I note that Kim Clijsters has announced a comeback two years after quitting tennis, and has been discussing on-tour babysitting techniques with Lindsay Davenport. So why come back if family matters have to come first? Simple. Because she's probably had a look at the current form of the top players and realised she could get back at number one in the rankings in a hurry.
Another couple of typical WTA tour days over the weekend in Miami, with defeats for Safina, Jankovic, Ivanovic and Zvonareva, the first three being turned over by some solid middle-ranking ladies, and the latter by the post-injury break fresh Na Li. A quick view of the current top 10 gives me only one name I would currently be happy to back and then leave the room for more than a few minutes - the worthy but hardly legendary Vera Zvonareva. The Williams sisters are top of the tree when focussed and committed, but are never good value to back.
As I have noted in previous posts, the mental fragility of numerous players makes backing winners a hazardous occupation. I'm convinced that the best way to make profits from the WTA game is by :
i. laying overpriced high ranking favourites, and
ii. laying at 1.01 to 1.03 on 'near-certainties' who may well crack before reaching the finish line.
Sadly, this goes against all the instincts I have built up in the last four years, and I therefore find it difficult to make these trades. But I can see that there will be many traders making hay in these situations.
So here is a list, embedded into my heart by personal misfortune, of those ladies I regard as 'mentally fragile'.
i. Elena Dementieva (much improved, but that serve is still suspect).
ii. Nadia Petrova.
iii. Svetlana Kuznetsova.
iv. Amelie Mauresmo.
v. Anna Chakvetadze.
vi. The Bondarenko sisters
vi. Agnes Szavay.
vii. Dominika Cibulkova.
viii. Nicole Vaidisova.
The latter three are at the early stages of their careers, so I wouldn't brand them for life. But in a match-up with Clijsters, I'll take the Belgian every time.
And my list of one on the ATP tour? Marat Safin. ( To anyone who was on Marat in Miami last night, sorry to rub it in ).