Sunday, November 3, 2013

Best of the Rest

by Savannah

Simona Halep Sofia Nov 2 2013 via WTA photo f5bd6281-72ef-4939-b8e0-50ea82d1f56c_zpsb3d51095.jpg

I thought from the beginning that the tournament of the also rans was a dumb idea. Then I thought that maybe it wasn't such a dumb idea since it gave the women who play and win on the International level do deserve a chance to shine so I backed off criticizing the idea of the tournament.

After the shenanigans of this year I've reached a different conclusion: the tournament is being used to give WTA favorites a chance to win something pushing it's original raison d'être to the background.

Lucie Šafářová should've been among the eight women who journeyed to Sofia. Instead Ana Ivanovic, who has won...nothing this year on any level was granted a Wild Card. A wild card into a tournament where only the deserving are supposed to play for the trophy. Yes I know there was another wild card granted to Tsvetana Pironkova but I can half way understand that the Federation of the country where the event is taking place would demand one of its own be part of the field, especially since a WC was granted to someone who had no business being there. Lucie did win Quebec after all.

But I digress. While the male dominated tennis press drooled over Ana the real cream of the field went pretty much unremarked upon. Simona Halep, the Romanian the tennis press ignores in favor of Sorana Cirstea had won five titles coming into Sofia and she's the one everyone should've been looking at. Most serious fans of the game who don't think with their little head (or don't have a little head to think with) were talking about Simona though.

It amazes me that people still spill gallons of cyber ink on Ivanovic who wasn't playing well before she dropped so much weight. Because of all the smoke that's been blown up Ana's ass by TD's and tennis "journalists" she's never been forced to have to rethink and improve her game. She's pretty much playing the same way she did years ago barely acknowledging that the game has changed, that the skill set required to be at the top of the sport has changed. But she keeps getting soft draws and manages to win a few matches before being eliminated from contention. It's just like a parent coddling a child. Said child will have to step out of the nest and find out the world doesn't think the sun rises and sets on his or her head. Chaos often ensues afterward.

With her win in Sofia Halep has won a total of six titles this year and will be ranked #11. Ivanovic is currently ranked #16.

I think that Halep, if she remains injury free has a chance at wreaking havoc among the players ranked 4 to 10. A lot will depend on how she handles the transition from the hunter to the hunted.


There were no shenanigans like those surrounding the WTA YEC and Angelique Kerber when it came to the ATP WTF in London. The top eight men made it and it was based solely on ranking. It's the little things that matter when it comes to running an organization. The ATP is considered classier because publicly it is. No one expects an association to flaunt its rules so that a favorite will get into its championship tournament. When it comes to the WTA however it's pretty much the wild west when it comes to rules. Don't like one? Wait a minute and the rule will be violated without a second thought. In case you don't know who made it into the WTF here are the eight in their groups.

Group A

N. Djokovic (SRB)
J. del Potro (ARG)
R. Federer (SUI)
R. Gasquet (FRA)

Group B

R. Nadal (ESP)
D. Ferrer (ESP)
T. Berdych (CZE)
S. Wawrinka (SUI)

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