Chairman WTA Applauds Gen-Next Stars Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek

Published 12/06/2020, 3:54 AM EST
Naomi Osaka of Japan hits the ball against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women’s singles final match on day 13 of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports | Credits: Reuters


Despite the truncated WTA season, young women players dominated 2020. It was a year of many firsts, with Sofia Kenin winning her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open and Iga Swiatek clinching her first major championship at Roland Garros. Continuing her path to greatness, Naomi Osaka won her third Grand Slam title by lifting the 2020 US Open.

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France -Poland’s Iga Swiatek celebrates after winning her semi final match against Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska REUTERS/Charles Platiau

In a recent interview, chairman and CEO of WTA, Steve Simon, reflected on the 2020 season, which was plagued with the restrictions placed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spectator-less stadiums, bio-secure bubbles, and disqualifications made the conditions extremely hard for the organizers and players to grapple with.

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WTA chairman hails Naomi Osaka

During the interaction, the host asked Simon about the excitement around the women’s game with Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek achieving great heights. The chairman acknowledged the incredibly high level of tennis and thinks the range of players on the tour augurs a glorious future for the WTA. However, he revealed that the tour is still waiting for an athlete to become a dominant force like the Big-3.

“It really is. I mean, the depth that we have is unprecedented for us. We’re still waiting for that athlete to take a stranglehold, become the dominant player, per se. But as you can see, just by our results, the level of tennis is phenomenal. It’s very difficult for players to win multiple weeks in a row on our Tour, due to the depth. So I do think it’s very exciting. It’s great having these new stars, the globalness of the new stars is great, too, so I think it bodes very well for us.” said Steve Simon

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Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates with the championship trophy after her match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. |REUTERS

The WTA chairman believes the global appeal of the new stars is fantastic for the popularity of the game. The manner in which the 19-year-old Swiatek won the French Open without losing a set was phenomenal. She scripted history by becoming the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam title.

Whereas, Osaka has shown consistency by winning at least one Grand Slam title over the last three years. Ranked No.1 in the world, Osaka has achieved cult status in the tennis fraternity. With the Tokyo Olympics next year, Osaka will aim to win a gold medal in singles.

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After winning the US Open, Osaka subsequently withdrew from the French Open because of a hamstring injury. However, with the 2021 Australian Open scheduled to start on February 8, Osaka has the time to recuperate and return to full fitness.

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Kshitij Tayal

399 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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