Stats & Info: caroline wozniacki

New generation of U.S. women's tennis?

September, 2, 2011
Serena Williams made it easily through to the third round of the U.S. Open Thursday, dropping a total of three games through two matches. She is joined there by four other American women -- Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, Irina Falconi and Vania King.

As the Williams Sisters have struggled through injury and illness in the past year -- Stephens, McHale, Falconi and King could represent the next generation of American women's tennis. Each is 22 years old or younger. Each reached the third round by taking out a seeded player, the most impressive win being McHale's upset of eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli.

The last time five American women made it to the third round at Flushing Meadows was in 2004 when eight Americans made it that far, led by eventual semifinalists Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

When it comes to women 22 and under, the last time four or more made the third round at the U.S. Open was in 2000 according to the WTA Tour. That year 20-year-old Venus Williams won her first U.S. Open title, while sister Serena made the quarterfinals.

The play of the four young Americans has been surprising in that for the most part, they have never been here before. The one exception is King who has made the third round in a Grand Slam two previous times (losing both times).

For Stephens, the only wildcard remaining in the field, this is her second Grand Slam appearance after losing in the first round at this year's French Open. Falconi is playing in her fifth career Grand Slam, but until this tournament had never won a match on the big stage.

McHale may be the one to really watch as she makes her first trip to the third round of a Grand Slam (eighth appearance).

She's had a few big wins this year -- beating world number one Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in Cincinnati and beating two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova twice -- in New Haven and Indian Wells.

Contenders emerge in Williams-less French

May, 21, 2011
Although American men’s tennis has struggled at the majors in recent years, American women have been a force – almost entirely on the strength of Venus and Serena Williams.

Unfortunately injuries knocked both sisters out of the 2011 French Open. With the withdrawals, the French Open will not feature a seeded American woman for the first time in the Open Era (1968).

While Venus had played in the last 16 Grand Slam events, Serena hasn't played on tour since last year's Wimbledon. Dating back to when Serena played in her first Grand Slam as a professional at the 1998 Australian Open, the only Grand Slam in which neither Williams sister played was the 2003 US Open.

Three women have combined to win the last seven Grand Slam titles dating back to Wimbledon in 2009. The younger Williams and Kim Clijsters have three each while last year’s French Open champion Francesca Schiavone has the other.

When Clijsters retired in 2007, she had one major title – the 2005 US Open. Since returning to the WTA Tour in 2009, Clijsters has won three of the five Grand Slams she has played including the last two.

However, the Belgian hasn’t played at Roland Garros since reaching the semifinals in 2006. Her best result at the French is runner-up in both 2001 and 2003.

Caroline Wozniacki – the world’s number one - is the betting favorite according to MGM Resorts International, but she is still seeking her first major title. Her best finish at a Grand Slam is runner-up at the 2009 US Open.

Another player to watch is Maria Sharapova. She won the French Open tune-up at Rome and beat three Top-10 players – Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and Samantha Stosur - on her way to the title. With a win in Paris, Sharapova will complete the career Grand Slam, having won Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.