Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wavering Women

Things were looking bleak for the women of the tennis world at the beginning of last week: no-shows by many of the top women at the Pacific Life, plus the continuing question of the commitment of both V and S of the Williams clan loomed over the desert at Indian Wells.

Tuesday proved to be the bombshell day we were all fearing. Seeds falling one-by-one, slowly but painfully stripping the draw of this Tier I tournament of any luster it had left. Roland Garros 2004 anyone? I think so.

So why? Why is the women's game going through so much trouble right now? The road has certainly gotten bumpy, if not treacherous as of late. And to think that six weeks ago we were staring at a beaming Serena imagining the glory that could be this year - well, at least I was.

But that road might only get worse. Peter Bodo spoke of the WTA Roadmap to be discussed next week at the Nasdaq, and not only have the stars made taken their bows at the PL, but no American woman is left in the draw. But perhaps this is the chance for those starlets-in-the-wings to take center stage? Vaidasova, Kuznetsova and Golovin are all still alive. As Bethanie Mattek noted in an interview last month, perhaps the WTA should put more emphasis on these up-and-comers, because when tournaments like this take their form, we need names other than Sharapova and Williams.

The future really is now, can the WTA figure that out?

No comments: