Tennis magazine has an interesting feature this month entitled "Help Wanted: Champion," which outlines the difficult spot the WTA now finds itself in as no one has stepped up this year to take the torch from Justine. It's actually a really interesting article and I encourage you to pick it up if you can.
Here's an excert on the WTA's need for a rivalry, the best one they have going for them, and the status of both Baby E and Pova:
The biggest concern for tour watchers is Sharapova's shoulder. "The question is, Will she ever be healthy?" says her former coach Nick Bollittieri. "Once you get that shoulder injury, then you're going to start changing the serve motion."
The cysts in Ivanovic's thumb are, for now, less worrisome. The question for her is, Does she have the drive of a true No. 1? Sven Groeneveld, a coach for Adidas who spends much of his time with Ivanovic, in collaboration with fitness coach Scott Byrnes, believes she does.
Groeneveld has coached Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, and Mary Pierce, but he won't compare the 21-year-old (actually, she's only 20, Tennis, get your facts straight) Ivanovic to them. Ivanovic, he says, has more in common with another talented player with whom Groeneveld once worked.
Ivanovic's failure to build on her French Open title and No. 1 ranking in June caused others to doubt her. Groeneveld sees it more as too much, too soon. "I thought Justine was going to be around for at least another two or three years," he says of Ivanovic's rise to No. 1 soon after Henin's retirement. "Ana will need a little more time to develop into a player who can handle that."
I love Sven. He's so great and level headed. And I like that he keeps saying to the press (and ostensibly to Ana) that she's still 2 years out. That as much as she has achieved, she's not even close to there yet. That gives me comfort because if she's taking it to heart then she'll deal with the disappointments (like the last four months) with the proper perspective.