Top 20 Wishes for the 2013 Tennis Season

January 2, 2013

The holidays are over. That must mean that it’s time to role out my wish list for the 2013 tennis season. Last year, I had a bit of an anxious feeling heading into January. I was consumed by an unrelenting fear that history would repeat itself. Fortunately, I was wrong. Despite a few teary-eyed retirements, this past year was filled with fist-pumping comebacks, as well as some hints as to which up-and-comers will be making their move in 2013

Looking back on 2012, more than a few of my tennis wishes did, in fact, come true. Roger Federer won Grand Slam #17, his 7th Wimbledon title, and as a bonus, returned to the No. 1 ranking. Esther Vergeer still hasn’t lost a match since 2003. Alisa Kleybanova has made a full recovery and will be returning to competition this year.  John Isner broke into the top 10. Venus Williams made a huge climb back in the rankings, back into the top 25. And one of my biggest wishes for 2012 came true: Andy Murray won his first Grand Slam. The Scotsman also won Olympic gold, which more than made up for his tearful loss to Federer in the Wimbledon final.

There were also some wishes that didn’t exactly go my way. Caroline Wozniacki didn't win her first Grand Slam, but you gotta give her credit for having a sense of humor. Vera Zvonareva didn't win one either, and was sidelined with illness for most of the season.

As we enter a hopeful new year, I've provided a list of 20 things I'd like to see happen during the 2013 tennis season:

1)  Maria Sharapova's recent collar bone injury in Brisbane has people wondering if she'll be ready for the Australian Open. Longer term, I'm hoping she can remain injury-free to be able to repeat at the French Open. If injury strikes, she'll have plenty of time to promote Sugarpova. There's always a silver lining.

2) Serena. What can you wish for, other than to rewind 2012 and repeat?

3) Tommy Haas is just a few years away from getting his AARP card, but he's still playing high level tennis. My wish for him is to just keep going.

4) I don't know too much about golf, but I do agree that the Davis Cup is in dire need of some changes. Tennis doesn't need to look much further than the Ryder Cup for ideas.

5) From now on, the month of January should be referred to as "The Down Under Swing" in tennis. Thanks to my Twitter peeps @dootsiez and @StephintheUS for coming up with that one.

6) Rafa. We are still not certain if his return to competition is in the "if" or "when" category, or even how much he will be able to play. My wish for him is to pace himself upon his return.

7) John Isner breaking into the top 5. I'm hoping his new coach, Michael Sell can help get him there.

8) Less dancing, more playing. Football players dance, and it's funny. Tennis players dance, and well, you've seen Dancing With the Stars.

9) Repeat wish from last year: I’d like to witness one more Rafa/Federer Grand Slam final. Simply put, it is the greatest rivalry in tennis.

10) Sam Querrey joining the top 10. He came close at the beginning of 2011 (No. 17), fell sharply (outside the top 100), and now he's back to No. 22.

11) Gael Monfils. Nice to see him back. If he could dive for less for balls, he might be able to play more.

12) I wish someone would put Bernie Tomic and Donald Young in a room and explain a few things about life.

13) Juan Martin del Potro cracking the big 4. He's currently ranked at No. 7, and had a solid 2012, without injury. It really is his turn.
14) I'm hoping that no one gets sick at Indian Wells this year.

15) Poland has one other player to cheer for (other than Aggie Radwanska): Jerzy Janowicz. Give that guy a sponsorship deal, ASAP.

16) Mardy Fish: Be well.

17) It's likely that 20-year-old Jack Sock is starting to feel the pressure to represent American tennis as he continues his climb in the rankings. I'm hoping Chipotle restaurant can help him through it with a sponsorship deal.

18) Brian Baker. How can he top last year as having the most inspirational comeback story? Win BIG.

19) I'd like to see more substantial online viewing opportunities for tennis matches that don't feel like you're doing something illegal by clicking on a link.

20) Roger Federer should produce his own line of cologne, called Eau de Victory.

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