Tennis Prose



Looking At The Future Of Tennis

Looking at the future of tennis

At the time of the US Open most people were focusing on the players who were not going to be present rather than the ones who were actually competing at the final Grand Slam of the year.  Before the tournament took place the absence of such players as Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was what was being lamented and worried out.    Owing to injuries none of these major players were competing and this would be the first time since 1997.

Obviously, this is something that the sport is going to have to deal with and get used to in the coming few years and to consider how the void is going to be filled.  There is much to consider, but turning to a Play Croco casino login will not be enough.

But as it turns out, some astonishing things have simply changed the way the sport may be viewed and played out in the future.

Unexpected victories

Tennis experts have been blown away by the events that unfolded right before their eyes in the women’s singles draw, when surprisingly Leylah Fernandez of Canada and Emma Raducanu of Britain obliterated their competition on the way to the final.

Prior to the tournament, Fernandez had won only consecutive matches on two occasions since March, before the actual tournament.  Incredibly, Leylah Fernandez, 19 years old, paved her way to the final by overcoming three of the five top seeds.

The situation with 18-year-old British player, Emma Raducanu, was even more astonishing, when she joined a select club with each of her successes in the tournament.   Since the year 1990, she has been the first female player to achieve the fourth round in her first two major appearances, and to join Kim Clijsters and Billie Jean King, in becoming only the third outside the top 100 to reach the final.

The young Raducanu has become the first qualifier to win a grand slam Singles. Raducanu became the first to win a major in only her second appearance following her ninth consecutive straight-sets victory in the tournament.  Only Monica Seles and Bianca Andreescu having done so in four attempts for their initial triumphs.

Tennis Podcast reported that “Raducanu managed to halve a record which was nearly impossible to lower in the first place.”    The achievement that will stand out the most will be the fact that Raducanu became the first player, male or female to qualify to win a Grand Slam event.   It could be that this will never be repeated but, if even it were to be repeated, there is no taking away from the feat of being the very first to qualify.

Difficult for spectators to process and even more difficult to imagine how such a young player is going to handle and even enjoy such a meteoric rise to the top.  Only a relatively short while ago Reducanu was an unknown young player.  Now she has been presented with a check for $2.5 million (£1.8 million), heard the Queen issue a statement about her performance and to learn that a major television channel reorganized their schedule in order that more than 9.2 million people would be able to watch the game.  With the popularity of Instagram, it is not surprising that Raducanu’s Instagram account has increased from about 10,000 followers prior to Wimbledon, to around 1.3 million after, and it is still growing.

Both Raducanu and Fernandez have shown remarkable poise and ability to handle the situation and the demands that it has thrown up.  It was quite something when Fernandez requested from the crowd to stop and offer a thought on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and it was something that made a big impression.

Fernandez said, “I know on this day it was especially hard for New York and everyone around the United States. I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and as resilient as New York has been the past 20 years.”

In light of the focus and interest on athletes in these days, let us all hope that the composure shown by both, Raducanu and Fernandez will stand them in good stead in the future.  And this is in terms of the pressures they will undoubtedly experience off the court as well as on the court.  It was baffling to see how following Raducanu’s victory, the focus in Britain, turned into a debate concerning Raducanu’s heritage.

The future looks promising

But Raducanu form and play, has provided a wonderful endorsement of the quality of women’s tennis, not to mention how she spoke following the match.  She said “I think this final shows that the future of women’s tennis and just the depth of the game right now is so great. I think every single player in the women’s draw definitely has a shot to win any tournament.  I hope that the next generation can follow in the steps of the greatest legends – like Billie Jean King – and everyone who is at the top of the game right now.”

The future of the sport looks delightfully promising, especially in light of the fact that these two young people competing in the final, but only three years ago they met in the singles at junior Wimbledon (also won by Emma).

By the way, Iga Swiatek, the Polish player, who eliminated Raducanu and went on to win that junior Wimbledon girls draw tournament, was last year’s French Open Champion.   20-year-old Iga Swiatek was the only player on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour this year to get to the fourth round in all four of the major events.  This not only highlights her personal ability and also the depth to be found in the women’s game.

