In the women’s draw, the WTA tour has seen 12 different Grand Slam winners over the past decade.
At the pinnacle of the female tour exists a power vacuum, plagued by the mediocrity of so many underachieving stars. Is there one leading figure we can call the best? Serena Williams was the best in her day but is now fraught with injury. Current no.1, Caroline Wozniacki, has never won a Grand Slam and gravely struggles when it comes to playing anyone of a similarly high ranking. The analysis could go on tirelessly until an insurmountable conclusion was reached: there is no clear front runner. In fact, the women’s game is currently lacking quality in all departments. So who, if anyone, can be considered a deservèd contender for the Australian Open?
…let’s hope she has the mettle to do it and fill the void…
With Williams an injury doubt, Wozniacki lacks the hunger of a real champion, electing to spend much of her time modelling, advertising or with her boyfriend, a certain Rory McIlroy. Looking further, Li Na, the embodiment of the rise of the Chinese, won last year’s French Open but subsequently disappeared from the final rounds for the next two majors. Clijsters is a proven world-class performer, yet is hindered by nagging injury problems, while Stosur, Schiavone and Sharapova all have the talent, but lack the consistency. Undeniably, Vika Azarenka, does provide some hope, though is yet to prove herself by winning a Grand Slam singles title.
The one shining light is Petra Kvitova. The Wimbledon champion will consolidate the world no. 1 spot if she lifts the Australian Open trophy; let’s hope she has the mettle to do it and fill the void – a void that desperately needs to be filled – at the top of the women’s game.
So, it’s a case of more of the same in Melbourne. However, with this comes a sense of guaranteed quality on the men’s side and a pulsating unpredictability on the women’s – an unpredictability that is often the very essence of sport. Time, please; the players are ready.