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The Deuce Club, 12.17 12/17/2010 - 7:00 PM

By Jackie Roe, TW Social Director

Hi there, TWibe! Are you enjoying the holiday season or counting the days 'til it's over? I'm embarrassingly behind on my Christmas shopping and card-writing; that'll keep me occupied this weekend. Still, I participated in my office Secret Santa exchange and our local Angel Tree program . . . which means I've only bought gifts for people I don't know. Maybe that's the way it should be.

As promised, I've finally tallied the top vote-getters for our 2010 ATP Awards. The TWIbe has spoken, and the winners are:

Most Valuable Player: Nadal in a landslide, not surprisingly.

Most Improved Player: This was a tight one, but Melzer eked out the victory over Monfils.

Breakout Player: Another close one. Llodra came out on top, with Berdych and Haase tying for second.

Most Disappointing Player: Most of you agreed—Cilic was the biggest letdown in 2010.

Best Rivalry: Nadal/Murray by one vote over Federer/Djokovic.

Match of the Year: Nadal/Murray WTF SF.

(Many thanks to everyone who participated.)

We're nearing the end of December, which can only mean one thing—it's tennis wish list time! You may remember that Gauloises gave us the idea back in 2008, so of course I had to bring her back to continue the tradition. But this time, she's not alone; Gauloises and Jewell have teamed up to analyze their own—and each other's—tennis wish lists from last year, in addition to sharing their wishes for 2011. Enjoy, and after you're done reading, draw up your own tennis wish list for the new year!

DelPo Click here to see Gauloises’s 2010 Tennis Wish List.

Jewell’s review of Gauloises’s 2010 Tennis Wish List

Well, Gauloises, JMDP stayed alive, at least . . . but it doesn’t feel like a triumph, somehow.  All the top eight at the end of the year managed to play the World Tour Finals, but with injuries to JMDP, Davydenko, Tsonga and Gonzo, among others during 2010, can’t really say it was healthier. Looking on the bright side—Nole & Murray both made a Slam final and at least a SF in 2010. That’s better than 2009, right? (They’re getting closer!) Vika came close to a Slam SF in Australia, but I’ve hardly seen her since. Moving on pretty quickly from Cilic to Gonzo—I do remember a pretty good match against Andy Roddick in Australia. That’s it.  As for the triumphant return of a healthy David Nalbandian, well, that would’ve been nice. Where in fact *is* Licky? Ancic played 14 actual matches somewhere. (Score!) The WTA finals at the AO and FO were both fun in different ways.

Gauloises’s verdict on her 2010 tennis wish fulfilment

This is why bluffing the universe doesn’t work. I deliberately aimed my Delpo-related expectations low because at the time, it seemed like the worst possibility was that he’d have a slump and be derided all year as a one-Slam wonder and all-round disappointment. In an attempt to preempt the inevitable disappointment, I was a smartass, and the universe smacked me down. Well played, universe. Well played.

It's a common theme in many of these wishes. A healthier ATP? Please. Sabine Lisicki in the top 10? She’s barely played all year. Gonzo being his bad self? Hardly, and the dearth of epic, entertaining matches this year is not a coincidence.

Andy or Nole to win a Slam? As if. They played one good Slam each this year. Don’t let Jewell’s guilt-induced Pollyanna impression fool you: closer, in the context of this wish, means nothing.

Good things: I still believe in Vika’s winning credentials despite her turbulent year. Cilic did learn to string wins together, and he did crack the top 10—for all of one month in February. Nalbandian managed to stay more or less healthy, took a big title in Washington and put in some Davis Cup heroics, which is (compared to 2009) a reasonable year for him. And while Wimbledon and the USO featured dull finals on the women’s side, the AO and RG finals were excellent. 

Meanwhile, Mario Ancic has a girlfriend called Petals. Seriously.

Gauloises's 2011 Tennis Wish List

1. Breakthroughs. I want them, especially in the ATP. The WTA is never going to lack for character or interest, but the ATP is facing losing the Hewitt-Nalbandian-Gonzalez-Roddick-Ferrero generation over the next couple of years, and then where will we be? If you want a picture of the future, picture an ageless Fedal stamping on a faceless everybody else, forever. I don’t care who the breakthroughs come from—Dimitrov, Kontinen, Haase, Velotti, Kuznetsov, Krajinovic, de Bakker, even Berankis. New blood, please.

