendue (a wonderful, unique oriental perfume), Divine Folie (a floral vanilla), Câline (a wonderful chypre perfume, similar to the much later Diorling by Christian Dior), Moment Suprême (a perfume based on lavender), Colony (which had a strong pineapple note), Chaldée (Patou's Huile de Chaldée sun oil had become so popular, many customers were buying it purely for its smell, therefore, Chaldée the perfume (a dry musk) was produced), Le Sien (one of the first perfumes for men and women), and Cocktail (literally a floral cocktail). All these, with the exception of Le Sien, were re-released during the 1980s (under the name Ma Collection), and were available until recently, all in a 50ml Eau de Toilette Spray, 75ml Eau de Toilette bottle, and 30ml pure perfume bottle, each with a unique art deco box.

A Jean Patou silk scarf, printed in a pattern complementing that of the box was included with the pure perfume. Joy remains the world's second best-selling scent (the first is Chanel No. 5), created by Henri Alméras for Patou at the height of the Great Depression (1935) for Patou's former clients who could no longer afford his haute couture clothing line.

Patou died prematurely in 1936. His sister Madeleine and her husband Raymond Barbas continued the House of Patou.

Designers for the House of Patou have included Marc Bohan (1954–56), Karl Lagerfeld (1960–63) and Jean Paul Gaultier (1971–73). Christian Lacroix joined the label in 1981. The last fashion collection produced by the House of Patou label was in 1987 when the haute couture business closed following Lacroix's departure to open his own house.

After the closure of the haute couture business the company has continued to produce fragrances under the Jean Patou brand. Patou also produced fragrances for Lacoste, when Patou acquired the license in the 1960s, and Yohji Yamamoto in the 1990s.

Patou remained a family-owned business until September 2001 when it was bought by P&G Prestige Beaute a division of Procter & Gamble, which also market perfumes for Jean Kerléo and Karl Lagerfeld. In 2011 Patou was acquired by Designer Parfums Ltd., a UK-based firm.

Of the 35 fragrances launched by the company in its 87 year history, only five remain in production, including "Joy" (1936).

"Joy" was voted "Scent of the Century" by the public at the Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards in 2000, beating its rival "Chanel No. 5". " (1)


" Compared with the other greats of his time, he didn’t live as long as Chanel did, for example. This perhaps left his story less often told in modern ages. But in the end, Patou’s talent to celebrate the natural woman’s eloquent form was unparalleled. " (2)

So now you (and I) know.

All right, there's one more part in this series remaining. Whew!

Tomorrow: Lenglen, the final years.

#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. Kiki Bertens/NED
#4 Garbine Muguruza/ESP vs. #21 Samantha Stosur/AUS

Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) vs. #7 Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS)
Gasparyan/Kuznetsova (RUS/RUS) vs. #5 Garcia/Mladenovic (FRA/FRA)

Hingis/Paes (SUI/IND) vs. #2 Mirza/Dodig (IND/CRO)

#1 Olesya Pervushina/RUS vs. (Q) Ioana Minca/ROU
Katarina Zavatska/UKR vs. #12 Rebeka Masarova/SUI
(Q) Iga Swiatek/POL vs. #4 Anastasia Potapova/RUS
(WC) Emmanuelle Salas/FRA vs. #2 Amanda Anisimova/USA

#1 Pervushina/Potapova (RUS/RUS) vs. x/x
Tatiana Pieri/Lucrezia Stefanini (ITA/ITA) vs. Bilardo/Swiatek (ITA/POL)
Aikawa/Albon (JPN/SUI) vs. Fourlis/Thandi (AUS/IND)
Miyamoto/Muramatsu (JPN/JPN) vs. Arias Manjon/Danilovic (ESP/SRB)

Jordanne Whiley/GBR vs. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER
Marjolein Buis/NED vs. #2 Yui Kamiji/JPN

#1 Jiske Griff#1oen/Aniek Van Koot (NED/NED) vs. Sabine Ellerbrock/Charlotte Famin (GER/FRA)
#2 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (JPN/GBR) def. Marjolin Buis/Lucy Shuker (NED/GBR)


A photo posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

Unseeded - 2002 Clarisa Fernandez, ARG
Unseeded - 2003 Nadia Petrova, RUS
Unseeded - 2016 Kiki Bertens, NED
#30 2009 Samantha Stosur, AUS
#28 2014 Andrea Petkovic, GER
#23 2015 Timea Bacsinszky, SUI
#21 2016 Samantha Stosur, AUS
#21 2005 Mary Pierce, FRA (RU)
#21 2012 Sara Errani, ITA (RU)
#20 2009 Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
#18 2014 Genie Bouchard, CAN
#17 2010 Francesca Schiavone, ITA (W)
#16 2005 Elena Likhovtseva, RUS
#16 2006 Nicole Vaidisova, CZE

