Venus Rises, Beats Jankovic to Reach WTA Championships Final in Doha
by Sean Randall | November 8th, 2008
  • 40 Comments

Venus Williams is into the WTA Championships final after defeating top seed Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. In the title match Venus will meet the surprising Vera Zvonareva, a 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3 victor over Elena Dementieva.

The Venus-Jankovic match really hinged on that lengthy fifth game of the third set, which Venus finally won after about 20 minutes to go up 4-2.

Both finalists are a perfect 4-0 this week at the Championships. Williams will make her first appearance in a year-end final while Zvonareva will make her second such appearance.

With regards to the event, I again have to question the selection of Doha as the host. It’s a money issue we know, but it just doesn’t look good to see so many empty seats in the stadium like we did today. There were also noticeable “empties” during much of the round-robin matches as well.

And it was disappointing to see Serena and Ana Ivanovic both withdraw from their matches Friday. Especially Serena, who would have reached the semifinals with a win over Dementieva. Serena of course withdrew with a stomach injury, but by the looks it today, at least the injury wasn’t bad enough to prevent her from continuously texting from the player box during Venus’s match (is she still dating the rapper Common?).

Speaking of dating, Ivanovic had to pull out due to a virus, perhaps contracted from new/rumored boyfriend Fernando Verdasco who was in Doha rooting on Ana. I guess Fernando finally made it to a year-end Championship event, and he’s doing it in style.

As for tomorrow, Venus has won five of six meetings with Vera including 10 straight sets, so it’s tough to bet against Venus in this one.


Also Check Out:
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Serena, Venus to Meet in Doha WTA Finals
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Jankovic in, Year-end WTA Champs Field Set; Safina No. 1 Again
Serena Williams vs. Dinara Safina at WTA Champs: Do You Care?

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40 Comments for Venus Rises, Beats Jankovic to Reach WTA Championships Final in Doha

Andrew Miller Says:

Agreed on F. Verdasco: He has decided to take his inability to capitalize on his unreal talent (to me, the top underachiever on the ATP Tour) to the WTA Tour, bringing down Ivanovic in the process.

Man, I really overlooked that factor. I thought Ivanovic unraveled since the French Open because of “the burden of expectations.” Little did I know, it was because of the new alignment with a proven squanderer of opportunity. Don’t get me wrong: Ivanovic can quit tomorrow and have already had a great career – even better than Iva Majoli – but nowhere near what she should be aspiring for. Then again, who am I to question her…life on the WTA is tough, especially with so many, many injuries preventing even practice, a girl’s got to have some fun in the downtime.

Sorry to be so hard on VerdaSCO, but got to be tough on talent that decides to fritter it away. Then again, can I really blame him for being smitten by Ivanovic. There are far, far worse short term fates – such as being exiled to the challenger circuit, or even the likelihood of his being dumped when, or if, Ivanovic’s star rises anew. At least his semi-twin lefty partner in crime Feliciano Lopez has decided to become a better player, who Verdasco can beg for a doubles game after Ivanovic decides to cut him loose. Hey, you cant save them all.

In the talent world, I am hard on Baghdatis also, but Baghdatis has far, far more to show for his career if he quits tomorrow than Verdasco probably will at the low-expectations, pitiful performance pace he is at. James Blake and even Richard Gasquet also pass the expectations test: we know that they achieve as far as they are CAPABLE, and most of their losses hinge on a bad strategy, rather than just overall top to bottom underperformance. But Verdasco doesnt even test himself. Let’s just say he is a member of the team that travels down to Buenos Aires for Davis Cup – and then, unlikely as it is, David Ferrer and Feli Lopez get hurt, David in the first match, Feli breaking his hand after the doubles, and Spain is down 1-2. Nadal plays, wins, and the pressure is on Verdasco, who fails brilliantly, getting destroyed in three quick, merciless sets at the hands of another brilliant underachiever, David Nalbandian the armenian argentine. Verdasco can only blame himself.

Hence, the tough treatment. Verdasco buddy you are running out of time on tour…a hungry generation is out to beat you every tournament…WAKE UP BRO!


Von Says:

Hedda Hopper here, I read Serena got dumped by the rapper after their Hawaii interlude. Shame on the rapper — that’s pretty Common-place.
___________
Sean Randall:

Even though Doha was chosen for the money, it definitely didn’t make sense with respect to the empty seats, and lifeless cheers emanating from the crowd. It’s difficult to envision the crowd providing energy for the players — pretty blah stuff.

