Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cibulkova wins in Carlsbad

Dominika Cibulkova, the 2nd seed in Carlsbad, won the Mercury Insurance Open today when she defeated top seed Marion Bartoli 6-1, 7-5 in the final. This is Cibulkova's second WTA title; she lost four finals before winning the title in Moscow last year. This week, she defeated every opponent in straight sets.

As for the Fighting Frenchwoman--it's a wonder she was standing at all. Bartoli prevailed in some fierce battles this week, the most notable of them being her quarterfinal against Christina McHale, which lasted over 2 hours and 50 minutes (and included another parental dismissal), and showcased some very fine play from both players.

Bartoli also played for over 3 hours and 10 minutes against Vania King in the the second round. And the first two sets of her semifinal against Chan Yung-Jan weren't exactly a walk in the park because of Chan's considerable net skills. Bartoli got blown off the court in her first set against Cibulkova, but anyone with even the slightest proficiency in Marionology knew that things would change. In the end, though, Bartoli looked too depleted, and Cibulkova was too good.

It should be noted that in the course of playing four matches in Carlsbad, Bartoli double-faulted 49 times. Granted, these were long matches, but--not a good statistic.

As for Rennae Stubbs and Ted Robinson, who called the match on ESPN--they just had to call into question the opponents' enthusiastic yelling and Bartoli's way-inside-the-baseline stances, given that Bartoli and Cibulkova are friends. Oh, please--two women playing a sweaty sport and not acting in an expected "feminine" way? I've heard it before. Maybe the opponents could have just stepped up to the net, sung "Kumbaya," and planned a shopping excursion to pick up some Woz bras.

But of course, Stubbs has no experience in on-court physical and verbal aggression.

3rd seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears won the doubles title. In the final, Kops-Jones and Spears defeated 2nd seeds Vania King and Nadia Petrova 6-2, 6-4.


Daniel said...

Thanks Diane, literally just spit out coke zero on the keyboard when i saw the Stubbs non-agression comment hahahahaha

Sunny nine said...

I was disappointed all weekend with the commentary. I realize that some players use injuries or "pretend" injuries in certain ways. I also am aware that adrenaline or a turn around in fortune can help any pain a player is feeling. Some people are more demonstrative than other and some want to get in the opponent's head. But Robinson and Stubbs didn't know. The last couple of days they have continually harped on Bartoli-harped on the same subject. I think everyone got it the first time they talked. The players fought as they did all week with whomever they were playing. Both are fighters not best friends on a lark. Kudos to them for being friends but putting up the fight they did.

Diane said...

I thoroughly appreciate and admire Stubbs, as a rule. The whole thing with Bartoli and Cibulkova just made me roll my eyes, though. I thought their "enthusiasm" was quite entertaining, in fact. It's just the way they are.

I watched most of the tournament on Tennis TV, and I thought Kevin Skinner did a really good job.

Steve from Tennis DVDs said...

Well done Dominika. Looks like it was a good decision to change coach a few months ago.

TennisAce said...

Diane, I have to disagree with you on this one. If there was ever a time when I wanted both players to lose, this was one of them. Cibulkova winning was the lesser of 2 evils. The unsportsmanlike and gamesmanship employed by Bartoli was for me reprehensible. I don't care about the friendly thing etc. I want players to fight when they are on the court. I want them to put their every effort into every shot and if it means screaming at the top of their lungs when hitting the ball, I have no problem with it. However, I do take exception to the constant limping around of Bartoli, the grimacing, the plaintive looks to her father and don't get me started on the on-court coaching sessions. There is no reason for Bartoli to constantly keep going almost to the service line to receive serve. How is that a strategy? Even worse, when said strategy does not work, she goes back to jumping around and doing the karate chops in an effort to put off her competitor. Then there were the allez, fist pumps, pomes, allez. When was it supposed to stop.

If Bartoli exhibited that type of behaviour when she played everyone, I could understand it, but she only does it against people against whom she believes she can get away with it. Ridiculous behaviour

Diane said...

I'm fine with anyone objecting to the behavior of either player, on its own merit, as you have, Karen. My problem is with objecting to anything because the two are friends, which is what Robinson and Stubbs were doing. To me, these are two separate issues.

TennisAce said...

Diane, I take your point and frankly I think both Stubbs and Robinson were a bit stunned by the behaviour of both women. I guess we have all become acclimatised to the civility displayed by 2 Sisters in the heat of competition who go out there and do battle but do it in such a way that leaves no room that they both want to win.

We have also seen other friendly matches played. Wozniacki put her every effort into competing against players who she grew up with and who she has gone on vacation with. It is done competitively and in a sportsmanlike manner. There are many matches that are played by friends and competitors on Tour. I have seen Nadal and Federer fist pump when they hit winners against each other and at the end of the match they are laughing and joking around. I think that is what both Ted and Renae expected to see. A lot of fight, but done in a manner that embraced the spirit of sportsmanship.

As to commentators in the booth. We all know that they have very short memories. I think the only commentator in the booth who has a long memory is Lindsay Davenport.

Eric said...

