Sunday, June 19, 2022

Wk.24- Jabeur is Champion

Apparently, "bett1 is mattress"... but *we* are Ons. In a perfect world, at least.


BERLIN, GERMANY (WTA 500/Grass Outdoor)
S: Ons Jabeur/TUN def. Belinda Bencic/SUI 6-3/2-1 ret.
D: Storm Sanders/Katerina Siniakova (AUS/CZE) def. Alize Cornet/Jil Teichmann (FRA/SUI) 6-4/6-3
S: Beatriz Haddad Maia/BRA def. Zhang Shuai/CHN 5-4 ret.
D: Lyudmyla Kichenok/Alona Ostapeko (UKR/LAT) w/o Elise Mertens/Zhang Shuai (BEL/CHN)
GAIBA, ITALY (WTA 125/Grass Outdoor)
S: Alison Van Uytvanck/BEL def. Sara Errani/ITA 6-4/6-3
D: Madison Brengle/Claire Liu (USA/USA) def. Vitalia Diatchenko/Oksana Kalashnikova (RUS/GEO) 6-4/6-3


PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Ons Jabeur/TUN and Beatriz Haddad Maia/BRA
...when Jabeur shows up, she brings the show along with her. Awe-inspiring shotmaking, great fan support, adoration from her fellow competitors and, the past two years, titles when she's playing with grass under her feet. And, yeah, this year a celebratory jump into a lake...

Last year, Jabeur cracked the code and finally put her name on a tour-level singles trophy in Birmingham. This year she gave Berlin a try. Same result.

Wins over Karolina Muchova (back so quickly... now cross your fingers and toes), Alycia Parks, Aliaksandra Sasnovich (from a set down, the only one she lost all week) and Coco Gauff sent the Tunisian into her eighth career final (fourth in '22). Unfortunately, Belinda Bencic's turned ankle transformed what might have been a great match into a fait accompli, as the Swiss retired early in the 2nd set, giving Jabeur a second straight major with a title-winning lead-up. Hopefully her go at Wimbledon will last longer than her trip to Paris did.

Jabeur will climb to #3 in the new rankings, leading into this coming week where she'll get some time on the court in Eastbourne with a new doubles partner (cough, cough... in case you haven't heard, she's won a few big titles).

In Birmingham, a week after sweeping the titles in Nottingham, Haddad Maia was crowned singles champion once more, posting wins over two former Wimbledon champions, coming from a break down to steal a 2nd Round match extended to a second day, and then sliding into the winners's circle when her opponent retired after playing less than a full set in the final in what was the second match of the day for both women.

After opening with a straight sets win over Petra Kvitova, Haddad found herself down 4-2 in the 3rd against Magdalena Frech when play was called for the day. She returned a day later and turned the tables on the Pole, winning a 7-3 TB to advance. After handling Camila Giorgi 3 & 2, Haddad's SF against Simona Halep was postponed until Sunday due to Saturday's rainout. In a back-and-fourth 3rd set with the Romanian, the Brazilian twice rallied from a break down in the set, taking a break lead of her own at 5-4 and serving out the win.

Having also played a long three-setter earlier in the day, Zhang Shuai (Haddad's doubles partner last week) retired down 5-4 in the 1st set in the final, giving Haddad her second straight singles title and extending her grass court winning streak to ten matches. She'll be up to yet another new career high of #29 on Monday.

RISERS: Belinda Bencic/SUI and Alison Van Uytvanck/BEL
...though her week ended in disappointment (after turning her ankle after planting her foot to return serve, then retiring three games later), Bencic's week included a series of three-set triumphs, one match that might be heard from come the end of the year, and a fifth appearance in a tour-level grass court final.

A runner-up a year ago in Berlin, during which she pulled off what *should* have been the Shot of the Year (but wasn't, as per usual with the WTA Awards)...

Bencic returned this year and ran off four consecutive three-set victories to return to the final, defeating Jule Niemeier, Anna Kalinskaya, Veronika Kudermetova and Maria Sakkari, the latter victory a dramatic 3:10 affair that will be on the short list for Match of the Year come fall. It set up a potentially dynamic final against Ons Jabeur, but Bencic's bad step down 5-3 in the 1st effectively put an end to that. She tried to soldier on, but retired down 2-1 in the 2nd with Wimbledon just a week away.

Bencic's five grass finals have come in four different events, with Rosmalen (2015), Eastbourne (2015) and Mallorca (2019) also on her career resume.

In Gaiba, Van Uytvanck won her second less-than-tour-level grass title this month, adding her third career WTA 125 crown to the Surbiton $100K ITF challenger she won two weeks ago. The Belgian defeated vet Sara Errani in straight sets on Italian soil to finish the job, not dropping a set all week as she improved to 8-1 in career WTA/WTA 125 finals and 21-8 on all levels.

