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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Will It Always Be Sunny in Miami?

It's March, so things have moved from the desert to the beach.


Last year at this time, we were stationed in the pause between what turned out to be Victoria Azarenka's "Sunshine Double" combination of back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami, as the former #1 surged back into the Top 10 while riding her best stretch of tennis in three seasons.


Since then, of course, Azarenka has become a mother and is already working toward getting back on the court. Whether it be in Paris, on the grass, or North American hard courts, we should be seeing Vika again in the not too distant future (yay!). With her Indian Wells title points falling off the computer she fell from #17 to #48 on Monday, and will fall outside the Top 300 in two weeks when she loses her Miami cache.

Here she is this week...

About last night...

A post shared by Victoria Azarenka (@vichka35) on





=MIAMI OPEN NOTES=

- Believe it or not, 2012 winner Aga Radwanska is the only Miami women's singles champion who hasn't also won a slam title. This tournament was first held in 1985. That's 31 of 32 champions.

- Additionally, only three of the thirty-two women's singles champions have never been ranked #1 on the WTA computer: Gabriela Sabatini (1989), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2006) and Radwanska (2012). Kuznetsova and Radwanska have been ranked #2, and Sabatini was as high as #3.



- More: Of the sixty-four Miami singles finalists, all but five have also played in a slam singles final: Judith Weisner (1990), Kimiko Date (1995), Chanda Rubin (1996), Anna Kournikova (1998) and Carla Suarez-Navarro (2015). So, only one player matching such a description has advanced so far in the past eighteen editions of what is now called the Miami Open.

- Martina Hingis has won the Miami doubles title in two of the last three years, with two different partners. She's in the draw this year with a third partner, Chan Yung-Jan, and the duo is coming off having won their first title as a pair last week in Indian Wells.

- There was at least one Russian in the Miami women's doubles final every year from 2009-15. A week after two Russians faced off in the Indian Wells final, it should be noted that there has been just one Hordette singles champ (Kuznetsova '06) in Miami, an occurrence that came about due to another all-Hordette championship match. The other eight Russian singles finalists in Miami have gone 0-8 (including an 0-5 record from Maria Sharapova).


One of those finalists was Anna Kournikova, the first of the Russians to reach the Miami final. In 1998, she lost in three sets to a 17-year old Venus Williams (winning just her second career title) nineteen years ago this month. Just 16 years old herself at the time, Kournikova's Miami run turned out to be the first (and biggest) of her four career tour-level singles finals (she also reached the Wimbledon semis in 1997). While she had a great doubles career (reaching #1 and winning two slams), Kournikova famously never won a WTA singles crown, going 0-for-4 in her attempts (losing twice to Hingis in tournament finals from 1999-00, and Anna Smashnova in '02). She did win two ITF challengers in 1996.

In the first of those wins, 14-year old Kournikova defeated an 18-year old Lindsey Lee-Waters in Midland, Michigan. While Kournikova last played on tour in 2003 (she's still seen in exhibitions and World Team Tennis), Lee-Waters is still an active pro. In 2016, she played in a challenger event which also included her daughter in the draw (they very nearly played AGAINST each other), and she is 4-4 in ITF events so far in 2017. Lee-Waters will turn 40 in June, the same month in which Kournikova will turn 36. Of course, she's still younger than Venus (weird how that works out, huh?), who played in the Australian Open final in January and is in the Miami draw this week nineteen years after she won her first of three titles at the event over a four-year stretch.

Swing Swing Swing Swing

A post shared by Venus Williams (@venuswilliams) on



Meanwhile, Kournikova will at least likely be within shouting (or binocular) distance of the grounds again these next two weeks. She's a Miami native, after all.

#hugs and #sunsets ???? #????????????? ??

A post shared by Anna Kournikova ????? ?? (@annakournikova) on



Full circle.





1. Q1 - Anastasia Potapova def. Maria Sakkari
...6-4/0-6/7-6(2).
The 15-year old '16 Wimbledon girls champ, wild card Potapova made her first career WTA match a memorable one. Ranked #454, she faced off with #84-ranked Sakkari. After falling behind 3-0 and 4-2 in the 1st, the Russian battled back to take the set, only to drop the 2nd at love. Potapova nearly squandered a 4-0 lead in the 3rd, where she led 5-2 and held a MP before Sakkari caught her on the scoreboard and things went to a deciding TB. The teenager rebounded again, though, taking it 7-2 to grab her first win in a tour-level event. She fell in her next match, but they were still a few days to remember.
===============================================
2. Q1 - Taylor Townsend def. Sofya Zhuk
...7-6(3)/7-6(5).
Another recent Hordette Wimbledon junior champ (2015), Zhuk didn't get a win in what was just her second WTA match. But, still, the wild card fought back from 5-2 down in the 2nd, saving two MP and forcing a second TB.
===============================================
3. Q1 - Donna Vekic def. Kayla Day
...4-6/6-2/6-4.
A star of the early days of the Indian Wells event, '16 U.S. Open girls champ Day's time in Miami didn't last quite as long in Miami.
===============================================
4. Q1 - Alison Van Uytvanck def. Elise Mertens
...7-6(5)/7-6(4).
In an all-Waffle match-up, #1 Q-seed Mertens fell to Van Uytvanck, in just her second match back since December wrist surgery (she lost in I.W. qualifying to Peng). In January, Mertens missed out on AO qualifying while going from qualifier in Hobart to maiden tour singles champ in Week 2, ultimately running her winning streak to eleven matches, going 15-1 from her title week into Dubai. There, she defeated Tsvetana Pironkova in the 1st Round, then had the misfortune of having to attempt pull a Pironkova/Radwanska double when she faced Aga in the 2nd Round. She lost to the Pole, and hasn't won since. This was her fourth straight loss. Hmmm. I'm not sayin' nuthin'... but I'm just sayin'.
===============================================
5. Q2 - Jana Cepelova def. Anastasia Potapova
...6-3/6-1.
Hmmm, Cepelova is (apparently) healthy (enough) to win back-to-back matches. You know, Charleston is coming up soon. All right... now it's out there.
===============================================
HM- Q1 - Francesca Schiavone def. Kateryna Kozlova 6-3/6-0
Q2 - Kurumi Nara def. Francesca Schiavone 6-3/6-0
...
and, thus, the final clay court season of Francesca Schiavone officially begins.


