miércoles, 5 de noviembre de 2008

Jankovic leads star-laced field at Sony Ericsson Championships

Jankovic leads star-laced field at Sony Ericsson Championships
he elite Sony Ericsson Championships debut in Qatar this week after two years in Spain. The usual suspects, besides the injured Maria Sharapova, are in the eight-woman tournament, and Venus Williams will make a long-awaited return. Thanks to Justine Henin's departure, we'll have a new champ this year.

"It's a great tournament, where the spotlight is completely on the players and they're treated like queens," said Katrina Adams, a former pro and now an analyst for the Tennis Channel. "I think each match is going to be competitive."

Here's a breakdown of the field:

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Jelena Jankovic

Winning Doha would be the perfect vindication for Jelena Jankovic, who finished 2008 sans a Grand Slam title.
Jelena Jankovic

Seed: 1
2008 record: 63-17, four titles
2008 Grand Slams: SF Australian Open, SF French Open, 4R Wimbledon, F U.S. Open
Career Grand Slam titles: none
Previous appearance at year-end championships: 2007

Consistency hasn't been a problem for the elastic Jankovic: She's the only woman in this tournament who has reached at least the semifinals in three majors this season.

Winning the big one, though, is still troublesome.

Perhaps the Serb could do little against dominant eventual champion Sharapova at the Australian Open, but Jankovic let a break advantage slip deep in the third set against countrywoman Ana Ivanovic at the French. In New York, too much levity hindered her versus Serena Williams in the U.S. Open finale. Jankovic picked herself up in the fall, though, and won titles in three straight weeks.

The debate rages as to whether Jankovic deserves to be the year-end No. 1; a win in Doha would strengthen her case.

Adams' verdict: "I think she's probably the hottest player going in. Winning the championships would be huge for her and also take some pressure off her from her peers and say to fans, 'I'm No. 1 without a Slam, but I've won the championships,' which, in the ladies' opinion, is probably the fifth-most-important tournament of the year."

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