While Van Uytvanck has also collected a $100K grass title at Ilkley (2021), Gaiba is her biggest grass final. She's never reached a tour-level final on the surface, and is just 5-7 at Wimbledon (only once advancing beyond the 2nd Rd.).
...two months after having elbow surgery, the Italian vet is suddenly doing things she's never done before. In this case, reaching a *grass* court final for the very first time at the WTA 125 in Gaiba, Italy.

Errani, 35, has never been much of a factor on grass. Her best Wimbledon result was a 3rd Round run twelve years ago, and her last MD win at SW19 was in 2016. She hasn't appeared in a Wimbledon MD since '17. Coming into this week, none of her 26 pro singles finals (19 WTA, 1 125, 6 ITF) had come on grass. But there the world #213 was this week, knocking off Madison Brengle, Lucrezia Stefanini, Kateryna Baindl and Diane Parry to reach the final, where she fell in straights to Alison Van Uytvanck.


VETERANS: Zhang Shuai/CHN and Simona Halep/ROU
...Zhang had a pretty brilliant week going, until she didn't.

Once rain called off both singles semifinals in Birmingham on Saturday, one could see that trouble may be just around the corner, especially for Zhang, who was alive in *both* the singles semis and doubles final (w/ Elise Mertens).

Zhang had already been forced to go three sets against qualifier Jana Fett, then to rally from 3-1 down in the 2nd Round vs. Gabriela Ruse just to reach the late rounds. A straight sets win over Dayana Yastremska put her into the semis. But after winning another long three-setter, decided in a 3rd set TB, over Sorana Cirstea early on Sunday to reach the final, Zhang was staring at a virtual mountain she would now be asked to climb. The final was scheduled a short while later in the day, and would take place *before* the doubles final even *later* in the day. The (figurative this time) storm clouds were hovering.

As it was, Zhang would only make it through nine games against Beatriz Haddad Maia before calling it day (simultaneously crowning champs in both singles *and* doubles), and ultimately settled for having become the sixth woman this season to reach s/d finals at the same event (just a week after teaming with Haddad to help her sweep both crowns in Nottingham).

Meanwhile, Halep is still looking for a "signature" result under new coach Patrick Mouratoglou (don't tell me it'll have to be attempted when she -- likely, right? -- ends up drawing the short straw, i.e. Serena, at SW19), and she again came up just short of a shot at *something* in Birmingham.

After wins over Lesia Tsurenko, Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter, the Romanian engaged in, but lost, a back-and-fourth 3rd set in her Sunday SF against Beatriz Haddad Maia. If she'd won it, *Halep* would have been the one picking up a singles title a few hours later, her first on grass in her first event on the surface since winning the 2019 Wimbledon crown, when Zhang retired in the final.

As it is, Halep, what with '21 winner Ash Barty retired, will be the "unofficial" defending champ at SW19 a week from now, playing the event for the first time since she won the '19 final over Serena (Wimbledon was cancelled in '20, and Halep was out with her calf injury last year).


COMEBACKS: Donna Vekic/CRO and Katie Boulter/GBR
...Vekic is having to take the long path back on her comeback.

After having knee surgery last year, Vekic returned and won a late season title, her first on tour since 2017. But come the opening weeks of '22, her injury still hadn't sufficiently healed and she had to take a couple more months off after starting her season with a 1st Round AO loss. She finally recorded her first multi-win event of '22 in her sixth tournament in mid-May, then had to play through RG qualifying to reach her tenth straight MD in Paris. She reached the 2nd Round.

After a 1st Round exit last week in Nottingham, Vekic (at #92, after earlier this year falling out of the Top 100) was back in the Q-rounds in Birmingham, reaching the MD with wins over Katie Swan and Gabriela Lee, then backing them up with additional victories over CoCo Vandeweghe and Caty McNally before falling in three sets in the QF (her second straight in Birmingham) against Sorana Cirstea. This weekend, Vekic again made it through qualifying in Eastbourne, knocking off Lily Miyazaki to reach another MD.

Vekic reached her first career slam Round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2018, and has played in three tour-level singles finals on grass in her career.

Still working her way back after a back injury stopped her progress a few seasons ago, Boulter (awarded a Wimbledon WC this week) collected impressive wins in Birmingham over Nottingham finalist Alison Riske and Caroline Garcia, a two-time tour winner on grass, to reach the QF.

The Brit lost to Simona Halep in the QF, but it was her first final eight result on tour since Nottingham last summer. Boulter has already posted a MD win in Eastbourne over Tereza Martincova.


