26 October 2020

Tennis legend Chris Evert on why top American women’s players are outperforming the men

Tennis legend Chris Evert has given her take on why women’s players in America have continued to outperform the men for well over a decade.

Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin have all won Grand Slam singles titles since the last male American winner Andy Roddick triumphed in 2003.

Evert won 18 Slam titles between 1974 and 1986 (PA)

And Evert, who won 18 Slam titles between 1974 and 1986, believes the difference in the status of the sport between men and women as well as the quality of the academy set-ups can explain the gulf in success.

"Tennis is the number one women’s sport in America," Evert told Tennis365. "When little girls grow up, they aspire to become, by watching Serena Williams and by watching their role models, they aspire to become tennis players.

"We have a lot of good academies, first class academies here. The depth has just been incredible over the last few years. But I think the USTA has really helped and reached out with more resources than ever before.

"The USTA foundation has 250 different programs for under-resourced kids, that certainly has helped a lot as well. I’m all for staying home and living a normal life and practising after school, and that’s the way I was brought up.

"I think it helped when the USTA moved to Orlando, and they came up with that big facility. I think that has been a good training ground for a lot of the young girls.

"Shelby Rogers, Madison Keys, I know some of them make their home down there, some of them just go there a lot for training, good coaching, good fitness facilities."

Since the 2005 French Open, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic have claimed 53 of the 62 Grand Slam titles between them.

The only men to have won a Slam title outside of that trio are Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem.

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