Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Road of Harkle

Is this the springboard Ashley Harkleroad needed to get back inside the top 40?

Harkleroad become the poster girl for the U.S. Fed Cup win over Germany this past weekend, taking the spotlight away from Lindsay Davenport's comeback and perhaps announcing that she may be ready to lead the next generation of American tennis players.

I think it's too soon to say, and if history is any indication, Harkleroad is a streaky player at best. She was a terror of good tennis in the spring of 2003 with wins over players like Daniela Hantuchova, Emelie Loit and Meghann Shaughnessy.

The last four collective seasons have been a struggle for the Georgian, who went 106-77 over four years. But the no. 74 player in the world has opened the year 7-3 and now bolstered that performance with an impressive steely-nerve weekend in Fed Cup.

Can she continue her upswing? Only time will tell us for that question.

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