Macci says don't count out Osaka on return despite Swiatek being cut above the rest

Sunday, 14 May 2023 at 07:00
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Rick Macci said that Iga Swiatek is still above the rest of the tour and that Naomi Osaka cannot be ruled out when she returns.
Former Serena Williams spoke with Sportskeeda about the current state of the WTA and commented on the new rivalry that has formed between Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, and Elena Rybakina. The three players have shown dominance over the rest of the WTA players in recent months, and Rick Macci believes that it could be a competition similar to that of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic.
"Can Sabalenka, Rybakina and Iga form a new big three in women's tennis? Absolutely. I think those three are the leaders of the clubhouse, no doubt about it. They've kind of all proven themselves so at the end of the day, those would be the three that could have a rivalry," Macci said.
Rick Macci opined that the current state of the WTA is "more fluid," but he acknowledged that Iga Swiatek is still above the rest of the tour:
"But all that being said, I can see, because women's tennis other than Iga is a little more fluid you know. I think you can't count out Osaka when she comes back because she's proven herself. And there's other players on any given day that can beat anybody. Even though Iga is a little bit, in my opinion, a cut above," he added.
"Little bit of this depends on the surface but they definitely can form a rivalry, there's no doubt about it," Macci said.
He also mentioned the retirement of Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty, as well as the break taken by Naomi Osaka, which levels the competition:
"But with women's tennis it's kind of fluid, you know Serena retired, Barty exited stage left, Osaka you know, she's had a kid so you know at the end of the day a lot of people that had the pedigree are no longer there so it's wide open. But absolutely Sabalenka, Rybakina and Iga, they can definitely have a Big-3 rivalry for a long time," Macci concluded.

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