The Annual Tennis Holiday Wish List

Tennis for the year 2007 has been over for a while. The U.S. men, led by Andy Roddick, returned the Davis Cup to the North American continent with a 4-1 victory over the Russians just a few weeks ago to place the punctuation on the end of the 2007 season. Justine Henin finished first in the WTA again, and Roger Federer ruled the men's game on his way to fulfilling the prophecy of him being the greatest player ever.

The Serbians were the good news story, with Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, and Novak Djokovic all rising to the top of the men's and women's ranks and showing the world that it's the size of your heart, not the size of your country.

The season ended on a sour note, however, with Martina Hingis, the Swiss Miss of my dreams, retiring very abruptly from the game for the second time amidst the announcement that she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon this year.

With the allegations of match-fixing also looming, the professional tennis game has a lot of work ahead for them in 2008.

Which leads me to this, my annual Tennis Christmas Wish list. More than ever, the game of tennis needs the man in the little red suit to be more then generous this year. So, Santa, here is my list. I'll leave some really big cookies for you:

10. Please bring more success to the U.S. men. Arlen Kantarian has now taken over the entire professional side to the USTA, and let's hope he can bring to the men and women the same magic he's brought to the U.S. Open and Radio City Music Hall.

9. More Andre Agassi, less John McEnroe. In brief moments this past year, the gracious champion Andre provided us a presence and commentary as only he can. I love Johnny Mac, but I am getting tired of him being the face of tennis. Oh, and Bob Costas, please help Santa and no more John on your HBO show!

8. A major title each for Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, and Novak Djokovic. Simple, isn't it? They are all great people and have worked hard all year. I'm guessing they are on the nice list this year.

7. More face time with the young, upcoming women. Anna Chakvetadze, Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka, and Agnes Szavay all had breakthrough matches in 2007 and it would be a nice stocking stuffer to see more of them in 2008.

6. A string of pearls from BeMyPearl.com from WTA veteran Alina Jidkova for my lovely girlfriend, Suzanne. Alina gave us some great tennis this year. Maybe the jolly little man can give her some additional success both on and off the court.

5. More indoor tennis courts in the NY/NJ/CT Tri-State area. While the tennis participation numbers continue to climb, indoor tennis facilities in one of the most densely populated places on the planet continue to disappear. I'm looking to see more green and blue court surface in the aerial shots of the area on Google Earth.

4. A grand slam sweep for Maria Sharapova. She proved to be a true professional this year, and the world can use a few more of those. Maybe the holiday season will provide her with enough magic to win all four big ones in the same year, as well.

3. An award for Sports Central. The longest running fan site, and one of the best sources of sports news and opinion on the planet. With everyone trying to copy it, why not some recognition in 2008?

2. A new collection of racquets for my study. I'm hoping that along with my Vantage customs that a Bosworth, Wilson Pro Staff Saint Vincent, a Dunlop McEnroe, and a Prince Speedport wind up in boxes under my tree, then on my wall. Maybe the holidays will bring continued success to all the racquet industry, as well.

1. A year of tolerance in the world, with tennis as the driving force. No sport in the world is more universal, and the shift of the WTA Tour toward Europe and Asia recognizes the contributions of women in society and the multi-cultural aspects of the world. While I'm still hoping for some good old USA champions, the best part of the game remains its diversity.

Well, that's it for this year. I'm not hoping for too much I hope. I'll keep a stocking by the fireplace for all of you, as well.

Happy New Year and happy holidays!

Comments and Conversation

December 12, 2007

Drazen:

Idi u pizdu materinu i ti i tvoja Sharapova

December 12, 2007

Rich:

I don’t think Maria “Shriek”apova will EVER win the calendar Grand Slam, but I agree with your #5 - more NYC indoor courts please!!!

December 13, 2007

Sharon O.:

Sorry, I so disagree with you re: McEnroe. Agassi as an announcer is a sweetie, but he sure does talk too much. Frankly, he’s a showboat. Mac knows when to comment and when, interestingly enough, to shut up during the match. I vote for Mac in the booth anyday…

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