Good to hear from you, Snolly.  smile

You're having a good fantasy year so far!

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(10 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Really nicely done, Dtrain. big_smile

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(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

LOL, the Diatchenko thing was a joke to get TE's attention.  Sorry. tongue

But yes, if you click on Morgina's name it'll take you to her Instagram where she mentions being "Made in Russia, Produced in Egypt", whatever that means.  But it still seems like she'd have SOME title somewhere else by now!  For further laughs, check her Doubles titles.  She has like 30 or something and less than 10 are outside of Sharm El Sheikh!

Really curious what Lesniak could have done had she stuck with her pro career.  She obviously has some real talent.

St. Pete
Only three Jedi had Bertens on their team here for mega points!  TE and Snolly had BOTH finalists and broke the 1000 point mark, with TE finishing first with 1115 points.  Arvis had previously been the Padme frontrunner after the AO, but followed up the AO with a grand total of only 212 points.  Add to that his lack of a Budapest team this week and... well, Arvis' ranking is sure to keep dropping.

Hua Hin
Only six Jedi failed to pick Yastremska here, but of those who did it was BHP who really impressed, getting both finalists as well as another SFist on his team, finishing with an impressive 571 points.  Adunar continued to struggle a bit in his 2019 Padme campaign, finishing last here with only 92.

Doha
Only ONE player had Mertens on his team: Edu!  So congrats to Edu for getting the wi- wait... Edu had Mertens but still lost?  Dtrain failed to have the winner but he still beat Edu's total by 19 points!  Not sure how that works, but wow, great job Dtrain.  His winning total was 776, a full 600+ over last place Johnny.

We're also WELL into a lucrative week with Dubai going strong, so let's see how different our Padme standings are since the AO.

Padme Standings
1. Snolly: 8899 ↑614  ↑3 ranks
2. Drivers: -82 ↑145
3. Tenedab: -85 ↑276
4. Arvis: -132 ↓132  ↓3 ranks
5. Edu: -152 ↑481

Oddly, Arvis just traded places with Snolly and everyone else stayed where they were.
Hey, Snolly!  Give me my spot back!!  >:(

Rotterdam
Congrats to the three doofuses who took Monfils!  500 points is a HUGE amount for a Monfils pick, and only 3 players took him.  Dwight and Dtrain supplemented their Monfils pick with Medvedev, getting them a big win worth nearly 1000 points!  Arvis was the other Monfils backer, but he did not have Medvedev.  Last place Johnny continues to go experimental with his picks, getting him a measly total of 270.

Buenos Aires
Perfect Team Alert: Dtrain achieves a rare PT in Buenos Aires!  All four SFists and a grand total of 580 points!  Well done, Dtrain!
A little over half the league had Cecchinato on their teams, leaving the other half high and dry.  Tono and Spotec brought up the rear with 110, which is often a middling score for 250s.

New York
Only three Jedi had Opelka on their teams: Johnny, Dtrain, and HTS.  All three shared the win here with 340 points.  And it's a significant win, too, as literally half the league finished in last place with 90.

Overall Vader Standings
1. Dwight: 7205 NEW (holy crap!)
2. Murree: -60 ↑145, ↑1 rank
3. Dtrain: -95 NEW
4. Tono: -140 ↓140, ↓3 ranks
5. Snolly: -225 ↑255
--- Tenedab, Edu knocked off ---
Dtrain had the winner in all 3 tournaments last week.  I'm curious just how many ranks he jumped in that one week.  Dwight, of course, was arguably even more impressive, jumping right into first place from outside the Top 5!  What a tight Vader race this has been!
Props to Snolly for doing JUST enough to maintain his #5 spot in a carnage week.  Murree, too, was quite impressive as usual, staving off Dwight and Dtrain's mad rush to the top.

ATP

Rotterdam
Our ATP 500 bracket campaign isn't exactly off to a rousing start!  Dtrain won this with only 30 points.  Lame.  That's still almost double last place BHP, who only got 17.  Nobody correctly predicted either finalist.  Come on, guys!

Buenos Aires
Arvis correctly predicted Cecchinato to make the finals here, a prediction which got him the bracket win 33 points, just 1 above Edu in 2nd.  Tenedab brought up the rear here, but still scored 20, which is at least respectable, so we all had decent finishes here.

New York
For our maiden New York campaign, only HTS and Johnny had Opelka as far as the semis at least, so they had the high scores, with HTS winning at a total of 24 points.  Murree was hit hard by this unpredictable "Challenger-like" tourney and finished with only 10.  Ouch.

ATP 250 Standings
1. TE: 248
2. Tono: -3 ↑5
3. Edu: -13 NEW
4. Arvis: -17 ↑7 ↓1 rank
5T. Drivers: -20 ↑4 ↓1 rank
5T. HTS: -20 NEW
Tenedab knocked off

HTS's win in New York gets him into the Top 5!  Edu finished 2nd in BA and 3rd in NY to leap into 3rd overall!  Nicely done, gents.

