U.S. game will flourish after Serena: WTA leader
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
(Reuters) - Just as American writer Mark Twain described premature reports about his death as "greatly exaggerated", doom and gloom about U.S. women's tennis is way off the mark, according to WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster.
While some pundits question the future of the American game after world number one Serena Williams' stellar career ends, Allaster oozes optimism about the country's emerging prospects on the WTA Tour.
"I'm not at all concerned about what might happen post-Serena," Allaster, who took charge of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) in July 2009, told Reuters. "American tennis has always been very, very strong on the global tour.
"The fact that there are 14 Americans ranked in the top 100 right now, more than any other nation in the world, that is a very strong foundation of talent. There will never be another Serena, there will never be another Venus.
"I've often said they've been a gift to our sport and their legacy will continue for generations. Just look at the mosaic of players competing now at top level. They grew up watching Serena and Venus, so that will have a lasting impact for decades."
Serena, now aged 33, and Venus, 34, have won 26 grand slam singles titles between them and have each spent time at the top of the world rankings.
With Serena still firmly established as the game's leading player and Venus ranked 16th, the next best Americans in the global pecking order are Madison Keys (18th), Varvara Lepchenko (31st) and Coco Vandeweghe (33rd).