I mean, what's up with the Wimbledon champ next entering a Tier IV tournament in Korea? [:^)] Top players don't do that--they play first and sometimes second tier events. On rare occasion, a third tier. Maria played third tier Istanbul (the only opportunity she had for clay court play in preparation for Roland Garros) along with Venus and Dementieva (Elena D won). But the decision had already been taken to upgrade Istanbul.
Chasing a guaranteed win, taking away from players who need the money and points, for no better reason than to service the Williams vanity -- that's just wrong. I hope her game comes apart and Szavay or Kiri or someone else deserving shows her up.
[:P] Paul in Texas
I couldn't dismiss that possibility. I'm pretty sure Elena D played Istanbul at least in part due to a certain sympatico apart from professional considerations. But she was recovering from injury and out of the top ten. Third tier wasn't such a stretch. Maria was way rusty, coming onto clay, and lost to Rezaï in the semis so she and Elena never met. It kinda evened out.
I'm just looking at it like this: Consider Venus's compatriot, Abigail Spears. I don't know a thing about her and, yes, qualifiers have to expect a lot of bad luck of the draw. Still, she puts out to go to Seoul, fights through three qualifying matches only to find herself facing certain defeat from Venus Williams in her first main draw round. (At least she's still in doubles with Castano, that's something.) But Abigail likely won't make her expenses.
IMO, Slam champs fooling around in the lower tiers is a questionable practice, no matter how ready the tournaments are to accommodate them.
I think Venus is scared of Henin,
Venus played she best tennis in the US open semis and Henin beat her fairly comfortably, the score would have benn better if Henin was better at closing out matches.
I think she wants to get back into the rhythm of the tour before she faces Henin again she doesn't want Henin to gain any more confidence by beating her 3 times in a row.
Henin now doesn't fear Serena she has won all of their last GS encounters ands has should've won their match in LA