===============================================




**RECENT MIAMI SINGLES FINALS**
2005 Kim Clijsters/BEL d. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2006 Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS d. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2007 Serena Williams/USA d. Justine Henin/BEL
2008 Serena Williams/USA d. Jelena Jankovic/SRB
2009 Victoria Azarenka/BLR d. Serena Williams/USA
2010 Kim Clijsters/BEL d. Venus Williams/USA
2011 Victoria Azarenka/BLR d. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2012 Aga Radwanska/POL d. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2013 Serena Williams/USA d. Maria Sharapova/RUS
2014 Serena Williams/USA d. Li Na/CHN
2015 Serena Williams/USA d. Carla Suarez-Navarro/ESP
2016 Victoria Azarenka/BLR d. Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS
2017 ?
[doubles champions since 2005]
2005 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Alicia Molik
2006 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2007 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2008 Katarina Srebotnik & Ai Sugiyama
2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Amelie Mauresmo
2010 Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta
2011 Daniela Hantuchova & Aga Radwanska
2012 Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova
2013 Nadia Petrova & Katarina Srebotnik
2014 Martina Hingis & Sabine Lisicki
2015 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza
2016 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova
2017 ?

**INDIAN WELLS & MIAMI**
[reached back-to-back IW/MIA finals]
1991 Monica Seles (L-W)
1994 Steffi Graf (W-W)
1996 Steffi Graf (W-W)
1999 Serena Williams (W-L)
2000 Lindsay Davenport (W-L)
2000 Martina Hingis (L-W)
2005 Kim Clijsters (W-W)
2006 Maria Sharapova (W-L)
2012 Maria Sharapova (L-L)
2013 Maria Sharapova (W-L)
2016 Victoria Azarenka (W-W)
[reached AO/IW/MIA finals in same season]
1991 Monica Seles (W-L-W)
1994 Steffi Graf (W-W-W)
2000 Lindsay Davenport (W-W-L)
2000 Martina Hingis (L-L-W)
2012 Maria Sharapova (L-L-L)

**MOST MIAMI SINGLES TITLES**
8...Serena Williams*
5...Steffi Graf
3...Victoria Azarenka*
3...Venus Williams*
2...Kim Clijsters
2...Martina Hingis*
2...Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario
2...Monica Seles
[oldest champion]
33...Serena Williams (2015)
[youngest champion]
16...Monica Seles (1990)
-
*-active

**MIAMI SINGLES FINALS**
10..Serena Williams (8-2)*
7...Steffi Graf (5-2)
5...Chris Evert (1-4)
5...Maria Sharapova (0-5)*
4...Venus Williams (3-1)*
3...Victoria Azarenka (3-0)*
3...Monica Seles (2-1)
3...Gabriela Sabatini (1-2)
3...Jennifer Capriati (0-3)
2...Kim Clijsters (2-0)
2...Martina Hingis (2-0)*
2...Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (2-0)
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova (1-1)*
1...Martina Navratilova (1-0)
1...Aga Radwanska (1-0)*
1...Kimiko Date (0-1)*
1...Lindsay Davenport (0-1)
1...Elena Dementieva (0-1)
1...Justine Henin (0-1)
1...Jelena Jankovic (0-1)*
1...Anna Kournikova (0-1)
1...Li Na (0-1)
1...Chanda Rubin (0-1)
1...Carla Suarez-Navarro (0-1)*
1...Judith Weisner (0-1)
1...Natasha Zvereva (0-1)
[unseeded finalist]
2005 Kim Clijsters (W)
-
*-active

**MIAMI SINGLES FINALISTS...**
[without grand slam final appearance]
1990 Judith Weisner
1995 Kimiko Date
1996 Chanda Rubin
1998 Anna Kournikova
2015 Carla Suarez-Navarro
[without grand slam title]
1990 Judith Weisner
1994 Natasha Zvereva
1995 Kimiko Date
1996 Chanda Rubin
1998 Anna Kournikova
2008 Jelena Jankovic
2012 Aga Radwanska (W)
2015 Carla Suarez-Navarro

**MOST MIAMI DOUBLES TITLES**
[individual]
7...Jana Novotna
5...Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario
4...Martina Hingis*
3...Nadia Petrova
3...Lisa Raymond
3...Helena Sukova
2...Gigi Fernandez
2...Svetlana Kuznetsova*
2...Martina Navratilova
2...Pam Shriver
2...Katarina Srebotnik*
2...Samantha Stosur*
2...Ai Sugiyama
2...Natasha Zvereva
[team]
2...Martina Navratilova/Pam Shriver
2...Jana Novotna/Helena Sukova
2...Jana Novotna/Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario
2...Jana Novotna/Martina Hingis
2...Lisa Raymond/Samantha Stosur
[mixed champions]
1985 Martina Navratilova & Heinz Gunthardt
--
*-active

**PLAYERS WITH BOTH I.W. & MIAMI SINGLES TITLES**
Victoria Azarenka
Kim Clijsters
Steffi Graf
Martina Hingis
Martina Navratilova
Monica Seles
Serena Williams
[active, won I.W. but not Miami]
Simona Halep
Daniela Hantuchova
Jelena Jankovic
Maria Sharapova
Elena Vesnina
Caroline Wozniacki
Vera Zvonareva
[active, won Miami but not I.W.]
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Aga Radwanska
Venus Williams

**WON I.W./MIAMI "SUNSHINE DOUBLE" IN SAME SEASON**
1994 - Steffi Graf
1996 - Steffi Graf
2005 - Kim Clijsters
2016 - Victoria Azarenka
[doubles]
1990 - Jana Novotna & Helena Sukova
1997 - Natasha Zvereva
1999 - Martina Hingis
2002 - Lisa Raymond & Rennae Stubbs
2006 - Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2007 - Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2015 - Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza
2016 - Bethanie Mattek-Sands






MIAMI, FLORIDA USA (Premier Mandatory/hard outdoor)
16 Final: Azarenka d. Kuznetsova
16 Doubles Final: Mattek-Sands/Safarova d. Babos/Shvedova
17 Top Seeds: Kerber/Ka.Pliskova
=============================

=ROUND OF 16=
#1 Kerber d. Riske
#11 V.Williams d. #7 Kuznetsova
#32 Makarova d. Peng
#24 Babos d. #8 Keys
Puig d. #6 Muguruza
#4 Cibulkova d. Safarova
#9 Svitolina d. #26 Lucic-Baroni
#2 Ka.Pliskova d. #18 Vandeweghe

...Kerber is back at #1, and could face Kasatkina (she def. the German in January, but is now in need of a big win) in the 3rd Round. 2015 finalist Suarez-Navarro is in the same section, but still hasn't fully returned from her injury layoff. Venus (who was last champion in Miami sixteen years ago) might get the surging Mladenovic in the 3rd Round, with '16 Miami finalist/17 I.W. finalist Kuznetsova up next. Will Halep ('16 QF) take a big step in Miami, or settle for a small one? If she can knock off Osaka in her opening match, she could be staring down longtime nemesis Makarova in the 3rd Round. A year ago, the Russian reached the QF after putting up Miami wins over Kvitova and Svitolina. In the fourth quarter of the top half is Konta, who hasn't been totally healthy since January, and she might be tested by Babos (4th Rd. '16) in the 3rd, leading to a possible clash for the winner vs. Keys ('16 QF). Both Babos and Keys lost to Kerber in this event last year.

