Chris Evert feared women's tennis was in "trouble" after Serena Williams' retirement but now says she is certain that the future is bright with Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina leading the charge. So far in 2023, Swiatek, Sabalenka and Rybakina have been the three players who have shown the most.
Evert, a former 18-time Grand Slam champion, believes those three could become the Big Three of women's tennis. "What I'm excited about as we get into talking about the women's game is that there are three players now that could be the Federer, Nadal and Djokovic of women's tennis, and we know who they are: Iga, Aryna and Elena.
I see a rivalry with those three that could be very interesting. We thought when Serena retired, 'oh, my gosh, women's tennis is in trouble, and where's the next champion going to come from?' I think we're looking at where the next champion is going to come from - if not three great champions." Evert told Eurosport's Arnold Montgault.
Swiatek, Sabalenka & Rybakina have shown the most in 2023
In the Australian Open round-of-16, Rybakina defeated Swiatek in straight sets. After beating Swiatek, Rybakina went on to reach the Australian Open - in which she was beaten by Sabalenka in three sets.
In February, Swiatek won a WTA 500 event in Doha, with a total of five games lost en route to winning the title - that set a new record for the lowest number of games dropped en route to winning a title. At this past Indian Wells edition, Rybakina defeated Swiatek in the semifinal to reach her first final in the desert.
After handling the business against Swiatek, Rybakina also beat Sabalenka to win her first title of the season. Last year, Swiatek was the only player that was standing out. Now, Swiatek has got competition as Rybakina and Sabalenka are also playing great and winning big titles.