ATP 500 Standings
1. Dtrain: 30
2. Tenedab: -2
3T. Dwight: -3
3T. Edu: -3
5T. Murree: -4
5T. Spotec: -4

Our Top 5 here is a Top 6 for now, but this is already changing with the Rio results.  With how low scoring BA was, it's no surprise to see such small margins in these standings.

ATP Overall Standings
1T. TE: 506
1T. Tono: 506 ↑1 rank
3. Murree: -11 ↓1 rank
4. Edu: -12 ↑20
5T. Tenedab: -37 ↑2
5T. Dwight: -37 NEW

Wow.  Lots of shuffling here.  TE was doing so well, but couldn't hold his lead.  Mega props to Edu for gaining a whopping 20 points in one week (plus a couple days, lol) on the leader and yet still not changing ranks.  Who will win this tug of war between TE and Tono?

---

WTA

Doha
For a 470, there wasn't too much difference between first and last here.  Adunar and Edu shared the win at 38 points, only 13 above last place Johnny.  Obviously nobody expected Mertens to win this!

WTA 470 Standings
1. TE: 144
2. Dwight: -29 ↑1 rank
3. Adunar: -31 NEW
4. Tono: -32 ↓3  ↓1 rank
5. Snolly: -33 ↓9  ↓3 ranks
--- HTS knocked off ---
Poor HTS had just gotten in the Top 5 here!  Honestly, though, as of now it's all irrelevant.  Nobody is anywhere near TE.

Overall Women's Standings
1. TE: 468
2. Drivers: -24 ↓9
3T. Adunar: -36 NEW
3T. Edu: -36 BOUNCE BACK
5T. Spotec: -39 ↓8  ↓2 ranks
5T. Tono: -39 ↓5  ↓1 rank
-- Snolly knocked off ---

We're all kind of struggling to maneuver through TE's dust trail here.  Props to Adunar for leaping into the Top 5!

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(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Week 7

Men's

Bangkok, Thailand (80)
Swiss journeyman Henri Laaksonen (26, #121) is truly in better form than he's been in in years.  He didn't let his painfully-close losses in Davis Cup discourage him, but rather he brought a confidence into this Challenger tourney that saw him take the trophy.  And he defeated well-known names along the way: Stephane Robert, Thiemo de Bakker, Go Soeda, James Duckworth, and finally at the end a resurgent Dudi Sela.  This makes Challenger trophy #4 for Henri, who was seeded #3 here.
#2 seed Tatsuma Ito retired with injury, to Sela, in the semis, while #1 seed Gunneswaran lost his opening match to unseeded American JC Aragone.

Cherbourg, France (80)
In a shocking twist of Challenger competence, new Cherbourg champ Ugo Humbert (20, #75, France) not only won this tournament as the #1 seed, but did it by defeating other seeded players in every match besides his opener and the final!  Even then, his final opponent was Steve Darcis (34, #283, Belgium) who is playing really well this year and also defeated every possible high seed on his way to the final (including #2 seed Yannick Maden and #3 seed Stefano Travaglia).
While he's still struggling to make a mark on the Tour level, this makes Humbert's 4th Challenger trophy and he's not even 21.

---

Women's

Shrewsbury, Great Britain (60)
While last week's Grenoble champ Vitalia Diatchenko (28, #97, Russia) far outranked her opponents there, entering the tournament seems to have been the right choice.  She fought through some yips in the early rounds there before rounding into form to take the cup, and the result was that she had a much easier time winning here at the more lucrative Shewsbury tournament.  She was #2 seed here and yet didn't drop a set until the final, where she came back from a set down to defeat #1 seed Yanina Wickmayer.  This gets Diatchenko into the Top 100 again and brings her impressive title count up to a whopping 16.  There are rumors that she is dating our very own TennisElbow, so we all have a rooting interest here.

Trnava, Slovakia #2 (25)
While last week's Trnava W25 was won by a familiar face, this one had two unseeded players competing in the final.  The result was Isabella Shinikova (27, #253, Bulgaria) quite easily defeating Denisa Allertova (25, #363, Czech).  You may remember Allertova, as she was once close to Top 50.  She seems to have had injury struggles.  Shinikova was once as high as #133.  This makes five W25 titles in Shinikova's career, winning ALL of the other four in 2016 alone.  Perhaps she can replicate her 2016 campaign in 2019?  Or maybe do better?

Surprise, Arizona, USA (25)
Our winner here has been on the pro tennis scene for so long, and so notably, that her highest ranking was #35 back in 2005.  At the time she achieved the #35 ranking, our runner up had not even been born yet.
Sesil Karatantcheva (29, #232, Bulgaria) defeated 14-year-old American Cori "Coco" Gauff (#579) in three sets to take her first title since 2017, and only her second title in the past 7 years.  As much of a story as that is, Gauff is really what's impressive here.  At her tender age and low ranking, she got into the draw as a special "Junior Entry".  Despite this, she defeated the #4 and #8 seeds, as well as Olga Govortsova in the semis.  She even took a set off Sesil in the final.  I really think this young lady is the next big thing in the future of the WTA.

Our W15 winners of the week:
- Lulu Sun (17, #552, Switzerland, born in New Zealand, acquainted with both Tono and Adunar, probably?).  First career title, dropped no sets, lost no more than 4 games in a set.
- Anna Morgina (27, #611, Russia). 12th career title, literally all twelve have come in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.  Do note that there are several Sharm El Sheikh tournaments every year.
- Kamilla Rakhimova (17, #???, Russia). First career title.  Won 16 pro matches last year, already up to 6 wins this year.
- Marta Lesniak (30, #???, Poland). This is her 10th career title, with her first two coming in 2004, and the other eight coming after 2016.  Apparently she quit tennis after 2005 because of some injuries and didn't officially restart her career until 11 years later.  Incredible.
- Maryna Chernyshova (19, #569, Ukraine). 7th career title, 8-1 match record on the year.

---

Where Are Last Week's Champs Now?
- Alexander Bublik lost his opener in Cherbourg but is set to play his opener in Bergamo tomorrow.
- Corentin Moutet lost his opener in Bangkok.
- Vitalia Diatchenko won another tournament (see above)!
- Lucie Hradecka qualified for Dubai but lost in R1 to Belinda Bencic.
- Yuki Naito lost in a W15 final to Maryna Chernyshova (see above), but then finally ran out of gas at another W15 this week, losing in R1 in a 3rd-set TB.
- Lara Michel lost in R1 of another W15.
(all others DNP)

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(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

*evil throat laugh*

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(2 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

No, I definitely remember somebody talking about getting all of 1R correctly before.

Also, I got lucky here, as I totally meant to pick Andreozzi over Bedene and Bedene totally should have lost. tongue

Also also, no one will ever get a Perfect Bracket, ever!  lol

10

(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Week 6
Men's

Dallas, Texas, USA (110)
#1-seed and Top 100 player, Mackenzie "MacMac" McDonald, was a mere TB away from winning this entire tournament without dropping a set.  And yet, he played poorly in the 2nd set TB in the final and faded away, losing the tournament to unheralded American journeyman Mitchell Kreuger (25, #160), who #14-seed in the tourney.  This is Krueger's first ever Challenger title and it gets him 110 ATP ranking points, veritably launching him straight into the Top 200 and achieving his highest career ranking.  Great moment for this 25-year-old grinder!
#2-seed Ryan Harrison quit the tournament with injury before playing a single point, but too late to allow for a LL to take his place.  What a douche!

Budapest, Hungary (80)
The #1-seed (Ramkumar Ramanathan, 24, #128, India) and the #2-seed (Lukas Rosol) both lost their first matches here.  So who took advantage and got the win?  #8-seed Alexander Bublik (21, #144, Kazakhstan) of course!  The 6'5" (196cm) Kazakh had a rough go in his early matches, but then he seemed to really settle in, winning his SF and Final matches with the loss of only 6 games total between them.  His opponent in the final was older veteran journeyman from Italy named Roberto Marcora (29, #254), who was unseeded and kinda came out of nowhere.  He beat the #5 and #6 seeds here, including last week's Quimper champ, Gregoire Barrere.  This would have been Marcora's first Challenger title, but instead Bublik made it his 4th.

Chennai, India (80)
We were so close to a #1-vs-#2 final here, but unseeded Aussie Andrew Harris (24, #326) shocked the tourney's #1-seed and hometown boy Prajnesh Gunneswaran (29, #97, India) in the semifinals.  Although he lost in the final, this is gets Harris to his highest ever ranking.
This means that the actual champ here, though, was #2-seed Corentin Moutet (19, #131, France) who seems to be a very promising teen!  This is already his 3rd Challenger title and gets him to 8-2 at this level for 2019.  His career-high rank is 105.  Can he be a rare Top 100 in his teens?  He has until April to do it.

---

Women's

Grenoble, France (W25)
Vitalia Diatchenko (28, #127, Russia) was the #1-seed here and aklmost 100 ranking spots above the next highest ranking player.  However, she handled her business by winning the cup, although she did struggle in her early matches.  Once as high as #71 in the world, Diatchenko has one 125k title to her name, as well as two W100s.  This marks her 7th W25 singles title.  She defeated qualifier Harmony Tan (21, #301, France) in the final, 1 and 4.

Trnava, Slovakia (W25)
Former Top 50 player Lucie Hradecka (33, #456, Czech) is attempting something of a comeback in 2019. She won a match each in Brisbane and AO qualies, but couldn't do more.  So she decided to enter this W25, where she not only qualified, but won the tournament!  It has been 5 years since Hradecka won a title, and that was also a W25, so this is a great sign for her late-career comeback.  She defeated Kristina Kucova (28, #277, Slovakia) in the final in a 3rd-set TB.

