Monday, June 20, 2016

Wk.24- Wins in the Key of WTA Life

Wimbledon is but a week away. Meanwhile, Madison Keys and Caroline Garcia seem to have found the skeleton key to WTA success.

While 21-year old Keys has put up great results on grass before, winning her maiden title in Eastbourne two years ago before grabbing her second in Birmingham to close out this past week, it should be noted that the Bannerette's 16-3 spring record since failing to return to the Charleston final in April, has included an appearance in the final on the clay in Rome and a career-best 4th Round result at Roland Garros, a stretch that has seen her put up three of her four 2016 Top 20 victories. Much of the great play has come since adding Thomas Hodgstedt to her coaching team.

Has that been the final key to unlocking the success that Keys hinted she was capable of in Melbourne in 2015?

And what of Garcia? She's coached by her father, Louis-Paul, but one can't help but wonder if an underlying influence in her '16 surge might have at least a little to do with French Fed Cup Captain Amelie Mauresmo, as well. It's been Mauresmo's mental machinations that have gotten the very best out of both Garcia as well as Kristina Mladenovic in FC play as she's shown consistent faith in them and watched as confidence has been instilled in both their games when playing for their nation. So far it's gotten France into the Fed Cup final, while Garcia & Mladenovic has evolved into legitimate contenders for Best Doubles Team honors. While Mladenovic has shown progress in singles on the regular tour, Garcia has made the largest leap of the two in 2016. Always a talented player, her tendency to crumble under pressure had dogged her for several years. But with rampant success coming with her teaming with Mladenovic in doubles in tour events, it's been a case of the rising tide also lifting her singles. Fully engagement, Garcia has now backed up a clay court title before Roland Garros with one on the grass in Mallorca right before Wimbledon.

With all these winning moments, she's getting to be quite good at post-match celebrations, too.

It's such a burden to bear when you find the key to success. Hopefully both Keys and Garcia will be able to endure such "hardship."

S: Madision Keys/USA def. Barbora Strycova/CZE 6-3/6-4
D: Karolina Pliskova/Barbora Strycova (CZE/CZE) d. Vania King/Alla Kudryavtseva (USA/RUS) 6-3/7-6(1)

S: Caroline Garcia/FRA def. Anastasija Sevastova/LAT 6-3/6-4
D: Gabriela Dabrowski/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (CAN/ESP) d. Anna-Lena Friedsam/Laura Siegemund (GER/GER) 6-4/6-2

...Keys had quite the week in Birmingham, simultaneously propping up the growing prospects of U.S. women's tennis, while also shining a light on what has been a hard-to-fathom drought of epic proportions. First, the 21-year old secured a spot in the Top 10 for the first time.

While a great and worthy accomplishment, it wouldn't seem QUITE as big a deal if you didn't know that the last U.S. woman to debut in the Top 10 was named Williams. As in Serena. As in 1999. As in SEVENTEEN years ago. Nearly a full Katie Swan. For the record, in case you were wondering, Sloane Stephens just missed out on this accomplishment a few years ago, topping out at #11 in late 2013. Keys' entry means there are now three Bannerettes in the Top 10 (the other two are STILL named Williams) for the first time since September 2005.

Keys then went on to grab her second career tour title (the other also came on the grass, at Eastbourne in '14), becoming the youngest tour singles champ so far in '16 with wins over Timea Babos, Tamira Paszek, Jelena Ostapenko, Carla Suarez-Navarro and Barbora Strycova. A week after CoCo Vandeweghe jumped into the title winner's circle (Keys and CoCo both won their maiden titles on the same weekend in '14), Keys makes it six different U.S. women crowned WTA singles champs in 2016, the most since 2003.

Just to get ahead of this game, let's go ahead with some Wimbledon trivia since Keys managed to pull out so many "the last time" notes this week:

The last time there were two U.S. women in the Wimbledon semis?
Answer: 2009 (Venus & Serena)

The last time both U.S. women in the Wimbledon semis weren't named Williams?
Answer: 2005 (Venus & Davenport)

The last time there were two non-Williams U.S. Wimbledon semifinalists?
Answer: 2001 (Venus, Davenport & Capriati)

The last time there two two U.S. Wimbledon semifinalists and neither was named Williams?
Answer: 1999 (Davenport & Stevenson)

All right, that'll do. For now.

