WTA Diary: Monday, June 4, 2012
Published June 04, 2012 09:31
In a first week jam packed full of surprise results, it's hard to know where to start. Virginie Razzano got the ball rolling with her stunning upset of Serena Williams, which was swiftly followed by wins for Petra Martic and Svetlana Kuznetsova over Top 10 stars Marion Bartoli and Agnieszka Radwanska.
And the shocks kept coming over the weekend, with Kaia Kanepi ousting Caroline Wozniacki and Dominika Cibulkova banishing the demons of Miami to stun top seed Victoria Azarenka. After all that, it was almost inevitable that normal service would be resumed in week two. Except it wasn't, as Yaroslava Shvedova made a mockery of her ranking (No.142 for the record) to defeat defending champion Li Na 36 62 60 in a crazy fourth rounder on Monday.
Shvedova had to negotiate three rounds of qualifying just to make the main draw. Now she's in the quarterfinals and on the verge of joining a very exclusive club; only two qualifiers have ever made it to a Grand Slam semifinal - Christine Dorey (Australian Open 1978) and Alexandra Stevenson (Wimbledon 1999). Can the snappily dressed Kazakh make it three?
It's Been A While
With the seemingly never-ending stream of upsets, Arantxa Rus' progress to the last 16 has gone almost unnoticed. But by doing so she has become the first Dutchwoman to reach this stage in Paris since Brenda Schultz-McCarthy way back in 1993.
Varvara Lepchenko doesn't like to do things the easy way. The Uzbek-born 26-year-old has had a tough road to the top in tennis, battling bureaucracy as well as opponents. But this arduous journey has stood her in good stead for an epic first week on Paris' terre battue, in which she has gone three sets in every round and over three hours in the last two against Jelena Jankovic and Francesca Schiavone.
Lepchenko and Rus are two of four left-handers (the other two are Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber) left in the draw at Roland Garros - the first time in the Open Era this many lefties have made it to the fourth round at a Slam.
What's that? Who is the last left-hander to win in Paris? Monica Seles in 1992.
Too Boring For Twitter
Her seven million-plus followers on Facebook may disagree, but Maria Sharapova's life is too boring for Twitter. Says who? Well, the woman herself:
"I think it's too much for me. I mean, I'm bored with myself on a daily basis, and I think if I'm bored, like eating a bowl of pasta, I don't need to let the world know that I'm at this restaurant eating a bowl of pasta," she said. "That's my opinion about it now. Maybe that can change, but it's just too much every day to tweet and to write. I write enough texts a day. I can't even imagine what it would be like if I would tweet constantly. I'm getting arthritis in my thumbs. I already text so much, it's embarrassing."
Did you know that Anne Keothavong's brother is a professional umpire? No? Don't worry, neither do the folks at SkySports.
Bring On The Strawberries And Cream
Paris may be widely regarded at the culinary centre of the world. But, according to WTA legend Martina Navratilova, the food at Roland Garros leaves a lot to be desired.
"Paris is supposed to be the gastronomic capital of the world and the food in the players' restaurant is really not good," she said. "It's the worst food at any of the Grand Slams."