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Volume 26 No. 174
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Serena's Influence Showing Through With Next Generation Of Players

Women of color have been especially inspired in a sport where finding their likeness used to be rare
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Women of color have been especially inspired in a sport where finding their likeness used to be rare
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Women of color have been especially inspired in a sport where finding their likeness used to be rare
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The next generation of female tennis players like Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff are finding a "place of favor in a white-dominated, elite sport," and it is "unlikely that they would all be enjoying acclaim" without Serena Williams' influence, according to Tera W. Hunter of the N.Y. TIMES. The relative newcomers "represent various races and nationalities, but women of color have been especially inspired in a sport where finding their likeness used to be rare" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/8). In N.Y., Kurt Streeter notes this year's U.S. Open was a "showcase of young black female talent and determination." The "surge of Black Girl Magic in tennis is likely just beginning." On the U.S. Open side courts, "just out of view for the time being, five black American teenagers made waves in the junior girl’s singles draw." Streeter: "You could see it these past two weeks: Asians, Europeans, Russians, South Americans and Africans all lean heavily on the booster-rocket tennis that Williams first showed the world in 1999" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/9). On Long Island, Barbara Barker wrote, "No one in the history of tennis ... has impacted women and the women’s game the way Williams has during the last two decades." One "only had to look across the court" at Bianca Andreescu -- Williams’ victorious finals opponent Saturday -- to "see her impact on the game" (NEWSDAY, 9/8).

BRIGHT FUTURE: SI.com's Jon Wertheim noted this year's U.S. Open was a "strong tournament overall." The 127 individual women's matches "serve as irrefutable proof that the sport is doing just fine, thanks." Across the women's game, there is a "great diversity of style, age, ethnicity and temperament" (SI.com, 9/8).