Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for espnW.com, ESPN Chicago and ESPN.com. The award-winning writer has covered Chicago sports for most of her 31-year career, including at the Chicago Tribune before joining ESPN in 2009. Isaacson has also covered tennis since 1986.
There will be eight different Grand Slam finalists this year, so women's tennis is as wide open as it's been in decades. History says someone will emerge to take over from Serena Williams, but who that will be isn't at all clear.
Back in the Round of 16 at a major for the first time since 1999, the 32-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is appreciating tennis like never before as she heads into Sunday's US Open showdown against Sara Errani.
She became the talk of the tournament after her first-round upset, and now 15-year-old CiCi Bellis will go back to taking on players her own age in the juniors with more confidence and hunger than ever before.
Venus Williams is serving heat at more than 110 mph and is into the third round of the US Open for the first time since 2010. Is she posed to make a run? Absolutely. Just don't tell her she has to give up her doubles game to do it.
Mo'ne Davis' teammates described her as "the mother" of the team, but she'll be remembered for being fierce. For being a leader. And for showing legions of young girls everywhere that they can do anything the boys can do. Only better.
Whether they like it or hate it, girls are often rerouted from baseball to softball at a young age. Now, with Mo'ne Davis' success at the Little League World Series, many female baseball pioneers are hoping it's finally time to play hardball.
While Mo'ne Davis and her Taney baseball team have been the most compelling club, their Las Vegas opponents Wednesday night have been the most feared, with bloated numbers on offense and an ace pitcher of their own.