It's a snowy day here in New York and my mind's wandering about the results at this week's Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. (I know, I need to get out more!) The tournament's been wracked by losses of top players to injury (Roger Federer and Andy Roddick) and upsets (Andy Murray and Marin Cilic). Three-fourths of the semifinal field is set with Novak Djokovic, Jurgen Melzer and Mikhail Youzhny through. The fourth spot will be filled by Marcos Baghdatis or Michael Berrer, who are going at it right now.
And as my mind wanders further, I wonder if Baghdatis is on a return trip to the top 10? And if so, will he stay there?
I thought that was going to be the case last year after he had a decent start to the season, but that old stickler, injuries, got in the way. He came on strong at the end of the season, winning Challenger after Challenger before taking the title in Stockholm. His good form continued into 2010 with a title in Sydney and an alright Aussie showing before injury reared up again. Now, here he is with a deep run in Dubai. And with the field so depleted here, who's to say he can't bring home the title?
The clay season will slow him down, but when playing conditions speed up again, the ex-Wimbledon semifinalist should be in the mix.
And perhaps a top 10 finish will be in the Bagh! (Get it? Like "in the bag" but I used "Bagh" instead, a shortened version of his name! OK, sorry for that. The cabin fever's getting to me!)
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.