View Full Version : Auckland tournament now targeting Dementieva

Aug 14th, 2007, 09:32 AM

Tennis: Slip needed to get top woman player

5:00AM Thursday August 09, 2007
By David Leggat (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/author/index.cfm?a_id=42)

One top Russian wanted to come but can't; another is keen to front up, and might; and organisers are chasing a third big name for next year's international women's tournament in Auckland.

World No 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, got her wires crossed when she expressed a desire to play in January's ASB Classic.

Under WTA rules, no top 10 player can play in the US$145,000 Tier 4 tournament until a rule change which kicks in for the 2009 event.

But world No 9 Nadia Petrova was a semifinalist in Auckland last year, and wanted to return for this year's event. However Petrova, two-time French Open semifinalist and four-times a Grand Slam quarter-finalist, was rubbed out by the regulations, but if she slips outside the top 10 she's a good chance as she's known to like the tournament.

And world No 13 Elena Dementieva is a firm target for tournament organiser Richard Palmer when he heads off to the US Open in New York later this month.

She has not been to Auckland but, as a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist and quarter-finalist, armed with blond catwalk looks, she would be a drawcard.

"She's definitely one of our targets," Palmer said yesterday, adding he will meet her agent in New York.

There had been a bid to secure this year's winner, Jelena Jankovic, again.
There was an understanding that defending champions would return to the scene of their victory the next year.

That's now gone and even though Jankovic, who has risen to No 3 in the world and won four singles titles this year, is known to be superstitious and keen to repeat a winning formula, the chances are almost nil that the 22-year-old Serb will be back in January.

The Classic organisers had four top 20 players this year - Russians Anastasia Myskina, whose year has been ruined by injury and has played only two matches, Jankovic, French player Marion Bartoli (No 11) and Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova (10).

The last three have all jumped up the rankings since the Classic.
Hopes are high that the Classic will go close to repeating that turnout in five months' time when anyone from No 11 downwards can be approached.

But after next year's event, the gloves are off and they can approach any player.

Aug 14th, 2007, 09:39 AM
Its a silly rule that Top10 players cant play tournaments that they want to.

It's not harming them if they want to play, and it means that the tennis spectators get to see Top10 players.

Aug 14th, 2007, 11:51 AM
"blond catwalk looks."

Except most models can't hold a candle to Lena D.

Aug 14th, 2007, 01:35 PM
I think it would be better for lena to play Aukland instead of Sydney before AO. Playing Sydney before Australia has never really worked for her, like in 2005 i really thought she could have gone deep in AO, then she played Sydney and had to give a walkover in the SF because she got sun stroke.

Mateo Mathieu
Aug 14th, 2007, 03:04 PM
They don't recognised her as a two-time Grand Slam finalist :lol:

Aug 14th, 2007, 03:42 PM
im just hating these stupid rules arghhhhhh! let nadia play where she wants!

Aug 14th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Can you imagine Auckland with Kuznetsova, Petrova, AND Dementieva in the field? Granted, I thoroughly enjoy 2/3 there, but unless Henin or a sister showed up in Sydney, I think most people would rather go to Auckland than Sydney with such a strong field. Although I could just be overestimating the importance of my own favorites and Kuzzie's ranking.

Either way, it'd be amazing for Auckland to get any of them. It's just weird to think of Elena being eligible to play a TIV. :sad: