Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams have both made the finals in this week's big event in Madrid (not against each other, silly!) It's been a big week for both of them because they each reclaimed a familiar spot in the rankings during this tournament: getting back to the number-two spot behind Roger Federer and Serena Williams, respectively.
You have to wonder, can they both reclaim that top spot? Based on form alone this year, I would definitely say so. You can almost consider them de facto number ones, in my opinion.
Sure, neither one of them won the Australian this year, but look what they've done compared with Federer and Serena, whose only titles of 2010 came at the Aussie: Despite concern about his health and going without a title for a year, Rafa's won two ATP 1000 singles titles, won the doubles at another and firmly without a doubt established himself as the overwhelming favorite to win the French.
Venus defended her titles in Dubai and Acapulco. And sure, those aren't the biggest crowns on the block, but to win a hard-court title one week then pick up some hardware on the dirt the very next week is an impressive accomplishment. She then went on to make the finals at one of the biggest stops on either tour in Miami.
Granted, things have been tough for Federer and Serena after their Slam wins. But Rafa's scheduling and pacing has been impeccable, and Venus is taking it back to 2001 with her play. If they end up on top, I wouldn't be surprised.
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.