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Will Venus play the Open?
Top nine US women have withdrawn from an event in past 3 weeks;
JP Morgan Chase's move; Kimmy edges closer to No. 1

By Matthew Cronin
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Siggi Bucher
FROM THE JP MORGAN CHASE OPEN IN LA – As one WTA staffer said today, no news is bad news when it comes to Venus Williams decision not to speak about why she pulled out of Toronto, which makes her subsequent plans for the US Open very murky.

The fifth-ranked Venus hasn't played since Wimbledon, where she aggravated the abdominal tear that she suffered in Warsaw back in April. Toronto is the third tournament that the four-time Slam champ has pulled out of after Wimbledon.

Both Venus and sister Serena – who is out for six to eight weeks following knee surgery last Friday – have gone AWOL the past three weeks. Neither has released statements, although Serena's publicist said that her client is in high spirits and is resting peacefully at home in LA.

Without question, Serena can be a happy and fun-loving girl, but she can't be too pleased about not be able to defend her US Open title, nor that she will lose her No. 1 ranking shortly. She's way too proud to brush that off.

Venus said after she fell to Serena in the Wimbledon final that she needed 30 days for the injury to properly heal. It's now been 34 days and after Toronto ends, her time off will total 43 days.

There's no question that Venus shouldn't get back on court unless she's completely healed, but it's terrible for the tour, the Open and for fans not to know what her status is.

With the remarkable amount of players pulling out of tournaments due to injuries since Wimbledon (six out of the top 10 players), just be glad you are not trying to sell tickets based on who is supposed to play in your tournament.

U.S. Disabled List Monstrous
With the withdrawal of Meghann Shaughnessy from Toronto with a back injury, eight of the top nine ranked American women have pulled out of tournaments in the past three weeks, with one injury or another.

The list: Serena (knee, quad), Venus (abdominal), Lindsay Davenport (foot), Jennifer Capriati (shoulder and pec), Chanda Rubin (shoulder), Monica Seles (foot) and Stevenson (shoulder).
The likes Laura Granville, Amy Frazier and Ashley Harkleroad better come up very big at the Open.

JP Morgan Chase's move
Susan Mullane/
Camerawork USA, Inc.

The JP Morgan Chase Open is in a new home at the new Home Depot Center in Carson on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills, which is situated right off the Rts. 405 and 101, but more than a stone's throw from its former swanky confines at the Manhattan Beach Country Club.

The club members haven't come to the tournament yet and neither have many other fans. There has been a huge drop off in attendance from Stanford and La Costa (which were both packed from Thursday on), partly because tennis fans don't really know where the tournament is and partly because many LA and Orange County denizens aren't comfortable commuting to the site, which is situated between some very clean working and middle class areas and some rough neighborhoods on the east side of the campus.

Had either of the Williamses sisters played here, attendance may have went through the roof in the nicely-put-together 8,000-seat stadium. The girls only grew up a few miles from here and are immensely popular in SoCal. Add to that the losses of two other prominent African-American players – the injured Rubin and Stevenson – and the event lost its four biggest draws in a predominantly African- American community.

Somehow, two of the most powerful agencies in sports, IMG and AEG (which owns the Home Depot Center), couldn't come up with the right marketing strategy this year. They'll have to go all out in 2004 in they want to pack the attractive stadium three weeks prior to the Olympics.

Kimmy edges closer to No. 1
We have written exhaustively about second-ranked Kim Clijsters sweaty grind to the No. 1 ranking, but she only has two matches to go before climbing the mountain after she thrashed Russian Svetlana Kuzentsova 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals here Friday.

To state the very obvious, Clijsters would not have this opportunity had Serena not gone out with an injury, but such is sports.

Clijsters will face 16th-seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the semifinals, which is a very winnable contest considering how soundly she beat her at Stanford. Then she'll face the winner of the Lindsay Davenport-Ai Sugiyama contest, certainly a tougher test, but two players whom she has beaten this year.

Consequently, getting to No. 1 here will be a good test for Clijsters because the pressure is on her now to earn the spot Sunday, rather than just waiting for Serena's points to drop off at the US Open.

"I just want to focus on my next match because I'm not there yet," Clijsters said. "I'll try to give it my best shot if I reach the final."

If she does manage to win her next two matches, Clijsters will become the first player to attain the number one ranking without winning a Grand Slam since the WTA Tour introduced the ranking system in 1975.

"It would be better if she won a Grand Slam, but she still has a lot of chances to win one," said her doubles partner Sugiyama, adding that Clijsters was probably favorite to win the US Open which starts later this month.

"Kim has stayed healthy, played great and if she becomes No. 1, she'll deserve it."
 

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"Had either of the Williamses sisters played here, attendance may have went through the roof in the nicely-put-together 8,000-seat stadium."


Surely this can't be true. After all Venus and Serena are ruining tennis. How can it be that their absence might affect attendance at a tournament? :confused: :devil: :angel:


And I love the fact that Wertheim called Serena a "cynosure". :hearts:


cy·no·sure [ (plural cy·no·sures)

noun

1. center of attention: somebody or something that is the center of admiration, attention, or attraction


2. guide: somebody or something acting as a guide or used for direction
Guidebooks are the cynosure of the inexperienced traveler.


