Jelena Jankovic finally learned--the hard way--to stop entering every tournament on the calendar, so perhaps it's time for Caroline Wozniacki to give some thought to how Jankovic solved her problem. The world number 6, who hasn't been faring that well lately, retired today in the first round of the BGL Luxembourg Open. She did something rather sporting, in fact--stopping at 7-5, 5-0, and giving lucky loser Anne Kremer the opportunity to advance in her country's tournament. (One might say that Kremer is a very lucky loser.)
Wozniacki retired with a left hamstring strain, which is rather inconvenient when the Sony Ericsson Championships are just around the corner. Wozniacki has played and played, and--as many fans pointed out--would have done well to skip Luxembourg altogether.
In other Luxembourg first round news, Patty Schnyder defeatd Petra Kvitova, and 7th seed Kateryna Bondarenko was upset 6-0, 6-2 by Roberta Vinci.
There is discussion of the Wozniacki retirement on The Ticker on Tennis.com-http://www.tennis.com/news/ticker.aspx
There seems to be some betting concerns due to the amount of money bet on Caroline. Also during a miked conversation, her father talked about the possibility of retirement and it was quickly posted online possibly prompting some money put on Kremer. I am not sure about this idea of purposely retiring when a player could go on. Stopping when you know you could win but maybe the next match is in doubt doesn't seem in the spirit of sports. To let someone through when they didn't earn it doesn't seem right. I may sound heartless but it doesn't give Kremer a realistic assessment of her own play. Anyone care to comment? You may have to go down a bit on The Ticker because it posts news as it comes in. Also it points to a concern of mine regarding on-court coaching. It is not just a concern of betting but the other player's coach could be texted by someone who saw it online.
Sorry to write some more but my last comment concerning on-court coaching was to be applied to on-court coaching in general not just to this specific case.
I have heard Woz criticized for what she did--letting Kremer go on--and I understand the criticism. Since Anne is probably near retirement and the tournament is in Austria, I interpreted it merely as a nice gesture on Caroline's part. Had she done it under other circumstances, I might have been one of the people criticizing her. For me, context is everything, and within this unusual context, I thought what she did was appropriate, and--in fact--nice.
Getting to the other issue--yes, anyone can let anyone know what an opponent's coach is saying as long as the language can be interpreted. I don't care for on-court coaching, but I think putting mics on the coaches is even worse than the coaching itself, mostly because it is so tacky.
I am just spinning in my mind, mulling over things with regard to this situation. I suppose I would have liked it better had Wozniacki not been truthful about letting Kremer through and possibly stopping before a 5-0 lead in the second set. I guess that if I were Kremer, I would feel embarrassed that someone let me through instead of letting me fight until the end. I mean, where would it end if players started making these decisions-maybe they do but don't admit it. If someone retires on purpose I am not sure I, as a fan, want to know about it. I understand what you have said about context but I don't understand not playing your best under any circumstances. Plus it still looks weird to stop at 5-0. If she was going to be "nice" to Kremer then stop when there appears there might have been a chance for Kremer to comeback.
With regards to the miking of coaches: I have heard the WTA state that they allow it for "fan-friendly" reasons. I don't like the whole situation because to me it makes the women look less professional than the men. It takes an important element out of the game of tennis. Sure there is illegal coaching from the stands. The amount of coaching from the stands is a whole lot different than what a coach can convey in a conversation.
Thanks for the discussion :)
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