A new tennis year and many reasons to be cheerful for both the men and women’s games.
The Belgians are Back!
· Kim’s return to the tour last year and subsequent US Open fairytale was nothing short of a revelation. To now have the only woman who can repeatedly provide a challenge to Clijsters and bring from her the best tennis return too, is nothing short of a miracle.
· Look no further than that Brisbane final for proof of a revitalized WTA with the return of these two as well as a slowly recovering Sharapova and Williams duo.
· Say Goodbye to the muddled Safina/Jankovic/Ivanovic period at the summit.
Fed’s rivals old and new are getting back to form
· Leaner yes but no less mean, Rafa is back and looking in fine fettle again after a torrid 2009 both on and off the court. I’d be surprised if he successfully defends Australia but elsewhere this year he will once again be feared.
· Nikolay Davydenko has had a storming start to 2010, finally looking like the Federer/Nadal beater we all knew he could have been. Grand Slam success this year? Perhaps as the Russian is comfortable on hard and clay courts – but a return to the top 3 looks the more likely.
· The young crop are maturing and piling on the muscle – we know what Slam winners Djokovic and Del Potro can do, whilst Murray, Soderling, Wawrinka, Cillic and Simon will all be looking to improve on their 2009’s.
The old boys still have it – the above names are the future of the sport – but to see Roddick, Hewitt, Haas and Ferrerro sitting pretty in the top 30 is great to see. Blake, Lopez and Grosjean may be slipping, and the world awaits the much touted return of Gasquet to the top, until that happens, these guys can still mix it with the best of them.