Can Muguruza maintain the momentum she gathered in the desert? Puig, back on her game after a slow '17 start and in friendly surroundings in Miami, could face Wozniacki in the 3rd Round. The Dane defeated her in January, but a win from the Puerto Rican could reignite #PicaPower, as Puig destroyed Muguruza en route to the Gold in Rio and could see her in the Round of 16 here. I.W. champ Vesnina could face an early obstacle in Safarova in the 3rd in what would be their first meeting since 2006 (!). Former champ Radwanska could face off with Lucic-Baroni in the 3rd as the big-hitting Croat looks to continue her early-season roll. Could Svitolina find a way past her to get another shot at Pliskova? I'm picking the Ukrainian, but I may regret it later. Meanwhile, Pliskova's quest for "cosmic tennis" switches coasts. She reached the I.W. semis while never really feeling good about the "B"-level quality of her desert game. What happens if she finally gets some oceanside satisfaction? The 4th Round could provide a Fed Cup SF preview vs. Vandeweghe.

=QUARTERFINALS=
#11 V.Williams d. #1 Kerber
#32 Makarova d. #24 Babos
Puig d. #4 Cibulkova
#2 Ka.Pliskova d. #9 Svitolina

...might a long three-setter vs. Kuznetsova reduce Venus' chances vs. Kerber? After last week, I have to plant a singles flag in the OTHER half of the Makarova/Vesnina doubles duo. Cibulkova looked more like her usual self in California, so if Puig can come in on a roll this one could be an instant classic in a match-up of players who have recently broken out of their January funks. Pliskova has never lost to Svitolina.

=SEMIFINALS=
#32 Makarova d. #11 V.Williams
#2 Ka.Pliskova d. Puig

...the last time a Russian played in both the Indian Wells and Miami finals in the same year was Sharapova in 2013. The last time different Russians played in finals of the two events was 2006 (Kuznetsova/Sharapova and Sharapova/Dementieva). These results would produce a final that would at least challenge tournament history, as neither player has won a slam, and only Pliskova has played in a major final.

=FINAL=
#2 Ka.Pliskova d. #32 Makarova

...okay, let's try this one again. The last Czech winner in Miami was, well... there hasn't been one. Yet. In fact, the only Czech-born player to ever reach the final was Martina Navratilova, who won the inaugural event in 1985.

Meanwhile...



=DOUBLES QUARTERFINALS=
#1 Mattek-Sands/Safarova d. #5 Y.Chan/Hingis
#3 Mirza/Strycova d. Jurak/An.Rodionova
Kuznetsova/Mladenovic d. #4 Hlavackova/Peng
#2 Makarova/Vesnina d. #8 Spears/Srebotnik

...Hingis already has two "Sunshine Double" combos in doubles. A third would tie Lisa Raymond's tournament record. Mattek-Sands suffered her first WD loss of the season last week vs. Chan/Hingis.

=DOUBLES SEMIFINALS=
#1 Mattek-Sands/Safarova d. #3 Mirza/Strycova
#2 Makarova/Vesnina d. Kuznetsova/Mladenovic

...BMS & Safarova are looking to defend their Miami title. The last individual player to do so was Hingis (2014-15), while the last duo was Raymond/Stosur (2006-07). The Russians were runners-up in Miami in both 2014 and '15.

=DOUBLES FINAL=
#2 Makarova/Vesnina d. #1 Mattek-Sands/Safarova

...these two duos have met three times, with Team Bucie winning the '15 AO QF and '16 U.S. SF, and the Russians (temporarily) preventing Mattek from reaching the doubles #1 ranking with a win in the WTA Finals championship match last November. Mattek (w/ Mirza) defeated the pair in the Brisbane final in Week 1. The only all-Hordette pair to win in Miami: Kirilenko/Petrova in 2012.




All for now.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Wk.11- A Russian Revival in the California Desert

The two weeks of action in Indian Wells served as something of a flashback to the past, as well as maybe a preview of the future. And I'm not even talking about Roger Federer.

Remember, at one time not that long ago the spine of the WTA tour was provided by the Russian contingent. While the U.S. waited for a generation of Bannerette stars who never arrived in the immediate wake of the Williams/Davenport/Capriati era (only now, a decade later, are the legion of new young U.S. stars arriving in waves), it was the Hordettes who assumed the vacated role of provider of the tour's growing depth up and down the singles rankings. While the Russian tennis revolution that began in the early 2000's never rose to the collective heights that it reached in its breakout year of 2004, when three Russians were crowned slam champs and the nation claimed its first Fed Cup crown, and many of the Hordette stars became known as much (or more) for what they didn't win (or how spectacularly they narrowly lost), their overwhelming numbers provided a continual stream of talent that was unmatched in the era. Eleven Russians have become Top 10 players just since 1998, more than any other nation other than the U.S. since the creation of the WTA over forty years ago. From 2002-10, Russians won 110 titles and reached 117 additional finals on tour, with sixteen players becoming first-time singles champions during the stretch. Russia won four Fed Cups from 2004-08, and from 2004-12 Hordettes led (alone or tied) the WTA in finalists for nine straight seasons, and in seven of those seasons produced the most champions, as well.

As many of the Original Hordettes have slowly fallen away, though, the Russian achievement has often been limited to the singles success of Maria Sharapova and many big event winning doubles stars from the nation. In a week when the return of Sharapova from suspension this spring was a hot topic, it was sort of fitting that the old Russian WTA hegemony reared its head once more in Indian Wells.



Surviving through all the ups and downs of the Russian WTA journey has been Svetlana Kuznetsova. She was there at the start and, at nearly age 32, the two-time slam winner is now squarely in the middle of late-career renaissance just as a whole new generation of Hordette stars (most of them still teenagers) are starting to emerge in numbers similar to those during the previous wave of talent. In Indian Wells, though, Kuznetsova's trip to her first final at the event in nine years was accompanied by the appearance (and, ultimately, win) in the biggest final in the career of fellow thirtysomething Hordette Elena Vesnina in the first all-Russian final in the desert since 2006. The 28th Hordette vs. Hordette final in tour history, it was the first since 2015, and just the second since the start of the 2012 season, after twenty such match-ups occurred from 2006-11.

So while many players -- named Pliskova, Muguruza, Mladenovic, etc. -- asserted themselves there in the absence from the draw of some of the biggest names in the sport over the past decade-plus, Indian Wells also served as an easy avenue to remember how things used to be on the tour, when the Russians were here, there and everywhere.



