Looking Back, Moving Forward

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 15, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — Well, there is not much question that Rafael Nadal is the best tennis player on the planet. He is also fast becoming the best player of his generation and that includes now No. 3 Roger Federer.

Nadal primed all year for this year’s Open and made it even more important than Wimbledon. He changed the grip on his serve and it yielded more mph.

His serve on hardcourts was once perceived to be his weakness. Nadal also spent the entire year healthy,a luxury that he has not had before. He has now won three majors in a row and at the Open only lost one set — in the Final against Novak Djokovic.

It is not hard to fathom Nadal winning the Australian and the French to open next season and to give him five majors in a row. He will soon be on the heels of the Federer majors’ record.

On the women’s side, Kim Clijsters is playing as well as anyone in the world not named Serena Williams. She won her second Open in a row after coming back from retirement.

Serena did not play in the Open because of an injury to her foot. That injury is almost healed. Cjisters will be challenged next season by a healthy Williams and a healthy Justine Henin.

Look for juniors Evan King, U.S. Open Boys’ Junior winner Jack Sock, and Sloane Stephens to make some noise in 2011. King is a sophomore at the University of Michigan and is the top ranked under-18 junior in the United States.

He will be the favorite to win the NCAA’s this coming season.

Sock and Stephens have not made decisions about college or turning pro and those will probably be imminent. We see both of them attending college for at least one year.