In the present era of tennis, the stability on the men’s tennis tour is in contrast with the stability of the women’s arena. Over the past few years, a standardized-sequence has been instituted on the men’s circuit and most of the major titles have been revolving within the ‘Big Four’ of tennis. The ATP gentlemen despite being on the other side of 30, deny the other talented tennis lads to share the stage with them. Alternatively, women’s tennis has developed a different culture in today’s time, the pattern of holding the major titles amongst the female athletes varies from Slam to Slam. Serena Williams and other numerous talented women on the WTA circuit wrestle to win titles and every time each tournament witnesses a new champion.
The names on the WTA’s cream list keeps fluctuating every week. Sometimes the women are on the summit of the sport and do not hold Grand Slam titles. For instance, Kim Clijsters was the first World Number one without a Slam, and amongst the active players, Caroline Wozniacki held the position for 67 weeks including an incessant 49-week stay on the top. Also, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova made it to the highest point. These facts seem uncanny but certainly, women’s tennis is volatile.
Occasionally, the young talents progress to steal the show over the high-ranked players and later they strive to maintain their thriving impetus. The Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard as a 20-year-old reached the finals at the Wimbledon 2014 as she steamrolled over the World Number three, Simona Halep in the semifinals. After losing to Petra Kvitova in the finals, she stepped into the top five rankings. The same year, she breezed into the semifinals at the Australian Open and the Roland Garros and also fetched a WTA title in Nurnberg. Post her 2014 notabilities Bouchard couldn’t really find her balance with the sport or emulate her previous achievements. The newly crowned World Number one, Naomi Osaka became a show stopper after her back-to-back Slam victories, but however, she conceded a straight-set defeat to an unseeded player in her first match as the World Number one tennis player.
Besides the sporadic records and tentative happenings on the WTA track, some women have coped up to keep up their expertise in tennis and have been persistent throughout their careers. When consistency regarding women’s tennis in the present era is talked upon, the first name which comes to people’s mind is, Serena Williams. The world knows about her dominance on the women’s court since the time of her inception in professional tennis. With the U.S. Open 2019, Serena will be completing 20 affluent years of collecting Grand Slams and Olympic gold medals. Not just in singles, she has won 14 major titles on the doubles track by teaming up with her sister, Venus Williams.
In 1999, it was the time when Serena Williams debuted into the top ten records as the World Number nine on the WTA list, Martina Hingis held the apex position followed by Monica Seles and Steffi Graf amongst the eminent players in the women’s category. Besides them, her elder sister Venus was placed three spots above Serena who is now among the active players on tour and she is presently ranked 35th in the world.
Twenty years later, after becoming a mother, the American still battles to uphold her achievements on the tour. Interestingly, she is playing against those tennis players who were born when she had turned into a professional and players who picked up tennis racquets after watching her play. Her mental toughness and her physical brawniness have immensely contributed for her classic longevity in the current phase of tennis and she is the oldest tennis player in the Open Era to be ranked as World Number one.
This week, Serena Williams moved once again inside the WTA’s top ten rankings and she remarked her beginning of the 793rd week on the elite rankings, which incorporates the World Number one ranking which she held on eight separate occasions for a total of 319 weeks. The last time she dwelled inside the top ten rankings was in the year 2017. The 23-time Grand Slam, Williams was away from the tennis courts for 13 months, due to her gestation break and her rankings dropped to World Number 491. Her fourth tournament after her return was Wimbledon, where she reached the finals and cruised into the top 100 rankings and in less than eight weeks after her phenomenal performance at Flushing Meadows, she cracked the top 20 by making it to the finals.
Excluding the Michigan-born superwomen, Serena Williams, the Romanian, Simona Halep has also been diverted from the sporadic customs of inconsistency in the women’s tennis. She presently holds the second place on the women’s table and she was dethroned from the apex spot at the Australian Open 2019 by the eventual champion Naomi Osaka.
Five years ago, Halep made her first appearance inside top ten rankings and since then, the 2018 Roland Garros champion has not left the first-ten column. In 2014, when Halep stepped in as the World Number 10, the present active players such as Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, and Angelique Kerber were incorporated in the top ten list and Serena Williams was heading the WTA women. And now, Azarenka and Sharapova and trailing behind on the list, but however, Kerber and Kvitova are presently within the top-ten echelon.
Halep has extended her streak to 265 consecutive weeks inside the top ten rankings, even without a coach she looks in a good form and tussles with the other women on the tour. The next active woman after Halep on the register of the longest stay inside the top ten rankings is the Czech, Karolina Pliskova who holds a streak of 128 consecutive weeks. She turned World Number one in 2017 and dwelled there for eight weeks. If Halep avoids her inaccuracies during the matches and increases her momentum from time to time, she is expected to surpass the streak of 276 consecutive weeks of Serena Williams which was snapped because of her pregnancy. However, the longest streak for dwelling inside the top ten rankings amongst the active players is still held by the member of Williams’ family, that is by Venus Williams, from March 30, 1998, to November 10, 2003.