Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova are some of the WTA players who have dominated the previous decade in tennis. However, the game on the WTA Tour has evolved over the years with new blood entering the sport. Former World No.11 Alize Cornet also feels the WTA Tour has become more competitive than ever.
Seven of the last 12 Grand Slams have been won by the upcoming WTA stars – Jelena Ostapenko, Sloane Stephens, Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, Bianca Andreescu and Sofia Kenin. In the past three years, the WTA next-gen stars have indicated a change of guard as the tour mainstays were no longer favored to win the major events.
A new generation of players has gained a foothold in the sport. Alize remarked that this new generation is very athletic, which was not the case 15 years ago.
“Being on tour for more than 15 years, I can definitely see the evolution of the game on the WTA. There’s no doubt about it. I mean the girls they hit harder and harder. They are so complete,” Cornet said in our exclusive interview “Quarentennis – Bridging the Broken Strings”
Now, athleticism is prevalent in all players from the top 100 or the top 150.
“They are all playing so good it got really competitive. It was in the past but I mean now, you cannot let go a single match, you cannot let go a single set, not a single point. Because all the girls are on your back and they are playing such good tennis, so yeah it’s a big challenge to stay at this level,” she added.
“And that’s why I’m proud to be a part of the top 50 for the last 8 years. Now it’s challenging but I’m working so hard to be there and I hope it would be the case till the end of my career, ” Cornet concluded.
With tremendous amounts of transformation and excitement, the next-gen stars have certainly made the WTA Tour more competitive than ever. It will be interesting to see if the veterans can deny the change of guard when the tour resumes.