Is it just me, or is women's tennis starting to look a lot rosier lately? There has undoubtedly been a dearth of young talent breaking through into the top eschelons of the game in recent years but over the past few weeks, I've noticed a real surge in the number of 17-20 year olds knocking at the door. There is a new crop of exciting young players just starting to make waves from the 50-150 ranking places and I reckon several of them could go on to be real stars.
Top of that list for me, is Christina McHale. I tipped her up as one to watch earlier this year and she has since jumped well over 50 places in the rankings. She has a fantastic attitude and mental strength to rival a Caroline Wozniacki. Simona Halep has been leading the charge of the young brigade for a while now and she seems to be starting to trouble the top players on her best days. Tamira Pazsek has the coolest temperament you will ever see and seems made for the big stage. I tipped her for a run at Wimbledon (made the quarter finals) and I think she'll challenge for a slam one day.
Bojana Jovanovski has the power game to out-hit even a Willims sister and could one day win the big prizes. Ksenia Pervak is a little dynamo, with the most positive court persona I've ever seen in a player! Petra Martic is a clever, naturally talented Croatian, who I just love watching. Rebecca Marino has one of the best serves in WTA. Then you have the likes of the athletic Heather Watson, the powerful Sloane Stevens and big-serving Coco Vanderweghe all breaking into the top 100 recently.
Outside the top 100, the one to watch for me, is Caroline Garcia of France; a supremely gifted 18 year old who almost beat Maria Sharapova at the French Open this year. Along with Laura Robson, Christina Mladenovic and Michelle Larcher De Brito, I think these teenagers are the stars of the future.
It all bodes well for an interesting tour for the next few years. It has perhaps gone a little stale recently, with older players such as Na Li, Sam Stosur and Francesca Schiavone coming to the fore. But the future certainly looks brighter than it does for the next generation of male players.
As for me, a new era appears to also be on the horizon. I still need to find a balance between the intuitive 'discretionary' trader and the pragmatic 'system' trader. On Monday and Tuesday, at times I went too far over to the right-side of the brain. I was overly aggressive and lacked structure and planning, which cost me some red trades. But once I'd found a better balance on Wednesday and gotten used to this new approach, results couldn't have been much better.
I think there is still room for me to be even more aggressive by re-entering matches and using green to place risk-free trades. I also want to look at a possible restructuring of my staking, adding another tier when I have a particularly strong gut-feeling. So lots to experiment with yet. Will be trading mostly ATP next week, so we'll see how my new approach fares with the men.