Archive for the ‘Julia Vakulenko’ Category

fashion flashback: govortsova in quebec

November 16, 2007

Belarusian Olga Govortsova, along with currently being the No. 2 Belarusian player on the SEWTA Tour, is dropping hints of a Bethanie Mattek-esque fashion sense.

olga govortsova - quebec

Here’s a photo of her playing the Quebec City Bell Challenge last month. We’re all about stirring the fashion pot, but it looked like Olga’s glittery top wasn’t built for tennis: “She clearly looks pretty uncomfortable with the ensemble, always tugging and pulling it down and adjusting the ties,” says Stephanie Myles.

It’s hard to say if the fashion will get in the way of her play (fyi, she’s ranked about 50 spots above Mattek); while she may have lost to eventual finalist Julia Vakulenko in the quarters of Quebec, she can also be proud of her one Top 20 scalp in 2007 (Shahar Peer at Stanford).

Kudos: By the way, for those of you who griped that coverage of the Quebec tournament was almost non-existent, Myles did a mighty fine job keeping us abreast of happenings above the 49th parallel. Check out the blogging here.

trophy watch: paris, quebec

November 5, 2007

This week’s winners were all about the streaks…

lindsay davenport wins quebec

Lindsay Davenport continues her successful comeback campaign with her second title in three tourneys. She beat Julia Vakulenko 6-4, 6-1 at the Quebec City Bell Challenge. She looked good wearing Nike‘s Drop Shot Cable Top from the winter collection.

nalbandian wins paris 2007

If it ain’t broke…: Boo to you, Masters Series Paris. You were in the running for best tennis trophy with your Fanti Tree, and you replace it with this. But hey, it’s better than a silver cup, right?

David Nalbandian continues his comeback with a 6-4, 6-0 destruction of Rafael Nadal in the finals. This is the second time in the last three weeks that the Argentine has beaten both Roger Federer and Rafa in the same tournament (the other being Madrid, which he also won. Not bad to have your only two titles in 2007 be Masters Series ones, no?). Could this latest streak mean that he’ll take the TMC like he did back in 2005?

Two more looks (one NSFW)…

the girl who cried “retirement”?

May 7, 2007

If you haven’t already heard, Belgian Kim Clijsters announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis. She made the decision after losing to Ukranian qualifier Julia Vakulenko at this week’s J&S Cup in Warsaw.

People I’ve talked to are split in their reaction. Is Kim really done with tennis? Or does she just need a break?

clijsters in poland - last matchI don’t think she’s done with tennis quite yet. The sport’s grueling schedule painted her into a corner, with no other choice but to retire. The same way Martina Hingis was driven away. But Hingis ended up with a broken foot, while Kim ended up with a broken spirit. I expect Kim to join Sybille Bammer in the mother-and-active-player club in a few years.

As we reflect on her absence, we should talk about another benefit to SEWTA’s Roadmap 2010: the shortened tour schedule will decrease the rate of injuries and (hopefully) lessen mental exhaustion. The tour forces players to think about tennis 24/7, making it hard for those who want to pursue other interests (i.e., lead a balanced life). Perhaps Kim wouldn’t have retired as early if the seasons were shorter. Or maybe we wouldn’t give Serena so much flack for acting, since she’d do it when no one’s looking.

The SEWTA should go even further and allow players a “leave of absence” — for up to one season — to give players a chance to better plan their careers. (Their ranking should be protected with a formula tied to how long they’re out, and how many points they have t defend.) Let them stay fresh and participate in some “extra-curricular” activities. It’ll raise the profile of the player, and they will most likely bring a new crop of fans to the courts when they’re back on the tour.

Photo: Clijsters playing her last match, at the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland.

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