Yes, its a bold statement but Anna is the only Russian player that is still improving while others are at a plateau or worse, declining.
#2 Maria S - She's still formidable opponent and Anna seems to have a mental block against her. But her chronic shoulder problem (or is it mental?) is causing havoc with her serve and hampering her game. Also her recent thrashings by Serena and Ivanovic has shaken her confidence. Perhaps she is enjoying her fame and the glamorous lifestyle and no longer has that tenacity, will to win?
I don't think her confidence is all that low, and I don't think motivation is a problem either. She's still one of the best fighters in the sport, and if that shoulder holds up I can see her doing well at Wimby, especially now that there isn't as much pressure on her as last year.
#5 Sveta - has flashes of brilliance but lately, can always count on her to choke under pressure. Its just matter of time before Anna overtakes her.
I agree that Anna overtaking Sveta in the rankings is a distinct possibility.
#8 ANNA - At top of her game with two consecutive QF appearances at majors. Her game is constantly improving and her results show steady improvement. No sign of mental problems. She is not injury proof but recovers quickly
Well, Anna still tends to take losses very hard. She seems to need a string of wins to build back her confidence after a loss. And she can still get nervous. But she's gotten a lot tougher mentally, and I think she can improve even more.
She doesn't lack motivation, that's for sure. And she's become a lot more consistent than most of the others on this list.
#11 Nadia - Picked up back pains to accompany her fragile mental state. Now wondering out loud what her motivation is....what a mess!
I agree on this one. Things are not looking good for Nadia right now (again forced to retire today against Momo? Jeez...).
#12 Lena D - Injuries + shakiest serve on planet earth = getting wiped out by Bartoli. I foresee steady decline.
Lena needs a change in her routine, perhaps even in her life. A new coach, putting a bit more distance between her and her mother, something... Her latest loss to Marion "No it's true, I really am a professional athlete" Bartoli is quite embarrassing.
#13 Safina - When is the last time she did anything of note? Every once in a blue moon, she's dangerous...like her brother.
True. Her level of play is wildly inconsistent, like Marat. She came close to beating Jankovic today, and saved 5 match points. But coming close and actually winning are two different things.
#19 Bepa - Her future came crashing down with her wrist injury, forcing her to miss at least two grand slams already this year. Can she manage yet another comeback? I wouldn't bet my vcash on it.
She was doing well before that wrist injury. She might or might not need an operation.
#32 Poutchkova - This time last year, she was a hot prospect. Now, she is resembling human turnstile.
Tell me about it.
Olga is in a huge sophomore slump right now. She can't hold serve and plays like she has no confidence in her game at all. I hope she can turn things around, because she'll have a lot of points to defend later this year.
#43 Makiri - Tom Petty said it best. "Yeah, I'm free....free falling."
2007 has been a dismal year for Maria so far, with many heart-breaking losses in very close matches (including to Jankovic in Birmingham), but there have been some encouraging signs on grass. I think many of her problems stem from poor tactics, but she's been playing smarter lately (using her sliced backhand and coming to the net instead of just pounding the ball from the baseline). I think a new coach is needed here as well.
When you break if all down, its a no brainer. Anna is the best!
Well, I wouldn't quite call it a no brainer, but there's no question that Anna is the most improved Russian on the tour.
Who knows how high she'll go?