FRESH FACES: Coco Gauff/USA and Diane Parry/FRA
...coming in off her Roland Garros final run on clay, Gauff posted her first career WTA QF/SF result on grass in Berlin, taking out Ann Li, Wang Xinyu and Karolina Pliskova (who'd been impressive through the first two rounds, bageling Kaia Kanepi in back-to-back sets and outdueling Bianca Andreescu in a 3rd set TB). With her Top 10 debut on her racket in a semifinal match-up with Ons Jabeur, Gauff fell in straights to the #1 seed.

With her four consecutive straight setters, Gauff has now finished up in two sets in 15 straight matches (going 11-4) and in 28 of her last 29 (18-10).

Meanwhile, the call has gone out...

19-year old Parry added a WTA 125 grass court SF run in Gaiba to her 3rd Round result on the terre battue in Paris. Parry will make her Wimbledon MD debut in a week.

The Pastry posted wins over Lisa Pigato, Joanne Züger and Tatjana Maria before falling to Sara Errani one win shy of her third career 125 final appearance (Parry was 1-1 in a pair of 125 finals last November).
DOWN: Garbine Muguruza/ESP
...Muguruza's "miss" of a season continues, as the Spaniard *still* hasn't found a suitable follow up to her season-ending WTAF title from last year.

In Berlin, Muguruza fell 7-6(10)/6-4 to Andrea Petkovic in her opening match. She managed to save 4 MP on her own serve at 5-3 in the 2nd, but the German quickly took a 40/love lead on serve a game later won on her fifth try. Muguruza, more than half-way through the season, has still only notched seven match wins (7-10), with five of her first nine losses having come in matches in which she won the opening set. That wasn't the case this time, though, as Petkovic picked up her first Top 10 win since the 2019 U.S. Open.

Yes, Muguruza has somehow managed to maintain her Top 10 ranking, providing more than a few '22 opponents with some "first Top 10 win since.../first Top 10 win..." moments. She'll continue to hold the spot a little while longer. Coco Gauff could have replaced her at #10 on Monday with a semifinal win in Berlin, but she fell to Ons Jabeur.

...2022 is turning out to be Galfi's big break. The 2015 U.S. Open girls' champ had already made her Top 100 debut this season, and this week in Ilkley she picked up her biggest career title, winning the grasscourt $100K challenger (in her first career grass final) with wins over Caroline Dolehide, Yanina Wickmayer, Mandy Minella, Katie Volynets and Brit Jodie Burrage in a three-set final.

Burrage, just awarded a Wimbledon WC, had reached the final without dropping a set, two weeks after reaching the $100K Surbiton semis. Before Galfi, her only '22 grass court defeats had come at the hands of Alison Van Uytvanck (Surbiton & WTA 125 Gaiba champ) and Zhang Shuai (Birmingham s/d finalist).
...just weeks after reaching the Roland Garros girls singles semis (and winning the junior doubles), 16-year old Bejlek was back out on the ITF challenger circuit picking up titles.

In the $60K in Ceska Lipa, Czech Republic, Bejlek strung together wins over Maria Carle, Renata Zarazua (in 3:30), Rebecca Sramkova and fellow Czech Jesika Maleckova in a 6-4/6-4 final to take the crown. The victory improves the teenager's ITF final record to 3-0 (2-0 in '22), and the title matches her career best in Olomouc (CZE) last year. All three finals have come on clay.

Bejlek will jump more than 50 spots in the pro rankings this week, to being on the cusp of cracking the Top 200 at #213. She's the youngest player ranked in the Top 350, and the third youngest player ranked in the Top 750. The only younger? #354 Nikola Bartunkova (by about a month) and #396 Brenda Fruhvirtova (15), both fellow Czech Crush members.

DOUBLES: Storm Sanders/Katerina Siniakova (AUS/CZE) and Lyudmyla Kichenok/Alona Ostapenko (UKR/LAT)
...Barbora Krejcikova has been an iffy (at best) WD partner in '22 for Siniakova, but that hasn't stopped the Czech from getting hers. After having missed out on defending a RG crown in Paris, Siniakova teamed with Sanders en route to the title in Berlin, the former WD #1's first grass title since winning Wimbledon in '18 with Krejcikova.

Sanders/Siniakova won a 12-10 MTB early in the week over Nicole Melichar-Martinez/Ellen Perez, and reached the final with a SF victory over the surprising pairing of Bianca Andreescu & Sabine Lisicki. They then took a 6-4/6-3 final over another surprise duo, Alize Cornet & Jil Teichmann, getting Sanders her third career tour title (second this year after winning Adelaide with someone named Barty) and the Czech #17.

