Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TennisTalk

by Savannah

The USTA announced this morning that the Davis Cup tie between the United States and Switzerland will take place in Birmingham, Alabama at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena. The tie takes place March 6-8. Roger Federer has committed to play. So far Patrick McEnroe is going with the familiar line up of Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Bob and Mike Bryan.
This is kind of a surprise since San Antonio, Texas was thought to be the front runner. Maybe after all the drama in Argentina the ITF said "no mas" and went with the best venue. There will be 17,000 screaming partisans in the seats. Should be a barn burner.

In other Davis Cup news Modesto "Tito" Vasquez has been named the new Argentine captain.

Vasquez coached the team between 1986-1988. Looks like they went the no drama route.

ITF World Champions 2008

Mens Singles - Rafael Nadal
Women's Singles - Jelena Jankovic
Men's Doubles - Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor
Women's Doubles - Liezel Huber and Cara Black
Junior World Champion/ Male Tsung-Hua Yang of Taipei
Junior World Champion/Female - Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand
Wheelchair World Champion/Female - Esther Vergeer
Wheelchair World Champion/Male - Kunieda Shingo

The Trouble with Jelena

As day follows night Jelena Jankovic being named ITF World Champion has sparked the usual online riot among tennisheads. As one fan put it shouldn't being named ITF World Champion mean you won an ITF event during the year? Another fan , AnnaK_4ever put this list together featuring the women who have been named World Champion going back to 2000. Yes you have to go back that far to find a woman who did not win an ITF event and was named World Champion.

The thing that strikes me the most is that at ITF events Jelena didn't have a win against a player in the top five. Hingis did in 2000. Jelena's fans may not like it but without playing all those events and stockpiling all those points she would not be the year end WTA #1.

ITF rules for Champion of the Year are as follows:
"The ITF’s selection of its World Champions is based on an objective system that considers not only performances at the Grand Slams, Olympic Games and respective tours, but also gives weight to performances in the two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and the Olympic Games."
Now lets see who gets the WTA Player of the Year award.

ITF World Champions’ results at ITF-related events (since 2000)

2008 : Jelena JANKOVIC
Australian Open : SF [wins over ## 7, 29, 39, 76, 78]
Roland Garros : SF [wins over ## 15, 31, 80, 86, 132]
Wimbledon : 4R [wins over ## 30, 56, 113]
US Open : RU [wins over ## 6, 18, 30, 37, 63, 512]
Olympics : QF [wins over ## 19, 30, 662]
Fed Cup : qualified for World Group II [won 3 of 4 singles matches, wins over ## 21, 150, 460]

2007 : Justine HENIN
Australian Open : did not play
Roland Garros : WON [wins over ## 5, 7, 8, 25, 31, 65, 72]
Wimbledon : SF [wins over ## 8, 15, 67, 83, 117]
US Open : WON [wins over ## 4, 9, 14, 16, 130, 145, 156]
Fed Cup : did not play

2006 : Justine HENIN
Australian Open : RU [wins over ## 1, 4, 54, 60, 92, 104]
Roland Garros : WON [wins over ## 2, 10, 11, 14, 58, 70, 72]
Wimbledon : RU [wins over ## 2, 18, 34, 81, 99, 129]
US Open : RU [wins over ## 11, 20, 21, 27, 45, 70]
Fed Cup : finalist [won 4 of 4 singles matches, wins over ## 5, 9, 14, 20]

2005 : Kim CLIJSTERS
Australian Open : did not play
Roland Garros : 4R [wins over ## 22, 96, 179]
Wimbledon : 4R [wins over ## 64, 93, 320]
US Open : WON [wins over ## 2, 10, 12, 33, 58, 72, 135]
Fed Cup : defended spot in World Group [won 2 of 2 singles matches, wins over ## 30, 71]

2004 : Anastasia MYSKINA
Australian Open : QF [wins over ## 10, 32, 60, 101]
Roland Garros : WON [wins over ## 6, 9, 10, 11, 32, 68, 70]
Wimbledon : 3R [wins over ## 49, 65]
US Open : 2R [win over # 81]
Olympics : SF [wins over ## 17, 35, 47, 65]
Fed Cup : champion [won 7 of 8 singles matches, wins over ## 21, 27, 52, 103, 147, 173, 225]

2003 : Justine HENIN
Australian Open : SF [wins over ## 10, 34, 42, 53, 63]
Roland Garros : WON [wins over ## 1, 2, 8, 18, 82, 83, 109]
Wimbledon : SF [wins over ## 34, 54, 55, 86, 100]
US Open : WON [wins over ## 1, 7, 10, 70, 71, 75, 129]
Fed Cup : semifinalist [won 3 of 3 singles matches, wins over ## 69, 76, 104]