RISERS: Caroline Garcia/FRA and CoCo Vandeweghe/USA
...Garcia's first career grass court title in Mallorca allows her to pass her doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic in the singles rankings (to #32) and should earn her a seed at Wimbledon. But the biggest news here may be how Garcia's Fed Cup (singles and doubles) and duo success with Mladenovic may be greatly improving her own singles results on the tour level. She just picked up career title #2 on the clay in Strasbourg a month ago, and now she's got #3 on yet another surface. Wins over Carina Witthoeft, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Ana Ivanovic, Kirsten Flipkens and Anastasija Sevastova gives the Pastry a 10-1 mark in her last eleven matches.

Afterwards, Garcia got her hands on maybe the "oddest/scariest/most artistically beautiful" (depending on the tilt of your head, I suppose) trophy we'll probably see all season.

Meanwhile, Vandeweghe is proving to be one of the biggest grass court threats around these days (surely you can already hear someone on ESPN picking her as a "surprise semifinalist" at Wimbledon next week). Hot off her title run in the Netherlands, she extended her winning streak to eight matches in Birmingham with wins over Aga Radwanska (her third Top 10 win of the season), Christina McHale and Yanina Wickmayer before finally being unable to subdue Barbora Strycova (not that such a thing is EVER an easy task, mind you) in the semis. The run moves the Bannerette's ranking up to a career-best #29 and assures her of a Wimbledon seed.

SURPRISES: Veronica Cepede Royg/PAR and Mariana Duque/COL
...South Americans have had a hard go of things on the WTA tour since the days of Gabriela Sabatini, so one would rarely ever expect a week in which TWO players from the continent put up significant results. Let alone doing so on grass. But that's just what happened in Mallorca.

Paraguay's Cepede Royg, 24, made her way through qualifying with wins over Renata Voracova, Grace Min and Julia Glushko, then followed up with MD wins over Zheng Saisai (a semifinalist in Nottingham) and Laura Siegemund (in three hours) to reach the QF (she's the first woman from Paraguay to do that on grass in a tour-level event), her best tour result in sixteen months. VCR served for the 1st set in the QF vs. Kirsten Flipkens, as well, but lost in straights to the Belgian.

Meanwhile, she was joined in the final eight by Colombia's Duque, 26, who'd won just two MD matches on grass in her career before last week. In Spain, she knocked off Alison Van Uytvanck and former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki to reach her second QF of the season (w/ Nurnberg). She lost in three sets in the QF to Anastasija Sevastova (the eventual finalist), then did the same in the first round of Eastbourne qualifying this weekend, falling in three to 2015 Nottingham finalist Ana Konjuh.

VETERANS: Barbora Strycova/CZE and Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP
...while there were quite a few to choose from here, with the likes of Jelena Jankovic (Mallorca SF), Kirsten Flipkens (Mallorca SF) and Tsvetana Pironkova (qualifier to QF in Birmingham) just missing out, I'll go with Strycova and CSN.

Strycova became the first person since Maria Sharapova (in 2004, weeks before her Wimbledon breakout win at 17) to reach both the singles and doubles finals in Birmingham. The 30-year old Czech, a singles finalist in the event two years ago, reached her second final of the year (w/ Dubai) with wins over Karolina Pliskova, Heather Watson, Tsvetana Pironkova and CoCo Vandeweghe (so that's three grass court title winners, including BOTH from last week's events, and a former Wimbledon semifinalist) before falling to Madison Keys. The Czech is now 1-6 in career tour singles finals. She rebounded later on Sunday with a win in the doubles with Pliskova as she played in both an event's finals for the second time in her career, having done so in Palermo in 2012 when she also lost the singles but won the doubles crown.

Goodbye sunny Birmingham !!????

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

Also in Birmingham, CSN matched her best career grass result (SF in Rosmalen '13) with a final four run that included three three-set wins over Elina Svitolina, Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber, then a three-set loss to eventual champ Keys in the final four. Two of the Spaniard's matches included 3rd set tie-breaks, while the other two ended with 7-5 3rd sets.

