Missing players disastrous for image of women's tennis
I don't think most people on here realise how terrible it really is.
Men's tennis has its problems right now, with no one really threatening Federer. Still, he and his main "rivals" Nadal and Roddick will be at Indian Wells, as will be all the young guns (Murray, Djokovic, Gasquet et al.), making it an event that's guaranteed to have excitement and some great matches.
Women's tennis is in much deeper shit though.
We have a GS winner who, after being out for several months, returns steamrolling the rest of the field, only to vanish again.
We have arguably the best player on the tour right now and in the past few years who has just won two titles, yet she will miss the second biggest event of the year so far, after missing the first one as well.
And we have the current holder of two GS titles, firmly belonging in the top 4 players in the world, who will be absent as well.
Is it too bold to predict that the women's event will play second fiddle to the men in IW and be another anti-advertisement for the WTA?
As I said before, we need Serena vs. Justine, just like the ATP needs Federer vs. Nadal. They played many memorable matches last year, and not only at the Slams. This was possible because they actually played the same events (gasp!), and partly because the ATP system encourages them to do so.
But you can count the tournaments that will have both Justine and Serena in the draw on one hand, or maybe less.
Without any rivalries, women's tennis is doomed. Right now there are none because the top-players keep missing the biggest events. To them, the term "Tier I winner" is just as prestigious as it sounds - not at all. And that's a pathetic effort from all sides.