The Reuters global sports blog
Rusedski on Doha and Dementieva
The WTA Tour end of season championships in Doha did not start very well. The crowds for the event’s first few matches were poor. Considering that the top eight players are playing, in a round robin format, all tickets for each session should have been sold out. However Serena and Venus Williams not being able to play due to injury was a major blow for the event. Despite a quiet start, there were a lot of stories to follow. Would Caroline Wozniacki become the 10th woman to end the year world Number 1? She would need to reach the semi-finals to do so. How would US Open champion Kim Clijsters perform after not playing since her grand slam triumph?
The White group was Vera Zvonareva, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka. The Maroon group was Wozniacki, Samantha Stosur, Francesca Schiavone and Elena Dementieva.
The White group had no real surprises with Zvonareva and Clijsters both winning their first two games to set up a final group match against each other, a repeat of the US Open final. This was one of the best matches of the week with Zvonareva winning in three sets to top the White group. In the Maroon group Stosur played really well and ended up topping the group, while Wozniacki needed to beat Schiavone in her final match to make the semi-finals and become year end Number 1. Schiavone played well but Wozniacki had too much fire power and came through comfortably in the end to make the semi-finals. It’s a great effort for Wozniacki to end the season world Number 1. But to justify being at the top she must win a major in the near future. She won’t want to join the recent list of female players to get to Number 1 and never win a major title.
Dementieva, after losing her group match against Schiavone, announced her retirement from professional tennis at the age of 29. Elena has had a great career and it’s always good to be able to go out in the top 10 in the world – and more importantly on your own terms. She is looking forward to starting another chapter in her life and having a family in the near future. I wish her happiness with her new life and can highly recommend retirement!
Clijsters beat Stosur in the semi-finals and Wozniacki beat Zvonareva to set up a very interesting final, which lived up to expectations. It was a brilliant match with Clijsters winning 6-3 5-7 6-3. Considering how few tournaments Clijsters has played, she has had a phenomenal year. What an amazing end to the year for Kim to win the end of season championship for the third time. If she plays more tournaments next year she could easily become world Number 1 again.