When I wrote my piece on Dubai yesterday highlighting the women who had dropped out, the top eight seeds by default included Anna-Lena Groenefeld, a woman who in the past had been on many people's player-to-watch lists but has shown up at her last few matches in a condition that would not be described as match fit. Many fans were quite vocal in expressing their horror of her being a top seed at this event.
When I woke up this morning I found out that Amélie Mauresmo, the woman who did not want to play Antwerp but has just advanced to the finals, will also play Dubai.
This was not an act of altruism on her part. If the right balance of top ten players is not provided to an event, the WTA must pay a fine - compensate the tournament for revenue lost. This is not the first time this has happened. Both Venus Williams and Jennifer Capriati were drafted to play in the Kremlin Cup some years ago under similar circumstances.
I'm also sure Amelie was nicely compensated for her inconvenience by the tournament officials.
The official announcement of Mauresmo joining the field provided coverage of "glamour girl" Daniela Hantuchova. While many men consider her beautiful she has never before to my knowledge been used to sell seats to a tournament. One fan called the press release a sign that tournament officials were "desperate."
When the situation in women's tennis has reached the point where machinations normally kept out of public view are now discussed on fanboards I think Larry Scott, to quote Ricky Ricardo, has some "splainin' to do not only to his professional constituency but to women's tennis fans as well.
Friday, February 16, 2007