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Archive for the ‘alexa glatch’ Category

Fed Cup Final: Forza Italia!

Posted by gauloises1 on November 9, 2009

No last-minute miracle for Team U.S.A. Flavia Pennetta clinched the tie 3-0 by beating Melanie Oudin, 75 62, and Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani beat Vania King and Liesel Huber for a perfect 4-0 scoreline. Let’s hear it for the ladies bringing home Italy’s second Fed Cup. Not bad for a country who celebrated its first WTA top-tenner this year.

italy fans

(My Italian dream involves climbing trees to shout ‘Courage and love!’ and then getting kissed in a field of violets on a Tuscan hillside, but each to their own.)

I didn’t see the match in its entirety, but on watching the highlights, it seems to me that Pennetta just turned in a dominating performance. Credit to Oudin, who fought hard, but Flavia simply didn’t let her in to the point where she could dictate the match. It’s no mean feat, especially as her reaction afterwards showed how much the victory meant to her.

flavia pennetta celebrates

flavia pennetta

flavia pennetta italian flag

Fantastic for Flavia to seal the deal, but it was a team effort and it seemed like everybody there knew it.

team italy

A lot of teeth in that team.

pennetta schiavone vinci

Flavs and Schiavs warm my heart.

italian victory lap

This should be painted in oils.

corrado barazzutti

Give it up for Corrado Barrazzutti, the man with the unspelleable surname and solid teamwork ethic.

francesca schiavone flavia pennetta

I’m told they’re running away from champagne. This concept eludes me.

flavia pennetta and father oronzo

It wobbles my lip that Flavs brought on her dad.

team usa trophies

Melanie’s not impressed. But Vania’s just happy to be included.

team italy trophies

pennetta schiavone trophy

Love.

Posted in alexa glatch, fed cup, flavia pennetta, francesca schiavone, melanie oudin, roberta vinci, sara errani, vania king | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed Cup: Italy Take 2-0 Lead

Posted by gauloises1 on November 8, 2009

The U.S.A’s chance of an upset would seem to be vanishingly small after Italy won both their opening singles rubbers to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. But then, stranger things have happened …

italy and the us line up

First up, Alexa Glatch against Flavia Pennetta. Glatch was the one who knocked out Flavia Pennetta in the opening round of Roland Garros (and I remember commenting then that it was quite the impressive Fed Cup audition). However, Pennetta was reportedly sick on that occasion and it was a different story today as Flavia was on totally dominant form, smacking down Glatch 63 61 for the first point.

flavia pennetta

alexa glatch mjf

flavia pennetta celebrates4

pennetta celebrates with teammates

It was the turn of Melanie Oudin and Francesca Schiavone next, and the youngster made an impressive start, quickly breaking Schiavone to go 4-2 up when the skies opened and the match was rained off for some time. After the break, Oudin started slowly, allowing Schiavone to break back and take it to a tiebreak in which the Italian looked by far the stronger player, winning it 7-2 with a backhand return ace. The second set was a more exaggerated version of the first as Oudin broke Schiavone in the opening game, but unforced errors cost her the break back and when Schiavone held and then broke to love in the next game to go 3-1 up, it was pretty much over with Oudin winning just one more game.

francesca schiavone slide

melanie oudin

I know the Italians were heavy favourites, but it isn’t easy to go out there and do what you’re supposed to against opponents with nothing to lose when there’s so much on the line. I thought Pennetta and Schiavone were both great, particularly Francesca who wasn’t on great form but fought her way to a convincing win. And it gave her the chance to show off her fantastic range of celebratory expressions.

francesca schiavone

francesca schiavone

francesca schiavone

I call this one the ‘Popeye’.

It isn’t quite done and dusted yet, but all Italy need is one more point and you have to consider Pennetta vs. Oudin and Schiavone vs. Glatch as heavily tilted in the home team’s favour. Unless they choke or the U.S. finds something truly special from somewhere, it’s hard to see this ending well for the U.S.

francesca schiavone corrado barrazzutti

schiavone celebrates with teammates

Forza.

