Monday, 19 December 2016

Tennis 2017 Season: What to expect? PART-2

Read PART-1 here

# Stan Wawrinka, what the Swiss needs to do?

Stan Wawrinka is one of the strangest players in the Top 10 of the men’s rankings. On his day, he can blow any opponent off the court on any surface. But those days don’t come often. The Swiss is a player who is pro-active only for some part of a season. Wawrinka had been around before landing his first Slam in Melbourne in 2014. He gave each of the so-called Big Four a run for their money but ran out of gas each time. Winning the Australian Open gave Wawrinka the boost he needed and he became a big match man, delivering in the important moments and this led him to 3 Slam titles in 3 years.

The only part of Stan’s game to improve is consistency. The Swiss hasn’t been consistent throughout a complete season. He lost many matches which he should have won. Improvement can come with the understanding of the game’s aspects. As his Swiss compatriot, Roger Federer says,You cannot play well only when you feel like, Wawrinka has to improve mental part of his game which would mean consistent results.

# Serena Williams’ Future

American Serena Williams did almost the impossible in 2015, winning three slams in a row and standing on the verge of another Slam final when she led Roberta Vinci by a set in their semi-final match at the US Open. Vinci beat Williams and many dreams were shattered. Williams’ season was cut short.

2016 saw Williams lose two Slam finals in a row – losing to Angelique Kerber in Melbourne and to Garbine Muguruza in Paris. Williams avenged her loss to Kerber and landed her first Slam in 12 months at Wimbledon. Rio Olympics and US Open were also disappointing campaigns for the American, both of which ended with straight sets defeats. Williams withdrew from Wuhan Open and China Open due to shoulder inflammation issue she had even during Wimbledon and US Open.

Also, weeks later, she withdrew from the WTA Finals in Singapore, citing the same injury issue as the reason.

2017 may not augur better news for Williams as continuous injury concerns and age factor finally coming into play, could ruin Williams’ competency skills. But Williams is not called a tigress for no reason. She pounces every time she steps back. Her fans would want their queen to return, slam that ball hard and yell “Come On!”

# The Young Guns – Can they do it?

Will a young gun finally emerge from the shadows of the so-called Big Four or the newer version, including Stan Wawrinka – The Big Five. The call is tough, but there may be a chance. Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic are the favourites from this generation of players, provided they have been to Grand Slam finals before. Dominic Thiem could be another star who could land a first Masters 1000 title or a Slam. Though odds do not favour Thiem much as they favour Raonic and Nishikori, still he can outlast anybody with his strong baseline game and tactics.

Grigor Dimitrov could be the next consideration in this division of players. But inconsistency has plagued his last two seasons. The Bulgarian native has been to a Grand Slam semi-final before (Wimbledon 2014 to Djokovic), but ever since it has been a downfall for him.

The young generation stars have been raising their levels, working hard and learning a lot in the process as well. Though it still looks less likely that the Big Four (or Big Five) will be threatened by the young generation when it comes to Slams, still they can give them a fair taste of their medicine.

Also, read PART-1 here

Written by Mayank Sharma
A third year Engineering student at Delhi Technological University. An avid tennis fan and a die hard fan of Roger Federer. Loves writing articles on Tennis and developing Web pages.

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