French Open 2013: Top Women Finally Matching Men's Consistency
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After Justine Henin's first retirement just before the French Open in 2008 when she was actually ranked No. 1 in the world, women's tennis has seen a wide array of players take the top ranking and win Grand Slams.
Ten different women have won at least one major tournament since the 2008 French Open. In that time, only five different men have won, with all but two of those going to the Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
More shocking than that would be the number of men and women that have made a Slam final in that time. The women have had 18 different players while the men have had just eight.
Who can also forget the likes of Dinara Safina (now out of the game) and Caroline Wozniacki (slowly falling down the pecking order) reaching the top of the game without even winning a major?
To be fair, having the top player in the game suddenly retire like she did isn't something that happens every day. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova also missed a few of the Grand Slams in this time as well.
Fast forward to now, and we see that the WTA tour has actually developed it's own "Big Three" of Williams, Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. The three have combined to win the last four Grand Slams and are likely to make it five in Paris.
The women's draw has actually gone more to form then the men's at the 2013 French Open. The top three ranked players as well as the No. 5 ranked player (Sara Errani) are playing in Thursday's semifinals.
It's amazing that all three of the top seeds made the semis, considering they are big hitters and haven't always been most comfortable on the clay.
Upsets are going to happen, that's just the nature of the game. But it is a great thing for tennis that these three women have stepped up and are consistently competing at the highest level and getting it done when it matters most.
Many people were critical of Safina and Wozniacki when they were ranked No. 1 due to not being able to bring home the biggest hardware. Williams is now entrenched on top of the game and the 15-time Grand Slam champion is fully worthy of that status.
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