Saturday, June 04, 2016

The World According to Garbi

On the final Saturday of play in Paris, for Garbine Muguruza it wasn't too cold. It wasn't too hot, either. Actually, it was just right for a new Roland Garros champion.

Meanwhile, for Serena Williams, it was a catch-22.

While world #1 Williams was once again seeking career slam title #22, as well as to join Steffi Graf as the only players to win all of the four majors at least four times each, her 22-year old Spanish opponent was seeking some history of her own. It'd been eighteen years since a woman from Spain (Arantxa Sanchez '98 RG) won a major title, and sixteen since another (Conchita Martinez '00) played for such an honor in Paris. Additionally, with a victory, Venezualan-born Muguruza would become the first women's slam champion born in South America since 1990 (Gabriela Sabatini '90 U.S.).

For Serena, though, a win would be a case of gilding an already-legendary career with yet another accomplishment, one of many on her racket in 2016 one season after she fell short in her attempt for a rare Grand Slam. She's still soon set to become the third player to hold the #1 ranking for a combined 300 weeks, and in a few months could break Graf's mark of 186 straight weeks in the top spot. At Wimbledon, she is expected to become the second woman with 300 career slam match wins, and Martina Navratilova's record of 306 could be hers in New York.

But the task at hand didn't involve records and career accomplishments, it was about besting Muguruza. And unlike most of the players Williams faces, that's not necessarily a case of if-Serena-is-on-she'll-win. The big game of the Spaniard means she's capable of challenging Williams without the defending champ needing to have an "off" day for her to have an opportunity to notch a victory. Their previous four meetings (Williams 3-1) had all come in slams, speaking to the high quality, big stage aspects of a match-up that is precisely the sort of thing that The Most Interesting Tour in the World needs and is capable of highlighting: an anticipated, important match with multi-generational aspects (12 years separate the two, almost big enough a gap to fit in a junior slam contender) and a true sense of uncertainty about how things might play out. Throughout her career as well as in 2016, Muguruza has at times seemed to flatline during matches for brief periods, often surrounded or interrupted by stretches of equally sterling play and/or testy, petulant on-court encounters with coach Sam Sumyk, but she has still risen to the occasion in big circumstances before, from Fed Cup to the WTA Finals, from her high-qualify first-time meeting with Vika Azarenka earlier this year to her upset of Williams herself in Paris two years ago.

Eleven months after Serena defeated her in the Wimbledon final, Muguruza got her second chance at Williams on a major final stage that has traditionally been a nondiscriminating cradle of maiden slam winners, crowning first-time slam champs of the premature (Ivanovic), moment-grabbing (Majoli, Myskina) and late-arriving (Schiavone, Li) variety with regularity over the years but, also, in true Goldilocks fashion, also showing a willingness to reward a truly special newcomer (Evert, Graf, Sanchez, Seles, Henin) at a time that was "just right," providing her with the taste of success that would be a prelude to so much more in a Hall of Fame career. Going into today, players had had their initial slam title taste in Paris twice since 2010, and five times in the last thirteen years, as well as in nearly a third of the women's finals since 2000.

In other words, while Williams was still the "favorite," unlike most times when Serena fails to be the last woman standing, anyone who was "shocked" or "stunned" by what happened on Court Chatrier on Sunday really hasn't been paying very close attention.

After struggling in the cold, damp conditions to find her game in the early stages of action the last two days, Williams was immediately on point in the final. She fired an ace to go up 40/love in game #1 and held at love with a service winner. Two games later, she went up 40/love again before Muguruza hit her first winner on the #1 seed's serve, a backhand that was straight and powerful but simply served to prevent her from being totally shut out in Serena's first two service games. Williams held for 2-1, having won eight of nine service points, as well as all six points on her 1st serves, and firing two aces.

In game #4, Muguruza got her first taste of Serena's slam game on her own serve. A crosscourt forehand winner gave Williams a break point, which the Spaniard saved with a forehand that ended a long groundstroke battle. Williams got a second BP after reaching a drop shot then following up with a forehand volley as she laterally moved along behind the net. Muguruza saved it with an ace. Finally, after ten minutes, two BP and three game points, the 22-year old held for 2-2. First test passed.

One game later, Williams' back-to-back-to back backhand errors handed Muguruza another opportunity. Serena saved two BP, but then double-faulted on the third as Muguruza took at break lead at 3-2. She held her advantage in the next game, despite two DF of her own, sealing the win with a forehand down the line for a 4-2 lead. But Williams got back on serve for 4-4 when the Spaniard sailed a backhand beyond the baseline. With both players firing away on the ground, Muguruza held for 5-5, then took a love/30 lead on Williams' serve when Serena's, well, quite simply, awful pop fly drop shot attempt (said NBC's Ted Robinson, "One thing you don't want to measure with a drop shot is hang time.") put the Spaniard up love/30. She reached BP with a crosscourt shot and backhand down the line combination. A huge crosscourt forehand got the break for 6-5, as Williams (nursing that abductor injury) seemed to slightly pull up at the end of the point.

Serving for the set, Muguruza double-faulted and fell behind 15/40, but got to deuce with a wild Williams return shot and an ace. Garbi's good defense kept the next rally alive on multiple occasions, and the extension of the point eventually led to a Serena error that gave Muguruza a set point. Williams came in to the net to put away a swing volley on SP #1 and won a slugging contest (there was no "rope-a-dope" action going on here) on SP #2, but the Spaniard's big backhand winner up the line secured the 7-5 set victory. Another test passed.

Fresh off her 1st set triumph, Muguruza opened the 2nd with a break of Williams' serve. It would be the first of three consecutive breaks of serve to begin the set. Finally, in game #4, Muguruza held for a 3-1 lead. With both woman firing away on both wings, Williams held with a down the line passing shot for 3-2, then an ace for 4-3. But Muguruza was winning the biggest points, having converted four of six BP chances to this point in the match, while Williams was just two-of-eight. The Spaniard, sometimes hurting herself with DF (she had nine in the match), used her aggression and pounding groundstrokes to overcome her brief lapses.

Constantly throwing her shoulder into the virtual wall of Williams' slam aura, the Spaniard could hear the barely-perceptable cracking sound that would soon allow her to break through. Muguruza aced Williams to hold for 5-3, then reached double match point on Serena's serve a game later with a big return that forced an unforced backhand error.

But this is Serena Williams. THE Serena Williams. It wasn't going to be THAT easy.

Williams saved MP #1 when Muguruza netted a backhand, and #2 with a big serve. A third was brushed aside with a crosscourt forehand winner, and a fourth when a Muguruza return went wide. On her third game point, Serena held for 5-4 when the Spaniard missed on a forehand.

Still, Muguruza got the chance to serve out the match, the title, and the first moment of the rest of her life. A big forehand put her up 30/love. After a defensive volley from Muguruza, Williams pushed her reply outside the line. MP #5 had arrived, with the Spaniard up 40/love and her first slam title on her racket. Then, in an unexpected turn in a match defined by stinging groundstrokes, with Serena near the net, Muguruza lobbed a ball over her head. Williams gave chase. After initially looking as if it would go long, the ball suddenly dropped from the sky and landed in, causing even Williams to laugh at her own plight. Muguruza was just too good today. Even SHE couldn't beat her.

Welcome to the latest installment of The Most Interesting Tour in the World.

Serena applauded the shot then, after the (at first) disbelieving young Spaniard picked herself up off the terre battue, gave her a warm congratulatory hug.

Muguruza had won 7-5/6-4. All tests passed. Breakthrough complete.

And, from this moment forward, nothing is ever going to be quite the same. For Muguruza... and maybe others, as well?

With the rare win over Serena in a slam singles final (the sixth in Williams' twenty-seven final appearances, but the second straight for the first time in her career), Muguruza concluded this Roland Garros on a fourteen-set winning streak, having been unwilling to surrender any since dropping her opening set of play on Day 2. At the time, I wondered what her ability to steady a potentially shaky ship in that first match might mean for her at this Roland Garros:

"Meanwhile, Muguruza can ponder whether this is the sort of match that can send her off on a big run at this Roland Garros, where her draw would seem to give her a brilliant chance at the QF, SF or even better result. She's 8-3 on clay this spring, and 9-2 at Roland Garros the last three years. Did the perception of her 2016 season change based on her survival in this match? Well, no... but it may have finally started the process. And that's not an unimportant thing.

