Sunday, September 19, 2010
What is up with women's tennis?
The quality of tennis on display during the US open wasn't of the highest standard, but at least when it comes to men's tennis there were more than just a few matches which were really good, but the same can't be said about women's tennis. For the last few years, women's tennis has been in a rut as most of the players on the circuit play a similar brand of tennis and it can get very boring. The upcoming players on the tennis circuit seem to be following in the footsteps of the established players which doesn't bode well for the future of women's tennis.
Let us look at the problems of women's tennis
Lack of depth- The major worry with women's tennis is that it lacks depth. Beyond Williams sisters and the two Belgians, it is hard to find quality players in women's tennis. Yes, Williams sisters too just look to play from the baseline, but at least they play an attacking brand of tennis. Clijsters can hit crisp ground-shots and at her best, Henin is a classy player to watch as she is one of the very few players on the circuit, who has variety in her game and her single-handed backhand is legendary. In-fact, women's tennis desperately needs Henin to recover from that foot injury she suffered a few months ago and comeback to form. Among others, Stosur has the potential, but seems to lack the temperament to succeed.
The Ovas of tennis- At present, there are plethora of Ovas. If I am right, among the top 100 ranked players in tennis, around 40 players are from East and Central European countries like Czech Republic, Belarus, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and of course Russia. Now, it is great to see so many players from Central and East European countries, but it seems like they all have been manufactured in a factory as most of them specialize only in retrieving skills. In tennis circles, it is known as moonballing where both players just play defensively and not go for the winner. At her peak, Sharapova at least had a stinging serve and at the Australian open in 08, she even showed a bit of variety in her game, but since her comeback from that career threatening shoulder injury, she has looked a pale shadow of the player she once was. Dementiva can occasionally play an attacking brad of tennis, but Kuznetsova, Zvanerova and co. seem to be clones manufactured in tennis academies.
The newcomers- It would have been good if at least some of the newcomers, who are making a mark looked at breaking away from the stereotype tennis that we nowadays witness in women's tennis, but the sad fact is they are following in the footsteps of the well established players. Wozniacki is a cute girl and has rapidly climbed up the rankings, but she hasn't tried to bring variety into her game either. I can never understand why won't a player like Wozniacki, who can't play power tennis like Williams sisters won't concentrate on improving her game near the net, or try a few drop shots. It would surely give her an extra weapon when confronted with Williams sisters. A few players like Kvitova, Pavlyuchenkova, Lisicki and co. have shown a bit of promise, but there is no doubt that women's tennis is in a rut.
It is sad but true that women's tennis nowadays is known more for hot tennis players than the skills shown by the players on a tennis court. So ladies, it is high time that you all wake up and show that why should female players earn equal prize money.