mandlikova's Comments

Posted Tuesday January 04, 2011, About: Predictions for the 2011 tennis season
Fantasy Tennis - My thoughts
Mens
Serve - Roddick and Karlovic just beat out by Isner based on 2010.
Return Game - Murray does more with the 2nd serve, but no one gets back more returns than Ferrer.
Forehand - Gonzalez, Blake and Haas would have been mentioned in former years. And Federer and Nadal both have world class forehands that belong to champions. But it comes down to Soderling and del Potro. When they are on, del Potro's is a weapon on any service, not just clay like Soderling. del Potro hits it harder and deeper to take claim to the best forehand.
Backhand - Gasquet's is the most beautiful to watch, but it could be more penetrating. In terms of one handers, Wawrinka's probably gets the job done better than Gasquet. On the two hander side, Berdych, Nadal, Djokovic and Nalbandian all are world class. My vote still goes to Nalbandian in a sqeaker over Novak. It Nalbandian only had to hit backhands, he would be back in the top 3 for a few more years.
Net Play - Come on, doubles players do not count. Right now it is a race between Llodra and Fish. A nod to the frenchman who comes in more and is much less predictable.
Fitness - Davydenko when not injured can play match after match, day after day, week after week and never tire - not something Ferrer can say if you consider what happened to him at the French.
Footwork - He glides like he is walking on water. And who can hit a winner through the legs not one but two times - oops, now make it 3 times!
Mental Toughness - Nadal's mental toughness is legendary.

Women
Serve - Groth, Venus and Petrova can all pound and clock serve, but this is really a 2 woman race between Stosur and Serena. Both equally strong on the 1st and 2nd serve, with Serena going in a different strength, the nod goes to Sam.
Return Game - Jankovic probably gets more returns back than any woman on the tour so it hurts to not go with consistency, but who looks down the barrel of a 2nd serve with more intimidation than Venus, so the American wins on the scare factor.
Forehand - When Stosur camps out on the backhand corner hitting forehands, winners rip cross court inside out and down the line making it the best forehand from that side of the court. But in terms of all court hitting, Clijsters can clock forehand winners better from anywhere giving her the title of 2nd best forehand in the history of women's tennis - no one takes the history crown from Steffi.
Backhand - Henin's is the most beautiful to look at, Venus clocks hers, Schiavone's one hander is a close 2nd to Henin's signature shot, and then there is Jankovic with that awesome down the line redirect. But come on experts, not one of you mentioned Azarenka. No one hits a harder, deeper backhand - look back at the 1st set French Open quarters against Safina - the most damaging backhand in the game hands down.
Net play - Schiavone with her 15 or so forerays into the net a match, always at the most opportune time with the touch of a McEnroe steals the crown and the French Open of 2010.
Fitness - Caroline for 2 years plays week in and week out and never seems tired.
Footwork - no one goes from defense to offense in the women's game like Henin. Her speed and preparation are top of the class.
Mental toughness - Serena is the queen currently and in a league of her own. But like Henin took that title from her in 2007 with 3 grand slam quarter wins, someone else is lerking - till it happens my money is still on Serena.

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