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Bob Larson's Daily Tennis Column :)

Women's Match of the Day
Bali - Second Round
Maria Vento-Kabchi def. Conchita Martinez (3) 6-1 6-3

Just in case Daily Tennis hasn't managed to come up with enough obscure coincidences for you so far this year, here's a new one: Conchita Martinez has a surprising nine losses to non-Top Fifty players this year. That includes #244 Stosur at the Australian Open, #184 Barabanschikova at Sydney, #96 Krasnoroutskaya at Doha, #79 Weingartner at Berlin, and #66 Black at Madrid.

But now witness this sequence: #73 Pierce at San Diego, #72 Vento-Kabchi at Bali, #71 Molik at Sarasota, and #70 Pratt at Los Angeles. It's just coincidence, obviously -- but we can't recall such a "straight" for a top player in recent memory. And Martinez still has the indoor season (where she's likely to lose to a lot of unlikely players) ahead of her; she might yet manage to add #74 or #69 to her list. :rolls:

f course, a lot of those players she lost to are better than their rankings. Pierce is the most obvious example, but Molik is now Top 40 (and climbing), and Pratt only fell out of the Top 50 because of injury.

And you can probably add Maria Vento-Kabchi to the list of players better than their rankings. At least lately. We've no idea what she's changed, but it is working like a charm. Eight weeks ago, she was #132 in the world. Three weeks ago, she was #84. This week, she made it to #72. And, with this win, she'll be moving into the mid-Sixties. Watch out, world!

For Martinez, this result doesn't make much difference. She came in #13, with nothing much to defend. She should stay right there. The one complication is, she really doesn't like indoors, and other than Shanghai, there aren't many non-indoor events left. This is a significant opportunity lost; a win here would have put Martinez in the Top Ten.

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poor Conchi ;)
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