Strength of American Women's Tennis on Display at Wimbledon 2015

Lindsay Gibbs@linzsports Featured ColumnistJuly 6, 2015

Madison Keys of the United States celebrates winning the match against Olga Govortsova of Belarus  during their singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday July 6, 2015. Keys won3-6, 6-4, 6-1.(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

It's been quite a 24 hours for American sportswomen.

On Sunday night, the U.S. women's national soccer team beat Japan to win the World Cup in soccer for the first time since 1999. Then, on Monday at Wimbledon, three American women advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, the most since 2004.

On Tuesday, Serena Williams, Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe will all try to keep the stars and stripes flying high in London by advancing to the semifinals.

While the popular topic in tennis lately has been the decline of American tennis, these women are proving that there really is nothing to worry about.

As Tom Perrotta of The Wall Street Journal points out, this is just a continuation of a strong year for American women's tennis:

For America’s women tennis pros, this impressive Wimbledon is merely the latest achievement in a fine year. Three American women reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, too, and Serena Williams won it. Williams also won the French Open. She would hold all four major titles if she wins Wimbledon.

Williams is, of course, the world No. 1, and, as Perrotta noted, she is chasing history here at Wimbledon. Her sixth singles title at the All England Club is on the line, as is her 21st Slam overall. 

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

The 33-year-old veteran advanced to the quarters by taking out her sister, Venus Williams, 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round.

Keys, just 20, is into her second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year after beating Olga Govortsova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday. She made it to the Australian Open semifinals earlier this year, upsetting Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams along the way, before falling to Serena Williams.

The No. 21 seed, who was ranked as high as No. 16 earlier this year, has been coached by Lindsay Davenport since the offseason, and Davenport is clearly teaching her how to navigate the big stages.

Though Keys hasn't played her best yet this tournament, and also hasn't yet faced a seeded opponent, she has been able to fight her way through matches she was expected to win, which is a good sign for a player pegged to be the next great American champion.

Vandeweghe has been undoubtedly the breakout star of this tournament. The 23-year-old, who is currently ranked No. 47 and had been struggling in 2015 until now, hasn't dropped a set on the way to her first Slam quarterfinal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Coco Vandeweghe of the United States celebrates a point in her Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match against Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tenn
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

That's even more impressive when you realize how difficult Vandeweghe's road has been. This fortnight, the New Yorker has taken out No. 11 Karolina Pliskova 7-6, 6-4; No. 22 and former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-0; and No. 6 Lucie Safarova, last month's French Open finalist, 7-6, 7-6.

With a huge serve and forehand—just like her American counterparts—and much improved fitness, Vandeweghe has been playing the best tennis of her career.

But, as reported by Greg Garber of espnW, she still isn't satisfied, particularly after her win over Safarova in the fourth round on Monday, which was the biggest of her career.

"I didn't really feel that good. I thought it was one of my worst matches that I played the whole tournament so far. I think it was more my court positioning early on. I thought I was too far back, letting her dictate instead of making her feel my presence."

Vandeweghe's lack of complacency can be seen as a great sign, particularly for those who have been waiting for her to live up to her talent for years.

She will need to step it up in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, as she faces No. 4 Maria Sharapova. Vandeweghe has never played against the Russian, but her only shot at the mammoth upset will be to focus intently and play aggressively.

Serena Williams is in the top half of the draw along with Vandeweghe and Sharapova, but her quarterfinal opponent is certainly no gimme—Williams will battle former No. 1 and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.

Keys is in the bottom half of the draw, which is much more open, but that doesn't mean her path to the final is clear, either. Agnieszka Radwanska, a former Wimbledon finalist and the No. 13 seed, is her quarterfinal opponent, and Radwanska leads the head-to-head 3-0.

However, Keys has the power and talent to upset the agile Radwanska—if she plays better than she has so far this fortnight, that is.

While all three Americans remaining have tough quarterfinal opponents, there is certainly a possibility for all of them to advance and for three of the four semifinalists at Wimbledon to be from the USA.

The way things have been going for American sportswomen recently, I wouldn't count them out.

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