Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who Needs Steffi?

Today marks the third day in a row that I've talked about women's tennis here. IS THIS THE REAL LIFE? IS THIS JUST FANTASY?

I wouldn't expect it to become a regular thing (unless the WTA suddenly becomes extraordinarily interesting), but the WTA really is a little more happening than dudeworld this week. Except for Juan Carlos Ferrero, who is rocking the kasbah. Welcome back, mosquito.

But yes. Ladies.

By my calculations, we have four German ladies in the quarters of Stuttgart. Sure, it may be a home tournament and the home ground advantage may be in play, but that is one hell of a result. And also one hell of a Fed Cup team. Where have Germany been? Seriously, it's all 'Steffi Graf, we miss her, if she came back she'd be in the top five BOOM like that', but Germany are doing pretty well all on their lonesome.

We've got Petkovic. Goerges. Lisicki. Barrois. And she's not in this tournament as far as I can tell, but there's also Groenefeld. That is not a line up to be sneezing at. And the fact that these four are in the quarters of Stuttgart is not sneezeworthy either, because although it's not exactly the fifth Slam, this is not a Mickey Mouse field. The other four people in the quarters are Zvonareva, Stosur, Radwanska... oh yeah, the world #1 Wozniacki. Germany is holding its own. (It's also worth noting that between them, these four German ladies beat Jankovic, Bartoli, Azarenka and Li. If this is not quality, then I do not know what is.)

It doesn't really matter whether or not one of these German ladies wins Stuttgart - although if my beloved Sabine Lisicki were to do it, I would be super happy. Whatever happens from here - whether all four of them make the semis or none of them do - this is a fantastic result. Germany has suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, become the dark horse powerhouse of women's tennis. Russia aside, it's hard to pick out who has a stronger ensemble act - and a better choice of ladies to pick from for Hopman Cup.

They may not be in the finals this year, but look out for this German squad in years to come. If they can all stay uninjured and keep playing this way... well, who needs Steffi?

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