Siniakova has seen her doubles ranking slip from #1 to #4 (this week) in '22, even while winning the AO with Krejcikova. Her tour-best third '22 title comes with a third different partner (she won Melbourne w/ Bernarda Pera, as well). Siniakova, who'll edge back up to WD #3 on Monday, remains a U.S. Open title away from completing a Career Super Slam in doubles (all four majors, Olympic Gold and WTAF wins).

Meanwhile, Ostapenko closed out a rather eventful week (aren't they always?) by picking up the Birmingham title alongside L.Kichenok without having to actually play a match on Sunday, the beneficiaries of the *second* WTA final scuttled due to Zhang Shuai's injury (and third overall of four, w/ Belinda Bencic's fall in Berlin). The #2 seeds, L.Kichenok/Ostapenko had posted wins over Lyudmyla's sister Nadiia & Aleksandra Krunic to start the week, then won a 12-10 MTB over Lauren Davis/Caty McNally before knocking off #3-seeds Lucie Hradecka/Sania Mirza in the semis. #1 Zhang & Elise Mertens had been set to face off with them in the final, which would have been Zhang's *third* match of the day had it been played.

This is Kichenok/Ostapenko's third significant WD result this season (on three surfaces), having reached the Dubai final (a loss to Mertens & Veronika Kudermetova) and semifinals in Madrid/Roland Garros prior to winning this their first title together. The win is Ostapenko's fifth career WTA doubles title (w/ 5 different partners), and Kichenok's sixth.

...with the top-ranked players sitting out this week, Zhu stepped into the spotlight at the Toyota Open (Series 2) in La Couarde Sur Mer, France as the 32-year old world #9 picked up her first singles title since 2020. After previous '22 victories over the likes of KG Montjane, Dana Mathewson and Lucy Shuker, Zhu's win came via a 3 & love victory in the final over French player Pauline Deroulede. It was Zhu's second final of the season, having lost to Yui Kamiji in the Victorian Open championship match before the Australian Open.

Zhu also reached the doubles final alongside Maria Florencia Moreno, but fell in a 10-7 MTB to Deroulede & Katharina Kruger.


1. Berlin SF - Belinda Bencic def. Maria Sakkari
...6-7(6)/6-4/6-4. Bencic prevails in a tight, tough match in which there was often very little separating her and Sakkari, often with an odd bounce being the deciding factor.

Bencic held a SP at 6-5 in the opening set TB, only to see Sakkari ultimately end the 1:12 set with a net cord winner. Bencic rebounded in the 2nd, taking a final lead at 5-4 with a love hold with three winners and an ace. She then converted on her fifth BP of game #10 to knot the match. Neither player gave up a break of serve through the first nine games of the 3rd before Bencic got a match-ending break in game #10, converting on her third MP with a backhand and put-away winner, then falling to the ground in celebration at the foot of the net at the end of the 3:07 battle.

While Bencic advanced to her second straight Berlin final, Sakkari (in her maiden grass semi) fell to 5-16 in career SF (though an improved 2-2 in '22), and 6-20 in SF/F combined in her career (2-4 '22).

2. Birmingham 2nd Rd. - Dayana Yastresmka def. Alona Ostapenko
...3-6/7-5/7-5. In a match replete with questionable line calls, Ostapenko dropped the 1st after serving at just a 30% clip on first serves. The Latvian rebounded to take the 2nd and led 3-1 in the 3rd, only to be outdone by Yastremska's 14 aces.

Thankfully, being good friends and sometimes doubles partners, Yastremska "gets" Ostapenko, so there shouldn't be any lingering "aftereffects" between the two from the Latvian's POV after this tough defeat.

3. Berlin 1st Rd. - Dasha Kasatkina def. Anhelina Kalinina
...5-7/6-3/6-1. While the relatively few Russian/Ukrainian match-ups of late have predominantly featured fairly understated reactions on the part of both players, Kasatkina was having none of that when Kalinina hit the deck during their 1st Round encounter in Berlin.

Kasatkina followed up with a win over Rosmalen champ Ekaterina Alexandrova, but fell to Maria Sakkari in the QF.
4. Birmingham 1st Rd. - Alona Ostapenko def. Rebecca Marino
...6-2/5-7/6-3. Ostapenko won six straight games to take the 1st set, and won 11 of 12 as she led Marino 6-2/5-1. Well, we're talking about Ostapenko in a three-set match, so you can guess how things went in the 2nd. She then corrected her aim in the 3rd and put the Canadian away. Afterward, being Alona, she dared to speak her mind, ruffling more than a few social media feathers... but, really, the "what did I say that wasn't true?" look on her face is backed up by, well, her entire career.

