The sick and crippled ruin day 1 of the WTA Doha Final.

Serena and Venus had both the courage and the sportsmanship to decline their invitations to the WTA year ending Doha Championships, but neither Jelena Jankovic nor Elena Dementieva showed similar professionalism. Both are under the weather, and both would have served the game better to have stayed home. The fans at the matches and the TV audience deserve to see competitive tennis by the world’s best players, and today did not live up to their expectations. Li Na and Shahar Peer are ready and willing to step in to provide solid competion if called upon. In tomorow’s match we shall see whether KimClijsters is fit and ready, or is just in Doha to fulfill her obligation to the WTA.

Vera Zvonareva got her WTA Championships campaign off to a winning start with a 6-3 6-0 victory over Jelena Jankovic. The sixth-ranked Serbian has been troubled by a sinus problem in the past week and was clearly out of sorts at the season-ending tournament in Doha. It remains to be seen whether the former world number one will be able to fulfil her remaining matches against Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka in the White Group, while Zvonareva will be pleased with the result of her first outing in the round-robin format.

In Tueday’s second match, top seed Caroline Wozniacki crushed seventh seed Elena Dementieva of Russia 6-1 6-1 in the Maroon Group. “I’m really happy, for me to pull this one through was really nice,” said Wozniacki after the match.

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