Sunday, November 01, 2015

Radwankska 'Wins' in Singapore

Agnieszka Radwanska claimed her first WTA Finals title with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 victory over  Petra Kvitova at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday, for which she deserves plenty of credit. But the fact that she walked away as "year-end champion" sure left a bad taste in my mouth, with her having won three matches and LOST two. (If Kvitova had won, she'd have had the same record. Instead, the runner-up of the cream-of-the-crop event was two and three!) It's not Radwanska' fault they are using this format -- and it obvious the promoters want as many big-name matchups as possible during the week -- but this outcome is an embarrassment if you ask me. Not really sure what to think about the women's game these days, anyway, so this actually illustrated things perfectly. Some argue no one is able to win consistently -- save Serena -- because the field is so much deeper now, but I have my doubts. There are A LOT of players whose games are brilliant -- Kvitova being a prime example. What the revolving door reminds me is that players like Chris Evert -- whose MENTAL GAME was unparalleled -- are the real scarcity, and that right now besides the legendary Serena there isn't a single player with even 1/10th of Evert's mental toughness. Not everyone can win like Evert, Navratilova, Graf and Seles. But players at the next level of mental toughness seem to be increasingly scarce. Almost ashamed to admit I'm missing the days when we had a Justine Henin around, who was by no means the biggest or strongest, but didn't completely fall apart every other week. (Simona Halep finishing the year No. 2 says it all.) Looking forward, I wanna believe in Garbiñe Muguruza and Madison Keys, but am not holding my breath.

 Meanwhile, Roger Federer defeated an increasingly impotent Rafael Nadal on Sunday at the Swiss Indoors Basel, claiming a seventh title in his hometown, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. But what does it say about one of the game's so-called biggest rivalries that it was GOAT's first win over Nadal in three and a half years? In his slight defense, they hadn't played since the 2014 Australian Open final. Got the feeling the only reason he won, despite Nadal being half the player he used to be, is that it was played indoors, where Federer still owns him. (Loving Roger's new Nike outfits, by the way.) 


BW said...

It's round-robin, Jake. I like the format, but, yes, it means you can have a group where one person is 3-0 and three are 1-2, meaning the No. 2 finisher is 1-2, meaning somebody can win the tournament with two losses.

To me, there's something empty about a Masters-style year-end chps. with a single-elimination format. The tours seem to agree.

I guess the women could go back to that insanely complicated double-elimination format where the draw looks like a flow chart ...

RJ6040 said...

I'm still a Federer fan -gotta respect his longevity

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