Sunday 22 April 2018

Williams and Wozniacki clash to measure standard of game

Simon Briggs

Does Serena Williams still hold the women's game in a grip of fear? We will get an indication today when she meets the world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the US Open semi-final -- a match that will crystallise the debate surrounding the whole sport.

Critics of women's tennis argue that it has gone down the tubes since the mid-2000s, when the Williams sisters and the two Belgians, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, were battling it out for primacy. They point to the fact that no single player has emerged from the new generation to stand as leader of the brat pack, for all Wozniacki's consistency.

The counter-argument is that strength in depth has improved, to the point where there are perhaps a dozen women capable of winning major titles. Wozniacki epitomises the new breed. Her greatest strengths are her endurance and her consistency, rather than any great shot-making prowess. Her new boyfriend, Rory McIlroy, should be wary: if she invites him on a bike ride, it will probably turn into a time trial.

In the other semi-final, the muscle-bound Sam Stosur, of Australia, will go in as a huge favourite against the unseeded Angelique Kerber. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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