[Late 16th century. Via Latin Cynosura “the constellation Ursa Minor, containing the Pole Star” (hence “guiding star,” hence “center of attention”)
 
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BigTennisFan said:
"Had either of the Williamses sisters played here, attendance may have went through the roof in the nicely-put-together 8,000-seat stadium."


Surely this can't be true. After all Venus and Serena are ruining tennis. How can it be that their absence might affect attendance at a tournament? :confused: :devil: :angel:
:lol:

As one WTA staffer said today, no news is bad news when it comes to Venus Williams decision not to speak about why she pulled out of Toronto, which makes her subsequent plans for the US Open very murky.

Both Venus and sister Serena – who is out for six to eight weeks following knee surgery last Friday – have gone AWOL the past three weeks. Neither has released statements, although Serena's publicist said that her client is in high spirits and is resting peacefully at home in LA.

Venus said after she fell to Serena in the Wimbledon final that she needed 30 days for the injury to properly heal. It's now been 34 days and after Toronto ends, her time off will total 43 days.

There's no question that Venus shouldn't get back on court unless she's completely healed, but it's terrible for the tour, the Open and for fans not to know what her status is.
Venus has her reasons for doing what she needs to do for herself and has to explain herself to no one, she's a grown woman.

WOW, she went over four days than what she said she needed!
Obviously she wants to be 100% for the USO and if she feels playing this week would possible put that in jeopardy than I'm glad she pulled out. As someone said, if she wants she could always ask for a WC to New haven if she feels up to it.

As for the tour,
I too thought they were supposedly ruining tennis?!?
So, they don't show and all of the sudden it's hurting the tour and people act as if they owe them something. Surely you jest!

Get well soon V&S!
Hope to see you at the USO Venus!(God pleeeeeeezzzzzzzzzz)
 

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I hope and think she will be there. She'll maybe take a chance playing here figuring if she's injured she can take her usual long autumn break to recuperate if need be. I hate all these injuries for the players.
 

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:)
 

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:) I too, think Venus is trying to give herself every opportunity to play the Open and is now doing what she feels is in her best interest to accomplish that feat. Given she was able to beat the "soon-to-be No.1 while injured, I think gives her some sense that maybe she can pull it off. We'll just have to wait and see, but, I'd be willing to bet a "fat man", that Venus is at the USOpen. And, with bells on her toes...!!!
 

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If she does manage to win her next two matches, "Clijsters will become the first player to attain the number one ranking without winning a Grand Slam since the WTA Tour introduced the ranking system in 1975".


AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH.. just too funny.:)
 

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Clinching the no.1 ranking is not an easy feat because winning a grandslam is not an indication that you could become the top ranked player.

Getting to no.1 is hard work and consistency combined.;)

Talented Serena is the only exception to the rule; she does it her own way.:devil:
 

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persond said:
Given she was able to beat the "soon-to-be No.1 while injured, I think gives her some sense that maybe she can pull it off. We'll just have to wait and see, but, I'd be willing to bet a "fat man", that Venus is at the USOpen. And, with bells on her toes...!!!

MirjanaLfan said:
She'll maybe take a chance playing here figuring if she's injured she can take her usual long autumn break to recuperate if need be.
I agree with you both.
I was also thinking that by pulling out of Toronto and not going for New Haven, she's giving herself time to charge up. Even if she's not 100%, she can get as high as she can in the next two weeks. She beat Clijsters injured and nearly beat Serena, so even if she's still slightly injured, what happened at Wimbledon gives her a good indication of what she can accomplish even injured. The only difference being that she'd have an injury throughout the tournament, but hopefully it isn't as bad or won't get as bad as it did with Kim and Serena. And as Mirjana said, she can always take the autumn to recooperate.

Venus has said she really does want to play the Open
and I'm praying she does.

If she were to play the USO injured but somewho manage to win and not play at all during the fall, her ranking would fall. However, on the bright side, she can fully heal and will not have many points to defend next year and can once again rise to the top.

GET WELL SOON VENUS!!!
 

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I hope Venus will return in time, just like jennifer, hope for a great US Open :)
 

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Good news from Venus' agent:
The Pilot Pen announced on Wednesday that rising American star Angela Haynes was among four players to receive wild-card entry into the tournament’s qualifying draw. Today the speculation about who will receive the tournament’s three wild cards into the main draw will come to an end.

Four-time defending champion Venus Williams, the world’s No. 5 player, has been slowed by an abdominal strain and is unlikely to request a wild card, though she has until 4 p.m. today to do so.

Williams’ agent, Carlos Fleming, said on Wednesday that "it is far from likely" that Williams would seek a wild card today. However, when he was asked whether Williams was definitely out of the Pilot Pen picture, he said, "I’d hate to see you write that and then I get a call at 11 o’clock tonight. But I think it is very unlikely."

Williams has been hitting on the side for a couple of weeks, and Fleming said she believes she can play in the U.S. Open.

Link: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10006583&BRD=1641&PAG=461&dept_id=17739&rfi=6
 
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