This week's W15 champs:
- Yuki Naito (17, #628, Japan)
- Mayar Sherif (22, #???, Egypt)
- Julia Payola (21, #???, Spain)
- Lara Michel (27, #???, Switzerland)

---

Where Are Last Week's Champs Now?
- Maxime Cressy qualified for Dallas but lost in the 1st to Christian Harrison
- Gregoire Barrere lost his first match in Budapest (see above)
- Lloyd Harris rested and will be playing a main draw match in New York (250) against Sam Querrey later tonight
- Simona Waltert was runner-up at another W15
- Marina Bassols Ribera lost in the 1st rd of Grenoble
- Lou Brouleau made the SFs of another W15
(all others DNP)

Montpellier
Lots of Tsonga pickers here making for lots of points being accumulated by many of us!  Unfortunately, six of us left him off, with Johnny bringing up the rear, achieving only 3 match wins from his 4 players and only 65 total points.  That put him 425 points behind our two winners, Tono and Edu, who were close to a PT.
When asked for a comment, Johnny exclaimed "I can't believe Antoine Hoang didn't win the tournament!"
Tono and Edu's win was less about Tsonga and more about Herbert, as they were the only two to have both finalists on their team.  That's 400 points just between the two of them.

Sofia
Only 3 (Adunar, Arvis, Johnny) failed to have the Winner, Medvedev, on their team here.  But it was Drivers who ended up with the highest score, thanks to her clever Verdasco pick, which is what separated her from the rest of the RBA/Med/Monf pack commonly seen here.  Drivers totaled 430 points, good for 320 over the last place Iceland Bros.

Cordoba
Well... Tenedab had Pella, so that was a cool 150 right there, helping him finish with 195 total.  That means he beat last place Adunar by... (counts on fingers) ...195 points.  That's right: between high-level clay-court experts Fognini, PCB, Andujar, and Cecchinato, Adunar managed zero points.  What a stupid tournament.

Overall Vader Standings
1. Tono: 6240 ↑150, ↑1 rank
2. Tenedab: -180 ↑150, ↑2 ranks
3. Murree: -205 ↓205, ↓2 ranks
4. Edu: -405 NEW
5. Snolly: -480 NEW
--- Adunar, Arvis knocked off ---

Adunar's and Arvis' inability to pick winners last week took them out of the Top 5, to the benefit of Edu and Snolly, who played well.
But the real news is Murree being knocked out of the #1 spot finally!  If anyone was gonna do it, it was gonna be either Tono or Tenedab, who have always excelled in this format.  And wouldn't you know it, BOTH of them are ahead of Murree now.  How long will it last?  Rotterdam could possibly be worth a fortune in points!

ATP

Montpellier
Only Snolly and TE correctly predicted that Tsonga would take this trophy, and Snolly got the win by 1 point over TE.  However, TE started the week in the ATP Overall Top 5.  Could this result be enough to get him to #1?  How did he do in the other tournaments?
Bringing up the rear, Dtrain and Dwight managed only 17, almost exactly half of Snolly's final score of 33 points.

Sofia
Well, we wondered how TE did in other tournaments, and he won this one outright, correctly predicting the winner, Medvedev, again!  TE broke 30 points for the second time this week, beating 2nd-place Dwight by 3 and last place Johnny by 19.  Yikes!  I don't think anything will stop TE from getting to #1.  Could he hold the #1 spot on ATP and WTA Brackets at the same time?
Johnny was two matches from achieving a Red Quarter in Sofia.

Cordoba
Nobody did well here at all, with the win going to HTS with 14 measly points.  That was good enough to beat last place BHP and Johnny by just 6.  I don't think anyone could have predicted a WC that has barely even been mentioned in Challenger Chat would win the whole tournament (Londero was mentioned for being the #2 seed but losing to a guy who lost to a guy in the finals, so it wasn't even impressive).

ATP 250 Standings
1. TE: 195 ↑1 rank
2. Tono: -8 ↓8, ↓1 rank
3T. Arvis: -24 ↓21 ↑1 rank
3T. Drivers: -24 BOUNCE BACK
3T. Tenedab: -24 ↓22, ↓1 rank
Murree knocked off


ATP Overall Standings
1. TE: 427 ↑1 rank
2T. Tono: -11 ↑1 rank
2T. Murree: -11 ↓11, ↓1 rank
4. Edu: -32 ↓4 ↑1 rank
5. Tenedab: -39 ↓14, ↓1 rank

Seriously impressive, TE!  His lead isn't super safe yet, with our first ATP 500 starting this week, but 11 points is decent, and it's only two fellow Jedi who are that close.  Everyone else is 30+ away.  I think it's likely that TE is still in the lead after Rotterdam.  However, we'll have a new set of rankings to follow after that tournament, too.  Who will be our ATP 500 leader to start the 2019 season?

13

(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Shucks, Dwight.  tongue
You're very kind. <3

Yeah, if you click on Lloyd Harris' name there's a pic, and you can tell that he's a gangly toothpick.