COMEBACKS: Anastasija Sevastova/LAT and Sorana Cirstea/ROU
...until Jelena Ostapenko changes the course of history, Sevastova is the only Latvian to win a WTA singles title in more than twenty years. After retiring due to a longstanding battle with injuries and illness in 2013, she returned last season and had immediate ITF success, winning four tournaments in her first few months back. Later in the summer, she reached the Florianopolis SF, her first such result in a WTA event since 2013, and ended the season at #110. Heading into Mallorca last week the 26-year old was up to #82, and her string of wins over Stefanie Voegele, Genie Bouchard, Mariana Duque and Jelena Jankovic put her in her first tour-level final since she won her only WTA title in Estoril in 2010. She lost on Sunday to Caroline Garcia. Still, she's up to #67 this week and iss set to play her first Wimbledon MD match since 2011. She'll be seeking to finally get her first match win (0-3) at the tournament.

Cirstea, 26, has been on a ranking rocket ship ride in 2016. The Romanian fell off the proverbial table last season, dropping out of the Top 100 for the first time since 2008 and falling in qualifying at the last three slams of the season, ending her streak of MD appearances in majors at twenty-nine. She finished the season at #244. Since the new season began, she's just busy. Really busy. Finding her way into the game on all levels, she began with a final in a $25K challenger in January, then soon won a title at another $25K. On the WTA level, she reached the semifinals in Rio. The she was back at it on the challenger circuit -- a $25K semi, a $50K semi -- before heading back to the tour yet again, where she put up a great QF result in Madrid. Last month, Cirstea qualified at Roland Garros and played her first slam MD match in sixteen months. She went into last week, once again in Spain, at #97. Mallorca qualifying wins over Valentyna Ivakhnenko, Sesil Karatantcheva and Mandy Minella got her a MD spot, where she then upset Yulia Putintseva and Daniela Hantuchova to reach the QF. It was there where she finally fell to Jelena Jankovic. Still, the former world #21 is up to #86 this week and will be in London for a second straight slam MD appearance. She lost in Eastbourne qualifying to Varvara Lepchenko over the weekend, but the Romanian is still 36-10 on all levels in 2016 and things are most definitely looking up.

FRESH FACES: Jelena Ostapenko/LAT and Elise Mertens/BEL
...look out, here comes Ostapenko. The just-turned-19 year old Latvian reached her third 2016 QF with Birmingham wins over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Petra Kvitova, her second victory (w/ Doha) over the Czech this season, and has already opened Eastbourne action with a 1st Round victory over Daria Kasatkina. The 2014 Wimbledon girls champion, Ostapenko made her grand slam MD debut at SW19 a year ago (in just her second pro event) and upset Carla Suarez-Navarro in the 1st Round. No wonder she lists Wimbledon as her favorite tournament. This result returns Ostapenko to her career-high ranking of #36, but barring a handful of injuries to approximately three players ranked ahead of her it won't be enough to get her a seed next week. She's not a player anyone will want to face in the 1st Round, though. Hmmm, I wonder what the odds are of her drawing Naomi Broady? Just wondering.

20-year old Waffle Mertens followed up her Rosmalen qualifying run and QF result with another Q-round success in Mallorca. Wins over Shelby Rogers, Asia Muhammad and Eri Hozumi got the Belgian into the main draw, where she knocked off Francesca Schiavone before losing in three sets (after winning the 1st at love) to Jelena Jankovic. In just two events, Mertens has jumped her ranking from #171 to #131.

