For years, the WTA tour has been loaded with undeniable talent. The only ingredient missing was consistency from those talented players. Rarely did they all win at the same time, like they have at Melbourne Park this year. As recently as sixth months ago, Wimbledon was rocked by the loss of all top-10 women’s seeds before the quarterfinals.
However, that was perhaps a slightly anomalous fortnight. For the past one or two seasons, a group of players have emerged, whom Nguyen likens to a cycling peloton, who have taken their place at the top of the sport. Despite not one of them being consistently dominant, they are collectively scooping the biggest prizes in the game and have contributed to a renewed sense of stability in the women’s game.
"Even in the off season I noticed a change in tenor when people reflected on the 2018 season; this tone of 'it's not chaos'. Or chaos was no longer a negative. It was competitive chaos. Competition should be chaotic,” Nguyen observed.
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“That this has carried over into this Australian Open has pretty much borne that out. Yes, anything can happen on the WTA tour, we accept that; Danielle Collins just whitewashed Angelique Kerber, and no-one saw that coming.
“But we also know that (there is) a pack of 10, 15, 20 players that we consider, as WTA fans, separate and apart from anyone else. They might lose here and there, but they're the cream of the crop. Rankings don't matter; we just consider these players to be the best.
“Those are the players who have come through at this tournament.”