Posts Tagged ‘Carla Suarez Navarro’
Simona Halep won the WTA’s Most Improved Player Award, beating out Sloane Stephens, Kirsten Flipkens, Jamie Hampton, Jelena Jankovic, Carla Suarez Navarro and Alison Riske. Halep’s incredible season made this choice by the media seem like a no-brainer to me.
However, Matt Cronin of Tennis.com sparked some discussion when he tweeted that Stephens should have won.
Sloane 2 years younger than Halep & improved immensely: finished 12, reached 2nd week every major, upset Serena. Halep non factor at Slams—
Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) November 21, 2013
This is not to disparage Halep at all who had terrific year outside of majors, but the Slams are where its at. Sloane beat her 61 61 at AO—
Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) November 21, 2013
So who should have won the WTA’s Most Improved Player award — Halep or Stephens?
The Beyond The Baseline awards are our look back at the best — and worst — of the tennis season. Today we highlight some of the best shots of the year from the WTA Tour. Full disclosure: Agnieszka Radwanska could have made up 80 percent of this list. She hit more than her fair share of jaw-droppers this year. Click here for our complete archive of year-end awards.
Agnieszka Radwanska’s twirling, no-look backhand flick against Kirsten Flipkens at the Sony Open.
The U.S. Open is into the homestretch. The women’s quarterfinals are set after Victoria Azarenka rallied to beat Ana Ivanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday in a match that was pushed back from Monday because of a rain delay. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are looking to secure their spots in the quarterfinals later in the day.
It’s been an eventful week since we last visited the photo wire. Roger Federer admitted that he “self-destructed” in his fourth-round loss to Tommy Robredo; rain and humidity wreaked havoc; Serena Williams solved Sloane Stephens; five over-30 men made the fourth round, the most since 1982; and four women who are either unseeded or seeded outside the top 15 advanced to the quarterfinals. Through it all, the title favorites remain, meaning that the rest of the second week should be a doozy.
Here are some of our favorite pictures from the last week at the U.S. Open.
Here are the storylines and matches to watch on Day 6 of the French Open. Play begins at 5 a.m. ET. Click here for the order of play.
Roger Federer and the French on Chatrier: How many of the five French players scheduled for Court Philippe Chatrier on Friday will walk out a winner? Marion Bartoli, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Jeremy Chardy, Julien Benneteau and Virginie Razzano will wave the tricolore, with Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova appearing on center court as well. Sharapova’s second-round match against Genie Bouchard — she’s French-Canadian, so the theme still works — was suspended Thursday with Sharapova leading 6-2, 4-2 (second match). But the highlight match features Benneteau, who tries to extend his winning streak against Federer to … two (third match). The 31-year-old Frenchman stunned Federer 6-3, 7-5 on an indoor hard court in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in February. The Swiss great is poised for revenge.
“Now, you can’t say I never beat him or I never played him before,” Federer said after his second-round match, “but it’s true when I play against him he makes it difficult for me, and I have some problems and I have to find a solution.”
That solution may just be the surface itself. Benneteau has challenged Federer on quick indoor courts and grass. But a best-of-five on clay? No chance.
The Report Card hands out grades for the week in tennis. Last week, off-court drama overshadowed some tremendous on-court performances.
Sloane Stephens: C-minus. I don’t know what pushed Stephens to go nuclear in her recent interview with ESPN The Magazine, where she detailed her deteriorating relationship with Serena Williams. This wasn’t a case of an unsavvy youngster running her mouth without anyone around to check her. Stephens’ mother cautioned her twice during the interview, but the 20-year-old just couldn’t help herself and used the opportunity to vent. Hey, I’m all for that. The last thing fans and media want is a player to take a page out of the Crash Davis handbook (link contains strong language) and give predictable answers that reveal nothing about her character or her thinking.
What wasn’t clear to me from the story was whether Stephens understands her own role in concocting the mentor-protege narrative that she blames the media for blowing out of proportion. Stephens has spoken glowingly of Williams in various interviews, telling the media that the two “talk all the time” and that Serena has been “a really great influence” on her career. “I love her to death,” Stephens said of Williams before facing her at the Brisbane International in January. She may not acknowledge it, but Stephens was happy to sell the story until all of a sudden she wasn’t and then blamed everyone else for the myth-making.
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Video: Carla Suarez Navarro pulled off the early upset of the tournament Tuesday, knocking out No. 7 Sara Errani, a quarterfinalist last year. She did it with the help of this sick diving volley. Boris Becker would be proud.
• Looks like Rory McIlroy was up at 3 a.m. in Abu Dhabi to watch Caroline Wozniacki’s comeback victory over Sabine Lisicki.
• As Steve Tignor writes, the highly anticipated first-round match between Roger Federer and Benoit Paire turned out to be a dud.
In the third set, the Frenchman commenced clown time in earnest—a drop shot overhead was soon followed by a two-handed forehand return, which, inevitably, led to volley hit (and missed) from between the legs. Along the way, Paire may have set the record for the worst challenge of all time, a joke query of a second serve that landed four feet long. It was one of the Frenchman’s eight double faults over the course of a very short match.