20 Questions, 20 Answers
From Florida Sun Sentinel Newspaper:
BRICKER: 20 questions on tennis <br />Charles Bricker
December 30, 2001
20 questions, 20 answers
1. Is there another Slam in Pete Sampras' right arm?
2. Will Serena Williams ever become as nerveless in a major match against a major opponent as she looks when she walks onto the court for the opening set?
Answer: Not until she stops being an extension of her sister.
3. Why is Monica Seles still playing tennis?
Answer: She loves the game. She won't win another major, and it no longer matters to her.
4. Whatever happened to Vince Spadea?
Answer: The kid from Boca? I'll check.
5. Can Andy Roddick make the top five?
Answer: He finished the year at No. 14, but his game is still evolving. He's developing a stronger second serve and his backhand can be more of a weapon. In short, yes.
6. What happened to Guga Kuerten at the end of the 2001 season?
Answer: His strong heart was betrayed by his tired legs. He was never the same after Max Mirnyi forced him to win the last three sets at the U.S. Open. He needs better scheduling.
7. How good is 5-foot-5, 130-pound Justine Henin?
Answer: Fabulous ground game, as good a backhand as Venus Williams. Surprisingly strong serve. She needs more upper body strength.
8. Is Lleyton Hewitt physically strong enough to remain at No. 1?
Answer: The conventional wisdom is no. My wisdom says yes. He has learned to pace himself throughout the year, so as not to overplay. He's much stronger than he appears.
9. What is Martina Hingis going to do about her weak serve?
Answer: We'll find out at the Australian Open, with its withering heat, just how much punch she has added during her off-season training.
10. Can Venus win the French Open?
Answer: She could win the women's decathlon if she desired.
11. If Yevgeny Kafelnikov has every stroke, plus physical size, why can't he win more consistently?
Answer: Guts, which only periodically leave the locker room with his rackets.
12. How much better can Lindsay Davenport get?
Answer: She has peaked. How well she does at individual tournaments now depends on her fitness level. When she's at her highest level, she's a blueprint winner over everyone but Venus.
13. Why is the USTA playing the first round of the Davis Cup in Oklahoma City instead of Naples.
14. Jennifer Capriati doesn't look that athletic or fast, so how can she win two Slams?
Answer: She has beautiful balance, technical perfection and natural strength. Aside from Hingis, there isn't a better coached player on the WTA Tour.
15. Who will be the surprise men's player of 2002?
Answer: Guillermo Canas of Argentina, who is on a short drug suspension through March. He has an all-court game and great motivation. The ATP agreed that he mistakenly ingested a banned substance with a dietary supplement but imposed the suspension nevertheless.
16. Who will be the surprise women's player of 2002?
Answer: Lean, powerful Deja Bedanova, 18, of the Czech Republic, living and training in Germany. Made the quarters of the U.S. Open and starts this season ranked No. 27.
17. Last season's underachieving man?
Answer: Marat Safin, who has not mastered the art of mental stability on court.
18. Last season's underachieving woman?
Answer: Amelie Mauresmo, who went out in the fourth round at the Australian, first round at the French, third round at Wimbledon and quarters at the U.S. Open.
19. Any word yet on what has happened to Vince Spadea?
Answer: He's ranked No. 125, barely high enough to hit the radar screen.
20. Players of the year, 2002? <br />Answer: Andy Roddick and Venus Williams.