DOWN: Petra Kvitova/CZE many to choose from here, from the likes of Garbi Muguruza and Aga Radwanska to Sabine Lisicki, but no player seems to have more at stake this grass court season than Kvitova. A two-time Wimbledon champ, the Czech is coming off a 2015 SW19 result (3rd Rd.) that was her worst at the event since 2009. She entered this grass court season clearly happy to be back on the lawns, and seeing it as a logical place to "restart" her season. But her 2nd Round loss in Birmingham to Jelena Ostapenko drops Kvitova to 3-2 on grass since she won the Wimbledon title in 2014, and 14-13 overall this season, a six-month stretch that has seen her drop from #6 to outside the Top 10 (so far) and even somewhat be "replaced" as the Czech Fed Cup team's most reliable singles player (she's 0-2) by Karolina Pliskova as the nation has advanced to its fifth final in six years. Of course, none of this means it isn't possible that Bad Petra, Extreme Bad Petra and all her other incarnations will be kept at bay for just under two weeks starting next Monday, as the site of the All-England Club has the ability to breathe new life into Good Petra and allow her Champion Petra side to spread her wings. At least I suppose that's still the case... right?

Really, even Petra, when pressed to look into the deepest reaches of her soul, knows she's just as likely to be on a plane out of London by next Thursday as she is to be courtseying in front of the Royal Box on the second Saturday.
ITF PLAYERS: Evgeniya Rodina/RUS and Viktoriya Tomova/HUN
...a week after a QF run in Rosmalen (w/ wins over Galfi and Jankovic), 27-year old Hordette Rodina raced to the $50K Ilkley challenger title without dropping a set on the grass, knocking off Samantha Murray, Richel Hogenkamp, Nao Hibino and Rebecca Sramkova to win her thirteenth career ITF title. It's her first since 2014, and her biggest since August '10, a little more than six months before she reached her career-high ranking of #74 the following February. Rodina was #113 heading into this event, just a week beyond having started 2016 on a 4-18 slide that was only halted when she set foot on the grass, which she says in her favorite surface. She's now won seven of eight matches, and the AELTC handed her the final wild card into the Wimbledon Ladies singles main draw (for the second straight year, all the potential WC slots weren't utilized, as two go unawarded... which still seems a bit of a waste, in my opinion, as even if there weren't any Brits deemed "worthy" there were certainly a few others who might have been given a shot, such as a Mertens or maybe even Ash Barty or '15 junior champ Sofya Zhuk). The Russian made her Wimbledon debut in 2008 with a 3rd Round run as a 19-year old, but she's only won one MD match (last year def. Robson) at Wimbledon since becoming a mother in November '12.

Here's an interview with her from Sunday. It's fine but, really, how can you ask a player who was just given a Wimbledon MD WC which player she'd like to face in her 1st Round match without realizing how ridiculous a question that is? The only "legit" answer she might have been able to give, I suppose, would have been to say "Serena Williams," just because it would have made her sound brave. Or maybe crazy. Whichever.

Tomova, 21, improved her career mark in ITF singles finals to 12-4 with her fourth title of the season in the $50K clay court challenger in Szeged, Hungary The #307-ranked Hungarian put up wins over #5 seed Michaella Krajicek, Arantxa Rus, Tamara Zidansek, #4 Ysaline Bonaventure and #2 Maria Sakkari in the final. This is by far her biggest career title, as her previous eleven wins were all either of the $10K (10) or $15K (1) variety.

JUNIOR STARS: Amina Anshba/RUS and Alexa Noel/USA
...finally, Rebeka Masarova lost a tennis match. The Roland Garros junior champ saw her 16-match winning streak snapped by Hordette Anshba in the final of the Grade 1 clay court German Juniors event in Berlin. The 16-year old Russian, the junior #12, won the Astrid Bowl title before Roland Garros. She defeated last week's Offenbach Grade 1 finalist Ashley Lahey in the semis this week, then took out Offenbach winner Masarova in the final, 7-6(3)/3-6/6-4. Masarova could have become the girls #1 with a win. Meanwhile, Anshba rises into the junior Top 10, but the Hordette is apparently not going to play at Wimbledon one year after the SW19 event featured an all-Russian (Zhuk d. Blinkova) girls singles final.

