Monday, March 16, 2009

When will it end?

As most tennis fans like to do in their spare time when they're not playing or watching, I like to check the sites to read what's going on. I usually hit Yahoo's tennis site then make my way around that big ol' Worldwide Web of ours, but I froze at a headline I saw:

"Safina inches closer to No. 1 ranking"

I guess that's good for her, but as far as the women's game goes, I think there's a bit of a double-edged sword situation going on. Sure, some excitement is created because you're always wondering who's going to be on top this week. But in some ways, it also looks like a sham of sorts is being perpetrated. Safina, like Jelena Jankovic before her, has been playing at a pretty high level over the past 12 months. But also, though, there's one big thing the two have in common (which we all know):

Neither of them have won a Slam!

Now, I was willing to give Jankovic a break, but it's just getting out of hand now. I would assume just by virtue of winning the last two Slams that Serena Williams would have the top spot locked. I guess the fact that she hasn't played much else in the past few months takes her out of the running. But you know what? Why isn't Venus Williams more in the mix? She did play the Aussie and won two tournaments back-to-back this year.

Plus, I know Safina's worked hard on her game and made a big turnaround, but she hasn't even won a singles title of any sort this year. How's that going to look if she makes it to the final and doesn't win but takes the top spot? That's all she has to do here—finish runner-up and she's got it.

I don't know: The women's ranking system has been confusing to me since I started following tennis in the late '80s. You could have players winning Slams and only move up two spots. I think a bigger concentration on quality over quantity should come into play before it gets too late, if it hasn't already.

(Photo: Getty Images)


RiCH said...

Hallelujah! I think I wrote something similar on DtL. I think it had something to do with having my fingernails pulled off rather than watch the ladies's draw implode for a little over a week.

I just don't understand why the just don't overhaul the whole damn thing. Why don't they have a race to the finish the way the ATP World Tour used to do? It's much more logical and straight forward, takes into account only the current season, and weights quality over quantity (I believe - though correct me if I'm wrong on that one.)

It's a total mockery of the ladies' game and legitimizes those baller who just keep mindlessly playing and playing and not forcing them to think strategically about scheduling, training, etc.

It's like having a regular 9-5'er: just clock in and then collect your (very) large paycheck at the end of a mediocre week.


Evan said...

Hey, tried to find an e-mail of yours but I couldn't find it. Would you mind dropping me a line?

van said...

Hey Rich! Yeah, I just don't get it. I know Larry Scott is supposed to be a different type of chief for the WTA and has done a lot for the players. But this is an issue that has been ongoing for decades and should be addressed.