February 21, 2009

Getting Past the Politics

So Shahar Peer wasn't the only one upset by the goings-on in Dubai this week. But even though the Israeli tennis star was denied a visa to play in the women's draw, she did receive some compensation as the WTA awarded her both prize money and ranking points to make up for the opportunity she missed.

Other players didn't fare so well.

Second-seeded Dinara Safina lost in the second round to eventual finalist Virginie Razzano while Jelena Jankovic was ousted easily a match later by Kaia Kanepi. Venus Williams took out the other top seeds in her half -- Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals and her sister Serena in the semis.

The match-up between Venus and Virginie went off pretty much as you'd expect -- the sixth seed won her fortieth title in straight sets while the Frenchwoman went home with the second place trophy.

But Razzano certainly proved her worth in Dubai this week. On her path to the finals she defeated not only Safina, but Kataryna Bondanrenko, Daniela Hantuchova and Vera Zvonareva -- all of whom are ranked higher than her. It's been over a year since she last played in a final, but she looks poised to make a comeback this year.

Elsewhere, my prediction of an all-teenage final in Memphis seems to have come to fruition. Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka will battle each other for the Regions Morgan Keegan title -- ironically the two are also paired together in the doubles draw and will take on the surprise team of Yuliana Fedak and Michaella Krajicek in the finals for that championship.

Can't wait to see the fireworks!

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