____________
Andrew:

I often wonder about these tennis romances.
None of them seemed to work out in the past, e.g., Connors/Evert. The jinx seems to run true to form. Ever since Fernando Gonzalez hooked up with Gisela Dulko he has played poorly and dropped out of the Top 10. And, since Ivanovic hooked up with Verdasco she’s been having problems with her game. The players need to look past the tennis arena for a suitable boy/girl friend — it seems there’s a jinx that’s spreading like a virus.


;o Says:

Von – Ever heard of Radek Stepanek?

Many WTA tour supporters are quite adamant that he damaged Hingis’ career, and has pretty much destroyed any talent that the young Vaidisova has.


Kimmi Says:

Von, another good example is Hingis/Stepanek, look where Hingis is right now. Vaidisova/Stepanek, I can say the same here too.

Venus did well today, I love her athletism. Zvonareva watch out tomorrow. If venus wins it will be a good way to start next year, we can expect her to take another Grand Slam apart from wimbledon.


Von Says:

;o and Kimmi:

Seems you two are of the same mind. Isn’t that something with Stepanek/Hingis and then as soon as he hooked up with Vaidisova, she got mono and hasn’t played for several months. There’s one even better, Tommy Robredo used to date Dulko and he fell out of the top 10; and now Gonzo has followed suit. Maybe they should follow the old school of thought that workplace romances are detrimental in more ways than one. :P


;o Says:

Vaidisova didn’t get mono from what I know.

I know that she was heralded as a rising talent, the next Maria Sharapova, reaching the top ten when she was 17. She was making the second week of slams, semi finals and quarterfinals in tournaments.

She then started dating Radek in late 2007, and 2008 was a disaster for her. She had okay results, but had 6 consecutive 1r losses at one point. And now shes ranked 40ish, down about 30 spots from a year ago :x


Von Says:

I heard mention of Vaidisova contracting mono, and that kept her out of the tour for about 3 months. Maybe it was just a rumor but her connection with Step certainly hasn’t helped her career. Step’s like the bubonic plague or SARS. :P


Stefan Says:

Zvonareva has been amazing this week, she looks like she’s really improved her fitness of late. For the final tomorrow I’m picking Venus… even if Zvonareva plays super-aggressively Venus’ athleticism and superior defensive game will be too much for a (probably) nervous Zvonareva. Good to see that the last two players to qualify are the last two left standing!

By the way Sean, Zvonareva has never been to the final of YEC before, the only other year she qualified in 2004, she didn’t win a single match. Nice turnaround for her.


Kimmi Says:

Yes, Zvonareva has been amazing!!! But I just have to say her match with Demantieva was a crazy one. There was so many breaks of serve…it was unbelivable. I was watching the way they serve, they both seem to be hitting in the middle of the court, they don’t know how to measure the lines, the ground strokes were better from both girls. Up until the end could not see who has the edge, you could see anytime one of them will be broken again. Kudos for Zvonareva for sticking it until the end.

I agree with you Stefan, Venus is much stronger and has the bigger serve too…Well, when it is on. Unless she goes walk about again like the way she did in the second set with Jankovic then Zvonareva will have a chance.


Von Says:

Kimmi:

Dementieva seems to always jump out in front and then fizzles. I’m amazed at how many matches she’s lost like that.

I believe Venus will win tomorrow based mainly on her good form and her experience in the big matches. I agree with you, Venus at times, has an affinity for astral walking.


gulu Says:

Venus winning matches is always good news for me! :-) I don’t think there’s any player among women who’s glad to face her . Venus has 5 Wimby already which means I am maximum satisfied with her performance! A Wimby is what a player needs to make me a fan!


gulu Says:

Hi Von! Who are your favourite women tennis players? Mine fav among d current lot is Venus as was Henin(whom I still respect as much as anyone else) n then Serena.However I consider Navratilova as the greatest tennis lady ever followed by Steffi Graf.


Von Says:

Hi gulu:

Presently, I like the Williams sisters, Mauresmo, although she is becoming obsolete, Dementieva and Safina. I also loved Steffi Graf and Seles. To a lesser extent I liked Clijsters and Capriati.


gulu Says:

Von,what about Henin? Didn’t you like her? I think she’s a great tennis player really. BTW I also watch Sharapova and Ivanovic’s matches on TV,coz they have a lov to offer to guys like me besides tennis ! ;-)


JJFAN Says:

A chick thread…phfft! Those actually talking about tennis have some good comments.

