Saturday, October 10, 2020

Iga the Invincible

Iga Swiatek had already been playing like a Roland Garros winner for two weeks. Today she simply made official her low key and highly successful blossoming into a major champion.

As a player who arrived in Paris having never won a WTA title, the 19-year old from Poland didn't give away much of a hint about her secret identity, that of the soon-to-be-crowned winner of this very tournament. But then she started to play. From that moment on, she was the indomitable and unstoppable force of this final slam of 2020.

Power to the Pole. The Rise of Iga. It all applies.

Wins during the event by the unseeded world #54 over the likes of the #1 seed (Simona Halep, who won just three games off her) and the '19 finalist (#15 Marketa Vondrousova, who also got just three) gradually let it be known to the tennis world that, once again, the landscape of the women's game had a new force to be reckoned with. Swiatek, the lowest ranked RG women's finalist since 1977, came into Saturday's final having not lost a set, and she'd really barely been challenged (the closest any opponent got was 6-4) as she stalked the baseline, chasing down balls with her long, white-clad limbs sometimes being stretched out not in a flailing manner, but an athletically graceful one. Barely having begun her pro career (she was a junior champ just *two* years ago, at Wimbledon, not in Paris), Swiatek today found herself in position to do what no Polish singles player had ever done: win a major.

Her recently retired countrywoman Aga Radwanska was never able to do it, though she nearly did, and prior to her the last Polish woman to come close was Jadwiga Jedrzejowska, a three-time slam finalist in three different majors, the last in Paris in 1939.

After six impressive wins, the only thing standing in her way of Iga rewriting tennis history was #4 seed Sofia Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champion whose problem-solving path toward her second major '20 final was probably more unexpected and impressive than even her title run in Melbourne was nine months ago. Kenin, 21, had never reached the QF of a clay event before this one, and was double-bageled in her last match on the surface heading into the tournament. If there was a way to slow (or stop) Swiatek's seemingly inevitable path toward lifting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen, then Kenin was as likely as any to possess the will and to be able to find the necessary formula to do it.

But in the youngest women's slam final since 2008 (AO: Sharapova/Ivanovic), and the youngest in Paris since '03 (Henin/Clijsters), neither Kenin's beautiful mind nor any amount of internal "feist" could prevent the Polish teenager from completing her successful ascent up the tennis mountain. Just as it had appeared as this Roland Garros wore on, there was *no* stopping Iga. She truly was invincible.

Swiatek opened the final riding, like an expert surfer, the same wave of momentum she'd generated throughout this slam, as she almost casually covered virtually every inch of the terre battue on Court Chatrier. She held at love, then broke Kenin, and held at 15 a few moments later. The match had barely started, and the teenager was already half-way to winning the opening set.

Kenin finally put a number on the board in game #4, then rode something a mini-wave herself. After cutting the score to 3-1, she surged to a 15/40 lead on Swiatek's serve as she saw a handful of forehand errors from the Pole dial up a break to put the 1st back on serve. It was the tight game #7, though, that proved to be the key. At 3-3, and close to a chance to take a break lead, Kenin curiously turned away from a Swiatek drop shot, conceding the point before the (mediocre) ball had even landed in the back of the service box, making it a quite easy get had Kenin made the attempt.

Having sacrificed a point, Kenin was consigned to a minus-1 standing in the game. She saved a Swiatek GP with a sneaky drop shot return of serve, but the teenager's own drop shot (this time a good one) got the Pole another chance. Kenin overshot an easy forehand at the net and Swiatek held for 4-3. A game later, Swiatek reached a Kenin drop shot, getting back a ball that the Bannerette might have easily sent back in lob form to take the point. But Kenin instead attempted to pass the long-armed teen at the net, resulting in the angle of the ball being abruptly cut off by Swiatek and the point claimed with a clean backhand volley. A Kenin double-fault gave Swiatek a BP. The Bannerette saved it with a forehand crosscourt winner, then did so on another BP with an unreturnable wide serve. Swiatek saved a Kenin GP with a big return, then got a third BP chance with a forehand down the line. Kenin's netted forehand gave the Pole a break lead at 5-3.

It was then, in one of the few such moments these two weeks in Paris, that Swiatek had a slight step back. Her DF put her down 15/30 as she served for the set. She reached SP, but then netted a backhand off a low ball in the middle of the court. Down BP, Swiatek couldn't handle Kenin's big backhand return as the force of the ball and Iga's momentum sent her racket flying out of her hand as she attempted to reach the shot. The break put the set back on serve at 5-4.

Having pulled the set back from the edge, Kenin couldn't win the tug-o-war as Swiatek continued to prove to have the superior reach. The teenager held double SP at 15/40. After chasing down a Swiatek lob, Kenin sent a backhand shot wide to end the set. The 6-4 stanza took forty-nine minutes, nearly as long as some of Swiatek's previous six matches, most of which lasted just a bit over an hour.

Early in the 2nd set, at least, Kenin seemed to be showing some of her usual nose-to-the-grindstone, solve-the-problem "feist." "You have to have that feist in you," Kenin said earlier this week when describing the tactical skill and willful drive that pushes her forward toward winning matches. Seeing a BP chance in the opening game against Swiatek, Kenin fired a return winner down the line to take a 1-0 lead.

But her edge didn't last long.

A Kenin DF put her down 15/40 in game #2. On her second BP, Swiatek's backhand into the corner froze Kenin at the baseline and got the break back. An easy hold of serve followed, then a long medical timeout from Kenin as she went off court to have her thigh re-wrapped. But when she returned, rather than catch the teenager flat-footed, Kenin dropped serve, with the game ending with her own wide backhand.

With little "feist" in evidence on her opponent's side of the court, Swiatek fired an ace to lead 40/love in game #5. Kenin's easy forehand miss at the net made it 4-1. After having the trainer return to remove some of the tape on her leg, Kenin DF'd to begin her service game. Swiatek's backhand down the line, followed by an out-of-reach crosscourt forehand, gave the Pole triple BP. Another Swiakek backhand (somehow) managed to fly cross court and find the corner in front of Kenin, getting the break for a 5-1 lead.

A Kenin forehand return winner down the line to make the score 30/30 briefly delayed Swiatek's Parisian coronation, but soon a long return gave the teenager a MP. Stepping into the court, Swiatek put away a forehand to finally put a period at the end of the final sentence of the story she's written in France over the past two weeks, giving her a 6-4/6-1 victory to make her the first Polish singles slam winner ever.

With her new reality now certified, Swiatek took a moment on the court to let it all sink in, crouching with her head down before tapping rackets with Kenin at the net.

The fifth straight maiden slam winner in Paris, Swiatek is the second 19-year old (w/ Bianca Andreescu) to win a major in the last thirteen months, but the youngest to win Roland Garros since 1992 (Monica Seles) and the first teenage since 1997 (Iva Majoli). She's the second unseeded champ (Alona Ostapenko '17) of the Open era, the lowest-ranked RG champion ever, and the first to win the women's title without dropping a set since 2007 (Justine Henin). The 27 lost games along Swiatek's path to the championship are the fewest since Steffi Graf dropped just 20 during the Paris leg of her Golden Slam in 1988.

It was a moment fit to be shared, and Swiatek did just that, travaling a winding path through Chatrier to find her way into the stands to the players box, where she exchanged hugs with all the team members (and seemingly nearly everyone else deemed close enough to her inner circle to toss out social distancing guidelines), including coach Piotr Sierzputowski, traveling sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, and even her doubles partner (Nicole Melichar) in Paris, with whom she reached the semis.

Swiatek's run feels different from the one made by the last unseeded winner two years ago, as while Ostapenko's exciting, winner-fueled jaunt through Paris was the case of a player catching lighting in a bottle and shaking it up, that of the Pole has been, in turn, both smothering (to her opponents, who had a hard time getting balls past her) *and* thundering, while pulled off in such a frighteningly casual manner that you wonder what Iga might do if she took things "seriously."