In the Grade 4 International Grass Court in Haverford, Pennsylvania is was a battle of 13-year old Bannerettes for the title. Alexa Noel defeated Gabriella Price 6-2/6-2. Price was playing in her first top level junor event. At the Orange Bowl event last December, she defeated Noel in the 2nd Round of the 14s competition.
DOUBLES: Karolina Pliskova/Barbora Strycova (CZE/CZE) and Gabriela Dabrowski/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (CAN/ESP)
...a week after her Nottingham singles win, Pliskova fell in the 1st Round in Birmingham to Strycova. But then the duo put on their Fed Cup Marvel Team-Up capes and joined forces to win the doubles, defeating Vania King & Alla Kudryavtseva in the final (depriving them of their first title together since 2007). Both Czechs were 0-1 in previous '16 doubles finals with different partners, but this win gives Pliskova her fifth career tour WD title (three of the other four were w/ twin sister Kristyna) and Strycova #18 (but her first since 2012).

In Mallorca, Dabrowski & MJMS took their first title as a duo without losing a set all week, closing things out with a win in the final over the all-German pair of Anna-Lena Friedsam & Laura Siegemund. Dabrowski, who lost in the Nottingham final a week ago with Yang Zhaoxuan, picks up career title #3; while 33-year old Martinez Sanchez gets her 17th, but her first since becoming a mother in November 2013 and then returning to the tour in 2015. The Spaniard, who won five WTA singles titles form 2009-11, last won a tour doubles crown in 2012. It also came on the grass, at Eastbourne. MJMS's only other post-return title came on a $50K doubles run in Ankara with Marina Melnikova last December.


Sliiiiiides. Something about this surface ??

A video posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on

1. Birmingham 2nd Rd. - Ostapenko d. Kvitova
The 2014 Wimbledon junior champ defeats the 2014 Wimbledon Ladies champ, and Ostapenko lays down another signpost win in a career quickly picking up steam.

2. Mallorca 1st Rd. - Flipkens d. Muguruza
Garbi's first match since winning Roland Garros. Oh-no? But it's also her first '16 match on grass. Hmmm. So whether this really means anything for the '15 Wimbledon finalist is still to be determined. And Flipkens is a good grass courter, too, so that gets factored into the equation, as well. In other words, these grass court tune-ups are exercises in futility when it comes to using their results to determine what might happen at SW19.
3. Birmingham Final - Keys d. Strycova
Keys is now 3-0 vs. the Czech this spring (2-0 on clay).
4. Mallorca Final - Garcia d. Sevastova
With a 3-2 record in WTA finals, with titles on clay and grass this season, as well as a WTA 125 Series hard court title run in Limoges last November, Garcia is beginning to lap doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic (0-2 in WTA finals) in singles results. Of course, Kiki does have that WTA 125 win in Taipei under her belt... but it's now been more than three and a half years since she lifted her biggest and most recent singles championship hardware.
5. Birmingham 1st Rd. - Begu d. Bencic
...6-4/4-3 ret.
First the back injury, now a retirement with a right thigh after a fall.
6. Birmingham 1st Rd. - Suarez-Navarro d. Svitolina 7-5/4-6/7-5
Birmingham 2nd Rd. - Suarez-Navarro d. Petkovic 4-6/7-6(5)/7-6(5)
Birmingham QF - Suarez-Navarro d. Kerber 6-4/1-6/7-5
Birmingham SF - Keys d. Suarez-Navarro 3-6/6-3/7-6(3)
just your typical four-match, 12-set, 130-game, four three-setter, four extended third set week for CSN. After coming back from 5-3 in the 3rd (two points from defeat) vs. Svitolina, she nearly blew a 5-2 3rd set lead of her own vs. Petkovic. And she still had sixty more games to play after that. If she's not ready for Wimbledon now, well, she never will be.
6. Birmingham 1st Rd. - Kvitova d. Safarova
Kvitova's nineteenth straight win over a fellow Czech. Unfortunately for her, her next opponent was Latvian.
7. Eastbourne 1st Rd. - Ostapenko d. Kasatkina
The 2014 Wimbledon junior champ defeats the 2014 Roland Garros junior champ. You get the feeling these two will be meeting much later in much bigger events in the future. By this time next year, both should have their first tour singles title. Or will it be by the end of 2016? Or maybe even by the end of this summer?
8. $25K Minsk Final - Valentini Grammatikopoulou d. Anna Kalinskaya
...6-3/4-1 ret.
The 19-year old Greek picks up career ITF title #9, preventing the 17-year old Russian from grabbing her third of 2016. They joined forces to win the doubles.
9. Birmingham 1st Rd. - Broady/Watson d. Mirza/Vandeweghe
Maybe Sania should have just gone for a ride with Martina last week.