While the Hordettes may never hold the sway they once did on the tour -- with so many nations producing top level talent, what national group could? -- this week proved that they're still here, and will continue to be. They're not going anywhere... and reinforcements are knocking on the door.


*WEEK 11 CHAMPIONS*
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA USA (Prem.Mandatory/HCO)
S: Elena Vesnina/RUS def. Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS 6-7(6)/7-5/6-4
D: Chan Yung-Jan/Martina Hingis (TPE/SUI) d. Lucie Hradecka/Katerina Siniakova (CZE/CZE) 7-6(4)/6-2



PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Elena Vesnina/RUS
...while Svetlana Kuznetsova was on the leading edge of the Russian Tennis Revolution of the early 2000's, Vesnina has been around just as long. Situated in age between 31-year old Kuznetsova and 29-year old Maria Sharapova, 30-year old Vesnina played in her first all-Hordette tour singles final eight years ago, losing to Elena Dementieva. After a career bolstered by doubles success, but filled with pothole-like moments of emotional meltdown, injury and missed opportunity, though, Vesnina has seen her singles career bloom (as so many have in the current era) as she's learned to take advantage of hard-earned (through much trial and error) lessons into her thirties. After a woeful '15 campaign that saw her slip outside the Top 100 for the first time since 2005, the Russian fell in the opening round of qualifying at last year's Indian Wells tournament. But, soon after, she wove a runner-up result by way of the Q-rounds in Charleston, leading to the most successful year of her career. A Wimbledon semifinal helped her to first Top 20 finish, and the realization that tough times in tennis (and elsewhere) are not only something that can be overcome, but a common experience weathered by even some of the greatest champions, has allowed her to avoid the accompanying pitfalls of trying to live up to her AELTC success of last summer.



In California, an "on fire" Vesnina strung together gritty wins over Shelby Rogers, Timea Babos, Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams and Kristina Mladenovic to reach her biggest career final (the tenth of her tour career), then went about staging multiple comebacks (down 4-1 in the 2nd, then 4-2 in the 3rd) against countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final to claim the title, her first since winning her second career crown (both coming in the same season) in Eastbourne in 2013. She'll rise to a new career high of #13 on Monday, with a shot to become the fourteenth Hordette representing USSR/RUS to reach the singles Top 10 in the three months before she'll be called upon to defend her '16 SF points at SW19 in late June. (Hmmmm, I'm now feeling pretty good about picking Vesnina to reach the Top 10 in my January predictions, by the way.)

“This is a dream,” she said. “I hope it’s a great example for other players that everything can happen if you believe in yourself, you know that you have the game. I knew I could play well. I know I have the game. I have the shots. I have the serve. I was just, it was just about the consistency and using the right shots on the right moment. Don’t panic, don’t rush.”

“That’s actually the goal for me, to play like this for the whole year. Because all the top 10 players, biggest players, that’s their biggest weapon. They’re always staying cool on, like, tough moments.”

Go get 'em, Elena.


===============================================
RISERS: Kristina Mladenovic/FRA, Garbine Muguruza/ESP and Kristyna Pliskova/CZE
...with so many top players injured, absent or finally just getting their feet under them in 2017, Indian Wells provided a big stage for the soon-to-be-in-their-prime generation in their mid-twenties to prove that they can fill in the gaps of domination left behind. While a pair of thirty-plus players may have reached the final, the next generation of stars more than did their job, as well.



Mladenovic, picking up still more steam in what is already a career year, put together her biggest-ever semifinal run in the desert and will be rewarded this week with her first Top 20 ranking (#18) and new position as the highest-ranked French player on tour (edging out Caroline Garcia, who'll also rise to a career best #23 after a 4th Round result). Kiki's wins over Annika Beck, Simona Halep (her first Top 5 win this season), Lauren Davis and Caroline Wozniacki (her first over the Dane after being 0-for-3, coming back from a set down and winning while being creative and employing serve-and-volley tactics that even surprised herself) carried her week in singles, while her first official post-Garcia partnership doubles outing also results in a QF run with Svetlana Kuznetsova by her side. The pair got wins over Groenefeld/Peshke and Hlavackova/Peng.



Muguruza advanced to the QF in Indian Wells, "flipping the switch" on numerous occasions during the tournament to recover from brief dips that put her survival in the draw in jeopardy. Wins over Kirsten Flipkens, Kayla Day and Elina Svitolina (after the Ukrainian served for the 1st set, only to drop it and eventually see Muguruza recover from a poor 2nd to rush her out of the match in a love 3rd set) before falling in a tight double-TB loss to Karolina Pliskova. Fighting Achilles and leg ailments in 2017's early weeks, Muguruza has yet to put up a HUGE result, but her fight (never a given) has been admirable since she got her season off to a good start via a dramatic three-set win in Week 1 over Daria Kasatkina. Maybe, more importantly, she seems to have removed the "sullen teenager act" witnessed in many '16 courtside interactions with coach Sam Sumyk (so far, at least), quite possibly leading, if not to far greater consistency on a game-by-game basis, then to better effort when things aren't going her way, resulting in the sort of comeback wins that should boost her confidence in other momentum-shifting matches as the season goes on.



While sister Karolina actually advanced deeper into the I.W. draw (SF) -- the higher-ranked Pliskova often expressed disappointment in her play (mostly her serve), and actually felt that her "best played match" was her semifinal loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova -- it was Kristyna who gave another preview of the sort of two-headed Czech twin monster we might eventually see attacking draws in the near future. In top form in the early rounds, she obliterated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (love & 3) and Daria Kasatkina (love & 3), and SHOULD have taken down Dominika Cibulkova in the 3rd Round, as well, in what would have been the biggest match win of her career. Kristyna led the veteran Slovak 6-2/4-2, and served for the match without having yet faced a BP, and even held a MP. Ultimately, her fitness down the stretch and inability to cash in on a huge cache of BP chances (the two were likely closely related, though Cibulkova DID rediscover her fight in the desert after a few uncharacteristically sloppy months) did her in. But she need look no further than Karolina, who suffered from some of the same issues not all that long ago, to see that far greater things might not be too far away for her, too.


