Tennis News Wire -
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Singles - Final: (1) Sara Errani def. Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-4
It would be nice if there were something to say about this, but -- let's face it -- Elena Vesnina doesn't win titles. Her case of Anna Kournikova disease is getting to be as bad as Kournikova's -- Kournikova won doubles Slams, at least, but Vesnina has blow those in addition to all her singles finals. It is perhaps revealing to note that Vesnina had far more tough wins than Sara Errani -- if the WTA still awarded quality points, Vesnina would have earned 36, to 20 for Errani. She did the hard part, but couldn't finish the job.
Having no desire to rub it in, we will leave it there.
Sara Errani wins her fifth career title, and her third this year. All clay, and all International level. She has gotten about as much mileage out of those events as she can get. Still, we show her rising to #24. And she'll go into Madrid, where the points can truly help her, in very good form.
Doubles - Final: Husarova/Rybarikova def. Birnerova/Krajicek 6-4 6-2
When Janette Husarova started her comeback, it seemed a purely quixotic attempt at... we knew not what. And the first few events of the comeback seemed to support that; she was 6-8 in those events, with only one win over a seeded team (and that a very weak seeded team at a weak event) and four of her eight losses to teams ranked below #100.
Maybe that's changing. She earns her first title since Budapest 2008 (guess she likes this place). Naturally this will do wonders for her ranking. Her results already had her up to #92. This should take her to around #75.
Singles - Final: (6) Kaia Kanepi def. Carla Suarez Navarro 3-6 7-6(8-6) 6-4
It seems pretty clear that Kaia Kanepi is now fully, entirely, and safely back. She picks up the third title of her career -- and her second of this year, the first having been at Brisbane. She is now 13-4 this year. That could translate into a pretty good year-end ranking if she can keep it up! Even in the short run, she rises from #34 to probably #26, and appears set to earn a Roland Garros seed.
Carla Suarez Navarro is still looking for her first title, but she does reach her first final since Marbella 2010, and she makes a nice rankings move: #58 coming in, we show her around #45.
Doubles - Final: Chuang/Zhang def. (3) Shvedova/Voskoboeva 4-6 6-1 11-9 (Match TB)
This seems to be the event where everyone re-emerged. Chuang Chia-Jung has a dozen and a half titles in the last seven years, but she went off a cliff for a while. Now, she has two titles this year, at Kuala Lumpur and here, on two different surfaces. Those are both International events, so they don't help much in terms of rankings, but they show she still knows how to win.
The interesting question for her now is a partner. Chuang hasn't really had a permanent partner since she and Chan Yung-Jan broke up years ago. Zhang Shuai -- who picks up only her second title (following Osaka last year with Date-Krumm) -- may not be the best choice. Stay tuned for more musical chairs....
This is such a big event that it gets spread out over nine days -- a very tough thing for those of us who don't get the new rankings until Monday; we have to deal with two days of dead reckoning.
Of course, it's not very simple for the players, either. Players who get direct entry into most events here had to play qualifying -- starting on Friday, finishing on Saturday. That was tough enough that not one of the top six seeds managed to qualify; indeed, only two (#1 Pauline Parmentier and #4 Hsieh Su-Wei) made it to the qualifying final. Our qualifiers are #7 Varvara Lepchenko, #8 Johanna Larsson, #10 Mathilde Johansson, #11 Anastasia Rodionova, #12 Lucie Hradecka, #16 Lourdes Domingues Lino, and unseeded Jill Craybas and Andrea Hlavackova.
The most noteworthy qualifying loser was probably Anna Chakvetadze, who fell to Larsson 2-6 6-4 7-5
Singles - First Round: (5) Samantha Stosur def. Petra Martic 7-5 4-6 7-6(7-5)
Samantha Stosur has a pile of points to defend, so this is not the most auspicious start. Although she got some good news later on that front:
Singles - First Round: Sorana Cirstea def. (7) Marion Bartoli 6-7(6-8) 6-4 6-3
Marion Bartoli still has a shot at #6, but this definitely makes it less likely, and she obviously can't reach #5.
Singles - First Round: (8) Li Na def. (WC) Garbine Muguruza Blanco 6-2 6-4
A very important win for Li Na, considering what she has to defend in the next five weeks! She surely does not want to lose the #8 Roland Garros seed.
Singles - First Round: Petra Cetkovska def. (10) Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-2
This is pretty definitely a consequence of Vera Zvonareva's injury. She is likely to stay Top Ten even with the loss, but it's not promising for the next few weeks.
Singles - First Round: Mona Barthel def. Julia Goerges 6-4 6-1
We aren't going to say anything definitive until the new rankings come out, but this appears to mean no return to the Top 25 for Julia Goerges.
Singles - First Round: Christina McHale def. Sofia Arvidsson 6-4 7-5
Christina McHale moves closer to earning a Roland Garros seed.
Singles - First Round: Klara Zakopalova def. Iveta Benesova 6-4 7-6(7-5)
Almost certainly no Paris seed for Iveta Benesova, though.
Singles - First Round: (WC) Venus Williams def. Simona Halep 6-1 4-6 7-6(8-6)
Surely it is promising for Venus Williams that she was able to slug it out out there for so long!
Singles - First Round: (WC) Silvia Soler-Espinosa def. Tamira Paszek 6-7(2-7) 6-2 6-2
Silvia Soler-Espinosa is having a pretty good year, and it has been showing in her ranking. It will be interesting to see how she does once the clay season is over.
Doubles - First Round: Medina Garrigues/Parra Santonja def. Kuznetsova/A.Radwanska 7-5 6-3
Doubles - First Round: (WC) Pavlyuchenkova/Safarova def. Begu/Peer 6-3 7-6(7-3)