Saturday, 13 August 2011

Female Domination

Charlotte Cooper Sherry - won five Wimbledon's titles.
Neutral Omes:

Women’s tennis has been the target for much criticism for a while due to the lack of dominant players on the scene. There are certainly plenty of folk who will enjoy the thrill and unpredictability of a new face every trophy, but a sizable amount of experts (ex-tennis players, commentators, coaches, journalists and the like) will tell you that it doesn’t do much for the image of women’s tennis. Many would echo Nick Bollettieri’s sentiments that the women’s circuit needs more “pizzazz.”

There is no doubt that the history of women’s tennis is indeed one of the most compelling in sport, having given birth to some of the most brilliant champions (of either gender) in the sport’s history. With the likes of Steffi Graf - the first and only player, male or female, to win a Calender Year Golden Slam (not to mention double-bagelling Natalia Zvereva in 32 minutes at the 1988 French Open, in the most one-sided final of the Slam’s history); Martina Navratilova who aside from winning every single Slam - singles, doubles and mixed doubles (all but one multiple times), holds the Open Era record male or female, for the most singles and doubles titles; Chris Evert - the player with the best win to loss ratio at 1,309–146 (90% of matches played won) and who might I add never lost in the first or second round of a Slam in singles; Margaret Court - the player with the most Gran Slam singles titles; and many more names of renown (key in Williams squared, Seles, Henin and Clijsters) not just within the sporting community, but for your average layman. The women’s circuit has established itself as a domain worthy of much admiration and inspiration.

True that with the absence of the current generation’s injury-laden champions, we’ve been lacking this state of super-stardom in women’s tennis for a little while*, but it looks like the tide is ever so slowly starting to twist and turn. Not only have we got said injured champions, Venus, Serena, Sharapova and fingers crossed, Kim Clijsters making their resurgences, but we’ve got young, strong up and comers like Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and exciting talent, Sabine Lisicki who will hopefully eventually be able to challenge them. And thankfully it doesn’t feel like we are trading names at the latter stages of every tournament.

I’m well aware that we’re yet to see the spawn of Seles at a shootout with Serena in every Slam final, but it won’t be long before we see some dominance from the ladies. 

For now let’s just be content with that fact that for the first time in a while it would at least be a shock to see the 400th-ranked female player holding a big trophy. 

*True that the current female number one has hardly failed the WTA on the consistency front, but she’d have to bring that same consistency to the Slams in order for her to be in the champions conversation.


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