Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

I first heard about TPTB investigating Caroline Wozniacki's retirement during her match yesterday. She was up 7-5, 5-0 and had had medical treatment during the match. I thought that it was just Caro's way of saying she needed to rest up for Doha.

Thanks to Karen, a frequent poster here, for setting me straight. This article appeared in the Canadian Press and is excerpted below.

Who retires when they're leading 7-5, 5-0?

Caroline Wozniacki did that Tuesday in Luxembourg, against Anne Kremer of, you guessed it, Luxembourg.

And the circumstances behind it could potentially lead to a whole lot of interesting drama.

We we watching much of this on a livestream. And after running her hooves off retrieving in the first set with no apparent problem (other than the fact that she had to work so hard to come back from a break down against a lucky loser nearly 15 years her senior), Wozniacki had the trainer come out at 5-5, and she got a massive wrap put on her upper left leg.

We warn you that at this point, it's all hearsay. It really could be absolutely nothing, a misunderstanding. But it's a pretty major topic of debate on all the tennis chat boards.

Wozniacki won five straight games from 5-5, even if it was obvious she was in some distress.

Her coach/father, Piotr, came out when she was leading 3-0 in the second set for a coaching consult.

The coaches are miked for these things by the WTA. But since so many of the players and coaches speak languages we don't speak, it's typically not too productive to listen in.

But someone who understands Polish was apparently listening, a bettor on the Betfair web site.

At 3-0, the Betfair wagerer posted that Wozniacki had told his daughter to play two more games, call the trainer again, then retire. "Let them have some joy," Papa Wozniacki allegedly said – meaning that, since he clearly had already decided his daughter wouldn't play her next match in Luxembourg anyway, because of the injury (preferring to save herself for the year-end championships next week), might as let the crowd enjoy the local go one more round.

We assume his intentions were honorable, even if he wanted to make sure his daughter got it to 5-0 – just so there would be no "doubt" in anyone's mind that she would have won anyway, and that they were doing an honourable thing. And, in the process, humiliate Kremer a little, since she failed to even win a game after the injury to her opponent first came to light.

It's something that is done sometimes at the amateur level, if you're injured, or if for some reason (travel) you can't stay for the next match. But not always. And this isn't amateur hour.

With all the money being wagered online, and tennis's ongoing battle against match-fixing and all the rest – prohibiting laptops in arenas (like people can't do it on their smart phones), posting signs all around the players' areas, frowning on players tweeting ANY kind of information about health or other issues –- the implications are major.

If someone who understands Polish hears that, given the odds at the time, and places a big bet on Kremer, they could get a serious windfall when it's paid out (which it was, on Betfair at least, to my understanding). Several posters on the forum are boasting about the cash they hauled in.

Stacey Allaster has a lot on her plate right now doesn't she? Caro and her father always speak Polish when she receives on court coaching. In today's world you always have to assume that while most would not understand what you're saying someone, somewhere will and if the facts are born out here this is a serious issue for the WTA.

Federer and London

The other big news is that Roger Federer (see I can type out his name) may skip the ATP WTF in November. Yahoo reports the following:

The world No. 1 took time off after his defeat to Juan Martin del Potro at Flushing Meadows to rest up and spend time with his young family, yet was expected to return for the Paris Masters and the year-ending ATP Tour finals in London.
However, rumors out of Switzerland have suggested that Federer is considering keeping a low profile until January in order to be fully fresh and ready for 2010.
It would be a controversial move if Federer decided to skip the Tour finals, and one that would likely bring sanctions from the ATP unless he could prove he was injured. Rafael Nadal, then atop the rankings, pulled out last year.
Federer's year has been outstanding but it is understood he has made regaining the Australian Open crown his first priority for next year.

We'll just have to see won't we?

WTA YEC Update

Jelena Jankovic has qualified for Doha. The completed field is as follows:


[1] Dinara Safina
[2] Serena Williams
[3] Svetlana Kuznetsova
[4] Caroline Wozniacki
[5] Elena Dementieva
[6] Victoria Azarenka
[7] Venus Williams
[8] Jelena Jankovic
[ALT] Vera Zvonareva
[ALT] Agnieszka Radwanska


[1] Cara Black/Liezel Huber
[2] Venus Williams/Serena Williams
[3] Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria José Martínez Sánchez
[4] Rennae Stubbs/Samantha Stosur

Dinara Safina will be ranked Number 1.


Karen said...

Roger Federer not at the WTF, there you go. Somehow I think Roger has re-prioritised his life somewhat after those babies were born. Do I want to continue fighting the good fight at every tournament, or do I rest my poor old aching body and try and build my legacy. If I was Roger I would build my legacy.
On the whole CWoz thing, I think she is reading too much of her own press these days. Clearly, she is of the view that she is a top player. I do not think she has beaten anyone in the Top 10 or Top 5 in awhile and the moonballing will only work for so long.

Craig Hickman said...


Consider me turned off completely by Caroline Wozniacki.

Craig Hickman said...

Oh, yeah.

And let them kill on court coaching.

It's a disgrace.

oddman said...

Think I read somewhere that this story about Federer (oh, looky, I can type his name too - hee!) is not true. He is planning to be at Basel and WTF...

Man, it always makes me laff when I see that 'WTF'... idiots who named it - d'uh.

Savannah said...

I think a statement was put out on his website late yesterday saying that he was playing Basel and WTF. I'm not holding my breath on Basel.

As for WTF I thought that the ATP would quietly change the name of their year ending event. Worse naming in a professional sport I've ever seen.

Savannah said...

Craig as for Papa Wozniacki being caught telling his daughter to throw a match and those bringing windfalls to Polish speaking online bettors can you imagine if it had been Richard Williams caught telling either of his daughters to do that?

Just like Wickmayer's rampage earlier this year the WTA is going to try and pretend this didn't happen since Caro is the type of person the WTA wants to carry its banner.

BTW why has the WTA switched from the Final 8 being seeded on a 52 week basis to a 50 week basis? That is why Dinara all of a sudden jumped back to #1. Can someone 'splain this to me?