kim clijsters - what a damn shame. as much as i hate those "at their best" comparisons, i'll say it: nobody can top clijsters when she's playing her best. she runs faster than anyone, hits hard, heavy groundies, and plays tennis' most immaculate defense, all of which she can do better than even that other belgian. to see her go from winning a slam and briefly dominating the tour, to piling up consecutive losses to henin, mauresmo, and sharapova, is incredibly disappointing.
there is no conceivable way that clijsters will perform better in 2007 than 2006. she does not have the same confidence and belief that she had in 2005, nor do i think she is going to expend any considerable amount of energy to regain that confidence and belief
she will still beat most players, even most top players, but will fall short in big matches and miss chunks of the year due to insufficient training/injuries. she will not keep her top 5 rank. again, what a waste of talent.
anastasia myskina will probably retire. well, i don't know that, but here's what i do know: her match with amelie mauresmo at wimbledon was quite possibly the worst match of all time. and myskina was supposedly playing well
! mentally and physically she has deteriorated, showing no signs of improvement. in her day, she was never the best player out there, BUT she hit a very hard, flat ball for her small frame... these days her shots seem to have absolutely no pace. her tumble continues.
Anna-Lena Groenfeld is just a poor man's elena bovina, and i mean poor man's when i say poor man's. what an obnoxious forehand this girl has, and an unnecessarily high-risk game which is quite the eyesore. she is too physically imposing to ever fall off the radar completely, but her career will follow the same pattern forever: when all her shots fall in, she'll make a deep run every couple of months, but otherwise, she'll rack up early round losses
vera zvonareva is not at a crossroads as others have said. i still can't believe she has fallen off for so long now, i've been waiting for her to get back to the upper echelons of women's tennis for quite a while. she is quite simply so remarkably sound technically, very strong off her back foot, and posesses such a broad variety of shots. she is going nowhere but up in 2007.
other players at crossroads are: williamsx2, but what can be said about them that hasn't been said already? ana ivanovic is at a crossroads too: she has had very few impressive results, and there is no denying that her game is explosive and has great potential, but her potential hasn't materialized and we've been waiting a long time.
2007 will be interesting, a few veterans will be leaving tennis and there are very few youngsters (vaidisova?) to take their place. this will leave the door wide open for the lower half of the top 10 to take the slams by storm, ala 2004