The famous boyfriends are attracting as much attention as the top players.

Golden couple: Caroline Wozniacki (centre) and Rory McIlroy (right) in Turkey

Maria Sharapova had Serbian basketball star Sasha Vujacic in her entourage ahead of Tuesday’s start while Caroline Wozniacki was snatching the last of a few precious days together with Rory McIlroy. McIroy had stopped by as part of his highly lucrative, late season globetrotting, which took him away to Shanghai on Sunday night, making the time to watch his his partner’s early morning practice session. Before departing he politely declined to discuss the recent upheavals in his management situation, and now leaves behind Wozniacki to pursue her goal of securing the year-end No 1 spot for the second year in a row. No such need for New Jersey Nets star Vujacic to venture far. Faced with a lockout over money in the NBA, he is plying his trade conveniently with an Istanbul team to keep himself busy, so is very much local to the week’s action. His biggest concern is a finger he broke while in action on Sunday. As the tournament is taking place in his temporary home stadium of the Sinan Erdem Dome he has little excuse not to watch his other half, who still has a chance to finish the year in the top spot.

Whoever triumphs, it is near impossible to define who is truly the best player in the world because of the starkly unpredictable and fluctuating state of the women’s game in 2011. Three of the biggest and best names in the sport – Kim Clijsters, Serena and Venus Williams – have not qualified because they simply have not been fit enough to play sufficient tournaments. And all four Grand Slam winners – Clijsters, Li Na, Petra Kvitova and Samantha Stosur – have been desperately inconsistent, although the last three have put enough points on the board to get into the top eight and compete this week for £3.1million of prize money.





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