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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Drama Queens<br />The Women's Tour Had Its Share of Controversy

<br />By The B Man<br />Outsports Tennis Correspondent

There was controversy at nearly every turn in women’s tennis this year, and the end of the season proved no different. Shortly after accusing Venus Williams of faking an injury to pull out of the final event of the year, Lindsay Davenport defaulted with an injury in the final of the same event. Shades of Indian Wells? Kinda, yeah … And the weird thing: Serena Williams was the winner by default on both occasions.

Lindsay still became No. 1, on the strength of her consistent play over the course of the year, and a panel of experts substantiated Venus’s injury. So all ended happily in WTA-land.

Or did it?

Davenport? We like her, but No. 1? That’d be on Miss Jennifer Capriati, thank you very much. Folks in the tennis world—and on Outsports Discussion Board—have been buzzing all season long about the wacky ranking system, which had seen Martina Hingis sit atop the world for a good part of the year despite having rather lackluster results. Now that Lindsay, not Jenny, has been named No. 1, the WTA tour has overhauled its ranking system for 2002. It’s about time.

Capriati, our preseason No. 4, earns our No. 1 spot for the year 2001 on the strength of her Grand Slam record alone. Capriati won both the Australian and French Opens and reached the sem’s of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, as well. Impressive. We also list her at No. 1 because she played an integral role in reviving interest—and viewership—in the sport. And she played with great athleticism and aggression in the process.

Venus Williams is our No. 2. Just as we predicted at the beginning of the year, Venus was able to repeat as Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion. With an astonishing four additional titles, Venus has been hailed by some sportswriters and fellow players as the year’s true No. 1. Essentially a part-time player, Venus seems to be able to make the most with her limited appearances, as in the case of her Wimbledon and U.S. Open successes, which both made sports history.

Lindsay Davenport finishes as our No. 3. Lindsay won seven titles in 2001. She was a semifinalist at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon, where she lost in both instances to the eventual champion. We’d like to see Lindsay stay healthy and develop more confidence in 2002. If there’s a player that can challenge both Capriati and V. Williams, it’s Davenport. Based on how strongly she finished the season in 2001 (she won three consecutive events before withdrawing from her final with Serena at the Sanex Championships), Lindsay might be the woman to beat Down Under in January 2002.

Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin tie as our No. 4. We ranked Henin No. 10 in our preseason rankings and didn’t rank Clijsters at all. Both women have won three titles in 2001, which is not an easy feat. More importantly, both women made auspicious Grand Slam final debuts in 2001: Clijsters lost the French Open title to Capriati by a narrow margin (Clijsters actually won more points in the championship match that Jenny) and Henin played surprisingly well against Venus Williams at Wimbledon. Clijsters and Henin also partnered to win Belgium it’s first Fed Cup title in nearly 40 years. And finally, with breakthrough wins over Capriati, V. Williams, Davenport, and Hingis between them, these two young Belgian players made a significant impact on women’s tennis in 2001. A Grand Slam in final in 2002 pitting Clijsters and Henin against each other seems apropos, deserved, and, perhaps, inevitable…

The Best of the Rest

Martina Hingis. Our preseason No. 1 did reach the Oz final, and was a semifinalist at the French and US Opens. She has three titles on the year, too. <br />Serena Williams. Started the year poorly, but finished very well, reaching the U.S. Open final (beating Henin, Davenport, and Hingis along the way) and winning three tournaments overall. <br />Monica Seles. An Outsports fan favorite, Monica won four events this year, although they weren’t the most competitive tournaments on the tour. Nevertheless, in 2001 Monica did score important wins over Capriati, Hingis, and S. Williams to maintain her status as a premiere player on the tour. <br />Amelie Mauresmo. She should have won the French Open, as she was the scourge of the clay courts in the spring. In her campaign to win four titles this year, she demonstrated incredible strength and consistency. We hope she continues to compliment her power game with more heady play in 2002. <br />Jelena Dokic. Won her first title in 2001, and then two more. Jelena was on a roll at the end of 2001, but kept rolling into Davenport, whose game Jelena just hasn’t figured out yet. Still, with three respectable tournament titles behind her, Jelena has certainly arrived.

[ December 03, 2001: Message edited by: Czechfan ]</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No earth shattering news in it, I agree with most of it, Except I would rank Venus # 1 ahead of Jennifer, but I can understand people going the othe way....
 

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I'm with Czechfan here. I think the article pretty well assesses the best players of the year. I certainly hope that Henin and Clijsters are able to build on their success this year. It is still unbelievable to me that Kim was only two points from winning her first major title!!

Good luck to all ladies next season! <img src="graemlins/wavey.gif" border="0" alt="[Wavey]" />
 
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