I am just too tired to review last year. We all know what happened. So here are my thoughts on 2006.
The Comeback Kids?
Martina Hingis is staging her comeback this year. It’s in the back of Kournikova’s mind. And Monica Seles is thinking about it as she trains 5 days a week at her Florida home. As much as I would like to see Seles return to the game, I think she should cut her losses now. I wish she could have gone out on her own terms but I don’t think it is meant to be. If she does come back my prediction is she will play one grand slam, lose before the quarters and call it quits.
As for Hingis—well this should be interesting. Just because she beat Martina N. (her namesake—I wonder which Martina cringes more at that) handily this summer in World Team Tennis does not mean she is ready to play with the big girls again. My prediction—third round loss at the Australian. And if she sticks it out, 4th round at French—after all clay is the equalizer, though it is also the one Grand Slam she continually has meltdowns at. The irony would be sweet if she had great comeback success there. But I still think it’s unlikely to happen.
As for Kournikova—I think she’s having too much fun being a draw at exhibition matches and living the life of a Latin popstar’s wife to engage in a legitimate comeback attempt.
[on the court] Two slams between this year, like last. Hard to say which ones who will succeed where—not the French Open I would guess--, but I still think they are constant, if not consistent (shades of difference) contenders.
[off the court] Rumors will abound about a boyfriend for Venus. Serena will NOT be nominated for an Emmy for her supporting role on ER. (With any luck she will give up acting, not because she needs to spend more time on her tennis game, but just because she’s a bad actor.]
[on the court] It’s all about the momentum, baby. I think Kim is NOT going to be a one-slam wonder (shame on all the commentators/critics who have already proclaimed otherwise) and she will prove that this year—at the Australian.
[off the court] She’ll get engaged to this American basketball player guy and buy a house in FL like the majority of tour players.
[on the court] Truly, I just don’t care. The woman is less charismatic than Pete Sampras. Sure, we shouldn’t judge based on personality, but let’s face it, unless she has some skeletons in the closet her actual performance is of little matter.
[off the court] A skeleton emerges. And it has something to do with her extended absence last year. There has got to be more to this unnamed fatigue virus story.
[on court] She’ll win a major again. If Kim falters at the Australian, Maria will be there with her Canon sureshot digital camera taking a picture (‘cause it’ll last longer) of her opponents’ stunned faces.
[off court] She and Roddick hook up, then break up. No relationship with that amount of diva-dom can last very long.
[on court] I smell a major for Amelie. Now that Kim has one, Mauresmo takes over as “the best player to have never won a major” and it is not exactly the title she is looking for. It won’t be the French of course (is anyone in position to win the French??), but maybe the US Open or Wimbledon but it’s a longshot if either or both of the Williams sisters are there.
[off court] She’ll break up with whatever girlfriend she currently has and somehow find me (I’m working out the details), a witty, intelligent redhead with calves of steel who speaks just enough French to be cute and charming thus breaking the stereotype about obnoxious Americans and their freedom fries.