October 12, 2007
A fifth slot in the WTA Tour's year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships was sewn up this week – after reaching the semifinals of the Tier I event in Moscow, Serena Williams essentially guaranteed herself a spot amongst the top 8 finishers in the race to the championships.
That leaves three of the eight berths still in play, though Venus Williams' performance in Bangkok this week makes it extremely likely that she'll soon qualify as well. The same goes for Anna Chakvetadze, who lost early this week but retains enough of a lead to still be in a very good position.
Maria Sharapova's first-round loss in Moscow raises some questions about her ability to hold on in the top 8 and perhaps even about whether she'll be able to compete in the championships if she qualifies. She'll be the player to watch next week in Zurich. A good result could clinch her a spot but if she loses early, Daniela Hantuchova will still have a chance to squeeze her out by reaching a couple of finals.
Here's the outlook ahead of the Tier I event in Zurich next week:
OUT OF CONTENTION AFTER MOSCOW*
Vaidisova, Mauresmo, Schnyder, Peer
CAN CLINCH A SPOT IN ZURICH**
Venus, Chakvetadze, Sharapova – if they can outlast Hantuchova
CAN BE ELIMINATED FROM CONTENTION IN ZURICH
Hantuchova, Bartoli, Dementieva
Simply Stunning, Simply Serena
57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1
Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus)