Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nary a top 10 player in sight (and maybe some should be)

The Slam season has come and gone (actually it's been gone a couple of weeks now), but there's still plenty of tennis to get excited about. The men are competing in Bucharest on clay and on indoor hard courts in Metz, France. The women have a couple of stops, too, in Seoul and Uzbekistan, both outdoors on the hard stuff.

But a funny thing about this week: No members of the current top 10 on the ATP and WTA sides are out there looking to pad their stats by entering these draws. Granted, there's some top-20 players out there, like Marin Cilic and defending champ Gael Monfils in Metz and Nadia Petrova in Korea, all who've been ranked in the single digits in their careers. I feel, though, a few members of the higher-ups should be out there. For instance:

* Nikolay Davydenko should be in Romania: Now Davydenko, I hope, would be the first to tell you he shouldn't be in the top 10 right now with the year he's had. But he hasn't played since that first-round ouster at the U.S. Open. He has a lot of indoor points to defend from last year, so maybe he's gearing up for that. But I think a solid clay-court run could've helped him out confidence-wise.

* Andy Roddick should be in Metz: I'm usually a big A-Rod cheerleader, but I'm feeling a lot less optimistic. Why not play indoors against a field of guys that he's done a lot of running over in the past? Hopefully, he's just at home doing everything possible to get ready for the last big indoor tournaments, Shanghai and Paris. I just don't know about him contending in the larger events right now: That Miami win was a looonng time ago.

* Francesca Schiavone should be in Korea: That U.S. Open run was nice, but I think a little more play could help her in the months ahead as she's had some success indoors. I'll cut her some slack: After all, she did win the French Open!

* Elena Dementieva should be in Tashkent: This season hasn't gone as planned for the veteran. A romp through a less-than-stellar field could've shown she was back on track.

I guess everybody needs a break, though, and I bet these players are glad I don't make their schedule!

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