Doha and London – Formula or Darts on a Board?

Just today the WTA announced that Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka are the sixth and seventh players to qualify for Doha. They will join Dinara Safina, Serena Williams, Elena Dementieva, Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova who are already there.

I can let you read the press release that explains how Venus and Victoria got in but all this has made me wonder is there really an air-tight formula for how the ATP and WTA decide all this? I understand that if someone wins a Grand Slam or wins many top-tier events they will get in, but it’s those last slots that always feel more like a NFL playoff scenario than real results.

Not that I’m taking anything away from Azarenka who did win Miami and had a strong spring season, but there are two players ranked ahead of her, Vera Zvonareva and Jelena Jankovic, who have yet to qualify. Wouldn’t it make sense to let JJ play every last tourney, which she will, and have her qualify? Wouldn’t it add more drama to save the final spots for the last events?

The ATP supposedly did away with all this when they dropped the points race and just stuck with the players rankings. But look at Djokovic. He qualified before Andy Roddick who got to the Wimbledon final. Djokovic won Serbia (duh) and Dubai, and got to the finals of Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid. Roddick beat Djokovic in Australia, Indian Wells and Toronto.

Should the Wimbledon final count more than the final of Rome? I don’t know. If Nikolay Davydenko suddenly decides to play every last tourney between now and Paris and does well, wouldn’t that make him the more consistent player than Djokovic?

I guess what I am arguing for is that both tours should wait until the very last, or next to last tourney to decide things. It seems only fair. Or am I wrong?

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3 Comments

Filed under ATP, Tennis, WTA

3 responses to “Doha and London – Formula or Darts on a Board?

  1. I like the way it is. Well I really only know the ATP. I mean if you do really well grand slam wise you will qualify. Muzz, Rafa, Fed, and delPo all deserve it. Muzz on his masters results. Djok has had just as good results as Muzz Slam wise… but I agree it seems a bit weird he qualified before A-Rod. Mind you… Andy has had a great season but doesn’t have a whole lot to show for it…

  2. meretricula

    no, they have a formula. the only points that count towards the year-end championships are points from that year, so someone “qualifies” when there aren’t enough points left in the year for anyone else to kick them out of the top eight before the championships. the WTA has separate rankings for this-year-only; the ATP doesn’t publish them, but they’re there, and the qualifications are in order of those rankings.

    WTA year-end rankings so far: http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/page/RaceToSECSingles/0,,12781~0~1~100,00.html

    ATP year-end rankings so far: http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2009/10/London-Finals-Roddick-In-Pole-Position.aspx

  3. theslyguy

    I knew there was a formula but I think both tours should make it a bit more transparent for regular viewers who are keeping up and add some drama to what is usually the “lull” period of the season. Thanks for posting the links! It’s very helpful!