Fed Cup: Lepchenko comes up big for US, tied with Italy 1-1

lepchenko fed cup 2013

A happy Varvara hung in tough in the 3rd set

Varvara Lepchenko had been waiting for years to show off her game on the big stage for the United States and she can through in dramatic fashion grabbing a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Roberta Vinci to even the US Fed Cup tie with Italy 1-1.

The crucial victory came after Sara Errani has cracked Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1 in a contest that the young American was never in. Errani dictated for much of the match while Hampton was often wild and unsure of herself.

But that was not the case with Lepchenko, who never fell under Vinci

Heads or Tails: Who will have a better 2013?

wozniacki asian swing 12

Is Caro her generation’s leader?

Going into every new season, hundreds of questions exist in trying to determine who will be able to reach their peak and who will falter. Predictions are always difficult to make as the injury factor consistently plays a huge role in tennis. However, just for the fun of it I thought I would pose a few different opposing scenarios and select which ones I think are more probable in 2013. I will begin with the WTA.

‘Gen Caro’

Who will have better season collectively of the current top 10, these “Gen Caro” members (Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Aga Radwanska, Angelique Kerber & Petra Kvitova) or the old guard (Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Li Na, Sara Errani and Sam Stosur)?

At some point in the future the old guard is going to fall off and Gen Caro is going to completely take over the WTA, but it

TR Year-end Top 50s: The women, Nos. 6-10

Li has all the weaponry but is still prone to walkabouts.

Thus continues our review of the top 50 singles players on the ATP and WTA Tours. We resume with the women ranked Nos. 6 -10.

6. Sara Errani

There is strong argument to be made that Errani improved more than anyone in 2012, and while I feel that two of the lower and medium rung players improved more (Robson and Lepchenko), Errani gets my vote in the elite category, even over Angie Kerber, who also had a terrific season. What Errani did was transform herself from a run of the mill clay court player to one who could play most matches on her terms, and from a forgettable hard court player to one who could counterpunch with more zip and effectiveness.

Not only did she reach the Roland Garros final and the US Open semis in singles, but also ended the year as member of the top- ranked doubles teams with fellow Italian Roberta Vinci. She can scamper, has a fine return and under rated volley. I don’t expect her to better her year ranking in 2013, but I could see finishing in the top 10 again because she is super committed to her tennis.

7. Li Na

Even though Li has frequently said that she can

TR.net poll: WTA Coaches of Year Candidates

Who got the most out of their players in 2012?

Take the TR.net poll on the right.

Sam Sumyk for Victoria Azarenka
The Positives: After working diligently with the talented yet sometimes erratic Belarussian for a little over two years, Sumyk finally got her to a place where her fitness was excellent, she wasn’t as predictable with her game planning and she only went for winners when balls were firmly in her wheelhouse. For the first quarter of the year, the balls always seemed to be right where she wanted them. Azarenka snared her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a very impressive run, grabbed the No. 1 ranking and played lights out until April. She pushed Serena Williams harder than anyone did during the summer in a big match in the US Open final. As she said, he helped her mature and to learn to take her destiny into her own hands.

The Question Marks: She failed to beat Serena Williams even once in five big meetings and did not win title on clay or grass. While she ended the year ranked No. 1, losing to Williams and Maria Sharapova at the WTA Championnships put her in a questionable position heading into 2013.

Thomas Hogstedt for Maria Sharapova

The future of their relationship was very much in doubt after she started 2011 slowly, but she kept the faith in the veteran Swedish coach and he in her. With a steady hand, he convinced her to work the points more and

The Question Marks: World No. 2 Sharapova seems to have almost conceded that she

Maria the mark of resiliency

The Wrap, April 15: The King is Monaco


Monaco stopped Isner's streak.

Juan Monaco is certainly one of the most accomplished clay courters to touch down in Houston in the past two decades, so it was not surprising that he ended John Isner