Not long ago tennis's Cassandras divined that behemoths with bionic serves, like 6'4", 202-pound Mark Philippoussis, would dominate the men's tour. Were they ever wrong. Never mind that top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt is 5'10"; no other player debunks tennis's big-bang theory as thoroughly as does Belgium's Olivier Rochus. Listed generously at 5'5" and 130 pounds, Rochus, 21, is the smallest male pro in more than 20 years.
Despite giving up nearly a foot in height to Marat Safin, Rochus turned in perhaps the biggest upset of Wimbledon's first week by taking out the second-seeded Russian in four sets. Though the 64th-ranked Rochus had no aces and few service winners, he flummoxed Safin—granted, no difficult feat—with his scrambling and an array of flashy passing shots. ( Rochus would lose in the third round to 5'8" Arnaud Cl�ment.) "He can do so many things," Safin says of Rochus. "It has nothing to do with whether he's short."
Rochus lacks not only a big serve but also penetrating strokes, yet he might be the tour's quickest player after Hewitt. He anticipates well and has touch to spare. "People say, 'If only you were taller,' " he says. "I look at it the other way. If I am taller, maybe don't move as well. I'm done growing, so I'll take the game I have."