In the full grip of the holiday spirit, and by virtue of the great luck I recently had winning the $345,656,670 Powerball lottery jackpot—I elected to take the after-tax, lump sum payment of $34.56—I am getting presents for a number of the pros. Here’s what I’m thinking, in no particular order:
No. 99 Kimiko Date Krumm: It’s about time for this 42-year-old to get a facelift. For the face of her trusty Yonex racquet, that is. Kimiko herself is just fine, thank you.
No. 27 Mardy Fish: The peace of mind that will come from a full understanding of the mysterious ailments that have ruined so much of the promise he showed after experiencing his late-career re-awakening.
No. 161 Virginie Razzano: Someone other than Serena Williams to meet in the first round of this year’s French Open. We know how Serena feels about “payback.”
No. 5 David Ferrer: A pair of Tom Cruise-worthy elevator heels for his Lottos, to give him that extra three inches to hit the 6-foot mark.
No. 125 Andrea Petkovic: An injury-free body.
No. 11 Nicolas Almagro: Better aim.
No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki: Wit.
No. 26 Jerzy Janowicz: The ability and desire to back up that qualifier-to-final, rags-to-riches performance at the Paris Masters 1000.
No. 2 Maria Sharapova: Serena’s No. 3 ranking.
No. 3 Serena Williams: Victoria Azarenka’s No. 1 ranking.
No. 1 Victoria Azarenka: Sharapova’s No. 2 ranking.
No. 47 Benoit Paire: Ten free lessons with the sports psychologist of his choice.
No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: An angry bone, somewhere in his body.
No. 98 Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor: Just one more name, to make her the new WTA record holder.
No. 4 Rafael Nadal: Andy Roddick’s knees; the American star doesn’t really need them anymore anyway.
No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic: A new tattoo, since that Dostoevsky thing is kind of played out; how about “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty?” That one gets them every time!
No. 8 Petra Kvitova: Amnesia. She needs to forget she’s a Wimbledon champ.
No. 17 Stanislas Wawrinka: A framed picture signed by Roger Federer with a nice personal note on the order of, “To my good friend and doubles partner Stan, you were always there when I needed you, especially to get through some singles draw.”
No. 11 Marion Bartoli: A friend.
No. 31 Radek Stepanek: A new right middle finger, his current one is just about worn out from overuse.
No. 9 Samantha Stosur: Something interesting that she can memorize and then say in a press conference.
No. 21 Tommy Haas: Another baby, seeing how having that first one got him so fired up that another new addition may finally spur him to get the one thing that’s eluded him, a Grand Slam title.
No. 29 Yaroslava Shvedova: A Petzl headlamp to go with those weird sports glasses and outfit that Sports Illustrated’s Scott Price accurately described as a kit fit for spelunking.
No. 14 John Isner: Energy.
No. 53 Laura Robson: A commitment by Andy Murray to play mixed doubles with her at every Grand Slam tournament in 2013.
No. 22 Jelena Jankovic: A deprogrammer to liberate her from whatever cult kidnapped the Serb and made her renounce her once promising career (Grand Slam finalist and obvious Top 10 talent).
No. 2 Roger Federer and his wife, Mirka: Twin boys—call them Rafael and Novak, maybe?—so that the Wimbledon finals weekend in 2032 will feature Myla Rose Federer vs. Charlene Riva Federer on Saturday and Rafael Andy Federer vs. Novak Stanislas Federer on Sunday, while the mixed will pit Myla Rose and Rafael. . . never mind, you get it.
Have a happy holidays and merry Christmas, everyone!