10. $25K Sumter Final - CiCi Bellis d. Valeria Solovyeva
The 17-year old Bannerette picks up her fourth career title.
11. $10K Victoria Final - Kate Fahey d. Jessica Failla
In a battle of college sophomores, Michigan Wolverine Fahey (19) is the one to claim career singles title #1 over USC Trojan Failla (18).

12. $10K Grand-Baie Final - Snehadevi Reddy d. Valeria Bhunu
A 19-year old Indian not named Mirza wins career title #2 by taking out a 21-year old from Zimbabwe not named Black. Reddy had to survive a 3:57 QF match with Pastry Fiona Codina along the way.
13. $10K Antalya Final - Ayla Aksu d. Raluca Serban
The Turkish assault on 2016 continues, as 19-year old Aksu notches her third win of the season, her sixth ITF crown since last June.
14. Nottingham 1st Rd. - Wozniacki d. Buyukakcay 7-5/6-3
Birmingham Q1 - Krunic d. Buyukakcay 7-5/6-3
Eastbourne Q1 - Hercog d. Buyukakcay 7-6(2)/6-4
okay, so the Buyukakcay portion of the Turkish assault doesn't have a grass court component. Oh, well.
15. $25K Montpellier Final - Jill Teichmann d. Montserrat Gonzalez
The 18-year old Swiss wins career title #2.



So many possible snarky captions for this photo. Most of them at AnaIvo's expense, I'm afraid.

1. Birmingham 1st Rd. - Vandeweghe d. Aga Radwanska
Aga had been scheduled to play the winner of Vandeweghe/Strycova (1st Rd.) in her opening match this coming week in Eastbourne. But then both pulled out of the event after deep runs in Week 24. Radwanska only has one career grass court title on her WTA resume, in Eastbourne in 2008, but she's reached the Wimbledon (2012) final, as well as another in Eastbourne (2015). Might this turn of events now take a Radwanskian turn?

2. Birmingham Q2 - Pironkova d. Kristyna Pliskova 6-3/7-6(8)
Birmingham 1st Rd. - Strycova d. Karolina Pliskova 6-4/7-6(7)
on the heels of Karolina's title run in Nottingham, the Pliskova sisters didn't have a good week in singles.

3. Birmingham Final - Karolina Pliskova/Strycova d. King/Kudryavtseva
But things turned out all right for Karolina, as she joined with Fed Cup doubles partner (and singles conqueror) Strycova to become the first WTA player to score TWO titles this grass season.


A photo posted by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) on

?? #mirrorwisdom

A photo posted by Daria Gavrilova (@daria_gav) on

**2016 WTA TITLES**
3 - Victoria Azarenka [Brisbane,Indian Wells,Miami]
3 - Sloane Stephens [Auckland,Acapulco,Charleston]
2 - Angelique Kerber [Australian,Stuttgart]
2 - Caroline Garcia [Strasbourg,Mallorca]

**2016 WTA FINALS**
4...Serena Williams, USA (1-3)
3...Victoria Azarenka, BLR (3-0)
3...Sloane Stephens, USA (3-0)
3...Angelique Kerber, GER (2-1)
3...Dominika Cibulkova, SVK (1-2)
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS (1-1)
2...Genie Bouchard, CAN (0-2)
2...Alison Riske, USA (0-2)

Brisbane - Angelique Kerber, GER [L/L]
Doha - Carla Suarez-Navarro, ESP [W/L]
Istanbul - Danka Kovinic, MNE [L/L]
Nurnberg - Kiki Bertens, NED [W/W]
Birmingham - Barbora Strycova, CZE [L/W]

5...Angelique Kerber, GER(3-2)
5...Aga Radwanska, POL (1-4)
4...Serena Williams, USA (4-0)
4...Dominika Cibulkova, SVK (3-1)

