Click Here to See 6 Minute FREE Training Video, Doug King's "The Effortless Swing"
Click here to see the 6 minute FREE training Video ("The Effortless Swing") and details and how to order.
Tennis Warehouse – New Products – Men's Shoes - KSWISS Tubes 100; Nike Air Court Ballistic 3 (Rafa' s shoe); Nike Lunar Vapor 8, adidas Barricade (Murry's shoe); Lacoste Repel 2 and Gravitate
Where are the Dominant Women?
David W. Smith, Senior Editor TennisOne
It seems to me that for years I’ve complained about how uninteresting women’s tennis was. Whether it was, Chris and Martina, Steffi and Monica, or Serena and Venus, the same women dominated every major tournament. And the others, well they were left to scoop up the crumbs. But oddly enough, after this year, I seem to be pining for those good old days.
Now it’s the men with the standout performers (four, for that matter), the ones who separate themselves from not just the ATP Pack, but who are unquestionably seen as some of the greatest players ever.
In recent times, Jelena Jankovic, Dinara Safina, and Caroline Wozniacki have all reached number one on the WTA tour without winning a major.
This year, Djokovic was the epitome of this generalization, having not just a standout year, but a record-setting season of domination rarely, if ever equalled. Last year it was Nadal. Before that, for what seemed like an entire decade, it was, of course, Federer who was practically invincible. Maybe in 2012 it will be Murray or perhaps Djokovic will continue his brilliant run and not let anyone come near him. I can’t wait to find out. And that’s what's so intriguing.
However, on the women’s side, it's a whole other story. it seems a long time since one of the WTA pros has distinguished herself as the “one to beat.” Seriously, it wasn’t that long ago that the Williams Sisters were deemed invincible and Henin, Clijsters and Sharapova were ‘in the mix’, it just seems that way. (Of course, Clijsters has had a remarkable comeback and Sharapova has been showing some of her former glory and resiliency this past season.)
But, short of her run at the U.S. Open and winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Serena has failed to reestablish her dominant presence. And Clijsters’ vacancy in so many tournaments reminded us that she is not only a mother, but at age 28, she is no longer one of the young studs on the women’s tour.
Every time a player emerges from the pack to win a major or some other WTA event, commentators shower them with accolades and hail them as some sort of second coming. Then they seem to quietly disappear, like they were cursed, and fail to be competitive in the ensuing tournaments.
Click photo: After her wins at Wimbledon and the Year-end championships, relatively unknown, Petra Kvitov has emerged as the next great hope.
Early on, it seemed as if Clijsters would dominate the tour, especially after taking the 2010 US Open, the year-end Championship title, and the 2011 Australian Open in succession. Yet, freak injuries plagued her after that and the Belgian mommy failed to win another tournament the entire year.
Enter Li Na, the winner of the smaller Medibank International tournament two weeks before the Austrailian Open, a finalist in Australia, and the winner at Roland Garros, where she dominated the field, dropping only one set in route to a straight set win over Francesca Schiavone — but she too all but vanished from championship form for the remainder of the year.
The two most consistent early winners on the WTA, Victoria Azarenka and the world’s #1 player, Caroline Wozniacki, couldn’t win a tournament, let alone a Grand Slam the rest of the year, (with the exception of Azarenka winning the tiny Luxembourg tournament in October, a tournament that didn’t feature a single top-10 woman outside of Azarenka.)
The relatively unknown, Petra Kvitova, emerged to fill the void in the latter part of the season, taking out Maria Sharapova in the Wimbledon final, but she too would not win another tournament until the WTA championships in October.
Journeywoman Samantha Stosur, most known for her doubles prowess (at least until last year) destroyed Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final. Yet Stosur would fail to win another tournament for the rest of the year as well. What’s going on here?
A wide range of seasoned pros, like Bartoli, Zvonareva, and of course Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and even Jelena Dokic have also had impressive wins this season, yet, they have been few and far between to say the least. The younger girls like, Cibulkova, Kvitova, Radwanska and Lisicki have climbed the rankings and are knocking on the door but none have clearly separated themselves from the pack, no more than Na, Zvonareva, Wozniacki or Azarenka have.
So, what can we expect in 2012? Fact is, there are more questions than answers. At the very top, are Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, but if history is to be the judge, how many tournaments can we expect them to play this year? And based on her health and her age, how much can we expect out of Venus?
