Chase format might change again
let temper run amok before, but seems calmer now. tion, the No. 21-seeded Zvonareva beat former No. 1s Kim Clijsters and Jelena Jankovic en route to the final. She also teamed with Elena Vesnina to beat the top-ranked Williams sisters in the quarterfinals of doubles.
“With experience and maturity, I learn a lot about myself, and I know where I have to pump myself up and where I have to calm myself down,” the 25-year-old Zvonareva said Friday. “But emotions, I think they’re good. They should be there. It’s sport. It shows that you care, that you’re trying your best out there.”
She was once a teenage prodigy, reaching the French Open quarterfinals in 2003 at age 18. That was her best Grand Slam showing until last year, when she made the semifinals in Australia.
Zvonareva has been known to sob on court even when she’s winning, and she has mangled more than a few rackets in anger.
“She was so emotional and would get down on herself,” three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport said. “Now she seems like one of the most composed players on the WTA Tour.”
NASCAR is considering tweaking the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, with chairman Brian France wanting to create more drama to the title-deciding format.
Also under consideration are changes to the second-tier Nationwide Series that could affect the participation of Cup drivers, and scheduling requests made by track operators International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. for the 2011 season.
SMI submitted a scheduling request for 2011, perhaps finally opening the door for the company to bring a longcoveted Sprint Cup race to Kentucky Speedway.
The Chase, introduced in 2004, had 10 drivers competing over the final 10 races of the season. The inaugural year was a success, as five drivers went into the season finale in mathematical contention to win the title that ultimately went to Kurt Busch, who beat Jimmie Johnson by eight points in the final standings.
Two years later, Johnson began his run of four consecutive titles, even as NASCAR widened the field to 12 drivers and created a seeding system based on bonus points earned through “regular-season” victories.
France would not talk specifics, but in general terms, his ideas sounded as if NASCAR is considering both eliminations and tweaking the system to ensure that several drivers are in title contention during the season finale. In the past several years, Johnson has had to only preserve a decent finish to wrap up the title with little to no competition.