Saturday, October 25, 2014

White Group dissolves as Serena and Simona are last two standing in Singapore

Serena Williams had to put up a very Serenaesque fight to hold off Caroline Wozniacki in today's Singapore semifinal, but she did it, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6. In the other semifinal, Simona Halep made rather routine work of Agnieszka Radwanska, beating her 6-2, 6-2 in and hour and seven minutes.

That leaves Williams with her nemesis of the tournament: Her only loss in Singapore was to Halep, and it was a nasty one. Halep defeated Williams 6-0, 6-2 in the opening round of Red Group play (don't let that WTA website front page graphic fool you).

In the meantime, Williams has secured the year-end number 1 ranking. She's the two-time defending champion at the WTA Finals, and if there's anyone on this Earth she wants to put away, it's Halep.

The defending doubles champions, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, have also reached the finals in Singapore. Hsieh and Peng beat Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova 6-1, 6-4. Their opponents will be Cara Black and her partner, the Forehand of Fire, Sania Mirza. Black and Mirza saved three match points in their semifinal match against Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik. They won 4-6, 7-5, 11-9!

Odd though it may seem, this is Mirza's first trip to the last round of the Finals (I liked "WTA Championships" a lot better).

Oh, and of course, when the tournament is over, Hsieh and Peng will no longer be a team.
The WTA Finals: How can you not like anything this strange? I actually do like the unpredictability and seeming randomness of the round robin event.

Also this week, Mickey Lawler was named president of the WTA, and the organization announced a new campaign, "Power to Inspire." This is about as awkward a phrase as I can think of--it is difficult to say out loud (a fact which should have eliminated it as a possibility), and I'm wondering if it came from the same people who brought us the dreadful WTA-in-an-egg logo.

Finally, two players and one team who didn't make it to the finals deserve a mention. Both Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki made good on their comeback ways in Singapore. These two are definitely in the 2015 mix and are to be commended for the way they have reconstructed their careers. Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova, who upset Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in Singapore, have become a strong team, and definitely one we should keep an eye on next year.


Omair Malik said...

It was 6-0 6-2 for Williams. I do hope that Halep takes home the title.

Would love to see Ivanovic and Wozniacki in 2015. I do hope Ivanovic can transform this form to better Grand Slam results. Will be intriguing to see both at the Australian Open.

As for doubles, I do not know what it is with the WTA website. Doubles are fun and have great rallies. I did not like the elimination format of the doubles too. Round robin is more fun. Doubles will definitely attract crowds if doubles is marketed properly.

I will be rooting for Heish and Peng to win the title. Really sad to see them breaking their partnership. I will miss seeing them as a team.

Diane said...

Oops, thanks for catching that, Omair--will correct right away.

I thought tey were supposed to do away with the knock-out in doubles and change to round robin. perhaps I misunderstood. I'm with you--round robin would be better.