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The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour today announced further changes to its ranking system. In addition to the abolition of Quality Points, which took place last week, the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami and the four grand slams have become mandatory events.
From 2006 onwards all players who are ranked high enough will automatically be entered into the four majors and the Tour’s flagship Tier I event, the Nasdaq-100 Open. Provided they are not injured, all players who do not compete in any of the five events will receive a “0” pointer for each that they miss. The zero points award cannot be replaced by a better result under the Tour’s best of 17 tournaments ranking system.
In recent years some of the top players have chosen to skip either the Nasdaq-100 Open, which takes place at the end of March, or the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, another tier I event that immediately precedes it. The change is designed to ensure full participation in both tournaments.
It is unlikely to affect Ana, however, who is scheduled to play in both the Pacific Life Open and the Nasdaq-100 Open this year.
World No.1 Lindsay Davenport has chosen to sit out the Nasdaq-100 Open for the last two years, and is perhaps the player most likely to be impacted by the modification among the world’s elite. However, she played just 16 events last year – a repeat in 2006 would mean she would not be adversely affected by the change due to the Tour’s best of 17 ranking system.
By Gavin Versi