Henin, Clijsters—everyone loves a good comeback story, right? So why not add VANtage Point to the list, and just in time for the 2010 French Open!
First, allow me to reintroduce myself and what’s going on here: My name is Van (it’s not short for VANtage, either) and I have a blog of my own called Tennis Talk, Anyone? Down the Line! in an example of pure blogging brotherhood gave me the opportunity to make some predictions on tournaments over here, like I love doing over at TTA? I’ve been a pro tennis statistics devourer for most of my life, and love reading and writing about the pros, just like RiCH here at DtL!
So enough of that background info stuff, which if you’ve seen the Point before, you didn’t really need. Let’s get on with it shall we?
A Look Back: This is where I usually recap the prior week’s tournament that I previewed. But let’s just skip this part since the last time I wrote a VANtage Point was in 1980 after the Borg-McEnroe finals.
This Week’s Spotlight: There’s nothing like Paris in the springtime; I’m assuming that’s what the pros are thinking! After all, there’s the matter of that second Slam of the year to be played, the French Open. It’s been hit harder than I can recall with a lot of big withdrawals, such as Kim Clijsters and Nikolay Davydenko. However, I wouldn’t say either draw has a weak field; you still have the favorites such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, the Williams sisters and one of the comeback queens, four-time champ Justine Henin, there.
Players to Watch: Let’s start with the men. I’d say you have to keep an eye out for defending champ Federer as his play the past few months has been rather spotty—at least by the standards he’s held. Also, how will Novak Djokovic’s breathing problems affect him? And Andy Roddick. It says here at VP he’ll get knocked out in the first round. Oh, while I’m thinking of it, has Fernando Verdasco played too much tennis?
For the women, you have to wonder how Serena Williams will hold up while Henin’s going to be all kinds of hell for a player to face. A player I’m curious to see how they make out on the women’s side is Ana Ivanovic: Was that run in Rome a fluke or is she back?
The Final Fours: In the top half of the men’s draw, I’m picking Federer and Tomas Berdych, with the Swiss winning that one. On the bottom half, it should be David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal with the 4-time champion coming out on top. For the women, I’ll take Henin over Jelena Jankovic from the top half of the draw. And on the bottom half, I’ll go with Francesca Schiavone beating Venus Williams in one of the craziest calls you’ll see in quite some time!
And the Winners Are… : It’s only fitting that the two greatest clay courters of their generations end up with their fifth titles, that being Nadal and Henin. Should be a great Slam. We’ll see you soon!
Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?