July 1, 2016
Don’t you just love the way women’s tennis is going? The twists and turns are totally enthralling. The quality is extraordinary.
Gone are the days when you could pretty much assume that Serena Williams would come out on top in the end.
For all her greatness, Serena hasn’t won a Grand Slam for twelve months. And yet some people still don’t seem to realise that women’s tennis has been blown wide open in the best possible way.
Who would have thought that Flavia Pennetta would have won the US Open in 2015, beating compatriot Roberta Vinci in the final?
And if you thought that shock was a departure from the norm, it didn’t take long for a fresh surprise to be sprung in Australia.
Again, no one predicted that Angelique Kerber would end up as Aussie Open champion 2016.
How could we see that coming, when no German had won a Slam since Steffi Graf in 1999?
Then came the final at Roland Garros this year. Once again, it wasn’t Serena who raised the trophy aloft when all was said and done.
The future of women’s tennis (or at least one symbol of that fascinating future) – the magnificent Garbine Muguruza – finally converted her power and potential into champoinship form, and secured one of the biggest prizes of them all.
Maybe we could start predicting women’s Grand Slams a little better at last. After all, Muguruza had been a finalist on the Wimbledon grass before, so why shouldn’t she go all ther way this year?
If you’re on a hot streak, you’re hot, right? Never mind all that talk of how tough it is to replicate a French Open triumph just a few weeks later at Wimbledon.
Except that poor Garbine isn’t even in the tournament any more. She described how she felt “empty” staring defeat in the face, as the glory of Paris finally caught up with her and she hit the wall.
So who is going to pull a surprise this year? Judging by the way she dispatched Francesca Schiavone, Simona Halep has the potential to do well.
But you never know with Simona at Wimbledon. One day she can look a world-beater, the next day utterly down in the dumps.
Could Serena win another Slam at last? If so, she would equal the great Graf and we would witness a piece of unforgettable history.
Or could her sister Venus shock the world at the age of 36? Are either of the Williams sisters still in the tournament by the time you read this?
That’s just it. Ms Favourite one day is Ms Forgotten the next in the topsy-turvy world of women’s tennis. And it’s such fun trying to get your head round all this! Like a near-impossible puzzle!
What’s that? You’re looking for a wild prediction? After everything that’s been written here? OK, Eugenie Bouchard, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist, to come back from nowhere and shake up the world.
Of course, she might just as easily be on a plane home before the end of the week. And that’s the beauty of this crazy situation.
If you love a mystery, embrace it. Women’s tennis has never been so exciting. Never so unpredictable. It’s like a novel that keeps you guessing until the final page.
Good luck with correctly calling the women’s Wimbledon champion this year!
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