I think I might hate the WTA. Seriously. This is not good enough. This is nowhere in the vicinity of good enough. This is so far away from good enough that people have forgotten what good enough looks like, and it's become some mythical holy grail that people go in quest of.
Last week, we saw all the top six seeds fall in the first round. We're not quite there yet, but we're not far off. Venus Williams lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - again. I love Pavs, so I'm not complaining, but really, Venus? Really?! What's that?
And then Dinara Safina lost to Zhang Shuai. Not Peng Shuai. Zhang Shuai. I'm sure I'm not the only one going 'huh?' right now.
I wrote about a month ago in defence of Dinara. I'm still not quite ready to give up on her, but I'm certainly not far off either. I'm allowing her the off-season to prove herself, to fix her serve and to come back with determination. I don't want to enter into this whole 'real #1' debate, but she's not showing herself worthy of the ranking at the moment. Problem is, no one's showing themselves worthy of it, and so she's clinging onto it by default at the moment.
But this has got to stop. This WTA nonsense has got to halt right now. I understand the off season is approaching and they're probably all tired. Well, guess what? That's not an excuse. It's simply not good enough. If the top blokes can keep it up, then so can the women. If they're too tired to play, they should do what Ana Ivanovic did and gracefully call it an end to the season so they can go away and regroup. Because this top ten debacle has got to stop.
China Open (Beijing)
Novak Djokovic def. Victor Hanescu, 6-3 7-5
Marin Cilic def. Igor Andreev, 6-4 6-4
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-1
Juan Carlos Ferrero def. Nicolas Almagro, 7-5 7-6 (7-3)
Tommy Robredo def. Benjamin Becker, 6-2 6-1
Julien Benneteau def. Marcos Daniel, 6-3 6-4
Zhang Shuai def. Dinara Safina, 7-5 7-6 (7-5)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Venus Williams, 3-6 6-1 6-4
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-2 6-1
Li Na def. Lucie Safarova, 4-6 6-0 6-4
Aleksandra Wozniak def. Alize Cornet, 7-6 (7-0) 6-4
Alona Bondarenko def. Sara Errani, 6-3 6-3
Nadia Petrova def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-1 5-7 6-2
Daniela Hantuchova def. Carla Suarez Navarro, 7-5 6-2
Francesca Schiavone def. Sabine Lisicki, 6-0 1-0 retired
Alisa Kleybanova def. Yanina Wickmayer, 5-7 6-3 6-3
Vania King def. Galina Voskoboeva, 6-4 6-3
Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo)
Gael Monfils def. Marsel Ilhan, 6-2 6-4
Stanislas Wawrinka def. John Isner, 6-4 6-4
Marco Chiudinelli def. Dudi Sela, 4-6 6-1 6-4
Simon Greul def. Martin Vassallo Arguello, 4-6 6-4 6-2
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago