Very well thought out post. Although the WTA isn't to the point where a 16 year old winning one match is surprising. But the next 17 year old slam winner is going to have to be something very special. Venus Williams was 20 when she won her first slam. Justine Henin was 21. Kim Clijsters was 22.
We've seen the early flash of potential greatness from Ivanovic, Jankovic, Safina, Wozniacki, Azarenka ... they've all shown what Clijsters and Henin showed at their age, or better. We just gotta wait out another three or four years, and see what's what.
I disagree with you. I don't see what Wozniacki, Azarenka and co have shown that is equal or better than Clijsters or Henin at their age.
age of first GS final:
Kim: 18 (or was she still 17? It was almost to day her 18th birthday)
best results when 19 (including years before):
Kim: won tour championships defeating top players in the process, reached 3 GS finals, won 2 tier I tournaments
Justine: GS final at Wimbledon (defeating Capriati), GS semi-final at RG, won tier I tournament
Wozniacki: GS final, won tier II tournament
Azarenka: won Tier I, defeating Serena Williams
Safina: won tier II
Ivanovic: GS final, GS semi, won two tier I tournaments
Jankovic: won tier V tournament
so honestly, I don't see where these youngsters beat Kim or Justine. Sharapova or Hingis, yes, they showed far better results, hands down, but not these youngsters. Only Ivanovic has results that are similar to what Justine had at that age. Azarenka defeated Serena Williams so she showed a flash there. Wozniacki has yet to defeat a top player.