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Morrissey
May 28th, 2012, 10:51 PM
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.

Simugna Help
May 28th, 2012, 10:58 PM
Talk about an overreaction after one poor match :o

Roookie
May 28th, 2012, 10:59 PM
100% true. The last real number one was Justine.

Jimmie48
May 28th, 2012, 11:04 PM
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?

VIK!
May 28th, 2012, 11:05 PM
Wall Street Journal??

:rolleyes:

Charlatan
May 28th, 2012, 11:08 PM
:zzz: another thread about vika from you :zzz:

get lost

In The Zone
May 28th, 2012, 11:09 PM
100% true. The last real number one was Justine.

Lol, no.

Serena 2009-2010.

terjw
May 28th, 2012, 11:43 PM
Wall Street Journal lacks a real reporter.

it-girl
May 28th, 2012, 11:50 PM
Lol, no.

Serena 2009-2010.+1

GO李娜
May 29th, 2012, 12:00 AM
Victoria need to establish the number 1 place.
No number 1 seed has won a grandslam since Serena 2010

dsanders06
May 29th, 2012, 12:06 AM
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 :oh:

sweetadri06
May 29th, 2012, 12:12 AM
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.

Mrs. Dimitrova
May 29th, 2012, 12:16 AM
I'm not a fan of Azarenka at all but I think she's had a fantastic year so far. :shrug: Very deserving.

CameronCopper
May 29th, 2012, 12:30 AM
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.

gc-spurs
May 29th, 2012, 12:41 AM
Not really the right time for this article

faboozadoo15
May 29th, 2012, 12:45 AM
This article is completely out of left field. Aside from a few matches, Vika has been bringing it all year long, more consistently and better than anyone else. Like it or not, she's been a pretty good #1 considering all the extra pressure she had after winning AO.

Queenpova
May 29th, 2012, 12:56 AM
Which Makes The Tour Better

miffedmax
May 29th, 2012, 01:01 AM
Yes. This is the first time in the history of the WTA a top ranked player has struggled in the first round of a tournament.

faboozadoo15
May 29th, 2012, 01:14 AM
Yes. This is the first time in the history of the WTA a top ranked player has struggled in the first round of a tournament.

And had 3 losses in the season so far.

pav
May 29th, 2012, 01:17 AM
I don't get all this shit about a "dominant"number one! Why would you want to know who is going to win every week,except for an odd upset:confused: Talk about boring, had some of that in the past, not again I hope.

Dani12
May 29th, 2012, 01:21 AM
What the funk? What a joke of an article, do some research chump..Azarenka is having an exellent season. Worthy of holding the top spot.

Jane Lane
May 29th, 2012, 01:28 AM
How have his thread starting privileges not been revoked yet? Eff everything, you've got my TWAT vote. Provided I'm here to actually vote for TWAT. :oh:

tkutsaar
May 29th, 2012, 01:28 AM
I’ve always thought the Wall Street Journal was a good political and business newspaper, and I had no idea that they had a sports section. After reading this article presumably written on their pages, I guess I was right: they really don’t have a sports section.

darrinbaker00
May 29th, 2012, 01:29 AM
I don't get all this shit about a "dominant"number one! Why would you want to know who is going to win every week,except for an odd upset:confused: Talk about boring, had some of that in the past, not again I hope.

Why would I want to know who's going to win every week?

http://www.betonline.com/

That's why. ;)

AnomyBC
May 29th, 2012, 01:43 AM
Wall Street Journal lacks a real reporter.

So true. :lol:

(Although in this case, they're right.)

AnomyBC
May 29th, 2012, 01:45 AM
I’ve always thought the Wall Street Journal was a good political and business newspaper, and I had no idea that they had a sports section. After reading this article presumably written on their pages, I guess I was right: they really don’t have a sports section.

It hasn't been a good political newspaper since Murdoch bought it. It's all ultra-conservative hacks now. (It was conservative even before that, but not like this.)

tennisbum79
May 29th, 2012, 01:49 AM
So, this is where the WSJ is putting its talents, in women tennis.
No wonder banking executives on Wall Street are geting away with unethical business practices and none of the financial publications, including, the once reputable and premiere business bible of finance and business, WSJ, have a clue

tennisbum79
May 29th, 2012, 01:52 AM
Wall Street Journal lacks a real reporter.
No surprise there, they are now owned by News Corps; they're still working on perfecting phone hacking in the US

*JR*
May 29th, 2012, 01:54 AM
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....

How about if just "one teeny tiny time", this board questions the premise behind a tennis article, not just what it implies about whatever individual player one likes or dislikes? :scratch:

Because if you folks did, you'd realize the obvious counterpoint: that great rivalries "make" a sport. In womens' tennis, Evert - Navratilova was the most famous, though Graf - Seles might have been right up with them if not for Parche.

