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Genuinely curious as to whether the current inconsistency amongst the top WTA players is down to changes in court speeds, racquet technology etc making the sport more about power and less about skill and therefore having an equalising effect amongst the top players where on any given Sunday anyone can beat anyone else or if I'm overthinking it and this is just a weak era with players who can't realise their talent.
I think you raise some very valid and plausible points.
 

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ATP semifinals

2021
RG: Nadal, Djokovic, Zverev, Tsitsipas
Roma: Nadal, Djokovic, Sonego, Opelka
Madrid: Zverev, Berretini, Thiem, Ruud
MC: Tsitsipas, Rublev, Evans, Ruud
Miami: Hurkacz, Sinnier, Bautista-Agut, Rublev
AO: Djokovic, Medvedev, Karatsev, Tsitsipas

3
Zverev, Djokovic, Tsitsipas
2
Nadal, Ruud, Rublev
1
Sonego, Berretini, Thiem, Hurkacz, Sinner, Bautista-Agut, Karatsev

2020
WTF: Medvedev, Zverev, Nadal, Djokovic
Paris: Medvedev, Zverev, Nadal, Raonic
RG: Nadal, Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Schwartzman
Roma: Djokovic, Schwartzman, Ruud, Shapovalov
US: Thiem, Zverev, Carreno Busta, Medvedev
Cincinnati: Djokovic, Raonic, Bautista-Agut, Tsitsipas
AO: Djokovic, Thiem, Zverev, Federer

5
Djokovic
4
Zverev
3
Medvedev, Nadal
2
Tsitsipas, Raonic, Schwartzman, Thiem
1
Ruud, Shapovalov, Carreno Busta, Bautista-Agut, Federer

2019
WTF: Tsitsipas, Thiem, Federer, Zverev
Paris: Djokovic, Shapovalov, Dimitrov, Nadal
Shanghai: Medvedev, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Berretini
Cincinnati: Medvedev, Goffin, Djokovic, Gasquet
Montreal: Nadal, Medvedev, Monfils, Khachanov
Wimbledon: Djokovic, Federer, Bautista-Agut, Nadal
RG: Nadal, Thiem, Djokovic, Federer
Roma: Nadal, Djokovic, Schwartzman, Tsitsipas
Madrid: Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Thiem, Nadal
MC: Fognini, Lajovic, Medvedev, Nadal
Miami: Federer, Isner, Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov
IW: Thiem, Federer, Raonic, Nadal
AO: Djokovic, Nadal, Pouille, Tsitsipas

9
Nadal
7
Djokovic
5
Federer, Tsitsipas
4
Medvedev, Thiem
2
Shapovalov, Zverev
1
Dimitrov, Berretini, Goffin, Gasquet, Khachanov, Monfils, Bautista-Agut, Schwartzman, Fognini, Lajovic, Isner, Auger-Aliassime, Raonic, Pouille

Total: 22+2+5 = 29 different players

The only one that really had no top 10 players was Miami (I think Rublev was Top 10 not sure). It was well known beforehand the results would be like that cause many top players pulled out citing COVID issues and lack of prize money.

WTA semifinals

2021
RG: Krejcikova, Pavlyuchenkova, Sakkari, Zidansek
Roma: Swiatek, Pliskova, Gauff, Martic
Madrid: Sabalenka, Barty, Badosa, Pavlyuchenkova
Miami: Barty, Andreescu, Svitolina, Sakkari
Dubai: Muguruza, Krejcikova, Teichmann, Mertens
AO: Osaka, Brady, Muchova, Serena

2
Krejcikova, Pavlyuchenkova, Sakkari, Barty
1
Zidansek, Swiatek, Pliskova, Gauff, Martic, Sabalenka, Badosa, Andreescu, Svitolina, Muguruza, Teichmann, Mertens, Brady, Muchova, Serena

2020
RG: Swiatek, Kenin, Podoroska, Kvitova
Roma: Halep, Pliskova, Muguruza, Vondrousova
US: Osaka, Azarenka, Brady, Serena
Cincinnati: Azarenka, Osaka, Mertens, Konta
Doha: Sabalenka, Kvitova, Barty, Kuznetsova
AO: Kenin, Muguruza, Barty, Halep

