Tennis' young women's guard takes over - Johanna Konta, Madison Keys hit the big time
After her phenomenal run to the finals of the Beijing Open, Johanna Konta became the first British woman in 32 years to break into the top 10 on the WTA rankings, to be placed at world no. 9.
En route, Konta beat two of the other rising stars on the women’s circuit, Karolina Pliskova and Madison Keys in the third round and semi-finals respectively. Great Britain’s two other young players, Laura Robosn and Heather Watson had shown plenty of promise, a few years ago, registering good wins against higher ranked opponents.
But Robson’s injury and Watson’s form slump meant that Great Britain had to wait a bit longer for another star to emerge. When Konta reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year, she showed that she can beat the top players, but by reaching the finals here at Beijing, she has definitely shown the world that she belongs at the top.
Madison Keys became the first American woman after the Williams sisters to break into the top 10 on the WTA rankings. In June 2016, she rose to world no.9 and with a run to the semi-fianls at the Beijing Open, she rose to a career high ranking of world no.7. Keys has been taking giant strides on the women’s circuit, beating a lot of top players – and she has now become one herself.
Serena Williams said in an interview last year that Keys definitely had the caliber to become the world no.1 player. With a powerful and attacknig game, Keys has the potential to prove Serena right. At 19, she has a lot of tennis to offer and can easily be touted as the next flag bearer for American women’s tennis.
Karolina Pliskova, the young player from the Czech Republic, rose to a career high of World No. 5. With one of the most powerul serves on tour, she has come a long way and let the world know about her when she beat Serena Williams and gave a spirited fight to Angelique Kerber, to finish runner-up at this year’s US Open.
Any player, in their first Grand Slam final, will have a lot of nerves and will be usually brushed aside by the top ranked player. In contrast, Pliskova showed a lot of charecter to come very close to winning.
Let’s hope that these young ladies carry on like this and give the fans a lot more to cheer about.