Serve like Serena and you too can dominate: Evert
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Tennis legend Chris Evert believes an inability to dominate on serve is preventing the current crop of female players from usurping Serena Williams at the top of the rankings with the American world number one using her main weapon to great effect.
When Williams opted to skip this week's WTA Finals in Singapore, citing fatigue after a season that saw the 34-year-old increase her grand slam tally to 21, the event not only lost its most dominant player but also its finest server.
Talking to the media in an ambassadorial role for the elite eight-woman event on Thursday, fellow American Evert, herself an 18-times major winner, said the stability at the top of the ATP rankings was due to the leading men's ability to hold serve.
"To me, a lot of that fluctuation in the women's rankings has to do with the serve. There is a lot more predictability that men will hold their serve and matches will go to plan," the 60-year-old told reporters.
"Women can be broken at any minute and their serve isn't as dominant. It evens the playing field a little bit. There is that fluctuation in the women's game right now and I think it's all about the serve.
"You're always going to have it. You're always going to have that fluctuation... but not with Serena because she has the ability to hold serve."
As if to prove Evert's point, world number two Simona Halep became the first woman to crash out of the WTA Finals a few hours later when the Romanian dropped her serve four times in a straight sets defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska.
FUTURE PROSPECTS Continued...