What will 2010 bring to the sport of tennis? That is the question that has been rallying inside the minds of writers and fans at the start of another season.
World number one and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer was foremost in most people’s minds. As Jon Wertheim at Sports Illustrated put it: “We’re a long way from the days when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were combining to win 17 of 18 majors titles. Federer’s flame, understandably, has lost some intensity; and Nadal has suffered in both body and spirit. Look for the democratization of the men’s game to continue in 2010.”
The rest of the Sports Illustrated tennis writers were asked their predictions for 2010, three picked Federer to win Wimbledon, but there was also one vote each for Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro.
Tom Perrotta at Tennis.com doesn’t think Federer will win a major title in 2010. Instead he predicts a return to glory for Rafael Nadal. “Nadal wins the French Open and Wimbledon. Nadal isn’t going to age as well as Federer, but I don’t think we have to worry about that just yet. He’ll turn 24 in June and has at least two more good seasons left in his sometimes-achy knees. Once he recaptures Paris, he’ll have a lot of confidence headed into Wimbledon.”
Jamie Mackay in New Zealand’s Southland Times appears to have a leg in both camps when he says: “Roger Federer will win another two grand slams, Wimbledon and the US Open, to take his career tally to 17 but that’s where it will end.”
While Kevin Garside and Alan Hansen at Britain’s Telegraph paper think Andy Murray will be a winner in 2010, Todd Spiker on the WTAbackspin blog thinks otherwise. “He lost in his final two meetings with Federer in ’09, and was surpassed by del Potro and Djokovic down the stretch. The trip up Murray Mount to a slam title surely looks steeper now than it did a season ago.”
In the women’s game, the full-time return of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters sparked a lot of crystal ball gazing. At the On the Baseline blog, Aaress Lawless predicted Henin would not win her much coveted Wimbledon title but instead the crown will return to Venus Williams. Perrotta is thinking along similiar lines, saying Henin will win the French Open but not Wimbledon. However, he thinks Venus will also finish the season without a Grand Slam.
Five out of six Sports Illustrated writers predict Serena Williams will win Wimbledon, with the lone dissenter S.L. Price who likes Dinara Safina.
Jon Wertheim said to watch out for more comebacks. “Don’t be surprised when Mary Pierce or Jennifer Capriati or even – don’t laugh – Anna Kournikova announces the passion is back. This trend is not altogether a bad thing. Tennis has never been more grueling. If a year or two (or 14) break is required to recharge the proverbial battery, so be it.”
We also asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter for their 2010 predictions, here’s some of the more interesting:
“I smell a new [Wimbledon] men’s champ from Argentina. And more than likely a Williams will hold the trophy again regardless of you-know-who coming back.”
Dean Evola on Facebook
“Expecting Nadal to fall down the ranks due to injury after winning the French, Murray wins his first Slam (US Open?), Federer (Wimbledon), Davydenko (Australian)
Randy Engelmayer on Facebook
“That Maria Sharapova winns Wimbledon :)”
Lucky Luke on Twitter
“Dementieva will finally win a major, Oudin will continue to shine and Safina will bounce back.”
wickedlycool on Twitter
“Andy Roddick its gonna to win Wimblendon!!!”
YLRxD on Twitter
“Nadal to reclaim number one spot, winning Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon along the way!”
Viv Wallace on Facebook
“Roddick will hit stronger, Nadal’s knees will last longer and Federer will finally lose his trophy hunger”
parishiner on Twitter