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2010 Women’s Tennis Wrap Up: State of the Game; Player of the Year

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State of the Game

With Kim Clijsters victory at the WTA Championships in Qatar, the WTA season is basically over, and it’s a good time to reflect on the state of the women’s game.
To put it bluntly, and to speak the obvious, it’s not doing that well. Despite a recent change in scheduling to reduce the load on the athletes, injuries are rampant. Maybe more disturbing is that there is a perception, that whatever old champ is healthy at a given moment (Serena, Venus, Clijsters, Henin) will win any tournament that matters.Caroline Wozniacki is the latest young player to come out and race to the #1 ranking by playing a ton of matches without winning a Grand Slam tournament. Even more frustrating, she’s got the most media-friendly looks since Anna Kournikova, and a megawatt personality to match – but because of her lack of power game it seems unlikely she’ll ever become a dominant champion.
A complete explanation for what’s going on seems impossible. If you’re a super-talented female athlete who could thrive in any sport, you’ll pick tennis in most places throughout the world. This is a big advantage that men’s tennis simply doesn’t have, so all things being equal, we should expect to see more impressive stuff on the women’s side beyond just beauty that put the men’s game to shame. And we have in previous generations – look at the power couple of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, it’s pretty clear that Graf has the superior brain for competing as an athlete. That the current women’s game falls so short is stunning, and mysterious, but we can speak to a few of issues going on.

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