**WTA TITLE-WINNERS - USA, since 2003**
2003: Davenport,Raymond,Rubin,Shaughnessy,S.Williams,V.Williams
2004: Davenport,Frazier,S.Williams,V.Williams
2005: Davenport,Frazier,S.Williams,V.Williams
2006: King,Shaughnessy
2007: Davenport,Shaughnessy,S.Williams,V.Williams
2008: Davenport,S.Williams,V.Williams
2009: S.Williams,V.Williams
2010: S.Williams,V.Williams
2011: S.Williams
2012: Oudin,S.Williams,V.Williams
2013: S.Williams
2014: Keys,Riske,Vandeweghe,S.Williams,V.Williams
2015: Stephens,S.Williams,V.Williams
2016: Falconi,Keys,Stephens,Vandeweghe,S.Williams,V.Williams

7...Serena Williams
6...Venus Williams
3...Maria Sharapova
2...Petra Kvitova
2...CoCo Vandeweghe
NOTE: 2-Tanasugarn

**2016 WTA TITLISTS - by nation**
6 - USA (Falconi,Keys,Stephens,Vandeweghe,S.Williams,V.Williams)
3 - ITA (Errani,Schiavone,Vinci)
2 - CZE (Ka.Pliskova,Safarova)
2 - FRA (Cornet,Garcia)

2 - Sloane Stephens, USA = Hard,Green Clay
2 - Angelique Kerber, GER = Hard,Red Clay
2 - CAROLINE GARCIA, FRA = Red Clay,Grass

**2016 21-and-under SINGLES FINALISTS**
18 - Jelena Ostapenko, LAT (Doha-L)
18 - Belinda Bencic, SUI (St.Petersburg-L)
21 - Madison Keys, USA (Rome-L)
21 - MADISON KEYS, USA (Birmingham-W)
21 - Danka Kovinic, MNE (Istanbul-L)
21 - Elina Svitolina, URK (Kuala Lumpur-W)
[WTA 125]
20 - Ipek Soylu, TUR (Bol-L)

**2016 WTA FINAL - by NATION**
15...United States (8 titles)
5...Germany (2)
4...Czech Repbulic & Italy (3)
4...France (2)
3...Belarus (3)
3...Spain (2)
3...Russia & Slovakia (1)
2...Switzerland (1)
2...Canada & Latvia (0)

**2016 WTA SF - by NATION**
20 - USA
11 - GER
9 - FRA
6 - SUI

Mona Barthel, GER (last title: 2014)
Klara Koukalova, CZE (2014)
Michaella Krajicek, NED (2006)
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, CRO (2014)
Garbine Muguruza, ESP (2016)
Tamira Paszek, AUT (2012)
Heather Watson, GBR (2016)

1 - Mariana Duque, COL (0-1)
1 - Mariana Duque, COL (1-0)
1 - Paula Cristina Goncalves, BRA (0-1)
2 - Mariana Duque, COL (1-1)
2 - Paula Cristina Goncalves, BRA (1-1)
1 - Veronica Cepede Royg, PAR (0-1)
1 - Catalina Pella, ARG (0-1)

Kaohsiung - Chan/Chan, TPE/TPE
Acapulco - Medina-Garrigues/Parra-Santonja, ESP/ESP
Madrid - Garcia/Mladenovic, FRA/FRA
Strasbourg - Medina-Garrigues/Parra-Santonja, ESP/ESP
Mallorca - Dabrowski/Maritnez Sanchez, CAN/ESP

35 - Martina Hingis, SUI (5 titles)
33 - Anabel Medina-Garrigues, ESP (3)
33 - Arantxa Parra-Santonja, ESP (3)

**U.S. TOP 10 PLAYERS (27) - by Top 10 debut year**
1975 Chris Evert
1975 Martina Navratilova (as Czech, later USA)
1975 Billie Jean King (also year-end #1 pre-computer rankings)
1975 Nancy Richey
1976 Rosie Casals
1977 Kathy May
1977 Kristien Shaw
1978 Tracy Austin
1980 Kathy Jordan
1980 Andrea Jaeger
1980 Pam Shriver
1981 Barbora Potter
1983 Zina Garrison
1984 Bonnie Gadusek
1984 Kathy Horvath
1984 Lisa Bonder
1986 Kathy Rinaldi
1988 Lori McNeil
1989 Stephanie Rehe
1989 Mary Joe Fernandez
1989 Monica Seles (as Yugoslav, later USA)
1990 Jennifer Capriati
1994 Lindsay Davenport
1996 Chanda Rubin
1998 Venus Williams
1999 Serena Williams
2016 Madison Keys

