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Belgians, Serena set for year-end WTA showdown
Thu Sep 4, 9:02 PM ET Add Sports - AFP to My Yahoo!



NEW YORK (AFP) - World number one Kim Clijsters, French Open (news - web sites) winner Justine Henin-Hardenne and six-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams (news - web sites) have clinched berths in the WTA Championships, the tour announced.


AFP Photo



The season-ending showdown in Los Angeles features the year's eight top players based on a year-long points system.


Belgians Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne have each won a tour-best six titles this year to secure their places while Williams, who is recovering from knee surgery and might miss the event anyway, won Wimbledon (news - web sites) and the Australian Open (news - web sites).


"I can't wait to get to Los Angeles and defend my title," Clijsters said.


Americans Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams (news - web sites) and Jennifer Capriati are next on the points list, with Williams also absent from the US Open being played here because of an injury.


France's Amelie Mauresmo and American Chanda Rubin own the final two spots in the current rankings, but Rubin's first-round exit could leave her vulnerable to the nearest rivals on the list -- Russians Elena Dementieva and Vera Zvonereva and Japan's Ai Sugiyama.
 

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Not pre-mature, it never said any of the players would def. play, just that they have clinched thier spots leaving five that may be up for grabs.

I hope all the top eight -Lindsay play. Don't want anything like he fiasco we had last year. Only the cream of the crop should be there, not the Myskina's/Zvonereva's, Maleeva's of the tour.
 

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i doubt the williams will play. Just a hunch.
 

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From Article

Belgians Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne have each won a tour-best six titles this year to secure their places while Williams, who is recovering from knee surgery and might miss the event anyway, won Wimbledon (news - web sites) and the Australian Open (news - web sites).
This quote and the unreliable nature of injury recovery make the headline indicating a "showdown" premature in my opinion at this time. The slots being confirmed is a fact. For the author to extrapolate that this list implies that the creme de la creme would be there and be 100% healthy and competitive embellishes the facts too much.

I still find it amazing that by an odd set of circumstances and bad timing, both Venus and Serena missed the last, largest, and their home country's major.

I agree that the year end championship should be contested by the very best in the field. But, it remains to be seen, if that will be the case.
 
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