The problem is how are you deciding this list exactly. You have named someone who is #16 in the world on this list. So are you judging on perceived level you think they should be at, playing to their best etc? Because most small tournaments would like Ivanovic world number 16 in their tournament with a big fan base. The problem then is it comes subjective, you are judging how you expect your players to be playing, how are you judging if a player is putting in sincere, professional effort? The WTA can't really be subjective like this, they just have to accept whatever comes.
Also tbf do the WTA really make excuses for these players? They big them up or make them sound like they are doing better than they are, but it's in their interests to do that. It comes back to when your brought this up when Suarez Navarro beat Caro, it was still the biggest "upset" so to speak involving a name player that day (even if it wasn't the biggest actual surprise). So what are the WTA to really do? They want to put the focus on Suarez Navarro's performance, so it's not in their interests to say Caro was awful and gave up in the 2nd set is it. It's not like the losing players are going to be paying any attention to the WTA's summary articles either, they would probably prefer the match was just mentioned in 1 line at the bottom of the page with the result.
You're absolutely right that it's subjective and only empirical with regard to a few facts,but that's a cop-out,really.Sports CONSTANTLY use subjective judgments: The strike zone in baseball;what does/doesn't constitute a foul in AF,basketball or ice hockey;and if a player is grunting too loudly or not in tennis.Why not have a small panel of experts/consultants to solve the problem?They could have 7 ex-players--a couple hard-asses,a couple softies,and three that are sort of middle-of-the-road.If a majority felt that a player was half-assing,then she would go on the Shit List
To answer your question: YES,the WTA absolutely coddles Ana and Lisicki,playing along and pretending that every B.S. injury claim was life-threatening.I recall when Ana embarrassed the sport--not by LOSING to Vinci,but by putting forth a no-class effort at the Rogers Cup that cheated the ticket-paying fans out of their money.A hack even tossed Ana a softball after the match,and she said,unequivocally,that she was perfectly fine,health-wise.Three days later,as the heat built up,she and her scummy team suddenly "discovered" a foot fracture to justify the loss....and I'll bet you that nothing was said to the AI camp by the WTA.
Summarizing matches really wouldn't be too difficult at all;the WTA should just cut back on the absurd hyperbolic style.For example,they could simply mention that Julie Coin's highest-ranked scalp was at the USO back in 2008...without couching it to make it seem as if she had beaten peak Graf,Seles or Serena.You wouldn't have to insult Ana AT ALL;however,by having a more understated recount of the match,it'd be implicitly clear that THAT upset over a world #1 wasn't anywhere near like what happened when,say,Peter Doohan knocked off Boris Becker at Wimbledon...or when Lori McNeil upset Graf in a Wimby 1st-rounder(though McNeil was a better player than Coin,Graf was LIGHT YEARS better than AI,so it evens out
To conclude,I don't think that the WTA really needs Ana....or any particular slutty piece of eye candy that much.Let's say that Bouchard suddenly became a young force in the WTA(just speculating here)...and then Ana retired and decided to join Vaidisova and Stepanek in an aimless,coke-snorting threesome.As Bouchard gained respect with her victories...and drew attention with her looks...would there be ANY big drop-off in revenue with Eugenie instead of AI??The Serb barely ever makes a QF anymore and is LONG GONE by the 2nd week of every Slam.Bouchard might even develop a bigger fanbase if she found consistent success,as opposed to a flukish 12-month period that was offset by a lifetime of fringe-Top 15 to fringe-Top 20 tennis...and there are countless other young beauties who could help with marketing...some of whom,like Vika and Masha,are multi-Slam champions.As with Serena's USO punishments,NO ONE should be treated as 'bigger than the sport' just because they draw in some casual,horny male fans.
P.S.: With Caroline's good physical fitness level,I don't think that she'd get on the Shit List unless she began visibly tanking matches on a regular basis(God forbid