I'd just, for a moment, like to compare the tournament in Kuala Lumpur currently to the one in Tokyo. Look at the semi finalists. In Kuala Lumpur, we have the top four seeds into the semis, wham bam thankyou ma'am - Davydenko, Verdasco, Soderling and Gonzalez. And the top six made it to the quarters, the only 'wild' cards being Youzhny and Gasquet, and, let's face it, they're much higher quality than their rankings would have you believe.
Tokyo has redeemed itself a bit - Jankovic vs Sharapova is a very respectable final - but you've got to think that the tournament organisers are breathing a sigh of relief after the total mess they had earlier in the week. And still, even though it's Jankovic/Sharapova, that's the #7 seed against someone unseeded. That's certainly not top four in the semis.
Not that there's anything wrong with some upsets and unpredictability. But the way the WTA is playing at the moment, the top girls can't win a match. They're almost underdogs when they go into a match - sometimes it feels like the real leaders of the tour are the ones in the #20-#50 range: ie. the ones doing the upsetting. Being in the top ten is almost a curse at the moment, it seems.
The point I am trying to make, I guess, is the hugely different consistency level across the two tours. In the men, the top four in the semis is pretty standard. Sure, it may be a little predictable sometimes, but people are showing they earn their spots. The WTA... the ranking system seems like a bit of a Russian roulette. And I don't know how long this can keep up before we see a complete change of the guard in the top ten.
PTT Pattaya Open (Bangkok)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Marco Chiudinelli, 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-4
Gilles Simon def. Evgeny Korolev, 4-6 6-3 6-4
Jurgen Melzer def. Andreas Beck, 6-4 6-2
Viktor Troicki def. John Isner, 7-6 (7-3) 6-2
Proton Malaysian Open (Kuala Lumpur)
Nikolay Davydenko def. Gael Monfils, 6-3 6-3
Fernando Verdasco def. Richard Gasquet, 7-5 6-4
Robin Soderling def. Tomas Berdych, 6-2 6-2
Fernando Gonzalez def. Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3 6-4
Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo)
Jelena Jankovic def. Li Na, 6-4 6-3
Maria Sharapova def. Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3 2-6 6-4
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago