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Maria Sharapova REALLY suggested that there is a shortage of elite talent in women’s tennis…
- Maria Sharapova suggested there is a lack of elite talent in women’s tennis
- She was right when she suggested that, but the depth below the elite level is amazing now
- In the final of the US Open on Saturday, Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur will compete against each other
- Jabeur thinks her Wimbledon experience will come in handy this time
- Swiatek enters match with remarkable record in WTA final
Maria Sharapova appeared in Flushing Meadows on Thursday night and showed that she has not lost her ability to deliver a biting observation.
Commenting on the US Open women’s semifinals for ESPN, the former world number one recalled a conversation with former rival Serena Williams at last year’s Met Gala.
‘ I was like, ‘No disrespect for this generation, but you are so much better, you should go there,’ said Sharapova, who just celebrated the birth of her first child.
Maria Sharapova recently suggested that there is currently a lack of elite talent in women’s tennis
Since Williams was about to turn 40 at the time and was injured, the conclusion was clear about the current crop.
Serena has now moved on and the final she leaves behind will be between world number one Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur.
Sharapova is right in suggesting that there is currently a shortage of elite players on the women’s side, although it should also be said that the power in the deep lower is likely to be greater.
And in any case, the final will be between the only standout player, the Polish Swiatek, and a challenger who is clearly the second best player in the world this season, the Tunisian Ons Jabeur.
Sharapova told former rival Serena Williams she is better than the current crop of players
The women’s game also retains the ability to make history, which would certainly be the case if Jabeur became the first woman from the Arab world to win a Major.
Swiatek had the more difficult passage and came back in a deciding set to take advantage of the talented but fragile Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 in the third. Jabeur abruptly stopped the player who appeared to be in the best form, France’s Caroline Garcia, with a crushing 6-1 6-3 win.
In Tunisia, where she is known as the ‘Minister of Happiness’, her exploits are so widely followed that her quarterfinals even managed to ban football from the main TV channels.
“It was the Champions League, Juventus played against Paris Saint-Germain,” she said afterwards. “In Tunisia, everything revolves around football, but people didn’t watch the game, they watched my game.”
Our Jabeur exploits are followed so much in Tunisia that its quarterfinals even managed to knock football from the main TV channels
Jabeur thinks her experience at Wimbledon, where she lost in the championship match to Elena Rybakina, will help her a second time.
“It really feels, to be honest, to just be in the final again. At Wimbledon I kind of lived my dream, and I couldn’t believe it.
“But now I hope I’m used to it, just happy that I supported the results at Wimbledon and that people aren’t really surprised that I’m in the final, go ahead and just do my thing.”
Iga Swiatek has a remarkable record in WTA finals, with nine wins in her last nine finals
Swiatek came in before the tournament complaining that she was having trouble controlling the lighter ball the women use, but here she is.
In her favor is her remarkable record in WTA finals, including her two French Open triumphs. In her last nine tournament-deciding matches, she has won all nine without dropping a set.
As Jabeur thought: ‘Iga never loses finals, so it’s going to be very tough. I know she struggled a bit here, but I don’t see her struggling much, to be honest.”