The last fifteen years have been dominated by two sisters with the winning formula. The Williams sisters have a total of 28 grand slam singles titles between them, 21 of which coming from Serena who has been almost unstoppable in recent years. With the sisters reaching their mid 30s is it time for new names at the top? For all we know they could decide to play for years to come (Kimiko Date-Krumm has enjoyed success in her 40s) and continue to create a long-list of runners up. If the scenario where Serena does decide to hang up her racket does eventually arise; Volleta have made a list of players who we could see running the circuit in ten years time.
Turning pro in 2012, The 19 year old Swiss has already made quite an impact, reaching her first grand slam quarter final in 2014 at the US Open. Since then Belinda has gone on to win two WTA titles in 2015 in the Rogers cup against Simona Halep as well an impressive victory over experienced grass-courter Agnieszka Radwanska at Eastbourne. With such an explosive start to her WTA career, the two-time junior grand slam champion looks to improve further in 2016 and seems set to be one of the game’s greats for years to come.
The 18 year old Latvian and 2014 Junior Wimbledon winner currently resides at 41 in the rankings but has shown great promise in what little time she has been on tour. Beating Carla Suarez Navarro to the loss of only two games at Wimbledon in 2015, the teenager has made a confident step up from the ITF circuit making it to two WTA final most recently at the Qatar Total open where she lost a closely fought contest to the Spaniard. Her mother and father act as her coach and fitness coach respectively, let’s hope it’s all happy families as Jelena pushes for a top ten spot in 2016.
Sharing two of the girl’s grand slams in 2013 with Bencic, Croatian Konjuh; one of four sisters is the youngest player in the WTA’s top 100. Already clinching her maiden title at the Nottingham Aegon open after coming from behind against Niculescu, the teenager was given the Dražen Petrović Award (Presented by the Croatian Olympic Committee to young athletes with outstanding results and development) for female athlete and female promise. Her grand slam results have yet to demonstrate her ability, with her best result coming in 2014 with a third round appearance at Wimbledon in 2014. At the age of fifteen Konjuh got permission from her parents to get a tattoo on her left wrist reading “faith” so if she stays true to her (and George Michael’s) philosophy we see no reason why Ana won’t be seeing the second week of slams in the not so distant future.
On top of these tennis prodigies we also anticipate bright futures for Daria Kasatkina of Russia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka and current world no.219 Catherine Bellis. We all know however that potential can be tough to live up to. Only hard work and determination will result in success and besides several of the games current greats didn’t win their first slam until after their 25th birthdays; including Amelie Mauresmo (26), Sam Stosur (27), Marion Bartoli (28), Angelique Kerber (28), Francesca Schiavone (29) and last year’s US Open champion and WTA tour veteran Flavia Pennetta, so patience is most definitely a virtue.