Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Look Ahead to 2010: 5 Bold Predictions

As we saw this past year, anything can happen in tennis. We ended the decade with a bang, and hopefully, we'll start the new one just as "umph". When I did this same post last year, I wasn't what you would call "right on", but I guess that's what blogging is for, right?

1. Both the WTA and ATP have 4 different Grand Slam Champions

The women's tour has been pretty mashed up for a while now, but with the return of Justine Henin, and Kim Clijsters' 2009 US Open run, things will only get crazier. On the men's side, it used to be Federer and Nadal, and no one else was even ,mentioned, but with the emergence of Juan Martin del Potro, and the presence of threats like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and Nikolay Davydenko, we could see 4 different male slam winners in a year for the first time since 2003. In fact, it's pretty likely. Buckle up, everyone.

2. Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova All Return to the Top 10

Like I said, the women's tour will be one big smorgasbord in 2010. Henin dominated the tour before her unexpected retirement, and there is no reason she can't return to her previous level, or even better. Clijsters looked better than ever at 2009's end, and she proved that she can match the power and athleticism of any woman on the circuit. Maria Sharapova had a bright finish to the year, taking the Toray Pan Pacific Open title, and she will look to be a GS winner again. After all, she has won all her majors in even-numbered years.

3. Wozniacki Drops Out of the Top 10

Sure, Caroline Wozniacki's 2009 US Open run was impressive, but her inconsistency has lead me to believe that it was a fluke. With a new, more powerful generation of tennis rising, it seems to me that Wozniacki's style of play just won't be able to keep up. She is currently ranked 4th, but if heavy-hitters like Victoria Azarenka, Sharapova and Clijsters continue their ascents, look for it to be a long year for the Danish beauty.

4. James Blake's Misery Continues and He Retires

One of America's fan favorites, James Blake, didn't have the brightest 2009. He lost in the opening round at 3 of the 4 majors and was barely above a .500 winning percentage. Just 2 years ago, he reached the 4th spot in the rankings, and he now sits 40 spots below that. Look for the 30 year old's poor results to continue, and by year's end, expect the Tampa resident to retire.

5. Roger & Mirka Announce They are Expecting Another Child by December

Roger Federer and wife Mirka became parents to twin girls in July, but both have expressed desire to expand again. Perhaps the two will announce they are expecting a baby Roger near the end of 2009? I can hope, right?

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