Home > Other sports > Serena’s Australian success bad for women’s tennis

Serena’s Australian success bad for women’s tennis

What is happening to women’s professional tennis?

I know Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic played pretty dreadful tennis in Sunday evening’s U.S. Open men’s final. But Saturday night’s women’s final set off the sparks.

I’ve never heard so many complaints about the quality of women’s tennis. That’s a shame when a great champion like Justine Henin is on one side of the net.

You can’t blame the slight Belgian for mauling Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final, or for earlier exposing Serena Williams for being so out of shape. It’s amazing that two of the best five players in the world showed up for the U.S. Open so unprepared to play world-class tennis.

Early on, I thought Serena would play herself into shape. But she obviously has spent very few hours on the tennis court this summer or in serious training. Conditioning cost her dearly against Henin.

I can sort of understand where Serena is coming from, since she was just as unready for the Australian Open, yet came home with the big prize. But Kuznetsova? It was shocking to see her reach the U.S. Open final while being so unprepared physically for the challenge.

The fact that Kuznetsova made it to the final speaks volumes about the current struggles facing the WTA Tour.

The tour has become overly dependent on Venus and Serena Williams, even more so now that it appears the Russian charge has been short-circuited by a growing number of erratic players. Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova, Nadia Petrova and Anna Chakvetadze unfortunately make up half of the world’s top eight players. All four are totally unpredictable. The list doesn’t stop there, witness top 15 player and Elena Dementieva.

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