The WTA Tour Finals have been held since 1972 and they will be held for the third and final year in Doha, Qatar at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex on hard courts. The 8 players are Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Kim Clijsters, Francesca Schiavone, Samantha Stosur, Jelena Jankovic, Elena Dementieva and Victoria Azarenka.
Due to title sponsorship naming rights the official name is the Sony Ericsson Championships. This tournament is the pinnacle of the tennis calendar, with all events this year building to this showdown between the world’s best athletes in women’s tennis. This tournament runs from Tuesday 26 October through to Women’s Singles Final Day on Sunday 31 October. Only the Top 8 best performed players for the 2010 season qualify to play-off in this tournament. In no other tournament are you required to beat at least 4 if not 5 of the world’s Top 8 ranked players to win the title!
A very critical aspect of being one of the very best tennis players is being able to prepare and train your body, plus play in a way that allows you to compete at ALL of THE MOST important tournaments each year. One key to being one of the best players is learning how to train yourself to be in peak condition both physically and mentally in order to peak precisely during these major tournaments.
Serena Williams earned enough points this year to qualify for the WTA Tour Finals yet she has been able to manage her body and training well enough to be able to take her place. In her statement announcing this Serena said, “It is with deep frustration that I am withdrawing from the WTA Championships at Doha and the Fed Cup Final. Pushed by my desire to return to competition, I trained too hard too soon and re-tore the tendon in my foot. As a result, yesterday morning I had to have another procedure to repair it. I thank everyone for their continued support during this difficult time and look forward with strength and determination to getting back on the court.”
Serena Williams earned 5,355 points this year, which means she is unlikely to be ranked in the Top 5 by the end of this season. Venus Williams has also been unable to manage her body and training well enough so has declared herself unfit to compete in Doha. Venus earned 4,985 points this year, which means she is likely to hold down a Top 10 ranking for 2010.
Venus said in her statement that, “I have been getting treatment and therapy on my knee and have been making progress, but unfortunately must continue to keep weight off my knee for the short term and won’t be ready to return to competition in 2010. I am looking forward to returning to full health in time for the start of 2011 season and hopefully having the opportunity to play in both the Fed Cup and WTA Championships next year.”
The WTA ranking points earned thus far in 2010 by the Top 8 qualifiers for the WTA Tour Finals in ranking order are:
- 7,270- Caroline Wozniacki
- 6,096 – Vera Zvonareva
- 5,295 – Kim Clijsters
- 4,595 – Francesca Schiavone
- 4,572 – Samantha Stosur
- 4,236 – Jelena Jankovic
- 4,085 – Elena Dementieva
- *3,655 – Victoria Azarenka
*Azarenka’s tally includes the 120 WTA ranking points that she has earned thus far at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow by making the quarter finals. If the No.2 seeded Azarenka wins her match against No.7 Alisa Kleybanova to progress through to the semi finals she will earn an extra 80 points. The semi finalists in Moscow earn 200 points, whilst the runner-up receives 320 points and the tournament winner collects 470 points.
The event begins in a round robin format with 2 groups of 4 players, a white group and a maroon group. The colour that is assigned to each group is chosen according to the colours of the Qatari National flag. All 8 players will be seeded once the final tournament results are calculated this coming Monday the 25th of October. Once the seeding is complete the 2 groups can be sorted out. As soon as the groups are announced we will update you right here at OCA.
Li Na of China is the No.9 player with 3,541 WTA ranking points won in 2010. Li is the first alternate in case one of the Top 8 players withdraws with an injury between now and indeed any point during the tournament as well. Li has a very good chance of playing at least 1 match if past WTA Tour Finals tournaments are anything to go by.
In the first 4 days of this 6-day tournament each of the 8 women will play against all 3 members of her group. Throughout the round robin matches the world’s best women try to achieve a place in the semi-finals by finishing in the Top 2 spots in their own group. On Day 5 the semi-finals are held where the players who finish at No.1 in their group play the player who finishes No.2 in the other group.
Besides Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki all of these players have a chance to set a new career high ranking during this tournament. There is so much to play for and even Wozniacki is playing for a career first, to claim the year World No.1 ranking and be crowned the 2010 WTA Tour Champion.
More details about each of these 8 players will follow in our coverage of the WTA Tour Finals…
Stay tuned to this tennis website for full coverage of every Grand Slam tournament and every major women’s and men’s tennis tournament on the WTA and ATP Tours. Click this link for further details about the WTA Tour Finals -> WTA Tour Finals 2010: October 26-31.
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photo credit: Christian Mesiano