Billie-Jean King is talking about having one association for men and women, which sounds like a good idea to me.
What an absolute joy that is, a body who grasp that to grow a sport – and just because – you need to make footage freely available.
I say all of that, and yet: if Stephens plays well tonight, today, this morning, this can’t really be close. She’s by far the better player and has won a Slam so knows what it takes … except just yesterday, Pliskova bagelled her in the first set. If she can’t get going early here, there’s no guarantee that Svitolina, who is in the form of her life and will see this as the chance of her life, will let her off the hook.
Who’s gonna win? A question that has pretty much defined sport since Goliath offered out allcomers. Yeah, plenty of important social stuff has become relevant since, but that single element is behind the whole damn lot of it.
And there is no iteration staying truer to that baseline than women’s tennis. Currently, there is a slew of brilliant players able to beat or lose to each other, with very little warning, titles decided on form not class, which is why we’ve got Sloane Stephens playing Elina Svitolina in today’s season-ender. To get here, they’ve respectively beaten Osaka, Bertens, Kerber and Pliskova; Kvitova, Pliskova, Wozniacki and Bertens, which tells us they’re looking good – as as such, so are we.
Start: 11.30am GMT