STARNBERG, January 21, 2021 (Guest Post)
Down through the ages the United States of America has always had that era-defining star who has helped build the game of tennis stateside, as well as promoting it all around the globe.
However, with the big 3 in the men’s game all hailing from outside of the US, and Serena Williams’ days at the top of the women’s game being numbered, it is now down to new generations of US players to step up to the service line to deliver an ace or two, as well as some grand slam titles.
Here we look at the up-and-coming American female tennis talents who might just have what it takes to carry the fight to the world’s tennis elite.
Which American player can give the crowds at Flushing Meadow a hometown gal to cheer on?
When someone has already reached the dizzy heights of being world ranked No. 4 and has upset the betting odds to put an Aussie Open title under their belt, it is tough to describe them as still being a work in progress, but that is the sort of high regard that Sofia Kenin is held in by tennis experts, bookmakers, and media pundits.
Despite being a diminutive 5ft 7in, Kenin brings an all-court game that has her opponents guessing and that is constantly being tweaked by her father and coach, Alex Kenin, who is a large part of the reason her odds are so short for upcoming WTA tournaments.
The great thing about this 22-year-old is that her versatile game gives her the chance to be successful on multiple surfaces, as was shown by her also reaching the final at Roland Garros. Although it remains to be seen if she can have the same impact on the lightning-fast lawns at Wimbledon.
That will not bother US fans too much, though, who are pinning all their hopes on her becoming the heir to Serena’s throne at Flushing Meadow in New York.
It will probably shock a lot of readers when we tell them that Madison Keys is only about to turn 26, with the Florida native having been a WTA stalwart for years now.
So far in her career she has been the nearly player, missing her big opportunity to hit the big time in 2017 when she lost the US Open final to Sloane Stephens and also bowing out at the semi final stages of both the French Open and Australian Open.
After battling injury over recent seasons there is a feeling on tour and among sports betting tipsters that the best is yet to come from Keys. It remains to be seen if she can back that faith up with some positive results in 2021.
Any sports media outlet or betting website worth its salt should be tipping Brady to be the breakout star of 2021, with the American already having shown she can mix it at the highest level, boasting victories over the likes of Ashleigh Barty and Maria Sharapova.
She also came within a few tight line calls of pipping Naomi Osaka to the 2020 US Open final before eventually going down after three hard fought sets.
Having ended 2020 with a strong showing at the WTA event in Ostrava, Czech Republic, she has now had ample time to prepare for what should be a major push towards the world top 5 rankings and grand slam titles. All this means that after perusing five-star BetMGM sportsbook reviews at trusty comparison websites, tennis fans can – with some confidence – go ahead and back Brady to be the toast of US betting website users throughout the new season.
Is there another Serena Williams out there just waiting to burst onto the WTA scene?
Amanda Anisimova burst onto the scene as an 18-year-old and quickly snapped up a Nike sponsorship deal that is said to be in the same ballpark as the ones signed by the gold-plated pen of Maria Sharapova.
Those are some big shoes to fill, an expectation that was made all the more difficult when her coach and father, Konstantin, tragically passed away.
While others would have been crushed by such a sudden loss, Anisimova has steeled herself, and dedicated her career to making her father proud.
With a WTA Tour singles title already in the bag, as well as oodles of grand slam experience for someone so young, there is no end to the potential that this New Jersey born player has at her disposal. There are few women on the tour with cleaner ball striking skills than her.
At the age of 27, Sloane Stephens can hardly be billed as a young prospect anymore, but there is no doubt that there is still so much more to come from the 2017 US Open champion.
The only thing that may hold her back is inconsistency. Something that may aid her in that regard is that she has now reunited with former coach Kamau Murray, with the pair garnering some promising results and performances towards the back end of 2020, which should hold Stephens in good stead for 2021.
American tennis fans the world over will be dearly hoping that she can return to her grand slam winning best.
She is the youngest name on this list and perhaps might also be the most talented, but Coco Gauff is showing no signs of letting up in her pursuit of tennis greatness.
She announced herself to the tennis fraternity as a serious contender when she claimed her maiden WTA title at the tender age of just 15 and has followed that up with main draw runs in all the grand slams.
Gauff ended 2020 with a career high WTA ranking of 47, but most tennis experts envisage her entering the top 10 sooner rather than later.
2021 will tell tennis fans a lot about whether she is the real deal or not, but for now people should just enjoy watching this precocious talent play with the free abandon that only youth can provide.