5. Birmingham SF - Beatriz Haddad Maia def. Simona Halep 6-3/2-6/6-4
Birmingham SF - Zhang Shuai def. Sorana Cirstea 4-6/6-1/7-6(5)
...Romanians aside, with a *second* match on deck for the winners, Sunday's pair of semifinals weren't exactly ideal. Especially for one of the winners, as it turned out.

Hadded outdueled Halep in the 3rd set to reach her second straight final, twice overcoming a break deficit by immediately breaking back, then breaking the former Wimbledon champ for 5-4 and serving out the win, converting on MP #2 after DF'ing on her first attempt. The loss was Halep's first on grass since the Eastbourne QF in 2019 (to Kerber).

Zhang, with the prospect of *two* finals on her Day Planner (s+d), outlasted Romanian #2 to reach her second grass final in two years ('21 Nottingham RU).

This was Cirstea's first career grass court semi, continuing what has been an outstanding season -- 3 SF, AO 4r -- for the 32-year old, a year after she picked up her first tour title since 2008.
6. Birmingham 2nd Rd. - Beatriz Haddad Maia def. Magdelena Frech 6-1/5-7/7-6(3)
Birmingham 2nd Rd. - Zheng Shuai def. Gabriela Ruse 6-2/2-6/7-5
...both Birmingham finalists had to rally to escape the early rounds. Haddad trailed Frech 4-2 in the 3rd when play was suspended, while Zheng had to come from 3-1 back in the final set vs. Ruse to get the win.

7. Berlin 1st Rd. - Dasha Saville def. Jil Teichmann
...6-7(2)/7-5/6-2. Money, it's gotta be the shoes.

Dasha continues to be the gift that keeps on giving...

Teichmann spent the rest of her week reaching the WD finals w/ Alize Cornet, while Saville was awarded (by Wimbledon) her third WC into a slam MD this season. Sanders, with *another* pair of shoes, won the doubles title.

8. $15K Monastir TUN Final - Francesca Curmi def. Sayaka Ishii
...6-2/4-6/7-5. Malta's Curmi, 19, liked becoming the first from her nation to lift a pro singles title last week so much that she did it again *this* weekend.


9. $100K Ilkley GBR 1st Rd. - Lily Miyazaki def. Kristina Mladenovic 6-7(4)/6-4/6-4
$100K Ilkley GBR 2nd Rd. - Sonay Kartal def. Lily Miyazaki 3-6/6-3/6-3 the same week that saw them awarded Wimbledon wild cards that will allow them to make their slam MD debuts a little over a week from now, both Brits shined in Ilkley.

Miyazaki took out Mladenovic in three sets just days after the Pastry had won (on clay) her first singles title since 2017. Miyazaki then lost to Kartal, who notched her tenth straight three-set win this season. Miyazaki's cramping caused her to be unable to meet her countrywoman at the net.

Kartal eventually reached the semifinals, falling to fellow Brit Jodie Burrage, but her four ITF wins in '22 continue to lead the circuit.
10. $25K Sumter USA SF - Hanna Chang def. Carol Young Suh Lee
...6-2/6-4. In her first pro singles event, 20-year old qualifier Young Suh Lee posted MD wins over Elli Mandlik and Ashlyn Krueger. In 2019 at the Australian Open, the Northern Mariana Islands native became the first from her nation to play in junior slam competiton.

11. Bad Homburg 1st Rd. - Katie Swan def. Sloane Stephens
...2-6/6-4/6-2. Swan's first MD tour win this season.

So, what's this loss good for when it comes to Sloane? Round of 16 at Wimbledon?
12. $25K Sumter USA Final - Sophie Chang def. Hanna Chang
...6-2/4-6/7-6(5). Sophie wins the all-Bannerette, all-Chang battle in South Carolina, picking up her fifth career challenger crown.
HM- Birmingham Final - Beatriz Haddad Maia def. Zhang Shuai 5-4 ret.
Berlin Final - Ons Jabeur def. Belinda Bencic 6-3/2-1 ret.
...not exactly the sort of endings to finals that the WTA would like.

But the tour generally comes through in the end...



1. Berlin 1st Rd. - Karolina Pliskova def. Kaia Kanepi
...6-7(5)/6-0/6-0. At the moment, any spurt of brilliance/dominance is bound to bring up an Iga Swiatek reference. But this one from Pliskova comes about quite honestly, as it was only a little more than a year ago that the current #1 squashed the Czech in the Rome final by a 6-0/6-0 score in one of the most high profile examples of the Pole's affinity for bagels on gameday.

