Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Foreseeing the French

The draws aren't out yet, but I'm ready to make my calls.

Roger Federer - After his win in Hamburg last week, the Mighty Fed just may be the hottest player on tour. Yes, he was in somewhat of a 'slump' prior to the Masters win, but his confidence must be booming after scrapping his way into the finals and destroying Rafael Nadal and his 81-match winning streak.

The past four years have been a growing period for Federer, especially at Roland Garros. He's gone from pretender to contender on the red stuff, and you have to credit his all-court game and steady head for such a drastic improvement.

Translation: it's time for that final breakthrough in Federer's career. Grand Slam for 2007 possible? I'm thinking so.

Jelena Jankovic - The Serb has solidly worked her way up the rankings to a career-high number 4 in this week's rankings. What's more impressive than her game lately has been her level of play. After winning titles in Auckland and Charleston, Jankovic was stellar in Berlin last week, taking out five quality opponents in five matches for her third title of the season.

This year alone, Jankovic has lost three times to Justine Henin 6-4 in the third. While many of us remember her meltdown in the semifinals of the USO last fall, a maturation has occurred this year for the 22-year-old that has allowed her to raise her game to another level. This slam is a turning point for Jelena: she'll win her maiden major while defeating Justine (in the semis or finals) for the first time.

Then it's on to Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, here's what TENNIS Magazine is thinking about the women.

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