Next week the women move on to Montreal and the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank. Seven of the Top 10 are in attendance, but the bigger story is who is not: world No. 1 Serena Williams (foot injury), Venus Williams (ankle), former No. 1 Justine Henin (elbow), Sam Stosur (arm), and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic who sent a big ‘f**** you’ message to Montreal Tournament Director Eugene Lapierre.
About a month ago Lapierre refused Ivanovic a wildcard, referring to her poor play and telling the media that her coach would be better off having her play the qualies(!), while he’d be better off giving his wildcards to ‘deserving’ Canadian players (oxymoron?).
The moron elaborated, “Yes, she’s a player who has done a lot for our tournament — almost saved it one year. She has a lot of charisma. Everyone likes her. But the fact is that she hasn’t demonstrated that she deserves a wildcard. It’s not the same as a player who has been injured and away for a while…She is the one who dropped down to No. 65, not because of an injury.”
After Ivanovic’s eventual semifinal run in Cincinnati this week combined with Lapierre’s Montreal seeded players dropping out left and right, he told the media in essence he was (essentially) thinking about graciously ‘throwing Ivanovic a bone.’
“There’s still a chance,” Lapierre said on Tuesday about Ivanovic possibly getting a wildcard, “Especially now that she’s showing us she still plays like a Top 10. We’re looking at it and there should be developments soon.”
Ooh, was Ana on the edge of her seat? Could Lapierre be more self-important?
The development was that Montreal’s star power suddenly began to dip with all the pull-outs, and Lapierre came back to Ivanovic with the wildcard offer — which she promptly told him, in so many words, to stick up his ass.
“I would have loved to have played in Montreal, but I was quite hurt by the comments of Mr. Lapierre that I was shown in the Montreal Gazette recently,” Ivanovic said on her website. “I don’t think his comments were necessary, and they contradicted everything he had told my management previously: that I was not getting a wildcard because I am not Canadian.”
Not Canadian, and not good enough. So long story long, no Ivanovic in Montreal either. That’s four former No. 1s missing the tournament due to injury or anger issues.
The 16 players seeded in Montreal are Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva, Kim Clijsters, Francesca Schiavone, Aggie Radwanska, Vera Zvonarva, Na Li, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova, Yanina Wickmayer, Shahar Peer, Flavia Pennetta, Aravane Rezai and Marion Bartoli. Floaters to watch for in the field are Nadia Petrova, Melanie Oudin (I know, but she’s the only American in the field! Sad.), Kaia Kanepi, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Petra Kvitova, Dinara Safina, Lucie Safarova, and Daniela Hantuchova.
If Oudin gets by a qualifier in her opener she will meet No. 5 Clijsters in the second round. No. 17 Bartoli and Petrova are looking at a second-round meeting. The No. 14 Peer should be tested in her opener against Kanepi, and No. 11 Kuznetsova will have her hands full from the get-go against fellow Russian Pavlyuchenkova. No. 16 Rezai starts against the rising Czech Kvitova, No. 12 Sharapova opens against Safarova with the winner to potentially meet Safina, and No. 15 Pennetta starts against Hantuchova. Not a lot of easy openers.
For my quarterfinal picks I’ll put Jankovic vs. Azarenka, Clijsters vs. Zvonareva, Kuznetsova vs. Dementieva, and Sharapova vs. Kleybanova. That means seeded favorites Li, Radwanska, Schiavone, Wozniacki and Pennetta get sidelined early. Semis = Clijsters vs. Azarenka, Dementieva vs. Sharapova. Final = Clijsters d. Sharapova. Sharapova and Clijsters will derail this if they’re not fit after their long runs this week in Cincinnati.
Dementieva is the defending champ, winning the all-Russian final against Sharapova in 2009.
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