Women’s tennis has seen eight different winners in last nine Grand Slam Championships and seven players have occupied the number 1 spot during the same period. Field in women’s tennis has never been so wide open as it is today and this has been the trend since 2017.
Starting with Serena Williams, who won her 23rd Grand Slam title when she won Australian Open in 2017, no player could win a Ladies Grand Slam tournament more than once in 2017 & 2018.
Jelena Ostapenko (French Open 2017), Garbine Muguruza (Wimbledon 2017), Slaone Stephens (US Open 2017), Caroline Wozniaki (Australian Open 2018), Simona Halep (French Open 2018), Angelique Kerber (Wimbledon 2018) & Naomi Osaka (US Open 2018) were all different winners at different Grand Slams and it was only at Australian Open 19 that we finally saw Naomi Osaka breaking the streak by winning her second consecutive Slam.
Even the Number 1 rank, which used to be prerogative of select few in the past, has seen seven different occupants in the past two years. Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki & Naomi Osaka have occupied the top position since January 2017.
With chaos at the top and with no marquee player at the helm and with flash in the pan players winning Grand Slams, there are doubts that women’s tennis may not remain as popular as it used to be. Serena’s absence at the top and with no worthwhile successor in sight has compounded misery.
Situation has never been so fluid in the past as it is today. Winners of Grand Slam titles and No 1 spot holders have always been renowned players and we have witnessed some fierce rivalry at the top with clear successors to the fading champions, be it in 80s,
when women’s tennis was dominated by legends like Chris Evert-Lloyd and Martina Navratilova with Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario succeeding them in 90s and the likes of Martina Hingis, Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati replacing Graf and Seles in 2000s.
It will require a huge effort from players like Osaka, Halep, Kerber, Wozniaki, Pliskova and Muguruza to step into the huge shoes of William sisters and other legends to ensure Women’s tennis remains as popular as ever before