2006 Nicole Vaidisova, CZE
2007 Justine Henin, BEL *
2008 Ana Ivanovic, SRB *
2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS *
2010 Samantha Stosur, AUS
2011 Li Na, CHN *
2012 Samantha Stosur, AUS
2013 Serena Williams, USA *
2014 Genie Bouchard, CAN
2015 Lucie Safarova, CZE
2016 Serena Williams, USA
* - won title

*2016 WTA SF*
5...Angelique Kerber (3-2)
5...Aga Radwanska (1-4)
4...Dominika Cibulkova (3-1)
3...Victoria Azarenka (3-0)
3...Sloane Stephens (3-0)
3...Svetlana Kuznetsova (2-0+L)
3...KIKI BERTENS (1-1)
3...Caroline Garcia (1-2)

*CAREER SLAM SF - active*
20...Maria Sharapova (10-10)
19...Venus Williams (14-5)
7...Victoria Azarenka (4-3)
6...Jelena Jankovic (1-5)
5...Svetlana Kuznetsova (4-1)
5...Ana Ivanovic (3-2)
5...Petra Kvitova (2-3)
5...Caroline Wozniacki (2-3)
5...Aga Radwanska (1-4)

*SLAM SF - since 2010*
10 - Maria Sharapova (6-4)
7 - Victoria Azarenka (4-3)
6 - Li Na (4-2) - ret.
5 - Petra Kvitova (2-3)
5 - Aga Radwanska (1-4)
4 - Caroline Wozniacki (1-3)

Timea Bacsinszky, SUI
Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
Madison Keys, USA
Johanna Konta, GBR [AO '16]
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO
Peng Shuai, CHN
Andrea Petkovic, GER
Tsvetana Pironkova, BUL
Patty Schnyder, SUI
Sloane Stephens, USA
Roberta Vinci, ITA
Yanina Wickmayer, BEL

TOP QUALIFIER: Viktoriya Golubic/SUI
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #11 Lucie Safarova/CZE
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #1 Serena Williams/USA
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)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3rd Rd. - Kiki Bertens/NED def. #29 Daria Kasatkina/RUS 6-2/3-6/10-8 (Bertens 5-2 3rd, for match and 5 MP in game; Kasatkina twice for match; Bertens on 7th MP)
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: Kiki Bertens/NED and Shelby Rogers/USA (two of four unseeded quarterfinalists, most at RG since 1988)
IT "Turk": Cagla Buyukakcay/TUR (first Turk w/ GS match win)
COMEBACK PLAYER: Nominees: Makarova/Vesnina, S.Stosur
CRASH & BURN: #3 Angelique Kerber/GER (1st Rd./Bertens - fifth AO champ out RG 1st Rd. in Open era)
ZOMBIE QUEEN: Tsvetana Pironkova/BUL (4th Rd. vs. Radwanska, down 6-2/3-0 and rain suspension, no play next day, then ten straight games on rainy 3rd in 2-6/6-3/6-3 win; 3-11 vs. A-Rad)
DOUBLES STAR: Nomineess: Krejcikova/Siniakova, Garcia/Mladenovic, M.Hingis/SUI
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM VETERAN CUP (KDK CUP): Nominees: S.Stosur, S.Kuznetsova
Légion de Lenglen HONOREE: Alize Lim/FRA ("shorteralls" outfit)
Coupe LA PETIT TAUREAU: Yulia Putintseva/KAZ

Artist: Paul Thurlby (2013)

All for Day 12. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

Putinseva was impressive. Only one slight dip early in the third set.

Just one minor thing on the final four. There has been loads of talk about Serena's overall record the last couple of years, but I will break it down on clay from 2014-2016 with this group.

Bertens 50-16
Stosur 42-15
Williams 31-6
Muguruza 26-11

Some clarification. Bertens is the only one of the 4 to have played ITF or WTA-Q in this bunch 33-9 WTA/17-7 ITF. Stosur's 8-5 in 2014 looks odd initally, then realize that the 5 losses were to Bacsinszky, Safarova, Li & Sharapova twice. And Williams? She actually lost her first clay court match that year to Cepelova.

Thu Jun 02, 07:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Kerber at AO and Muguruza at French both dropped a set in the first round and went on to play Serena for the title.

Muguruza trying to become first since Li to have her first clay court title be a major. Ironic that she reached the Wimbledon final(also against Serena), as that would have been her first grass court title too.

Fri Jun 03, 01:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diane said...

Wozniacki stopped wearing high heels because RM is shorter than she is?! What is wrong with young women.?? (obvious what's wrong with McIlroy).

Fri Jun 03, 06:27:00 PM EDT  

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