2
Kenin, Halep, Muguruza, Osaka, Azarenka, Kvitova, Barty
1
Swiatek, Podoroska, Vondrousova, Pliskova, Brady, Serena, Mertens, Konta, Sabalenka, Kuznetsova

2019
YEC: Barty, Svitolina, Pliskova, Bencic
Beijing: Osaka, Barty, Bertens, Wozniacki
Wuhan: Sabalenka, Riske, Barty, Kvitova
US: Andreescu, Serena, Bencic, Svitolina
Cincinnati: Keys, Kuznetsova, Barty, Kenin
Toronto: Andreescu, Serena, Kenin, Bouzkova
Wimbledon: Halep, Serena, Strycova, Svitolina
RG: Barty, Vondrousova, Anisimova, Konta
Roma: Pliskova, Konta, Bertens, Sakkari
Madrid: Bertens, Halep, Bencic, Stephens
Miami: Barty, Pliskova, Kontaveit, Halep
IW: Andreescu, Kerber, Bencic, Svitolina
Dubai: Bencic, Kvitova, Svitolina, Hsieh
AO: Osaka, Kvitova, Pliskova, Collins

6
Barty
5
Bencic, Svitolina
4
Pliskova
3
Bertens, Kvitova, Andreescu, Serena, Halep
2
Osaka, Kenin, Konta
1
Wozniacki, Riske, Keys, Kuznetsova, Bouzkova, Strycova, Vondrousova, Anisimova, Sakkari, Stephens, Kontaveit, Kerber, Hsieh, Collins, Sabalenka

Total: 27+6+8 = 41 different players
 

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The ATP also has the emergence of a new rivalry between Tsitsipas and Medvedev. Tsitsipas as the protagonist & Medvedev as the villain. And they genuinely dislike each other which makes it all the better.

There are no real compelling characters, rivalries or storylines in the WTA at the moment....
their QF’s 3-min highlight video on YouTube has nearly 1M views. There’s just nothing to sell on the women’s side right with that kind of interest.
 

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I think eventually there will be a core of stars. Like last decade Halep & Wozniacki were #1 for almost 3 years and won about 50 events
And Kvitova, Kerber, Azarenka, Radwanska, Pliskova were also pretty consistently good
That will happen here, its just hard to see who they will be now
I thought Osaka and Barty, but they both have some adversity to overcome now. So we will see. Besides them, I havent seen any mental toughness from younger players and the older players have lost a lot and suck now
 
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I sure hope most top players are hitting their head against a wall right now while thinking how they let that happen and what a chance it was. Back to court and not on social media. The window is open.
 

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I think you raise some very valid and plausible points.
Polyester strings definitely changed the game and made it easier for players to generate spin. But they have been prominent on tour for almost 15 years now & younger players grew up using them.

Regarding racquet technology, prob not so much. Many players (Halep & Andreescu among others) use older model racquets which are then painted to resemble the newest model. Other players like Azarenka & Keys use pro stock frames (which are also painted to resemble retail racquets). Most of these frames are pretty bare and then players have them customized to their preferred specifications.
 

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Doesn't help WTA when ATP are probably having the best match of the year at the moment with the Nadal and Djokovic Semi Final.
Probably the best clay court match of the past 10 years. The match is so awesome that even the French government is making a special exception by allowing the spectators to stay in the stadium until the end of the match despite the pandemic curfew that should start in Paris as the 4th set is about to begin
 

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Probably the best clay court match of the past 10 years. The match is so awesome that even the French government is making a special exception by allowing the spectators to stay in the stadium until the end of the match despite the pandemic curfew that should start in Paris as the 4th set is about to begin
It needs Nadal to win the fourth set for it to be a really great match. If Nadal loses in 4 sets, it can only be a good match that never truly delivered the greatness it promised.

However, what it does show is that Nadal and Djokovic, two legends of the game, are prepared to fight their guts out in all the slams and really care about the sport. Unfortunately. WTA's most bankable star Naomi Osaka thinks she is better than the game, and shows less and less interest in playing, especially on surfaces like clay and grass, which she doesn't like and doesn't have good results on.
 

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I just saw Rafa miss an easy volley in a tiebreak. Watching Pavs/Zidansek is much better!
 

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The third set in the Nadal and Djokovic Semi Final was the best Set of tennis I have seen in years.

This is what the WTA needs. 2 epic players willing to give it their all on the court and really go for broke. It seems lately the winners of the women's matches are those who choke slightly less than their opponent. I have also seen time and time again players who lose the first set then fold like a cheap tent and give up.
 

