Top 30s in 2018: Women, 10-6

Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova continues to be a force.

No. 10: Daria Kasatkina
The 21-year-old Russian played substantially better in 2018, reaching the final of Dubai [upsetting Garbine Muguruza] and Indian Wells [stunning Venus Williams] and winning her first title in Moscow. Towards the end, she was a little tired, but that happens a lot when they are very young and never stop. Kasatkina isn’t that tall, but she is agile and quick. If she keeps it up, at some point, she will reach the top 5.

No. 9: Kiki Bertens
The smart Netherlander has finally changed things, doing more with her shots and mixing up. She has not been great at the Slams throughout her career, but this season, she won Charleston, Cincinnati and Seoul. That is more than pretty good. In the WTA Final, she beat Angie Kerber and Naomi Osaka to reach the semis, and then she lost a terrific three-setter to Elina Svitolina. Next year, the 27-year-old should go much deeper at the Slams, by being ambitious and out-hitting her opponents.

No. 8: Karolina Pliskova
There are times when the Czech is focused and concentrating. However, there are also moments when she is crabby and she won’t settle in. When you watch her, and she is playing great, you are thinking that without a doubt, she will win a Grand Slam. But she has yet to, not because she can’t beat anyone, but because when it is super close, she pulls back and misses it. However, two years ago at the US Open, in the final, she played very well, upsetting Venus and Serena Williams,
but she went down 6-4 in the third against Angie Kerber. That was very respectable.

This year, Pliskova won Stuttgart and Tokyo. Plus, she reached the quarters pretty much every month. But, she has lost against a number of fine players, like Simona Halep, Vika Azarenka, Svitolina and more. Pliskova is very good and she has a gigantic serve, forehand and backhand. So what’s stopping her from grabbing a Slam in 2019 other then collapsing at the end of matches? Nothing.

No. 7: Petra Kvitova
The happy-go-lucky player loves to play. The good thing is that now she is faster and she can play for hours and hours. When she is on top of the ball, and nails a winner, she will scream in delight. Here is the crazy thing about Kvitova: this year, she won St. Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid and Birmingham. Pretty good, huh? However, at the Grand Slams, she was unable to reach to the second week. As she has said, that was not good, at all. She has won two titles at Wimbledon and she has reached the semis at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. Because of that, in 2019, she will have another chance to go very far at the most important events. She is swift, very powerful and can throttle the ball. As long as she is patient and healthy, she will be in the chase to take of many of them.

No. 6: Sloane Stephens
While she couldn’t win a Slam this year, still, she went deep a lot, although at certain moments, she frozen and lost. Without a doubt, when she is on top of it, she will be so steady, move the ball around until she has a really good shot to touch the lines. She won Miami in April, beating Muguruza, Kerber, Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko. Then on clay, she was a little bit lost, but somehow she reached the final at Roland Garros. She was on fire, winning the first set against Simon Halep, but in the next two sets, the Romanian rose up and Stephens disappeared. The 2017 US Open champion lost in the quarters this year. In the fall, in 2017, she didn’t play well in the fall. Then, she decided to push herself, and that worked, as she reaching the WTA Final, beating Pliskova in the semis, but she lost to Svitolina in three sets. Overall, she continued to show she is an elite player, but the 25-year-old still has to improve a few more things, like her second serve and net play. If she does, in 2019, Stephens will win another major. I promise that.

Wimbledon, Day 2: Who did what? Murray, Federer, Querrey, Kvitova, Bouchard, Halep & more

Can Tsonga find new life under Rasheed?

Can Tsonga find new life under Rasheed?



Andy Murray is so un-concerned about the outside the 20 guys that he seems to know exactly what he’s doing. To me, he’s the favorite to win the title once again and he looked fairly good to knock off Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 7-6(3) 6-4.

Many folks think that the time Wimbledon champion Rafa Nadal doesn’t have a great shot, but eventually he will come back again and he looks pretty darn and smoking Thomaz Bellucci 6-4 6-2 6-4.

Perhaps Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will stay healthy during this week, and he hung in there to tough out the lefty   Gilles Muller 7-6(8) 6-7(3) 6-4 3-6 6-2, but he is not going to make his knees fall apart again?

The American Sam Querrey says that he is much happier on the grass rather than clay. As he said, he just can’t go deep on the red dirt. So now the 27 year old can hit his serve very hard, blast his forehand and on occasion, coming into net. He was quite happy after beating   Igor Sijsling 7-5 6-3 6-4. Guess who has to play in the second round? Roger Federer? A serious underdog.

Does the seven time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer have a real chance to win a major again? It’s been three now which is a long time, but nobody can mix it on the grass like he can. He crushed Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-3.

The huge serve Samuel Groth upset the young American Jack Sock 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-3. Sock was clearly hurt with his left knee and his arm. He appeared to be a lot of pain. He will have a decent shot of reaching the top 20 by the US Open, but he has to make sure that he is healthy and not over do it.

The young teenager has a ways to go, but in the very least Borna Coric doesn’t appear to give up, especially at the Slams. He beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 1-6 9-7. My he can smoke the ball.


Props to Jana Cepelova for playing quite well, but the world No. 3 Simona Halep faded again, falling 5-7 6-4 6-3. Halep has looked excellent on the hard courts this year, but she was so-so on clay, and she has been mentally checked out

The defending champion Petra Kvitova says that she is still a little bit ill, but she played excellent ball and thrashed Kiki Bertens 6-1 6-0. In the side of the draw, she is the favorite to reach the final. Can she possible beat Serena Williams? Perhaps not, but if she were banging the balls cleanly she would have a legitimate chance.

Caroline Wozniacki has never loved the grass but her section is wide open. She was pretty pleased to best Zheng Saisai 7-5 6-0. If she can play aggressive, she could go far.

The left-hander Angelique Kerber has dictated with her forehand over the past four months, and that is what she did to beat Carina Witthoeft 6-0 6-0. Kerber can certainly reach the semifinal.

Way to go for Duan Yingying who upset the 2014 Wimbledon final Genie Bouchard 7-6(3) 6-4. Bouchard went out there with a small tear and perhaps she shouldn’t have played anyway, but she wanted to try in London and hang around this week. But once again, she lost quickly and she will have to go back to square one.

Perhaps Agnieszka Radwanska is still is shaky mentally but over the past 2 and half weeks she has improved. She looked happy be beating Lucie Hradecka 6-3 6-2. If she can get to the fourth round vs. Kvitova, watch out.




Fed Cup, Monte Carlos semis preview

Ivanovic and Jankovic will try and lead Serbia to its first final.



Even though Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has a 3-0 record against Jelena Jankovic, I

What’s Happening at the Australian Open, Tuesday, Jan. 17



The tournament has scheduled women

Caro Mia! Wozniacki Upsets Kirilenko for Sexiest Award

Caro edged out two Russians.

Nadal Repeats as Sexiest Male; Newcomer Goes to Tomic by 1 Vote

The public has spoken in the seventh annual Readers’s Poll.

In the most anticipated and heavily populated voting ever, Caroline Wozniacki rode a wave of a European votes to outshine last year’s winner, Maria Kirilenko, and win the “Ana Ivanovic” Sexiest Female Player.  The Dane also outpolled two women who lead the early returns, Maria Sharapova and Julia Goerges.

Defending champ Rafael Nadal prevailed among the men for the “Marat Safin” Sexiest Male Player, edging fellow Spaniards Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez

Both awards are named after the two players who won the award for five straight years and were retired from competition.

In 2011, Novak Djokovic basked in the glory of his standout season with a large lead over the field in the Top Male Player. Somewhat remarkably, despite winning Roland Garros, No. 2 Nadal came in third in the poll behind Roger Federer, who did not win a 2011 major.

Wimbledon and WTA Championships winner Petra Kvitova outdistanced No. 1 Wozniacki by a commanding number for Top Female Player.

Even though the annual poll drew in an amazingly large vote total