2002 : Serena WILLIAMS
Australian Open : did not play
Roland Garros : WON [wins over ## 1, 2, 39, 41, 132, 142, 169]
Wimbledon : WON [wins over ## 1, 11, 12, 27, 45, 103, 119]
US Open : WON [wins over ## 2, 10, 11, 24, 26, 91, unr]
Fed Cup : did not play

2001 : Jennifer CAPRIATI
Australian Open : WON [wins over ## 1, 2, 4, 37, 67, 72, 90]
Roland Garros : WON [wins over ## 1, 7, 14, 20, 57, 81, 232]
Wimbledon : SF [wins over ## 5, 19, 34, 35, 117]
US Open : SF [wins over ## 7, 19, 57, 67, 142]
Fed Cup : did not play

2000 : Martina HINGIS
Australian Open : RU [wins over ## 13, 14, 15, 49, 63, 116]
Roland Garros : SF [wins over ## 24, 25, 32, 50, 156]
Wimbledon : QF [wins over ## 11, 22, 42, 78]
US Open : SF [wins over ## 5, 11, 32, 45, 101]
Olympics : did not play
Fed Cup : did not play
Why Jelena is such a polarizing force in women's tennis? There have been weak number one's before, Kim Clijsters comes to mind, and while there was controversy about "Cupcake Kim" it didn't seem to be as virulent as the backlash against Jelena. Could it be her lack of sportsmanship? Her "medical" issues at strategic points in matches? Does Jelena even care? I think she does.

Oh, and in case you're wondering Maria Sharapova won Australia on the women's side this year. Maria, along with Roger Federer, made the Forbes Richest Under 30's list this year.

More Talk
Jelena Dokic is still alive in the Australian Open WC playoffs. A lot of fans are pulling for her to make it. I hope she's serious this time.
Bernard Tomic lost to Jo Sirianni but may still be alive since Colin Ebelthite needs medical clearance to continue.

The USTA Women's WC playoff results from yesterday are as follows:

Christine McHale beat Coco Vandeweigh 6-3, 6-2
Vania King beat Mallory Cecil 6-1, 6-0
Lauren Albanese beat Asia Muhammad 7-5, 6-7, 6-3
Gail Brodsky beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-4
There was quite a bit of controversy about the women playing this event since the top US junior, Melanie Oudin, was not invited. Neither was Alexa Glatch, another good junior player. There were also questions as to why Vania King, who has been playing on the pro level, had to prove herself yet again. I look at it this way. At least the women have a real playoff like they're having in Australia.

Nothing on the mens playoff yet.

The French Masters begins tomorrow December 18. Josselin Ouanna will take Nicolas Mahut's place in the red group. He joins Gilles Simon, Julien Benneteau and Marc Gicquel.



6 comments:

TopSpin said...

Hi Savannah

I actually don't have that much of a beef with Jelena. After all, if all the other 'top' players are unwilling or unable to take advantage of Henins departure then why complain about the one player who has?

I actually think this could have been Sharapova's year - it was a shame her shoulder held her back.

Serena and Venus did of course make an impact (I was really glad to see Venus in particular putting in a strong presence throughout the indoor season); but no one really 'ran' with the number one ranking.

I do however (like you by the sounds of it) take issue with a lot of the additional baggage Jelena sometimes brings to court - the pinnacle of it was that stopwatch incident in Stuttgart this year; put simply she's good enough to win without that sort of thing - it speaks to me of someone who is a little too desperate to be liked on and off court....

And don't even get me started on Ricardo Sanchez...

Savannah said...

And don't even get me started on Ricardo Sanchez...

I won't if you won't.

Welcome. Don't be a stranger!

Colette Lewis said...

My understanding is that Oudin and Glatch were invited but declined.

Savannah said...

Thank you for your response Colette. There was a lot of chit chat about why they weren't there. It's the off season so to speak so tennisheads are focused on the juniors right now.

Kissmyass said...

You're kidding right? How can you compare Clijsters with Drama Queen? CLijsters' achievements were way above Drama Queen. And even with that, Kim was never named POY 2003, the year she reached no1 without a slam. You cannot seriously tell me with a straight face Drama Queen deserves POY over both Williams.

Savannah said...

Welcome kissmyass. Do you remember why Kim was called "Cupcake Kim" in some circles?

in my opinion she was a weak number one. No, she wasn't named POY in 2003 and rightly so.

Based on the information cited here did Hingis deserve it in 2000?

Based on their play in 2008 I would've been okay with either Venus Williams or Serena Williams as POY. Jelena simply played the most tennis not the best tennis. It's going to be interesting to see what her schedule looks like in 2009.

Don't be a stranger.