Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player. - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

Where's the Real Women's No.1?
As the French Open Begins, There's Still No Sign of a Consistent World Best

By TOM PERROTTA

Paris—Women's tennis desperately wants to discover a convincing No. 1 player. The search is ongoing and leads are scarce.

At the French Open Monday, top seed Victoria Azarenka stumbled and screeched her way to a 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2 victory over Alberta Brianti, a 32-year-old Italian who is ranked No. 105 in the world. Azarenka missed often, made poor decisions and looked miffed as she took practice swings with her backhand, which accounted for 22 of her 60 unforced errors. She was one point from falling behind 5-0 in the second set when she hit a second serve ace on the line.

"I'm lucky," Azarenka said.


Zuma Press
Belarus's Victoria Azarenka looks dejected during her first-round match against Italy's Alberta Brianti in Paris on Monday.

Daily Fix

American Women at Home in Paris
Brianti has never won a match at the French Open (she's now 0-5). She has a 1-13 record against Top 20 players and she's 0-6 against the Top 10. She's hardly a striking presence on the court—5-foot-5 and 132 pounds—and hits first serves in the low 100 mph range. Her second serve barely breaks 70 mph, and she hasn't mastered the maddening topspin that helped her countrywoman, Francesca Schiavone, win this title in 2010. She's just the sort of player a No. 1 should stomp on, but Azarenka could not.

As she won the Australian Open earlier this year and took over the No. 1 ranking, Azarenka looked liked she might be the woman to break a long string of disappointing top players. She won her first 26 matches of the season, the longest streak to start a year in women's tennis since Martina Hingis in 1997.

And then came the clay court season. This spring, Azarenka has lost finals to Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, two former No. 1 players with multiple Grand Slam titles. Then she had to withdraw from her second-round match in Rome with a shoulder injury.

"It's much better," she said. "The pain went away, but I didn't have much time to prepare."

For the first two sets, it looked as if Azarenka hadn't played in years. She sprayed backhands long and into the net. She slumped her shoulders and stared at her feet. As she muddled along, she said she contemplated a 3 p.m. flight to Minsk, Belarus, the next day.

"Sometimes I thought, 'Yeah, maybe I still fight, I still have a chance,'" she said. "Sometimes it was like, 'You know what? Forget it. I don't want to do it.'"

It's as if there's a hex on the No. 1 ranking in women's tennis. Since Ana Ivanovic took the top spot by winning the 2008 French Open, no No. 1 has played up to the part.

Ivanovic dropped in the rankings and lost to a player ranked No. 188. Jelena Jankovic, the next No. 1, lost to an opponent ranked No. 124 and is now ranked No. 21. This spring, Jankovic lost her opening match in four straight clay-court tournaments; in her first-round match Monday, she beat Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, No. 85, in three sets after losing the opening set 6-1.

There's more. After Dinara Safina got to No. 1, she won three more titles and has since dropped off the Tour with injuries (she hasn't played in more than a year). Caroline Wozniacki held on to the top ranking for more than a year, but she's now No. 9 and searching for answers with a new coach, former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson, who was hired in the past few weeks. She hasn't won a title in nine months.

None of these players has won a Grand Slam title since reaching No. 1 and three of them have since lost to women ranked lower than No. 100.

Normally, a top player doesn't fade so quickly. Sharapova and Amelie Mauresmo, who just started consulting for Azarenka, each won almost 80% of their matches in the year after reaching No. 1. Each won two more major titles and Sharapova is a strong contender to win in Paris and beyond.

Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Serena and Venus Williams each won at least five titles and 86% of their matches in the year after reaching the top. And that's despite having to compete against one another.

If there's no hope for a consistent—never mind dominant—No. 1, at least there's perhaps a chance we'll see a woman who is consistently good, and maybe great, at one tournament. That woman? Li Na, the defending French Open champion.

Li didn't adapt well to the demands placed on her as the first person from China to win a major singles title: She said she wasted "half a year" just trying to find her game again.

"For me, always like up, down, up, down," she said. "It's tough for me to stay same level all the time."

In her last five tournaments, though, she has reached at least the quarterfinals, and she started on an up note in Paris Monday as she drubbed Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-1. If she wasn't so old—30—one might say she looked like a future No. 1. A real one.

—Carl Bialik contributed to this article.
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2012, 11:58 PM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

Talk about an overreaction after one poor match
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old May 28th, 2012, 11:59 PM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

100% true. The last real number one was Justine.

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trust me dear, if it wasn't for the wins against venus and serena, sloan wouldn't be relevant at all. because she always lose to non-black players then play lights out against blacks.
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 12:04 AM
Checked my facts before posting..
 
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

All this nonsense.... if Vika would have won the other two finals as well everybody would be crying how boring the tour has become with one player dominating everything.

This is so childish, what 9-year old writes articles like this?
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 12:05 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

Wall Street Journal??

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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 12:08 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

another thread about vika from you

get lost

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Well, at least Simona was able to beat Serena once, Maria... never good enough to do that.
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 12:09 AM
it's just me against the music.
 
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

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100% true. The last real number one was Justine.
Lol, no.

Serena 2009-2010.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 12:43 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

Wall Street Journal lacks a real reporter.

Caroline Wozniacki

Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 12:50 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

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Lol, no.

Serena 2009-2010.
+1

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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:00 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

Victoria need to establish the number 1 place.
No number 1 seed has won a grandslam since Serena 2010
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:06 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

Ridiculous article. Much as I dislike her, Azarenka is having a fantastic season (it's a better than Djokovic's thus far) and is fully deserving of the #1 ranking...




........until Maria wins the RG title
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:12 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

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Originally Posted by GO李娜 View Post
Victoria need to establish the number 1 place.
No number 1 seed has won a grandslam since Serena 2010
That could change this year. She's already won a grandslam so she probably feels less pressure than Wozniacki, Jankovic, and Safina did who got to number one without winning one.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:16 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

I'm not a fan of Azarenka at all but I think she's had a fantastic year so far. Very deserving.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:30 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

This is highly laughable. The girl won the AO and had the best run at the beggining of a season since Martina freaking Hingis. What a child this guy is.
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old May 29th, 2012, 01:41 AM
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Re: Wall Street Journal: Women's Tennis Lacks A Real Dominant Number One Player.

Not really the right time for this article

Serena Williams: I'm going for team Sharapova 'coz she's hot
CAREER GRAND SLAM.

Bring on all the pretenders. Someday, WE WILL BE REMEMBERED
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oudin is a great player she already beat maria i expect to do the same now
btw whos bolivia smith?
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