Women’s tennis: Weak or level playing field?


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Kim Clijsters's shock departure from the second round of Roland
Garros on Thursday was followed by the exit of world number one Caroline
Wozniacki and last year's beaten finalist Sam Stosur
on Friday.

That makes it the first time since 1971 when both of the top two
seeds have been knocked out of the French Open before the fourth round.

World number three Vera Zvonareva had a scare in the second round
as well, although she battled through and eased through her third round clash,
and seventh seed Maria Sharapova had to recover from a set and 4-1 down before
winning 11 straight games to reach the third round

All this got Tramlines thinking: is women's tennis weak or is it
simply a much more even playing field these days than it has been in the past?

One French Open pundit has already described Wozniacki as playing
"moonballing nonsense" and the world number one, who everyone knows
has never won a Grand Slam, was simply outplayed by Daniela Hantuchova in Paris today.

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Clijsters refused to blame a lingering ankle injury for her loss
and simply put it down to a "wrong attitude" against Aranxta Rus
while Stosur often struggles with her confidence on court.

"Not much, no," was Svetlana Kuznetsova's response when asked
what the new generation of tennis players had brought to the game.

"Clijsters and the Williams sisters are much better," she

So all this begs the question, has women's tennis simply become
more evenly weighted or has it deteriorated since the days of Chris Evert,
Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Clearly the overall quality of women's tennis is not as high as in
previous generations, especially with the absence of the Williams sisters,
Serena in particular, but one thing you can't argue with is the lack of

Even last year, it was fairly easy to predict the winner of a
tournament before it even started but this year, and in particular this month, the
French Open and Wimbledon are wide open.

And Mats Wilander believes that the top women do not seem to be
learning from their defeats and are carrying on as normal rather than
seeking to improve their game. Watch the video below for his full opinion.


What do you think? Is women's tennis just a filler for the time in
between men's matches or is it worth watching for its own sake, an exciting
sport that could throw up any result at any time?

Leave your comments below.


Nearly everyone was tweeting about the Djokovic-Del Potro clash
(and fair enough) but Tweet of the Day goes to Laura Robson for this beauty,
almost exclusively for the use of the word homeboy! "Kanye West watching
Del Potro vs Djokovic. Homeboy has good taste in tennis matches."

Today's highlight comes from Stanislas Wawrinka's clash against
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Swiss player is trailing by two sets to love and a
break but shows a highly impressive fighting spirit to break back with this

Check out the video below.

Yesterday, Tramlines urged you to watch Novak Djokovic's clash
with Juan Martin Del Potro, which we saw as easily the highlight of day six.

Unfortunately, with matches on Philippe Chatrier running very long,
the two did not get on until 7:30pm French time, and even then they were on
Suzanne Lenglen. So we were deprived of the full match. But nothing has
changed. In fact, the two sets that Djokovic and Del Potro did manage to play
has only whetted our appetites for more, the two men splitting sets between
them and playing some scintillating tennis in the process.

With Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray both back in action on day seven,
it promises to be a cracking day, but if you can only watch one match, make it
the remainder of the Djokovic-Del Potro clash.

Follow Tramlines on Twitter.

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