WTA Tour Blog: July 2012 in review

To consistently describe the inconsistency of the WTA in one word? Unpredictable, and July 2012 was no different.

The revered indoor court at Wimbledon and now, being used for the Olympics

This may seem to be a pessimistic approach, because we view consistency as a positive thing, and inconsistency as negative, but do not be deceived. Yes, the ATP currently has its top 3. And its top 10. It has its regular winners, its champions, its talented predictability of high level players. But, BUT, the WTA is offering us a different way to view top tennis. It’s an even playing field. Sure, you can see this as a weak field, a lack of top players, (there will always be people that see this negatively and not want to watch the WTA – each to his own, I say) or you can see this as there being a high level of play all round.

Everything moves in cycles, and right now the talent is evenly spread. With hard work, mental strength and hard-core physical training, many WTA players can earn themselves the opportunities to beat players much higher than themselves for those elusive points, or even to win a Grand Slam. There is no given in the women’s tour. There is some domination, but it’s dog eat dog, and that’s exactly how this month went. Let’s take a look:

 On the WTA side…

Serena is through the first and second round

- Serena. Oh, Serena. Wimbledon Champion, Wimbledon tournament leader (for men and women) with 102 aces for the tournament, with serve speeds up to 120mph, a 38-3 win-loss winning record in 2012 (sorry, I know that’s not July but I have to say all of this), Stanford Champion, and this month, an 8-0 record.  Let’s see if she can end out July with no losses at the Olympics, because, as people in the office around here have been saying lately, “She’s on fiyahhhhhhhhhh!!!”

- Ok, I’m going to go here because I got a lot of stink about putting her as a hot contender in my “Who’s Hot and Who’s Not” blog. Sara Errani was doing so well with her career high rankings and her success at Roland Garros, but keeps doing things that have started to scare me off. I still maintain that she is someone to watch, but I think she picked up a little bit of a “shock factor” reputation. Coming into July, she got her magical, mythical, unicorn of a golden set (ouch) against Svedova (in her defense Shvedova hit four aces and 14 winners in the 15-minute set – she was basically treeing on Errani). She then came back from that blow out to win the Palermo tournament, to then get crushed in the Olympics by Venus, who coincidentally hasn’t won a match since May. Errani still sits on her career high ranking though, so what can we expect from her? Let’s get her off grass and stop this nonsense.

- Here’s something for the States: an American to keep an eye on would be 23-year-old Julia Cohen. She’s #134 and just lost in the final of the Baku Cup, which is her best result in a WTA Tournament. She’s green, but if she continues the way she is going, it will be interesting to see if another American can crack the top 100 and see some success. Keep your eyes peeled on her.

Olympic Preview:

Radwanska is out of the Olympics with a 7-5 6-7 6-4 loss to Julia Goerges of Germany

And the rest of the ladies? We’ve mostly seen all round consistency this month from Azarenka, Radwanska and Sharapova: until now. Three-setters for the first and second seeds saw Azarenka through and Radwanska out. Sharapova took charge with a 2 and 0 win, while Serena has stepped it up and won her first two rounds with ease. I am predicting a Sharapova vs. Serena final, so let’s see who takes charge of the grass one more time and comes out with gold.

Stay tuned for more pro blogs in the coming weeks!  Thanks for reading.

Siobhan

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