Earlier in the week, Lindsay shared her wish list. I jokingly said that she might end up 0 for 5 on wishes, even though I am rooting for most of them to come true. Last week Amy shared her five wishes for the 2013 tennis season, and I think she has a great chance of getting at least two of those wishes in 2013. Without further ado, here are my five wishes for the 2013 season:
1. Jerzy Janowicz in the top 10 AND in the World Tour Finals
After thoroughly enjoying Janowicz’ coming out party in Paris, I was left wanting more of those violent serves, more of those incredible drop shots (particularly if they come after someone’s second serve), and more of those JJ socks. One problem with that last bit: if Janowicz does climb into the Top 10, it’s highly doubtful he won’t have a sponsor, and sadly, that means no more JJ socks. Seriously speaking, Janowicz is just fun to watch, and I can’t wait to see him battle the current members of the top 10, particularly the Big 4. Can you imagine Roger Federer’s face when Janowicz hits a drop shot winner off of one of his second serves? At the O2 in London?
2. Angelique Kerber to have an even better season than she had in 2012 – and win a Grand Slam
Yes, I want Kerber to win a Grand Slam. Particularly if the final is one of her trademark see-saw three set battles that turns into a death match. I think that if she stays in the top 10, building on the great 2012 she had, the WTA can only gain from it, since she brings a unique bag of tricks to the table: incredible defense, a violent cross-court BH and her ultra bizarre squatting forehand down the line. Also, quite a bit of badassery. Kerber and World Number 1 Azarenka played the best match of 2012 (if you didn’t watch it, do yourself a favor and click here). Here’s wishing to more of that in 2013.
3. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to resume their quest to play the greatest match ever – and fulfill it.
Djokovic and Nadal started 2012 by playing in the longest ever Grand Slam final. Not all of it was great, but sets 4 and 5 certainly were. They then met in three more finals: Montecarlo (where Djokovic was mentally absent due to his grandfather passing away a few days before), Rome (a pretty straightforward Nadal win), and the eventful but underwhelming French Open final. Nadal got injured shortly after, and he’s been gone since. These two juggernauts of men’s tennis have collided to play some of the best sets of contemporary tennis I’ve ever seen (3rd set of the Madrid SF 2009, 3rd set of the 2011 US Open SF, etc), but haven’t been able to maintain that level throughout an entire match. Djokovic and Nadal are 25 and 26 years old respectively and have already played 33 times against each other. They might reach 50 before they retire, but I just want one of those to be the greatest match ever played.
4. A South American WTA star
Currently, the WTA has only one tournament in South America – the Copa BBVA Colsanitas in Bogotá, Colombia. The highest ranked South American female is Paula Ormachea. At # 142. There are a few players ranked in the top 200, but nobody is close to the top 100. Gisela Dulko, who won 4 singles titles and achieved a career high ranking of #26 while also adding 17 doubles titles (including a Grand Slam) and a #1 ranking in doubles, announced her retirement a few weeks ago. The point is, things don’t look great for women’s tennis in my native continent. Watching women’s tennis in South America has been an ordeal in recent years – the only matches I could find on TV were the later rounds at Grand Slams. Hence why I hope the emergence of a star there might help turn the tide. The only source of hope: Brazil.
5. David Ferrer and/or Mikhail Youzhny to beat Roger Federer
This is quite eerie: both Youzhny and Ferrer have lost 14 straight times to Roger Federer. Not only is the Swiss undefeated against both, but he’s managed to lose only 3 sets to each. Just. 3. Sets. More similarities: Youzhny and Ferrer were born in 1982, and are less than a year younger than the new Moët spokesman. But that’s where the similarities end. Ferrer is coming off his best ever season, capped by his first M1000 win and a truly spotless Davis Cup final performance (6 sets played, 6 sets won, away from home, on a very fast indoor hardcourt). Youzhny….is 17 spots away from his best ever ranking (#8), and managed to lose in the first round of the last two M1000 of 2012 to Marcel Granollers in Paris and Viktor Troicki (!!!) in Shanghai.
I’ll just say that the initial phrasing of this last wish was “David Ferrer AND Mikhail Youzhny”, but after writing the last line of the previous paragraph, I aded the “/or”. Anyway, this long streak of abuse needs to end. It’s been 12 years for Youzhny, and 9 for Ferrer. James Blake got a win over Federer. Fernando González got a win against Federer. Even Albert Montañés got a win vs Federer. ALBERT MONTAÑÉS. May 2013 be the year this torture ends for the Dr. and the (insert clichéd comparison to a small vicious animal here).
You might ask about Jarkko Nieminen being 0-13 against Federer. Do I have a problem with that? Nope, not at all. Carry on, Roger.