Going into every new season, hundreds of questions exist in trying to determine who will be able to reach their peak and who will falter. Predictions are always difficult to make as the injury factor consistently plays a huge role in tennis. However, just for the fun of it I thought I would pose a few different opposing scenarios and select which ones I think are more probable in 2013. I will begin with the WTA.
Who will have better season collectively of the current top 10, these “Gen Caro” members (Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Aga Radwanska, Angelique Kerber & Petra Kvitova) or the old guard (Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Li Na, Sara Errani and Sam Stosur)?
At some point in the future the old guard is going to fall off and Gen Caro is going to completely take over the WTA, but it
Readers: Vote for your top and sexiest players in the annual TennisReporters.net Readers’ Poll.
Rafa put a dent in Federer’s GOAT label.
It’s the eight annual TennisReporters.net Readers’ Poll, designed for our readers to sound off on their preferences.
Our most popular categories are Male and Female Players of the Year and, of course, the Sexiest Players. We’re allowing comments on the polls for the first time ever.
Sexiest Female Player Award is named after Ana Ivanovic after she won for five straight years. Sexiest Male Player Award is named after Marat Safin after he was also a five-time winner.
Last year’s winners included Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova for Players of the Year along with Rafael Nadal and Carolina Wozniacki as the sexiest. Last year’s voting can be found by clicking here.
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Polls are open for one week to Saturday, Dec. 29 with results posted on Sunday, Dec. 30.
Showing power and maturity, Rhyne Williams powered his way through Tim Smyczek to win a main draw wild card into the Australian Open.
Madison Keys repeated her 2011 victory, also earning a wild card at the USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs in Norcross, Ga.
Williams, a former University of Tennessee standout, continued his march though the lineup of up-and-coming American men with a 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory.
With a stinging forehand and effective serve, the 21-year-old Williams came out with guns blazing in the first set. Williams’ power was negated as Milwaukee’s Smyczek counter-punched through a second set. No matter how much ground Smyczek covered, he couldn’t deal with the numerous winners Williams delivered.
Williams proved he is gaining a edge in maturity as he tempered his game and relied on patience and shot selection to dominate the second two sets.
Li has all the weaponry but is still prone to walkabouts.
Thus continues our review of the top 50 singles players on the ATP and WTA Tours. We resume with the women ranked Nos. 6 -10.
6. Sara Errani
There is strong argument to be made that Errani improved more than anyone in 2012, and while I feel that two of the lower and medium rung players improved more (Robson and Lepchenko), Errani gets my vote in the elite category, even over Angie Kerber, who also had a terrific season. What Errani did was transform herself from a run of the mill clay court player to one who could play most matches on her terms, and from a forgettable hard court player to one who could counterpunch with more zip and effectiveness.
Not only did she reach the Roland Garros final and the US Open semis in singles, but also ended the year as member of the top- ranked doubles teams with fellow Italian Roberta Vinci. She can scamper, has a fine return and under rated volley. I don’t expect her to better her year ranking in 2013, but I could see finishing in the top 10 again because she is super committed to her tennis.
Thus continues our review of the top 50 singles players on the ATP and WTA Tours. We resume with the men ranked Nos. 6 -10.
6. Tomas Berdych
Sometimes I wonder if the Czech has a Thomas Johansson-like run in him to a Slam title, and I think that maybe he does, except that in all likelihood if he did say reach the 2013 Aussie Open final, he wouldn’t be facing a hung-over Marat Safin, but one of the Big 4 and he is simply not as good as any of them. Now, on a great day, or say for about 2 and