Both tours are playing their final warm-ups before hitting the All-England Club for the biggie: The men are in Nottingham and the women in Eastbourne, and both are in s'Hertogenbosch for a co-ed affair they like to call the Ordina Open. But while taking a look at the draws for the two women's tournaments (and last week's two) I noticed something: Where are the five top contenders for to come away with the Wimbledon crown? That being Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams, new number-one Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic?
I know injuries, fatigue and general "wanting-to-rest-uppedness" are more than likely the reasons for no warm-ups among the five. Also, those aren't the only spots where you can get in some grass-court practice, but I'm of the mind-set where players showing up at tournaments before the Major can only help them in the long run as long as they don't overdo it.
Ivanovic (pictured at the parade in her honor back in Belgrade) I can see taking a break: After all, she did emerge the winner of the last big tournament, the French. The others, I'm not sure. They should be as sharp as possible going into possible matches against each other. Who knows? Maybe playing that extra tournament would have given the edge in a match-up.
The five I mentioned are pretty much heads and shoulders above the other players on most occasions, I feel. And you don't even have to look at a Wimbledon draw to know the winner should emerge from that group. But what happens when Serena or Jelena has to play Kateryna Bondarenko, who's just won on the grass and is match-sharp? Watch out.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.