Although Kim and Serena can't be counted, it's hard to know what to expect from them since they played so few tournaments this year.
The younger girls at the top of the rankings, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, and Victoria Azarenka are all nice players, but none of them have demonstrated the ability to dominate week after week, or at the slams.
The truth is, I honestly don’t have a clue as to who might emerge in 2012. If I were to make a prediction for the coming season, I would say that chances are we will have another wide open year, one with a diverse crop of victors. I do predict we will see some very low ranked players not only knock off some of the higher ranked girls, but I would go so far to say that I wouldn’t even be the least bit surprised to see a player ranked in the high 20’s or 30’s winning a major this year. Players like Lisicki, Peng Shuai, Marion Bartoli, Maria Kirilenko or Kuznetsova could contend. Then again, we might see a resurgence of players like Hantuchova, Ivanovic, or even Dokic.
I know one thing; I would not want to be a handicapper in Las Vegas covering the WTA tour for 2012! Unlike the men, there literally are fifteen or twenty women who have a very legitimate shot at winning any given tournament, including any one of the four majors! Some would say, that’s what makes it interesting, but for me,... well I’ve come full circle. These days I would much rather see a queen high up on the throne, with all the pretenders nipping at her heels. Go figure!
As always, we would love to hear from you! Questions, comments, personal experiences all create helpful dialogue for everyone! Please click here to send us your email.
Slice Backhand Drills
Whether they uses a one-hander or two, almost every recreational player feels weaker on the backhand side. The underspin backhand is a way for players who don't feel comfortable hitting a drive to slice or chip it back in play. Here, WTA touring coach, Mark Gellard, offers three very simple drills you can do that will give you immediate results and perhaps change the way you approach the slice, turning it into an offensive weapon that can open up the court and allow you to dictate play.
By now, everyone knows that DNA is that stuff inside our cells that tells us what we are made of, but what does this have to do with tennis? Well, in this case the "D" stands for Defense, the "N" for Neutralizing, and the "A" stands for attack. Whether you are an aggressive player, a defensive player, or somewhere in between, Ken DeHart shows you how to get the most out of your particular DNA.
ProStrokes 2.0 – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Serve and Net Game
On the tour since 2001, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been a top 10 world-ranked pro for most of 2011 but was really knocking on the top-ten door since 2008 when he had his ‘break-out’ season reaching #6 in the world late in the year. A very physical player, Tsonga possesses a serve that limits attacking opponents, on top of having one of the best second serves on tour. Tsonga plays an all-court, attacking game, covers the court well and pops a formidable forehand, and a two-handed backhand that is as consistent as it is conventional, Tsonga is a great player to watch and emulate! New this issue, Tsonga's Serve and Net Game.
TennisOne Writers Store
One of your many new benefits as a TennisOne membership is your ability to purchase selected instructional DVDs at 20% off ($7.50 off each) in our new TennisOne Writers Store (login in first to access members links):
- "All-Court Game and the Volley: Keys to Modern Tennis Technique," by Doug King Public – Members
- "TennisOne's Stroke Secrets: Keys to Better Groundstrokes," Public; Members
- "Building Your Serve from the Ground Up," Jim McLennan Members Public
- "Building Your Ground Game," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Building a Kick Serve," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Underspin Backhand - Weapon," Jim McLennan Members Public
- "Achieving Peak Performance the Wholistic Way: The Mental Game," Happy Bhalla Members – Public
- "Building a World Class Serve," Phil Dent Members – Public
- "Building a World-class Volley," Dave Smith Members – Public
- "Keys to Modern Tennis Technique: One-Handed Topspin," Doug King Members Public
- "Best of Ken DeHart," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Corrective Techniques & Myths," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Defeating the Monsters in Your Mind," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Skills, Drills, and Games for Beginning Players," Ken DeHart Members – Public.
- "Drills for Intermediate Players," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Drills for Advanced Players," Ken DeHart Members – Public.
- Click here to see all the benefits of a TennisOne Membership.
- Click here to sign up for a risk-free, TennisOne 30 day free trial membership.
Copyright Notice: The contents of the TennisONE web site and contents forwarded to you by TennisONE are intended for your personal, noncommercial use. Republishing of TennisONE content in any way, including framing or posting of these materials on other Web sites, is strictly prohibited. See our full copyright statement
If you wish to be removed from our newsletter list, please click "reply" to the newsletter email, and for the subject line, write "unsubscribe." Or you can email us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org