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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting to Know Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino!

When I checked today who won the Bogota title last week, I was surprised to find the name of Spanish player Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino!  I follow women's tennis every week and this lady has never been on my radar!  Not even once.  So really, I am shocked that from out of nowhere, she emerges and gets her first WTA title!

So when I checked, the week entering the Bogota tournament, Laura was ranked #174.  Her draw was not easy since she immediately got to meet a seed in the first round - Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (#96).  She almost lost it but won a very tight third set tiebreaker, the final score 61 36 76(3).  Next game Czech player, Eva Birnerova, still ranked higher than her at #110, but she makes short work of Eva 64 60. And she was in the quarterfinals!

There, she was set to meet Argentinian future ace, Paula Ormaechea, ranked #120, and she sweeps Ormaechea away, 63 60.  In her first semifinal ever, she meets Romanian veteran Edina Gallovits-Hall (#128), and she wins over her too 64 63.

Enfin, in the finals, she wins over Russian returning veteran, Alexandra Panova (#118) 62 75 to cap a remarkable weak for her.  I hope she does a good run in the clay court season and possibly qualify for the French Open.  Now that would be exciting for her and to Spanish women's tennis!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tomas Berdych: 2012 Montpellier Champion

Tomas Berdych (#7) won his first title of the year and his seventh overall, as he won the Montpellier Open 2012 by defeating Gael Monfils (#13) 62 46 63.  His semifinal win was against Philipp Kohlschreiber (#31), which he won handily 63 64.  In the second round, he defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 63 64 and another Frenchman in the first round, Florent Serra (#137) 60 62.

It's great that even in a smaller field, Tomas is showing that he can top it, and not falter.

Marion Bartoli Aims for Paris Open Title

Marion Bartoli (#7) is aiming to achieve what Amelie Mauresmo did in 2009, a local player winning the Paris Open title!  She's just one game away, as she disposed of Klara Zakopalova (#51) today in their semifinal match 76(3) 60.  In the quarterfinals, she defeated Roberta Vinci (#23) 46 64 76(2).  In the second round, she edged Petra Martic (#66) 75 61.

As of press time, she's still waiting for her opponent.

Klara Zakopalova: Semifinalist Paris Open

Klara Zakopalova (#51) has had a slow start to the year and is now picking it up by barging into the Paris Open semifinals with a sensational win over German player, Julia Goerges (#21), 36 75 61 in the quarterfinals.  She blanked Tsvetana Pironkova (#50) in the second round 60 63, and handled Alize Cornet (#114) easily in the first round, 63 61.

However, her luck ran out in the semifinals, where she lost against Marion Bartoli (#7) 67(3) 06, but still, it is a good round for Klara.

Yanina Wickmayer: Semifinalist Paris Open

Yanina Wickmayer (#29) is finally showing her chops in a meet, getting into the semi's of the Paris Open.  She narrowly defeated German rising star, Mona Barthel (#43) in the quarterfinals, 64 67(3) 63.  She had an easier second round against Christina McHale (#38) 72 75 and blew away another American, Jill Craybas (#147) 61 00 ret'd, in the first round.

She is set to meet in-form Angelique Kerber in the semi's and both are equally good, so let's see who comes on top on that day!

Angelique Kerber: Paris Champion

It's great to see Angelique Kerber back in the news again after her sensational run in last year's US Open.  She finally gets her first ever WTA Tour title here in Paris, by winning a hard fought match against Marion Bartoli - 76(3) 57 63. 

Her semifinal match was just as hard.  It took her three sets to dispose Yanina Wickmayer 67(2) 63 64.  In the quarters, she disposed of world #3 Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals 64 64.  She edged Maria Niculescu (#32) in the second round 63 46 63,  and in the first round, she topped Lucie Safarova, #28, 62 76(3), all competent players!
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Sorana Cirstea: Semifinalist Pattaya Open 2012

Sorana Cirstea (#54) continues the good form she was in in the Australian Open, by reaching the semi's of the Pattaya Open.  She, however, lost to Maria Kirilenko (#26) in a hard-fought semifinal 62 75 64.  Vera Zvonareva (#8) had to retire injured during their quarterfinal match 26 64 22 ret'd., allowing Sorana a semifinal appearance.  In the second round, she defeated Misaki Doi (#130) 62 62 and she won again over another Japanese in the first round, Erika Sema (#138) 62 62.

