Alison Riske


Ryan Sweeting (above).

Nineteen year old New Jersey native Christina McHale looked on her way to another tough first round loss today, after a great start that saw her grab a 6-2 lead.  When she lost the second set 6-1, we thought she was in big trouble.  Her opponent, Ekaterina Makarova, the 28th seed, and a good grass courter, is someone who we’ll admit, we thought was sure to win today.  It’s not that we love her so much.  Moreso, we tend to hate McHale’s safe baseline game.  But McHale, who had the edge in conditioning, won an extended 3rd set 8-6, and was able to save 3 break points at 7-6, love-40.

McHale’s serve, not a strength of her game, has definitely improved.  After the match, McHale credited the USTA, namely Patrick McEnroe, for impressing upon her the need to serve bigger.  To that end, McHale had 9 aces today, and served well throughout a tense third set.  She faced only 7 break points, what we consider a low number for the women, with 3 coming in the final game, and she saved 4 of 7 of those opportunities for Makarova.  We have trouble hating on Americans, but we have to be honest.  McHale’s stay at home game is not our style.  Case in point, she won only 3 points at net in 2 hours and 6 minutes. 

Still a great outcome for the young American, who probably worried a lot of people the way she blew her first round match at Roland Garros when she was up 5-0 in the 3rd set and lost 9-7 to Sara Errani.  For McHale, today’s win was her second career win at a major.  She advanced to the 2nd round at Flushing in 2009 with a straight set win over Polona Hercog.  McHale will face the winner of Morita/Paszek in the second round.

Also today, world #66 Ryan Sweeting, an American by way of the Bahamas, notched his 3rd ever major match victory in stunning fashion.  The lanky, 6’5 Floridian, who won his first ever ATP level event in Houston this spring, came from down 2 sets to zero to defeat Pablo Andujar, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-1 in 3 hours and 44 minutes.  Sweeting turned this match around with a great winner to unforced error ratio (54/35), a great percentage at net (74% on 23/31 approaches), and by returning better and serving better on both first and second balls. 

Sweeting won nearly half of the points on Andujar’s serve, who looked a bit out of sorts on the grass.  The Spaniard was passed constantly in the final 3 sets, and did not have the muscle to hit through the court against Sweeting on the baseline.  The win will set up a second round encounter with defending champion Rafael Nadal, who defeated journeyman American Michael Russell today in straight, easy sets.

For Sweeting, the result is incredibly encouraging.  Some guys take forever to get a win from 2 sets down (see James Blake).  Obviously, Sweeting has the ability to problem solve on court, which is not an American stregth right now, to be kind.

The matchup will be a rematch of their 2nd round meeting in Melbourne which Nadal won, 2, 1, and 1.  Nadal also rolled Sweeting at Indian Wells, 3 and 1.

We were disappointed to see Donald Young fall to Alex Bogomolov in 4 sets today.  And while we don’t believe in moral victories, Alison Riske played well, as we expected, in losing a 3 setter to defending runner-up, Vera Zvonareva. 

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Canadian wunderkind Milos Raonic (above).

When play commences on the lawns next week, tennis fans will be treated to some very good matchups.  With the Wimbledon draws announced today, we figured we’d let you know what to look out for in the first couple of rounds.  Ladies first:

 

Ladies Singles–1st Round

_______________________________

(15) Jelena Jankovic vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez

Akgul Amanmuradova vs. (23) Venus Williams

Alison Riske (USA) vs. (2) Vera Zvonareva

(6) Francesca Schiavone vs. Jelena Dokic

Christina McHale (USA) vs. Ekaterina Makarova

(18) Ana Ivanovic vs. Melanie Oudin (USA)

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Eleni Danilidou

Aravane Rezai vs. Serena Williams

Laura Robson vs. Angelique Kerber

(5) Maria Sharapova vs. Anna Chakvetadze

 

