If you want to know what will happen in tennis in 2004, just read this
Posted: Thursday January 8, 2004 2:54PM; Updated: Thursday January 8, 2004 3:43PM
Tennis is back in the agate so all's right with the world. We made a New Year's resolution to stop making lousy predictions, but dozens of you have asked for another round of prognostications and we aim to please. Herewith, a list of divinations for the new tennis season which we guarantee* will come to pass.
* Guarantee the same way ISL guaranteed its solvency
1. The winner of the ATP Champions Race will be: a) Andy Roddick b) Roger Federer c) Juan Carlos Ferrero d) Andre Agassi
2. The player who will finish 2004 inhabiting the WTA's rankings aerie will be: a) Kim Clijsters b) Serena Williams c) Venus Williams d) Justine Henin-Hardenne
3. This player will return from a forgettable 2003 to make big waves: a) Tommy Haas b) Marat Safin c) James Blake d) Gustavo Kuerten
4. The Davis Cup winner will be: a) Argentina b) The U.S. c) Spain d) France
5. This player will win her first Major: a) Amelie Mauresmo b) Chanda Rubin c) Kim Clijsters d) Anastasia Myskina
6. This player will win his first Major: a) Guillermo Coria b) Rafael Nadal c) Paradorn Srichaphan d) Mark Philipoussis e) None of the above
7. Serena Williams will: a) To the delight of Nike, win all four Majors b) Go through the entire season without a dubious 11th-hour withdrawal c) Quit tennis to become a milliner d) Win multiple Slams but, once again, play too few events to claim the top ranking
8. Pete Sampras will: a) Rejoin the Tour as Josh Eagle's doubles partner b) Remain so cloistered as to make Jimmy Connors look as ubiquitous as Snoop Dogg c) Miss tennis and offer his coaching services to Roger Federer d) Sign a 10-day contract with the L.A. Clippers
9. Andre Agassi will turn 34 and: a) Abruptly leave tennis to become the fifth Wiggle b) Finish ranked between No. 6 and No. 10 and announce that 2005 will be his final year c) Lose early during a frustrating summer and officially retire at the U.S. Open d) Turn in another strong year, giving little indication he's thinking about retirement
Jon Wertheim will answer questions from SI.com users in his mailbag each Monday.
10. This Grand Slam champion will call it a career by year's end: a) Lindsay Davenport b) Monica Seles c) Iva Majoli d) Conchita Martinez
11. This player will become a household name (in households other than his/her own): a) Maria Kirilenko b) Wes Moodie c) Victor Hanesu d) Dinara Safina e) All of the above
12. The Tennis Channel will: a) Impressively continue its slow but steady growth b) Syndicate The Vince Spadea Hour c) Win a Cable Emmy for Mullet, the David Nalbandian reality series d) Hire Rush Limbaugh as a correspondent
13. This unpleasant issue will hound the sport more than ever: a) Performance-enhancing drugs b) The economic disparity between the Slams and the run-of-the-mill tour events c) The rash of injuries caused by overplaying and an increasingly competitive workforce d) The overcooked cocktail weenies during cocktail hour at the Clijsters-Hewitt wedding
14. The catchphrase heard most often in 2004 will be: a) "Why did I bother playing the Olympics?" b) "That's Mr. Schuettler to you." c) "Game, Set, Match, Miss Loit." d) "I'm Brian Fellows."
My answers: 1. b 2. a 3. b 4. a 5. c 6. e 7. d 8. b 9. b 10. b 11. e 12. a 13. c 14. a
Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim covers tennis for the magazine and is a regular contributor to SI.com.