WTA Championships Controversy; ATP Basel, Valencia Previews
by Staff | October 20th, 2013, 1:05 pm

The women’s WTA tour enters into it’s championship week featuring the Top 8-ranked players, while the men’s ATP tour rolls on with events at Valencia and Basel, then the Paris Masters next week, before they wrap up the season with their year-end championships.

Here’s a look at events this week:
Istanbul, Turkey; Surface: hard

Seeds: Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber

Notes: The draw ceremony to determine the Red Group and White Group will be later on Sunday…Play begins Tuesday…$6 million in prize money is up for grabs…Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and American Sloane Stephens are the tournament alternates…Controversy came with the end of the season as Kerber received a late wildcard for the Linz tournament, which she won, allowing her to edge Wozniacki for a Top 8 spot. “I do not understand that (the WTA) can suddenly change the draw and allocation of wildcards that way,” Wozniacki said. “There are many things that have been done in an unsportsmanlike and unethical manner. And you can hear from other players. They think it’s so ridiculous.”…Williams takes a 13-match win streak into the event and will finish the year No. 1…Qualifier and former champ Maria Sharapova pulled from the draw with a shoulder injury…Former champs in the field are Williams (2012,’09.’01) and Kvitova (2011).

Basel, Switzerland; Surface: hard

Seeds: Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet, Kei Nishikori, Andreas Seppi, Grigor Dimitrov

Floaters: Marcos Baghdatis, Michael Llodra, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic

Notes: Rafael Nadal pulls from the event citing a need for rest…Tough openers for (5) Gasquet who could be gassed after a long weekend vs. Llodra, (8) Dmitrov vs. The Worm, and (2) Berdych vs. Dr. Ivo…Del Potro beat Federer in last year’s final…Wildcards went to Swiss Marco Chiudinelli, the Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, and Swiss Henri Laaksonen…Other players pulling were Brian Baker, Nikolay Davydenko, Federico Delbonis, Marinko Matosevic, and Milos Raonic…Returning former champs in the field are Del Potro (2012) and Federer (2011-10,’08-06).

Valencia, Spain; Surface: hard

Seeds: David Ferrer, Tommy Haas, Nicolas Almagro, John Isner, Jerzy Janowicz, Gilles Simon, Fabio Fognini, Kevin Anderson

Floaters: Gael “Force” Monfils, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, Janko Tipsarevic, Ernests Gulbis, Mikhail Youzhny, Bernard Tomic, Philipp Kohlschreiber

Notes: Tough openers go to (1) Ferrer vs. Gael Force (winner to likely face Lopez), (4) Isner vs. Gulbis, and (2) Haas vs. German compatriot Kohlschreiber (winner to meet Youzhny vs. Tomic winner)…Wildcards went to Spaniards Roberto Bautista-Agut, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, and Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco…Pulling from the event were Marin Cilic (doping bust), J�rgen Melzer, Juan Monaco, Sam Querrey and Tommy Robredo…The Bryan brothers are the top seeds in doubles, and defending champs Peya/Soares the No. 2 seeds…Ferrer beat Alex Dolgopolov in last year’s final…Returning former champs in the field are Ferrer (2012,’10,’08), Marcel Granollers (2011), Almagro (2007-06), and Verdasco (2004).


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9 Comments for WTA Championships Controversy; ATP Basel, Valencia Previews

Giles Says:

Be quiet Woz!!

Okiegal Says:

Glad Rafa pulled out……smart move for team Rafa. I won’t bee too shocked if he misses the other two and puts all he’s got into preparing for Aussie Open……..those five setters are killers for injury prone players. Good luck, Rafa for 2014 .


Charles Says:

good move. wtf is a must this year for u for ur claim of goat.

WTF Says:

There is nothing controversial about a late wildcard.

It’s just lucky for her that she ended up winning the tournament and doubly lucky that it was just enough to make top 8. Unlucky for Woz, but she should have done better.

If Kerber didn’t win the title, or won but it wasn’t enough points to qualify, nobody would be talking about this at all.

When it’s this close, it’s no surprise at all that qualification goes down to the wire.

Alexandra Says:

Let’s say I would be shocked if Rafa doesn’t play Paris/WTF.
I can understand that Caroline was upset, but I’m sure it was according to the rules. Kerber was also down to play Moscow if she hadn’t gotten that wildcard.
The last spots for WTF might be interesting.

Joe Says:

didn’t they make another player give up her wild card so Kerber could have it?

ID Fan Says:

Smart move from Rafa. WTF is a title he needs to win to have a stronger claim for GOAT.

Basel should be exciting. You can find the preview at my blog.

hawkeye Says:

Rafa has only played Paris three times (the last time in 2009) so I’d be surprised if he DID play Paris.

Wouldn’t be the end of the world for him to skip WTF for that matter.

Focus on 2014 Champ!!! Vamos Rafa!!!!

BT Says:

Sour grapes Caroline. You had an average season. If Maria didn’t pull out you wouldn’t even be first alternate.

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