Originally Posted by jones101
She won me round this year. Still not a fan of some of her antics but she has been just what the game needed this year, along with Serena/Maria/Aga. These for could be the top 4 for a while.
I gained a bit of respect for her fighting spirit in the USO final, but the reason I wonder how she will be judged in the event she does not defend AO is that the women's game cannot rely on Serena forever, so it is in a crucial transitional period, in need of one to sell the idea that she will be a force beyond a major or possibly two (remember, some once thought the likes of Safin or Pierce were going to be bigger to their respective tours than they were capable of, but how did that play out?).
Further, Sharapova winning a FO was one of the biggest flukes in tennis history and despite a couple of deep runs, and she's aging, so who believes she will run with the torch for another 2 - 3 years?
That said, Azarenka is one of the new guard--and unlike fellow new guard member Kvitova--seems eager
to go to war, so that combination leads observers to believe the future (at least the next 4 years) rests on her shoulders. This brings us back to this future being determined by the strengths of players at the majors--one who can bridge this transitional period and create their own. If Azarena does not repeat, for all of her 2012 success, she might appear to have hit a speedbump in her progress (which is not necessarily referring to Serena).