14

(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Some extremely informative articles on last week's Cleveland champ, Maxime Cressy:

https://deadspin.com/tennis-player-take … 1832263149
https://deadspin.com/yelling-and-grunti … 1832334990

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(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Week 5
Men's

Cleveland, Ohio, USA
We have another cool Cinderlla tale here in the Challengers, as yet another Qualifier goes on to win the title.  This time it was a player who wasn't even inside the Top 500!  His name is Maxime Cressy, and you can tell from his name that he's French.... but actually he is an American and plays under the United States flag.  He's 21 and just jumped over 200 ranking spot with this trophy, up to #313.  Cressy started 2019 having never even PLAYED in a Challenger tournament, and losing his first match of the year, BADLY and in a Futures tourney, 1 and 4.  But something changed after that, because he Qualified for Newport Beach last week (losing to eventual finalist Schnur in R2) and even won his R1 match there in dominant fashion.  Now, he qualifies here and goes on to take the title!  An absolutely amazing result for this young man.  He even beat Tim Smyczek and on-fire Marcos Giron along the way.
His opponent in the final here was Mikael Torpegaard (24, #262, Denmark) who has now lost two Challenger finals in a row, both to unknown American players.  Those are the only tournaments "Torpedo" Torpegaard has played this year, too, so he's 10-2 on the year in Challengers.  He played really well here, too, defeating 2-seed Miomir Kecmanovic (19, #118, Serbia) and Challenger expert Darian King (26, #161, Barbados) on his way to the final.
Elsewhere in the draw, 1-seed Jason Jung (29, #123, Taipei) lost his first match to previously-reported-on Jeffrey John Wolfe aka The Other Unknown American That Torpegaard Lost A Final To In 2019.

Quimper, France
Gregoire Barrere (24, #131, France) made the home crowd happy here, winning the trophy as 15-seed.  He won his first match in a 3rd-set TB and then had a tough match in R3 against 1-seed Hubert Hurkackz, but HH faded in the 3rd set.  After that Barrere settled in and didn't drop another set until the final.  This is Barrere's 2nd Challenger title of his career.
And who should be across the net from him in the final but Dan "The Doper" Evans?  Evans is trying to reboot his career and has been playing quite well in 2019.  But his run to the final here was anything but easy: he literally had to win three 3rd-set TBs IN A ROW before the semifinals.  And yet, win them he did.  Evans' ranking is already back up to 147.

Launceston, Australia
In this world of Qualifiers winning tournaments, here's one tournament where the 1-seed actually takes care of business and wins the whole thing.  Ladies (lady?) and gentlemen, I give you the Launceston champ and newest addition to the ATP Top 100: Lloyd Harris (21, #100, South Africa)!  Harris not only won as the 1-seed, but he didn't drop a set on his way to the title, even defeating the runner-up, Lorenzo Giustino (27, #187, Italy) 2 and 2.  Harris only had to play one TB the entire week, too, against Spain's young Nicola Kuhn (18, #237).  This is Harris' 3rd career Challenger title.  Will we see him make a little noise on the Tour level this year?
Giustino was the 12-seed here and got a bit lucky in the QFs, as he was losing to Jay Clarke but Clarke got injured and had to retire.  Clarke had beaten the 2-seed Tatsuma Ito (30, #140, Japan) in the previous round.

---

Women's

Midland, Michigan, USA (W100)
At the end of last year, a young American woman kid Caty McNally won a W25 in dominant fashion, despite it being her first ever ITF title.  Because of that, she got a WC to this tournament, a lucrative W100.  Perhaps the tournament organizers thought she might have a little success?  Well... see below for what McNally (17, #253, USA) did here, despite being ranked outside the Top 400:
- Stomped 5-seed Nicole Gibbs 0 and 5
- Destroyed Rebecca Marino 4 and 1
- Routined 3-seed Madison Brengle 3 and 4
- Embarrassed 1-seed Rebecca Peterson 3 and 3
- And at last annihilated 4-seed Jessica Pegula (a finalist last week, too) 2 and 4 in the final.
No sets lost.  No TBs.  Defeated 1, 3, 4, and 5 seeds.  All I can say is watch out for this girl.  A title at the W100 level is literally only two levels below WTA 280, so this is a big deal and a big result.

Launceston, Australia (W60)
After starting the year with a runner-up finish in Playford and then slumping for a couple weeks, Elena Rybakina (19, #196, Kazakhstan) put it all back together and went one better, getting the title here.  The only other ITF title she had previously was a W15 last year.  This surely indicates that she's on the rise.  She also defeated 1-seed Laura Siegemund in R2.
However, although Rybakina was winning the match, her opponent, 4-seed Irina Khromacheva (23, #131, Russia), retired in the final, making this the second week in a row with a Russian player retiring in a championship match.
2-seed Nao Hibino lost in the QFs to Arina Rodionova (29, #159, Australia).

Jodhpur, India (W25)
Japanese journeywoman Miharu Imanishi (26, #405) got her 4th career W25 here last week.  Her first title at this level came in 2013 when she was only 20, but she's never broken through to any higher level trophies.  Once as high #187, Imanishi will be looking to get back into the Top 300 this year.  She was 7-seed here.
She defeated Jodie Anna Burrage (19, #416, Britain) in the final.  Burrage hadn't dropped a set in the tournament and was a 3:1 favorite over Imanishi, but looks like she couldn't maintain the steady play that got her there.  She has never won a tournament at this level, but has two W15 trophies to her name.

