Friday, 17 February 2012

On court reports, retirements

After finding myself in a final of event without having to play a single match because only one other girl entered along with me, my opponent in the final did not turn up and was therefore disqualified.  I walked away with a trophy in my hand but still feeling slightly annoyed as I would have liked to have won the event properly by stepping onto court.  In the tournament that I was playing in, there was an excessive amount of withdrawals before the tournament begun and during the event a lot of players withdrew due to injury.  This happens at all levels as well as on the ATP and the WTA Tour. 
On the ATP Tour this week there are three tournaments taking place; Rotterdam, an ATP 500 event, San Jose and Sao Paulo, both ATP 250 events.  In Rotterdam, Roger Federer eased through to the quarter finals after receiving a walkover due to the retirement of Mikhail Youzhny as he had a foot injury.  Marcos Baghdatis left the event due to a left calf injury and Sergiy Stakhovsky retired because of a viral illness.  In San Jose the tournament lost its number one seed just before the event, Gael Monfils, due to a knee injury letting Blake Strode, a lucky loser take his place.  In Sao Paulo there have been no retirements.... so far. 

Youzhny retires from Rotterdam

Doha is celebrating its tenth year on the WTA tour calendar in style with 6 of the top 10 women entering the event.  However Carla Suarez Navarro retired in her match against Ana Ivanovic after losing the first set and down in the second with a right hip injury.  The number 6th seed Vera Zvonareva also retired due to a left hip injury.      
Unfinished matches upset the fans who feel they have not had their money’s worth as they were desperate to see a man like Roger Federer work his magic.  It also upsets the tournament organisers when they lose their top seeds as they are the top attractions and so they will lose money.  But more than anything it can annoy the players who are hungry to step on court and win matches.  There will be some who are happy to pocket the extra money they receive after reaching another round but the real professionals will want to play matches in order to get into a rhythm and to please the fans.  It also begs the question, which is frequently discussed and debated, if the tour is too tough with a longer break needed between seasons.  Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic seem to think so as they will not be playing in February. 

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