Those players who have it together have a concubine/companion who travels with them like a Federer or Nalbandian does. “Girl friend” is just trying to dignify the practice. The reality is a young woman linked up with a very wealthy and attractive guy. They are playboys. The women players, the straight ones, cannot pull that off in the same way.


;o Says:

Henin, although having lots of talent, has a lot to tarnish her reputation.

The ‘hand’ incident, retiring in a grandslam final, refusing to play Fed cup (the only country really that people do that is France..), looking to the box to challenge (now a lot of players do it, but it was really her who started it) etc.


Von Says:

o;

“The ‘hand’ incident, retiring in a grandslam final, refusing to play Fed cup (the only country really that people do that is France..), looking to the box to challenge (now a lot of players do it, but it was really her who started it) etc.”

What Henin did to Mauresmo completely turned me off from her; why couldn’t she finish the match and give Amelie the glory. SHenin was well enough to stand throughout the entire presentation so how much more would it have inconvenienced her to play out the few games.

I disliked her consistent looking up at her at coach for signals — to me that was on-court coaching even though she was the one who was adamant against on-court coaching. she was very unpatriotic with Fed Cup.

_____________
JJFAN:

“Those players who have it together have a concubine/companion who travels with them like a Federer or Nalbandian does. “Girl friend” is just trying to dignify the practice>”

I’ve always said ‘girlfriend’ is a modern word for mistress. The wommen who travel around with the tennis players are just ‘kept’ women, has been tennis players, who want a good life.

_____________
gulu:

No never really cared for Sharapova; same goes for Ivanovic. I’m a gal so their appearance doesn’t much matter to me. I don’t consider either one of them to be classical beauties; attractive but nothing that’s absolutely aluring.


grendel Says:

Von says:”What Henin did to Mauresmo completely turned me off from her; why couldn’t she finish the match and give Amelie the glory.”

I absolutely agree. And I personally used to find her “allez”, strategically emitted, extremely irritating. But that doesn’t change the fact that Henin was a magical player, a little bundle of genius wrapped in a pint sized frame. The tour sorely misses her. Frew Macmillan – who has always been a great admirer of Federer, and you can tell that he enjoys his play as only a top ex player can – liked to say that rather than call Henin the female equivalent of Federer, how about calling Federer the male Henin?

Like Hingis, she was an absolute one off, although she had even more variety to play with . And unlike Hingis, she had worked out how to beat the Amazonian giants who dominate the women’s tour (which is not to take anything away from the Williams sisters, who are just as great in their different ways). If you think about it, Henin defied the physically plausible. It went against nature, and had to end prematurely.

In the end, I think we forgive geniuses for their tiresome quirks, for their occasional lack of moral fibre. And we do this, surely, just because they are so utterly exceptional, and have given us pleasure which is rarely come by. People will remember Henin in 50 years: she deserves it.


grendel Says:

Further to the above, it was excellent to see Mauresmo beat Henin “legitimately” as it were in the Wimbledon final – after being swept aside in the first set, too.

Some ironies here. When Mauresmo first burst upon the scene, she was seen to be something of an Amazon warrior herself. Recall Hingis’ spiteful remarks – actually, Hingis never did quite understand discretion; when Sharapova was beating her, I think for the first time, she was having some difficulty finishing the match off. Hingis clutched dramatically at her throat, a broad grin on her face although, with all those teeth, it wasn’t always entirely clear when a smile was intended. Still, the dramatic enactment of a death rattle choke was extremely funny, unless you happened to be Sharapova, who appeared to be shocked into taking conclusive remedial measures. You could argue that the handshake over the net had a touch of the chilly about it.

Back to Mauresmo, though. She was seen as this great hulking creature with an unfair advantage in terms of her muscular attributes. On the other hand, although she hit the ball harder than anyone else, her aim was , it is fair to say, erratic. And yet, as the years went by, she was no longer anything special in terms of mere muscular bulk – although she was always a magnificent athlete, the best since Graf surely – and in fact she became a byword for caution, and even passivity. But at her best, she was the only player capable of coming near Henin in terms of skill allied to power (Williams sisters excepted as always; they disobey all the rules about everything).

Henin and Mauresmo made the women’s game interesting, for me anyway. Bit of a shock to (effectively) lose them both at the same time.


Von Says:

grendel:
“But that doesn’t change the fact that Henin was a magical player, a little bundle of genius wrapped in a pint sized frame. The tour sorely misses her.”

