It's going to be interesting to see how the older American women react to this change, however, and whether they can still challenge for Slams. Apart from Davenport's injury problems, let's not forget that both Seles and Capriati were upset in the same tournament by the same young, up-and-coming player, and she wasn't a Belgian. This RG was really a break-out event for the Russians as well as the Belgians, throw them into the mix and it becomes fascinating.
Realistically, at both Wimbledon and the US Open it's still going to be the Williams sisters as the foremost favourites to be in the final and win the title. But the next tier of competitors below them may from now on be composed of both the two Belgians and the horde of young Russian players, as opposed to the older American contingent of Capriati and Davenport.
After all, besides the Williams sisters, there are no young female American players who are approaching the top of the game really, are there? Shaughnessy has been the closest in recent years, and there are of course bright prospects such as Harkleroad, but when you look at the top of the game it's really Williams, Belgium and Russia who are dominating. Plus Mauresmo, of course, who may well have had her best ever year in 2002 with her two GS semis. I hope there's better to come from her, but that quarter-final against Serena showed that she's still afflicted by nerves on the big occasions.
Say it Quietly, I'm White but I'm Really Rather Contrite