In the (recent) men's game, Sampras - Agassi yielded to Fedex - Nadal, now with the Djoker pulling ahead. Of course the Connors - Borg - McEnroe - Lendl - Becker era didn't exactly hurt the game. (It could be argued that its better to have more than just 2 "top dogs" @ a given time).

Other sports provide ample examples that I'll skip to keep this brief. But either the writer is an idiot, or whoever in the WTA brass is (if his article reflects their actual views, which is hard to know without more evidence; it could have just been an agent who was his source).

Hell, one would think the Wall Street Journal would show some elementary understanding of just the economic value to something involving purely "discretionary spending" of rivalries. I wouldn't automatically accept what they say about anything. :shrug:



I don't get all this shit about a "dominant"number one! Why would you want to know who is going to win every week,except for an odd upset:confused: Talk about boring, had some of that in the past, not again I hope.

Sorry, @ least :shout: one other person here did stop and consider this too.

================================================== ============

faboozadoo15
May 29th, 2012, 02:00 AM
Why would I want to know who's going to win every week?

http://www.betonline.com/

That's why. ;)

That would be great for you, personally, however if everyone knew, you'd hardly win any money, and you'd lose much more to the occasional upset.

SymphonyX
May 29th, 2012, 02:08 AM
You can always install Serena as World No. 1 and have her keep it until she retires.

...Or you can always install Wozniacki as a placeholder World No. 1 and go back to the shitstorm dark ages of the WTA.

HRHoliviasmith
May 29th, 2012, 02:22 AM
I’ve always thought the Wall Street Journal was a good political and business newspaper, and I had no idea that they had a sports section. After reading this article presumably written on their pages, I guess I was right: they really don’t have a sports section.

WSJ has been shit garbage since Rupert Murdoch bought it. It's like Fox News in print.

As for the article: :zzz:

miffedmax
May 29th, 2012, 02:53 AM
WSJ has been shit garbage since Rupert Murdoch bought it. It's like Fox News in print.

As for the article: :zzz:

Stop saying stuff I agree with!

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/5/19/1305805262592/End-of-the-world-007.jpg

DefyingGravity
May 29th, 2012, 03:16 AM
....Victoria has been dominant.

She, Sharapova, Radwanska, and Serena have ALL been dominant for a matter of fact. Not very many other players are winning big titles outside of those four:

Sydney, AO, IW - Azarenka
Charleston, Madrid - Serena
Stuttgart, Rome - Sharapova
Miami - Radwanska

There aren't very many other big titles. And I mean, Kvitova and Li haven't had tremendously bad seasons either. Remember that Kvitova reached the semis of Sydney, Stuttgart and the Australian Open despite having some disasters in her favorite country (USA). And aside from Li's loss to Clijsters in the AO, she's done pretty damn well too.

Article clearly is exaggerating and written a year too late.

pov
May 29th, 2012, 03:29 AM
What utter crap. Azarenka is 23-3 (88%) since gaining the #1 rank. Plus, ugly as it might have been, she won the match against Brianti.

Wiggly
May 29th, 2012, 03:48 AM
They day someone is dominant they'll call it boring.

On the other hand, the ATP can be a one-man show or a hot mess and it's all good.

mykarma
May 29th, 2012, 03:56 AM
How about if just "one teeny tiny time", this board questions the premise behind a tennis article, not just what it implies about whatever individual player one likes or dislikes? :scratch:

Because if you folks did, you'd realize the obvious counterpoint: that great rivalries "make" a sport. In womens' tennis, Evert - Navratilova was the most famous, though Graf - Seles might have been right up with them if not for Parche.

In the (recent) men's game, Sampras - Agassi yielded to Fedex - Nadal, now with the Djoker pulling ahead. Of course the Connors - Borg - McEnroe - Lendl - Becker era didn't exactly hurt the game. (It could be argued that its better to have more than just 2 "top dogs" @ a given time).

Other sports provide ample examples that I'll skip to keep this brief. But either the writer is an idiot, or whoever in the WTA brass is (if his article reflects their actual views, which is hard to know without more evidence; it could have just been an agent who was his source).

Hell, one would think the Wall Street Journal would show some elementary understanding of just the economic value to something involving purely "discretionary spending" of rivalries. I wouldn't automatically accept what they say about anything. :shrug:



Sorry, @ least :shout: one other person here did stop and consider this too.

================================================== ============
Since this is a women's tennis board how could you forget Venus - Martina, Serena - Cappy, Serena - Justine and for grins putting Lindsay in the mix. Of course I can't recall Lindsay and anyone having great dislike for each other.

