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Friday, December 30, 2011

2011's #8 Male Player - Mardy Fish


It's great to see Mardy Fish finally reach the Top 10 and at the yearend, at that!  He lost in the second round in Melbourne and the third round in Roland Garros but reached the quarterfinals in Wimbledon and the fourth round in the US Open.  He also won Atlanta this year and played in his first year end World Tour Finals.  He lost all his matches to Nadal, Tsonga and Federer.

2011's #9 Male Player: Janko Tipsarevic


Wow!  Janko Tipsarevic in the Top 10!  I guess it has been a fantastic year for Serbian tennis, with Novak Djokovic almost winning a Grand Slam, and now, his compatriot, Janko, making it to #9 in the yearend list!  In the Grand Slams, Janko lost in the second round in Melbourne, the third round in Roland Garros, and the first round in Wimbledon.  But in the US Open, he reached his first quarterfinal.  He was on a roll after that, winning Kuala Lumpur and Moscow.

2011's #10 Male Player: Nicolas Almagro



I was quiet happy to see that Nicolas Almagro was able to land in the yearend Top 10 rankings in the ATP Men's Tour for 2011!  How cool is that!  Mainly famous for being a clay courter, I guess, being ranked #10 means that Nico has done well in all four surfaces this year too!  He won the titles in Costa de Sauipe and Buenos Aires after exiting the Australian Open in the fourth round.  He also won Nice but had a first round exit in Roland Garros and a third round bye bye at Wimbledon. He also lost first round in the US Open.

Well, if he does improve his Grand Slam performance this year, and I think he can, well, Nico can stay in the Top 10!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Women's World Cup Tennis 2011 Groupings

Based on the rankings released year-end, here are the Top 16 teams for the Women's World Cup Tennis 2011 Championships and their respective groupings.

GROUP A

RUSSIA
Maria Sharapova
Vera Zvonareva
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

CHINA
Li Na
Peng Shuai
Zheng Jie

ROMANIA
Monica Niculescu
Irina-Camelia Begu
Simona Halep

BELARUS
Victoria Azarenka
Anastasiya Yakimova
Olga Govortsova

GROUP B


GERMANY
Andrea Petkovic
Sabine Lisicki
Julia Goerges


SERBIA
Jelena Jankovic
Ana Ivanovic
Bojana Jovanovski

SPAIN
Anabel Medina Garrigues
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Carla Suarez Navarro

GREAT BRITAIN
Elena Baltacha
Anne Keothavong
Heather Watson

GROUP C

ITALY
Francesca Schiavone
Flavia Pennetta
Roberta Vinci

AUSTRALIA
Samantha Stosur
Jarmila Gajdosova
Jelena Dokic

SLOVAKIA
Dominika Cibulkova
Daniela Hantuchova
Magdalena Rybarikova

BELGIUM
Kim Clijsters
Yanina Wickmayer
Kirsten Flipkens


GROUP D

CZECH REPUBLIC
Petra Kvitova
Lucie Safarova
Petra Cetkovska

UNITED STATES
Serena Williams
Christina McHale
Bethanie Mattek-Sands

FRANCE
Marion Bartoli
Pauline Parmentier
Mathilde Johansson


JAPAN
Ayumi Morita
Kimiko Date-Krumm
Misaki Doi


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Europe-Africa Women's Open Fantasy Tennis 2011





The final year-end rankings have been released already and it's time to play fantasy tennis using the continents.  This will be the first year for the combined Europe-Africa Women's Open Fantasy Tennis 2011.

If no African player can enter in the Top 16, the last three slots will be allotted to them, meaning seeds #14, 15 and 16.  For this year, we will go immediately to the round of 16 and use the seedings used in the Beijing Open.

A country can have as many players as the rankings show.  There will be no limitations per entry per country.

Here are draws for the Upper and Lower part for 2011 -

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) (1) vs. Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) (14)
Sabine Lisicki (GER) (12) vs. Marion Bartoli (FRA) (7)
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) (3) vs. Nadia Lalami (MAR) (16)
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) (11) vs. Vera Zvonareva (RUS) (5)

Lower Draw:

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) (6) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL) (10)
Chanel Simmonds (RSA) (15) Maria Sharapova (RUS) (4)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) (8) vs. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) (9)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) (13) vs. Petra Kvitova (CZE) (2)

The quarterfinal pairings look like this after their respective head-to-heads -

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) (1) vs. Sabine Lisicki (GER) (12)
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) (3) vs. Vera Zvonareva (RUS) (5)

Kim Clijsters (BEL) (10) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS) (4)

Andrea Petkovic (GER) (8) vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) (13)

The semifinal pairings look like this after their respective head-to-heads -


Sabine Lisicki (GER) (12) vs.  Vera Zvonareva (RUS) (5)

Kim Clijsters (BEL) (10) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER) (8)

The finals look like this after the head-to-heads -

Vera Zvonareva (RUS (5) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL) (10)

Bronze Medal Match:

Sabine Lisicki (GER) (12) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER) (8) (WINNER)

This year's champions for the Europe-Africa Women's Open Fantasy Tennis are -

GOLD - Kim Clijsters (BEL) (10)
SILVER - Vera Zvonareva (RUS) (5)
BRONZE - Andrea Petkovic (GER) (8)




Women's Tennis in 2012: Out with the Old, In with the New




In with the new, out with the old, seems to be the message of the rising stars of women's tennis to the game's stalwarts, in 2011.  And I think, that will continue to the message they'll be sending in 2012.   

2011 started well enough with Kim Clijsters winning yet another Grand Slam, defeating world #1 Caroline Wozniacki in the finals.  However, things started to change a bit as three first time Grand Slam winners stood up to the plate and grabbed the opportunity, once the draws opened up.  Li Na won the French Open defeating defending champion, Francesca Schiavone.  Petra Kvitova shocks Maria Sharapova in the Wimbledon final. While in the US Open, Australian Samantha Stosur dumps Serena Williams.  In a way, it was like the old guard versus the new guard in all the Grand Slam finals this year.  It's been 3-1, in favor of the new guard.  

Now, with the added pressure of being Grand Slam champions, let's see how they hold up in 2012, as female first time Grand Slam winners notoriously disintegrate the year after they win the Grand Slam.  It would be interesting to see how things pan out for them in 2012.

2011's #10 Player: Andrea Petkovic


I'm glad that Andrea Petkovic was able to end 2011 as the #10 player.  She's one of the funnest and quirkiest players on the tour right now.  She won Strasbourg this year and reached the quarterfinals of all the Grand Slams except for Wimbledon.  I'm sure she'll be stronger in 2012 as her game develops and she finds a way to defeat the elite of women's tennis.

2011's #9 Player: Marion Bartoli


It's great to see Marion Bartoli reenter the Top 10 this year, ending the year at #9.  She won Osaka and Eastbourne this year as well as reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the semifinals of the French Open.  She should be able to maintain her good form in 2012 and maybe enter another finals of a Grand Slam!

2011's #8 Player: Agnieszka Radwanszka


Agnieszka Radwanska made her stature grow after winning Tokyo and Beijing, back-to-back in the summer, after a debacle at the US Open.  She's one of the players who should step up to the plate in 2012 and grab a major!

2011's #7 Player: Vera Zvonareva


Vera Zvonareva won Doha and Baku this year, but failed to defend her points in the Grand Slams so she slips to #7 this year, after staying at #2 for most of the year.  Her best was her semifinal appearance in Melbourne.  Still one of the players who is capable of winning a Grand Slam, let's see how Vera holds everything together in 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011's #6 Player: Samantha Stosur


Samantha Stosur almost won her first Grand Slam title in 2010 at the French Open, where she was clearly the favorite going into the finals, but she kinda choked and let Francesca Schiavone play her game.  However, in 2011, she did not show any of that jitters in her US Open final against the great Serena Williams, and through solid play, won her first Grand Slam title!

When Sam is on, she's very difficult to play so I won't be surprised if she gets another Slam this year.  Hopefully she does it on home soil - Australia!

2011's #5 Player: Li Na



Li Na opened wide the doors this year for Asian women's tennis, as she became the first Asian woman to win a Grand Slam, when she won the French Open title this year.  I admit I too was surprised by her victory, but you could really see that she wanted to win, as she had an answer to all of defending champion, Francesca Schiavone's game!  Her runner up finish at the Australian Open was already an indication that she really wanted a Grand Slam title!

Well, all eyes will be focused on her on 2012 since the first Grand Slam of the year happens in Australia!  I'm sure she'll do well, the big question is, will she hold up under all that new found scrutiny?  Will she go a step further and actually add an Australian Open title to her roster of titles?