A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Serena Is Still The Queen of Women’s Tennis but Who is the King of Men’s Tennis?
Serena Williams won her 20th Major and now needs two more to tie Steffi Graf with the most Majors. Williams is now half way home to a Grand Slam as she won the French and the Australian; the first time it has happen since 2002. Battling a flu, a tough schedule and a determine opponent in Lucie Safarova. Serena preserved. Williams lost the first set in five of her last six matches but she found a way to win including a tough bout against up and coming Sloane Stephens.
The Men’s final may be the end of an era in Men’s Tennis as Novak Djokovic lost to the underdog Stan Warwrinka. Since 2003, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic has won slightly over 75% of the Majors. Stan Wawrinka is only one of two Tennis players who have won two majors along with Andy Murray oer the past twelve years. However this era is now breaking up as Federer has not won a major since 2012 Wimbledon. Federer has moved to being the one of the three best players to a top ten player but no longer dominant or feared. Nadal last major win was the 2014 French Open and he has suffered from injuries over the past two years. Djokovic is the best player in the world today and he has won 7 majors since 2011. In the past, most Tennis players had to count on running a gauntlet of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer just to get the final. Now that gauntlet is Djokovic and now Men’s Tennis is opening up to other players, including Wawrinka and Murray.
For Americans, the performance of Sloane Stephens and Jack Sock gives hope for the future. Stephens along with Madison Keys are two young women who are preparing for the post Serena era but then Serena looks like she is not ready to ride into the sunset as the Queen of Tennis. Jack Sock made it to the quarter final and played a competitive match against Nadal. Sock is now rank 31st in the world and maybe he is ready to make that next step and start competing for Major Titles.
How do we rate Serena Williams? Tennis, like Golf, has one measure of greatness: winning Majors. Since the Open era began in the late 60’s; only Steffi Graf has won more majors than Serena but at the age of 33, she still has shown that she has plenty of talent left in the gas tank. She still is the best player in the world today. Steffi Graf won her last major, the French, in 1999; the same year Serena won her first major, the US Open. If Serena can win the Grand Slam, she will be tied with Graf and the debate can begin on who is the greatest. Right now, she is the second best historically.
Men Tennis is now at a crossroad as the domination of the big Three now breaking up. Federer is no longer the Federer of old and Nadal has struggled since his last major win. Djokovic is now the king of Tennis but there are openings for others to win majors. It is no longer an automatic that Djokovic, Nadal and Federer will be in the finals much less the winner. Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka have now won two majors over the past three years and both of these Tennis players have shown they can compete with the top three.
Stephens and Keys will simply have to wait until Serena either slows down or finally start acting her age but maybe Sock will take the French Open experience and start fulfilling his potential as a possible contender for a major.