Vuvurenka
May 29th, 2012, 04:06 AM
So what, Azarenka has been winning tons of titles so far and they still do not consider her to be a worthy No.1? So who do you want, Wozniacki instead?

Azarenka has been a way better No.1 so far than few of her predecessors in the recent years ffs bar Serena

marineblue
May 29th, 2012, 05:21 AM
You can always install Serena as World No. 1 and have her keep it until she retires.

...Or you can always install Wozniacki as a placeholder World No. 1 and go back to the shitstorm dark ages of the WTA.

Or you can have a placeholder called Azarenka who is not recognised even after winning a slam and most fans cheer for her to lose.

Maddox
May 29th, 2012, 05:38 AM
Wall Street Journal should just stick to business :o

Stupid article

pav
May 29th, 2012, 05:39 AM
Why would I want to know who's going to win every week?

http://www.betonline.com/

That's why. ;)
That is one reason:lol:but the odds would go down:sad:

NashaMasha
May 29th, 2012, 05:41 AM
So what, Azarenka has been winning tons of titles so far and they still do not consider her to be a worthy No.1? So who do you want, Wozniacki instead?

Azarenka has been a way better No.1 so far than few of her predecessors in the recent years ffs bar Serena


the problem is following:

for instance in pole vault Sergei Bubka was jumping 6,15 and made 35 times WR, since then who are all this champions and is there any interest to this sport? Guys are jumping 6meters once in 2 years , and for gold medal 5.90 is almost always enough

The same story is in WTA , because after great generation we got the weakest ever generation without any dominant figure , in which winner is chosen among those who are training more and are not injured

TennisFan66
May 29th, 2012, 07:13 AM
WSJ has been shit garbage since Rupert Murdoch bought it. It's like Fox News in print.

As for the article: :zzz:

+1 .. It's noticeable to even casual readers the once drilled-in integrity and high quality has been replaces by a desire to sensationalize .. It's truly sad.

Now also filled with indifferent sporting articles. This one must have been rejected by 'The Sun' as being too silly, yet ends up in The Journal.

And a whole article built around Azarenka almost losing her R1. It rivals internet message boards for a complete over-the-top drama queen over-reaction :rolleyes:

Direwolf
May 29th, 2012, 07:13 AM
100% true. The last real number one was Justine.

Serena after her
Kim after Serena

stromatolite
May 29th, 2012, 07:52 AM
Vika hasn't worked out how to play on clay yet, but that often takes even very good players a while. I don't think she's going to go far at RG this year, but who knows, she may well win it further down the line. People should cut her a bit of slack I think.

Foxy
May 29th, 2012, 08:00 AM
The person who wrote this article is ABSOLUTELY right. There isn't one dominate player on the tour right now. Just look how many different people have won the grands slams for the past two years. Last year alone you had 4 different women to win all of the grand slams.

And Caroline and those who played all year around to keep the #1 title and never won a grand slam was a joke too.

Miracle Worker
May 29th, 2012, 08:15 AM
With rivalry between Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray (according McEnroe the best tennis player ever without slam) is like Shakespeare. And womens tennis sometimes is like soap opera.

One of the biggest Polish newspaper :oh:

LUVMIRZA
May 29th, 2012, 08:27 AM
Thats one of the worst articles:lol: Vika won 4 titles including a Grand Slam, reached the finals of two biggest clay tournaments. Miami was the only tournament she got eliminated before the finals. She has the second best Season start winning streak . If they cant see all these things she did this year, they are simply biased as the #1 player is not from US.

C. Drone
May 29th, 2012, 09:39 AM
The person who wrote this article is ABSOLUTELY right. There isn't one dominate player on the tour right now. Just look how many different people have won the grands slams for the past two years. Last year alone you had 4 different women to win all of the grand slams.

And Caroline and those who played all year around to keep the #1 title and never won a grand slam was a joke too.



moving goalposts, I see.

goldenlox
May 29th, 2012, 09:58 AM
Vika is holding the only major of 2012 and is 36-3 this year. 4 titles, 6 finals
Who else deserves #1 right now?
I used to think Woz bashing was stupidity, but I guess people just look for something to criticize, reason or not.

ivanban
May 29th, 2012, 10:12 AM
Since when is Wall Street Journal a tennis powerhouse newspaper :confused:

And why is it good to have one out of this world player instead of what we have on ATP with Djok, Fed, Rafa and Murray?! :scratch:

Brena
May 29th, 2012, 10:17 AM
They're right. WTA has been in a crisis ever since Jankovic got bored with tennis. :(