ESPN expert Pam Shriver believes that Serena Williams ending her season at the US Open and not playing the rest of the tournaments, especially the Singapore WTA Finals, is not something good for tennis.
The American last played the Year-End event in 2014, four years ago. ‘A casual viewer might be disappointed if Serena isn’t in one of these tournaments, but to dedicated tennis fans, this abundance of contenders vying for the top ranking right up to the end of the year is really exciting‘, admitted Shriver.
‘It is a shame that Serena hasn’t been playing in the tour championships. I understand why, but it still doesn’t look that good for the tour.’ After the US Open win Naomi Osaka did not stop competing and after reaching the Tokyo final she is going far in Beijing as well.
‘Naomi has been a streaky player, as her results after the first big win of her career [at Indian Wells] demonstrated’, Shriver recognized. ‘Now she seems to have set a higher bar for herself, and so far she’s clearing it.
Naomi lost just three games to Dominika Cibulkova in her first match in Tokyo. That told me a lot.’ Shriver also spoke about the fight for the world No. 1 ranking position: ‘It’s great that the race for No. 1 will go down to the wire, especially because a strong move by Osaka as the year ends could take her to the top of the game almost overnight.
But take a good look at Kerber. She learned a lot in the year she struggled after becoming No. 1. Now she’s back in the mix. She has the experience, and she’s now teamed up with one of the best coaches [Wim Fissette] in the game.’