Weekly Pro Tennis Top 5: Nalbandian Repeats, Catching Betting Cheats

by Richard Vach | November 5th, 2007, 12:45 am

The Top 5 happenings in pro tennis heading into the week of Nov. 5, 2007:

5. New mom Lindsay Davenport is still collecting titles

First she got pregnant. Then she said she “couldn’t see” herself playing pro tennis ever again. Then she had a baby boy. Then she started playing pro tennis. While she has only entered low-level tournaments (Bali, Beijing, Quebec City) since her return, the former No. 1 has collected two titles in three events, defeating a Top 5 player (Jelena Jankovic) and putting some bagel beat-downs on some of the tour rank-and-file players. Now the regular season is over — too bad there’s not a wildcard for former No. 1s at this week’s year-ending WTA Championships.
4. David Nalbandian wins the Masters Series-Paris on the heels of the Masters Series-Madrid title

The sometimes-fat, sometimes inspiration-challenged Argentine doesn’t reach a semi all year, then suddenly beats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same week — then twice in back-to-back Masters Series events. Too bad there’s not a wildcard for former Top 10 Wimbledon runner-ups who wait until the end of the season to get their head out of their butt. Was there ever a player who didn’t qualify for the Masters Cup who was more a favorite to win it?

3. Masters Cup flame-outs

French man-child Richard “Baby Fed” Gasquet qualifies for his first year-end championship, edging out a hard-charging Andy Murray. Disappointing were the Masters-run folds by Tommy Haas and James Blake, who failed to reach the quarters in his last three events, and whose confidence won’t be helped entering the Davis Cup final.

2. The WTA Tour Championships — will it make SportsCenter?

Could your average Jane Tennis Fan tell you where the year-ending WTA Tour Championships are being held? Or name half the field? Can you? Will it be showed in the U.S. on tape, as usual? Promoted correctly the year-end championships should be news, with Serena Williams trying to reverse a three-match losing streak against world No. 1 Justine Henin, who has won nine titles and is on a 20-match winning streak.

1. Is tennis is a bad-boy (and girl) sport again? Is bad PR better than no PR?

Martina Hingis testing positive for Coke. Nikolay Davydenko, already under investigation for involvement in potential match-fixing, getting fined repeatedly for apparently tanking (“not putting forth best effort”) in matches. The ATP Paris event kicking out spectators with laptops (that will fix this whole betting scandal!). British juniors suspended for posting party pics on the internet. Tennis coaches molesting kids left and right (what is going on in Britain?). Every other ATP player has a story about being approached with money to dump matches, this after the ATP initially said match-fixing was an invention of the media. Stay tuned to see who can implement proper fixes, and who denies problems and bans laptops.

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13 Comments for Weekly Pro Tennis Top 5: Nalbandian Repeats, Catching Betting Cheats

beerme Says:

who the hell cares about the sony wta championsip? henin is so much better than everyone that serena cant even brag anymore. the only thing interesting is how big she will be when she shows up.


josh Says:

i cant wait to see it, who is showing the wta championships and will it be on TV live?

Raindeleigh Says:

With the betting scandals, arent’ we delving into something deeper and more sensational? — That there is an underlying organized crime element that has infiltrated professional tennis and may be bullying our players (as is SOP for organized crime).

I feel fear for some of them…

Is it that everyone (players, coaches, etc. )knows who is calling the players with the “throw the match” pitch, but may be keeping quiet to keep themselves and their families safe????

What do you think?

Marjan Swantek Says:

Is it true that both Tennis & Versus Channels will carry the WTA Matches?? I know that Versus starts on Tues. & runs thru the day! I wish that WTA would post such showings!!

beerme Says:

“I wish that WTA would post such showings!!”

I agree that it would be good if the people that are in charge of promoting tennis knew what they were doing. how come I dont see commercials for the year end championships like for other sports?

John (1) Says:


Versus will show the singles. The TC will show doubles. (Does anyone care about doubles? Ever since they introduced no-ad to doubles, I gave up, I don’t watch.) Non-US is Eurosport.

Versus “live” schedule is:

Noon-7pm, Tue-Fri, 11/6-11-9, 3 RR per day. 12 Total. Yellow plays Yellow, Red plays Red. Four players in each group. Each player plays the other 3. Yellow(JH,JJ,SW,AC) Red(SK,AI,MS,DH) Alternates(Marion Bartoli and Elena Dementieva). Colors are determined by the country, in this case Spain. Venus, who finished 7th, bailed out.

4pm-8pm, Sat, 11/10, SF, 4 players make SF, #1 plays other group’s #2.

5pm-7pm, Sun, 11/11, Final

Interesting note: There are two different rankings (Race to YE and last 52 weeks). The “race” determines who plays, but the 52 week ranking determines seed???!! For example: Maria Sharapova ended 9th in the “race” but is 6th in 52 week ranking.

John (1) Says:

Note: The above Versus times are Eastern Time.

John (1) Says:

Richard Vach said: “Nikolay Davydenko, already under investigation for involvement in potential match-fixing, getting fined repeatedly for apparently tanking (”not putting forth best effort”) in matches.”

Richard, I think the word “repeatedly” is misleading. I’m only aware of one fine (at the St. Petersburg Open against Marin Cilic). Are you aware of another fine? If so, I cannot find where this has been reported.

Edward Says:

John.. is the same ranking.. so many people is confused with this… i dont know if i can explain it but im going to try.

YE is ranking for the year, in this ranking every player starts the ranking with 0 points at the beginning of the year.. Both rankings become the exact same one at the end of the year..!

Currently Sharapova is 9th on the race because the points she gain in Madrid last year doesnt count on this ranking but in the last 52 weeks she had those points…

I hope u can understand this better when Madrid ends and u can see that the rankings r the same

John (1) Says:

Edward said “Both rankings become the exact same one at the end of the year..!”

This is not true. The “race” rankings include every tournament. The 52 week rankings are the best of 17.

John (1) Says:

1) Davydenko won his appeal and his $2000 fine has been overturned.


2) He also gave his view of the infamous Betfair match.


Whatever-ishere Says:

thanks for the GREAT post! Very useful…

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