In the 1st Round in Berlin against Kanepi, Pliskova ultimately lost the 1st set despite firing 9 aces and saving 7 of 7 BP, but then took out her frustration on the Estonian in the 2nd and 3rd sets. For the day, Pliskova had 17 aces and saved all 8 BP she faced.


2. Berlin 2nd Rd. - Karolina Pliskova def. Bianca Andreescu
...6-4/2-6/7-6(7). Before Coco Gauff got in the way, Pliskova looked like she might be formulating something special in Berlin. She staged a comeback from 3-1 down vs. Andreescu in the 3rd, and the Canadian served for the match at 5-4 before the Czech won four of the final five games of the match. So, maybe Karolina can peak a *little later* in the grass season?

Andreescu celebrated her birthday a day later, after her QF doubles match alongside Sabine Lisicki. And there was cake!

3. Berlin 1st Rd. - Veronika Kudermetova def. Aryna Sabalenka 2-6/7-5/6-4
Berlin 2nd Rd. - Veronika Kudermetova def. Liudmila Samsonova 6-3/6-7(5)/6-1
...Kudermetova's week ended in the QF against Bencic, but only after a pair of impressive wins in which she battled from both behind and ahead to get victories.

In a battle of Ekaterina Alexandrova's final two opponents en route to a title last week at Rosmalen, Kudermetova trailed Sabalenka 6-2/4-1 before rallying to get the win. Against Berlin DC Samsonova, Kudermetova was the one squandering a lead, having led 6-3/4-0 and served at 5-4 before being forced to a 3rd set. In the decider, she grabbed an early 3-0 lead and carried the momentum through until the end.

4. $25K Santo Domingo DOM Final - Hurricane Tyra Black def. Jana Kolodynska
...6-3/6-3. 21-year old Black picks up her third '22 crown. 5-2 in her ITF career, she's gone 4-1 in finals since last June.

5. $25K Ra'anana ISR Final -Polina Kudermetova def. Maria Timofeeva
...4-6/6-4/7-5. Veronika's 19-year old sister wins her fifth pro title, and second of '22.








As handy in these NCAA-to-WTA times as H-E-double net posts, I'd say...




Under her personal circumstances, probably the right move...






6 - Iga Swiatek, POL (Doha/IW/Mia/Stutt/Rome/RG)
2 - Ash Barty, AUS (Adelaide/AO)
2 - ONS JABEUR, TUN (Madrid/Berlin)
9 - 1/2/6 - Iga Swiatek
7 - 1/5/1 - Ash Barty
5 - 0/4/1 - Anett Kontaveit
5 - 3/2/0 - Aryna Sabalenka
4 - 3/0/1 - Simona Halep
3 - 0/2/1 - Paula Badosa
3 - 0/1/2 - ONS JABEUR
3 - 0/3/0 - Barbora Krejcikova
3 - 0/3/0 - Garbine Muguruza
3 - 2/1/0 - Elina Svitolina

8 - Serena Williams, USA
6 - Venus Williams, USA
4 - Petra Kvitova, CZE
3 - Angelique Kerber, GER
3 - Karolina Pliskova, CZE
2 - Carolina Garcia, FRA
2 - Simona Halep, ROU
2 - Madison Keys, USA
2 - CoCo Vandeweghe, USA

6 - Iga Swiatek, POL (6-0)
4 - ONS JABEUR, TUN (2-2)
3 - Veronika Kudermetova, RUS (0-3)
2 - Ash Barty, AUS (2-0)
2 - Anett Kontaveit, EST (1-1)
2 - ZHANG SHUAI, CHN (1-1)
2 - Alison Riske, USA (0-2)
2 - Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (0-2)
2 - Maria Sakkari, GRE (0-2)
10 - 1/7/2 - Kontaveit (5-4-1)
9 - 1/6/2 - Barty (8-1)
9 - 1/2/6 - Swiatek (9-0)
8 - 3/3/2 - Sabalenka (5-3)
7 - 0/3/4 - JABEUR (3-4)
6 - 1/5/0 - Muguruza (3-3)
6 - 5/0/1 - Rybakina (1-5)
5 - 3/1/1 - Halep (4-1)
5 - 0/4/1 - Krejcikova (3-2)
5 - 0/3/2 - BENCIC (2-3)
5 - 0/2/3 - V.Kudermetova (1-4)
5 - 2/3/0 - Ka.Pliskova (1-4)

35 - Iga Swiatek (active)
11 - Ash Barty (ended by retirement)
11 - Ons Jabeur
10 - Martina Trevisan
10 - Beatriz Haddad Maia (active)