Now that the sport is in the final years of the Williams era, and the end of a time when the four players dominate men’s tennis and have done so for such a long time, it is likely that the organizers of tournaments are relieved to see the quality of women players that are emerging.   Ashleigh Barty, the present number one is only 25 and Naomi Osaka, the number two is only 23.

The women’s tournament at the US Open created huge interest in the sport.    The future of tennis looks like it is in very good hands.

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  • catherine · December 14, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    There was no ‘debate concerning Raducanu’s heritage’. I don’t know where that information came from.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 14, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    She was born in Toronto, Ontario Canada, a reversal of the Lennox Lewis situation – Lennox was born in London but moved to Kitchener, Ontario Canada area at around age 12. Lennox said he first started boxing in England at a group home he lived in, and then resumed boxing in Canada as a teen, taken under the wing of boxing trainer Arnie Boehm. Lewis won the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal for Canada and then turned pro under the British flag (Professional Boxing in England is far more popular and lucrative than in Canada). so in his career, Lennox Lewis was not always considered a “true Brit” because of his years living in Canada though he was born in London, England. I suppose there is some similar confusion about Raducanu being born in Canada and then relocating in London.

  • Hartt · December 14, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    I recently watched recordings of Leylah’s USO matches vs Svitolina and Sabalenka. I was surprised at how much of those matches I’d forgotten, so it was enjoyable to watch them again. The match with Elina was especially good, both women played very well and it was close right to the end. Sabalenka totally fell apart in her last service game to hand the match to Leylah, so although I was glad Leylah won, the match itself was not as entertaining. I am looking forward to watching the young players like Emma, Leylah and Iga next year, as well as some “older” players like Anett, who have been having good results lately.

  • Hartt · December 14, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Emma moved to England at such an early age that I don’t think Toronto has any claims on her. She seems pretty British to me, even with her parents’ backgrounds.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 14, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Yes Hartt, John McEnroe was born in West Germany, in Weisbaden to be exact, but he’s all American and Germany never laid any claim on him. Let’s not even touch that Greg Rusedski Canada, England debacle 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 14, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    Hartt, My memories of Leylah’s US Open run were that it was some of the most electric, exciting tennis I’ve ever seen on the women’s side at the US Open. It was Melanie Oudin, young Williams sisters, Chrissie Evert, Jennifer Capriati like hysteria. SO much fun to see. Emma stole the show though in the end, just a little bit better. Their big rematch in the next major will be a ratings bonanza. Hope Miss Kontaveit gives Coach Tursunov the big raise and bonus he deserves.

  • catherine · December 15, 2021 at 1:45 am

    I live in England,and although some people were intrigued with Emma’s background, as Hartt says there has never been any question that she’s British by nationality, more so perhaps than Johanna Konta, who was purely Hungarian by parentage and grew up in Australia, moving to Britain as a teenager.

    ‘Heritage’ is maybe not an appropriate word, with more than national connotations. And ‘nationality’ is a pretty fluid thing these days. See no further than Osaka, who flies under a Japanese flag of convenience.

    Britain has had quite a few athletes who were not born here but chose to represent this country, largely because our colonial past allowed them to do so.

  • catherine · December 15, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Scoop – that match point will never grow old. Luckily with modern technology we can share the experience indefinitely.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 15, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Historical moment. Wonder what the TV ratings were.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 15, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Sept 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. Open women’s final between Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez attracted a bigger audience on ESPN than the men’s clash featuring calendar year Grand Slam-chasing Novak Djokovic and Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, the U.S. sports channel said.

    The Saturday broadcast of the women’s final peaked at 3.4 million viewers while the men’s final, which saw Medvedev win his first major title, had a peak of 2.7 million the following day, ESPN said.

    Good thing that Sakkari vs Sabalenka final did not materialize, whether that was by meddling or organic, doesn’t matter 🙂

  • Hartt · December 15, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Scoop, I imagine many Canadian tennis fans still say Rusedski with an expletive attached.

    The Canadian TV ratings for the USO final were huge. I loved the way the New York fans embraced Leylah. I think there is something appealing about a small player who is such a fierce competitor, who never gives up. In one of the broadcasts Darren Cahill said that Leylah reminded him of Rios, partly because of the way she refuses to give up the baseline. Do you agree? I was struck by the way she managed to come back in those matches, until the final. She has said that she was very disappointed that she did not bring her best tennis to the final. But after so many long, tough matches she must have been exhausted, both mentally and physically.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 15, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Hartt, I said the week before Cahill said that, that Leylah reminds me of a blend of Rios and Seles. She has more ferocity and tenacity and passion than Rios, or she shows it more. Rios did not like to engage the crowd like Leylah does which is to her advantage, Rios was more of a lone wolf out there, aloof and self centered like an artist. Leylah has the approach that should result in more big titles. Leylah’s excuse may be truth but it’s also possible Emma just is a little better, she did also beat her in Wimbledon juniors years earlier also in straight sets.

  • catherine · December 16, 2021 at 2:02 am

    Rusedski was never very popular in Britain Hartt, if that’s any comfort.
    He was considered a Canadian 🙂

    Leylah is a good plucky player and I’m sure she’ll win planty of titles in the future but I prefer Emma’s style – I saw an interview with her when she was about 12 saying she wanted to play like Federer. That may not happen, not literally,but I think the potential is there to be a more attacking player. I don’t know if Beltz, who has spent so many years with a defensive baseliner, is the coach to do it.

    I get the feeling Leylah is brooding on her loss in New York. She should let it go.

    Emma comes across to me as an essentially introverted type – she engages with the crowd and shows her feelings but knows how and when to shut it all out. I was impressed with her self-control at the end of the final, an improvement on W’don. (She’s basically the mathematician, as her exam results showed.)

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 16, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Catherine, introverts down win majors in the second attempt, introverts don’t thrive on full house stadium courts with millions of eyes around the planet watching them. Introverts find a way to choke, fear of success. Fernadez should feel nothing but immense pride for her 2021 US Open. Not brooding about the final loss but using it as extra motivation and incentive to get the job doe in her next GS final. Emma is still young and she can become an attacking player. Mischa Zverev was a baseline grinder as a junior and young pro and when he realized he couldn’t win that way, he became an attacking player. I played a guy this year who played young Zverev in Germany and he told me this amazing story of a junior baseliner changing his game and becoming a very successful pro with an attacking serve volley game.

  • catherine · December 16, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Well, I agree that Emma can become an attacking player. Graf became more aggressive over the years I saw her play – viz a couple of matches v Navratilova on Youtube, USO. Steffi was a good volleyer by this time although she didn’t start that way.

    Introversion – comes in different forms. Some introverts can build a barrier around themselves to keep out interference and then they can concentrate more efficiently. But none of this is particularly scientific, just speculation.

    Emma’s education has trained her to think logically and make deductions. She’s a Fisette type of player but the downside is that Wim’s cerebral style of coaching might overload her mentally. Beltz is the opposite of that.

    Anyway, interesting times ahead.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 16, 2021 at 11:11 am

    Catherine, you may be over analyzing there. Some people don’t always want or need to talk to everybody all the time. next thing you know big pharma will launch an introvert medication campaign like this mental health PR crusade we see. PR works. Only one disease in the world today has a huge PR campaign selling it 247. and look at the results, majority of the world lives in fear.

  • catherine · December 17, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Actually Scoop, I think all that personality type of stuff is hoo-ha and ‘personality tests’ are based on no evidence at all. I don’t have vast experience in the field but I have some.

