It does seem a bit bizarre. But, the past couple of years she has started off the season really well and then tired herself out. So, perhaps she's trying to schedule differently so that that doesn't happen. I think it's positive, because it shows that she's concerned more with winning tournaments than getting the #1 ranking back again.
Saki: Martina always does well again at the year end indoor tournaments. I hope that when she altered her schedule, she did pace the tournaments out well But it is true that she seems tired out in the middle of the year sometimes, so I guess it's a good move.
these are really surprsing moves from martina but a good one for that matter, she probably learned from what happened in the past...so now she's taking more time off to improve her game, men, i really hope she improves her serve... and i hope this works out the way she wants to...
Williams_Rulez - yes, you're right about Martina doing well at the end of the year. But she really does seem to tire out during the hardcourt season, and I'm not convinced that she's ever played up to her potential at RG (maybe 1997).
I knew she was skipping Amelia island but didn't realise she was going to skip her final appearance in Charleston. Interesting. Well, it will give Venus considerably more competition than she had last year to defend her Hamburg title against.
It is possible she felt a lot of pressure at #1 when people were constantly saying she didn't deserve it. She may feel she needs a Slam title before she focuses on the top ranking again. She knows her schedule can keep her Top 5 (especially with Lindsay, Kim and Serena injured so much lately).
It's definitely a good move. Apparently she has learned she has to forget about the rankings and concentrate on doing well at the slams, and she knows that of the 3 remaining slams the FO is by far her best shot.
I deeply disagreed last year when she chose to play those tournaments, they are somehow dettached from the rest of the tour, normally the tournaments have a value not only by the touranment itself but also as a preparation for the most important events (the Grand Slams of course) and that's why there are normally a serie of events on the same surface before each Gs. Somehow, Amelie Island and FCC are only events to pick up points, since no other touranaments are played on green clay (Saratosa is but it doesn't count), it's true there are not many events on grass but there is one that counts: Wimbledon.
I think she definitely realized that overscheduling wasn't helping her, she skipped Dubai and Doha where she was defending champion points and now will skip those two tournaments. That definitely excludes her from the # 1 ranking race until at least after Wimbledon, but she knows that if she wins a GS the # 1 ranking will come as a natural consequence, not the other way around.
how do u know that martina is playing at eastbourne? i truly hope that u are right, cause i've always wanted martina to play eastbourne - IMO that would be much better practice than going straight to Wimbledon from Roland Garros....