Mens Singles 1st Round

________________________________________

Ryan Sweeting (USA) vs. Pablo Andujar

Fabio Fognini vs. Milos Raonic

Donald Young (USA) vs. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA)

Radek Stepanek vs. Fernando Verdasco

Tobias Kamke vs. Blaz Kavcic

Sergiy Stakhovsky vs. Daniel Cox (GBR)

Ivan Ljubicic vs. Marin Cilic

Ivo Karlovic vs. Janko Tipsarevic

Alexander Dolgopolov Jr. vs. Fernando Gonzalez

John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut

David Nalbandian vs. Julian Reister

Robin Soderling vs. Philipp Petzschner

Kei Nishikori vs. Lleyton Hewitt

Marcos Baghdatis vs. James Blake

…..

The women’s draw features Mary Joe Fernandez’s rag tag crew of hack Fed Cuppers, in Oudin, McHale, and Vandeweghe.  Oudin should get dusted by Ivanovic, who, should she lose, should probably hang it up already.  Coco’s got a glimmer of hope against Danilidou.  McHale should get shredded by Makarova.  FYI, Vania King, who has played well, is in the main draw, as is Alison Riske, who has a very tall order in Vera Z.  Who knows?  Grass is Riske’s best surface, and maybe the Pensylvania product gets lucky.  Zvonareva looked dead during her QF at Eastbourne versus Stosur, after winning 8 of the first 12 games and virtually having the match in the bag.  Zvonareva has played a lot of tennis this year.  Could that bode well for the American who should be installed on our FC squad, especially considering America’s woeful state of affairs and relegation from the World Group?  Journeywoman American by way of Russia Varvara Lepchenko did upset 18th seed Flavia Pennetta at Roland Garros, so we’ll give her a bit of a chance here against 19th seed, Yanina Wickmayer.  Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, one of the few women with the stones to consistently attack, has a great shot to upset Jelena Jankovic.  The Spaniard is 2-1 lifetime versus the gutless, annoying Serb.  Also, it would be nice to see young Brit Laura Robson win her first round match with Kerber.  Kerber will be favored.

Not to run on about the men, but we do feel it’s high time that Ryan Sweeting, with his ranking up to 66th, notch his first ever match win on grass.  We’re very interested to see our boy, young beast Milos Raonic on the grass.  The possibility of a 3rd round match between Raonic and Nadal would make for appointment television.  As would a possible Del Potro/Nadal round of 16 affair.  Nice to see DP in the top 25 again (24).  Tommy Haas looks for his first win of the year, and we welcome him back, as well as David Nalbandian, who won 2 rounds at Halle.  We also welcome back Chilean ball crusher Fernando Gonzalez who might be a big problem for Dolgopolov, who seems to adjust poorly to specialty surfaces.  We love Stepanek, a nice net player, as an upset special in round 1.  We’d love to see James Blake do something in the spot versus Baghdatis, but Blake is even more disappointing than usual at Wimbledon.  Things look good for former boys champ Donald Young, in a very winnable 1st round match versus another American Alex Bogolomov.  We always love watching talented 1-hander Segiy Stakhovsky, who gets diminutive British hack Daniel Cox in round 1.  We hope Soderling has a good run here but it wouldn’t shock us if Philipp Petzschner, a very good grass courter and last year’s doubles champ gave him a good go.  Our favorite techno tennis player, Janko Tipsarevic has his hands full with ace machine Ivo Karlovic.  We might put a few dinari on Dr. Ivo.  It would be a good time for Marin Cilic to wake up, though we don’t have much confidence in that.