Ah, but that's the thing. While Swiatek's "low expectations, high standards" mantra may sometimes *seem* one of only partial effort, especially when compared to the high-intensity process of the likes of a Kenin, it's likely her secret weapon. It once seemed that no player could possibly top the cool, "low-key champion" mood that Naomi Osaka sported in New York two years ago, but Iga may have already stolen away that invisible crown.

Swiatek let it be know this week that her pre-game soundtrack at this Roland Garros has been "Welcome to the Jungle" from Guns N' Roses.

Obviously, while the teenager's exterior has been calm, cool and filled with smiles, the capacity for something with a bit more edge exists judge beneath the surface. It'll be fascinating to see what it might take to for it to come to a controllable boil, and what that might mean for the rest of women's tennis.

We already know what her arrival means for us: another name to add to the mix of next generation talent set to star on the world's courts over the next decade. So, to Naomi, Bianca, Ash and the rest... welcome Iga.

This is shaping up to be one heck of a road trip.

...the junior final was played on Saturday, and the winner is the first Roland Garros girls champ to hail from France in over a decade.

#3-seed Elsa Jacquemot, 17, staged a comeback from a set down against unseeded Russian Alina Charaeva, who'd already knocked off three seeds (including the #1) en route to the final. The Pastry won 4-6/6-4/6-2 to become the first French girl to lift the trophy since Kristina Mladenovic in 2009.

Eleonora Alvisi & Lisa Pigato defeated #5-seeded Russians Maria Bondarenko & Diana Shnaider, 7-6(3)/6-4, in the junior doubles to become the first Italian duo to take the RG girls crown since Flavia Pennetta & Roberta Vinci in 1999.

...meanwhile, a year after winning a WC Doubles Grand Slam, top-seeded Dutch rollers Diede de Groot & Aniek Van Koot denied #2-seeds Yui Kamiji & Jordanne Whiley a sweep of the three 2020 slams today, taking the final via a match-ending super tie-break in a 7-6(2)/3-6 [10-8] victory, winning their third straight RG title.

Kamiji/Whiley had defeated de Groot/Van Koot in the Australian Open final, then de Groot & Marjolein Buis in the U.S. Open title match last month.

It's Van Koot's sixteenth career slam doubles crown, and de Groot's ninth.

Iga Swiatek/POL def. #4 Sofia Kenin/USA 6-4/6-1

#14 Guarachi/Krawczyk (CHI/USA) v. #2 Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA)

#3 Elsa Jacquemot/FRA def. Alina Charaeva/RUS 4-6/6-4/6-2

Eleonora Alvisi/Lisa Pigato (ITA/ITA) def. #6 Maria Bondarenko/Diana Shnaider (RUS/RUS) 7-6(3)/6-4

#2 Yui Kamiji/JPN def. Momoko Ohtani/JPN 6-2/6-1

#1 Diede de Groot/Aniek Van Koot (NED/NED) def. #2 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (JPN/GBR) 7-6(2)/3-6 [10-8]

...LIKE ON DAY 14:

This is a very good article...and that's even without considering the "the president is 'hopped up on more drugs than a Belgian racing pigeon'" line.



Kim played Trump, and everyone (paying attention) knew it all along. Meanwhile, Trump thought he won.

Wait'll he finds out what Putin *really* thinks of him.



...LIKE ON DAY 14:





A 1990 CBS profile, with interviews with the likes of Ten Tinling, Jean Borotra, and Kitty McKane Godfree (and some of Lenglen's own voice). Good, though it totally skips over the incidents surrounding the 1926 Wimbledon.

Lenglen reads from her book on lawn tennis...

Lenglen opening Wimbledon courts...


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Out and about, a sequence ??