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It needs Nadal to win the fourth set for it to be a really great match. If Nadal loses in 4 sets, it can only be a good match that never truly delivered the greatness it promised.

However, what it does show is that Nadal and Djokovic, two legends of the game, are prepared to fight their guts out in all the slams and really care about the sport. Unfortunately. WTA's most bankable star Naomi Osaka thinks she is better than the game, and shows less and less interest in playing, especially on surfaces like clay and grass, which she doesn't like and doesn't have good results on.
It did deliver. It only had 4 sets, but lasted more than 4 hours. Tons of incredible points, tennis level out of this world, IMHO the best tennis match of the 2020s so far by a fair margin.
A fifth set would have made it an absolute legend (and possibly the match of the decade). Still, it was great, and definitely delivered.
 

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The third set in the Nadal and Djokovic Semi Final was the best Set of tennis I have seen in years.

This is what the WTA needs. 2 epic players willing to give it their all on the court and really go for broke. It seems lately the winners of the women's matches are those who choke slightly less than their opponent. I have also seen time and time again players who lose the first set then fold like a cheap tent and give up.
To have that kind of match, you'll need two GOATs of the same generation, both delivering the same day (otherwise you have a one-sided affair like AO 2019 or RG 2020). It'll difficult to have that at the WTA, unless you'd clone or rejuvenate the legends like Evert, Navratilova, Graf, Seles, S. Williams...
 

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It did deliver. It only had 4 sets, but lasted more than 4 hours. Tons of incredible points, tennis level out of this world, IMHO the best tennis match of the 2020s so far by a fair margin.
A fifth set would have made it an absolute legend (and possibly the match of the decade). Still, it was great, and definitely delivered.
I don't agree. It was a great match for three sets then it fizzled out. What a shame! A match can't be truly great unless it goes the distance, unless you don't know who is going to win until the last point, the quality of the tennis and the players playing are only part of the recipe.

This match seems better than it is because it has been better than the boring fare doled out on Chatrier this year by the men, and of course, it was not affected by the curfew which ruined the atmosphere of the night matches. The Tsitsipas-Zverev match and the Ruud-Davidovich Fokina were my two favourite men's matches of this RG.
 

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The epic SF between Djokodal show how has fallen the WTA...

We have never saw in the WTA two gladiators who fight like this (even if the Krejcikova-Sakkari was like this, but they are not 20 and 18 GS champions).

The Osaka-Andreescu Beijing 2019 battle was a sign of a promising rivalry who never materialized. Andreescu is always injured, Osaka has mental problems and she is only relevant on HC.

Before, it was truly and only the Serena-Henin who was a exciting rivalry by opposing gamestyle and fighting mentality (no sorry, except Wimbledon 2008, Venus was never a real rival for Serena)
Since Henin retired in 2008, it was the downfall of the WTA and the free show of the Williams, with briefly Azarenka to make a semblance of rivalry.

We will never see champions like Fedalovic again. They delivered the most epic matches of the history of tennis (Wimbledon 2008, Wimbledon SF 2018, Wimbledon F 2019, AO F 2009 AO F 2012 , AO F 2017 USO SF 2011 and F, FO SF 2021 ), the WTA had never truly quality epic battles (excepted the Halep-Kerber battles ). Only mess and usual upsets where the top player always played below her level.
 

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the quality of the tennis and the players playing are only part of the recipe.
For me, it's the biggest and most important part of the recipe. I'll always prefer a quality 4-setter where you'd easily be able to make 1 hour of highlights, with countless points out of this world, over an uncertain 5-setter where a sizeable chunk of the drama would come from chokes and inability to deal with pressure.

Besides, a show can be great without its ending also being its peak. Breaking Bad's Ozymandias is a much stronger episode than Felina. I'd say the 3rd-set tie-breaker was kinda the Ozymandias of that match, and it's not such a disappointment that the end episode just showed its expected consequences.

These days, many of the WTA matches do have uncertainty until the end, and the associated drama. But I don't see the extraordinary quality of tennis that'd make them potential classics.
 

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Dont worry, Pavs will deliver that Djokovic greatness and save the WTA!
 

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ATP putting the WTA to shame once again...

Inb4 the 60 minute final tomorrow
 
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