If you aren't among this group of elite players, then there's a nine out of 10 chance you'll be packing your bags before you know it if you have to go against one of them.
Or at least that's how it should be!
I'm taking the criteria I put together for the previous post and bringing it over to the WTA Tour to create the Tennis Talk, Anyone? Women's Top 10 list. And remember the rules: I'm throwing out the vast amount of injuries many of these players have suffered, as well as the mental maladies that may have hindered them. Determination goes a long way here, and of course, talent does, too.
So here you go: The TTA? Women's Top 10:
1. Serena Williams: Clay, grass, hard courts, Rebound Ace, carpet, nails: It doesn't matter what surface she's on. Remember that little thing called "the Serena Slam?" Plus, while it may seem like she's all offense, all the time, how many times have you seen her get one more ball back in play until she's back in control of the point?
2. Venus Williams: A powerhouse who can out-and-out dictate with her strokes and athleticism. I know that forehand of hers can break down at times, but I think that's more of a mental issue than a technical one—and mental issues don't count here!
3. Amelie Mauresmo: Mauresmo's probably the most versatile player out there—she can slug it out from the back and has good hands around the net. A physically healthy, mentally fit Mauresmo would have about seven to nine Majors in her pocket—and that would include at least one at each of the Big 4.
4. Maria Sharapova: The strategy's simple here: Serve big, crank the reply, hit sledgehammer returns. She's so high on this list, though, because with all the outside stuff going on in her life, you know her biggest thrill is getting out there and competing. She hates to lose.
5. Dinara Safina: I would've had her on this list before her recent run, since it's primarily talent-driven. This new "you'll-have-to-shoot-me-to-win" determination of hers makes her even more dangerous.
6. Ana Ivanovic: A big game and a stated desire to want to win Slams brings her up. She's still pretty young, too, and has plenty of potential to only get better.
7. Jelena Jankovic: Just imagine: an unbandaged, no choking in big matches Jankovic! That would be a sight to see, and many Majors would be hers for the taking.
8. Agnieszka Radwanska: In three years, she'll be number one in the world. Right now, though, she'll have to settle for being number seven on this list. She's already winning titles and making deep runs at tournaments on every surface.
9. Patty Schnyder: If you were to put a quarter in the corner of the Ad service box, I think she would hit it nine out of 10 times. She has tons of options on what to do with the ball—loop it, slice it, drive it—all in the middle of a rally!
10. Elena Dementieva: She's made over 20 career finals in singles, among them two Slam runner-up finishes—all with that serve! Talk about determination! There's players with more talent, but few with her fighting spirit.
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.