2008 [1] A.Radwanska
2009 [3] Azarenka,Wozniacki,Pennetta
2010 [3] Li,Stosur,Schiavone
2011 [2] Kvitova,Petkovic
2012 [2] Kerber,Errani
2013 [1] Kirilenko
2014 [3] Halep,Cibulkova,Bouchard
2015 [6] Makarova,Suarez-N.,Safarova,Muguruza,Ka.Pliskova,Bacsinszky
2016 [3] Bencic,Vinci,Keys

**2016 ITF TITLES**
5...Isabella Shinikova, BUL (age 24)
4...Marie Bouzkova, CZE (age 17)
4...Angelica Moratelli, ITA (age 21)
4...Viktoriya Tomova, HUN (age 21)

Daniela Hantuchova, SVK
Marina Melnikova, RUS
Tara Moore, GBR
Laura Robson, GBR
Evgeniya Rodina, RUS
Katie Swan, GBR

That's what friends are for...

15 Final: Bencic d. A.Radwanska
15 Doubles Final: Garcia/Srebotnik d. YJ.Chan/J.Zheng
16 Singles Top Seeds: A.Radwanska/Vinci

#1 A.Radwanska d. Mladenovic
#11 Konta d. #14 Pavlyuchenkova
#1 A.Radwanska d. #11 Konta

ALSO: Wimbledon qualifying

And, finally, respect must be paid...

All for now.


Blogger colt13 said...

Re: Garcia's seeding. Wimbledon has gotten away from the arbitrary seeds. So Garcia at 32, and ironically Mladenovic at 33, due to Flavia's still being in the Top 32, should be ranked. And Ostapenko at 36, is only 2 away, since Sharapova is the player she is directly behind. So next 3 seeds should there be a withdrawal-Petkovic, Ostapenko, Wozniacki.

Re:Vandeweghe- She was already on my top 10 Wimbledon list because of her last 2 years on grass, and most of my "surprises", have already outed themselves-Vandeweghe, Keys, Riske, Pironkova, Strycova. Heck, look at Strycova's matches and runs the last couple of years. She's probably due for an SF.

Shocked Rodina got a WC over Mertens.

Mon Jun 20, 10:33:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

You know, I totally forgot about Pennetta still being ranked so high, so I was one off on my numbers there. I guess she's sort of like "furniture" in the rankings at this point. ;)

Yeah, with a couple legitimate non-Williams Wimbledon contenders from the U.S. (though I'd give Keys a real shot at the SF/F, with CoCo just a shade off -- QF/SF? -- that ceiling), the ESPNers won't know what to do with themselves. Usually they just throw "viewer-friendly" (i.e. Bannerette) names out and make you roll your eyes.

Well, Rodina won a title and Mertens didn't, but Mertens didn't play a challenger during the last two weeks, either. Thing is, there were still a few WC left to possibly give out so, really, Mertens should have gotten one of them along with Rodina. Just because they don't want to simply hand them out to Brits just because they're Brits anymore (ironic, considering there are more worthy British players -- including a few juniors -- now than there have been in years) shouldn't keep them from giving other hard-working June grass court spark plugs from elsewhere an extra boost.

Mon Jun 20, 11:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

That said, I don't THINK those extra unused WC are earmarked for Brits only. Maybe they are, though. :\

Mon Jun 20, 11:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...


Thursday: Brexit; Aga rain suspension when leading Cibulkova
Friday: Aga loses to Cibulkova; Hlavackova (literal) collapse in Wimb Q's
Saturday: ??
Sunday: Radwanskian Massacre anniversary
Monday: Wimbledon Day 1 (shiver.)

Fri Jun 24, 11:46:00 AM EDT  

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