No, it doesn’t, but by the same token, let’s not forget the saying “handsome is as handsome does.” Despite all of Henin’s greatness and her ability to dethrone the muscular giants, I don’t think we should condone or excuse her insouciance towards Mauresmo, which in my opinion, stemmed from her cocksure hubris — her on-court greatness gave her the license to be thoughless and uncaring of her colleague’s great moment of triumph. However, this kind of behaviour does not apply only to Henin, but to most athletes, when they’ve achieved what we perceive to be “greatness”; and which automatically places them under the umbrella of “entitlement”. Consequently, the dreadful behaviour which we loudly decry from the lesser ranked, is swept under the carpet when it emanates from the greats, and remain unscathed.

There’s a certain standard an athlete who is deemed great should uphold. Low-class behavior and/or cocksure hubris should be avoided at all costs. Yes, Henin will be in the history books for the dynamic figure she once was, (good things come in small packages) but she’ll be equally be remembered for some of her smears as well. Similarly, John McEnroe will be remembered for his 178 titles and many other tennnis attributes, but will simultaneously be remembered for his insane outbursts and/or tantrums.

When we talk to our youth/offspring about these larger-than-life figures, that’s a message we should share. “X” and “Y” is one heck of a tennis/baseball/player, with special God-given talents, that combined with his/her hard work makes for a special athlete. On the other hand, he/she could be a pompous/overbearing you-know-what, just like anybody else you might meet; but being a special athlete doesn’t make for a special person.

There’s a point to all of the Shakespearean tragedies: cocksure hubris hides flaws, including flawed reasoning, something we should all be wary of allowing to take root in our thought processes.

No one is perfect. Henin’s Allez was not any different from Hewitt’s “come-ons”, but were overlooked due to her great style of play, while Hewitt was condemned with utter vehemence. Henin was the best during her reign and I’m of the firm belief that had she played the FO this year before retiring, Ivanovic would still be slam-less. She was a one of a kind female athlete, par excellence. She is very much missed and has created a crevasse on the women’s tour which is irreparable and will be for quite some time.

“True is it that we have seen better days”. -


Von Says:

CONGRATS TO VENUS WILLIAMS FOR HER FABULOUZZ WIN of the women’s YEC. Way to go Venus — keep the Stars ‘n Stripes a flyin’!!


Von Says:

I know many liked Hingis for her “smarts’ on the court, and I have to hand it to her, she was smart and played a very intelligent game. However, Hingis was guilty of extremely poor sportsmanship. Inasmuch as Serena has been accused of the same, never giving justified kudos to her opponents, I believe Hingis beat her hands down in that department. She has openly likened Mauresmo to a “man” and negated Sharapova’s game in a few words, viz., “Maria doesn’t bring much to the court.” I never did like those teeth — (Red Riding Hood – “better to eat you my dear”) :D I’m being a catty female here, but in the circumstances I feel somewhat justified in stating the obvious, due to Mauresmo being my fave. :P Mauresmo despite her bulk was beautiful to watch when she was on song. A beautiful serve and volleyer and one devoid of the ‘prima donnaesque’ mannerisms. I will surely miss her when she retires — in fact I miss her already.


Kimmi Says:

Yes, congrants Venus. This is a big win for her. She has not won a MAJOR hardcourt title since a long time. Commentator of the Euro sport said she is now second all-time among women players in career prize money. surprising stats.

Yes Von, way to go Venus, looking good for next year.


gulu Says:

Ha Ha , Venus won,she should have done it as I am all out supporting her,she’s a fabulous player,just like her great sister and the great Henin! Amelie’s a very good player of course,but not a great champion,she has only herself to blame for this! ;-)


gulu Says:

Ok,Henin might hav been a bad loser n henc can b blamed,she might hav been a bit more rude too! So what?We can give her a break.BTW,greatness has much to do with morality and going by this Amelie is a highly immoral woman having lesbian relationships !


gulu Says:

Sorry for sayin this about Amelie but she’s definitely not a better person than Henin that’s for sure. I request you not to criticise Henin or others too much. The Williams sisters are not well behaved either,they needn’t be actually,nor need be Henin !


gulu Says:

Strictly speaking no women tennis player is a nice person! :-( I mean you need to observe with impartiality to yourself realise how spoiled ,ill-behaved ,proud these women racket holders are with some naturally being more detestable than others!


gulu Says:

However after thinking a little bit, I am forced to give Venus Williams a clean chit in this matter of outbursts,rudeness and misbehavior.I’d like to apologise to you to refer to both the Williams as rude! Serena isn’t better mannered at all but Venus is.


gulu Says:

Venus is a dignified lady,the only good person among the women actually. She’s one of the best players and person ever! :-)


gulu Says:

Von,do you say that I am or should start taking interest in classical beauties !? ;-)


gulu Says:

Dear Von, you are like my elder sister,so I’d make sure that I get your advice before I marry,so promise to guide me so that I’d never fall into d trap of women lik Sharapova or Ivanovic! ;-) My parents too r there not 2 allow me 2 run after such women


bob22 Says:

Jankovic should win that match! She had better control, excellent winners and it was a play with better quality. Venus has only power on her side, with shots sometimes going to far of the court. I know that not too many will not agree with me, but I also need to point how commentators we ignorant to JJ excellent play. In one instance where JJ was approaching the net and won the winner comments were how this is good defensive play?! During the match we hear how he serve is weak, how she needs to improve the second server and how she is only defensive player… Also it was more then obvious that they were openly cheering for Venus: “Oooo Yes!” cheering, was common on Venus winners. Maybe JJ should do what Monika Seles (to change the citizenship), did so then she will get proper recognition… and get welcomed to the world of double standards


bob22 Says:

Sory for typos here is a correction:
Jankovic should win that match! She had better control, excellent winners and it was a play with better quality. Venus has only power on her side, with shots sometimes going to far of the court. I know that not too many will agree with me, but I also need to point how commentators we ignorant to JJ excellent play. In one instance where JJ was approaching the net and won the winner, comments were how this is good defensive play?! During the match we also hear how he serve is weak, how she needs to improve the second serve and how she is only defensive player… Also it was more then obvious that they were openly cheering for Venus, since: “Oooo Yes!” were common comments on Venus winners. Maybe JJ should do what Monika Seles (to change the citizenship), did so then she will get proper recognition… and get welcomed to the world of double standards.


JJFAN Says:

bob22, don’t miss that Venus is the American being covered by an American network. Talking up the American players game is what many fans in their market want to hear, at least I think so. You would be correct in hoping that comments would at least be fair. I too do my share of cursing while listening to the coverage and the dumba$$ comments about JJ, same script as last time.


Von Says:

gulu:

I’d be honored to help you with your bridal selection. Remember hon, a beautiful face is not the benchmark, even though it goes a long way, but a genuninely amiable/good-natured/sweet/forgiving young woman can make life joyful. Don’t worry you’ll know when the right one comes along. :P


bob22 Says:

Thnaks JJFan, I do understand that having American players winning the matches helps sponsors, US Tennis association and eventualy it benefits all of us. But on other side I am still having problem with “loaded” comments. In two ocassions, Nole was playing I even need to turn the sound off. I wish we all talk more about tennis as a game and less about how do we hate someone’s parents, who do they date etc…


bob22 Says:

to Gulu:
gulu Says:
>Strictly speaking no women tennis player is a nice person!
Sorry to be rude, but this is a stupid remark. Do you have any idea why do they need to behave in such way? Do you know how many people are trying to take advantage of this young girls and ladies? If you had a chance to see what challenges they have, you will probably change your opinion.


Von Says:

Bob22:

Hi, I empathise with you regarding the announcers, but take heart, it’s not only players from other countries tht are dumped on, it’s players from the US too. Truthfully, I think the players from other countries are less in the limelight than the Americans are and as a result fly under the radar. As a Roddick fan, I can tell you that whenever he lost at a GS I would watch TV with the volume on mute, because they way the ecommentators would talk so negatively about him made me want to scream at them. The American media is very cruel to both the American players and non-Americans. They have short-term memory of only 24 hours and in some cases even less. It doesn’t matter how much a player wins but the minute they lose, every one of them have to add their two cents worth and make life miseraable for the player. The media has one slogan “What have yu done for me lately”. Incredible.


bob22 Says:

Thanks Von. On other subject, I am impressed on your determination, you were online and watching early matches! I did not have that strength, I missed the opening set between Davidenko and Djokovic :(


Von Says:

bob22:

You’re welcome. I cheated. I slept for a few hours earlier last night and then woke up around 4:45 am to see the matches, which I’m I did. I didn’t see the entire matches because I nodded off at times.

Djoko didn’t play very well v. Davy, but he held his nerve and hung in there, long enough for Davy to beat himself. Davy choked serving out the first set at 5-4, and then lost the breaker. Then Djoker decided to do some astral walking, among the stars walking and got bageled, but he pulled it together in the third with Davy’s help, — another choke. Anyway, I know you’re not going to complain, because your guy won, so congrats and I hope this year he makes it to the finals, to compensate for last year. Keep the faith. :P

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