2004 Year-End Ranking Predictions


Okay, we'll admit that our year-end 2003 predictions did not turn out so well. But hey, we'll give it another go and try to do a little bit better this year. Maybe even a lot better. So herewith, some thoughts on 2004:
January 4, 2004

ATP 2004 YEAR-END RANKING PREDICTIONS

RANK PLAYER THE SKINNY
1.
Roger Federer When his game is on, one can only think of the words of MC Hammer: Can't Touch This.
2.
Juan Carlos Ferrero

The game's best from the ground, should another Roland Garros title and his continued strong hardcourt play will cement this Spaniard among the Top 3.

3.
Andy Roddick Can he repeat his incredible 2003 second-half run? No way. But under Gilbert "The Great Hope of Tennis" won't have another sub-par first-half.
4.
Guillermo Coria Has the talent to contend for Slam titles and for No. 1, but young players usually don't respond well to marriage, especially when they are from Argentina. The big breakout will have to wait.
5.
Lleyton Hewitt Davis Cup proved he still has the heart of a lion and the fire to win. Now if he would only play a few more events he could quickly return among the game's elite. C'mon.
6.
Tim Henman Armed with a healthy shoulder and a new playbook courtesy of Paul Annacone, the serve-and-volley routine will continue to reap rewards.
7.
Rainer Schuettler German ironman plays a consistent, low risk game that will get him far in most events, but not far enough for a Top 5 finish.
8.
David Nalbandian Has the game, the fire and the attitude that could lead to a Slam win and a spot among the final Top 3. But a bum wrist makes him a risky pick.
9.
Andre Agassi Will add a few more titles to his resume, but the Slam victories are over. Of course, that's been written many many times before only to be proven wrong in the end.
10.
Carlos Moya The former No. 1 should enjoy another solid season, but his best tennis may be behind him.
     

WTA TOUR 2004 YEAR-END RANKING PREDICTIONS

RANK PLAYER THE SKINNY
1.
Justine Henin Will be tough to repeat two Slam titles but her No. 1 finish in 2003 should keep her confidence sky high.
2.
Kim Clijsters The soon-to-be Mrs. Hewitt will win her fair share of events and may even pick up a first Slam, but a lack of mental toughness will keep her from the top spot.
3.
Serena Williams Sister Serena is about to find out that in tennis you can't take seven months off and expect an immediate return to the top. Remember, even when she was playing well in 2003, it wasn't like she was cruising to victory over her top foes.
4.
Amelie Mauresmo It's time for the Frenchwoman to make use of all her weapons, beat Kim and finally become a serious contender for the top spot.
5.
Venus Williams Will return to the Top 5, where she really belongs, but like her sister, a lot will depend on off court interferences and motivation.
6.
Anastasia Myskina The Russian, who has quietly risen up the ranks, should finally breakthrough for a big Slam result.
7.
Jennifer Capriati J-cap is still chugging along, but no longer has the game to get past the top players, especially Venus.
8.
Elena Dementieva Her good finish to 2003 should carryover into more positive results in the coming year.
9.
Lindsay Davenport Injuries will be the key for the aging Davenport.
10.
Maria Sharapova The "New Anna" looks to figure among the Top 10. Plus, always bet on the player who grunts the loudest. Can you hear me now?


2004 GRAND SLAM PREDICTIONS

Australian Open
Roger Federer defeats Andy Roddick
Justine Henin defeats Amelie Mauresmo
French Open
Juan Carlos Ferrero defeats Guillermo Coria
Kim Clijsters defeats Justine Henin
Wimbledon
Roger Federer defeats Andy Roddick
Serena Williams defeats Justine Henin
US Open
David Nalbandian defeats Lleyton Hewitt
Justine Henin defeats Kim Clijsters




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