The end of the 2009 season was undoubtedly a long one. There were too many injuries, too much complaining about the length of the season, and most importantly there was too little of Rafael Nadal doing what he usually does.......win. But, it's a new year, and it seems that 2010 has the recipe for some exciting tennis.
The return of both Henin and Clijsters has raised the bar significantly for women's tennis. Prior to their return the most exciting thing in women's tennis was Serena Williams $90,000 dollar rant at the US Open click here. But, if the all Belgian final at the Brisbane International Tournament is any indicator, women's tennis has just entered a new era.
On the men's side, although the top 10 haven't changed much since the beginning of the 2009 season, the most surprising development is Davydenko's improved fitness and his emergence as the "one to beat" in the Australian Open. He ended 2009 as the ATP World Tour Champion, and with his win in Doha he became only the 2nd man ever to beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same tournament twice. His best result so far in a Grand Slam tournament is reaching the semi-finals.
Speaking of Rafael Nadal, I think I could hear all the Rafa fans around the world breath a sigh of relief when they listened to his post-match interview after losing to Davydenko in Doha. He stated:
“I think I did the most difficult thing (today) and that was playing all the time at my best level. I’m probably playing better than ever, for the moment. There was one moment in 2008 maybe where I played like I did today in the first set. So that’s a very positive thing for me. I don’t know if I will win in Australia, but I think I’m in a very, very good way.”
Tennis is back in full swing ladies and gentleman. Interesting questions will be answered such as: Will Davydenko continue to stay in top form? Will Rafa stay healthy and possibly complete his Grand Slam? Will Federer continue to be relevant? Will Sharapova figure out her serve? Will the Belgians dominate?
I can't wait. Full coverage of the Australian Open coming soon.