So TOTALLY stealing FD Podcast’s idea on the “if players were stock, who would you buy, and who would you sell, going into 2010?”. I’m going to consider game improvement and achievement for next year, and not necessarily rankings, though one would assume that would go up as well. Going to do 3 for the men and the women. Feel free to call me a moron. Oh, and buy Justine and Kim. Duh.
Buy – Ana Ivanovic
What is there to say? If you’re Ana, the good news is that you can’t possibly have a worse year than you did last year, considering the often easy draws you got from an inflated ranking. The bad news is, you’re no longer in the top 20, and now have something to prove… which in turn is probably good news for us Ana fans. The French Open is her only slam, but she had years of success before that, it wasn’t a fluke. We all know she has the game to climb back to the top and become a contender, and considering this is her lowest ranking in about forever, buy.
Sell – Venus Williams
True, for any other player, it would have been a fantastic year. But interestingly, she (and Vika) only played 17 tournaments (one less than Serena, two less than Dina… 9 less than Caro…) and she had some pretty strange fails, like losing in the second round at AO after being up 5-2 in the third, and to K-Bond in Toronto. Sure, she made Wimbley final, has never been great on clay, and lost to eventual champ Kim at the USO… but she also turns 30 next June, and is pretty well no longer a slam contender other than Wimbledon. She’ll likely be around for a few more years, and still has great, top 10 stuff, but I’d look to sell as inconsistencies start to settle in.
Buy – Alize Cornet
For a player who had such an impressive 2008, its hard to believe that the Trumpet will be having a 2010 that’s anywhere close to 2009. After a fourth round loss at the AO to Dina, in an insane match that she could and should have won, she could only make it as far as the third round, once, in any other major tournament (being Miami, only taking 4 games off JZ). And she finished 2009 up ranked 50th. Jesus. She’s still young and has SOME promise, somewhere in her. Surely. If you’re in a gambling mood, buy, possibly even buy big.
Sell – Flavia Pennetta
Yeah, I know. I floves Flavs too. And I know, we all want a piece of that. But at the same time… a player who has her break out year at 27? She finished the year at 12th spot, and will be 28 in February. I’d love for her to keep rocking it, but something tells me she might not be hanging around the top 10 for that much longer, so it might be a good idea to sell. (Thanks to Steph from FD for the epic pic).
Buy – Sam Stosur
After having health problems and 2008, and being a mainstay contender in doubles, Superhero has decided she’s going to mainly focus on singles in 2010, and looking at her results in 2009, who can blame her? I got a chance to see her beat Kuz in Toronto, and then beat Gypsy 6-3, 6-1, in what was one of the biggest dominations I saw all year. Gypsy was powerless against Sam’s power, and when she would start to come in, Superhero would beast backhands cross-court, forehands down the line or cross-court. And then when it seemed like Gypsy might be on to something, Sam would just come to the net and start volleying the shit out of everything, and as I’ve noted many a time, all Gypsy could do was curse at the sky. Sure, it was just one match (two including the Kuz ownage). But at the same time, seeing that live, and the frustration it was causing Gypsy, the sheer power and variety in her game, whether to bash baseline or volley at the net… she finished the year at 13, and don’t be surprised if she breaks the top 10 this year.
Sell – Elena Dementieva
Perhaps I’m cheating a bit again, playing the “age card”… but yes, Lena had a solid year, winning the clusterfuck that was Toronto, and nearly making it to the Wimbledon final. But seeing her play this year just seemed endlessly frustrating, and most seem to think her chance at winning a slam is gone. Not that this is just about winning a slam, but its hard to see Lena’s game or ranking climbing much higher than it is now, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the inconsistencies, frustrations, and earlier round loses come in more often over the next year or two.