How do they decide who will get final, SFs, or QFs? I know about nationalities, but what else? Thank you!
Neutrality play a part, bu tht key factor is that to do a GS singles qf you must have at least a silver badge. To do a semi final and indeed the final you must have a Gold badge.
That and also good quality experience for over a vast period of time. There are four offocials on the WTA tour who would be considered strong enough to do a GS final. They are Eva Asderaki, Mariana Alves, Kerrilynn Cramer and Kadar Nouni. Maria Cejca, Tamara Vrhovec, Julia Minori and Lucy Grant while they hold gold badges are thought to be too inexperienced- so they are out of the equation - they would expect to be getting fourth round/quarter finals.
Generally the ITF like their officials to do the finals, and they have a pool of six working officials, they are Enric Molina, Jake Garner, Pascal Maria, Carlos Ramos, Louise Engzell and Allison Lang.
But in the past they have been happy to for experienced ATP and WTA officials to do GS finals.
So now to the neutrality issue. They like to have everything sorted at the close of the fourth round for who gets the semi and final. So they look at the draw and note the nationalities of the players. Then they look at the officials. If there is a match between a players nationality and an officia's nationality then that official is disallowed from doing the final. They may however get a quarter final or a semi final.
eg, Jo Wilfred Tsonga got knocked out in the fourth round, and there anre no other franchman in the draw at that time so Pascal Maria can do the final - he is elligible in this case. But if Tsonga had beaten Nishikori then because he would still have been in the draw Pascal would have been inelligible for the final.
Genrally they don't want to have the same umpire doing final after final so they take into account who has done what. E.g at the US Open last year Allison Lang could have been given the final but because she had done two GS finals in the season, and Louise Engzell had done the French they were out of the reckoning as there needed to be at least on WTA and one ATP officials chairing finals in a calandar year - hence Eva Asderaki got the final
The key clues to look at are therefore the nationalities and also the schedule, As it stands in Melbourne only two ladies would be able to do the final. They are Kerrilyn and Eva.
Kerrilyn hasn't had a ladies match since round 3, Eva did have a fourth round match - so it could be they will give Kerrilyn the semi final and either Alison/Louise the other semi. If someone has umpired a quarter final at GS they will not be elligable for the final in that tournament
The quarter finals in Melbourne are as follows
Kim Clijsters v Caroline Wozniacki = Allison Lang
Victoria Azarenka v Agnieska Radwanska = Mariana Alves
Maria Sharapova v Ekaterina Makarova = Leeanne White
Petra Kvitova v Sara Errani = Louise Engzell
So these four ladies can't do the final
Leaving the final between Kerrilynn Cramer and Eva Asderaki.
Other point to bear in mind is that Engzell could do the Kim v Victoria semi - but cannot do Maria v Petra as she chaired Petra's previous match