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Maria Kirilenko: Finalist Pattaya Open

Maria Kirilenko (#26) is finally in the news as she gets to the finals of the Pattaya Open, losing a very hard fought final to eventual champion, Daniela Hantuchova.  I haven't heard much from Maria these past few months so it's good to hear that she's back in good form.

She had a tough time getting through though.  In the semifinals, she ekked out a 62 57 64 win over in-form Sorana Cirstea (#54).  In the quarterfinals, she defeated local heroine, Tamarine Tanasugarn (#94) 76(2) 61.  In the second round, she had a tougher three-set match against Australian Anastasia Rodionova (#98) 26 63 76(3), where she almost lost.  It was the same thing in the first round against another Australian Casey Dellacqua (#103) 46 76(6) 63.

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Daniela Hantuchova Defends Pattaya Open Title!

Daniela Hantuchova (#20) has successfully defended her Pattaya Open title this year, winning over the tenacious Maria Kirilenko (#26) 67(4) 63 63 in the finals.  In the semi's, she dismissed the challenge from Su-Weih Hsieh 64 61 

She won her quarterfinal match against Vania King (#59) 76(7) 64.  In the second round, she defeated Urszula Radwanska (#85) 63 62 and totally outclassed local player, Nungnadda Wannasuk, in the first round, 62 60.

Su-Weih Hsieh: Rising Star in Pattaya

Taiwanese rising star Su-Wei Hsieh, currently ranked #159, made a big splash here in Pattaya, making it to the semifinals, where she met defending champion, Daniela Hantuchova (#20), and promptly lost 46 16.

Her path to the semi-finals was not easy.  Hsieh shocked Indian tennis star Sania Mirza (#111) in the quarterfinals, 75 63.  In the second round, she had to defeat veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm (#78) 75 60.  And in her biggest scalp yet, she won over #35 ranked Zheng Jie of China 63 62.

This should raise her ranking a bit and allow her to compete in other tournaments as a direct entry.
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Women's World Cup Tennis 2011: Group C Round Robin

The top two teams proceed to the quarterfinals stage.  Based on the head-to-head between the players, each country had the following wins -


ITALY - 2 - 4 - 4 = 10 wins
Francesca Schiavone
Flavia Pennetta
Roberta Vinci

AUSTRALIA - 7 - 4 - 5 = 16 wins
Samantha Stosur
Jarmila Gajdosova
Jelena Dokic

SLOVAKIA - 2 - 5 - 5 = 12 wins
Dominika Cibulkova
Daniela Hantuchova
Magdalena Rybarikova

BELGIUM - 7 - 5 - 4 = 16 wins
Kim Clijsters
Yanina Wickmayer
Kirsten Flipkens








Australia and Belgium proceed to the Quarterfinal knockout stage.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Women's World Cup Tennis 2011: Group B Round Robin

The top two teams in this group will proceed to the quarterfinals.  Using the head-to-heads between each of the players, each country got the following wins -


GERMANY - 8 - 5 - 5 = 18 wins
Andrea Petkovic
Sabine Lisicki
Julia Goerges

SERBIA - 5 - 6 - 4 = 15 wins
Jelena Jankovic
Ana Ivanovic
Bojana Jovanovski

SPAIN - 4 - 4 - 7 = 15 wins

Anabel Medina Garrigues
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Carla Suarez Navarro

GREAT BRITAIN - 1 - 3 - 2 = 6 wins

Elena Baltacha
Anne Keothavong
Heather Watson



SERBIA vs. SPAIN - 5 - 4

GERMANY vs. SPAIN - 5 - 4





Germany and Serbia proceed to the quarterfinal stage of the competition.

Women's World Cup Tennis 2011: Group A Round Robin

The Top 2 from each group will proceed to the next knockout round.  Here are the countries in Group A and their respective players.


RUSSIA - 7 - 9 - 8 = 24 wins
Maria Sharapova
Vera Zvonareva
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

CHINA - 7 - 7 - 1 = 15 wins
Li Na
Peng Shuai
Zheng Jie

ROMANIA - 2 - 0 - 5 = 7 wins
Monica Niculescu
Irina-Camelia Begu
Simona Halep

BELARUS - 2 - 2 - 4 = 8 wins
Victoria Azarenka
Anastasiya Yakimova
Olga Govortsova


RUSSIA vs. BELARUS - 7 - 2

CHINA vs. ROMANIA - 7 -2

RUSSIA vs. ROMANIA - 9 - 0

CHINA vs. BELARUS - 7 - 2


RUSSIA vs. CHINA - 8 -1


Russia and China both proceed to the quarterfinal phase of the competition.