    It’s just being lazy. Emma is different from Leylah, we can describe that, based on her behaviour and things she says and that’s all. I don’t think you need fear big pharma’s intervention. The human brain isn’t easily altered and everyone’s personality is a complex of traits.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 17, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Catherine, I just read minutes ago on aol that “modernas shot is more likely to cause heart issues than phizer.” Now why would anyone want to take a mystery drug that can cause heart issues regarding a flu with a 99% recovery rate? If you don’t see something very evil lurking here with this crazed tyrannical push to force people to take this mark of the beast health risk shot, that’s disappointing. No need to analyze the personalities and press statements by Fernandez and Raducanu, let’s just keep enjoying their fine play.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 17, 2021 at 10:36 am

    How is this for a useless question by a tennis reporter to a tennis player…

    Reem Abulleil
    Q: Do you enjoy this tournament, Andrey?

    Rublev: Of course, I’m staying in an amazing resort, what’s not to enjoy (laughs)…


  • catherine · December 17, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Scoop – Behind the ‘fine play’ there are human beings. To some extent I’m interested in them, as are plenty of fans and sports writers. I’m just not interested in pseudo-psychology, so I shouldn’t have got into that.

    Vaccines – Surely by now people can make up their own minds. Info about Moderna, another MRNA, has been known for a while.

    And as for that useless question – unfortunately it’s often the youngest/lowest ranking reporters who are sent out to cover tennis, apart from GSs. What you quote is the result.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 17, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Catherine, Raducanu is the most intriguing new young star in the sport, she transcends the sport. Leylah may get to that point too and soon. I believe that woman reporter Reem is a veteran and considered one of the top mainstream tennis media reporters today. Not sure if she is the one who asked Rublev that question but to tweet it as if it’s newsworthy is questionable.

  • Hartt · December 17, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Scoop, am sorry I missed your comment about Leylah being a blend of Rios and Seles. Very interesting, and high praise. I suspect she is over her disappointment about the USO loss, or at least as much as she can be. She had a great vacation with her family and is probably refreshed. I read somewhere that her goal for next season is top 10, but am not sure where I saw that. But Leylah does not lack self confidence.

    Regarding Emma, she has that “it” factor that draws fans to her. To be realistic, her being pretty does not hurt. But she will need to have some success next season to retain that level of interest. I wonder if casual fans understand just how tough it is to win big tourneys and move up the rankings.

  • catherine · December 17, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Just noticed this – Kerber hasn’t officially retired yet but she may have a new career. She’s released what looks like a video. Title ? ‘The Art of Driving’.

    Angie is actually a very good driver. Cars by Porsche.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 17, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Hartt, Emma is at the point of popularity and fame now, if she sneezes it’s going to make headline news. Doesn’t matter if she loses first week of every major next year, she’s a Grand Slam champion for life. Nobody can take that away. I see Leylah winning a major in 22, her ferocity and intensity will intimidate a lot of players. And her game will only get better.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 18, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Catherine, I read a Kerber post last week and she is nowhere near retiring, she sounds very inspired and excited to keep competing at the sport she still loves. So to speculate she is near officially retiring is folly and fruitless. Keep enjoying this great champion while she’s still around.

  • Hartt · December 18, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Yes, the Reem Abulleil tweet of the Rublev question was a bit odd, but as you said, Scoop, she is an experienced tennis journalist and I usually enjoy her work. She recently did an in-depth article on Andy Murray for Eurosport.

  • catherine · December 18, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Scoop – I’m not entirely serious. I just think the driving video is amusing. I’ve been following Angie this year so I know what she’s doing. She’s 34 very soon and it’s not likely she’ll carry on much longer – few women do. She’s expanding her activities, her academy and other commercial opportunities. It’s only natural. I’m not sure if she’s even got a new coach to replace Beltz. I suppose we’ll see at the AO. It’s a pity Germans have not yet produced a generation to replace Kerber, Georges and Petko.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 18, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Hartt she probably did not ask that silly sophomoric question, probably was from a school kid given a press pass or something. No way a seasoned veteran journalist would ask a worthless question like that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 18, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Catherine, Sam Sumyk is available to coach for Kerber! If Sam Sumyk can endure the humiliation he got from Gabrine “Tell me something I don’t know” Murugurza, I’m sure he can take anything Kerber can dish out!



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