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    12. Juli 2018 07:29:53 CEST

    The irony would be delicious if it werent so frustrating for those who had hoped to watch Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber slug it out for the prestigious year-end WTA No. Cheap Korey Cunningham Jersey . 1 ranking at the WTA Finals Singapore, which starts Sunday.Since Williams is?out of the picture with a shoulder injury, the substitute down-to-the-wire battle is the one between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Johanna Konta?for the eighth and final place in the WTA Finals singles field.The draw for the round-robin portion already has been made, with either Kuznetsova or Konta destined to join the White Group. Kuznetsova must successfully defend her Kremlin Cup title -- she has reached Sundays final in Moscow -- in order to inch ahead of Konta as the No. 8 qualifier.However it turns out, the opportunity offered by the WTA Finals is very different for each woman involved. In fact, analyzing the field on the basis of whats at stake is always a nice alternative to traditional bracketology, so lets go ahead with it:Red GroupWTA No. 1 Angelique Kerber (59-15 in singles, three titles): Kerbers main task after she won the Australian Open in January and declared that shed fulfilled a lifelong dream at age 28 was to demonstrate that realizing her goal didnt leave her sated. She then went 1-1 in two more Grand Slam finals and is guaranteed the year-end No. 1 ranking. So the short and sweet answer to Whats at stake? for Kerber is: nothing much. Kerber has played a lot of tennis this year, and her group includes two rally-and-retrieve specialists. Singapore has been disappointing for her; she is 2-7 in three appearances and has never survived the round-robin portion. Add it up, and its easy to see why she might just mail it in and accept accolades for a great year.No. 4 Simona Halep (44-16, three titles): She won as many titles as Kerber in 2016, and two of them (Montreal and Madrid) were high-value tournaments. But the 25-year old Romanian has yet to win a major or establish herself as a true elite, which tells us much about Haleps ongoing struggle with confidence in big moments at big events. A French Open finalist in 2014, she hasnt done anything comparable since. In 2014 in Singapore, Halep crushed No. 1 Serena Williams 6-0, 6-2 in round-robin play but then lost to Williams by a nearly identical score in the final. A win in Singapore may not resonate as powerfully as a triumph at a Grand Slam event, but it would be a start.No. 7 Madison Keys (46-15, one title): Just 21, Keys is a debutante at the WTA Finals. A decent performance (reaching the knockout semifinals) in Singapore would cap a year of solid progress and set Keys up nicely for 2017. But with a win or a runner-up finish, she would be telling the world that shes ready to make a big push to occupy the vacuum that Serena Williams is bound to leave eventually. Its especially important for Keys American audience.No. 8 Dominika Cibulkova (50-19, three titles): Cibulkova lost the Australian Open final to Li Na in 2014. The 5-foot-3, 27-year-old dynamo from Bratislava, Slovakia, tailed off after that high point, but she has rebounded beautifully in 2016. Shes won as many titles in 2016 as anyone in the field, even though her year was interrupted in midsummer by the pleasant distraction of her wedding. A good showing in Singapore would leave Cibulkova in a position to earn a high seed and make another run at a major final in Melbourne.White GroupNo. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska (51-16, three titles): Shes the defending champion in Singapore, but shes also the first (and only) champion who hoisted the trophy despite having won just one round-robin match. Thats an asterisk Radwanska could wipe away if she has another great tournament, making it to the final or better. An excellent tournament also will make it easier for the former Wimbledon finalist to hang around near the top, awaiting her opportunity for another shot at Grand Slam glory -- especially if Serena Williams is out of the picture.No. 5 Karolina Pliskova (42-20, two titles): She knocked out Venus and Serena Williams en route to the US Open final, which made Pliskova the talk of the town even after she lost the championship match to Kerber. Pliskovas game suffered after those outstanding achievements. The 6-foot-1, 24-year-old Czech needs to show that she didnt just have a career fortnight with that big serve and first-strike forehand. Pliskova could be Madison Keys generational rival. A great way to move toward that would be for both women to make the semis.No. 6 Garbine Muguruza (34-18, one title): The fact that the only title Muguruza won this year was a Grand Slam (the French Open) tells you much about the 23-year-old Spanish pro. Despite her previous experience as a Grand Slam finalist (she lost the 2015 Wimbledon final to Serena Williams), she doesnt seem capable of focusing and playing calm, determined tennis on a day-to-day basis. She salvaged a poor fall last year by making the semis in Singapore and finds herself in the same position this year. Her reputation as a competitor would benefit from a strong showing.In contention for final spot in White GroupNo. 9 Svetlana Kuznetsova (*39-20, one title): The free-spirited, philosophical Russian has two Grand Slam titles. Her motivation and confidence have always fluctuated, but at 31 she seems to be in the midst of a late-career surge and enjoying every moment of it. The payoff for her would be vindication in what might be a farewell tour.