Google Down the Line!: So, like, what'll you be watching out for in tennis' 2009 season? I have some ideas!

Monday, December 29, 2008

So, like, what'll you be watching out for in tennis' 2009 season? I have some ideas!

I hope everyone had a great holiday last week - I sure did. Not only did I get a chance to prepare for the big day but I also gave myself time to reflect on the past year of tennis, blogging, and everything in between.

And now I'm ready for the 2009 season begin - I mean really ready. There are so many story lines waiting to be told including:


* Can top baller Rafael Nadal continue the momentum from his sparkling and historic 2008 season and remain in the top spot?

* Will Andy Murray's off-season training intensive in Miami help the Brit baller breakthrough to his first Grand Slam title?

* Will Roger Federer finally break Pete Sampras' record of 14 major titles?

* Can Novak Djokovic build off his Masters Cup win and add to his lone Grand Slam title?

* Will we see Nikolay Davydenko, David Nalbandian, James Blake (and to some extent Andy Roddick) be replaced in the top echelon by the likes of Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Ernests Gulbis?


* Will Jelena Jankovic's stay in the WTA Penthouse be short-lived or will she earn her first major and hang out a little longer?

* Can Ana Ivanovic get her game back on track after a disappointing second half to 2008?

* Will Maria Sharapova's shoulder stay healed and can she regain her top form?

* Was Dinara Safina's 2008 breakthrough season an anomaly or a sign of greater success?

* Where will Svetlana Kuznetsova's game be after moving back home to mother Russia?

* Will the Sisters Sledge, Venus + Serena, continue to be add to their major title collections at this latter part of their careers?


* Will tennis' couple of the moment, Anando, continue their lovefest or will it fizzle in '09?

* Can adidas overtake Nike as the sports brand with the best tennis fashions, designs, and sponsorships?

* Rafa's new Nike style - love it or leave it?

* Will it seem really strange to be playing major grass-court tennis indoors at Wimbledon when Centre Court's new roof debuts?

* Will Fed finally pop the question to the ever-patient Mirka or will he continue his love affair with himself?

* What will Shrieka's new 'do be for the season?

* Will anyone give a damn about Davis Cup + Fed Cup again or will they continue their perceived irrelevance?

* Will JJ put a cap on the glitter jar or bust it out again for '09?

* Are the major scheduling issues on both Tour calendars finally resolved or will we be subject to more bitching and complaining from the ballers?

* Can ReRe get any loopier and will we all watch her slowly dissolve into insanity?

So many questions I need answered! Oh well, the season is just about to start and the painful wait will be over.

Which story lines will you be watching closely in 2009?


(image via


  1. Welcome back Rich. I missed your blog posts. Who else asks the important questions like when will Fed pop the question :). I for one hope Mirka gets a ring or upgrades her mobile plan.

  2. Thanks Allison - great to be back. I try to ask deep, thoughtful questions about our fave ballers - inquiring minds NEED to know.

    Good one on the Mirka/Crackberry point. She's clearly a text-aholic so maybe a 12-step instead?

  3. Welcome back, Rich! Glad you had a productive break :) This post has made me very impatient for the 2009 season to get up and running. Apart from seeing how many of your questions get answered over the course of the season, I'm having major tennis withdrawal!

  4. Hello again, Down the Line! Rich, and a great New Year to you, too! Yes I'm really ready for the games (matches) to begin. For me, of course, I'll be cheerin' and rootin' for every match to be a victory for my Ruffie! I'm hoping he's had enough time to mend and isn't getting back into the swing on things too early. I will be looking forward to your Nadal commentaries, Richee..:) I think we should keep our eyes on Murray this year because he seems to have a hankerin' for a beeg win this coming year, dontcha think? Now, to tell you the truth, I'm 50/50 on Fed breaking Sampras' record of 14 majors, but weel see, no? And I don't even want to talk about Novak, okay with you? Now to your question about who will replace whom in the top echelon: I want to see Roddick up his game and start playing up to his ability. If he were a choir boy, I'd say he's still not singing full voice, heh heh. I also want to see more of Nalbandian, so there you go.

    Now, sorry to say, I don't think Jankovic will stay top-side for long. I hope I'm wrong. I like her game. Same with Sharapova, so I hope her shoulder withstands the rigor of the game and she reclaims her rightful place in the hierarchy of things. To our little hothead, Safina - I want to see her star rise ever more. If that little spitfire can channel her frustration into determination, we will all be better for it, no? Lastly, on the Lady Ballers, Rich, I've just come out of my Williams sisters fatigue and hope to see some wins for the gals, but I don't want to see them dominate the games anymore. Who the hay would want to play against them or watch them always *yawn* win? If it happens, we can all do well to just watch The Bionic Woman re-reruns, heh heh. Further,

    I hate Rafa's new Nike style!!

    But don't be afraid to ask me how I really feel about that parcel of silliness, okay, Rich?

