Saturday, June 21, 2014

Keys wins first WTA title

I went to Eastbourne and all I got was this stupid disk.

That's the t-shirt Angelique Kerber is wearing--in my mind. I mean, what do you have to do to win Eastbourne? Beat grass-threat Ekaterina Makarova, beat Caroline Wozniacki during one of her best weeks, play beautifully in the final. Oh--and beat Madison Keys. The last one was where Kerber stumbled, but only slightly. It was a great final with some exciting rallies, and it seemed fated to go to a third set tiebreak. I assumed it would. But right toward the end, one of them blinked, and it wasn't Madison Keys. It surely might have been; she was playing in her first WTA final, and at a premier event, too.

The 19-year-old Keys had quite a week, taking out both Jelena Jankovic and defending champion Elena Vesnina. Kerber showed big-time toughness in saving three match points on her own serve, but Keys scored a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory on her fourth match point. She hit 60 winners. Oh, and 17 aces. This is the moment that Madison-watchers have been waiting for; this is the young woman Chris Evert told us about many years ago, when Keys was still a child. Evert said (I'm paraphrasing--it's been a long time) at the time for fans to just be patient--she had someone who was going to be a big deal on the tour.

USA tennis fans had a very big day today because, over in 's-Hertogenbosch, Coco Vandeweghe won her first WTA title. I didn't see this coming. Vandeweghe has a huge serve, but--contrary to popular opinion--not everyone with a huge serve makes it (I give you Lucie Hradecka). Vandeweghe had to qualify to get into the main draw, so she had three "warmup" rounds, and in two of those, she took out Kiki Mladenovic and Mona Barthel.

Once she reached the main draw, Vandeweghe defeated grass court player Marina Erakovic, Vania King, clay upstart Garbine Muguruza, Klara Koukalova, and--in the final--Zheng Jie.

But these were not the only winners. The Chan sisters won Eastbourne, defeating Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 5-7, 10-7. Both teams were unseeded. Chan and Chan took out top seeds Errani and Vinci along the way.

In 's-Hertogenbosch, 4th seeds Marina Erakovic and Arantxa Parra Santonja won the title when they defeated 3rd seeds Michaella Krajicek and Kiki Mladenovic 0-6, 7-6, 10-8 in the final. Talk about a comeback.


Karen Williams said...

Diane, just a correction. Madison actually broke Kerber's serve to win the match. It was a great final and I am so proud and happy for Keys. Of course poor Sloane is getting stuff thrown at her on Twitter because everyone is winning a title except her. Feel for the young woman there, I really do.

Diane said...

Oh thanks. I don't know what made me write that. I think one thing and write another sometimes.

You know, whatever Sloane's deal is, this is either going to toughen her or break her. I'm glad she has Paul Annacone; he seems solid. The more time goes by, though, the tougher the mental task.

Karen Williams said...

I actually don't think that Annacone is the right fit for her. I come from a place where you have respect for your elders and Sloane just does not have it. Maybe I am from a different time, but I watched her biography on TC recently and she and her mother are friends. Where I come from parents and children are not friends. They are close etc., but they are not friends. During the documentary it almost seemed as if Sloane's mother was reliving her life through her daughter. I have also seen where Sloane is ridiculing her coach's weaknesses when it comes to the latest technology. It may sound trivial but if you are constantly deriding your coach as being old and out of it what can he possibly bring to the table that you will respect and listen to? Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion but there does not seem to be that kind of mutual respect that there needs to be between a player and coach. When you look at how Pova and her coach works and the way in which she speaks about him, you may see wheat I am getting at. Same thing with Vika and Sam. There has to be some amount of respect there and in Sloane's case I just don't see it.

Diane said...

I was rubbed the wrong way by Sloane's remarks about Annacone because I am older than he is and can probably kick Sloane's ass in terms of electronics mastery. (It's not much fun going through your whole life being dismissed because you're female, and then later, getting dismissed for your age, too. I do take it personally.) Look at the ads on TV--so many of them are about stupid, out-of-it, silly-looking older people.

However, in Sloane's "defense," she makes fun of a variety of people in a teasing way, and is sometimes right on target. She has a smart mouth, in other words.

I haven't seen any interviews in which her mother comes off as narcissistic--interesting to learn. If that's going on, it could explain everything.

And as to their being friends--at Sloane's age, I think that's the developmental norm in this culture. She's not a child or adolescent.