Fair enough about Chirico not really knowing that she would find herself in this position. It does show a lot of confidence for her to opt to play in Europe during the indoor season rather than play the string of USTA events and possibly get that WC. Also, with the $125K in Taiwan and then the $125K in Carlsbad, a lot of players could potentially pass Chirico. If I were to guess, I would say she will miss out on the MD. But I don't really want to keep going back and forth about her being in or not at this point, so let's just agree to disagree
I cannot say for sure if this was the first year that it was this high, however, I can say that with the big increases in qualifying prize money and prize money for the earlier rounds, I believe you should expect the cutoff numbers to be pretty similar to this going forward.
2014 the cutoff was around #222 - still 10 spots away from Asia. Well, Asia's scheduling has always been terrible. It's a big part of the reason why her singles career has never quite panned out. I finally liked this move by her to play these 6 events in Australia.
1 $15K (1R)
3 $25K (2R, 2R, SF)
2 $50K (W, SF)
She really left a lot of points on the table here. And my whole point about this is that she should have at least entered in this $125K. The fact that it is also in her home state is a bit of a
It really was not out of the realm of possibilities for her to pick up some big points during this swing considering Australian events are known to be pretty weak.
Honestly, I don't expect her to make the main draw. I get technical, and right now, she would be in. But I think her choice to stay in Europe was a good one, overall. Her loss to Witthoeft in Poitiers notwithstanding, which wasn't so bad in and of itself considering it was 7-5 in the third, it's possible she benefited more rankings-wise and money-wise by staying in France after Lux. Had she swept all three of the American circuit events, sh'ed have gotten about 22K and 240 pts in total. Granted, not super likely she would've won all three. But let's say she won one and got to the semis of the other two, which I'm sure would've ensured her WC into the AO. That earns her about 12k, and 138 points. She earned about 14K in France, and 124 points in Nantes and Limoges. Obviously what happened in the US would've depended on the draws and such, so those would be the minimum really required to have been better rankings-wise. But I think that Limgoes was probably her last event of the season. One thing I really noticed about Chirico's scheduling is that she really seems to want to prepare herself directly for the tour, not just play enough tournaments to get her ranking up or get awarded a WC. I mean that because, yeah, she did get the French Open wildcard via the challenger race, but the tour itself was on clay then. Looking at her schedule, she really played about an equal number of challengers and WTA events, but, I know this sounds strange, when she was playing challengers, it was like she wanted to mirror the WTA schedule. 25k Sunrise excluded, when she played challengers they reflected the Tour, not just convenience location-wise necessarily. The perfect example is at the end of the year here, where the tour is played indoors in Europe. Rather than go home and play outdoors, she stayed in Europe playing indoors. To me that's important, if any of that actually made sense
TOTALLY agree with what you said about Asia and her scheduling. It's been literally forever since I saw her play, because TC showed the Vegas challenger a while back because they sponsored it and Muhammad was featured at one point because she went to Agassi's academy in Nevada. Her forehand reminded me a bit of what Sloane's is like, and I was sure she was gonna be top 100 STAT. This was I believe '08, because she made the final that year, but it might have been '07. She's been all over the place since, and finally landed in the top 100 in doubles. And sure, she knows these challengers are weak, that's why she went there instead of losing early in all the US challengers, but I doubt that going very nearly outside the top 400, she had any expectations of raising her ranking enough that singles at the AO would even be in the equation. I think she was looking for a rankings boost, yes, but she's never been ranked high enough to get directly into GS qualifying, and she came out of all this with career high rankings in singles and doubles and the majority of her prize money for the year coming in the last three weeks. It's awesome, but I dunno, with there not being any top fifty players entering does that free up any WCs or does it just free up MD spots?