Let's start with what did happen.
Both tours have spent tons of money trying to grow the sport of tennis in Asia. The calendars of both tours have been adjusted to allow for major tournaments to take place in China, Japan and Indonesia. I suspect that Li Na winning the major warm up event in Sydney and making the Final of a Grand Slam has done more to grow the sport than anything the tours have done so far. Li has always been a thorn in the side of the Chinese Federation fighting them for the right of players to retain most if not all of their winnings. Her comments about the offer of the head of the Federation to buy her dinner have to be seen in that context.
Fact of the matter is Li Na should not have won Sydney or made the Australian Open Women's Final. After all her coach, Thomas Hogstedt, ditched her just before she began her Australian quest to join the team of Russia's Maria Sharapova, something she found out about on line and that was confirmed by Hogstedt via e-mail. I'm sure she and her husband are thinking about who had the last laugh as Sharapova had a dismal showing in Australia.
Not only did she make history with her racquet the tennis public was introduced to a woman who speaks passable English, has a wicked sense of humor, and shared with us that her husband snores so badly she wakes up every hour. I think women all over the world know how that is.
Vera Zvonareva who came into the tournament ranked #2 in the world. And what must the thinking have been in the upper echelons of the WTA when the best match of the tournament was between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone? What were they thinking when their number one, in a match that lasted over two and a half hours only made ten winners and had to wait for her opponent, who she was spotting ten years, hit the wall after having played a four hour and forty four minute match the day before?
The ATP had different questions answered. When the world number one lost his match in the quarter final round due to injury there was hope that the sentimental favorite would win the Tournament. Instead Roger Federer lost to a focused and determined Novak Djokovic. It takes a lot out of you to defeat even an injured Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer succumbed to Andy Murray setting up the first Grand Slam final in a long time that did not feature Rafa or Roger. Would the quality of tennis live up to the standard those two men had set or would it be a yawner?
Murray has the weight of Britain's 75 year Slam drought on his back but I still don't understand why the man who defeated Ferrer with aggressive play went ass up against Djokovic. I really didn't care who won, I just wanted to see a good match. Instead I saw one man playing to win while the other was doing his best Caroline Wozniacki imitation and waiting for errors that were not coming.
Will he be able to win elsewhere? The American Spring hard court swing starts soon and there will be a lot of interest in how he performs at Indian Wells and Miami.
As for Murray maybe the lessening of pressure will be a boon for him. There are some people talking about Wimbledon but if he couldn't even rouse himself to be competitive in a Final tailor made for him what will he do when the draw may not do him any favors?
For the WTA Wozniacki remains the computer ranked number 1 with 8,655 points. The new #2 Kim Clijsters has 8,515 points. She is followed by #3 Vera Zvonareva with 7,405 points. Francesca Schiavone with 5,055 points and Samantha Stosur with 4,862 points round out the top five.
Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko fought hard and won their first Grand Slam title.
There are three incidents from the WTA that fall into, as Tina Fey would say, the Whuck Files.
It was obvious that Justine Henin had something wrong with her arm when she couldn't exercise whatever shot it was Carlos Rodriguez told her to hit. She kept shaking her arm as if it were numb, and she had a tape around the meaty part of the arm just before you hit the elbow going up from the wrist. Some found it odd that she would announce her retirement in the middle of the tournament. I didn't. It's what I expect from her and why I could never become a fan of hers. She could've waited until the tournament was over to make her announcement instead of trying to steal the thunder of the women who had moved on in the tournament. Then again she's never been a class act. Ask Amelie Mauresmo.
TennisX reports the following rumor re Venus Williams injury in the Australian Open:
Rumor overhear(d) in Melbourne — Venus William’s injury at the Australian Open was the result of not recovering enough after having a secret hip surgery late last year?…
The newly minted South African ATP tournament didn't attract the top of the heap this year. The organizers cite their inability to pay the appearance fees demanded by the big boys as part of the problem.
The South American clay court swing gets underway later today in Chile. Injured Fernando Gonzalez will not play. David Nalbandian is the top seed.
Goran Ivanisevic will play doubles with Marin Cilic in Zagreb. Goran says his leg hurts but he's going to give it his best.
The women will be playing Fed Cup this weekend. Due to Henin's retirement junior An-Sophie Mestach will join the Belgian team.