And in maybe the most celebrated first round rematch ever, we look for Giant John Isner, whose ranking has fell to near 50, to get back on track and take care for Mahut before it gets to 70-68 in the 5th.  Isner has weathered the clay season, and can not be faulted for taking Nadal to 5 hard sets at Roland Garros in round 1.  We look for him to have a great summer starting here, and carrying over to the American summer hardcourt season.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/giant-john-isner-wins-longest-match-in-tennis-history-in-1st-round-wimbledon/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/marathon-man-mahut-returns-to-play-doubles-after-world-record-longest-singles-match/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/marathon-record-man-isner-falls-easily-in-2nd-round-wimbledon/

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)        

2011 Rome Masters Champion, Maria Sharapova (above).

We thought Caesar’s was rough on the men, and they were, if you aren’t Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal–the only men given a shadow of a chance to win at Roland Garros.  Wait until you see the odds for the ladies chamionship:

French Open Ladies Champion Odds

Agnieszka Radwanska:  + 5000 (wager 100 units to win 5000, plus initial wager)

Alexandra Dulgheru:  + 10000

Alisa Kleybanova:  + 10000

Ana Ivanovic:  + 2500

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:  + 4000

Andrea Petkovic:  + 3000

Aravane Rezai:  + 10000

Caroline Wozniacki:  + 500

Daniela Hantuchova:  + 10000

Flavia Pennetta:  + 8000

Francesca Schiavone (defending champion):  + 1500

Jarmila Groth:  + 10000

Jelena Jankovic:  + 1500

Kaia Kanepi:  + 10000

Kim Clijsters:  + 1000

Maria Sharapova:  + 800

Marion Bartoli:  + 6000

Na Li:  + 2500

Nadia Petrova:  + 12500

Petra Kvitova:  + 1000

Samantha Stosur:  + 800

Svetlana Kuznetsova:  + 1500

Vera Zvonareva:  + 1000

Victoria Azarenka:  + 450

Yanina Wickmayer:  + 5000

Yaroslava Shvedova:  + 12500

Field (Any Other Player):  + 800

Comments:

Right off the bat, we find it very interesting that only 4 players have odds better than or equal to any other player in the field.  That’s a huge indicator that this field is wide open, and that the odds makers do not have a lot of confidence in anyone.  By the way, did we miss the newsflash about Petra Kvitova?  She’s been given good odds despite having reached the 4th round at Roland Garros only once, and having only a 3-2 lifetime record there.  She has had a good year, and won Madrid, but considering the depleted field, we can’t even call it impressive fashion.

Kim Clijsters, fresh off of a long layoff due to an ankle injury suffered at her cousin’s wedding, is strapping up for Roland Garros, knowing the window for this major is closing for her.  We usually like her after long layoffs, but not when she’s hurt.  She’s a + 1000, and normally, you’d have to jump all over that, except, how many people win the Frech with serious ankle injuries?

We like Zvonareva a bit at + 1000, who has an 18-7 record at Roland Garros, a quarter-final appearance in 2003, and 2 round of 16 appearances, though only one “recently” (2008).  Zvonareva is a smart player and we like her style.  She may be able to navigate such a downtrodden field.  As for Stosur and Sharapova, we like neither, and Stosur especially, has shown us nothing in the big spot.  Stosur has definitely been the better clay courter here recently, and yet Masha destroyed her Sunday in Rome, and is 8-0 lifetime in the matchup.  We aren’t rushing to put anything down on any of these ladies though.

There’s lots of respect for the favorite, Victoria Azarenka, and she is the favorite with good reason.  She has power and mobility, and keeps the ball in play, unlike world #1, Caroline Wozniacki, who has no power.  Now would be a great time for either of these ladies to step up and grab their first real hardware, but neither look that good to us.  Azarenka recently came up lame and retired in the 2nd set against Sharapova last week, and Maria simply took Wozniacki to school.

Gun to our head, we’d probably lay the money on Sharapova, the most tested and true champion in the field, who also happens to be playing a lot, and playing well.  The weaknesses in her game on real tennis courts, like her inability to move forward, volley, and hit over-heads will affect her less on clay, where she will be content to play everything from the baseline.  And, she may get a little extra motivation from her man, Sasha Vujacic, who has been travelling with her since the Lakers got swept.  Otherwise, we’d be all over Clijsters, but a bad wheel at Roland Garros is very bad news.

