- Can Ana Ivanovic continue her improved quality and win the tournament?
- Can A-Rad keep her hopes alive for the YECs by winning this tourney PLUS Quebec City?
- If A-Rad can't qualify, will Bepa and Venus be seeded 7th and 8th, or 8th and 7th?
Considering the quality that Baby E displayed in Zurich, you have to think this is her tournament to win. If she plays the way she played against Venus, it's in the bag. But the good people of Linz haven't made it easy for her, as the draw is surprisingly unbalanced.
In Ana's half of the draw: Mama Bammer, Tranny, Domi, Agnes, Flav, A-Rad, Kanepi, Srebotnik, and Nads. In Bepa's half: Stosur, MaKiri, Zheng, Cornet, Schnyder, Paszek, Airon Woman, and Mono. But hey, like I always say, you want to be considered the best? Then you gotta beat whoever is in your way. Go Ana?
As for A-Rad, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that she's not going to qualify for the YEC, which is suprising in many ways. But she hasn't had the greatest season in light of the promise she displayed last year. Here's hoping it's just a matter of growing up, maturing, and getting into the physical shape she needs to compete with the big girls. There's no reason she can't be the next JJ.
Even though Bepa and Venus will almost assuredly qualify, this week's results could still affect the YECs, particulary in how the pools will set up. The way the YECs work is that the eight players get divided into two groups and those groups engage in round robin play, with the top two players in each group continuing to the semifinals. The pools are determined not by random draw (which would be interesting) but by your actual ranking (not your Race ranking).
So as of right now, the pools break up like this:
Group A: JJ, Serena, Elena, and the #7 player (currently Venus)
Group B: Dinara, Ana, Sveta, and the #8 player (currently Bepa)
UPDATE: Thanks to Kiki for her awesome research skills. The groups are actually determined by random draw after the first two seeds are placed in opposite groups:
(ii) Seeds 5 and 6 (place 1st drawn seed in Group A and remaining seed in Group B).
(iii) Seeds 7 and 8 (place 1st drawn seed in Group A and remaining seed in Group B)
So since the seeds are already decided, this means while we don't know how the groups will shake out, we do know that certain players won't be in the same group: JJ and Dinara, Serena and Ana, Lena and Sveta, and Vera and Venus.
If Bepa makes it into the final at Linz, she will overtake Venus and become the #7 player. Now, if Bepa's coach wanted to get cheeky, he'd tell her not to get past the semis. I mean, come on, do you really want to be in the group with JJ and Serena?
Boy, the YECs are gonna be FUN.