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"I don't know about the other players, but I feel like I didn't have enough time to recover after the U.S. Open. It's hard to get ready for such a big event like this and I just wish we had more time." — Elena Dementieva, after falling in the second round of this week's Pan Pacific Open.

Dementieva, if you recall, lost in the second round at the U.S. Open to Melanie Oudin.

If you've been following the results of this Tier I event featuring nine of the world's top 10 players, then you also know that only two of those players have made it to the third round. What's the story here? Is the whole top 10 in a slump? Has the depth on the tour improved that much? (Vote at Tennis Talk, Anyone?)

Now, I'm all for an early-round upset or two, but this has been a little too much. Personally, I don't think that argument by Dementieva holds any weight as the Open ended weeks ago—and especially early for her! A spin can be put on what's happening in Tokyo, but I would assume the WTA powers that be and tournament organizers can't be too happy about this.

There's already all kinds of controversy with the rankings going on (number-one Dinara Safina was also an early Tokyo victim). And I think after what has happened here this week, there will probably be more questions—and deservedly so. Is there really a need for a longer offseason? Should there be fewer events? I guess this is all for the WTA to examine because you can't have your star players going out like that at any tournament, much less a showcase event.

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Comment by Van Sias on September 30, 2009 at 9:01am
Hey Mark! I think I cleared up the confusion by putting "U.S." in front of Open in the second paragraph. Thanks!

And you're right, John, you hardly ever hear them say that, well maybe at the end of listing every thing that went wrong their way!
Comment by John Hoffman on September 29, 2009 at 11:53pm
Top players have a wonderful ability to justify their losses...it can never just be because the opponent played better, can it?

Good blog!
Comment by Mark / The Mayor on September 29, 2009 at 5:29pm
Good post Van, but are all those "..." elipses intentional in the second paragraph? Did Oudin beat her this week? I didn't hear that!

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