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Serena, Safina battle for No. 1 in Doha

Updated: October 25, 2009, 12:16 PM ET
By Bonnie D. Ford | ESPN.com

The WTA's year-end championships take place well ahead of the end of calendar year 2009 this season, beginning before Halloween in a scheduling shift designed to lengthen the offseason. It's not even the true end of play, since the Fed Cup final between the United States and Italy and the consolation-bracket Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia, remain to be played next week.

It has long been argued that tennis tends to lose its steam after the U.S. Open, when the players retreat ...

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