sunday survey: petra pushes for POTY

Reigning queen? Kvitova swept her last 10 matches of ’11. (AP photo)

Player of the year? With her triumph over the field in Istanbul this week, Petra Kvitova made a convincing push for winning the title of player of the year for the 2011 season. The Season Ending Championships are often called the “fifth slam” beyond the majors, and Petra is now the only woman to grab two out of those five tournaments. Sure, Miami is often also brought up in the same breath, but Petra beat Miami’s victor, Victoria Azarenka 7-5 4-6 6-3 to nab the SEC title, cementing herself as the cream of the WTA crop to end the season. Sure, there was the blip between Wimbledon and after the USO when the Czech 21 year old went 5-5, but she closed the year winning ten straight matches, including five over five of the best players on the planet. Can anyone edge her out for such an honor? Your picks for player of the year below.

sunday survey: who's your lady?

All roads have led to Istanbul. Or flights, that is. The WTA‘s season will (mostly) wrap up this week in Istanbul, Turkey, with the WTA Championships (some women will compete in the Championships 2.0 event next week in Bali). But after Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli pulled out of Moscow last week the eight-woman field was set, ending the run-off between herself and Agnieszka Radwanska. Radwanska joins Caroline Wozniaki, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka (fresh off a title in Luxembourg), Li Na, Vera Zvonareva and Sam Stosur for the round-robin format. Play begins on Tuesday.

But we’re curious: Who is your pick to win the title this year in Istanbul? Vote below.

(getty images photo)

(wednesday's) sunday survey: striking situation

Would these boys really do it? Strike. It’s not something tennis fans really want to think about, and even though Tennis Channel’s James LaRosa does point out some ways that a lack of tennis-playing might make fans’ lives better, we here at TSF would miss the weekly fashions (and trophies!) with great sadness. Andy Murray recently told the BBC that if the tennis bodies don’t step up then the players will, and Rafael Nadal echoed that players could take “strong action.” It doesn’t help that 2011’s king, Novak Djokovic, fell to the ground unable to continue during Davis Cup 10 days ago. Not the best image for the (functional) end of the tennis season, right?

Do you think a players’ strike could really happen? Weigh in below.

(photo by Getty Images)

sunday survey: are the good old days of the young guns gone?

Fore! Look out ladies, the girls are comin’ up! Or, are they? Over the weekend, 16-year-old Lexi Thompson shocked the LPGA by winning the Navistar LPGA Classic event in Alabama. She was the youngest winner on the tour by over two years and sparked a whole new conversation in that sport about teenage prodigies, especially seeing that Lexi herself isn’t even a full-fledged pro (not until age 18 on the Lpeedg, y’all). Thompson is filing for membership into the sport’s top body come next week.

But what about the young ladies of the WTA? The tour was once dominated by teens — Tracy Austin, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis — they all had their big start at a young age. But this year on the WTA, as far as TSF can tell, there has been just teenage winner: 19-year-old Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who is now 20. Twenty-year-olds Polona Hercog and Ksenia Pervak have collected titles, as have 21-year-olds Alberta Brianti, Petra Kvitova and Sabine Lisicki. But the teens? Nada. So that has us curious: Are teenage champs a thing of the past? Weigh in below.

Oh right… and it’s Tuesday?! Oops. Call it our AOHO (After Open HangOver.)

(Getty Images photo)

sunday survey: roger's run done?

The final question? Yes, we’ve all been wondering this for almost three years now. Since Roger Federer lost in the Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal in 2009 and broke down in tears on the podium, there has been talk that the so-called GOAT was past him prime. And then came having kids. And turning 30. Queue the weekly retirement questions.

But  after yesterday’s meltdown — yes, it was a match that was Federer’s to win — the question can really be popped: Will Roger Federer ever win another major? Federer added to two abysmal and ultimately un-Federer-like stats yesterday with his loss to Djoko: he lost his second match ever when leading two sets to love (had done so for the first time ever at Wimbledon earlier this summer against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), moving his record to 189-2 in his career and for the second straight year squandered match points in an Open semifinal. Your votes below.

(AP photo)

sunday survey: can anyone come close?

Crown her queen. For a set and a half yesterday, Serena Williams absolutely dominated Victoria Azarenka on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Serena had match points at both 6-1, 5-3 and 5-4, coming within a point of absolutely drubbing the world’s 4th-ranked player. But Vika saved four match points and drew the second set into a tiebreaker. And while the Belarussian couldn’t quite nab a set (or the match) from Serena, she made somewhat of a case for the rest of the remaining US Open field.

But who — really — can give Serena a true challenge in the final four rounds of the Open? Among Ana Ivanovic, Francesca Schiavone and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (her fourth round and potential quarterfinal match-ups, respectively), the three women hold a 2-7 (and 4-14 in sets) record against Serena in nine matches. So, who has the best shot? Tell us who you think below.

More: The women’s remaining 16

(Photo by Getty Images)

sunday survey: your USO winners

Grab that crystal ball. It seems as though it might be a little easier to pick a men’s champion than women’s at the year’s US Open. But you really never know. Perhaps Andy Roddick could shockingly come out of the wood work and finally nab a second Slam to add to his lone trophy — though we really doubt that happening. With the Open less than 24 hours away, we invite you tell us who you think is going to win this year’s final Major on both the men’s and women’s side. And: did we leave anyone out?

Bracketology: Our picks for the men | And women

(Photo by stinkerbell1 via flickr.)

sunday survey: who will go furthest?

Who’s got next? Oh, how the tables have turned! Mardy Fish is having an Andy Roddick-like summer (think 2003, when the Austin native was 20-1 prior to the Open), Fish winning a US Open Series title while making the final of two more and was red-hot this week in Cincinnati. Fish will no doubt be the highest-ranked American in the draw (Roddick is due to fall out of the top 20 next week), but will he go the furthest at Flushing?

You never know what will happen in New York. And have you noticed? Summer has been quite the season for Ryan Harrison, Alex Bogolomov Jr. and James Blake. While it’s unlikely, any of those three fellas have a legit shot at making a run at the year’s final major. Why not?! So this week, we wonder: Which American will have the best US Open? Vote below and argue your case in the comments.

(Photo by Getty Images)

sunday survey: is this the end of jelena?

All finished? We’ve all watched the slow, painful sinking of the ship known as Jelena Jankovic. The former world no. 1 is a poor 28-15 in 2011 after posting a 38-23 campaign last year. So is she done? This week in Toronto, Jankovic fell to up-and-coming German Julia Goerges 6-1 6-3, a loss described by Ben Rothenberg on SBNation.com: “A shockingly uncompetitive effort from Jelena Jankovic, who was the No. 1 seed at this tournament only a year ago. Her year has been extremely disappointing, to say the least, with back-to-back first round losses at Wimbledon and now Toronto.”

TSF Vault: Jelena Jankovic | Sunday Survey

So will the losses just become less shocking and more run-of-the-mill for JJ? Or can she see through a semi revitalization of her career a la countrywoman Ana Ivanovic? Your votes below.

(Getty Images photo)

sunday survey: punishable offense?

Over and out: Just a day before main draw play was set to get started at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Venus Williams pulled out of the WTA event. While the tournament suffers — as has San Diego and other events this year — Venus doesn’t take much of a hit on her pull out. Sure, there might be an appearance fee that goes unpaid, but is that much to Miss V? Not really. So that has us curious: Should players owe more than just their apologies when pulling out of tournaments last minute?

Weigh in on this question in the comments section.

(Image via Getty)