x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Lack of rivalries leaves women's tennis with no 1-2 punch

As men's tennis fans gloat about their fab four and their 'golden era', Ahmed Rizvi says the women's side seems to be struggling to come up with similar punchlines.

Women's world No 1 Victoria Azarenka has enjoyed a 4-1 record against Maria Sharapova this season.
Women's world No 1 Victoria Azarenka has enjoyed a 4-1 record against Maria Sharapova this season.

 

As men's tennis gloat about its fab four and their "golden era", the women's side seems to be struggling to come up with similar punchlines.

There are no overarching storylines on the WTA Tour as the 2012 season finishes up with no real rivalries.

Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova? A dud. The reigning world No 1 and No 2 have played against each other five times in 2012 and Azarenka has won four of those matches.

Her only defeat came on clay at Stuttgart. On hard courts, Azarenka has a 6-0 record since the loss to the Russian at Beijing, 2009.

Serena Williams - winner of Wimbledon, US Open and the Olympic gold - is the world No 3, but she is 6-0 against the top two this year with four wins over Azarenka and two over Sharapova. Overall, Azarenka has defeated Williams just once in 11 matches - Miami, 2009.

Sharapova has not beaten Williams since the 2004 Tour Championships and their head-to-head stands at 2-9.

At this year's WTA Championships, Williams will go into the tournament with a 9-1 record for 2012 against the other seven in the elite competition. Angelique Kerber is the only one from the WTA top eight to beat her this year.

What do these numbers prove?

Williams has no equals on the Tour and it is only her injury record in the past that has prevented her from taking a vice like grip on the No 1 spot.

But who didn't know that?

arizvi@thenational.ae

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