Monday, March 12, 2007

New Guns On Tour

Flashback first: it's Y2K and I'm flipping between the New Balls Please campaign, and seeing the Backstreet Boys on MTV. Seven years later, Britney Spears is expecting a third child, Lleyton Hewitt is already a has-been, and Jennifer Capriati is retired again.

As I go through the latest issue of TENNIS magazine, there is a streak of young athletes making waves on the ATP and WTA. Gasquet, Berdych, Monfils, Murray, Almagro, Ivanovic, Chakvetadze, Jankovic, Vaidisova and Baghdatis.

None of them have won a Grand Slam, but I see several Tier I/Master Series winners. Aside from playing the First To Win A Slam Derby, I would have to choose my favorites as well.

Clearly head and shoulders above my men's pick is Andy Murray. Greatest asset? That change of pace. I'm terribly impressed at the way he plays the point by mixing a slow ball, then firing forehands. Killer shot? Crosscourt double-handed backhand, not as brute as Nadal's, but the way it veers away from the opponent is a feat.
Brad Gilbert does wonders...

A throwback to Mary Pierce?
The women's side is definitely a harder choice - Miss Consistent would be Ana Ivanovic, Best Performance in a Grand Slam goes to Nicole Vaidisova, Toughest Girl On The Block would be Jelena Jankovic and Miss Quiet Performer would be Anna Chakvetadze. Still, I'm rooting for Anna, version 3.

2 talkbacks:

totomai said...

i have to agree that its very difficult to pick who will stand out on the women's side -- but i think anna c will be the surpise of the tour. :-)

monsterboy said...

It's nice because she's the one with the least fanfare going on.

However, I failed to mention the lady I was rooting for last Aussie Open - Shahar Peer of Israel. Watch out for her!