Our W15 champs this week:
- Simona Waltert (18, #582, Switzerland)
- Marina Bassols Ribera (19, #413, Spain)
- Lou Brouleau (23, #644, France)
- Viktoriia Dema (18, #254, Ukraine)

---

Where Are Last Week's Champs Now?
- Thiago Monteiro went 1-1 against Belgium in Davis Cup
- Steven Diez lost in the first round of Launceston, but won his R1 match today in Budapest
- Berankis, dominant in Renne, lost in straights in R1 Quimper and also in QR1 in Montpellier. Back to his usual self.
- Belinda Woolcock lost in the first round of Launceston
- Laura-Ioana Andrei won her W25 1R match today
- Ioana Loredana Rosca lost to Marina Bassols Ribera in a W15 final (see above)

Those not listed here did not play, which is most of them.

St. Pete
Snolly and TE get the win here, but only with 28 points.  Nobody did all that great here, but almost reaching 30 isn't bad at all.  We all kind of went with the big, hot names but they all fell to the fresher players.  Johnny brought up the rear here with 14, half of what the winners scored, but only 4 behind a trio of other Jedi languishing at the bottom.

Hua Hin
Spotec squeaked past BHP for the win here, beating him by 1 point!  Nobody picked Yastremska to win, but those two and TE all had Tomljanovic in the final, which boosted them to the Top 3 spots.  Johnny brought up the rear again with another 14, yet again basically half of what Spotec managed.

WTA 280 Standings
1. Spotec: 101
2. Arvis: -9 ↓7
3. TE: -10 ↓2 ↑2 ranks
4. Tenedab: -12 ↓4 ↑1 rank
5. Dtrain: -15 ↓11, ↓2 ranks
Adunar, Dwight knocked off

Spotec not only maintained his 280 lead through Hua Hin, but he put some distance between himself and his rivals.  Nicely done, Spotec!


WTA 470 Standings
1. TE: 107
2. Snolly: -24 ↓10
3T. HTS: -29 NEW
3T. Tono: -29 ↓15
3T. Dwight: -29 ↓15
Arvis knocked off

Good grief, TE!  You've really got these 470s figured out atm!  Getting both Vekic and Bertens in the semis in your St. Pete bracket really put you in quite a comfy position here.


Overall Women's Standings
1. TE: 376
2. Drivers: -15 ↓10
3. Spotec: -31 ↓5 ↑2 ranks
4. Tono: -34 ↓8 ↑1 rank
5. Snolly: -35 NEW
-- Arvis, Edu knocked off ---

Really amazing week for our WTA Brackets leader, TE!  How long will he remain atop the leaderboard?  Definitely a tough week for Arvis, who had a disastrous St. Pete campaign.

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(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Thanks guys, I do enjoy it, although my format means it takes quite a bit of time.  But it's fun getting to know some of these players.  I fell off it in 2018, but in 2017 I was able to "meet" Mihaela Buzarnescu very early in her career renaissance as I saw her winning all kinds of ITF tourneys before she burst onto the Tour level.  And of course, my favorite women's player of them all is Claire Liu, who still plays at this level mostly.  So it's fun to follow this stuff.

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(25 replies, posted in Other Tournaments)

Week 4

Australian Open Juniors

Boys
16-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, the #1 seed at the AO Boys tournament, defeated 13th-seed American Emilio Nava (17) in the final here in 3 sets.  It was the first time in the whole tournament Musetti had to go to 3.  Musetti was the runner up at the 2018 USO Boys tourney and came good on his #1 seeding here.  His Junior ranking is #2 in the world now, and Nava is up to #5.  Let's look to see what these two can do on clay at the French this summer.

Girls
#1 seed Clara Tauson (16, Denmark) began the tournament by dropping the first set she played 6-1.  After that, she didn't drop a single set and was only forced to play one tiebreaker (2nd round) all the way to the final, where she defeated 4th-seed Leylah Annie Fernandez (16, Canada) 4 and 3.
Tauson is current Junior #1 and finished 3rd at last year's Junior Masters Final.  Unlike other girls her age, Leylah Annie (awesome name) is actually fairly active in pro ITF tournaments and has a WTA ranking inside the Top 500.  Her Junior ranking is #5.  What can we expect from these two promising young women?

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Men's

Newport Beach, California
Last year's champ and #1 seed Taylor Fritz defended his title here, defeating 16-seed Brayden Schnur (23, #164, Canada) in the final.  It wasn't easy for Fritz, who dropped his first set of the tournament to Marcos Giron (already a Challenger champ in 2019) 6-2.  After that, though, Fritz got his imposing serve clicking.
Schnur was very impressive during the week, defeating #3-seed MacKenzie McDonald and in the semis an unseeded Donald Young.  Due to withdrawal there was no #2 seed, so Shnur actually had to play both of the highest ranked players in the tournament.

Punta Del Este, Uruguay
A name most of us are familiar with won this one as the tourney's 4th-seed: Thiago Monteiro (24, #107, Brazil).  Previously as high as #74, this is only Monteiro's 2nd Challenger title.  He didn't drop a set until the final, where he defeated Facundo Arguello (26, #193, Argentina) in three.  Arguello had previously beaten the #2-seed Juan Ignacio Londero (25, #112, Argentina) in the quarters, and actually beat Facundo Bagnis in the semis, making it officially the most fertile semifinal yet seen on the Challenger tour.
#1 seed Guido Andreozzi lost his first match to Emilio Gomez (27, #330, Ecuador).  Gomez went on to make the semis, losing to Monteiro.