It's after today that the baguettes get made."

Needless to day, the perception HAS been changed now. And Garbi has a pantry full of baguettes-for-life.

With now three straight first-time slam champs on tour since Roberta Vinci upset Williams in the U.S. Open semis last summer, the octopus-like tentacles of repercussion expanding out from the Italian's accomplishment -- thwarting Serena with perhaps her greatest career accomplishment within reach -- only continue to grow even longer. Maybe her aura of invincibility WAS punctured forever on that late afternoon, opening the door for whatever shape the WTA lanscape will take once she removes herself from it to stretch its legs and try on as many faces as possible.

Flavia Pennetta won in New York. Angelique Kerber in Melbourne. Muguruza in Paris. What of London now?

Pennetta retired, but Kerber should be a consistent slam threat for another 3-4 years. Meanwhile, Azarenka, while she's once again dealing with injuries, has shown signs of a true revival this season. But with the play of Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep only serving to raise old and new questions about their chances to rise above it all, the likes of Aga Radwanska seemingly needing a "perfect scenario" for a slam title run, Maria Sharapova's career still dangling on a string in front of the Powers That Be, and an entirely new NextGen batch of future stars (Kasatkina & the rest) still largely untested on the big slam stage, might Muguruza stand in the best position for success?

So much would seem to be spread out before her. As was the case after Kerber defeated Williams in Australia, the only player now ranked above Muguruza is Serena. Everything is possible. Will she sort it out and seize an even bigger piece of the action, and, if so, will that moment only come after the shock of her "new life" settles on her brain?

Yeah, we've been here before, haven't we? And, as usual, what happens next would appear to be all on the shoulders of one individual.

No, not Serena. Well, actually, yeah -- she'll have a say... a big one. But, really, as she showed today, Muguruza could have it all on her racket. If she wants it.

If she does, large swaths of Route WTA could soon be accompanied by signs that read, "The World According to Garbi."

...meanwhile, in the junior singles semifinals, with the possibility of an all-Russian final occurring in Paris for the first time ever, #2-seeded Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. and #12-seeded Swiss Rebeka Masarova took out both Hordettes today by almost identical scorelines. Masarova defeated #1 seed Olesya Pervushina 7-6(5)/6-1, while Ansimova took down #4 Anastasia Potapova 7-6(6)/6-1.

Anisimova is the first U.S. girl to reach the final in Paris since Ashley Harkleroad in 2002. The last Bannerette to win was Jennifer Capriati in 1989. Belinda Bencic (2013) was the most recent Swiss girl to claim the title, with Martina Hingis also winning back-to-back junior crowns in 1993-94. Of course, with her Mixed win this year at RG, the women's singles title is the only major slam title (WS-WD-MX at all four of the slams) that Hingis is missing in her (already) Hall of Fame career. She reached the final in 1997 and 1999, losing, respectively, to Iva Majoli and Steffi Graf.

In the girls doubles semis, top-seeded Russians Pervushina & Potapova rebounded with a win over the all-Italian duo of Tatiana Pieri & Lucrezia Stefani. They'll face Paula Aria Manjon (ESP) and Olga Danilovic (SRB) tomorrow.

- while Kiki Bertens ultimately came up short in the women's singles semisfinals, her Dutch countrywoman walked off with an unexpected singles title in wheelchair singles on Saturday. 28-year old Marjolein Buis claimed her maiden singles slam with a 6-3/6-4 victory over Germany's Sabine Ellerbrock, 40, on Day 14.

After Buis' countrywoman Esther Vergeer won twenty-one of the twenty-three slam singles competitions played from 2002-12, with the only two times she didn't win being tournaments which Vergeer missed. Buis is now the sixth different woman to win the eleven WC singles competitions held since the future Hall of Famer retired after the 2012 season. This is the second '16 major title for Buis, who also won the Australian Open doubles with Yui Kamiji in January.

3 - Jiske Griffioen, NED
2 - Yui Kamiji, JPN
2 - Aniek Van Koot, NED
2 - Sabine Ellerbrock, GER
1 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR

In the WC doubles, #2-seeds Yui Kamiji & Jordanne Whiley hopped back onto the slam title bus after playing with different partner in Melbourne. The pair won their seventh major title as a duo with a 6-3/4-6 (10-6) win over top-seeded Jiske Griffioen & Aniek Van Koot. Kamiji, now half-way to a WC Doubles Grand Slam (which she won w/ Whiley in 2014) this year, has won eight of the last ten major doubles titles.

- it's grass court season in Europe, so it's Alison Riske time. The Bannerette's career really started to take off a few years ago when some good results on grass, and it's still where she finds her best game. She just won the $50K challenger in Eastbourne, notching wins over qualifer Ashleigh Barty (the Aussie reeled off six overall wins in the first singles action of her comeback) in the semis, and then Brit Tara Moore in a 4-6/7-6(5)/6-3 final.

- in the WTA 125 Series event in Bol, #94 Polona Hercog and #186 Mandy Minella advanced to the final.

...SO-THERE'S-THAT FROM DAY 14: I guess.

Not sure if Schmiedy can see it through the fog, though.

...LIKE FROM DAY 14: Just checking.

...REALIZATION ON DAY 14: Suzanne Lenglen gets to make one last appearance in this space during this Roland Garros, after all...

Apparently, those impromptu/accidental Lenglen poses the last two weeks DID mean something...

La Divine... still making history.

...LIKE FROM DAY 14: Amelie is finally honored at Roland Garros... and pulls a "gotcha!"

...UNDERSTANDING NOD/DISLIKE FROM DAY 14: While I understand the criticism of Marion Bartoli for reporting on television the other day about Serena Williams' treatment for her abductor injury, information gathered only because the Frenchwoman had players-level access in the lockerroom due to her participating in the Legends event, it'd be easier to side with Mary Carillo's on-air "pick a lane" rant during NBC's women's final coverage if, you know, she ever uttered a peep to any of her commentating friends (i.e. Lindsay Davenport, Mary Joe Fernandez and others) about "picking a lane" -- or even hinted at any conflict on interest -- when it came to coaching and captaining while still maintaining their roles as television commentators.

While it's not quite the same issue, since Davenport (ex-Keys coach) and others would be biting the hand that feeds them if they revealed information obtained through their increased access under coaching/captaincy situations, which Bartoli was not, it still speaks to the overall "incestuous" nature of television commentating crews and their additional employment in other areas of the sport. This has been a potential issue for a while, but never once have people like Carillo uttered a word about it or raised an eyebrow regarding the incessant blurring of the lines between the players and those who cover them. Largely, I suspect, because of her personal friendship with so many of the former players who would be subject to such scrutiny.

Which, I guess, sort of makes my point all over again.

Case in point again...

Come on, now... really? No one thought this just shouldn't be happening? No one? Not even Serena?

...EXPECTED DISLIKE FROM DAY 14: While no one should be "shocked" or "stunned" by Muguruza's victory, naturally, the WTA's site headline for the final includes the word "shocks," and the first paragraph uses "stun."

...AT LEAST I KNEW SOMETHING BACK IN JANUARY FROM DAY 14: I may not be doing well (at all) when it comes to picking title winners this season (another both-finalists-correct-but-got-the-winner-wrong final in Paris, it seems), but my preseason picks aren't doing too badly.

Some personally-contorting-pat-on-my-own-back 2016 predictions that HAVE worked out:

TOP NEWCOMERS: Louisa Chirico, Naomi Osaka, Jelena Ostapenko
MOST IMPROVED: Timea Babos, Danka Kovinic, Kristyna Pliskova
SURPRISE: Naomi Broady
COMEBACK: Victoria Azarenka, Dominika Cibulkova
ITF PLAYER TO WATCH: Gabriela Pantuckova
JUNIORS TO WATCH: Sonya Kenin, Olesya Pervushina, Elena Rybakina