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2018 AO: Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2018 RG: Simona Halep, ROU
2018 WI: Angelique Kerber, GER
2018 US: Naomi Osaka, JPN
2019 AO: Naomi Osaka, JPN
2019 RG: Ash Barty, AUS
2019 WI: Simona Halep, ROU (2)
2019 US: Bianca Andreescu, CAN
2020 AO: Sofia Kenin, USA
2020 US: Naomi Osaka, JPN (3)
2020 RG: Iga Swiatek, POL

2010 Roland Garros - Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2011 Roland Garros - Li Na, CHN
2011 Wimbledon - Petra Kvitova, CZE
2011 U.S. Open - Samantha Stosur, AUS
2012 Australian Open - Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2013 Wimbledon - Marion Bartoli, FRA
2015 U.S. Open - Flavia Pennetta, ITA
2016 Australian Open - Angelique Kerber, GER
2016 Roland Garros - Garbine Muguruza, ESP
2017 Roland Garros - Alona Ostapenko, LAT
2017 U.S. Open - Sloane Stephens, USA
2018 Australian Open - Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
2018 Roland Garros - Simona Halep, ROU
2018 U.S. Open - Naomi Osaka, JPN
2019 Roland Garros - Ash Barty, AUS
2019 U.S. Open - Bianca Andreescu, CAN
2020 Australian Open - Sofia Kenin, USA

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
2017 Alona Ostapenko, LAT (unseeded)
2018 Simona Halep, ROU
2019 Ash Barty, AUS
2020 Iga Swiatek, POL (unseeded)
NOTE: Ann Haydon-Jones won first career slam at '61 Roland Garros, before Open era began in '68

1999 U.S. Open - Serena Williams
2011 Wimbledon - Petra Kvitova
2012 Australian Open - Victoria Azarenka
2016 Australian Open - Angelique Kerber
2017 Roland Garros - Alona Ostapenko
2017 U.S. Open - Sloane Stephens
2018 U.S. Open - Naomi Osaka
2019 Roland Garros - Ash Barty
2019 U.S. Open - Bianca Andreescu
2020 Australian Open - Sofia Kenin

1997 Martina Hingis, SUI - AO (16)
1997 Iva Majoli, CRO - RG (19)
1997 Martina Hingis, SUI - WI (16)
1997 Martina Hingis, SUI - US (16)
1998 Martina Hingis, SUI - AO (17)
1999 Martina Hingis, SUI - AO (18)
1999 Serena Williams, USA - US (17)
2004 Maria Sharapova , RUS - WI (17)
2004 Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS - US (19)
2006 Maria Sharapova, RUS - US (19)
2019 Bianca Andreescu, CAN - US (19)
2020 Iga Swiatek, POL - RG (19)

Evonne Goolagong Cawley - 1971 Roland Garros
Billie Jean King - 1971 US Open
Billie Jean King - 1972 Roland Garros
Chris Evert - 1974 Roland Garros
Chris Evert - 1976 US Open
Chris Evert - 1977 US Open
Chris Evert - 1978 US Open
Chris Evert - 1981 Wimbledon
Martina Navratilova - 1983 Wimbledon
Martina Navratilova - 1983 US Open
Martina Navratilova - 1984 Wimbledon
Martina Navratilova - 1986 Wimbledon
Martina Navratilova - 1987 US Open
Steffi Graf - 1988 Australian Open
Steffi Graf - 1988 Roland Garros
Steffi Graf - 1989 Australian Open
Martina Navratilova - 1990 Wimbledon
Monica Seles - 1992 US Open
Steffi Graf - 1994 Australian Open
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario - 1994 Roland Garros
Mary Pierce - 1995 Australian Open
Steffi Graf - 1996 US Open
Martina Hingis - 1997 Australian Open
Martina Hingis - 1997 US Open
Lindsay Davenport - 1998 US Open
Lindsay Davenport - 1999 Wimbledon
Lindsay Davenport - 2000 Australian Open
Venus Williams - 2001 US Open
Serena Williams - 2002 Wimbledon
Serena Williams - 2002 US Open
Justine Henin - 2006 Roland Garros
Justine Henin - 2007 Roland Garros
Justine Henin - 2007 US Open
Maria Sharapova - 2008 Australian Open
Venus Williams - 2008 Wimbledon
Serena Williams - 2008 US Open
Serena Williams - 2010 Wimbledon
Marion Bartoli - 2013 Wimbledon
Serena Williams - 2014 US Open
Serena Williams - 2017 Australian Open
Iga Swiatek - 2020 Roland Garros

