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Just Wondering About the State of Women’s Doubles…

March 26, 2012

So I was all on this Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond kick, entertaining the notion of them having a season to go down in the history books.

Then Miami–and Sam Stosur and Julia Goerges–hit. And hit hard.

And that’s something that has me thinking: I’ve been of the mind-set that the classic style of doubles Huber and Raymond play would be able to overcome a predominant baseline-style, which you see used by Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina. That pair had gotten routined by Huber and Raymond in their last two encounters.

But I should have taken this into account: As solid from the back as Mirza and Vesnina are, they’re no Stosur and Goerges, meaning top-20 talents that can really pound the ball.

Their win over Huber and Raymond in Miami kind of reminded me of what the Williams sisters used to do to Huber and Cara Black back in the day: Huber and Black would dominate all their other opponents–especially the solid singles players teaming up–then get waylaid by Venus and Serena in a Grand Slam final.

So, all that said, are big titles there for the picking for top-level singles talent? Look at what happened at the first Major of the year, the Australian Open. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva have been top-20 singles fixtures for years. They both lost early in singles at the Aussie, and after that they could turn their attention to the doubles.

Was it a matter of circumstance or was that just a sign of things to come in the evolution of the game? I guess it’s up to Huber and Raymond to figure that out. I’m still confident the Americans will have a great season, but it will definitely be a tough one to pull off.

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