1) Garbine Muguruza will win her first slam title (clears throat)
2) Angelique Kerber will reach her first slam final (she did even better)
3) Martina Hingis will reach singles co-#1 (easy pick)
4) Martina Hingis will complete her Career Mixed Slam (though I'd picked her for a "Golden Slam," winning 4+Rio w/ RF)
5) Victoria Azarenka will def. Serena Williams in a singles final (yep)
6) The junior girls #1 will be North American (if Bannerette Anisimova wins the title, I'd think she'd be the new #1)
7) Caroline Wozniacki will fall out of Top 20 (she's going even worse, and that pick of her returning to the Top 10 looks dicey)

(of course, I'm skipping over the ones that aren't working out so far. Come on, Karolina Pliskova... you've still got four singles titles in you right? Right? Karolina? Yeah... anyway, I'll have the final status report on EVERYTHING -- for good or bad -- at the end of the season, as usual.)

...JUST NOTIN' ON DAY 14: With Serena's loss, LPT (in 2007) is still the only woman to defend a Roland Garros singles title in the last twenty years. She did it twice, actually.

...LIKE FROM DAY 14: Martina -- the Original -- STILL winning titles.

As for Davenport... whatever. I can take it or leave it.

I'll go with that.

...THIS ON DAY 14: Umm, all right...

...LIKE ON DAY 14: Maria will never release a musical CD, but she's got a whole slew of possible album covers on file.

Down Town

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on


But, maybe it's just me, but they are at least a little bit catchy. Maybe it's just me (or the very idea of the disappearing second child... and that they went there). ;)

For the record, JBJ almost looks like two different people at the end of the ads (better in the second one).

...and, finally, we've had way too many of these sort of moments in 2016. And the year is still only half-way finished.

You were, You are and You will the Greatest FOREVER!! R.I.P fighter??

A photo posted by Barbora Strycova?? (@barborastrycova) on

#4 Garbine Muguruza/ESP def. #1 Serena Williams/USA 7-5/6-4

#7 Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) vs. #5 Garcia/Mladenovic (FRA/FRA)

Hingis/Paes (SUI/IND) def. #2 Mirza/Dodig (IND/CRO) 4-6/6-4 [10-8]

#12 Rebeka Masarova/SUI vs. #2 Amanda Anisimova/USA

#1 Pervushina/Potapova (RUS/RUS) vs. Manjon/Danilovic (ESP/SRB)

Marjolein Buis/NED def. Sabine Ellerbrock/GER 6-3/6-4

#2 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (JPN/GBR) def. #1 Jiske Griff#1oen/Aniek Van Koot (NED/NED) 6-3/4-6 [10-6]

1971 Evonne Goolagong, AUS
1974 Chris Evert, USA
1976 Sue Barker, GBR
1977 Mima Jausovec, SLO
1978 Virginia Ruzici, ROU
1987 Steffi Graf, GER
1989 Arantxa Sanchez, ESP
1990 Monica Seles, YUG
1997 Iva Majoli, CRO
2003 Justine Henin, BEL
2004 Anastasia Myskina, RUS
2008 Ana Ivanovic, SRB
2010 Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2011 Li Na, CHN
2016 Garbine Muguruza, ESP

12...Arantxa Sanchez (4-8)
3...Conchita Martinez (1-2)

14...Venus Williams (7-7)
10...Maria Sharapova (5-5)
4...Victoria Azarenka (2-2)
4...Svetlana Kuznetsova (2-2)
3...Ana Ivanovic (1-2)
2...Petra Kvitova (2-0)
2...Francesca Schiavone (1-1)
2...Samantha Stosur (1-1)
2...Caroline Wozniacki (0-2)
NOTE: 12-Hingis (5-7), 2-Zvonareva (0-2)

2001 U.S. Open - Venus Williams
2004 Wimbledon - Maria Sharapova
2008 Wimbledon - Venus Williams
2011 U.S. Open - Samantha Stosur
2016 Australian Open - Angelique Kerber
2016 Roland Garros - Garbine Muguruza

