Friday, October 29, 2010

WTA: YEC Semifinals Set; Dementieva Retires

After twelve round-robin matches, four ladies moved through to the semifinal stages at the WTA Championships. Along the way a player clinched the year-end #1 ranking while another said goodbye to professional tennis.

By winning at least two matches, top seed Caroline Wozniacki secured her first ever year-end #1 ranking. The only round-robin match she lost was against Samantha Stosur who took the top spot in the Maroon Group heading into the semifinals. In the White Group, Vera Zvonerava went undefeated taking the top spot while Kim Clijsters, only losing to Zvonareva, took the last semis berth. Zvonareva will now face Wozniacki while Stosur will take on Clijsters. The winners will face each other in the finals for the last big title of the year.

Among those left behind, only Jelena Jankovic was unable to win a match. In fact she failed to even win a set in three matches! Victoria Azarenka and Francesca Schiavone managed to get a win on the last day of the round-robin matches.

Finally, veteran Elena Dementieva announced her retirement from competitive tennis after losing to Schiavone earlier today. The 29-year-old Olympic gold medalist made the semifinals or better in all the Grand Slam tournaments including two finals. She was the epitome of hard work and class as she stayed in the upper echelons of tennis for the better part of the decade (top 20 for 524 of last 529 weeks). It was so easy to root for her and unfortunately part of her legacy will consist of the title "Best Player to Never Have Won a Grand Slam Title," but I hope that's not all she would be remembered for. In any case, she will be greatly missed and hope we see her in some tennis capacity in the very near future.

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