Burnie, Australia
Longtime journeyman Steven Diez (27, #307, Canada) won this tournament out of nowhere, needing to use his ITF World Tennis Ranking to even get entry to the draw (whatever that means).  He was actually out of the Top 400 before winning this, and this is his first ever title at this level!  Amazing!  Diez was pushed to 3 in his first two matches, but then settled in after that and didn't drop another set.  He defeated unseeded Aussie Maverick Banes (26, #265) in the final.  Banes has the distinction of having one of the coolest names ever.  He also defeated the tourney's #2 seed Lloyd Harris (21, #111, South Africa) in the 2nd round.
#1 seed Mirza Basic lost in the 3rd to #16-seed Jay Clarke (20, #212, Great Britain).

Rennes, France
You're not going to believe this, but Ricardas Berankis won this tournament.  Could he have actually remembered how to play tennis after all this time?  Once in the Top 50 (barely), Berankis came in as this tournament's #4-seed and he didn't even SNIFF a challenge the entire time, winning every set he played in 10 games or less.  He defeated #14-seed Antoine Hoang (23, #145, France) in the final in front of the partisan French crowd.  Unlike Berankis, Hoang didn't have it easy, having to play three 3-setters in a row to make the final.  Berankis is now 4 rankings spots away from being back in the Top 100.
#1-seed Adrian Mannarino lost his first match here to unseeded Jurij Rodionov (19, #197, Austria) while #2-seed Benoit Paire retired with injury in the QFs to Yannick Maden (29, #122, Germany).

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Women's

Newport Beach, California (125k)
On-fire young Canadian Bianca Andreescu (18, #68) not only won this tournament, but in winning it has won 16/18 matches she has played in 2019.  That is a truly staggering number to achieve BEFORE FEBRUARY.  Winning her semi against Tatjana Maria in a 3rd set TB, Andreescu was bageled in the first set of the final before turning things around to win.  Her victim in the final was American Jessica Pegula (24, #104) who flew through the draw before hitting a wall in the final.  Pegula even defeated #1 seed Rebecca Peterson in the quarters.
This is Andreescu's biggest career title and she is barreling towards the Top 50.

Burnie, Australia (W60)
While awesomely-named Maverick Banes may not quite have gotten home glory here on the men's side, unfortunately-named Qualifier Belinda Woolcock (24, #378) did the job for the home crowd on the women's side!  So low ranked she had to qualify, Belinda went on to achieve BY FAR the best result of her career, winning her first ever pro ITF singles title!  And a W60 at that.  She defeated #8-seed Viktoriya Tomova along the way and won the final in two TBs against #6-seed Paula Badosa Gibert.
#1 seed Sara Sorribes Tormo lost in the semis to Gibert.

Andrezieux-Boutheon, France (W60)
We almost got ANOTHER Qualifier champion at last week's second W60, but unseeded Slovakian Rebecca Sramkova (22, #190) held off plucky French underdog Audrey Albie (24, #306) in three sets to win it.  Albie has two W15 titles to her name, both in 2017, while this is Sramkova's 8th ITF title of her career, and the second largest (she won a W100 in 2016).  However, Sramkova did have to get more than a little lucky to win this one, facing a Qualifier in the final and having the #1-seed, Polona Hercog, retire with injury in their semifinal match.

Kazan, Russia (W25)
Won by Varvara Flink (22, #203, Russia), making this her 6th ITF title and second at this level.  Flink was #2-seed here and her opponent, #7-seed Anastasia Gasanova (19, #315, Russia) retired in the final.  A low-level, Russian tournament with two Russians in the final and one of them retires.  Hmm.

Singapore (W25)
Won by Lin Zhu (25, #118, China).  This is her 10th ITF title and first of 2019.  She has three W60 titles to her name.  Zhu was #2-seed here and defeated unseeded Korean Han Na-Lae (26, #222) in the final.

Plantation, Florida (W25)
Won by Hailey Baptiste (17, #416, USA).  Baptiste was a Qualifier here and defeated the 6th and 4th seeds on the way to the final where she beat #5-seed Anna Bondar (21, #239, Hungary).  This is the very first ITF title of young Baptiste's career, all the more impressive when you remember that Bondar just won a W25 close by here last week, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

There were also four W15 tournaments last week, won by:
- Magali Kempen (21, Belgium, no WTA ranking, 3rd career W15 title)
- Laura-Ioana Andrei (30, #421, Romania, 12 career ITF titles none higher than this)
- Ioana Loredana Rosca (22, #660, Romania, 4 career ITF titles none higher than this)
- Mirjam Bjorklund (20, #471, Sweden, 3rd career title, all W15s)

Yes, there were two Romanian W15 champs last week and both of them had "Ioana" in their names.  Weird.

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Follow up from week 3:
- Gianluca Mager has not played
- Ula Radwanska lost in the first round of Newport Beach to Kristie Ahn.
- Ankita Raina lost in the second round of Singapore(4) after her title run in Singapore(3). She also lost in the 2nd round of Hua Hin qualies.
- I mentioned Anna Bondar above, who lost in the final of Plantation to Hailey Baptiste.
- Anastasiya Komardina's W15 winning streak finally came to an end in the 2nd round of Monastir(3).

