The semifinalists are set for Doha and if you look at that group it's hard to argue, as Brodie said, that of the eight players in Doha these aren't the four impact players of 2010. You've got the world #1 who was virtually unbeatable for the second half of the year, the world #2 who found her stride and made two back to back Slam finals, a defending Grand Slam champ who will likely end the year at least #3 in the world despite having to skip a Slam, and a new giant killer who proved this year that she has the game to beat anyone on any day (yes, even people named Serena) and will finish the year as the only player to beat both Serena and Woz while they were reigning #1s, aka, the chick who turned this blogger's stone heart into melty goo.
If that alone doesn't qualify as "huge impact" then you need to go read a dictionary for a bit.
While you do that I'll be in the corner with my Strunk & White trying to learn how to not write a sentence that goes on for seven lines.
But congrats to all four. Sam clinched her spot after she took the first set over Elena. Clearly she knew this and decided, as I did, to take a celebratory nap after that. Elena would take the next two sets, 64 76(4).
Just kidding. It was nice to see Elena pick up her game and play well. After that dismal performance against Caro on Tuesday it wasn't looking good for her. But she gets her revenge on Sam. Good on her.
Speaking of Caro, it was looking dicey has hell for the wannabe #1 after that first set, which Fran took 63. But the Kid righted the ship and took the next two 61 61 to clinch her spot in the semis and the year-end #1 ranking.
I haven't seen this match yet but I can't wait. Despite the scoreline I hear there were some tremendous rallies. You get on with your bad self, Fran. Now go win tomorrow to get yourself a $200k paycheck (well-deserved given the amount of on-court entertainment she's brought all week) and get thee to San Diego, where I will be rooting for you to raise that Fed Cup.
Sigh. What are we supposed to do with you, Vika? Look, everyone knows your potential is HUGE. I'm pretty sure we all thought you were going to be the first kid from your generation to hit #1, not that Danish Muppet. But it seemed as though every time you were under the radar you'd come out of nowhere with a quality run (Stanford) and when you were over the radar (I don't know...that works, right?) you would collapse, sometimes literally. The talent is there. But you gotta get fitter in the body and the head. It's just really frustrating to watch.
And mind you, I'M NOT EVEN A FAN! I actively root for you to lose. In fact, if I were to be blatantly honest, I pretty much root for you to literally collapse on the court (caveat: so long as you don't actually hurt yourself). When you walk by me at tournaments I have to hug the wall for fear that I might spontaneously kick you in the kidney. But I don't hate you as much as I love tennis and for the good of the game you need to be good. Besides, I can't hate on you when you're losing all the time. It just seems cruel.
Oh. She lost to Kim, 64 57 61. Yet another third set collapse (figuratively). Kim's win meant both she and Bepa clinched the group.
But don't go anywhere! There's still stuff to play for tomorrow! I'm really looking forward to Lena vs. Fran and Kim vs. Vera. Kim and Vera are the only undefeated players left and whoever wins will play Caro (loser gets Sam, as is life) and be eligible for bonus money for going undefeated in RR play if they win the title. Plus, and maybe I'm naive here, but I don't think any of those four will be tanking their matches. There's a lot of pride on the line.