With this diluted field, maybe even a young American can catch a break.  If Sloane Stephens can take out Anastasia Pivarova in the final round of qualifying, then Sloane is into the main draw, along with the diminutive Irina Falconi, who won the USTA’s French Open wildcard competition, and not our girl Lauren Davis, much to our chagrin.  World #124 Jamie Hampton, an Alabama product, is also one win away from qualifying for the main draw.  It’s also nice to see Pennsylvania’s Alison Riske is in to the main draw, and will be playing in her first French Ope.  And here’s to the field getting healthy for Wimbledon.  We can live with a piss poor champion in the mud, but not on the royal lawns.

Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpresss.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

USA Federation Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez with tennis power broker husband Tony Godsick (above), who is part of Roger Federer’s management team.

After three days and 8 straight sets of losing tennis, America finally got on the board, taking the first set in doubles at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.  Too bad for our Federation Cup team, our national pride, and the state of American tennis that by then it was too late and obviously too little, as the team of Liziel Huber and Vania King still lost in 3 sets to cap one of the worst weekends in American tennis history.  Needing to win the tie to remain in the World Group of Federation Cup, from which we have never been relegated, Captain Mary Joe Fernandez trotted out an FC squad that did not boast one player of distinction, worthy enough to present a decent challenge to any members of the German squad, including world #156 Sabine Lisicki, who dusted Jersey native Christina McHale in mop up duty yesterday, filling in for Julia Georges, who would have been, at that point, risking her health unnecessarily by continuing to play in a tie that was academic, a glorified exhibition, but one that featured less talent than an actual exhibition.

That’s right.  Playing America is now unnecessary.  The Americans are irrelevant in the women’s game, led by Captain Mary Joe Fernandez, who not so long ago had her contract extended for another two years.  Has the team’s production on the court warranted an extension?  It’s debatable, but we certainly do not think so.  Fernandez, part of the dazed and confused American tennis establishment, is the first captain to ever preside over a relegated team in the history of the Federation Cup.  And we’ll give her little credit for reaching finals in her first two seasons, and losing, but more credit indeed because of the power her husband wields behind the scenes in the game, which in all likelihood, in combination with her profile as an ESPN tennis personality, is what got her the gig.  Because she certainly didn’t win the job on the basis of her success as a player or coach.  In 2010, we especially fault the American squad for losing the championship tie on “hardcourts” in San Diego to Italy.  But in part thanks to Fernandez, California doesn’t have any real hardcourts anymore, and so the ladies played on a track of soft blue foam (the dreaded Plexicushion) that gave the Italians as much of an advantage as the prior year when America could not take one match at Calabria, Italy on outdoor red clay.

How do we get around to blaming Fernandez for everything from California’s putrid tennis courts to the quality of our Fed Cup teams that have failed miserably and continue to do so, to the point that we are out of the world group?  Easily.  She’s the captain.  Not only has she been the captain for 3 years, but before that, she sat at then captain Zina Garrison’s obese elbow for a good year, playing Stan Laurel to Garrison’s Oliver Hardy.  We are tired of it all.  Fernandez obviously endorsed and worked with a Garrison led group that produced zero in terms of titles and developed no meaningful players.  That’s what we mean when call her part of the establishment, for you do not get the captaincy if you do not support the horrid regime that came before you, and the horrid surfaces that big business looks to slap down.

The nonsense about Serena and Venus not playing?  We’ve had enough.  The Williams sisters, when young, led us to our last two Fed Cup titles in 1999 and 2000.  Then they lost interest in the FC, their commitment to it, and the competition.  People want to blame the sisters for that, who had been there and done that.  Part of the whole ‘Let’s rip Venus and Serena for having fashion lines and enjoying the limelight’ craze that swept the nation and still reverberates in some circles.  What people do not get is that the sisters never burnt out on tennis, and continued to play their asses of at majors, in singles and doubles, regardless of any and all outside factors, even when injured.  For players who have won the Federation Cup, or the Davis Cup, there is no legitimate criticism that can exist should they have reasons for skipping the competition.  And while we have criticized Roger Federer in this space for skipping Davis Cup regularly, despite being coached by Swiss DC captain Severin Luthi, Roger obviously has himself a plan to win majors, and Davis Cup runs counter to that plan.

So our body of incompetent tennis minds here in America, with which even we are associated (proud USTA members, LOL–the deals on tennis tickets are too good to pass up!), chooses Garrison, another loser, to guide our squad.  Why?  Because they thought that hiring a black woman would give them a leg up on convincing the Williams sisters to play.  That’s just plain racist.  Frankly, the Williams sisters have a lot more respect for great tennis minds than they do for black women.  Just ask Asha Rolle.  Instead of blaming the Williams sisters for making choices appropriate for their careers, the USTA should have been working a lot harder on developing talented players like Venus, Serena, and Lindsey Davenport–who aside from the Williams sisters, is the last American female to win a title of any sort, as far as we can recall.  And she won it as a ghost, fresh from retirement, further highlighting America’s lack of meaningful young talent.

Yesterday comes news that Venus Williams has withdrawn from Rome and Barcelona, citing her lack of readiness.  There’s no real time table on Serena, and while we know she will return, any projection would be optimistic considering the travails she has endured since cutting her foot.  At least she is up and about (click on the link above to see her and a friend on South Beach recently).  So basically, we are stuck with this piss poor Fed Cup squad and its captain.  Mary Joe Fernandez is not a winner, but is a better politician than Garrison.  Patrick McEnroe, a much worse tennis talent than both, also owes his job to television, politics, and probably a healthy dose of nepotism (his brother lobbied for his appointment, though John John probably wouldn’t have him on his list if you asked him right now, after seeing the state our game go unchanged for years) .  These are the people in whose hands the national tennis program and developmental programs rest in.  Thankfully, Patrick McEnroe has stood aside and Jim Courier, a real winner, has taken on the captaincy of the Davis Cup squad, and is off to a great start, defeating Chile in tough conditions.  As you can tell, we don’t give Patrick McEnroe any credit for squeezing 1 DC title out of a team that boasted a 1 time #1 in Roddick, 2 perennial top 10 guys in Roddick and Blake, and the #1 doubles squad–a huge advantage in team competition.  We should have won more.  But at least McEnroe, roundly criticized, even by big brother John, had the sense to pick fast tracks to play on as the host nation that are advantageous to Americans and our style of tennis.

Fernandez gets no credit.  She’s been around this team for 4 years and we’ve seen all we need to see of Oudin, McHale, Vandeweghe, and the like.  People want to shower MJF with praise for spotting these players, but these players would go unnoticed anywhere else, with good reason.  They have no talent.  They are grinders who can not even play on clay.  Pop gun players who can’t serve and have no true tennis talent.  What is the population of Germany?  How is it that our top player can’t take a set from any decent German woman?  How is it that none of our players could even make the German squad, who was also competing to avoid relegation?  This is not a Steffi Graf in her prime led German team.

McHale, for a nice run she made at Indian Wells last month, will get some buzz, but if she is the young face of our game, we need a makeover.  Fast.  Forget Venus and Serena.  Act like they don’t exist.  Oudin?  Since that summer where she played way over her head, she hasn’t existed.  We need new blood, new ideas, new coaches, new courts…and a new captain.  Probably the best young American, Alison Riske, who separates herself from her poor pusher peers with her big serve, is not a product of the USTA, but rather, a kid who came up playing in the Pennsylvania high school system.  Exactly John McEnroe’s point when he denigrates the work that his brother is doing, the state of the American game, and the homogenization of the American game which is now one dimensional baseline half tennis.