    If Fed doesn't pop the question, then I predict he'll lose the majors this year. (You hear me, Fed? What about loyal-and commited-woman, dontcha understand, you nincompoop?! *sigh*

    What Davis & Fed Cups, Rich? *confusio*

    Yours truly, Contessa ChiChi

  5. Sally: DITTO

    Contessa ChiChi: Alright, I see that you've got your eyes peeled and ready for the season.

    A-Rod usually does well when he starts working with a new coach so I expect him to begin the season solidly (barring injury of course). But will it last? He usually ends up reverting back to his counterpunching ways so hopefully Stefanki can snap him out of it for good.

    I don't think Fed will break the record this year - we're looking at him winning two Slams this season which wouldn't have sounded crazy a few years ago but no anymore. It's a tall order and I'm not seeing it. Most likely the 2010 season.

    I'd love to see Dinara grab a major and it's very possible everywhere except the grass - not her thing. JJ might surprise people because she's been doing some serious off-court work on her fitness and game. She seems determined to do well and earn her maiden Slam.

    The Williams sisters will always be in the mix and if they come in fit they'll be tough - especially with ReRe at the Aussie and V at Wimby. I'm all for them winning if no one else is willing to stand up and beat them.

    Though I'm partial to Rafa's sleeveless moment, I like change and his new gear is pretty cool, design wise. I'm waiting to see it on him to know for sure but I like the colors, patterns, and silhouettes. Sue me!

    Poor Mirka - Fed is married to himself and she's been forced to date her Crackberry. To each his own, I suppose!

  6. Rich - yes - it seems we can count on Roddick's self-sabotaging his road to greatness. I hope this new coach works out for him. How many have there been now? I was hoping the Connor thing would work out, howEVer.. Also, I'd like to see some sustained intensity to his game. It's like he isn't revved up enough to play good game. If I were on the sideline of his matches, I'd be running after him on the court with a cattle prod, I swear. Or am I full of hyperbole, Richee?

    Oh, btw, how can I join up on the Tennis Social Network? I checked it out and it looks pretty rawrrr, ya know? Will you sponsor me, babycakes, er, Rich? heh heh

    I've had a change of heart now that you've reminded me why I like S&V; they give their all and put up one hell of a fight, too..:)

  7. Federer, for all his 'well-balanced-individual- facade, has a commitment phobia, no?

  8. hey rich! nice to see some new posts from you.

    as for the baller boys, i think all will depend on rafa's health. seeing how dominant he is this year, i don't see why he can't win at least two slams next year. i'm also hoping that he wins one of the hardcourt slams next year. murray, imo, is the favorite going into the AO. he has vastly improved and he has shown that he can beat the top 3. as for nole, i'd love to see him win another slam. the guy's talented and is great to watch when he's playing great. seriously, if it were all up to me, i'd love to see the top 4 win a major each next year.

    as for the ladies, i'm very much interested with how the serbian sisters are going to perform next year. JJ has been working mighty hard during the off-season. she has never been this determined before. i'd hate to see all this hardwork go to waste if she doesn't win a big one next year. i've been disappointed with some of her interviews lately because she seems to value the #1 ranking more than winning a slam. hopefully she plays LESS tournaments this year and doesn't engage in gamemanship (lessen the medical timeouts, please). as for ana, we saw during the first half of this year what she is capable of doing. imo, she was the WTA's best player of the first half. however, she crumbled to both the pressure and expectation of being one of the top gals and had a horrible second half. hopefully, she can learn a lot from her second half slump and perform consistently next year.

    masha has performed well in the last two australian open. i think she's in a great position to defend her AO title in spite of the injury. i still don't see her doing well during RG and lik the williams sisters, should be one of the favorites for wimbledon and the USO.


  9. Good to have you back Rich.

    I'm hoping for at least two slams for Rafa with one of them being a hard court slam. And I'm rooting for Murray. I've become a fan through all the updates you've given. S'go Murray!

    If Roger doesn't give Mirka a ring then girlfriend needs to go buy it herself, plan the wedding and just tell Fed when and where to show up. It might work out best that way.

  10. "Will JJ put a cap on the glitter jar or bust it out again for '09?"

    This was a rhetorical question, wasn't it?

  11. anon 8:26 - hmmm good question about the being a commitment phobe. i wonder if that could be true...he seems a pretty loyal guy otherwise. maybe it's mirka then?

    kelsey: i would agree that Shrieka has a good chance of doing well in melbourne because most of the ballers come in kinda cold. obvs, ReRe also does well there so she'll be a tough obstacle for anyone. but if either Williams sister gets booted early, Shrieka could go all the way. JJ might surprise everyone though. i'm keeping my eye on her at in melbourne.

    anon 10:29 - i'd love andy to pull grab his first in Aussie. i'm rooting for him too especially after all his off-court work. he should do well. mirka seems okay with just hanging out, texting her arse off. i know i wouldn't be - but i guess she's well taken care of!

    T.O. - I suppose I shouldn't answer your question either...

  12. * Rafa's new Nike style - love it or leave it?

    i LOVE it!


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