I'm one of those who last year derided Martina's titles at Doha and Dubai because she didn't play any of the players who were beating her to win either of them. They seemed obscure events when weak players went to pick up easy points. Venus Williams didn't pick p 4000 points in only 12 tournaments by playing the Dubai's and Doha's of the world.
That opinion was re-inforced this year, when I heard that Monica Seles was #2 seed at Dubai. An obvious continuance of last year's avoidance of the elite players by Monica. And who's the #1 seed ar Dubai this year?
Gee, maybe Martina was winning a real tennis tournament at Dubai last year. Maybe Monica's opponents at the end of last year were professionals too. maybe winning even ONE tennis tournament is very hard. Most pros don't ever win a WTA event.
If Venus wins Dubai, I don't I'll be saying, 'that one doesn't count'. So maybe they all count. But if nothing else, it's one more reminder to show respect when discussing people of such surpassing talent.
Jan 5th, 2002, 12:35 AM
Sure they all count volcana but some count for more than others. venus and serena have never been much concerned over points so maybe she just wants to check out a new country. A tournament win is a tournament win no matter the point scheme especially since she has the room to add a few more on.
Jan 5th, 2002, 12:48 AM
If Venus meets Monica in the finals of Dubai, that's a much tougher opponent than Martina faced last year. Regardless of the rankings, everyone knows that beating Monica is not an easy task. Who did Hingis play last year - Tauziat???
Jan 5th, 2002, 01:09 AM
Well put, Volcana.
What some people may not understand is that when a tournament commits to provide so much prize money, the WTA promises to deliver a certain number of high-caliber players. And the players, in exchange for bonus pool money and just in general to keep the whole system working, make a commitment to play a certain number of tournaments. If you look at the thread entitled "Gold Exempt Rules" under the "Statistics" category, you will see all the different commitments a top player must make. A first-time champion must defend their title, for example. Top players must play two tournaments they have not played in the last two years. They must play a certain number of Tier I and II tournaments.
When Dubai and Doha offered to have tournaments, the WTA basically promised them a top player. Last year, it was Martina who went; this year, it is Venus and Monica who are committed to go. (I'm not sure I want either of them travelling in the middle east this year, but that's a different question.)
So in general the players are trying to satisfy their commitments to the WTA, not to avoid other elite players.
Jan 5th, 2002, 01:50 AM
We must not forget that the only tournaments Venus and Serena participate at the same time are GS and Tier1 . otherwise, they try to split the tournaments. Dubai is a tier II (not bad!), and it is played right before State farm (tier II) and 2 Tier I (Indian Wells and Miami), on the same surface ...could be a good warm up for Venus! Sure they don't need preparation as much as the other players...but if Venus wants to be #1, I think she's doing the right commitments to get there faster! Even though, with a win at AO, she will probably be #1...can she?
Jan 5th, 2002, 05:28 AM
Winning any tournament is difficult. I'm sure Anna Kournikova for example would pay a high price indeed to win at Dubai.
I often think that the expectations we place on the top players - eg. Hingis - detract from the achievements the make every time they step onto court to win a match.
No match is ever a foregone conclusion and I for one cannot even begin to imagine the physical effort it must take to win matches week in week out.
Jan 5th, 2002, 06:00 AM
Its very honest of you Volcana to go back on your previous words :)
I was one of the people defending Martina at the time - well later - I wasn't on the boards till late April but it seemed to be a hot topic even then.
Anyhow- I'm glad to see such wellknown players as Monica and Venus going to these smaller tournaments to get a good warmup, and expose these nations to some top notch womens tennis.