Sunday, October 26, 2014

Some thoughts about Singapore

The WTA Finals are over, and was that ever an interesting event. Consider some of the things that happened:

Both Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic played superb tennis, which kind of "sealed" their comeback status in 2014.

Simona Halep allowed Serena Williams to win only two games in one of their matches, and also delivered a rare bagel to the world number 1.

Halep then pretty much fell apart during the final. I don't mean to take anything away from Serena--she was wonderful--but Halep did go to pieces in the second set. Tired, maybe? She didn't go to pieces in the French Open final, so one has to wonder.

Petra Kvitova, playing on what should have been her "dream" court (though it turned out not to be a typical indoor court at all) went 1-2.

Before leaving, though, Kvitova beat Maria Sharapova for the first time since 2011.

Genie Bouchard had a total wipe-out, losing all three of her round robin matches.

The world number 1 team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci once again failed to win the title. They had to retire in the quarterfinals because of Errani's rib injury.

So Serena topped off her "bad year" with her third WTA Finals (formerly the WTA Championships) victory in as many years. This so-called bad year also included winning six other titles, one of which was the U.S. Open and one of which was Miami. And did I mention that the 33-year-old Williams ends the year, once again, as number 1 in the world.

Most puzzling to me in this event were Halep's performance in the final, and Kvitova's failure to win more than one match. Unlike some fans, I enjoy the round robin format, partly because of its ridiculous unpredictability. Also, it's a change in the usual routine, which is nice.


Nondisposable Johnny said...

I didn't catch much of the second set (computer kept locking up). In the first it looked like Halep caught some of what Wozniacki had in the U.S. Open final (and didn't display here). Some version of "I'm not on fire so I better retreat to safety." Always a recipe for disaster against Serena. Didn't help that she couldn't buy a first serve after her first service game.

Diane said...

That about sums it up, but it seemed somehow "out of character" for her to lose the fire when it burned pretty hot through much of the first set. Granted, Serena eventually came on like an army of one, but Halep just folded--like that.

Eric said...

I think Halep's serve was affected by Serena's return Serena wasn't letting Halep play her game or get comfortable...she kept creeping closer and closer to the service line to bash returns.

Halep wasn't that far behind the baseline in the match...but Serena just kept moving fwd...she didn't want to rally with Simona at all.

Halep's thigh was bandaged pretty heavily...

I missed the trophy presentation and it's not up on youtube yet... :/

Ken Seon said...

Serena changed her strategy in playing the rematch, that's what great players can simply confused Halep. I saw Kim Clijsters do that to Li Na in the final two sets of a the Australian Open that Clijstets won. She suddenly started to change her pace and loop the ball completely throwing off Li Na.

Ken Seon said...

Serena changed her strategy in playing the rematch with Halep.That's what great players can do comparatively quickly. I saw Kim Clijsters do that to Li Na in the final two sets of a.three setter Australian Open final that Clijsters won. Kim suddenly started to change her pace and loop the ball completely throwing off the then less experienced Li Na.

Sabey said...

Too bad Serena and Simona could not summon up their best tennis against each other at the same time. This was a great tournaments though!
Kudos to Halep for being a good sport throughout. She could have tanked her match against Ivanovic as Davenport and Carillo were hoping she would do but she gave it her all. I think that she will win her first slam next year.

Diane said...

I agree that Serena made it very hard for Simona to execute a strategy; I just wish Simona had hung in better emotionally.

Li Na said, in reference to the mindset of an athlete, when questioned whether she "wanted" to win: "If you're not playing to win, why would you train day after day?" I doubt if Halep would even know how to tank a match.