Since Fernandez won’t be fired, especially with a new pact in hand, here’s some advice for her: pick Decoturf, a surface which will speed up her players’ 80 mph 1st serves and slow groundstrokes.  It’s the national surface for a reason, and Americans play better on it than any other nation does.  And feature the girls with actual potential, like Lauren Davis, Riske, and Sloane Stephens.  McHale and Oudin haven’t exactly done wonders for the nation.  Riske at least has a bigger game and a bigger frame with which to cover the net, and Davis and Stephens have expectations in place, and are used to dealing with expectations, as they are the only true budding pros we have of note.  We’d also probably put a veteran doubles player like Craybas or Mattek-Sands (when healthy) with Huber and work on locking up at least 1 match in every tie.

For future reference, the captain does not need to be a woman, and if it is, it needs to be a woman with a real winner’s pedigree, which means, probably not an American.  Richard Williams has produced the two greatest American women of our time.  He should be on the short list.  As should Monica Seles, who is a fixture in the game and who actually commands the respect of young players based on her merits.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, http://www.crackbillionair.com)

World #173, American Ryan Harrison (above).

Ryan Harrison, the 18 year old standout American tennis prospect and Texas product now living in Florida, defeated 2010 US Open Junior Boys Champion and New York Junior Tennis League alum Jack Sock today in 4 hard fought sets, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4 at the finals of the USTA’s Australian Open Playoff Final in Norcross, Georgia today.  Harrison has now played his way into a 2nd consecutive Australian Open wildcard, defeating Jessie Levine in the final last year.

Harrison was eliminated in the main draw by the entertaining Janko Tippsarevic, who famously took Roger Federer to 5 sets in the 3rd round of the 2008 Australian Open, and who had Roger down 2 sets to 1 before the great man made his charge, in an electricity charged night match on Rod Laver.  Harrison has now qualified for his 3rd major and second consecutive major, having made the main draw of the 2010 US Open where he won his first round match against Ivan Ljubicic before dropping a tough 5 setter in round 2 to a one-hander we’ve had our eye on for his impressively fluid game, Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.

We feel Harrison is supremely suited to the forgiving Australian Open Plexi-cushion surface, which is rated kindly as medium fast.  Harrison’s speed around the court should be on display, and he could do some damage should he not face a top 5 calibre player in round one.  In fact, we are going to go out on a limb and say Harrison turns in his best major showing to date next month in Melbourne.

Tough break for Sock though, who will rebound and who is sure to make New York and Nebraska proud. 

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/coco-vandeweghe-moves-up-59-spots-after-best-week-yet-us-ladies-in-top-500/

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Also a tough break today and a bit of a surprise for Coco Vandeweghe, who has had quite an end to her season, as the 19 year old scored impressive victories over quality opponents such as French top 20 player Aravane Rezai, and who had caught the eye of US Federation Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez.  Vandeweghe hung tight in the Fed Cup final where she replaced Venus Williams, and gave 2010 French Open Ladies Champion Francesca Schiavone quite a run for her money, despite several hiccups on her service games.

Today 17 year old Lauren Davis of Ohio who is currently world #444 and who trains in Florida at the Evert Academy, routed Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-2 in a non comppetitve match, earning the younger player her first entrance into the main draw of a major.  We’ll say it again: several young Americans are deserving of discretionary wildcards, including Vandeweghe, Sock, Young, Rhyne Williams, and hard serving Pennsylvania native Alison Riske.

The US and Australian Tennis Federations have a reciprocation agreement in which they trade each other 1 discretionary wildcard on both the men’s and women’s side, so we think there’s a good chance for Sock and Vandeweghe.  As for one of our favorites, Donald Young?  At this point he has had so much hype and so many chances, we doubt we’ll see him, unfortunately, anywhere on the main tour outside of the United States until he can earn his way in.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Coco Vandeweghe (above).

Curr Prev Name DOB Nation Rank pts Tours
1 1 Williams, Serena 26/09/81 USA 6995 14
3 3 Williams, Venus 17/06/80 USA 5795 15
59 61 Mattek-sands, Bethanie 23/03/85 USA 1017 16
69 68 Oudin, Melanie 23/09/91 USA 922 23
78 80 King, Vania 03/02/89 USA 835 24
87 96 Lepchenko, Varvara 21/05/86 USA 761 24
106 110 Mchale, Christina 11/05/92 USA 656 21
113 172 Vandeweghe, Coco 06/12/91 USA 617 21
122 121 Craybas, Jill 04/07/74 USA 577 29
146 142 Hampton, Jamie 08/01/90 USA 446 23
149 147 Riske, Alison 03/07/90 USA 441 28
168 168 Cohen, Julia 23/03/89 USA 368 39
185 184 Brengle, Madison 03/04/90 USA 312 29
186 174 Perry, Shenay 06/07/84 USA 310 16
196 188 Osterloh, Lilia 07/04/78 USA 288 23
199 194 Lee-waters, Lindsay 28/06/77 USA 285 26
211 211 Capra, Beatrice 06/04/92 USA 261 12
221 219 Stephens, Sloane 20/03/93 USA 246 12
234 238 Albanese, Lauren 01/10/89 USA 230 27
261 274 Spears, Abigail 12/07/81 USA 195 18
281 288 Falconi, Irina 04/05/90 USA 177 8
282 286 Couts, Kimberly 09/05/89 USA 177 24
284 256 Glatch, Alexa 10/09/89 USA 175 17
308 336 Ditty, Julie 04/01/79 USA 149 16
311 315 Rolle, Ahsha 21/03/85 USA 148 15
322 325 Elie, Jennifer 22/09/86 USA 140 17
324 335 Boserup, Julia 09/09/91 USA 138 16
337 342 Stevenson, Alexandra 21/12/80 USA 131 26
338 344 Rogers, Shelby 13/10/92 USA 129 14
340 343 Washington, Mashona 31/05/76 USA 129 19
345 346 Gullickson, Carly 26/11/86 USA 126 17
363 361 Gibbs, Nicole 03/03/93 USA 109 12
378 374 Cako, Jacqueline 30/08/91 USA 101 15
379 375 Granville, Laura 12/05/81 USA 100 6
381 377 Harkins, Macall 05/02/86 USA 99 16
389 382 Litvak, Lena 15/11/88 USA 97 25
404 396 Hsu, Connie Chieh-yu 14/01/92 USA 90 17
416 440 Mueller, Alexandra 14/02/88 USA 84 14
436 436 Hardebeck, Krista 14/09/94 USA 75 4
457 457 Haynes, Angela 27/09/84 USA 69 17
465 498 Brodsky, Gail 05/06/91 USA 67 8
466 437 Muhammed, Asia 04/04/91 USA 67 11
472 491 Fink, Amanda 04/12/86 USA 66 19
488 519 Weinhold, Ashley 20/06/89 USA 63 13

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/page/RankingsNSingles/0,,12781~0~193,00.html

Great to see Vandeweghe climb, and the state of the American women’s game seems to be improving, in terms of our young players.  We really like Allison Riske (# 149), Vandeweghe, Madison Brengle (# 185), and Irina Falconi (# 281).  Obviously Beatrice Capra impressed us at the US Open, despite her lack of weapons.  Speaking of which, the Oudin clan can’t be happy with Melanie’s progress, or lack thereof, as she now finds herself out of the main draw at tournaments with a 56 girl field.  Oudin is # 69 right now, and it is our feeling that some of the taller young Americans will be passing her by because of Oudin’s lack of power and weak first serve.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/nyc-product-coco-vandeweghe-stuns-rezai-goerges-in-japan/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/young-american-coco-vandeweghe-stopped-in-tokyo-by-azarenka-camel-toe-shot/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/baltimores-beatrice-capra-to-face-sharapova-in-round-3-at-the-open/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/maria-treats-american-capra-to-double-bagel-jankovic-out-with-a-whimper-again/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/young-american-alison-riske-to-face-sharapova-in-semis-at-birmingham-see-videos/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/sharapova-gets-by-american-riske-in-birmingham-semi/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/american-melanie-oudin-upset-by-jarmila-groth-of-australia-in-round-2-wimbledon/

U-S-A!!!!!!

