Re: Worst Slam semi-finals line-up since...?
I agree with the OP, and also do not want to bash anyone; it's great for them that they made it to the SFs and they are all quite good and talented players, but the semifinals leave me entirely cold as a fan. This may have to do with the fact that I don't particularly like the playing style of anyone left in the draw (which is really one style, with the partial exception of Sloane).
I wouldn't say that this necessarily means the tour is in a worse state than in previous years. What this establishes is that many players are close to each other, i.e., that there is depth in the tour. This can be because everyone is bad relative to the past, or because everyone is good. I think there is strong evidence of the latter elsewhere (not year-to-year but decade-to-decade), including the natural progress in most sports, the advancements in training/nutrition/genetics, the lack of child prodigies in modern times, and the general scarcity of successful comebacks of older players.
But if we assume that these four aren't indeed the four best players among the 128 that started, then I think it is legitimate to also question the system that allows a player to proceed based on a single semi-random result (affected by draw, form on the day, the outcome of a few points) while sending others home after a single bad result. The repeated application of this leads to such semifinals.
I just watched the European basketball national team championship this week (after the USO became quite uninteresting), and some teams made it to the last 16 with two wins and three defeats (and a good point differential). Most of the major contenders for a medal had at least one defeat. Such a system gives fans multiple opportunities to see their favorites, and does not eliminate the best teams based on one bad night or one bad matchup.