Though who the ‘best’ really is, seems more a function of how well each of the top eight players of 2009 have paced themselves, rather than any kind of tennis proficiency.
Case in Point, Victoria Azarenka.
Everyone knows the lopsided year she’s had; since that fateful Wimbledon QF against Serena Willliams, she’s struggled with both form and fitness.
But to me she looked the fresher of the two out there today. A likely effect of going out early in all the events she’s entered over the last few months.
She didn’t even have to work herself into one of those hissy-fits – a double edged sword at the best of times -- and somewhat surprisingly got away with playing a more conservative style of game. A style that was more Jelena-like than even Jelena herself, who, in her own words during the changeover, was having trouble “stringing two points together”.
Jelena may have pushed herself that extra mile to make the cut, but I wonder how worthwhile it all was.
The match that followed filled me with even less confidence. Venus is up against Elena a set and a break as we speak, though it was so slow to take off I gave up on it.
You have to make certain allowances of course. This is the only event on the calendar where you have to play a top ten player in your very first match. Followed by another top-tenner, and another, and then another. If the injuries you’ve picked up over the year even allow you to get that far.
After being cushioned year long, with the byes and easy openers afforded to them by their ranking, they must feel like they’re standing up in a rush hour commuter train with the likes of Vika staring over their shoulder. Oh, and you know you have to give it your best right? Coz you’re supposed to be the best.
The Williamses don’t have what you’d call pedigree at this event. Aside from last year, when Venus Williams took advantage of another weary field, you have to go all the way back to 2001 to revisit the last time one of the Sisters lifted the trophy here.
I don’t expect much to change in that regard.
That doesn’t mean I’m gonna do anything as foolish as putting forth analyses-driven predictions.
This is a market for idle speculation. Not the conscientious investor.