===============================================
SURPRISE: Pauline Parmentier/FRA
...lost in all the discussions of the "late-career" bloomers and long-standing vets finding success around or after their 30th birthday is the case of Parmentier. While the now 31-year old Pastry has had six Top 100 seasons since 2007, until fairly recently her best results appeared to be behind her. Her career high ranking (#40) came in '08, as did her best year-end (#59 in '07) standing and only two appearances in tour singles finals (wins in Tashkent '07 and Bad Gastein in '08). Parmentier reached six $100K challenger finals from 2010-12 (going 2-4), but could never quite make many more dents in the regular tour. But after reaching her first slam Round of 16 in Roland Garros in '14 at the age of 28 after getting wins over the likes of Roberta Vinci, Yaroslava Shvedova and Mona Barthel, things began to heat up. Since the summer of 2015, she's played in three $100K finals (1-2), and after appearing in one SF (her first since '12) and five tour-level QF in '16, she posted an early season '17 QF in Acapulco. Parmentier didn't repeat the result in Indian Wells, but she still may have had her best week on tour in years. After opening with a 1st Round victory over countrywoman Oceane Dodin, she upset Yulia Putintseva and came THIS CLOSE to getting her first career Top 10 win (after having lost her previous twenty-four sets vs. Top 10 competition) over soon-to-be-#1-again Angelique Kerber in the 3rd Round. After failing to put away the 1st set (she led 5-4 and held a SP), she battled back to lead the 3rd set 4-1 before Kerber staged a comeback to get what would be her final win of the week in a 7-5 set. Still, Parmentier will rise five spots to #57 this week, with the clay court season (where she's had many of her best results) around the corner and a run at her career high ranking a real possibility over the spring and summer.


===============================================


VETERANS: Svetlana Kuznetsova/RUS and Venus Williams/USA
...Kuznetsova's time in Indian Wells, which included her first appearance in the final since 2008, didn't have the ending she'd have preferred after starring and seeming to be on the verge of her biggest title run in eight years. But, unfortunately, the Russian's career is littered with similar run-ending disappointments that, with a different result, might have elevated her to an even higher position in the game's hierarchy during an already Hall of Fame-worthy career has played out since she became the third of three Hordettes to lift slam title trophies thirteen years ago. The 31-year old, coming off her first Top 10 year since '09 a season ago, reached her 40th career tour-level singles final with wins over Johanna Larsson, Roberta Vinci (where she lost her only set en route to the championship match), Caroline Garcia, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Pliskova. In the final, after twice coming back from a break down to Elena Vesnina to take the 1st set in a TB, Kuznetsova failed to close out the match despite leading 4-1 in the 2nd and 4-2 in the 3rd. Oh, Sveta. In doubles, teaming with Kristina Mladenovic in the wake of the break-up of the Pastry's doubles partnership with Garcia, the Kuznetsova/Kiki combo reached the QF.

While Vesnina may have given her a run for the title with her philosophical comments in Indian Wells, though, Sveta is still the WTA tour's resident "philosopher's stone."



Well, unless someone else is even MORE worthy...




Venus' all-thirtysomething path through the Indian Wells draw produced a QF result in her delayed follow-up to her turn-back-the-clock run to the Australian Open final in January. After saving a match point in a victory over Jelena Jankovic (32) in her first match, Williams defeated Lucie Safarova (30) and Peng Shuai (31), surging back to defeat the Chinese vet after dropping the 1st, before finally falling in a final eight, three-set match-up against Vesnina (30).


===============================================


COMEBACK: Peng Shuai/CHN
...the push for Peng to once again claim her position as the top-ranked Chinese woman on tour continues, but maybe not for much longer. Now fully back from her '15 back surgery, the 31-year old made it through Indian Wells qualifying with wins over Alison Van Uytvanck and Jamie Loeb, then carried over the battle all the way to the 4th Round with wins over Lesia Tsurenko, Ana Konjuh and Aga Radwanska, the latter win giving her her first Top 10 victory since 2014. In the Round of 16, Peng finally lost to Venus Williams in three sets. Still, she'll rise to #43 in the rankings on Monday, making her the second-highest ranked Chinese woman behind #33 Zhang Shuai. Zhang ended the 16 season at #23, while Peng was then eighty spots back at #103. Now seventy ranking spots closer after the first eleven weeks of play in '17, how long will it be closes the gap and puts Zhang in her rear-view mirror?
===============================================


FRESH FACES: Kayla Day/USA & Lauren Davis/USA
...17-year old wild card Day was the NextGen story of the opening rounds in Indian Wells, coming in as the world #175 and putting up wins over Kurumi Nara and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (her first Top 30 win) before pushing Garbine Muguruza to three sets in the 3rd Round. The reigning U.S. Open girls champ will edge close to the Top 150 (#153) in the new rankings.




With Day out, 23-year old Davis continued to earn her position as one of the Top 5 ranked Bannerettes on the WTA tour. After staging a comeback against Viktorija Golubic (the Swiss led 5-3 in the 3rd and served for the match), she followed up with wins over Anastasija Sevastova and Julia Goerges before falling in the 4th Round to Kristina Mladenovic. 16-4 in '17, Davis has claimed her maiden tour title and reached two additional QF this season. She'll rise to a new career high of #34 this week.


===============================================
DOWN: Sania Mirza/Barbora Strycova (IND/CZE)
...while former partner Martina Hingis lifted the same doubles title trophy that they'd won as a pair in their first event together back in 2015, Mirza and current partner Strycova fell to Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan in the quarterfinals, 6-4/6-4. Though their QF result in Indian Wells was good, it should probably be noted that this is the duo's fourth consecutive event without reaching a final since they were runners-up in Sydney in Week 2. The Indian-Czech pair went 15-3, winning two titles and reaching three finals in five events over the final months of 2016. So far in '17, though, Mirza's only title came in Week 1 when she teamed with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Brisbane. While brewing questions about the future of Hingis/Mirza began when titles became more scarce, and Hingis/Vandeweghe appeared doomed when none ever came, might the same doubts about the continuation of Mirza/Strycova officially began now? Neither Hingis nor Mirza suffers losing (or, more accurately, "anything other than winning") for long, so if the smoke doesn't clear here soon it'd be best to keep the WTA Doubles Fire Department on speed dial. Still, overall, Mirza is still 34-8 (with three different partners) since the dissolution of the brief-but-specatular existence of Hingis/Mirza.

Latte, lipstick and down time. ??? peace out ??

A post shared by Sania Mirza (@mirzasaniar) on


===============================================
ITF PLAYER: Ekaterina Alexandrova/RUS
...one of three Hordettes to claim ITF singles titles in Week 11, Alexandrova won the biggest at the $60K challenger in Shenzhen. The 22-year old won a WTA 125 Series title last November (def. Caroline Garcia in the final) at the close of a season which saw her make her tour level MD debut (in April), as well as her slam MD debut (at Wimbledon, after a pair of marathon Q-round wins, which she followed up with a 1st Round upset of Ana Ivanovic). In January, she made another debut at the Australian Open, taking countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova to three sets in the opening round. In Shenzhen, the Russian notched wins over Liu Fangzhou, Barbora Stefkova, top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei, Anna Kalinskaya and recent BLR Fed Cup star Aryna Sabalenka, 18, in a 6-2/7-5 final. With her sixth career ITF title in hand, just a few weeks from the anniversary of her WTA debut in Katowice last spring, Alexandrova will make her maiden appearance in the singles Top 100 on Monday.


ALEXANDROVA, with father, AFTER QUALIFYING FOR WIMBLEDON IN 2016
===============================================
JUNIOR STAR: Zeel Desai/IND
...the battle for the future leading role in Indian women's tennis is on, and 18-year old Desai and 15-year old Mahak Jain are currently trading blows on the court in a semi-regular "round robin" for the honor. Meeting for the third time in a final this season, Desai edged ahead at 2-1 with a 6-3/6-2 win in the Sarawak Chief Minister's Cup Grade 1 girls event in Malaysia. Jain had defeated Desai in a Grade 2 tournament final in New Dehli in January, followed by Desai getting a win last month in a $15K challenger final clash (with the first pro title for the winner being the prize) in Gwalior, India. So far in '17, both teenagers have been in fine form. Desai is 5-0 in pro events, and now 14-3 on the junior circuit (after ending '16 on a 15-0 run), while Jain is 4-1 (pro) and 15-3 (jr.).


===============================================


DOUBLES: Chang Yung-Jan & Martina Hingis (TPE/SUI)
...it took some trail and error, but Hingis may have finally found her post-Mirza doubles soulmate. In Indian Wells, Hingis teamed with Chan to secure as many match wins (5) as she'd had in her previous five WD events in 2017 combined. Putting up wins over Mirza/Strycova (that one must have been extra sweet), Mattek-Sands/Safarova and Hradecka/Siniakova in the final, winning the crown in just their third event together without dropping a set. While for Chan it's her second '17 title (she won w/ sister Hao-Ching in Taipei City), and nineteenth career tour-level win with a fifth different partner, Hingis wins her first title since taking Rome with Mirza last spring (in just her second final since the announcement of their split last summer -- since which Mirza has gone 4-2 in finals), winning for a 56th time in her career with a seventeenth different WD partner.


===============================================


Spot on. ??

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[IW 3rd Rd.-to-Final]
1. IW Final - Elena Vesnina def. Svetlana Kuznetsova
...6-7(6)/7-5/6-4.
A lost opportunity for Kuznetsova, and a moment of true opportunistic achievement for Vesnina. Coming back from a break down twice in the 1st, Kuznetsova took the TB. But with the advantage on her side of the net in the 2nd (4-1 lead) and 3rd (4-2) she wasn't able to call upon championship form.



With this match-up of the #15 and #8-ranked players, combined with the finalist in this season's previous high level Premier event in Dubai (#13 Svitolina def. #15 Wozniacki), the average rank of the four finalists in the two biggest non-slam tournaments thus far in '17 is nearly #13.


===============================================
2. IW 3rd Rd. - Timea Bacsinszky def. Kiki Bertens
...6-3/5-7/7-6(8).
In 3:22, Bacsinszky survives after failing to put away two MP in the 2nd, saving four MP in the 3rd after falling behind 5-2, then finally winning on her own sixth MP.


===============================================
3. IW 3rd Rd. - Angelique Kerber def. Pauline Parmentier
...7-5/3-6/7-5.
While the German is still actively seeking her game, she managed to escape with a win vs. the Pastry despite trailing 5-4 (and being SP down) in the 1st, then falling behind 4-1 in the 3rd. Kerber lost a round later to Vesnina, but will reclaim the #1 ranking from Serena Williams on Monday.
===============================================
4. IW 3rd Rd. - Caroline Garcia def. Johanna Konta
...3-6/6-3/7-6(1).
Finally, a sign of hope from Garcia. While Mladenovic will pass her in the latest singles rankings, Garcia will still rise to a new career high on the strength of this win (and, soon, maybe the confidence it will give her).


===============================================
5. IW 4th Rd. - Garbine Muguruza def. Elina Svitolina
...7-6(5)/1-6/6-0.
Svitolina served for the 1st set, only to fail to put it away. Characteristically, she rebounded to dominate the 2nd, but then was run over by the Spaniard in the 3rd as Muguruza ended the Ukrainian's 15-match unbeaten streak (she's still 20-3 on the season) in yet another display of what she CAN be when in full flight.
===============================================
6. IW 3rd Rd. - Kristina Mladenovic def. Simona Halep
...6-3/6-3.
Kiki gets her second Top 5 win of '17, but for Halep, whose grandfather died during the event, this trip to California can still be termed a "success" if only because her return to action produced one match win and no recurrence of the pain of the knee injury that has so far prevented her season from hitting anything resembling a stride. Baby steps.



===============================================
7. IW 4th Rd. - Caroline Wozniacki def. Madison Keys
...6-4/6-4.
Another player finally returning after an injury rehabilitation break, Keys got wins over Mariana Duque (on her 8th MP) and Naomi Osaka, then predictably fell to the Dane, the sort of opponent hardly desired by a player already traditionally bugged by consistency issues even before a multi-month layoff.
===============================================
8. IW 4th Rd. - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Dominika Cibulkova
...6-4/3-6/6-2.
Despite this loss, Cibulkova finally began to resemble her usual self in the desert, showing her never-give-up fight while notching wins over Jelena Ostapenko and, in a great comeback, Kristyna Pliskova.

Speaking of Ostapenko...


===============================================
9. $15K Sharm El Sheikh Final - Polina Monova def. Elixane Lechemia
...2-6/7-5/6-4.
The 23-year old Russian sweeps the titles in Egypt, winning her third singles crown of '17.
===============================================
10. $15K Heraklion Final - Dejana Radanovic def. Raluca Georgiana Serban
...6-4/7-6(1).
The 20-year old Serb claims her third straight challenger title.


===============================================
11. $15K Antalya Final - Sofia Shapatava def. Ayla Aksu
...2-6/7-6(3)/7-6(5).
After previously being 1-9 in career ITF singles finals, the 28-year old Georgian wins her first challenger title since 2014.
===============================================
12. $15K Tampa Final - Michelle Larcher de Brito def. Victoria Rodriguez
...6-2/6-0.
The 24-year old from Portugal, at one time one of the more talked about up-and-coming teenagers in the sport, is still a player (especially on grass) who'll occasionally pop up with a result that makes you remember how things once were. This weekend, on clay of all things, she picked up her fourth career ITF title. But it's her first since 2012.


===============================================


Meanwhile, in the Land of Sloane...




[IW 3rd Rd.-to-Final]
1. IW 3rd Rd. - Dominika Cibulkova def. KRISTYNA PLISKOVA
...2-6/7-6(5)/7-6(4).
Pliskova led 6-2/4-2 and served for the match having yet to face a BP in the match. Of course, as one can tell by the scoreline above, she was broken there, then suffered her first loss in a TB since last season. In the 3rd, the Czech again was on the verge of her biggest career win vs. the Top 5 Slovak. Cibulkova, down 5-4, saved a MP and held serve in an 11-minute game. Pliskova broke in a 9-minute Cibulkova service game two games later (on her sixth BP in the game) with a forehand return winner of a second serve to send things to a TB, where she lost out yet again to the veteran to fall in 2:47. Pliskova was 2-of-13 on BP chances in the 3rd set alone, and just 5-of-23 in the match.


????

A post shared by Kristyna Pliskova (@kristynapliskova) on


===============================================
2. IW QF - KAROLINA PLISKOVA def. Garbine Muguruza
...7-6(2)/7-6(5).
Pliskova got the win here, her sixth straight over the Spaniard, but was still looking for what she considered to be a "well-played" match on her end in Indian Wells, even after posting her fourth win. Maybe her trying and failing to serve this one out at 5-2 and 5-4 in the 3rd, and firing forehand errors on two MP in the attempt, presents a good reason why the Czech might be judging her performance in the desert under a different sort of microscope. She's very obviously playing the "long game" when it comes to her '17 season outlook.
===============================================
3. IW SF - Svetlana Kuznetsova def. KAROLINA PLISKOVA
...7-6(5)/7-6(2).
The above notion was played out once again here, as Pliskova said after this one that, despite the loss, she felt that after a week and a half of her form not "deserving" the victories she got, she was most satisfied in Indian Wells with her performance in this match. After needing what she termed a "miracle" to take out Monica Puig in her first match, getting a retirement from Timea Bacsinszky (wrist) in her third, and surviving despite failing in the clutch vs. Muguruza, she felt better about her game while losing these two TB than she did while winning the previous two. Either she's holding herself to an incredibly high standard, or Pliskova knows where she wants to go and is dead set on getting there via a process that produces long term, consistent results rather than a "lucky" win or two that might allow her to "cut corners" en route to the victory circle. You see, the Czech, 19-3 on the season, isn't about just getting by. She may be seeking, as she termed it this week, "cosmic tennis." Good luck on your mission, Karolina.


===============================================
4. IW 3rd Rd. - Peng Shuai def. AGA RADWANSKA
...6-4/6-4.
Peng's first Top 10 win since 2014 didn't come as routinely as the scoreline may suggest. She led 5-2 in the 2nd, but was broken at love while serving for the match to get the set back on serve.
===============================================
5. IW Doubles Final - CHAN YUNG-JAN/Martina Hingis def. Lucie Hradecka/Katerina Siniakova
...7-6(4)/6-2.
Even her sister wasn't an obstacle for Chan to team up with Martina. You only get so many opportunities to join forces with a Hall of Famer, I guess... and it's working out well, so far.


===============================================
6. $60K Shenzhen Final - LYUDMYLA KICHENOK/NADIIA KICHENOK def. Eri Hozumi/Valeria Savinykh
...6-4/6-4.
The 24-year old Ukrainian twins win their 21st ITF title as a pair in their 41st final. They're also 2-2 in WTA finals.
===============================================
7. $15K Tampa SF - Michelle Larcher de Brito def. MARI OSAKA
...3-6/7-5/6-4.
20-year Mari, Naomi's older sister, reached the semis of the $15K in Tampa, losing to eventual champ Larcher de Brito. Osaka's only ITF final came in 2012, a loss to Jamie Loeb.
===============================================


I hope they see fit to wrap up that banner and send it off to Petra.








Just because it's not cold enough outside, I decided to use Cryo?????? Smiling thru pain #recovery

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Shop 'til You Drop

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??

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Vanity Fair Spain Cover. April Issue

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**ALL-RUSSIAN WTA SINGLES FINALS**
[most by individual]
12 - Elena Dementieva (6-6)
10 - SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA (5-5)
7 - Dinara Safina (3-4)
5 - Maria Sharapova (3-2)
4 - Anastasia Myskina (4-0)
4 - ELENA VESNINA (1-3)
2 - Anna Chakvetadze (2-0)
2 - Alisa Kleybanova (2-0)
2 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (1-1)
2 - Nadia Petrova (0-2)
[by season]
2003: 1
2004: 5
2005: 0
2006: 4
2007: 1
2008: 5
2009: 6
2010: 3
2011: 1
2012: 0
2013: 0
2014: 0
2015: 1
2016: 0
2017: 1
[chronological order]
2003 Doha - Myskina d. Likhovtseva
2004 Doha - Myskina d. Kuznetsova
2004 Roland Garros - Myskina d. Dementieva
2004 U.S. Open - Kuznetsova d. Dementieva
2004 Hasselt - Dementieva d. Bovina
2004 Moscow - Myskina d. Dementieva
2006 Indian Wells - Sharapova d. Dementieva
2006 Miami - Kuznetsova d. Sharapova
2006 Moscow - Chakvetadze d. Petrova
2006 Linz - Sharapova d. Petrova
2007 Hobart - Chakvetadze d. Bardina
2008 Doha - Sharapova d. Zvonareva
2008 Dubai - Dementieva d. Kuznetsova
2008 Berlin - Safina d. Dementieva
2008 Beijing - Dementieva d. Safina
2008 Tokyo - Safina d. Kuznetsova
2009 Auckalnd - Dementieva d. Vesnina
2009 Sydny - Dementieva d. Safina
2009 Stuttgart - Kuznetsova d. Safina
2009 Rome - Safina d. Kuznetsova
2009 Roland Garros - Kuznetsova d. Safina
2009 Toronto - Dementieva d. Sharapova
2010 Kuala Lumpur - Kleybanova d. Dementieva
2010 Istanbul - Pavlyuchenkova d. Vesnina
2010 Tashkent - Kudryavtseva d. Vesnina
2011 Baku - Zvonareva d. Pervak
2015 Moscow - Kuznetsova d. Pavlyuchenkova
2017 Indian Wells - VESNINA d. KUZNETSOVA

**CAREER WTA SINGLES FINALS - active**
92...Serena Williams, USA
81...Venus Williams, USA
68...Martina Hingis., SUI
58...Maria Sharapova, RUS
44...Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
40...SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA, RUS
36...Victoria Azarenka, BLR
35...Jelena Jankovic, SRB

**DEFEATED #1 SEED, WON TITLE**
Hobart: Elise Mertens, BEL (QF-Bertens)
Dubai: Elina Svitolina, UKR (SF-Kerber)
Acapulco: Lesia Tsurenko, UKR (SF-Lucic-B.)
Indian Wells: ELENA VESNINA, RUS (4r-Kerber)

**30/30 FINALS, 2014-17**
2014 Miami - S.Williams (32) d. Li (32)
2014 Quebec City - Lucic-B. (32) d. V.Williams (34)
2015 U.S. Open - Pennetta (33) d. Vinci (32)
2016 none
2017 Aust.Open - S.Williams (35) d. V.Williams (36)
2017 Indian Wells - Vesnina (30) d. Kuznetsova (31)

