Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WTA: Year-End Championships

Seven of the eight players entered into the WTA Championships
pose in Doha alongside the brand-new logo for the WTA.

Even though there are three former (and current) no. 1s and two 2010 Grand Slam winners in the mix, the field at the WTA Championships still seems to be somewhat lacking star power especially with the absences of Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Justine Henin. Also not in the mix are fan-favorites such as Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In any case, the following top-10 women who make up the elite eight are not too shabby in their own right and deserve the spot for a chance to win the final tournament of the year. And they are...

1. Caroline Wozniacki - While she didn't reach a Grand Slam final this year, she topped the tour in number of titles and became the 20th woman to be ranked #1.

Grand Slam Results: 4r, QF, 4r, SF
Titles: Tokyo, Beijing, Montreal, New Haven, Ponte Vedra Beach, Copenhagen
Runner-Up: Indian Wells

2. Vera Zvonareva - Now at career-high ranking of #2, she reached her first and second Grand Slam finals this year, but was unable to close the deal both times.

Grand Slam Results: 4r, 2r, F, F
Titles: Pattaya City
Runner-Up: Wimbledon, US Open, Montreal, Beijing, Charleston

3. Kim Clijsters - Made lots of noise in her first full year of her comeback by getting some nice hardcourt titles including her third US Open title.

Grand Slam Results: 3r, -, QF, W
Titles: US Open, Miami, Cincinnati, Brisbane
Runner-Up: N/A

4. Francesca Schiavone - Oldest player in the draw won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open, but took awhile to recover from win.

Grand Slam Results: 4r, W, 1r, QF
Titles: Roland Garros, Barcelona
Runner-Up: N/A

5. Samantha Stosur - Strong year for the Australian, who dominated at the French Open until losing in her very first Grand Slam final.

Grand Slam Results: 4r, F, 1r, QF
Titles: Charleston
Runner-Up: Roland Garros, Stuttgart

6. Jelena Jankovic - Relatively quiet and subdued year for the former no. 1, though posted good enough results to make her fourth consecutive year-end appearance.

Grand Slam Results: 3r, SF, 4r, 3r
Titles: Indian Wells
Runner-Up: Rome

7. Elena Dementieva - Veteran whose best years may be behind her, but with solid results, made her 10th showing at the year-end tournament, more than any player in the draw.

Grand Slam Results: 2r, SF, -, 4r
Titles: Paris, Sydney
Runner-Up: Tokyo, Kuala Lampur

8. Victoria Azarenka - Recovered fully from the freak concussion incident at this year's US Open, she became the last player entered after winning in Moscow.

Grand Slam Results: QF, 1r, 3r, 2r
Titles: Moscow, Stanford
Runner-Up: Dubai, Eastbourne

Injuries have plagued the tour for the whole year and it was even more troubling the second half of the year sidelining many top players. Even heading into this tournament, at least half of the eight players entered are nursing recent injuries which is why Li Na and Shahar Peer, who are both in Doha as alternates, shouldn't be too surprised if they're called to play this week.

Fun Fact #1: Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonareva both have a chance to end the year as the #1 ranked player in the world.

Fun Fact #2: Kim Clijsters is the only player to have a winning record against the rest of the field.

Fun Fact #3: Victoria Azarenka is the only player to not reach a Grand Slam final in her career. She is also the only player this year to not reach a SF or better at a Grand Slam tournament.

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