RECAP: 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha
Now that the “tennis season” is officially over, except for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Davis Cup, for the men, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the year-end 2009 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships in Doha. What did each player accomplish and what did we learn about each player which could impact her 2010 season...
Dinara Safina - After retiring from her match and withdrawing from the tournament with a low back injury, we know that Safina is headed into the off-season physically bruised and mentally battered. With brother Marat hanging up his rackets for good at the end of the season, Dinara will have to carry the family flag herself. One hopes that she can find the form and fortitude that carried her to Number One.
Serena Williams – It wasn’t an easy stroll through the draw, but Serena added the year-end Championship trophy to the top of her Number One ranking. If Serena can stay healthy and focused in 2010 she will remain a threat at every major, but those are big “ifs”…
Svetlana Kuznetsova – Sveta played better than at past year-end Championships losing two tight three—setters and eventually ended her season on a winning note with a well-played victory over Elena Dementieva. Consistency at the majors will remain Kuznetsova’s main challenge in 2010, but she has hopefully proved to herself in 2009 that she can, and should, win more Grand Slam titles.
Caroline Wozniacki – After playing a tremendous number of matches in 2009, Caroline limped into the year-end Championships, but she showed some fine tennis and incredible heart and fighting spirit in all of her matches. Wozniacki seems poised to establish herself in the top ten and if she can add a little more offense to her game and strengthen her serve, she could easily find herself in more Grand Slam finals in 2010.
Elena Dementieva – Her performance at the Championships mirrored her year in a way as she started off strong with a victory over Venus, but then lost her last two matches in straight sets. Dementieva has the game to win a major, but the top ten continues to get even more crowded each year. At age 28, 2010 may be Elena’s last chance to pull it all together and capture a Grand Slam.
Victoria Azarenka – Clearly, Azarenka has a very strong game, but her mind and body let her down in a big way at the Championships. If Victoria wants to challenge for a Grand Slam and maintain her top ten ranking in 2010, then she will need to find a way to control her temper more and improve her fitness as well.
Venus Williams – It was tough to watch a clearly-injured Venus struggling again in a major as she did at Wimbledon and at the U.S. Open. Nonetheless, Venus almost repeated as Champion losing to Serena in the Final. The off-season will allow Venus’ body to recover, but can it withstand the wear and tear of a two-week Grand Slam in 2010?
Jelena Jankovic – After some lucky breaks in the round robin matches, Jelena narrowly lost to Venus in the semis. At the same time, Jankovic was not playing as well as a year ago. The off-season will be critical for Jelena to train hard and build up her confidence to start 2010 on a high note and set the tenor for her season.