**2017 OLDEST WTA CHAMPIONS**
35 = Serena Williams, USA (Australian Open)
30 = ELENA VESNINA, RUS (INDIAN WELLS)
27 = Lesia Tsurenko, UKR (Acapulco)
25 = Johanna Konta, GBR (Sydney)
[doubles]
36 = MARTINA HINGIS, SUI (IW)
35,49w = Katarina Srebotnik, SLO (Doha)
35,7m,1w = Abigail Spears, USA (Doha)
35,6m,2w = Abigail Spears, USA (Australian MX)
34,9m,3w = Anastasia Rodionova, AUS (Acapulco)
32,11m = Darija Jurak, CRO (Acapulco)
32,3w = Casey Dellacqua, AUS (K.Lumpur)

**2015-17 WTA SF**
20 - Angelique Kerber 8/11/1
18 - Aga Radwanska 8/9/1
17 - KAROLINA PLISKOVA 8/6/3
16 - Elina Svitolina 6/7/3
16 - Serena S.Williams 9/6/1
15 - Simona Halep 9/6/0
13 - Caroline Wozniacki 7/4/2

**2017 WTA WD TITLES w/o LOST SET**
Shenzhen - Andrea Hlavackova/Peng Shuai, CZE/CHN
Auckland - Kiki Bertens/Johanna Larsson, NED/SWE
Sydney - Timea Babos/Anastasia Palyuchenkova, HUN/RUS
Kuala Lumpur - Ash Barty/Casey Dellacqua, AUS/AUS
INDIAN WELLS - CHANG YUNG-JAN/MARTINA HINGIS, TPE,SUI

**2017 WTA WD FINALS**
3 = Andrea Hlavackova, CZE (1-2)
3 = Peng Shuai, CHN (1-2)
3 = Olga Savchuk, UKR (1-2)
2+1 = Sania Mirza, IND (1-1,0-1 mx)
2 = CHAN YUNG-JAN, TPE (2-0)
2 = Ekaterina Makarova, RUS (1-1)
2 = Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA (2-0)
2 = Darija Jurak, CRO (1-1)
2 = Raluca Olaru, ROU (1-1)
2 = Elena Vesnina, RUS (1-1)
2 = LUCIE HRADECKA, CZE (0-2)
2 = KATERINA SINIAKOVA, CZE (0-2)
1+1 = Abigail Spears, USA (1-0,1-0 mx)

**CAREER TITLES - BY PARTNERS**
[Hingis]
14 - Sania Mirza (2015-16)
11 - Anna Kournikova (1999-02)
8 - Jana Novotna (1997-99)
4 - Leander Paes (2015-16 MX)
4 - Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (1997)
4 - Helena Sukova (1996-98)
2 - Sabine Lisicki (2014-15)
2 - Mirjana Lucic (1998)
2 - Flavia Pennetta (2014)
2 - Mary Pierce (2000)
2 - Natasha Zvereva (1997-98)
1 - Mahesh Bhupathi (2006 MX)
1 - CHAN YUNG-JAN (2017)
1 - Lindsay Davenport (1997)
1 - Gigi Fernandez (1995)
1 - Mary Joe Fernandez (1997)
1 - Maria Kirilenko (2007)
1 - Barbara Schett (2002)
1 - Nathalie Tauziat (2000)
Olympic Silver Medal: Timea Bacsinszky (2016)
[Chan Yung-Jan]
9 - Chan Hao-Ching (2013-17)
7 - Chuang Chia-Jung (2005-08)
1 - Martina Hingis (2017)
1 - Abigail Spears (2009)
1 - Zheng Jie (2010)
--[WTA 125]--
1 - Chan Hao-Ching (2014)
1 - Zhang Shuai (2013)

**RECENT INDIAN WELLS FINALS**
2006 Maria Sharapova d. Elena Dementieva
2007 Daniela Hantuchova d. Svetlana Kuznetsova
2008 Ana Ivanovic d. Svetlana Kuznetsova
2009 Vera Zvonareva d. Ana Ivanovic
2010 Jelena Jankovic d. Caroline Wozniacki
2011 Caroline Wozniacki d. Marion Bartoli
2012 Victoria Azarenka d. Maria Sharapova
2013 Maria Sharapova d. Caroline Wozniacki
2014 Flavia Pennetta d. Aga Radwanska
2015 Simona Halep d. Jelena Jankovic
2016 Victoria Azarenka d. Serena Williams
2017 Elena Vesnina d. Svetlana Kuznetsova
[doubles champions since 2006]
2006 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2007 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2008 Dinara Safina & Elena Vesnina
2009 Victoria Azarenka & Vera Zvonareva
2010 Kveta Peschke & Katarina Srebotnik
2011 Sania Mirza & Elena Vesnina
2012 Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond
2013 Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina
2014 Hsieh Su-Wei & Peng Shuai
2015 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza
2016 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & CoCo Vandeweghe
2017 Chan Yung-Jan & Martina Hingis

**MOST INDIAN WELLS FINALS**
6...Lindsay Davenport (2-4)
3...Kim Clijsters (2-1)
3...Steffi Graf (2-1)
3...Maria Sharapova (2-1) *
3...Serena Williams (2-1) *
3...Martina Hingis (1-2) *
3...Caroline Wozniacki (1-2) *
3...SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA (0-3) *
-
*-active

**RECENT MIAMI SINGLES FINALS**
2005 Kim Clijsters d. Maria Sharapova
2006 Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Maria Sharapova
2007 Serena Williams d. Justine Henin
2008 Serena Williams d. Jelena Jankovic
2009 Victoria Azarenka d. Serena Williams
2010 Kim Clijsters d. Venus Williams
2011 Victoria Azarenka d. Maria Sharapova
2012 Aga Radwanska d. Maria Sharapova
2013 Serena Williams d. Maria Sharapova
2014 Serena Williams d. Li Na
2015 Serena Williams d. Carla Suarez-Navarro
2016 Victoria Azarenka d. Svetlana Kuznetsova
[doubles champions since 2005]
2005 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Alicia Molik
2006 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2007 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur
2008 Katarina Srebotnik & Ai Sugiyama
2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova & Amelie Mauresmo
2010 Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta
2011 Daniela Hantuchova & Agnieszka Radwanska
2012 Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova
2013 Nadia Petrova & Katarina Srebotnik
2014 Martina Hingis & Sabine Lisicki
2015 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza
2016 Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova


With the tour picking up and heading east to the other U.S. coastline, I'll come back in a few days with some pre-tournament predictions for Miami. Garbine will be there...





All for now.