2. First-Time Slam Winners. On either tour. There are so many people that I would love to see nab themselves a major title. It’s too late for Dementieva. Don’t let it be too late for them too. (David, Jelena, Andy Murray, I‘m talking to you.)

3. Delpo. Trying to play the universe didn’t work so I’m going to come out and say it; I want Delpo back. I want him healthy, and I want him in the top 20 by the end of 2011. Just 242 places to go. Your time starts now, Delpo.

JJ Click here for Jewell’s 2010 Tennis Wish List—you’ll find it in the Comments at 1:20 AM.

Gauloises’s review of Jewell’s Tennis Wish List

I think we can safely say your Rafa wish was fulfilled, Jewell. I know he had his moments with being injured, but it didn’t stop him from dominating about 8 months of the year and breaking records right, left and centre.  As for Murray to win a slam—“closer” means nothing here. Universe says . . . wish denied. Team GB may have lost 3-2 to Lithuania, but they bounced back by beating Turkey in the relegation tie. To be fair, the Turks had forgotten to bring their shoes. As for Nalby coming back as a contender—for what? The always enjoyable “best player to never win a Slam” title? (Although there were about five minutes this summer when serious thought was being given to El Rey as a USO dark horse.) In the sense that Nole left it until almost the last moment to redeem what was a pretty lacklustre season for him, wish fulfilled; so it’s your fault, re: Wozniacki; JJ had a great chance at RG and muffed it conclusively. Hold your Ana wish for 2011, though she proved herself contender-ish at the end of 2010. I wouldn’t say “lots” of good, hard-fought matches, nor would say respect for all players was displayed. Better luck in 2011! 

As for no more Fedal wars—it’s a beautiful sentiment, John Lennon. Keep on imagining there’s no animosity on either side. It’s easy if you try . . .

Jewell’s verdict on her 2010 tennis wish fulfilment

Rafa’s year fulfilled every hope and provided a nice bonus or two, although I can’t say he was uninjured and healthy for all of it. Before you all jump on me, I know it pales in comparison to others’ injury troubles—but it still didn’t feel too good when he limped out of Australia. Wishes 2 through to 4 were a disaster, really—don’t anyone EVER tell me that GB should be just fine ever again, please—as were 7 and 9. Wish number 10? Cautious yes . . .

Quite pleased about Ana showing sparks of life—I take all credit, of course. As for wish number 6, well, I’d better just say sorry to Samantha for that one!

Jewell's 2011 Tennis Wish List

1. A “Rafa Slam.” Yeah, I know, it’s as greedy as all get-out, but I’m beginning to realise that when it comes to your favorite, there’s always more to wish for.  

2. Slam wins for Murray and Jankovic. Hey, it could happen.

3. “I don’t do down.” A little less negativity about, well, everything, I guess. I’ll start myself by going into positivity overdrive about the state of British tennis. Well . . . I’ll try.

That was fun, ladies! Your turn, TWibe. And have a wonderful weekend!

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Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC) 12/18/2010 at 06:23 AM

Corrie I am with you on Gonzo' return. I think he is out due to a hip injury. My tennis wish: 1. JMDP manages to crack the top 30; 2. Gisela and Flavia win a grand slam; 3. Rockin' Robin doesn't lose his momentum and 4. Vera to win a grand slam. I am sure there is a few more.

Argentina to finally win Davis Cup.

Posted by Tic 12/18/2010 at 06:25 AM

Mario's gf name is Latica, which translates as "Petal", in singular.

Not much wierder than Hazel, Ivy, Olive or Flora, really.

Her full name is Latica Ivanisevic, she's an Assistant Marketing Manager in a large company, a brunette, and she & Mario have been an item for 4 months now, after he broke up with his previous gf of 3 years. All that from Croatian gossip rags, of course.

Posted by thebigapple 12/18/2010 at 06:45 AM

Wish? Fed to win AO..Actually Fed to win everything.

Since he will not, some supporting wishes:
Delpo to come back strong. Regain his health and win big!
Tsonga or Monfils or Gulbis or Soderling to win their first slam
Murray..hmmm...deserves something (cannot say what!)
Nole also...something good for him though.
Nalbanian, Roddick..something good for them too. Roddick for AO?
Nadal to play an great match the next time I see him live. A match with Rafa taking the agressive play to his opponent.
Rafa to give me back the money I spent to see him at FO 2010.
Venus to win Wimby.
Kim to retire again. Or get badly beaten by Serena.
Serena to recover from the mother of all small cuts.
Flavia Penneta to win big again...
Hingis to stay married to her horse for more than 6 months.

Posted by Carol (vamos Rafa and Wade, you're my heroes) 12/18/2010 at 07:58 AM

Two of my sport wishes for 2011

A healthy Rafa and keeping the #1

Second ring for Wade (sorry to Lakers fans lol)

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 12/18/2010 at 08:57 AM

Hi everyone,

My wish list it as follows :

Rafa to win everything in sight and to remain healthy.

Venus to return healthy and strong and to win at least one slam ... hopefully Wimbledon.

Serena, del Potro and all the players, men and women, to come back healthy and remain that way.

If Rafa can't win 4 slams, then Andy Murray to win one.

4 wishes isn't really being greedy, is it ?

Posted by mick1303 12/18/2010 at 08:57 AM

My wishes for 2011:

ATP: Australian - Slam for Kolya
French – Slam for Del Potro
Wimbledon & US Open – Slams for Federer.
Federer beating Nadal several times.
Federer reaching #1 at least for a couple of weeks.
Federer winning YEC #6

WTA: Australian, French and Wimbledon – Slams for Clijsters
US Open – Slam for Azarenka or Sharapova or Zvonareva or Wozniacki; anybody but Henin and Williams.

Posted by Master Ace 12/18/2010 at 09:37 AM

Australian Open Wildcard Playoff Final at 7 PM:

WTA - Jelena Dokic vs Olivia Rogowska followed by
ATP - Peter Luczak vs Marinko Matosevic

Posted by Franchise 12/18/2010 at 10:03 AM

My wish list,everybody being fresh and healthy for 2011, Azarenka, Caro and Vee winning all grand slams, everybody but Clijsters( sorry guys)
Federer and Nadal playing in all grand slam finals in 2011 and "killing" each other while playing lol

Posted by Aube,I hate the snow and these everlasting cold days,not funny!!! 12/18/2010 at 11:00 AM

lol,there's really nothing to be sorry about,everbody has their wishes and yours even if they conflict with mine or someone else doesn't offend...
The only problem there is, is we're probably asking the same "SANTA" to grant our wishes,hence the complexity of his grants!
May all my wishes be fulfilled!!!

Posted by Roddick fan from Virginia 12/18/2010 at 11:18 AM

My wish list for 2011:

1) For AndyR to win Wimbledon (His fav) or The US Open (My fav).

2) For MardyF to be in the Top 10 by Cincinnati and finish in Top 10.

3) For SammyQ to make his first Major semi and finish in Top 16.

4) For JohnIs to make his first Major semi and finish in Top 16.

5) For the Bryans to win two Majors and finish #1 again.

6) For JamesB to finish in the Top 32.

7) For RobbyG to finish in the Top 40.

8) For RyanH to make a Major sweet sixteen and finish in Top 50.

9) For Team USA to Win Davis Cup.

10) For DonaldY, RyanS, MichaelR, RobertK, BobbyR, RajeevR, and JesseL to finish in the Top 100.

I feel all are possible with 1 and 9 the hardest and 2 and 6-8 needing full health by 28-31 year olds. 3,4, and 10 need improved play. 5 looks the easiest to fulfill, but things can happen to derail the simpliest of things.

Posted by x-fan 12/18/2010 at 11:42 AM

Here are the rest of my wishes for 2011:

5. A Masters Shield for these players: Gulbis, Berdych, Roddick, Cilic, Verdasco, Soderling, Ferrer, Youzhny, Monfils.

6. For Dimitrov (106) and Tomic (208) to finish 2011 within the top 100.

Posted by Arun 12/18/2010 at 02:59 PM

Ok. I do have a wish. I wish that the people in media drop their narrative crap and their tendencies to overstate/understate certain things just to suit their narratives.

Posted by wilson75 12/18/2010 at 03:26 PM

"Ok. I do have a wish. I wish that the people in media drop their narrative crap and their tendencies to overstate/understate certain things just to suit their narratives."


Posted by Mrs Tennis 12/18/2010 at 04:45 PM

I have two wishes:

1. Rafa wins the AO and successfully defends all of his titles.

2. Tennis Channel gets rid of that crawl running along the bottom of the screen ruining everything and making the screen distortedly shorter and all it does is run the same thing over and over and over and over and it is soooooooooooooo annoying!

That'll do it for me.

Posted by Corrie 12/18/2010 at 04:47 PM

Arun: +2.

I'd like to see Henin decide to get independent and go coachless for a while, and consequently win a major. That might get her to grow up.

I'd like to see Robin progress further up the rankings with more big wins.

Angel, thanks for telling me it was Gonzo's hip. Those injuries are hard to come back from but I'd like to see him win something big before he retires, with of course, his forehand really zinging.

I'd like more Fedal finals with Roger improving the h2h by playing aggressively.

Posted by observer 12/18/2010 at 05:40 PM

My wish list is very simple...

ATP: Calendar slam for Federer
WTA: Calendar slam for Maria


Failing that, I'd like for Fed to at least stop Nadal from having all 4 slams at once (no animosity behind this wish... it would just be sad for me to see Nadal do something that Federer wasn't able to), and for Maria to win Roland Garros (lololololol) so that she'll have the career slam.

Posted by Diane 12/18/2010 at 06:13 PM


Love the calendar slam for Roger but really do we think that can happen?
All my ATP wishes revole around Roger, but I wouldn't be upset if Andy Roddick could steal a slam or Novak or even Andy Murray. Not a Nadal fan so I hope someone can steal his thunder this year!

WTA wishes include Serena getting healthy, Vee winning a slam and I don't care which one, and Maria returning to her former level and being a contender in the slams. That may not happen for Maria as she is now engaged and planning a wedding....a little distracting but her shoulder status may be the issue that prevents her from getting back to elite status.

Really do wish that there were more young Americans that could make an impact in the new year.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 12/18/2010 at 06:17 PM

First wish (which will certainly go unrealized):

That all ATP and WTA players--especially Juanqui, Kimiko Date Krumm, and the Ever Persistent and Wonderfully Fragrant Hammer of Chengdu--enjoy perfect health at the majors, so that they have the opportunity to play their best at those tournaments.

Second, arising out of the fact that I'm extremely self-centered:

I'd like my rose-colored glasses to make their way back to me from Florida. Altho i seldom have the desire to use those spectacles, on occasion they provide an interesting--if delusional--change of pace in the tennis-viewing experience.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 12/18/2010 at 06:21 PM

I, apparently, have the most recent posts on three separate Pete Bodo TW threads.

Such a situation would be cherished by some women I've known who've insisted--usually successfully--in "having the last word."

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 12/19/2010 at 10:22 AM

Not trying to steal the last word from MSF, LOL, but wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading everyone's wish lists. :) Thanks!

I can never think of anyone other than Mary Archer as being "fragrant". :)

Posted by Kristy 12/19/2010 at 07:10 PM

Boy, am I late to the Deuce Club. I'm supposed to be in London but my flight was canceled due to snow there. So I'm in limbo - going Tues., praying the snow will be gone by then.

Roddick fan, I share your wish for 2011 -- for Andy R. to win either Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.
He has to channel his 2009 form -- he has to get back to that. I fear he's too stubborn to look at his weaknesses.

I also wish Federer could defeat both Nadal and Djokovic in important matches. I don't like to see his power wane. I think I'm a Fed KAD by now. Gulp! How did that happen?

I wish voice mail systems would stop using that idiotic voice telling you in absurd detail how to manage the "leave a message at the tone" Giant Task. So difficult we all need to be told Every Single Time how to manage it.

Sorry for OT! If I don't see/talk again here, happy hols to all.

Posted by warren 12/20/2010 at 06:57 PM

My wish list is for Roger to win at least two slams and be # 1 again. Then for Thomas and Jurgen to win the other two. Cheers for a Joyful Christmas and a Bountiful New Year!!!!

Posted by Pat frm Philippines... 12/22/2010 at 05:19 AM

my wish list for 2011...

1. for vee to win a slam... i would take any... (and no sudden letdowns pls...)
2. for rere to be healthy... and give us entertaining matches... and win a slam again... greatness lies ahead
3. for nole to win his 2nd slam... would love to see him win the USO
4. for dmitrov, krajinovic, and berankis to become top 100 by the year's end...
5. for andy murray to win a slam... no more heartbreaks please...
6. for rafa to complete a "rafa slam"... would love to see him with all those 4 trophies together
7. for vee and rere to play fed cup... so they can play the olympics the year after...
8. for aggie to be top ten again... would love to see drop shots, lobs, nifty slices all over again...
9. for andrea petkovic, dinara, sveta, monfils to continue tweeting all day...
10. for jeson patrombon to win a junior slam.. and become an inspiration to young players from our country!!!

*happy holidays everybody...

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