Monday, October 26, 2009

The WTA YEC Draw...Some Thoughts

by Savannah

A tennishead who uses the name "Volcana" posted the following about the WTA YEC singles draw:


There are only two all-time greats among those players.
There are only three multi-slam winners among those eight players.
There are only three slam winners among those eight players.
There are only three Olympic Gold medalists among those eight players.

And they're in the same group.

Stacey Allaster

The WTA has presented fans of women's tennis with a draw that makes you laugh and shake your head in disbelief. As I replied to Matt the more I think about it the angrier I get. First there was the use of a 50 week ranking period as opposed to the normal 52 week ranking period for seeding at the YEC making sure Serena Williams points came off a week earlier and assuring Dinara Safina would be ranked number one for seeding purposes. Then comes the draw. Talk about adding insult to injury. You have Safina, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki who was last seen being told by her father to throw a match, something that is illegal in any sport. The WTA seems unconcerned about the bonanza online bettors who spoke Polish got. I wonder if Richard Williams had been caught telling his daughters the exact same thing what would have happened. I really don't wonder but double standards seem to be the norm for the WTA.

There is no doubt in my mind that the draw was done this way to try and assure Dinara Safina reaching the elimination round. Sad thing is she may still go 0-3 in the Round Robin phase of the tournament. Then what? The strongest player in the White Group is Jelena Jankovic.

There is the promise of great matches in the Maroon Group but in the final analysis whoever comes out of that group will have been through Murderer's Row and will be beat up both mentally and physically as none of those women, when they are on, are known to back down from a fight.

There is already a lot of talk on fanboards about not even bothering to watch the tournament the fix is so obvious. Is this really what the powers that be at the WTA want after a year that saw a woman who couldn't even win a major sit on top of the heap for most of the year because she was "consistent"? Really? Let's not even get into the fact that the stands were hardly full earlier this year when the women played Dubai.

Just in case you think the WTA is going to own up to the disaster that 2009 was and acknowledge that it's credibility is shot here are some quotes that were made by those in charge when the 2010 WTA Calendar was unveiled in September. These quotes appear on the SEWTA official site.

  • "The Roadmap, featuring the most sweeping reforms in Tour history, has delivered to fans and sponsors a more fan-friendly and healthier structure that to date has more consistently delivered stars to top events and significantly reduced player withdrawals."

  • "With the Roadmap reforms implemented in 2009, fans have had the opportunity to watch more stars and rivalries on the game’s biggest stages, and follow a shortened and streamlined season that has been successful in unlocking the full value of women’s tennis."

  • Stacey Allaster: “I am very proud of the fact that despite a worldwide recession, we have been able to achieve modest growth."


The Road to Bali

I still have no idea why this tournament even exists but here are the women who have qualified to play.

1. Marion Bartoli
2. Samantha Stosur
3. Yanina Wickmayer
4. Anabel Medina Garrigues
5. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
6. Shahar Pe'er
7. Melinda Czink
8. Agnes Szavay
9. Aravane Rezai
10. Magdalena Rybarikova

Two WC's have yet to be officially granted.

End Note

I'll post the winners of last weeks tournaments later today.

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