*MOST WTA SF in 2022*
8 - Iga Swiatek, POL (6-2)
4 - ONS JABEUR, TUN (4-0)
4 - Veronika Kudermetova, RUS (1-1 +WW)
4 - Dasha Kasatkina, RUS (0-4)
3 - Anett Kontaveit, EST (2-1)
3 - Aryna Sabalenka, BLR (2-1)
3 - Ekaterina Alexandrova, RUS (1-2)
3 - Paula Badosa, ESP (1-2)
3 - COCO GAUFF, USA (1-2)
3 - Alona Ostapenko, LAT (1-2)

16 - USA (9-7)
15 - RUS (5-10)
8 - POL (6-2)
8 - ROU (1-7)
5 - CZE (2-3)
5 - SUI (2-3)
4 - TUN (4-0)
4 - BLR (3-1)
4 - BRA (3-1)
4 - CHN (2-2)
4 - GRE (2-2)
4 - ESP (1-3)
3 - EST (2-1)
3 - ITA (1-2)
3 - JPN (1-2)
3 - LAT (1-2)
2 - AUS (2-0)
2 - GER (2-0)
2 - COL (1-1)
2 - KAZ (1-1)
2 - SLO (1-1)
2 - FRA (0-2)
1 - CAN (1-0)
1 - HUN (0-1)
1 - UKR (1-0)
25 nations = 27 events/108 semifinalists

34 - Tatjana Maria, GER (Bogota - W)
34 - Angelique Kerber, GER (Strasbourg - W)
33 - Zhang Shuai, CHN (Lyon - W)
31 - Alison Riske, USA (Nottingham - L)
31 - Alison Riske, USA (Adelaide 2 - L)
30 - Simona Halep, ROU (Melbourne 1 - W)

Adelaide 1: Ash Barty, AUS (W/W)
Dubai: Alona Ostapenko, LAT (W/L)
Dubai: Veronika Kudermetova, RUS (L/W)
Roland Garros: Coco Gauff, USA (L/L)
Nottingham: Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA (W/W)
Birmingham: ZHANG SHUAI, CHN (L/L walkover)

3 - Katerina Siniakova, CZE
2 - Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA
2 - Eri Hozumi, JPN
2 - Veronika Kudermetova, RUS
2 - Makoto Ninimoya, JPN
2 - Jessie Pegula, USA
2 - Storm Sanders, AUS
2 - Laura Siegemund, GER
2 - Vera Zvonareva, RUS

5 (2-3) = Veronika Kudermetova, RUS
3 (2-1) = Beatriz Haddad Maia, BRA
3 (2-1) = Jessie Pegula, USA
3 (1-1+L) = ZHANG SHUAI, CHN
3 (1-2) = Coco Gauff, USA
[2022 finals - duos]
4...V.Kudermetova/Mertens, RUS/BEL (1-3)
2...Siegemund/Zvonareva, GER/RUS (2-0)
2...Dabrowski/Olmos, CAN/MEX (1-1)
2...Danilina/Haddad Maia, KAZ/BRA (1-1)
2...Gauff/Pegula, USA/USA (1-1)
2...Hozumi/Ninomiya, JPN/JPN (2-0)
2...Krawczyk/Schuurs, USA/NED (1-1)
2...Hradecka/Mirza, IND/CZE (0-2)

*2022 $100K FINALS*
Palm Harbor, USA (gc) - Katie Volynets/USA d. Wang Xiyu/CHN
Charleston USA (gc) - Taylor Townsend/USA d. Wang Xiyu/CHN
Wiesbaden, GER (rc) - Danka Kovinic/MNE d. Nastasja Schunk/GER
Bonita Springs, USA (gc) - Gabriela Talaba Lee/ROU d. Katarzyna Kawa/POL
La Bisbal d'Emporda, ESP (rc) - Wang Xinyu/CHN d. Erika Andreeva/RUS
Surbiton, GBR (gr) - Alison Van Uytvanck/BEL d. Arina Rodionova/AUS
Ilkley, GBR (gr) - Dalma Galfi/HUN def. Jodie Burrage/GBR









All for now.


Blogger colt13 said...

Your comment about Zhang's week being good until it wasn't is on point. She is highest unseeded player at Wimbledon for now.

Serena is older than half of the women on the invitational doubles list.

Noskova pulled out of Wimbledon Q with injury.

Knew that clip of Ostapenko was going up.

Remember the year that Dulgheru won Warsaw? The first time was 2009, and she won it ranked 201. She was 30 spots out of RG, and didn't enter Wimbledon. By the time RG was played, she was 83, then 88 by Wimbledon.