1937 Wimbledon - Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
1937 U.S. - Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
1939 Roland Garros - Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
2012 Wimbledon - Aga Radwanska
2020 Roland Garros - Iga Swiatek (W)

1971 Helen Gourlay, AUS
1976 Renata Tomanova, TCH
1977 Florenta Mihal, ROU
1983 Mima Jausovec, YUG
2017 Alona Ostapenko, LAT (W)
2019 Marketa Vondrousova, CZE
2020 Iga Swiatek, POL (W)

Shenzhen - Ekaterina Alexandrova, RUS (25/#34)
Lexington - Jennifer Brady, USA (25/#49)
Istanbul - Patricia Maria Tig, ROU (26/#88)

17 - Donna Vekic, CRO (Kuala Lumpur)
19 - Madison Keys, USA (Eastbourne)
19 - Elina Svitolina, UKR (Baku)
17 - Ana Konjuh, CRO (Nottingham)
18 - Belinda Bencic, SUI (Eastbourne)
18 - Belinda Bencic, SUI (Toronto)
19 - Oceane Dodin, FRA (Quebec City)
17 - Marketa Vondrousova, CZE (Biel)
19 - Dasha Kasatkina, RUS (Charleston)
17 - Olga Danilovic SRB (Moscow RC)
18 - Dayana Yastremska, UKR (Hong Kong)
15 - Coco Gauff, USA (Linz)
17 - Amanda Anisimova, USA (Bogota)
18 - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (Indian Wells)
18 - Dayana Yastremska, UKR (Hua Hin)
19 - Dayana Yastremska, UKR (Strasbourg)
19 - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (Toronto)
19 - Bianca Andreescu, CAN (US Open)

1953 Christine Brunon
1954 Beatrice De Chambure
1956 Elaine Launey
1960 Francois Durr
1963 Monique Salfati
1964 Nicole Seghers
1966 Odile De Roubin
1983 Pascale Paradis
1988 Julie Halard
1995 Anne Cocheteux
1996 Amelie Mauresmo
2000 Virginie Razzano
2007 Alize Cornet
2009 Kristina Mladenovic
2020 Elsa Jacquemot

AO: Liang En-Shuo/Wang Xinyu (TPE/CHN)
RG: Caty McNally/Iga Swiatek (USA/POL)
WI: Wang Xinyu/Wang Xiyu (CHN/CHN)
US: Coco Gauff/Caty McNally (USA/USA)
AO: Natsumi Kawaguchi/Adrienn Nagy (JPN/HUN)
RG: Chloe Beck/Emma Navarro (USA/USA)
WI: Savannah Broadus/Abigail Forbes (USA/USA)
US: Kamilla Bartone/Oksana Selekhmetova (LAT/RUS)
AO: Alexandra Eala/Priska Madelyn Nugroho (PHI/INA)
RG: Eleonora Alvisi/Lisa Pigato (ITA/ITA)

2007 Maaike Smit/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2008 Jiske Griffioen/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2009 Korie Homan/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2010 Daniela Di Toro/Aniek Van Koot, AUS/NED
2011 Esther Vergeer/Sharon Walraven, NED/NED
2012 Marjolein Buis/Esther Vergeer, NED/NED
2013 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2014 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2015 Jiske Griffioen/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2016 Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley, JPN/GBR
2017 Yui Kamiji/Marjolein Buis, JPN/NED
2018 Diede de Groot/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED
2019 Diede de Groot/Aniek van Koot, NED/NED
2020 Diede de Groot/Aniek Van Koot, NED/NED

