Friday, 3 June 2016

Tennis in Transition - French Open 2016

Tennis is in transition - a horrible term familiar across all sports which describes current players not being sufficiently replaced with fresh, younger players. 

We have now reached the semi-finals stage of the 2016 French Open and I have to suggest it has been one of the most forgettable slams in living memory. This is mainly due to the off-court news making the real headlines - Roger Federer announcing he would not be participating (the first such occurence in 16 years), and Rafael Nadal withdrawing through injury after a couple of matches. Roland Garros this year has been deprived of Federer's magic and Nadal's excitement. When you subtract these two kings of the sport from the equation, you quickly realise that tennis is left with the bare bones of survival. Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are both exiting prime and entering veteran stage of careers, together with other top ten players such as Wawrinka, Berdych, Ferrer, Tsonga and Gasquet. 

It's not too different on the women's side as well. Serena is the veteran looking for a few more cherries on top of an almighty impressive cake, but there seems to be a dearth of world class opponents to challenge her, the same situation that Djokovic is facing now.

Tennis desperately needs Dominic Thiem and Garbine Muguruza to step up now!

Tennis needs new heroes to re-capture the imagination once more. Austrian, Dominic Thiem, will have broken into the top ten come Monday and is the most exciting prospect to appear out of the clay court season culminating with his shot at the world #1 Friday. Similarly, Spaniard, Garbine Muguruza has showed promising signs that she is developing into a formidable opponent to not only challenge Serena, but soon enough take over the mantle of world #1.

It is time for the young ones to show their worth. For Thiem and Muguruza, it's time to start making new history.