Tuesday, November 9, 2010
With all my time away from the keyboard vacaying and stuff I missed coverage of the ladies' year-end tourneys including the WTA Championships, Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions and FED CUP.
Here's a quick recap:
WTA Championships, Kim Clijsters d. Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 5-7, 6-3
Kimmie won her third year-end championship and fifth title of the year. She also denied Wozzi, who clinched the year-end top spot for the first time, the exclamation point on the best season of her career so far. Compared to the rest of the lady ballers who actually made it to Doha the Belgian had the best year of 'em all in terms of quality wins so it was a fitting end for her.
Woz played more, is ranked No. 1 and earned more titles than anyone else (six) but fell short at the big ones. I've heard some say she's just another Jelena Jankovic - all defense with no clear weapons. But I tend to disagree. She's more athletic, more of a "jock" than the Serb and can get gritty when down which will continue to serve her well. The Dane will enter 2011 with an enormous target on her back, though, so the path to her first Grand Slam won't get any easier.
Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, Ana Ivanovic d. Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 7-6(5)
Ana Ivanovic seems to have discovered some of the confidence that has alluded her since winning Roland Garros in 2008 and residing in the WTA Penthouse. She won at Linz a few weeks ago and capped off her season by grabbing Bali over Kleybs.
Interestingly, NaturAna parted ways with Coach Heinz Gunthardt during this span. I always find it puzzling when a coaching relationship comes to end right when it seems a baller has turned a corner after struggling for a while. But, sometimes it's really not in their control if the coach wants out for some reason, in this case Heinz's desire not to travel full-time. It'll be interesting to see if NaturAna starts 2011 coachless or secures someone during the off-season. I'd hate for her to lose this momentum she's worked so hard to find.
BTW, ain't she so pretty all gussied up in her Bali-wear?
FED CUP, Italy d. USA 3-1
A big "BRAVA!" to Italy for defending their FED CUP championship over the USA. The Italians had so much experience on their side not to mention a Grand Slam champion in their midst (that would be Francesca Schiavone, duh.) And they got even more help with Coach Mary Jo Fernandez's inane decision to bench Melanie Oudin for Coco Vandeweghe in the opening rubber. Listen, I know Mels has been in slump city but she certainly has light years more experience, relatively speaking, in pressure moments on the big stage than Coco. That counts in FED CUP play. One has to hope the tears the young American cried after losing the final rubber over Flavia Pennetta don't haunt her. It was a bad move on MJ's part. Coco never really had a chance.
Elena Dementieva says BUH-BYE and the ladies pay tribute.
Come to think of it, maybe I should just cover the WTA. You know, the longer off-season and stuff...
[Photo(s): Getty Images]