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Looking at the current standings in the race to the WTA Championships got me thinking... What do you think of this?

The tourney could be set up with four round-robin groups of four players each. Each group could have one player that finished #1-4 in the race, one finished #5-8, one who finished #9-12, and one who finshed #13-16. They could play 3 matches against the other players in their group just like the 2003 format, with the winner and runner-up from each group moving on to the QF round (much like the World Cup in soccer).

Keeping the round robin would ensure that we see the top players play at least 3 matches. You could probably argue that allowing 16 players in the tournament detracts from its prestige... And I would agree with the sentiment that players really need to earn their spot in the year-end championships. Definitely sixteen players would be the very most that should be allowed to play.

That said, I think the way depth in women's tennis is increasing recently, we could be deprived of some seriously high-quality matchups by only taking 8 players. Before the season began, one might have thought that Justine, Kim, Venus, Serena, Lindsay, Amelie, Jennifer, and Anastasia might be likeliest to end the year top 8. But now, players like Kuznetsova and Sharapova, among others, are stepping up. Wouldn't it be a shame not to see matchups involving some players who might barely miss the top 8 - like Zvonareva, Sprem, Schnyder? And there's a good chance one of the big guns might be left on the outside looking in as well (Going by the current standings, Clijsters is the obvious worry... and what about Capriati? maybe Venus? or Serena? Though obviously, there's still plenty of matches left for them to book their place in the tourney, which I fully expect them to do.). So I think having sixteen players in this format would give us some amazing tennis! :D

I guess the most difficult thing would be actually setting this up... it would probably require two weeks to complete, and a relatively sizeable venue. But if they could do this, can you imagine? :lick: Venus-Sprem rematch! Serena-Sharapova rematch! Davenport-Zvonareva! Mauresmo-Schnyder! Clijsters-Capriati! :hearts:
 
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