Australian Open

Drivers needed a few more wins for a PT here, but she honestly wasn't too far off from one!  She totaled up 5420 points here for a big, big payday!  Nice job, Drivers!
Only 5 Jedi had both finalists on their team, giving themselves a bit of breathing space between themselves and the rest of the Group.  However, it was two unfortunate Jedi Masters who failed to take Osaka: Murree and Johnny, with Johnny particularly having a hard time.  It's almost physically painful to mention his miserable 1420 points, with only one of his 7 players even making the QFs!  That's a full 4000 points behind Drivers.  He would need TWO surprise Slam winners to make up that gap.  Completely disheartening.  Perhaps we'll see Johnny take a new approach to WTA tournaments after this.

Padme Standings
1. Arvis: 7030 ↑4 ranks
2. Drivers: -227 NEW
3. Tenedab: -361 NEW
4. Snolly: -614 NEW
5. Edu: -633 NEW
--- Adunar, Tono, Dtrain, and HTS knocked off ---

Arvis finished tied for 3rd at the AO and was one of only 4 Jedi to break 5000 points.  Combined with his strong start to 2019, this was enough to get him to the top of the Padme standings.  A great January for him in this comp!
Of the 5 Jedi who had both Naomi and Petra, only Wimby is not currently in the Top 5, because he hadn't done any Padme tournaments before the AO.

Australian Open

None of us got anywhere near a PT here, but almost all of the Jedi Masters scored pretty well here, with everyone having the winner, Novak, and only 3 leaving off Rafa.  Snollygoster's team was the highest scoring one, as not one single player on his team lost before the 4th round.  But the margins in the Top 10 were extremely close, with Snolly beating T8th players Arvis, TE, and Johnny by only 270, which can easily be overcome in one week.  2nd place Dwight lost to Snolly by only 90.
However, Drivers, Spotec, and BHP all expected that Rafa would not be healthy, so they left him off.  This put BHP in last place, 1290 points behind Snolly.  Mega ouch.  Still, there are 3 more Slams to go and plenty of Masters!

Vader Standings - Week 2
1. Murree: 5560
2. Tono: -150
3. Adunar: -285 ↑1 rank
4. Tenedab: -330 NEW
5. Arvis: -455 BOUNCE BACK
--- BHP, Drivers knocked off ---

Interestingly, Murree, Tono and Adunar did not gain or lose any ground on each other at all over the course of the AO.  Arvis jumped back into the Top 5 thanks to BHP and Drivers getting absolutely torpedoed by Rafa.
Can Murree keep up this January consistency in February?

Men's Australian Open

Only two correctly predicted Rafa to be runner-up here, Murree and Snolly, and Murree got the win with a truly absurd 246 points!  That is over double Tono's #1 Overall score going into this tournament.  These Slam brackets are so massive!  This will set Murree up nicely all the way until summer.
Johnny brought up the rear about 75 points back and was one of only two to not pick Novak to win.

Men's Grand Slam Standings
1. Murree: 246
2. Snolly: -10
3. TE: -15
4. Tono: -18
5. Edu: -20

Overall Men's Standings
1. Murree: 360 ↑4 ranks
2. TE: -10 ↓8
3. Tono: -11 ↓11, ↓2 ranks
4. Tenedab: -25 ↓23, ↓2 ranks
5. Edu: -28 NEW
--Arvis knocked off--

Well, Murree may have taken the overall lead, but TE and Tono are not far behind!  Murree's Men's Slam Bracket lead may be secure until summer, but just one bad week in February can see Murree slip out of the #1 spot with margins this close.

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Women's Australian Open

Nobody got the winner correct in this one, but three Jedi did correctly predict Osaka to make the finals: Drivers, Edu, and Wimby!  Nice pick, guys!  Of those, Drivers got the top score of 227!  Really impressive!  That was 13 above 2nd-pace Edu and a mind-boggling 119 above Johnny, whose lack of trust in WTA players consistently torpedoes his fantasy efforts.  Still, it's good to have him back.

Women's Grand Slam Standings
1. Drivers: 227
2. Edu: -13
3. Wimby: -34
4T. Tenedab: -37
4T. Snolly: -37

Overall Women's Standings
1. TE: 331
2. Drivers: -5 NEW
3. Edu: -21 NEW
4. Arvis: -24 ↓5, ↓2 ranks
5T. Tono: -26 BOUNCE BACK
5T. Spotec: -26 NEW
-- Dwight, Adunar, and Dtrain knocked off ---

TE did enough at the AO to keep his lead here, well done!  But a lot of new faces have arrived, plus Tono spent only one tournament off the Top 5 before coming right back.  Nice job, Tono!
How will Hua Hin and St. Pete affect these standings?

LOL, very nice punnage, Tono

Really impressive score, Murree.  Yowza.

Congrats, Drivers!

25

(3 replies, posted in Male Players)

Feddy Wimbledon Champion 2019!