I personally like Bartoli a lot. There's just something about someone succeeding doing things his or her own way. However, her behavior in Carlsbad was a bit...extreme...even for her. I think the Olympics have really got her twisted up. I mean, when things aren't going well in your life (i.e. someone telling you you can't do something, even though you're good enough but you didn't play the game), it's hard to be consistently focused on your work...and I think as the date has gotten closer and closer, it's obvious that Marion is not at the top of her game. It takes her a long time to get into matches and then she fights like hell to get through them. She's not playing under ideal situations right now.

(And while others would say the best revenge is to do well at all the other events...I don't think she's wired like that. It means a lot to her and as a result, her play is affected.)

That being said, as a spectator, it was very jarring to see her limping around and then appearing fresh as a daisy at the end of 3 hour marathons... She mentioned that she had some injuries and the pain killers took awhile to get perhaps that was the issue...

On another note, even with Mauresmo taking the helm as the French Fed Cup captain, I don't see how the French Federation could patch things up with Marion. For that to happen, Marion would have to put 2012 behind her and that will be quite hard to do given her chance this year was quite good (grass and age). It always sucks when you've been wronged, but to get what you want (Olympics), you have to play the game. I can understand her dilemma very well.

I would tell her to just capitulate and go a few days without Walter...again, Marion likes to do thing her own way. And that's part of her charm/success. But having to put your feelings aside is hard, especially when you feel like you're right. More drama to come, I'm sure...

Diane said...

Marion Bartoli is not like anyone else, that's for sure. I don't think she ever will be. Off the court, she's thoughtful and very intelligent and quite funny. On the court, there are so many issues with fatigue, fighting past physical and mental lapses, etc. She will tell you right off that she had to overcome not being a "natural" athlete.

I personally don't care where she stands to receive a serve. And while her behavior can sometimes be baffling, she walks her own path, and that's something I value.

Eric said...

I didn't know that Karen was TennisAce...or should i say CaymanKaren... I feel like I'm just now catching on to all of the avid TWibe members and how pervasive their presence is on all of the tennis sites...That's really cool.

I don't know why I've only posted on TW just feels really busy over there.

I'm still trying to figure out if iZidane is the same as Zidane on Todd's site. They sound like different people.'re Diane right on TW?

Eric said...

"She will tell you right off that she had to overcome not being a "natural" athlete. "


I also don't care where she returns serve...

Diane said...

"'re Diane right on TW?"

No :)

TennisAce said...

Hi Eric, yes I am Cayman Karen and Tennis Ace. Half the time I cannot remember what name to sign in under. I have a blog and I think I operate it as Tennis Ace.

Unfortunately I am not feeling much sympathy for Marion's situation re the Olympics. Her father should have put his daughter's interest ahead of his own. I actually checked Marion's WTA profile recently and saw that she has in fact played Fed Cup for France in 2004. I don't know whether her father did not attend at that time, but if he did it once, I am sure he could have put aside his ego a second time and let his daughter compete.

You cannot want 2 players who are more stuck in their ways moreso than Venus and Serena. They have both had outside help in their careers and Serena is basically working with PatrickM at his academy.

As far as I am concerned Marion is a grown woman and a professional at that. If she were in any other industry, she would have to cut her own path. There are many women who fought for the right to do what Marion is doing. It is unfortunate that she chose to go down a path that is archaic just to prove a point.

She fought the Federation and she lost.

Eric said...


Didn't know if you caught this:

Q. How did you choose Latisha as your American name?
YUNG‑JAN CHAN: First all, the Taiwanese who speaks English will try to get an English name. I was searching by Internet or dictionary, and once I ask a tennis player‑‑ he's in Taiwan and lives in United States for a very long time, so I ask him if you have any good names which could fit like my personality.
He gave me three. Then he tell me what it means, and finally I choose Latisha. It's a black name. (Laughter.) Yeah.

Q. I wasn't going to say that.
YUNG‑JAN CHAN: Yeah. I said, What's that mean? Because I like when you pronounce. He says, It means a black girl who really loves sports. I said, Yeah, I'm going to take that.

Q. Is that what he said?
YUNG‑JAN CHAN: Yeah. I was like, Okay.
Also Serena was really interesting of my English name.

Q. Because of her sister.
YUNG‑JAN CHAN: Because of my name.

Q. Yeah.
YUNG‑JAN CHAN: And then I was playing doubles final in Stanford against Williams sisters, and she came after me. She was like, Excuse me, excuse me. I was like, Is that Serena? She said, Is that your name Latisha? I was like, Yeah. She as like, Do you know that it's a black name?
I said, Yeah. She said, Oh, that's cool. I said, I know. (Laughter.) It was really fun.

Q. That's very funny. What were the other two names that he gave you?
YUNG‑JAN CHAN: I can't remember. It was long time ago. Yeah, but it's not that powerful I think.

Full link here:

Who knew Chan Yung-Jan had pep?

Diane said...

I hadn't seen that particular interview, but I had more or less heard the story. Thanks so much for posting this. Nice!

Diane said...


I don't really get the Bartoli/FedCup thing, either. It seems it would have been fairly easy for her to be on the team. I don't think any of us can understand what it's all about.