US women. Out of the blue..

2 Jun

Serena Williams came into the final with a 12-0 clay court record on the year, losing just one set.

While US women’s tennis has, on the surface, looked healthy as far back as one cares to think, it has been riding on the dominance of Serena Williams. With a little help from sister Venus over the past 11 years, the “sisters” have amassed 23 Grand slam singles titles between them, Serena with an astounding tour win-loss % of .839 and Venus .800. They have battled every challenger: from Russia, Czech Republic, France, Serbia, China and even Belgium and Denmark have thrown up contenders. All the time they must have been looking in the rear view mirror wondering when, or even if, the cavalry would arrive. Where are the next line of US female players?

Perhaps they can breathe a little easier, after a breakthrough semi-final result for Sloane Stephens at the 2013 Australian Open, including a win over Serena herself. Stephens today joined Serena, Bettina Mattek-Sands and Jamie Hampton in the 4th round of the French Open. Hampton’s was a solid straight set win over WTA#7 Petra Kvitova. Following closely on their heels are improved WTA tour players Melanie Oudin, Christina McHale and Lauren Davis – all under 23 years of age.

And next in line. The prodigious junior talent, lefty, Taylor Townsend. Townsend just 17, won the 2012 Australian Open Junior Girls Singles and is the first US girl to hold the year end world #ITF junior ranking since 1982.

Taylor Townsend tennis.jpg

Taylor Townsend unleashes a forehand

While Serena is in no hurry to abdicate the throne it appears there are now likely candidates pressing their claims. Watch out for Taylor Townsend’s transition through to the senior tour. Perhaps the real question to ask of US tennis: where are the American men?

The PRO

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