Yesterday, I was thinking about how I'd been wrong in assuming that Sabine Lisicki, the top seed in Memphis, would retire at some point during the tournament. Rather, she advanced to the final. But there was still time! And yes, the fragile German player retired after her first set against Marina Erakovic. Erakovic, who won the opening set 6-1, is now the first New Zealander to win a WTA title in 24 years.
Lisicki had to stop playing because of a gastrointestinal illness. And that is a shame--for both players and for fans--but if it hadn't been that, it would have been something else.
Lisicki struggles with what we once might have called the Bartoli/Azarenka Syndrome; she retires from matches on a regular basis, and for a variety of reasons. Chronic retiring can be caused by many things--poor fitness and over-training come to mind. But there has to be a story behind the story. Poor fitness? Get a new physio. Training too much? Cut down. Weak immune system? Find a good health practitioner.
No, there's something else behind chronic retiring, and that something is undoubtedly an unconscious issue that prevents a player from competing at her highest potential. I think that much more attention should be paid to the psychological processes that motivate players to do what they do. Lisicki, for example, has a lot of talent, but she is unable to gain momentum because of her constant illnesses and injuries.
Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva won the Memphis doubles title. In the final, they defeated Sofia Arvidwsson and Johanna Larsson 7-6, 6-3.
In Bogota, top seed Jelena Jankovic won the championship today by defeating Paula Ormaechea 6-1, 6-2. The Bogota title is Jankovic's 13th.