Originally Posted by Volcana
I'm no doubt missing some, but if, to be a 'breakout' player, you either have to win something big (a Tier II or better) and then SUSTAIN it, 'breakouts' don't come along in big numbers. And you have to beat some big time players WHILE winning that title.
A 'breakout' is, if you will, a way of saying 'I have arrived as a significant force, capable of beating anyone at anytime.'
So who are the obvious 'breakout' players, year by year.
95 Pierce (She won a Tier II in '93, but nothing in '94)
96 Davenport (The Olympics)
97 Hingis (duh)
__ Williams, V (One of two examples of 'arrival' by losing)
98 Schnyder (5 tournaments)
99 Williams, S (US Open)
__ Mauresmo (The other example of 'arrival' by losing.)
00 Capriati (yes she was a big time player ten years earlier, but....)
01 Dokic (Rome, Moscow, top ten for next two years)
__ Clijsters (Stanford, Leipzig, Luxembourg)
02 Hantuchova (IW)
-- Myskina (she gets props for Fed Cup, but she's NOT in Sharapova's class)
There sure has been a big NOTHING in 2005. But look at the quality of the players who HAVE big breakouts. Only one, Dokic, has failed to still be a force. Hantuchova and Schnyder have wandered, but Schnyder returned to the top ten this year, and Hantichova to the top 25. (Myskina is having personal problems, so I choose to put her aside.)
The rest of the names are a 'who's who' of the current game. Pierce, Davenport, Hingis, Venus, Serena, JCap, Clijsters, Henin-Hardenne, and Sharapova. Who's demonstrated the ability to defeat that caliber of player?
according to your own definition, break out players are those who win a tier II or better and then sustain it (the meaning of "sustain it" is fuzzy, but that's not a surprise).
using that definition
Hingis breakout year wasn't 1997 but 1996, she won two tier 2s that year (Oakland and Filderstadt) got to the finals of the WTA Championships and reached # 4 in the world, and she certainly "sustained" it in 1997.
Venus Williams didn't win anything big in 1997, but she did in 1998, although in 97 she reached the US Open final which can be considered equivalent to winning a big title.
Henin-Hardenne's wasn't 2003, but 2002, she won Berlin (a tier 1) and Linz (a tier II), then sustained it in 2003.
Even more, she reached a GS final in 2001 and reached the top 10, the same that Williams did, why am I not surprised they are not judged the same?
Hantuchova won IW in 2002, but DIDN't sustain it, if reaching the top 25 is sustaining it then the criteria is not very restrictive and certainly more players make the list (and no, I am not going to look for them).
Schnyder, as much as I like her, she didn't win any big title in 1998, if winning a lot of small events is enough then Smashnova should be included. (or Pennetta)
Finally, Hingis is not a who is who of the current game, you might not know it but she retired nearly 3 years ago.