Venus in the absence of the top tenners.
There is some curiosity as to how well venus is really playing considering that so far she hasn't had to play anyone in the top ten. She played dementieva in Miami lost that match in a third set tie break, meaning the difference wasn't so big. At the sametime it is also safe to say that Dementieva hasn't been playing to her ability this year, she made the finals to lose to a serena (who we still don't know how well she has shed the rust).
However Venus has played Vera twice who even though is not a top tenner is definitely playing better than some top tenners like Dementieva, Capriati and Ai.
I haven't seen enough of venus play to know how well she is playing but from her results she looks to be getting back in form.
Personally I don't believe that she has yet to reach the level of the Lindsays, belgians etc. This is because venus has always been good but was very rusty in the beginning of the year. It is not like how we sometimes have a player break out and have an incredible run and then run out of umph. (players like Schynder, maleeva,ai etc)
Though results remain to be seen so far I think venus is getting to the form of the top four, the top four themselves are struggling with injuries and health(justine) and that has evened things out.
Rena- a tennis great! 22 at striking distance.