* Kuznetsova stats dont include in-progress Kremlin Cup.No. 10 Johanna Konta (44-21, one title): Even if she is nudged out on the final day of the regular WTA Tour season by Kuznetsova, Konta has been a revelation. The aggressive 25-year-old newcomer to the WTA top 10 was ranked No. 150 at the end of 2014. Now shes the first female British player to make the top 10 in over 30 years. Shes living the dream, and the only thing at stake for her is validation of her new status.Cheap Josh Rosen Jersey . The Oilers come in having lost five in a row (0-4-1) and 16 of their last 20 games, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. Cheap Christian Kirk Jersey . LOUIS -- Attorneys for the St. . "No difference at all," chirped U.S. roommate and linemate James van Riemsdyk. "Its still the same cranky Phil. NEW YORK -- Now that theyre finally banging the ball around the yard, the New York Mets are thinking about that late-season charge that carried them all the way to the World Series last year.Yoenis Cespedes clocked a three-run homer, Kelly Johnson had a pinch-hit grand slam and Noah Syndergaard pitched two-hit ball over seven innings as the resurgent Mets routed the Philadelphia Phillies 12-1 on Saturday.Asdrubal Cabrera homered for the third time in two games, a two-run drive that put New York ahead against Jeremy Hellickson (10-8). Neil Walker added his 23rd of the season to match a career high, giving the Mets four homers for the second consecutive night in a blowout of Philadelphia.It looks like a completely different team, Mets manager Terry Collins said. The energy is just different in the room right now.Alejandro De Aza added a two-run double for the Mets, who won for the sixth time in seven games as they attempt to make a push in the bunched-up NL playoff chase. New York got some help Saturday with losses by Miami and St. Louis and moved within 2 1/2 games of the Cardinals for the leagues second wild card.Cespedes is reminded of last year, when his arrival after a July 31 trade helped the Mets turn a moribund offense into a pennant winner.I think the energy, he said through a translator, right now has taken us back to the last two months of last season.The desire, the motivation, he explained.Jose Reyes and Cabrera each had three hits, once again providing a spark from the top two spots in the lineup since both came off the disabled list. Mostly healthy at last after lagging through much of the summer as one of baseballs weakest offenses, the Mets have totaled 31 runs while winning their past three games. They have 76 runs (6.3 per game) and 22 homers in their last 12.New York also has posted at least nine runs in three straight games for the first time since June 2012 -- and scored nine or more in successive home games for the first time since September 2008.The team has 87 homers at Citi Field this season, surpassing its previous record of 85 set last year. The ballpark opened in 2009.Syndergaard (12-7) chipped in with a long double and is 3-0 with a 1.31 ERA in his last three starts.The only damage against him came on Freddy Galvis homer in the third, and the big right-hander improved to 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in four career outings against the Phillies.Right now Im just better able to locate my sinker to both sides of the plate, Syndergaard said. And my sliiders been a lot more consistent. Cheap Chris Campbell Jersey. The Mets have taken 12 of their past 14 series with Philadelphia.Its like they know whats coming, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. They just seem to feast on our pitching.Hellickson, who had won four consecutive decisions and six of his last seven, allowed a three-run shot to Cespedes that made it 5-1 with two outs in the fourth.Johnsons drive off Michael Mariot in a six-run seventh was his fourth pinch-hit homer this season. It gave the Mets grand slams in consecutive games for the first time since Carlos Beltran hit both in July 2006.Bad pitching, Mackanin said. Tonight was embarrassing.Philadelphia had won Hellicksons previous six starts.Just one of those nights. Didnt really have much, the right-hander said.ANOTHER CHANCECollins said RHP Rafael Montero will be recalled from Double-A Binghamton to start Monday night against Miami in place of struggling RHP Jacob deGrom, who is skipping a turn. Montero is 1-4 with a 4.45 ERA in 17 major league games, including nine starts.DANGEROUS HITTERA few pitches before his home run, Cespedes hit a foul line drive about head high that had Syndergaard darting and ducking out of the way as he took a short lead off third base. That was just all reflex. I dont think it was anywhere near me, Syndergaard said. The night before, Phillies pitcher Adam Morgan barely evaded serious injury when he ducked underneath Cespedes scorching liner up the middle.TRAINERS ROOMMets: Part-time CF Justin Ruggiano went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder, and INF T.J. Rivera was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. Fortunately for Rivera, he never left town Friday when he was optioned to the minors to make room for Walker, who came off the paternity leave list. Rivera began getting work in the outfield before the game. ... Slumping RF Jay Bruce was given primarily a mental day off, according to Collins, though the manager said Bruces nagging right calf did act up Friday night as he struck out all four times and was booed by the home crowd.UP NEXTPhillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31 ERA) has lost three straight starts and is winless in seven outings since July 8.Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman makes his first major league start in the series finale Sunday. He won his debut Tuesday at St. Louis with 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of injured Jonathon Niese. Cheap NFL Hoodies Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Jerseys NFL China Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '