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post #1 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Rodriguez v. Sharapova

Has this been posted???? Disregard then if it has. Anyway, didn't know Carlos was such a girl... Anybody have a translation of Carlos' interview?


Quote:
Rodriguez v. Sharapova
By Matthew Cronin

I've been tagged with defending Sharapova way too much, but I cannot resist taking a cut at Carlos Rodriguez (Justine Henin-Hardenne's coach), for taking swipes at her during the Sony Ericsson WTA Championships. I like Rodriguez and find him to generally be insightful, but in posturing for his pseudo-daughter and player, he went way overboard. I realize that Rodriguez backtracked from his comments on Justine's site, but I know the author of the original DPA piece, and he's highly professional and wouldn't misquote anyone. Plus, the interview was done in Spanish, Rodriguez's native language, so there was little room for misinterpretation.

To me, the entire interview smacked of an anti-pretty-woman theme, where Carlos appears resentful that his player isn't a cover girl. Henin-Hardenne doesn't care, so why does he? He rips the tour for promoting the likes of Sharapova, Anna Kournikova and Elena Dementieva - three attractive blondes - and implies that they (the players) are chasing money and are using their looks to get it. Fair enough in Kournikova's case, but in Sharapova and Dementieva's case, please. They are both warriors and, although they have done more than their fair share of photo shoots and in Sharapova's case, she has collected big dollars because she's attractive, that doesn't mean that they are actually chasing the almighty buck. What it means is that they have made themselves famous due to their high level of play and are willing to accept riches that go along with it. Neither grew up wealthy and both have families to support. I haven't heard of Justine turning down endorsements dollars either.

To say, as Rodriguez did, that Sharapova is merely "a product of marketing" is ridiculous. For goodness sakes, she won another Slam title this year (battering Henin-Hardenne in the USO final I might add) and won four other titles. You don't' do that if you are merely a kewpie doll. There are a number of other attractive women on tour who are just as attractive and don't receive anywhere near the endorsement money of Sharapova (think Maria Kirilenko). Why? Because they don't win nearly as often.

SHARAPOVA'S EFFECTIVE, ONE-DIMENSIONAL GAME
Now on to Sharapova's game: Okay Carlos, she doesn't have as much variety as Justine and Amelie Mauresmo. But she wasn't' brought up to play that way. Neither was Lindsay Davenport, the Williams sisters or Kim Clijsters. Nick Bollettieri and Robert Lansdorp, who both emphasize the development of killer groundies, taught Sharapova. It's not like when she was in elementary school, that the immigrant Sharapova could have said, "Dad, I really prefer the look of a one-handed slice backhand. Do you think you can hook me up with Evonne Goolagong?" But to say that she has no strategic base? Please. Sharapova may not be thinking of 10 ball combinations, but it sure looked like to me in the USO final that she knew very well when to attack Justine and when to play steady. Plus, her swing volley has improved a lot. In Madrid, Sharapova was flat, but no excuses - Henin-Hardenne is still a better all-around player. Sharapova is very close to Justine now, but needs to beat her a few times in a row before she can be considered superior.


Rodriguez also accused the WTA of catering to Ms. Maria in Madrid. I wasn't there, so I can't say for sure, but Sharapova is by far the tour's biggest star now, so there is some justification for making sure that your franchise is satisfied. But I do know all of the tour's communications staff and I can't imagine them showing any great bias toward any particular (nice) player.

On his final point about Clijsters being a hypocrite and launching low blows toward Henin-Hardenne. Please. I'm sure I've written at least 20 pieces on the subject and have talked to both Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters about the other woman on numerous occasions. Clijsters almost always took a higher road than Justine.

Carlos later called Clijsters a great champion. But, even after reading that, Clijsters didn't update her on-line diary, which accused him of lying. "Ever since the Fed Cup Justine and I are on good terms and we made a lot of fun together," she wrote. "Maybe Carlos Rodriguez doesn't like it that we get along well?"

Maybe not, or maybe Carlos is still angry with Kim's dad, Leo, and is using Kim to get through to him.

Maria Sharapova
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post #2 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova (Cronin)

This was cleared up by Carlos. Maybe someone should should send Cronin a link to henin-hardenne.be
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post #3 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 05:49 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

I don't have the original interview but I thought what Carlos was saying was not that Maria is wrong for cashing in on endorsements so much as that the tour was wrong to promote itself based on the looks of its players rather than on the tennis that they play. I kinda agree with this and I think it's disrespectful to Maria herself as much as anything that the WTA promotes her, not because she's a champion, but because she's tall, pretty and blonde.
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post #4 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 05:53 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

Yay Kimmie Poo

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post #5 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 07:53 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

kim, the sisters and lindsay are hardly one dimensional players.

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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova (Cronin)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vejh View Post
This was cleared up by Carlos.
re-read it especially this quote.
Quote:
I realize that Rodriguez backtracked from his comments on Justine's site, but I know the author of the original DPA piece, and he's highly professional and wouldn't misquote anyone. Plus, the interview was done in Spanish, Rodriguez's native language, so there was little room for misinterpretation.
Cronin is saying someone is lying and he don't believe its the journo.
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post #7 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

Thanks for this! I really enjoyed it, especially the fact that if Justine doesn't care about certain things, why should Carlos? I understand that they are very close, but I imagine Justine would have been mortified by what some of Carlos said in that interview (originally )
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post #8 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 09:57 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

This guy Cronin is . Carlos doesn't have a problem with Maria, the DPA article was slapped together with old quotes from a few years ago regarding Kim/Lei. Even Clijsters fans could see those were old quotes.

Cronin even says he wasn't at in Madrid, how does he know what's going on?

The problem is not Carlos here. Cronin has a problem with Justine. Here's a previous article where he wrote that Justine is jealous of Maria. This is not true, he's creating crap from nothing.

http://www.insidetennis.com/1006_us_open.html

Five-time Grand Slam champion Henin doesn't like existing in a world where a woman who doesn't have nearly her impressive on-court resume is earning some $23 million off court. Everywhere that Henin turned in NYC, there was another Sharapova commercial or billboard. Earning fans with a brilliant smile or a daring dress has never been the Belgian's forte. She's all about earning her keep on court and impressing the world with her creativity and guts. The Belgian doesn't lose to players who aren't confident enough to face her down in crucial moments. Sharapova had never done that at a big event, because the Belgian has snapped at her heels and taken chunks out of her legs.

I'm not surprised at all by Cronin's remark. A few seasons ago he wrote an article about how Justine's career is in an unfortunate downward spiral and her 2006 season was going to be very ugly as Kim shined toward winning her third grand slam. ( )

He may write those match reports at the US OPEN, but Justine doesn't give this guy personal interviews. The only real interviews are done in French, and the last people she truly has spoken to that are Anglo Saxon writers who weren't down at the press conference or during at a WTA round table wasn't with Cronin. He doesn't know Justine, it's merely hearsay from other players that he talks to or whatever he picks of from other people like... reading her official site!! (duh).

This writer is gossipy, and incorrect many times. Go ask the Jennifer Capriati fans about him. Cronin is the tennis journalist who wrote how reliable "sources" told him that Capriati was dating a porn star.

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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

lol

2 of the people I hate the most in the tennis world bitching about each other

Anastasia Myskina


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post #10 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 10:09 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

I found the article of Cronin's anti Justine forecast.

Sixteen not-so-sweet predictions for 2006

1. Will Roger Federer win the calendar year Grand Slam?

No, but the dominant Swiss No. 1 will win the only Grand Slam title that still eludes him, the French Open. Federer — who's won five Grand Slam titles during the last two years — is finally showing some physical wear and tear, but mentally, he still has a tremendous amount of hunger and wants to prove that he's the best of all time.

The 24-year-old can't do that convincingly unless he wins the only major played on clay. With the right amount of patience and varied attack, he has the goods to reign in Paris. He'll also win the Australian Open again, but will have his winning streaks stopped at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

2. Will Rafael Nadal win a Grand Slam on a surface that isn't clay, and can he really challenge Federer week in and week out?

The 19-year-old Spaniard can but won't be a significant challenger in 2006 until he gets healthy again. The brawny lefty played a ton last year and needs to seriously reduce his schedule, but he's improving his serve — the weakest part of his game — and is adding stick to his backhand. This lightning-quick defender's time in the sunshine won't come until the U.S. Open, but he'll make waves all year long and get into Fed's head.

3. Will Andy Roddick regain his confidence and win another Slam title?

America's top player had a rough year in 2005, winning five mid-sized titles but no Master Series crowns or Grand Slams. Federer is dominating him; Lleyton Hewitt is still a better player, and Nadal has already passed him in the rankings. The good news is that Roddick has improved his backhand, his transition game and his volley. The bad news is that he's lost a fair amount of confidence. But the fast-talking Roddick is super-determined and will find a way to serve through the field at Wimbledon and win his second Slam crown.

4. Will Andre Agassi finally retire?

Unless he finds a miracle cure for the nerve injury that affects his back and hip, Agassi will wave goodbye at age 36 after the U.S. Open. He's still a legitimate top-five player when he's healthy (remember his sterling run to the 2005 U.S. Open final), but that's been very rare over the past two years. He'll only play a part-time schedule in 2006, and if he can't continually bag wins over the elite, he'll join his wife, Steffi Graf, at home with their two kids. His body is telling him to quit , and he'll finally answer its prayers.

5. Will the Argentines take over the Tour?

Unless you are talking about the Tour de France, where using stimulants is apparently par for the course, this South American nation will fall back in tennis in 2006. Collectively, this standout country has had five players test positive for doping in the past few years, and two of its stars, French Open finalist Mariano Puerta and semifinalist Guillermo Canas, were suspended in 2005.

One of its top players, Guillermo Coria, who was once suspended, said, "We Argentines are all suspected. Our effort isn't taken into account. We have to do even more to prove we are great players.?"

Among their better players, only Shanghai titlist David Nalbandian and 2004 French Open winner Gaston Gaudio have managed to stay clean. When much of the world believes your nation is cheating, it isn't easy to stay mentally sound, which is why, as a group, Argentina will cry for itself during '06.

6. What are the futures of Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt?

Hazy in both cases. Nearly a year ago, the Russian and the Aussie faced off in a well-played Australian Open final, and the future appeared rosy for both of them. But Safin went down with a knee injury that just won't heal, and Hewitt has mellowed due to his marriage to actress Bec Cartwright and the birth of their daughter, Mia.

A rickety Safin means poor movement, but if he does manage to find a way to get healthy for a small stretch, Safin will charge hard for his third Slam title at the U.S. Open. Hewitt may have lost a bit of his snarl but not his competitive fire, and with the right draw, he could win his third Slam crown. But neither veteran will finish the year in style, and they are both on downward curves.

7. Who will be the breakthrough players on the men's side?

It would be nice to find an American or Aussie teen who is ready to make a splash, but there are none on the horizon who will shake the foundations of the tour. Czech teen Tomas Berdych, French teens Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet and Scottish teen Andy Murray should all end the year in the top 20, but U.S. kids like Donald Young and Sam Querry and Aussie youngster Carston Ball are not yet ready for prime time. Is it too early to hope for Agassi and Hewitt's kids to enter the tours as toddlers?

8. Will any other American man become a significant player?

James Blake will. The 25-year-old showed at the U.S. Open and in winning Stockholm that he has improved immeasurably all over the court, and he has the confidence to back it up. Expect Blake to make a major impact in Australia, crack the top 10 for the first time and stay there. Robby Ginepri and Taylor Dent will end their years in the top 30, but they won't reach any major finals.

9. Will 2006 be the year that Maria Sharapova takes over the tour?

It should be, but she hasn't found a cure for her year-long shoulder injury, and without consistent pop on her serve and forehand, she cannot hit through the likes of Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams and Justine Henin-Hardenne. The 18-year-old sex symbol did improve in 2005, adding a drop shot and gaining confidence in her swing volley, but her game is really based on non-stop firepower, and she isn't going to step on the tour's neck at 80 percent. But she will win one major, and given her steel determination and utter hate of losing, will challenge for the year-end No. 1 ranking.

10. Will the Williams sisters ever get back to their once dominant levels?

Not on a consistent basis, because Venus hasn't been truly healthy since mid-2003, and Serena not only has been injured much of the past two years, but she is spending way too much time pursuing her acting interests and not enough time training. Without question, both sisters are still capable of winning Grand Slams and a number of other titles in '06, but by no means will they be facing off in fourth straight Grand Slam final like they did in '03 and '04. The field is way too deep now, and they have lost the consistency and the inner fire that's necessary to be No.1 players.

11. Will Martina Hingis re-enter the top five?

Not this year, as she's way too rusty and unsure of herself to immediately intimidate her younger foes, many of whom she never played during her heyday. Hingis is way too good and prideful to allow herself to be routinely kicked in the teeth, but her serve and forehand are still works in progress, and she has lost a little of her legendary quickness. But the 25-year-old is still one of the smartest players out there and has regained her will to win, which is why the Swiss star will end the year in the top 10 and make major impacts at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

12. Will Kim Clijsters end the year ranked higher than her nemesis, Justine Henin-Hardenne?

Yes she will, and not only that, the Belgian will end the year ranked No. 1 for the first time, too. Clijsters did a great job of keeping herself healthy last year and won a tour-high nine titles and her first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. She's serving well, is the game's most feared defender and can lace groundstrokes with anyone.

The 22-year-old will begin the year by winning the Australian Open, dominate the hardcourt season once again and will go hard to repeat at the U.S. Open. She loves to play; moreover, she loves to beat her unfriendly countrywoman, Henin-Hardenne. However, the creative Henin-Hardenne will best Clijsters and the rest of the field for her third French Open title.


13. Will France's Mary Pierce and Amelie Mauresmo again end the year in the top five?

No. As great a year as 30-year-old Pierce had in 2005, reaching the French, U.S. and WTA Championship finals, she's bound to take a downward turn physically. Mauresmo won her first "major" crown at the WTA Championships and finally showed that she's capable of overcoming her nerves and winning a Slam. She's most likely to do so at Wimbledon, but the 26-year-old is way too injury-prone to challenge for the top five once again

14. Will the Russians rise as a group again?

No, because outside of Sharapova and 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, they don't have another dominant player amongst their dozen or so good ones. Anastasia Myskina and Elena Dementieva are both fine competitors and will challenge for top 10 spots, but they are known quantities, as are Nadia Petrova, Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva — all good, but not great players.

15. Who will be the women's breakthrough players?

When she was named the Sexiest Player of 2005 in a tennsireporters.net fan poll, Serbian 18-year-old Ana Ivanovic was pleased, but she kept her mind on court. "I'm very honored that fans voted for me for this award," said Ivanovic, who finished 2005 ranked a career-high No. 16. "Although very flattering, I know that all these awards are ultimately based upon my tennis results, and therefore I am very pleased to be receiving them."

The tall and strong brunette is powerful and fearless and should she get into top shape, crack the top 10 and stay there. She'll be joined by Czech 16-year-old sensation Nicole Vaidisova, who won three titles in 2005 and can knock the cover off the ball.

16. Will Anna Kournikova launch a comeback?

Not in singles (too much work), but don't count her out in doubles. Martina Hingis has always enjoyed competing with high-profile partners, and Kournikova has to be tired of playing in hit and giggle exhibitions

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post #11 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 10:29 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

I just love it when authors get it so wrong.

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post #12 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 11:16 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

To be fair, if it hadn't been for injuries, Kim might well have won the AO and the U.S.Open. But his dislike for Justine really shines through. I don't mind bias from columnists like Weirtheim who are basically paid to be opinionated but Cronin sets himself up as impartial when he really isn't.
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post #13 of 245 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 11:51 PM
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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

Ok- here's that other Gem.

Assessing the women's year-end Top 20 2005
Davenport leads pack without big title

By Matthew Cronin, Tenni****************.net


Rankings used are the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's year-end rankings.

1. Lindsay Davenport: It's hard to chide a player who won six titles – but no Slams, no year-end championsh ip nor any major US crowns means that Davenport failed to light up the scoreboard in '05. Still, she comes in as No. 1. Now, if she could just get that Wimbledon final back …

2. Kim Clijsters: Her mental toughness was in question until she out toughed the US Open field, when she locked up player of the year honors. The Belgian says she'll retire after 2007, but players are allowed to change their mind, especially if they can put together a two-Slam title season next year.

3. Amelie Mauresmo: Before the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championsh ips, you could say it was just a ho-hum year for the French woman. But, she came through in a big way over three major players in LA and now will be a legitimate threat at the Slams.

4. Maria Sharapova: The Russian went through huge growing pains in 2005 both on court and off. She was very close to coming through at three Slams and the tour championsh ips, but her ailing body hasn't caught up to her strong desire to dominate yet.

5. Mary Pierce: She couldn't have asked for much better year at the age of 30, but the American-Frenchwoman love to have the US Open and tour championsh ips finals back. (And, let's not even discuss Roland Garros.)

6. Justine Henin-Hardenne: The Belgian had a terrific two-and-a-half-month stretch on clay, but that was all. If she doesn't manage to stay healthy next year, her career will be in jeopardy.

7. Patty Schnyder: For all her talent, she simply does not trust her own abilities. A serious off-season strengthen ing regimen should be in order so her balls don't continue to land so short late in third sets.

8. Elena Dementieva: Give the Russian a big "A" for effort and she and Nadia Petrova punch the clock nearly every week. Her Slam results were spotty, but you have to love her Fed Cup triple.

9. Nadia Petrova: Like Mauresmo, she took a big step up, winning her first title toward the end of the season. The Russian is promising to shorten her schedule and, should she find a competent coach, should threaten the Top 5 in 2006.

10. Venus Williams: Will anyone look back on 2005 and say that Venus had a lousy year when she won her third Wimbledon crown? No, but outside of the AELTC, she was mediocre the other 50 weeks of the year.

11. Serena Williams: You could say the same thing about Serena that you could of Venus; outside of her remarkable run at the Australian Open, she was average. But, in many ways, was much less than that.

12. Nathalie Dechy: This year was without question the year of veteran Frenchwome n, as even this understate d 26-year-old stepped up and had her best year ever.

13. Francesca Schiavone: With Silvia Farina-Elia retired, it's now up to this entertaini ng super-athlete to carry the torch for Italian tennis. With a little more self-belief, she could crack the Top 10.

14. Anastasia Myskina: A horrific first half on court and off with her mother's illness, but the Russian clawed her way back to respectabi lity in the second half of the year. She's not going away.

15. Nicole Vaidisova: With her height, strength and willpower, this 16-year-old Czech should be the next breakthrou gh player.

16. Ana Ivanovic: This 18-year-old Serb has height, power and very decent touch. But, her conditioni ng and decision-making are still suspect.

17. Elena Likhovstev a: Who would have though that 12 years after this willowy Russian was called a future impact player that she would have her finest season to date at the age of 30?

18. Svetlana Kuznetsova: A truly disappoint ing season for the '04 US Open champ, who has completely lost her confidence and sees no way out. Help, Arantxa!

19. Daniela Hantuchova: The Slovak establishe d herself as solid Top-20 player but she's really better than that, or is she? Moreover, is Hantuchova willing to push herself again and then face the bright lights?

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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

1. JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE: Leads a veterans group in the Top 10. It's hard to argue with how consistent she was, or how she played her self into contention everywhere and won two of the five biggest titles, but her losses to Amelie Mauresmo at the AO and Wimby (plus her thrashing at the hands of Maria Sharapova at the US Open) illuminate her year more than her Roland Garros and Sony Ericsson WTA Championships titles do. A very good, but not great year for a great player, who is not, despite her ranking, is not the real POY. Ron Cioffi, my ******************** partner, disagrees, saying her appearances in the five big matches of the year and two victories surely makes Justine is POY.

2. MARIA SHARAPOVA: If she doesn't finish No. 1 in 2007 there will be sizable questions as to how flexible she is in her thinking. She's a tremendous ball striker with a much improved movement and defense, but The Franchise needs to be become more comfortable at the net if she's going to dominate. She came darn close in the second half.

3. AMELIE MAURESMO: Even though she finished No. 3, she's my POY, because she won two of the four Slams and gutted through an injury at the WTA Championships to reach the final. She had her blips (Roland Garros in particular), but she still won more huge matches than any other player during 2006. Anoint her the queen of 2006 with a life-sized French Open asterisk.

4. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Other than her run to the RG final, she wasn't that impressive at the big events, but did recover from her scary '05 mental meltdown and won Miami, Bali and Beijing. However, she has to play smarter and learn to use her sound volley more.

5. KIM CLIJSTERS: Given how much time she missed, it's amazing that she finished ranked No. 5. Because 2007 will be her last year on tour (we think), she'll be carefree and dangerous. But can she find it within her self to go all out for another Slam crown and guarantee herself a place in the HOF? She has two real shots - the AO and USO.

6. NADIA PETROVA: Unquestionably, with six titles, it was the Russian's best year ever, but with that many crowns, how did she manage to avoid the Top 5? By flaming or being unable to compete at three out of the four majors, that's how. If she can find a coach that she trusts, she'll be a big time Slam threat next year.

7. MARTINA HINGIS: Let's be nice: Finishing in the Top 7 after three years off is a super achievement. Let's be more critical: Failing to reach the final four of any major is a lousy result from a five-time Slam champ. The Swiss is much better than that and will prove it Down Under.

8. ELENA DEMENTIEVA: A pretty mundane year from a very talented player, who seems to be more focused on her relationship with her boyfriend, Maxim Afinogenov, than she is at making another run at a major crown. But, it's her first major romantic relationship and she's played a ton, so, unlike her mom, let's cut her some slack.

9. PATTY SCHYNDER: Consistent as always, but the huge results never come. The Swiss has peaked and won't finish 2007 in the Top 10, but at least her bizarre White Mile project will be complete by the summer and we will have plenty to write about.

10. NICOLE VAIDISOVA: Is it just me, or does Vaidisova play too stubbornly and pout too often? The teen can crush the ball, but if you gaze deeply at her post RG results, you'll find lots of holes in her resume. Like Sharapova discovered in 2005, Vaidisova needs to improve her footwork and mid-match strategy a great deal if she's going to compete for the top.


He makes it sound like being consistent for the whole year < winning 2 major grand slams.
If this is the case, why not abolish the Tier 1/2/3 and just play GS for the entire year...

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Re: Rodriguez v. Sharapova

What can you expect Eck? He expected her career to be in jeopardy for 2006.

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