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Eighteen year-old American Beatrice Capra (above).

Maryland native and fledgling pro Beatrice Capra, who made the main draw of the 2010 US Open because she won a qualifying tournament in April at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton which saw her awarded a wildcard, upset Croatian and world # 94 Karolina Sprem, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round, and then followed the impressive romp with a gritty upset win over 18th seeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai today.  For Capra, the world’s # 371 female player, the victory over Rezai represented her first over a top twenty player.  Rezai has flashed exceptional form at times this year, moving from outside the top 50 to into the top 20, and winning the Madrid championship on clay by beating Venus Williams quite handily.

Capra, content to be the retriever today, managed her game very well.  She made only 30 errors in 2 hours and 13 minutes, and pulled out the win despite losing on total points, 94-91.  Check out the match stats below:

    Rezai(FRA)   Capra(USA)
         
 
  1st Serve %
54 of 85 = 64 %
64 of 100 = 64 %
 
  Aces
3
3
 
  Double Faults
5
5
 
  Unforced Errors
49
30
 
  Winning % on 1st Serve
37 of 54 = 69 %
41 of 64 = 64 %
 
  Winning % on 2nd Serve
11 of 31 = 35 %
13 of 36 = 36 %
 
  Winners
34
18
 
  Receiving Points Won
46 of 100 = 46 %
37 of 85 = 44 %
 
  Break Point Conversions
6 of 13 = 46 %
6 of 13 = 46 %
 
  Net Approaches
11 of 13 = 85 %
8 of 14 = 57 %
 
  Total Points Won
94
91
 
  Fastest Serve Speed
111 MPH
106 MPH
 
  Average 1st Serve Speed
90 MPH
98 MPH
 
  Average 2nd Serve Speed
78 MPH
79 MPH

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/stats/day10/2203ms.html

The 49 errors surely did Rezai in, as her young American opponent only struck 18 winners, barely approached the net at all, and was topping out on her second serves in the low 80’s on the gun.  Though the win–no, wins–for Capra have been impressive and have served notice, we hope, of the arrival of a promising young American, her lack of weapons will surely be exploited for the big hitting Sharapova, who comes in to the tournament as one of the favorites to capture her 4th major, and second US Open title.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/vegas-makes-clijsters-slight-favorite-over-sharapova-to-win-3rd-open-title/

Capra, who trains at the Evert Academy under Chris Evert in Florida, may have the defensive prowess to take advantage of an off Sharapova, who is serving poorly and making a lot of errors.  But Sharapova seems to be back to a high level, and Capra has been playing all week with the house’s money. 

 Capra’s game has drawn considerable comparisons with Melanie Oudin’s, who made a Cinderalla run to the quarter-finals last year.  No such Cinderella streak for Oudin this year, who was eliminated in straights in the 2nd round by Alona Bondarenko, 6-2, 7-5, in 1 hour and 29 minutes.  Though most have cited Oudin’s accomplishments in the last 14 months when comparing her to Capra, people should keep in mind that Capra, because of her size (5’9), has a considerable edge when it comes to her serve, reach, and net coverage, and that could translate into a better upside for Capra down the road than for the diminutive Oudin.  And let’s not forget big serving Pensylvania native, Alison Riske, who burst onto the tennis scene earlier this summer during the grass court season.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/young-american-alison-riske-to-face-sharapova-in-semis-at-birmingham-see-videos/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/sharapova-gets-by-american-riske-in-birmingham-semi/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/american-melanie-oudin-upset-by-jarmila-groth-of-australia-in-round-2-wimbledon/

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

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