At the beginning of their careers, the younger players have to start at the ITF and USTA Pro circuits. Everyone wants to reach the top pros, but you have to rack up some wins on the smaller circuits.
If you’re not winning titles at this level, at least you have to improve every year, so you could win more consistently. Some willmove on, while others are stycj there for a very long time.
If you’re not moving up the WTA/ATP level, you would have to decide: Do you want to stay, or do you want to go?
This week, in at the Morgan Run Women’s Open in Rancho Santa Fe/San Diego, three major players are still hanging on:
Michelle Larcher De Brito, a popular Portuguese player who cracked the top 100. But she is now ranked No. 242.
The American Maria Sanchez, who played at USC and was the No. 1 collegiate player throughout the 2011–2012 season. But, when she turned pro at the WTA, she was close to reaching the top 100, but could not. Now she is ranked No. 414.
And believe it or not, the former No. 5, Daniela Hantuchova, is there at Morgan Run. The Slovak once reached the Australian Open semifinal. She won Indian Wells. She loves Southern California, but she is 33 years old and had a bad year in 2016. You know, 2015 wasn’t very good either.
Hantuchova breezed through the first round with a double bagel over Louisa Stefani. But, the rising top seed, Kayla Day, eliminated her in the second round 7-6(3), 6-1.
Hantuchova is ranked 245. If she is ready to retire, or is she thinking that ‘hey, Serena Williams is 35 years old, and she just won a major in January at the Aussie Open. If she could go it, maybe I can.’
In a few weeks in IW, maybe we can see Hantuchova finds some wins and some peace of mind.