Few athletes are as synonymous with a period in the way that Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer are with men’s tennis in the 2010’s.
With over 60 Grand Slam singles titles between them, the sport of tennis has never witnessed a period like it before and in all probability, never will again.
Whether it was Nadal on the clay at Roland Garros, Federer at Wimbledon or Djokovic at the Australian Open – the inevitability of those three players being fully in the mix at a Grand Slam made tennis irresistibly predictable.
Against this backdrop however, women’s tennis was being dominated by Serena Williams for large parts of the 2000’s, with the great American herself clinching a remarkable 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
However, there was no real competition to Williams’s throne once her sister Venus struggled with illness and a loss of form and there was a spell where seemingly anyone within a 128-player women’s singles draw could clinch the title.
Moving into 2023 however, there does seem to be some belief that the women’s game has a new generation of players ready to operate at the top of the sport.
Here are the three women threatening to run a mock in women’s tennis:
IGA SWIATEK – POLAND – GRAND SLAM
World number one Iga Swiatek is blazing a trail at the top of the game, and she has taken on the mantle with aplomb, following Ashley Barty’s decision to walk away from the game at the start of 2022.
With a game made for clay, Swiatek has triumphed twice at the French Open in her fledgling career so far and she is developing her skillset to be able to compete on grass and hard court too.
Winning the 2022 US Open was a real marker for Swiatek, who is known for being one of the fiercest competitors on the tour and her lengthy unbeaten runs through tournaments have seen her cement her place as world number one.
ARYNA SABALENKA – BELARUS – GRAND SLAM
It has been a while coming for Aryna Sabalenka but she finally broke her Grand Slam singles duck with an impressive triumph at the 2023 Australian Open in Melbourne.
The big hitting Belarussian is one of the toughest opponents on the WTA Tour and at the age of 25, she finally looks to be coming of age in Grand Slam tennis.
Versatility is arguably the most impressive quality Sabalenka possesses, and she carries a serious threat on any surface.
ELENA RYBAKINA – KAZAKHSTAN – GRAND SLAM
2022 was a breakthrough season for Elena Rybakina, who topped it off with an impressive triumph at Wimbledon, becoming the first player from Kazakhstan to win a major title.
She backed it up with a run to the final of the Australian Open (losing to Sabalenka) and she is fully established as one of the top players on the planet currently.
Grit and determination are key components of Rybakina’s game, and she has excellent variety on court, which should hold her in good stead moving forwards.
For the first time in a while, women’s tennis looks to be in a real position of strength and with an impressive ‘big three’ at the helm, it promises to be an exciting era ahead.