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Hey TF! I’ll be doing an “end of the season” show this week for the Fantastic Tennis podcast, where a panel of tennis fans will be playing a Family Feud style game as we countdown the Top 10 BIGGEST stories from this past year 2021 season. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks and if I’m missing anything. In no particular order, I have:

1. Naomi Osaka & her struggles with mental health and the media
2. Venus & Serena’s time away from court
3. Raducanu’s wild US Open ride
4. Peng Shuai went missing
5. Krejcikova’s French Open surprise
6. Barty on top for 3rd year in a row
7. Clijsters comeback
8. The emergence of a new crop of elite players (the 2021 WTA Championships field)
9. Yastremska case
10. Covid and it’s effect on the WTA

Honorable mention:
11. Ons Jabeur is the first Arab tennis player to break the top 10

12. The injury struggles of top stars (Konta, Andreescu, Halep, Bouchard, etc)
 

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I look forward to listening.

Maybe number 10 covers it, but imo the quarantine shitshow at the Australian Open was quite a big deal (and the continuing impending uncertainty for next year). Jennifer BRADY's rise, and relative fall, was an interesting story too and I still think the hard quarantine may have played a role in the fact that she got injured right after (or maybe even during?) that amazing run.

Also the Olympics deserves a mention... BENCIC peaking out of relatively nowhere, BARTY crashing out in the first round and OSAKA in the third (after lighting the cauldron), the heat (PBG getting legit heat stroke). MONFILS/SVITOLINA "honeymooning" there was a fun story too, especially since Elaine ended up getting the bronze. Obviously the Novak stuff too, but it looks like you're only doing WTA here. EDIT: Also the enormous amount of withdrawals was pretty interesting too.

In my personal opinion, CLIJSTERS does not deserve much of a mention considering she already began her comeback last year and only played two matches...
 

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Some other notable things, maybe to put in,
Danielle Collins breakthrough with two tournament wins, great story of persistence,
Sofia Kenin's fall from grace, ( Hoping she's back next year)
Kontaveit & Badosa's second half of the year.
The random run of Giorgi at Montreal
The best new nickname in tennis, ( Draqueline, The Countess) Jacqueline Cristian. :love:

Enjoying your podcasts.
Wouldn't mind you getting Cristian, Kostyuk or Yastremska on next year.
 

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I think

1. Osaka's media meltdown takes top spot, followed by...
2. Barty's continued cross-surface excellence (with a footnote about her 6+ month road trip), followed by...
3. Raducanu's fairytale run and subsequent overexposure, followed by....
4. The emergence if the transitional generation (Jabeur, Sakkari, Kontaveit, etc.) in the top 10, followed by....
5. The downshift of top 10 mainstays Halep-Svitolina-Pliskova.

[edit: new sections below]

I think I'd add to this two more, one which is hard to place because it is recent but gaining mainstream attention and could have huge ramifications, and one which is under the radar but maybe more important than the rest for long-term storylines.

6. Peng Shuai and the WTA's relationship with China.

7. The youth movement in the WTA.

in 2017, there were only three (3!!!) teenagers in the year-end top 100. Today, there are six, and that's all the more remarkable given how hard it has been to jump up the rankings since the restart. Two more seem likely candidates to crack the top 100 in 2022 before they turn 20. The six teens currently in the top 100 represent six different countries, and while MCOS turns 20 around Christmas, if Diane Parry and Qinwen Zheng crack the top 100 before Kostyuk turns 20 in June, that could be SEVEN teens from SEVEN different countries in the top 100 at once.

Back at the end of 2017, there were think pieces by tennis writers about how teenagers were done winning majors, in spite of Ostapenko missing out by a matter of days back in 2017. We've had three teen major champions since, plus two (?) more finalists, plus a 20 and a 21 year old major champion. That's a huge change from the WTA of just 4 years ago.
 

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I don't understand why topics 2 and 7 are even on your list. They shouldn't make the top 50 stories, never mind the top 10.

I would definitely include Ons Jabeur in the top 10 stories of the year.

What about Ana Konjuh's return to the top 100 after all her injury problems ?

Mayar Sherif making it into the top 100 ? Camila Osorio and Clara Tauson ? Perhaps one topic covering all the new names in the top 100.
 

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Late-bloomers like Zanevska and Parrizas Diaz having their best year.
Nettu's last-minute hustle to qualify in Guadalajara.
 

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1) Parity. 10 different players in the 4 slam finals and Olympic finals, 12 different if YEC included. None of these 4 in YEC semis were in a big final this year
2) Osaka. Made her goofy - no interviews - statement and only won 4 matches since March
3) Serena turns 40, which explains 1
 
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a) big changes at the top .... longterm top players going down, spacefillers taking advantage until new top players establish themselves
b) U21 players in top100 ... progress and potential
c) other interesting top100 debutantes
d) the emergence of snowflakes and social media idiocy in tennis
 
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Hey TF! I’ll be doing an “end of the season” show this week for the Fantastic Tennis podcast, where a panel of tennis fans will be playing a Family Feud style game as we countdown the Top 10 BIGGEST stories from this past year 2021 season. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks and if I’m missing anything. In no particular order, I have:

1. Naomi Osaka & her struggles with mental health and the media
2. Venus & Serena’s time away from court
3. Raducanu’s wild US Open ride
4. Peng Shuai went missing
5. Krejcikova’s French Open surprise
6. Barty on top for 3rd year in a row
7. Clijsters comeback
8. The emergence of a new crop of elite players (the 2021 WTA Championships field)
9. Yastremska case
10. Covid and it’s effect on the WTA

Honorable mention:
11. Ons Jabeur is the first Arab tennis player to break the top 10

12. The injury struggles of top stars (Konta, Andreescu, Halep, Bouchard, etc)
4. Is the most important. Because it is not just tennis. We are heading for olympic in China and this stuff needs to be exposed. It can has huge impact and we need to save Peng.
 
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In reality the most serious is of course the Peng Shuai situation but the Naomi story was definitely the biggest in tennisnews and on TF.
 

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I think I'd add to this two more to mine (post #7), one which is hard to place because it is recent but gaining mainstream attention and could have huge ramifications, and one which is under the radar but maybe more important than the rest for long-term storylines.

6. Peng Shuai and the WTA's relationship with China.

7. The youth movement in the WTA.

in 2017, there were only three (3!!!) teenagers in the year-end top 100. Today, there are six, and that's all the more remarkable given how hard it has been to jump up the rankings since the restart. Two more seem likely candidates to crack the top 100 in 2022 before they turn 20. The six teens currently in the top 100 represent six different countries, and while MCOS turns 20 around Christmas, if Diane Parry and Qinwen Zheng crack the top 100 before Kostyuk turns 20 in June, that could be SEVEN teens from SEVEN different countries in the top 100 at once.

Back at the end of 2017, there were think pieces by tennis writers about how teenagers were done winning majors, in spite of Ostapenko missing out by a matter of days back in 2017. We've had three teen major champions since, plus two (?) more finalists, plus a 20 and a 21 year old major champion. That's a huge change from the WTA of just 4 years ago.
 
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