Searching for answers in 2009
What will happen to Roger Federer in the 2009 season? Will he be No. 1?
Will any WTA player emerge as a star to replace Justine Henin? Jankovic?
Welcome back, everyone.
As tennis' off-season wraps up -- we hear it fell on a Tuesday this year -- let's start with a pop quiz. My answers are below.
1. This ATP player will finish 2009 at No. 1:
a) Roger Federer
b) Rafael Nadal
c) Novak Djokovic
d) Andy Murray
2. This WTA player will finish the year at No. 1:
a) Maria Sharapova
b) Jelena Jankovic
c) Ana Ivanovic
d) Serena or Venus Williams
3. Roger Federer will:
a) Take advantage of a Nadal's injury-induced absence and finally win the French Open.
b) Exorcise last year's demons and win Wimbledon again.
c) Announce that he is taking a tennis sabbatical to intern at Vogue.
d) Fail to win a single Major.
4. Maria Sharapova will:
a) Undergo surgery on her mysterious shoulder injury.
b) Return from a six-month absence to reclaim the No. 1 ranking.
c) Use her NBC connections to land a job on the "Tracy Jordan Show."
d) Win matches when healthy but endure another bittersweet season.
5. Andy Roddick will:
a) Benefit from new coach Larry Stefanki and remain in the top ten.
b) Win the second Major of his career.
c) Try to appear to have considered opinions while his wife-to-be registers for gravy boats and napkin rings.
d) Lose his fitness after one too many late night runs to BLT Steak.
6. You will know how to pronounce this name by year's end:
a) Caroline Wozniacki
b) Anastasia Sergeyevna Pavlyuchenkova
c) Sergei Stakhovsky
d) Eduardo Schwank
e) all of the above
7. This unpleasant issue will continue to rear its head:
b) match fixing
c) relentless player injuries
d) relentless petty politics
8. This WTA player will win her first Major:
a) Jelena Jankovic
b) Dinara Safina
c) Elena Dementieva
d) None of the above
9. This country will win the Davis Cup:
10. This player will announce her return to the circuit:
a) Justine Henin
b) Kim Clijsters
c) Mary Pierce
d) Jennifer Capriati
11. The ATP's and WTA's respective calendar adjustments will:
a) Finally encourage players to establish a bona fide union.
b) Trigger the usual gripes but will ultimately represent an improvement over the past system.
c) Increase interest in regional tours, which converge at the Grand Slams.
d) Transform tennis into the fastest growing sport this side of Ultimate Fighting.
12. Lindsay Davenport will name her next offspring:
7. C and D
11. B and C
We'll resume the mailbag on Wednesday. Happy New Year everyone!