Hi there, TWibe! Are y'all going through tennis withdrawal yet? I hope not - and I promise sticking around TW will mitigate those symptoms.
While I said I'd be sharing my ATP Award winners this week, I've decided to push it back until next Friday, considering today's Deuce Club is jam-packed as is. Plus, this means I can reminisce about the past season for another week. Anything to hold me over until the 2010 season starts up, right?
I'm still accepting TW Award nominations, so make sure to send those my way if you haven't already! Remember that these awards recognize TWibe members for their unique contributions to this community. We traditionally hand out a Poster of the Year award, so don't forget to include your picks for both male and female PotY in your submission. I had been asking that you send your ideas to my Tennis.com e-mail address, but it was brought to my attention that the account isn't working. While I get that sorted out, use the e-mail behind my moniker in blue instead, and I apologize if your e-mails got bounced back (please resend if that was the case!).
It's that time of the year again - when all thoughts turn to the holiday season and shopping malls become our second home on the weekends as we seek to fulfill our loved ones' gift wishes. As the years pass, the holidays become less about what we want and more about what others want, and making sure they get just that. A good thing, no doubt ... but would it be so terrible if we took a timeout and allowed ourselves to make our own wish lists, like we did as kids?
Okay, so maybe that's a little silly. But not where tennis is concerned, I say!
Last year at this time, the lovely and impossibly witty gauloises came up with the idea to create tennis wish lists (click here to see the post), and as it went over so well, I figured we might as well give it a go again this year! What would you like to see happen during the 2010 tennis season?
Of course, we can't do this without our fearless wish list-making leader; I've asked gauloises to evaluate her old wish list and provide us with a new one for 2010 to get us started. Take it away, g!Funny how the vast majority of my wishes for 2009 now appear optimistic to the point of delusion, even the ones that came true. I shall review them briefly and bitterly (it’s my métier).
1) Murray to play Federer in the final of a slam, and win. – Ha! As if. Although if it hadn’t been for that meddling Andy Roddick, or that pesky Verdasco, or that nosy butt-rubbing Gonzo, or that upstart Marin … okay, I’m depressing myself.
2) Crazy Elf to stay in the top 10. Maybe win a Masters or two, make the semis of a Slam. I'm not greedy. – Well, he still doesn’t have a Masters title, but I think we can let that slide under the circumstances.
3) A Channel Slam for Federer. (It could happen!) – And for my next trick, my race of atomic supermen will conquer the world.
4) Baby Owl to beat Rafa again, because that was fun. – Again, a bitter "ha." The closest Gilles got to beating Rafa in 2009 was having slightly less debilitating knee problems.
5) Mario to stay away from mono, jet skis, barbells, and lepers; somehow stay healthy; and make a surprise run to the Wimbledon final, where he will play in hotpants. – Once, twice and thrice "ha." Instead he missed most of the year with various ailments, cut off his hair, did a law internship, and started dressing like he’d joined a cult. But I did spend a lot of time mentally dressing him in hotpants.
6) Ernests to, for the love of God, STOP choking away matches that are entirely there for the winning, get his ranking up, and continue being adorable. – Oh, how naïve I was. If only I’d gone for more attainable goals, like remembering to attend matches, or not getting arrested for solicitation.
7) JJ to win a Slam. – This in no way happened. But at least Dinara took the heat off her a bit. Sigh.
8) Davis Cup redemption for the Argies! – All together now … ha! Although we did get a consoling Elf cuddling a shirtless Pico, which I’ll take.
9) Marin to have a banner year and make the WTF, where I will cheer him on. – Possibly making the WTF was a tad ambitious, but he did finally make a Slam quarterfinal. I demand more next year.
10) Great Britain to get a second player into the ATP and WTA top 100. (Yeah, that one's just pure madness. But I can dream.) – Great Britain's ATP No. 2: Alex Bogdanovic, #164. On the WTA side, it's a bit more promising: Elena Baltacha at #85, Katie O'Brien at #89, and Keo hanging in at #99 despite a severe knee injury. Not to mention our new junior girl's US Open champion, Heather Watson (and she's a Delpo fan too). You go, girls!
Optimistic, wasn’t I? Ah, those halcyon days back at the end of 2008, when all manner of wonderful things seemed possible. The iron bit into my soul at some point, though – during the fifth set of Verdasco’s defeat of Murray at the Australian Open, perhaps, or possibly between the first and second bagels dished out to Delpo in the AO quarterfinals. Although there’s been great stuff in 2009, I end it as a sadder, wiser woman, no longer daring to hope for the seemingly miraculous to occur, in the full knowledge that it won’t, or if it does I will have changed my mind and won’t want it any more. And hence I face 2010 with altogether more modest wishes …
1) Juan Martin del Potro to stay alive. - You know, I get that there’s probably going to be a slump. I get that the achievements of 2009 will probably not be immediately replicated. I’m prepared for the pressure to get to him and a loss of confidence and injuries and a general case of the Anas. So I’m going to stick with the basic minimum I can expect from this year and then everything else will come as a beautiful bonus. Just don’t die, Delpo. Just. Don’t. Die.
2) A healthier ATP. – On a similar theme, and I know this is an impossible dream, but wouldn’t it be lovely if we had a year where, say, none of the top 10 were forced to miss a Slam through injury or illness? Just a thought.
3) Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic to win a Slam. – I’m not asking for both. Just give me one of my guys holding up a big, shiny trophy somewhere.
4) Victoria Azarenka to crack the top five and make the semifinals of a Slam. – I still believe.
5) Marin Cilic to learn to string wins together, make the top 10 and play the WTFs. – It has to happen. He’s got Goran and Bob Brett, the ultimate tennistical (TM La Monf) odd couple, on his side!
6) One more year of the greatness of Fernando Gonzalez. – Whether it’s epic five-setters (see: vs. Gasquet at the AO, Ferrero at Wimbledon), smashing racquets and handing them to charmed spectators (vs. Tsonga at the USO), collapsing melodramatically on the court (vs. Delpo in Washington) or expressing his displeasure with a line call through the medium of his backside (vs. Soderling at the French), Gonzo can be relied upon to light up the dullest day.
7) The triumphant return of a healthy David Nalbandian. – I want the big man back, kicking butt and taking names. If said butt-kicking and name-taking could help the Argies win a Davis Cup tie or two, then so be it.
8) My girl Sabine Lisicki to crack the top 10. – I have almost no hope for this one. Managing to go uninjured for five minutes might help.
9) Mario Ancic to play, like, one actual match somewhere. – Preferably somewhere near me, so I can finally see my hero live. One more shining moment at Wimbledon? Please?!
10) A classic WTA singles final in a Slam. - Or at least one that goes three sets.
Loved the list, gauloises! I say by this time next year you'll be proclaiming yourself a prophet. (And if it happens, guess I'll be able to call myself one, too?)
Now it's time for the rest of you to share your wish lists! What do you hope to happen in the 2010 tennis season? On court or off, realistic or pie-in-the-sky, feel free to go in whatever direction you want with your lists. Can't wait to see 'em, and have a warm and restful weekend!