Round robin format is so uncommon in tennis that when the year-end championships come, confusion reigns.
Even the WTA sent out incorrect qualification scenarios the other day and most of the players say they try to avoid thinking about calculations and focus on winning irrespective of their chances.
Not Ana Ivanovic though. She caught herself counting games and sets during her win over Eugenie Bouchard earlier in the week before shutting it down and regaining her concentration.
“At one point in my match today I started counting, and I’m like ‘why am I doing this?’” said Ivanovic.
“Sometimes in a group that’s why it’s tough. You know what? I don’t want to know. I want to go out there and play the best I can and fight for each game.”
The White Group this week was up for grabs until the final moments.
Maria Sharapova looked like she had no idea she didn’t advance after she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets on Friday but the Russian wouldn’t confirm that when I asked her later.
Meanwhile, Radwanska walked off the court knowing that her fate rested in the hands of her friend of 15 years, Caroline Wozniacki, who was up next against Petra Kvitova. A Wozniacki win guaranteed Radwanska a spot in the semis and the Pole said she would make it worth her while if she got the job done against Kvitova.
“When I saw her (Wozniacki before her match), she was already like ‘I know, I know’. She knew what was going on. She wasn’t surprised. I think we’re just going to go shopping, but with my credit card,” said a laughing Radwanska of her brief encounter with Wozniacki before the Dane stepped on court.
After finishing off Kvitova, Wozniacki said she’ll hold Radwanska to that promise: “She owes me a handbag. I think that’s what I’m going to go for.”
While it may seem stressful for the players, not knowing whether they would make it or not, Radwanska finds it exciting.
“Well, this is only tournament that if you lose even two matches you can still go out from the group (qualify),” she explained.
“So, well, I think it’s pretty exciting, especially that every match is 50/50. You’re playing against other seven top players, and if you see and watch, I think every match is very exciting.
“You can even see until now that everything is open. So it’s good that until the last day we still don’t know who is going to win and who’s going to go out even from the other group as well.”