Posted in alexa glatch, fed cup, flavia pennetta, francesca schiavone, melanie oudin, roberta vinci, sara errani | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed Cup OOP: Saturday

Posted by gauloises1 on November 7, 2009

The draw for today is out. Play starts at 10 a.m. GMT in Reggio Calabria.

Flavia Pennetta (ITA) vs. Alexa Glatch (USA)

alexa glatch flavia pennetta

Francesca Schiavone (ITA) vs. Melanie Oudin (USA)

melanie oudin francesca schiavone

team usa

Best of luck, US.

francesca schiavone flavia pennetta

Don’t screw it up, Italy.

Posted in alexa glatch, fed cup, flavia pennetta, francesca schiavone, melanie oudin | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed Cup Final: Fighting Words

Posted by gauloises1 on November 6, 2009

With the draw for the Fed Cup final being held tomorrow, both teams held press conferences in Reggio Calabria.

team italy

Team Italy (captain Corrado Barrazzutti, Francesca Schiavone, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta).

Italy has never beaten the U.S. in nine attempts, but captain Barrazzutti seems pretty confident:

“The players have the right spirit for this type of competition. When they play in Fed Cup, they give something more,” added Barazzutti. […] “When they play, they don’t play for themselves, they play for their country, for Italy. That makes the difference […]”

“The fact that the Williams sisters aren’t here won’t change anything. We will be concentrating on the players that are here, not the players that aren’t here,” said Barazzutti, insisting that Italy is ready for the job in hand.

pensive schiavs

vinci errani pennetta

flavs schiavs

Barrazzutti’s crack team.

team usa

Team USA (Liezel Huber, Melanie Oudin, Vania King, Alexa Glatch, team captain Mary-Joe Fernandez)

Fernandez seemed cheerful enough, although she did take a moment to address the Williams question in a not-totally-USA-AOK kind of way:

Fernandez spoke of her “tough week” when she received two separate calls from world No. 1 Serena and No. 6 Venus Williams informing her of their decision not to travel to Italy and responded to questions about the impact of their absence on the result this weekend.

“It would have been a big bonus having them here. But having said that, this is the team I know the best and the team that got us here. You want your players to have the same amount of pride as everyone else but you can’t force it on anyone.”

Well …. OK. Anyway, obviously a lot of attention will be focussed on Melanie Oudin, who seems to have committed the unforgivable sin of not winning everything since the US Open.

“Everyone expects me to win everything now after I did good in one tournament. Everyone has ups and downs and I happened to be up at the US Open,” said the smiling Oudin. “I’m playing well again and I’m ready for the psych-up this weekend. We’ve gone through so much and we’ve fought so hard together as a team, so winning this final would mean a lot to me.”

melanie oudin

alexa glatch vania king

I’m genuinely excited about this one. I think we could get some unexpected drrrrama. Hope there’s a good crowd in.

Posted in alexa glatch, fed cup, flavia pennetta, francesca schiavone, liesel huber, melanie oudin, roberta vinci, sara errani, vania king | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

USO Day One: Welcome to the Big Leagues

Posted by gauloises1 on September 1, 2009

Tough day for the younger generation. Devin Britton – the Wimbledon boys’ semifinalist – lost to Roger Federer, 61 63 75, and Alexa Glatch – the heroine of the U.S. Fed Cup semi-final against the Czech Republic – was rolled over by Serena Williams, 64 61.

britton

glatch

Smooth sailing for the defending champions, though. Nice to have an easy opener.

fed

serena

Posted in alexa glatch, devin britton, roger federer, serena williams, us open | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

RG Day Two: WTA Round-Up

Posted by gauloises1 on May 25, 2009

Mixed fortunes for the seeds today.

Seventeenth seed Patty Schnyder fell to Kateryna Bondarenko, a.k.a the Brunette One. Bondarenko’s had good results so far this year, including wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and Alize Cornet. More importantly, she looks freaking hilarious in some of the pictures.

patty

bondarenko

Please use the free time this will give you to work on your book or find a good therapist, Patty.

Anna Chakvetadze, the twenty-sixth seed, lost to Marina Duque Marino in the battle of the Russian Mafia vs. the Colombian Drug Lords. OK, it’s not a huge surprise, but as my commentator noted cautiously, “This may represent a new low for Chakvetadze.”

It’s a shame, because I rather liked her outfit.

chak 

 

chak2

 

 

Any chance we’re going to get to see Svetlana in that? Probably not. Still, well done to Mariana in the moated grange.

The biggest shock of the day was probably the upset of Flavia Pennetta by Alexa Glatch. The fourteenth seed was a quarterfinalist last year (and her outfit was lovely.)

flavs

But that’s a hell of a Fed Cup audition for Alexa Glatch, the hero of the U.S. tie against the Czech Republic. Even Venus dropped a set today. That doesn’t look too good when set against a pair of breadsticks served to an excellent clay-courter.

glatch

I must admit I’ve never seen Glatch play, but she’s making me sit up and take notice with these results.

Oh, and we lost another good outfit when unseeded Maria Kirilenko fell to Australia’s Olivia Rogowska.

makiri

Love the colour of the skirt and the wristbands. Actually, is this even Maria Kirilenko, or is it a captioning fail? I can’t freaking tell. If it’s Rogowska, then hey, we get to keep the outfit for another round.

aggie

Apart from that, the other seeds fared well, with Agnieszka Radwanska ending Paraguay’s interest in the ladies’ singles by defeating De Los Rios in straights, Dominika Cibulkova knocking out  and Zheng Jie Jie Zheng putting out local hope Cohen-Aloro – and looking mighty cute doing it. Great colour.

zheng

Outside the seedings, clay-courters-to-watch Carla Suarez Navarro and Agnes Szavay progressed in straights, as did Akgul Amandurova, Jill Craybas, Mariya Koryttseva, Jarmila Groth and Tathiana Garbin. Giant-killer-killing Polona Hercoq knocked out Alisa Kleybanova and half the suicide pool

There was woe for the home crowds as Camille Pin fell to Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn, but homegirl Aravane Rezai, who picked up a title last week in Strasbourg, knocked out veteran (i.e. ancient) Ai Sugiyama.

rezai

Believe me, if you didn’t see her goth all-black additionally-frilled version of this outfit c. the Australian Open, you should be so relieved she’s wearing this one.

Oh, and all the Brits are now out, as Mel South fell to Michelle Larcher de Brito (after a bagel first set, no less – it’s de Brito’s second match where such a thing has occurred) and Katie O’Brien was summarily dismissed by Olga Govortsova. Now on to suck and fail at Wimbledon!

Full ladies’ results here.

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, alexa glatch, anna chakvetadze, aravane rezai, flavia pennetta, french open, kateryna bondarenko, maria kirilenko, patty schnyder, zheng jie | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed Cup Results: Sunday Settles Things

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2009

Spain 0 Serbia 4

JJ Fed Cup 

With Serbia up 2-0 on hosts (and last year’s finalists) Spain, it was looking straightforward. Not so much, but Jelena Jankovic clinched it in the end, beating Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Nicely and symnetrically done, JJ. So Serbia will be in the World Group next year, which seems … right, frankly.

More results as they come in / I can be bothered.

Czech Republic 2 USA 3

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With Benesova benched, it was up to how-do-I-not-blow-away-in-a-strong-wind Safarova to keep the Czechs ahead, and the lefty managed just that, beating Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-1. Yesterday’s sensation Alexa Glatch was up next against Petra Kvitova and justified her selection once again, winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to tie the … tie. Liezel Huber and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the decisive doubles rubber, beating Benesova and Peschke 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1. A sensational win for the U.S. and a great debut for Glatch to take the states into the finals.

Italy 4 Russia 1

italy fed cup

The U.S. will be facing Italy in the finals after a sensational victory. After yesterday’s woes, Svetlana Kuznetsova came storming back to defeat Flavia Pennetta comprehensively, 6-0, 6-3; whatever Shamil Tarpischev said to her, it must have worked. The wily Russian captain then took a gamble and tapped Fed Cup debutante Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to face Francesca Schiavone, benching Anna Chakvetadze after her woeful performance yesterday. However, Fed Cup warrior Schiavone was just too strong, clinching the tie with a 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-2 victory. Errani and Vinci also won the doubles. Well done Italy.

Germany 3 China 2

germany fed cup

China’s adorable Zheng Jie came back strong after a disappointing day yesterday, beating Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-5, 6-4 to keep China in contention. With Sabine Lisicki injured, it was up to Tatjana Malek to clinch the tie against Peng Shuai and she wasn’t quite up to the task, falling to Peng 6-2 2-6 5-7. Lisicki came back for the doubles, however, and she and Anna-Lena Groenefeld upset Jie and Peng 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 for the tie. Great stuff.

Argentina 0 Ukraine 5

The forgotten tie continues to be forgotten as I can’t even find a picture of it. Anyway, Bondarenko and Savchuk racked up great straight sets wins over Cravero and Salut respectively to take the Ukraine into the World Group. Really great result for such a small, Bondarenko-heavy tennis nation.

France 3 Czech Republic 2

france fed cup

Cornet’s Fed Cup and indeed general woes continue, falling to Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 5-7 6-4 despite being 4-1 up in the third set. Somebody get that girl a … well, I don’t know what she needs. But get it to her. Fortunately for her, and for us all, la divine Momes stepped up to beat Daniela Hantuchova 7-5, 6-4, and then clinched the tie in the final rubber with Nathalie Dechy, beating Domi and Dani 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Seriously, nations of the world, are you listening? If you want something done right, get Amelie to do it.

Posted in alexa glatch, anna-lena groenefeld, fed cup, flavia pennetta, francesca schiavone, jelena jankovic, roberta vinci, sabine lisicki, sara errani | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fed Cup Semifinals Preview

Posted by gauloises1 on April 24, 2009

So … belatedly previewing this weekend’s Fed Cup semifinals.

Russia vs. Italy

capt_4ce36644010440b68bb0a6f29dec2668_france_italy_fed_cup_tennis_dlm1271

Russia: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze, Nadia Petrova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. (Captain: Shamil Tarpishev.)

Italy: Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone, Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci. (Captain: Corrado Barrazzutti.)

Defending champions Russia take on home side Italy at Castellaneta Marina on red clay. I think there’s a strong chance for an upset here. Russia are without injured Vera Zvonareva or new world no. 1 Dinara Safina. Although Kuznetsova is currently on an 8-match Fed Cup winning streak, her form and results so far this year have not been great, and Chakvetadze has won just 4 matches in 2009. Vinci just won her first title in Barcelona, Pennetta should be able to cause anyone problems on clay (if she can refrain from making obscene gestures at the umpire), and Schiavone’s a total Fed Cup warrior. It will be interesting to see how debutante Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova gets on, however – and never underestimate Shamil ‘the fox’ Tarpischev.

Prediction: Italy. Yeah, I went there.

R1 (Saturday): Flavia Pennetta vs. Anna Chakvetadze (1-0)
R2 (Saturday): Francesca Schiavone vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (3-8; 0-1 in Fed Cup)
R3 (Sunday): Flavia Pennetta vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (0-1)
R4 (Sunday): Francesca Schiavone vs. Anna Chakvetadze (1-4; 0-1 in Fed Cup)
R5 (Sunday): Sara Errani / Roberta Vinci vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova / Nadia Petrova

 Czech Republic vs. U.S.A

l3771765

Czech Republic: Iveta Benesova, Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Kveta Peschke (Captain: Petr Pala)

U.S.A: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Liesel Huber, Melanie Oudin, Alexa Glatch (Captain: Mary-Joe Fernandez)

Definitely the potentially less interesting semi-final, this one will be held in Brno on indoors hard courts. I can see the US coming out with a win here, actually. Mind you, the Czechs do have Safarova, frustrating and inconsistent though she is, that they could tap. And Kvitova and Benesova do have good Fed Cup records.

Prediction: Czech Republic, why not 

R1 (Saturday): Petra Kvitova vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (0-0)
R2 (Saturday): Iveta Benesova vs. Alexa Glatch (o-o)
R3 (Sunday): Iveta Benesova vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (1-0)
R4 (Sunday): Petra Kvitova vs. Alexa Glatch (o-o)
R5 (Sunday): Iveta Benesova / Kveta Peschke vs. Liesel Huber / Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Posted in alexa glatch, fed cup, francesca schiavone, iveta benesova, sara errani, wta week ahead | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »