Saturday, January 11, 2014

Qualifiers gone wild

When, I wonder, was the last time that two tournaments in the same week were won by qualifiers? That's what happened this week. First, Tsvetana Pironkova won Sydney, then--yesterday--Garbine Muguruza won Hobart.

The two outcomes, however, are vivid career contrasts. Whereas, with the young and gifted Murgurza, it was only a matter of time. But with Pironkova, the victory was the fulfillment of years of promise and talent, all of which had been swept away by the Bulgarian's considerable problem with anxiety, and her apparent attitude of giving up when things didn't go well. She said that part of her off-season training was to change her attitude, and it paid off handsomely.

In the 6-4, 6-0 Hobart final, Muguruza defeated 7th seed Klara Zakopalova, who had taken out top seed Sam Stosur in the semifinals. The young Spaniard had only just returned to the tour after undergoing a lengthy ankle rehab.

Zakopalova, with partner Monica Niculescu, did win the doubles title. They defeated 2nd seeds Lisa Raymond and Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-7, 10-8. Raymond and Zhang led 6-1 in the tiebreak set but were overtaken by the champions.


Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, looking through the WTA/ATP Guide for 2014 (it came last week -- always a good day!), and attempting to crosscheck things with chronological lists of old tour events, I think this is the first time two qualifiers have even won events in the same week. Though, admittedly, it gets a little dicey with the older events, since the schedule was more convoluted.

Either way, according to the records, it seems certain that it hasn't happened before in the last 25 years, and probably never (there have been a few qualifier-to-champion situations on successive weekends, though).

Diane said...

That doesn't surprise me; it seemed very unlikely to have occurred before. Give yet another woo-woo point to Pironkova!

Todd.Spiker said...

I wonder what role Radwanska defeating Pironkova at last year's Wimbledon had in all this? Unintended consequences... ;D