Jennifer Brady has been absent from the WTA tour since August 2021.
The 28-year-old former UCLA Bruin climbed up the rankings in late 2020 after semifinal appearances at the 2020 U.S. Open and 2021 Australian Open.
In February 2021, she was ranked 13th in the world.
A knee injury is the reason tennis fans did not see her on the court in 2022.
Earlier this year, Brady told Rennae Stubbs that she was planning a return at the 2023 French Open.
When will we see @jennifurbrady95 back on the court? She shared with @rennaestubbs that she's eyeing the French Open clay. 👀 pic.twitter.com/DB87moV00m
— SportsTalkOnPrime (@SportsTalkPrime) March 30, 2023
Unfortunately, that is not going to happen as Brady withdrew from Roland Garros with a foot injury that is reportedly unrelated to her previous knee issue.
Setback for American Jennifer Brady, US Open semifinalist & Aussie Open finalist who was so close to coming back after nearly 2 years out
Was set to play in French Open but withdrew today with a new and hopefully minor foot injury.
Game needs her (and her forehand) back#getty pic.twitter.com/dLldCPZgP9
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) May 24, 2023
Brady Is Coming Up Against The Youth Movement In Women’s Tennis
Hopefully, Brady is able to return this summer because time is not on her side.
Women’s tennis is experiencing a youth movement and at 28, she is rapidly aging out of it.
The Big 3 of women’s tennis has an average age of 23.
Iga Swiatek is 21 years old, Elena Rybakina is 23 years old, and Aryna Sabalenka is 25 years old, and they have five Grand Slam titles between them.
All 6 big WTA tournaments held this season have featured at least one of Swiatek, Sabalenka, and Rybakina in the final.
🇦🇺 AO – Aryna (W) & Elena (F)
🇦🇪 Dubai – Iga (F)
🇺🇸 IW – Elena (W) & Aryna (F)
🇺🇸 Miami – Elena (F)
🇪🇸 Madrid – Aryna (W) & Iga (F)
🇮🇹 Rome – Elena (F or W) pic.twitter.com/tfB29VQGQ2
— Relevant Tennis (@RelevantTennis) May 19, 2023
Surrounding them in the rankings are older players who have yet to break through with Grand Slam success.
They include Jessica Pegula, 29, Ons Jabeur, 28, and Maria Sakkari, 27.
Are The Big 3 The Future?
Women’s tennis has not had fierce rivalries since the Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graff-Monica Seles eras.
Serena Williams steamrolled her competition for years, and Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka experienced short-lived success.
It seems like the Big 3 of women’s tennis are the future, and we can only hope they give us the years of competition and nail-biting matches that the Big 3 of men’s tennis delivered.
What About The 20 And Under Group?
Future of women’s tennis is oh so bright ✨ #Raducanu (18) #Fernandez (19) #Gauff (17) #Osaka (23) pic.twitter.com/q65zbCiCB8
— Marie Schulte-Bockum (@marieschubo) September 11, 2021
Coco Gauff, 19, and Canadian Leylah Fernandez, 20, both have had success at a young age, but it has not translated into Grand Slam titles yet.
Then, there is Emma Raducanu, 20, who came out of nowhere to win the 2021 U.S. Open and has been riddled with obstacles and injuries ever since.
All of these players, and others we may not know yet, will try to catch the Big 3 in the years to come.
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