Sunday, December 28, 2014

22 wishes for non-American players in 2015

On the Rise (a tennis blog) is taking a little break from our usual obsessive focus on US tennis players to give you a list of some of our tennis wishes for the coming year. You will note that none of these centers around US players. Don't get us wrong - we still desperately want success for Team USA. We'd sell less usable body parts to see Jarmere Jenkins break into the Top 100 or for CoCo Vandeweghe to reach a major semifinal. But we enjoy other players as well.

Let us know what your New Year's wishes are for these or any other players - ideally, keep the Americans out of it.

1. Andy Murray to win the Australian Open. Three finals and no winner's trophy ... IT'S NOT RIGHT!

(c) Getty Images

2. Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the Australian Open. Hers will be the most bizarre Hall of Fame resume in history.

Fiona Hamilton/AP

3. Novak Djokovic to win the French Open (some call it Roland Garros). He's one of the greatest of all time, and is a brilliant clay courter. Plus, it just seems right that all three of the Big 3 should have a career grand slam.

He has already previewed his celebration, if it happens:

4. Petra Kvitova to win the French Open. We know she can do it on the grass, but can she do it on the brick? She's my pick to be the Year End #1 and in order to do that, she's going to have to do something surprising. This would be a gigantic surprise, but I think she's capable.


5. Roger Federer to win the Wimbledons. I need him to have some breathing room. 18 might not be enough to hold off Rafa, but it's much better than 17. 

Al Bello/Getty Images Europe

6. Aga Radwanska to win Wimbledon. It's time, Agnieszka. It's your best major, and now you've got this lady in your corner. Let's do this..

7. Vasek Pospisil to repeat as Wimbledon doubles champion. With the same partner of course, tee hee.

Photo by Jan Kruger, Getty Images

8. One of the following to win the US Open: Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov, a Frenchman (not including Gilles Simon; sorry Gilles, but that would be just too much to handle).

(c) Reuters Images

9. Alize Cornet to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. I don't care which one. Just trying to imagine all the amazing gifs if she wins a quarterfinal.

10. Takanyi Garanganga to participate in a majors qualifying draw.  The Zimbabwean has a lot of game, but lacks some of the resources other players have. He's at the end of a crowdsourcing campaign to try to raise $10K - even a first round qualies loss at Wimbledon would garner him half that much.


11. Naomi Cavaday to qualify for a major. Her blog detailing her return to the ITF circuit - following retirement at 21 - has been a wonderful read. (Check out her latest about an extraordinarily rude player.) She has a long way to go to get back into the Top 200, but given what she's gone through and her great attitude, that accomplishment would be a true cause for celebration.

12. James McGee to reach the Top 100. This one's for Patrick. And Ireland.

13. Dustin Brown to make a tour-level final. The German with a distinct Jamaican flair can do some amazing things on court, and as with many net rushers, has found his best success later in his career. Now he's got the added financial security his Top 100 position entails. Staying there isn't as easy as it seems, and a 250 final would be massive in that regard. Plus, there would be a whole lot of highlights. 

(c) Getty Images

14. Kimiko Date-Krumm to win a title. I don't care if it's a $125K. Hell, I don't care if they have to invent a new tournament just for the 44-year-old. Make it happen, WTA. (Alternatively, a KDK 4th Round at a major will suffice.) 

Because she is the best.

15. Samantha Stosur to win a tournament in Australia. The 30-year-old, as we know, has struggled in her home country. This year, she's opening the season in her hometown of Brisbane; after that it's Sydney. A title in either place would be pretty spectacular. (I already called for Sveta to win Melbourne, so if it's those two in the Australian Open final I will definitely find myself torn.)

16. Lucie Safarova to reach the WTA Finals.  It would be a big jump for her, for sure, but she's got the talent and in the wake of her run to the Wimbledon semis, perhaps the confidence as well. (It would help if she could get over the Kvitova hump - she went 0-5 against her follow Czech lefty in 2014 to bring her career record to 0-6.

CPA - Eduard Erben

17. Marcus Willis into the Top 200. 

18. Three South American women in the Top 100. The state of South American women's tennis suffered a blow when Garbine Muguruza announced she would continue to represent Spain. Three players in the Top 100 would be a huge jump from the current number (zero). There are a few on the outskirts - Teliana Pereira (BRA/107), Paula Ormaechea (ARG/122), Mariana Duque-Marino (COL/131) - and a few youngsters with some potential in the 200-300 range: Beatriz Haddad Maia (18yo/BRA), Montserrat Gonzalez (20/PAR) & Gabriela Ce (21/BRA). It's a huge ask but would be great for the diversity of the tour.

Wikimedia commons

19. Alisa Kleybanova to play 20+ tournaments and return to the Top 100 (or higher). So rough for her comeback from Hodgkins Lymphoma sidetracked by injury. Here's wishing her the best health and success this coming year!


20. A new, out-of-nowhere high-profile ATP/WTA romance. Those are so much fun.

21. A new, out-of-nowhere high-profile ATP/ATP romance.
Two Men Holding Hands

22. Andy Murray to reach #1. I CAN DREAM CAN'T I??
(c) Getty Images

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