Why do I spotlight a Top 100 player missing a slam? Because that happens from time to time. But ranked 124, Pigossi got in a couple of days ago. This means that unless we have a rogue finalist this week, every person that reached a WTA final this season had a rank high enough to get into the main draw. Even in a weakened field, 29 women that have done so will be there.

Stat of the Week- 11- Career SF for Monica Puig.

She reached 4 finals, the pinnacle being the Olympics in 2016. That was her career year, in which she won 43 WTA matches, never winning more than 23 in any other season.

A 2 time winner, officially 1 under WTA rules, she holds a unique place in history as one of the few women from Puerto Rico to have sustained success on tour.

Quiz Time!

Monica Puig had 19 Top 20 wins. Against which player did she have the most Top 20 wins? Multiple answers accepted.

A.Nadia Petrova
B.Angeligue Kerber
C.Caroline Wozniacki
D.Sara Errani

Interlude- More Monica back in 2013.


I actually forgot about (A)Petrova losing to Puig. This was Puig's first Top 20 win, in Petrova's last French Open.

Even though Puig got her twice, (C)Wozniacki is wrong. They actually went 3-3 overall.

(B)Kerber is correct. Both the highest ranked- #2, along with Wozniacki twice, and the most important, she was also the last-Wuhan 2019, as Puig got her 3 times, as they also went 3-3 overall.

This means that (D)Errani is also correct. Got 3 vs Sara, going 4-1, a record that was pristine until their last match, the 2020 French Open, which was Puig's last slam.

Mon Jun 20, 01:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Up Side- The Warmup Act.

1.Kasatkina- Can she leave the grass season with a bang? Bad Homburg pick has reached 4 SF and has won multiple matches in 8 of 12 events this season.
2.Rybakina- Eastbourne pick has reached 2 SF on grass, including Eastbourne last year. The 2 that defeated her(Bertens/Ostapenko) have both been QF or better at Wimbledon, so someone with a good grass pedigree would make for a good match.
3.Kerber- 2013. 2017. 2020. Name the only years since 2012 that Kerber hasn't reached a final on grass. That is insane for as short as the grass season is.
4.Sakkari- Calling her SF-akkari is fair, but she has a game that should do good on grass. Not sure I trust her at Wimbledon, so why not this week?
5.Marino- LL already won a match at Eastbourne. Even better? She gets points for that, which she would not have if she was at Wimbledon Q. In the MD instead of being 7 out if the banned players were in, she gets a break, though she may have qualified anyway, like she did for AO and RG.

Mon Jun 20, 01:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

5 On the Down Side.

1.Gasanova- 189 pts out of the US Open main draw. Getting banned from Wimbledon hurts as this is the second year things went haywire. Last year, she had visa problems and could not enter the US. That has been solved, as she lost in Q at both IW and Miami this year. However, she went from Wimbledon to Collogne-Bellerive, Karlsruhe, Prague and the lack of points last year have kept her in Q this one.
2.Osaka- On this list so I can skip her for Wimbledon. Hopefully the Achilles will heal, but she wasn't a threat. In one of the more shocking stats, since Osaka won her first slam, she has not won a match at Wimbledon.
3.Martic- In 2019, she beat 6 players ranked above 80 on grass. The only wins since then are vs players ranked 90 and 199. Already lost this week.
4.Golubic- She's good on grass. I say that, but after going 9-4 on the surface last year, she is 3-3 in this one, even with the Nottingham SF. Will lose a chunk of points from that and Wimbledon.
5.Collins- The gunslinger. Blowing on her fingers after a great shot makes for a good meme, but she is 6-6 in her last 12. Since she left Australia, she has only won back to back matches in Miami. Can she turn it around?

Mon Jun 20, 02:10:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

It seems like every other Ostapenko match comes with footnotes and additional video. This week it's as a call back to her argument with Tomljanovic from last year's Wimbledon.

Quiz: went with Kerber because of Puig's Olympic final win, figuring maybe she had at least another. ;)

Another player who's suddenly gone off radar after a big run is Kaja Juvan. Since her dramatic Strasbourg final against Kerber, she's gone 1-3, and retired from her match in Bad Homburg this week. She'd won 21 of 27 prior to her loss to Kerber, and has now lost 4 of 5.

Wed Jun 22, 12:56:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

So, it's happening...

After RG upped the ante by increasing the WC singles draw to 12, the U.S. Open has seen their bet and raised it to *16* players in the singles draws *and* eight doubles pairs *and* a first-ever junior slam competition (so Lizzy de Greef will hopefully make her debut).

Virtual pat on the back to the USTA.

Wed Jun 22, 05:35:00 PM EDT  

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