At U.S. Open, Women Surprise as well as brand new Rules Get a Trial Run

although the brand new wave has picked up momentum in her absence. For all of Serena’s brilliance as well as enduring love of the game (as well as the spotlight), the odds are against her dominating again even if some experienced coaches feel the overall level of the rest of the women’s field is actually historically weak.


Madison Keys has joined Sloane Stephens as well as Jelena Ostapenko in a youth movement which has cropped up while Serena Williams missed time because of her pregnancy.

Chang W. Lee/The brand new York Times

“I can’t remember which being which low,” said Eric van Harpen, a 73-year-old coach who has worked with Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Conchita Martinez as well as more recently the cerebral German Andrea Petkovic.

Van Harpen sees too much uniformity of style, not enough skill at net or use of spin, as well as too many weak serves as well as predictable patterns.

which is actually one old hand’s viewpoint. although today’s viewers can judge only what is actually in front of them, as well as tennis is actually generally at its best when the generations clash.

via a commercial perspective, which is actually also still at its best when the United States market is actually thriving. Men’s tennis here has emerging figures although remains a work in progress. although the women’s game is actually rich in both quality as well as quantity. All four U.S. Open semifinalists in women’s singles are Americans, as well as the farm system is actually booming. The Grand Slam events have featured three straight all-American girls finals involving 5 players.

Eight Americans are inside top 50 of the WTA rankings, as well as 30 inside top 0: more than any additional nation.

as well as yet globally, the most intriguing event in brand new York might have been the boys tournament, as Wu Yibing, 17, became the first Chinese boy to win a Grand Slam junior singles event (he also won the doubles).


Rafael Nadal’s U.S. Open win was the fifth consecutive major won by a men’s player in his 30s.

Ben Solomon for The brand new York Times

Wu features a long way to go to become a leading professional, although there is actually no doubt about what a first Chinese men’s star would certainly mean.

“Definitely a game changer,” said John Tobias, Stephens’s agent. “If a Chinese man could get to top 20 inside globe, where you are seeded as well as in contention, I think via a commercial point of view, which would certainly have a huge impact on the tour.”

As for the present, Venus Williams, right now 37, was the most consistent women’s performer at the four major tournaments which year: reaching the finals of the Australian Open as well as Wimbledon, as well as the semifinals of the U.S. Open, where she lost to Stephens in a thriller of a third set.

Stephens is actually right now ranked 17th (up via 957th last month) as well as features a fine chance to make the WTA Finals in Singapore.

If Serena Williams does indeed come back, her potential duels with Stephens, Madison Keys, Ostapenko as well as the latest world No. 1, Garbiñe Muguruza, would certainly all be appointment viewing.

Yet tennis continues to disagree on change. A proposal by Steve Simon, the WTA’s chief executive, to restructure the women’s tour, creating more mandatory tournaments for the leading players, met with fierce resistance in brand new York via tournament directors as well as others.


The youth movement may be prevalent on the women’s side, although Venus Williams was the most consistent performer at the four major tournaments which year.

Chang W. Lee/The brand new York Times

The ATP, the men’s tour, is actually considering lucrative proposals to revive its World Team Cup event in 2019, which could create a logjam of men’s team events with the venerable Davis Cup as well as the brand new Laver Cup, a Europe versus the Rest of the globe competition to be held in Prague which month.

There are also debates about the rules of the game. The U.S. Open experimented with serve clocks, warm-up clocks as well as in-match coaching during the qualifying as well as junior events which year. Stacey Allaster, the chief executive for professional tennis at the United States Tennis Association, said the findings were well received by additional tennis officials.

The serve clock as well as warm-up clock, meant to address pace-of-play concerns, seem to be smart innovations as well as experienced few problems during the trial. Adopting them seems only a matter of time. The bigger issue is actually coaching, currently prohibited during matches on the men’s tour as well as inside main draws of all the Grand Slam events.

The U.S. Open experiment allowed coaches to communicate directly with their players via the stands between points. According to the U.S.T.A. report, 82 percent of players received coaching while only 7 percent did not have a coach available.

The amount of coaching increased as the tournament progressed, as well as chair umpires were pleased with the change, according to the report, because which allowed them to focus on overseeing the match itself rather than policing the entourages (coaching has always happened to some degree on the sly). The chair umpires, the report noted, also found which the coaching increased the quality of play.

which should not necessarily be the objective. Part of tennis’s appeal at the highest level is actually which which is actually an individual sport, one in which problem-solving can play as big a role as baseline power. Changing which equation inside biggest events would certainly be a major move, affecting the essence of the sport.

Wimbledon officials, in particular, sound skeptical about the idea. They are not alone.

“which seems one thing which does do is actually take pressure off the umpire, as well as they like which,” said Paul Annacone, a former coach of Pete Sampras, Federer as well as Stephens. “If which’s your objective, mission accomplished for sure. although is actually which worth doing away with something we should celebrate in tennis: Pete, Roger, Rafa or Serena figuring which out? Figuring which out with six million people watching you play on Centre Court at Wimbledon. To me, which’s a huge part of being an all-time great. How do I handle which moment of stress on my own? which’s a great character builder although more importantly, a great character revealer.”

To change which equation at the highest level, tennis had best be certain, very certain, which which is actually gaining more than which is actually losing.

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