WTA Grand Slam conveyor belt continues to churn out different champions

Shahida Jacobs

The WTA Tour is flourishing and has become a hotbed for first-time Grand Slam winners.

Ignore anyone who says there needs to be one or two dominant figures for tennis to be in a healthy position as the women’s game is doing just fine with different players putting their hands up.

The last eight Grand Slam have produced eight different winners with Serena Williams (Australian Open), Jelena Ostapenko (French Open), Garbine Muguruza (Wimbledon) and Sloane Stephens (US Open) winning the four majors last year.

This year Caroline Wozniacki (Australian Open), Simona Halep (French Open), Angelique Kerber (Wimbledon) and Naomi Osaka (US Open) have joined the list.

Five of the eight were first time winners as Ostapenko, Stephens, Wozniacki, Halep and Osaka joined the elite list of major champions.

And the level of experience of the five is quite different as Wozniacki and Halep are considered veterans and their victories were not too unexpected.

Stephens’ success at Flushing Meadows last year was a surprise as she struggled in the months leading up to the tournament, but at the same time she was tipped to be a star at a very young age.

Then you have Ostapenko and Osaka whose Grand Slams wins came out of nowhere as both were just 20 when they won the titles, and in the case of the Latvian it was her maiden WTA Tour trophy while Osaka’s only other title was the Indian Wells Masters in March this year.

Over on the ATP Tour everyone is waiting for the #NextGen to take over the baton from the “dominant” Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but it is anyone’s game on the WTA Tour.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won nine of the last nine Grand Slams. In fact, the Big Three have won 46 of a last 55 major and everyone is waiting for the likes of Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem or Grigor Dimitrov to take over the mantelpiece.

Osaka may well go on to be the dominant figure in years to come but for now, at least, no one is wondering when the WTA Tour’s #NextGen will step up.

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