Wednesday, April 1, 2009

State of the Game

I've ranted a lot about the state of the women's tour at the moment - as has just about every tennis writer on the planet, I think. But do you know the reason the women's tour looks so bad? It's because the men's tour is so damn good.
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Look at the quarter finalists in Miami. Every single member of the top eight seeds, with the exception of Gilles Simon, has made it to the quarter finals. The odd man out is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and you've got to think that his tenth ranking is more because he was out with injury last year than anything else. How good is that? And while having the top eight line up bang bang bang doesn't happen every tournament, there's usually a few of the usual suspects there. Nadal. Federer. Murray. Even Djokovic, though he's been scattier of late. And it's not because this lot is so far ahead of the field - though you have to say that a couple of them certainly are. There's a level of consistency. And the depth of talent in the men's field is such that pretty much anyone can make it a few rounds and have it not be a surprise.
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I've read things that say that the current state of the women game is due to the incredible depth there. I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. The top women's players at the moment aren't being beaten. They're losing. Would anyone gainsay that?
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But the strange thing is that no one seems to be benefiting. With players like Jankovic, Ivanovic and even Safina losing so regularly, it stands to reason that they should fall out of the top ten. Instead, Safina is on the verge of #1. People are beating the top girls but somehow no one is making good on it. We should be seeing a reshuffle at the top. We're not. And I can't even critique the lack of this reshuffle and the rankings system, because I can't think of anyone that should be there in their places. The amount of one-win wonders in the WTA... well, I haven't seen that on the men's tour for some time.
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My message? The ATP isn't just in a good place right now because of Federer and Nadal. The whole pack of them are really, really strong right now. As viewers of men's tennis, we could not be alive at a more interesting time.
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Today's Results
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Sony Ericsson Open (Miami)
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Men's Draw
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Rafael Nadal def. Stanislas Wawrinka, 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4)
Roger Federer def. Taylor Dent, 6-3 6-2
Andy Roddick def. Gael Monfils, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro def. David Ferrer, 6-3 6-2
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Women's Draw
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Serena Williams def. Li Na, 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-2
Victoria Azarenka def. Samantha Stosur, 6-1 6-0

1 comment:

TopSpin said...

You're too kind!

I tend to disagree rather more disgracefully whenever I hear the 'incredible depth' argument applied to the WTA.