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Osaka is a star now, and she’s only going to carry on getting bigger and bigger. But this year I have also seen the potential of some of the other young players coming up, women such as Daria Kasatkina, Aryna Sabalenka, and Elise Mertens. Kiki Bertens may be a little older, but she made a huge leap up this year as well.

We had five different winners of the five biggest tournaments – the four Grand Slams and the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Was that a good thing for the women’s game? Well, yes and no. You have more parity and a deeper field, which is a good thing, but at the same time it’s harder to develop rivalries and also superstars if you have so many different people winning things. 

LOOK: WTA Top 10 and their 2018 best results

You might say that we are now in a period of predictable unpredictability. We now almost expect unpredictable results, with the leading players experiencing so many ups and downs. The top players could lose in the first round or, if they survive that opening match, they could go on to win the whole thing. And that was even happening at the majors. I guess this lack of consistency is the new normal and we’re going to keep on seeing it. It’s interesting to watch – when the top women play well, they can play lights-out tennis, but then what happens to them at their next tournament? 

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