1998 Nadia Petrova/RUS def. Jelena Dokic/AUS
1999 Lourdes Dominguez-Lino/ESP def. Stephanie Foretz/FRA
2000 Virginie Razzano/FRA def. Maria-Emilia Salerni/ARG
2001 Kaia Kanepi/EST def. Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS
2002 Angelique Widjaja/INA def. Ashley Harkleroad/USA
2003 Anna-Lena Groenefeld/GER def. Vera Dushevina/RUS
2004 Sesil Karatantcheva/BUL def. Madalina Gojnea/ROU
2005 Agnes Szavay/HUN def. Raluca Olaru/ROU
2006 Agnieszka Radwanska/POL def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS
2007 Alize Cornet/FRA def. Mariana Duque-Marino/COL
2008 Simona Halep/ROU def. Elena Bogdan/ROU
2009 Kristina Mladenovic/FRA def. Daria Gavrilova/RUS
2010 Elina Svitolina/UKR def. Ons Jabeur/TUN
2011 Ons Jabeur/TUN def. Monica Puig/PUR
2012 Annika Beck/GER def. Anna Schmiedlova/SVK
2013 Belinda Bencic/SUI def. Antonia Lottner/GER
2014 Daria Kasatkina/RUS def. Ivana Jorovic/SRB
2015 Paula Badosa Gibert/ESP def. Anna Kalinskaya/RUS
2016 Amanda Anisimova/USA vs. Rebeka Masarova/SUI

1977 Anne Smith
1980 Kathy Horvath
1981 Bonnie Gadusek
1989 Jennifer Capriati
1993 Martina Hingis
1994 Martina Hingis
2013 Belinda Bencic

2013 Sabine Ellerbrock, GER
2014 Yui Kamiji, JPN
2015 Jiske Griffioen, NED
2016 Marjolein Buis, NED
2013 Griffioen/Van Koot, NED/NED
2014 Kamiji/Whiley, JPN/GBR
2015 Griffioen/Van Koot, NED/NED
2016 Kamiji/Whiley, JPN/GBR

[Women's Doubles]
2006 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, USA/AUS
2007 Alicia Molik & Mara Santangelo, AUS/ITA
2008 Anabel Medina-Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, ESP/ESP
2009 Anabel Medina-Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, ESP/ESP
2010 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2011 Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka, CZE/CZE
2012 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2013 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS
2014 Hsieh Su-Wei & Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN
2015 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova, USA/CZE
2016 ?
[Girl's Doubles]
1999 Flavia Pennetta & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2000 Maria Jose Martinez & Anabel Medina, ESP/ESP
2001 Petra Cetkovska & Renata Voracova, CZE/CZE
2002 Anna-Lena Groenefeld & Barbora Strycova, GER/CZE
2003 Marta Fraga & Adriana Gonzales, ESP/ESP
2004 Katerina Bohmova & Michaella Krajicek, CZE/NED
2005 Victoria Azarenka & Agnes Szavay, BLR/HUN
2006 Sharon Fichman & Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, CAN/RUS
2007 Ksenia Milevskaya & Urszula Radwanska, BLR/POL
2008 Polona Hercog & Jessica Moore, SLO/AUS
2009 Elena Bogdan & Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, ROU/THA
2010 Timea Babos & Sloane Stephens, HUN/USA
2011 Irina Khromacheva & Maryna Zanevska, RUS/UKR
2012 Daria Gavrilova & Irina Khromacheva, RUS/RUS
2013 Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, CZE/CZE
2014 Ioana Ducu & Ioana Loredana Rosca, ROU/ROU
2015 Miriam Kolodziejova & Marketa Vondrouosva, CZE/CZE
2016 ?

TOP QUALIFIER: Viktoriya Golubic/SUI
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #11 Lucie Safarova/CZE
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #1 Serena Williams/USA
TOP LATE-ROUND (SF-F): #4 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
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 PLAYERS: Ekaterna Makarova/Elena Vesnina, RUS/RUS)
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: Nominees: Garcia/Mladenovic, M.Hingis/SUI
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Nominees: Amanda Anisimova/USA, Rebeka Masarova/SUI
Légion de Lenglen HONOREE: Alize Lim/FRA ("shorteralls" outfit)
Coupe LA PETIT TAUREAU: Yulia Putintseva/KAZ

Artist: Paul Thurlby (2013)

All for Day 14. More tomorrow.


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