21 - Esther Vergeer, NED [7-5-3-6]
16 - Yui Kamiji, JPN [5-3-5-3]*
16 - ANIEK VAN KOOT, NED [4-6-3-3]*
14 - Jiske Griffioen, NED [5-3-2-4]*
11 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR [3-2-4-2]*
9 - DIEDE DE GROOT, NED [1-3-2-3]*
7 - Sharon Walraven, NED [2-1-2-2]
5 - Korie Homan, NED [1-1-1-2]
5 - Marjolein Buis, NED [2-2-0-1]*

42 - Esther Vergeer, NED (21/21)
24 - Yui Kamiji, JPN (8/16)*
19 - ANIEK VAN KOOT, NED (3/16)*
18 - Jiske Griffioen, NED (4/14)*
17 - DIEDE DE GROOT, NED (8/9)*
12 - Jordanne Whiley, GBR (1/11)*

TOP QUALIFIER: Mayar Sherif/EGY (first EGY woman in slam MD)
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #25 Amanda Anisimova/USA (lost 4 games)
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): Iga Swiatek/POL (no sets lost; def. #1 Halep)
TOP LATE-ROUND (SF-F): Iga Swiatek/POL (first slam title)
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q1: #17q Barbara Haas/AUT def. Diana Snigur/UKR 6-0/5-7/7-5 [Haas led 6-0/5-0 40/30, then DF; won on 4th MP on 5th attempt to serve out match]
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd.- (Q) Clara Tauson/DEN def. #21 Jennifer Brady/USA - 6-4/3-6/9-7 (17/slam debut; saved 2 MP, wins on MP #5)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3rd Rd. - Caroline Garcia/FRA def. #16 Elise Mertens/BEL - 1-6/6-4/7-5 (night match on Chatrier)
TOP LATE-RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr.-WC): Wheelchair SF - Momoko Ohtani/JPN def. #1 Diede de Groot/NED 7-5/6-4 (in second career slam, Ohtani upsets #1 seed and defending champion)
FIRST VICTORY: Kamilla Rakhimova/RUS (def.Rogers/USA)
FIRST SEED OUT: #17 Anett Kontaveit/EST (1st Rd./Garcia)
FIRST SLAM MD WINS: Bara/ROU, Burel/FRA, Paolini/ITA, Podoroska/ARG, Rakhimova/RUS, Tauson/DEN, Trevisan/ITA, Zarazua/MEX
NATION OF POOR SOULS: United States (4 of 7 seeds failed to reach 3r, Serena w/d 2r, US QF/SF Rogers & Brady 1r, Venus 1r, Gauff 2r w/ 19 DF)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Nadia Podoroska/ARG (SF) [LL Sharma-2nd Rd.]
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Genie Bouchard/CAN, Clara Burel/FRA, Tsvetana Pironkova/BUL (all 3rd Rd.)
PROTECTED RANKING WINS: Gavrilova/AUS (2r), AK.Schmiedlova/SVK (3r)
LAST PASTRY STANDING: Fiona Ferro and Carolina Garcia (4th Rd.)
Mademoiselle OPPORTUNITY: Iga Swiatek/POL
IT "New Dane on the Block": Clara Tauson/DEN
COMEBACK PLAYERS: Anna Karolina Schmiedlova/SVK (had 12 con slam MD L; def. Venus & Vika) and Alona Ostapenko/LAT (had zero RG wins since '17 title; def. #2 Ka.Pliskova 2nd Rd.)
CRASH & BURN: 2020 U.S. Open semifinalists (Osaka DNP; Brady out 1st Rd., Serena w/d 2nd Rd., Azarenka upset 2nd Rd. within 24 hrs. on Day 3/4)
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF PARIS: Kiki Bertens/NED (2nd Rd.: injured; Errani up a break 5 times in 3rd, served for match 3 times, 1 MP at 6-5; 3:11; collapses and wheeled off court after 9-7 win)
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: Guarachi/Krawczyk, Babos/Mladenovic
VETERAN PLAYERS (KIMIKO CUP): Laura Siegemund/GER (32; first slam QF) and Petra Kvitova/CZE (30; first RG semi since '12)
JUNIOR BREAKOUTS: Elsa Jacquemot/FRA (slam WD MD debut; first FRA RG Jr. champ since '09); Alina Charaeva/RUS (Jr. RU; upset 3 seeds)
Légion de Lenglen HONOREE: Court Chatrier roof (+night tennis) debuts
Coupe LA PETIT TAUREAU: Simona Halep/ROU [not able to be awarded on LPT Day/June 1, Justine Henin's birthday -- but Halep wins on Day 1 on *her* own birthday]

All for Day 14. More tomorrow.


Blogger colt13 said...

"I'm coming out. I want the world to know. Got to let it show."

Diana Ross, but it might as well be Iga. That was an impressive display throughout the tournament, taking out the heavy favorite, and finishing over a current slam winner.

After Osaka's IW run in 2018, and Andreescu in 2019, without this year's edition even being played, Swiatek decided to make sure we remember the name.

Wasn't Kenin's best day, still liked the match from 0-3 through end of first set.

Van Koot has an impressive number of titles.

Stat of the Day- 37- Career high for Marta Domachowska.

All Poland, all the time? No, but everybody else will carry the Swiatek banner. So let's look at the most successful Polish slam player in the Open Era.

Confused? Well, she was, for a day. You see, after Radwanska had reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2006, Domachowska did so in Australia in 2008. Then Radwanska did one better, reaching the QF.

Only playing the main draw of slams between 2005-2009, that 4th rd was the only time out of 17 that she passed the 2nd rd.

A 3 time singles finalist, she had 6 Top 30 wins, most over clay courters like Smashnova, Zuluaga, plus Medina Garrigues twice.

Sat Oct 10, 08:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Percy said...

Hi Todd, great write-up as always!

Ir's amazing to have this year's quarterfinalists (or better) from all 3 majors come from all six continents (with the exception of Antarctica, of course):

Asia - Osaka
Africa - Jabeur
Australia/Oceania - Barty
North America - e.g. Williams
South America - Podoroska
Europe - e.g. Swiatek

Speaks volumes on how the WTA has been massively diverse talent-wise these days. Has this even happened in recent memory, even with all 4 slams being played?

Cheers to a great RG!

Sun Oct 11, 10:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Catching up on comments, since RG (whew!) is *finally* over. From the 15 days, early starts and (now, with the roof) late finishes, this is the *longest* slam ever now. I hope the spring weather changes up that schedule a *bit* next spring.

Yeah, so many of Van Koot's slam wins have come in doubles with players who've generally "outshined" her in singles (i.e. Griffioen and de Groot, but not Vergeer, oddly enough). But she's been sneaky with her singles, winning three of the four over nearly a decade (and reaching three RG finals, too). She's been very opportunistic.

Thanks. ;)

Hmmm, I've got to think it's been quite a while, if it ever has. The Africa angle would seem to be the most rare (even w/ the South American thing, post-Sabatini), so I went back and checked on the years that Amanda Coetzer (RSA) reached slam QF. Here's what I found:

94 (5): Africa (Coetzer), Asia (Date), Europe, N.A., S.A. (Sabatini/Gorrochategui)
96: Africa, Asia, Europe, N.A.
97: Africa, Asia, Europe, N.A.
98: Africa, Europe, N.A.
01: Africa, Europe, N.A.

So, while you'd think Africa or South America might have been the missing piece, it turned out to be Australia. Dokic would have filled that spot in 1999 and 2000 (but not '02, as she wasn't with AUS that year). So unless there's an African region player I'm missing that could make a path to that, 2020 (even w/ just 3 majors) might just be the first year with six continents being represented in the QF+.

Mon Oct 12, 12:08:00 PM EDT  

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