Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mladenovic keeps the faith

Taking out Li Na is one thing. Getting your head together to win your next round is another. Kiki Mladenovic advanced to the third round of the French Open today when she defeated Alison Riske 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. It wasn't easy for the Frenchwoman, what with her "excellent to terrible in one game" serve. She also had some kind of issue with her lower back. But she went out of her way to get the crowd pumped up for her, and she used the crowd's enthusiasm to help her get her second victory. Mladenovic and her partner, Flavia Pennetta, also won their first round doubles match against Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia.

Looking really, really good today was Petra Kvitova, who defeated Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-4. Kvitova's winner-to-unforced error ration wasn't very good (17 to 27), but that reflects her go-for-it style of play. Careful, she isn't. She served really well, however, and won the final point at 40-0 with a second serve. Nice.

Simona Halep, Jelena Jankovic, Sara Errani, Ana Ivanovic, and 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova (she'll play Kvitova next) all moved on to the third round, as did Sloane Stephens and Lucie Safarova. Ivanovic looked very good against Elina Svitolina. The Spanish flag continues to wave, with wins by both Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor and Silvia Soler-Espinosa. Sorana Cirstea has also advanced to the third round, in which she will play Jankovic.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova retired in the third set because of a back injury (again). Her retirement puts Kiki Bertens into the third round.

Gone are Camila Giorgi (def. by Kuznetsova), and 21st seed Kirsten Flipkens, who lost to Julia Glushko. In the first round, Glushko defeated teen phenom Donna Vekic. Next for the Israeli player is Sara Errani, but even if she doesn't get past the third round, Gushko's accomplishments at this French Open are worth noting.

Julia Glushko, a name most have never heard, is ranked number 98 in the world. She was born in Ukraine, but lives in and plays for Israel. Glushko holds eight ITF singles titles and eight ITF doubles titles. She reached the third round of the 2013 U.S. Open, defeating Nadia Petrova and Sachia Vickery, before Daniela Hantuchova defeated her 3-6, 5-7, 6-2.
Errani, by the way, is now the last Italian standing.

And, for now, the bleeding has stopped.

In doubles, top seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai advanced to the second round with a straight sets win over Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur. 2nd seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are through to the next round, as are 3rd seeds Ekaterina Makarova (who advanced in singles, also) and Elena Vesnina. Charleston champions Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova were upset in the opening round by Kimiko Date-Krumm and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

On another note entirely: Few things, in my professional opinion, damage a person more than narcissistic parenting. I see the terrible results every week in my practice. In Ben Rothenberg's excellent New York Times piece on Timea Bacsinszky, he lets the Swiss player tell her story, and she tells it eloquently. I was touched by Bacsinszky's realization that her own emotional void exists because her parents used her and her talent to try to fill theirs. It's an excellent read.

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