Serena Williams + Ana Ivanovic have both withdrawn from the WTA Championships today complaining of injury and illness, ending their Grand Slam-winning seasons on a sour note.
A day after being left in tears after her 7-5, 1-6, 0-6 loss to older sister Venus, the self-described "junior" baller champ cited a stomach muscle pull for withdrawing from her round robin, sudden death match against Elena Dementieva (who qualified for the semifinals with the walkover) saying,
I did feel pain last night. I was still in pain just getting out of bed.Birthday girl Ana had been dealing with a pesky virus all week and ended her misery by defaulting from her dead rubber match against Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Serb said,
It's obviously very hard for me. Yesterday I didn't feel good and today, even worse.She'll be replace by alternate Agnieszka Radwanska.
Oh boy. The WTA Championships was already struggling for attention after its monetarily-motivated move to Doha. And, Jelena Jankovic's confirmation as the year-end No.1 a few weeks ago all but killed any anticipation and buzz for the tourney. But this is certainly NOT the kind of attention they were hoping for.
These withdrawals have become common place on the tour but to have two of their top lady ballers quit during the big year-end Championships has to hurt, especially for the tourney directors who've shoveled out obviously large amounts of cash for this event. Now, I'm not saying their issues aren't serious, but the trend of injury and illness withdrawals and trainer calls mid-match for seemingly non-serious issues is a continuing problem.
Will the new Roadmap 2010's scheduling changes, including a shorter season and longer breaks between tourneys, help curb these injury issues and therefore these troublesome withdrawals? It remains to be seen.
(images via Getty)