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This season is almost over; with Nadal climbing further and further, it seems obvious to say that he is the main player to watch next season; with Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters being the main players to look out for in the women’s game.

But, there are little, more exciting things to look forward to in 2011, and possibly, late 2010. Here are a few things:

-> The up-rise of Elena Baltacha. She’s in the top 50 in the WTA Tour Rank, with a steady determination, consistent results and better fitness; she is a player to watch out for next year, top 20 would be stunning for her, as long as British tennis.

-> The resurgence of Grigor “Baby Federer” Dimitrov. Since winning the 2 Junior Majors in 2008; he had a disappointing 2009, often playing like a much younger Janko Tipsarevic; playing decent against the very best (Nadal @ Rotterdam, Simon @ Queens), but poor among the top 100/top 50, this year Dimitrov has a new coach, has won a couple of Challengers and is slowly, but surely, making his way to the top 100. There is certainly a certain “swagger” and style that Dimitrov plays with, that is reminiscent of the fluid Roger Federer. His backhand is a joy to watch.

-> The French Open in 2011 will be very interesting as the organisers have thought about moving the tournament to Paris suburbs, yet with recent news of Roland Garros having now 17 playable courts; nothing might change. February 2011 is when the organisers will decide what to do with the tournament.

-> Tactically, how will lesser opponents (ranked 78, for example) play against bigger opponents (ranked 1, or 7, for example), in classic tennis theory, they play brilliant for a set by being aggressive, but then get fade away on top of the bigger player having more consistency and experience (Nadal vs Gulbis Wimbledon 2008, Federer vs Lopez US Open 2007, just to name a few), yet with recent seasons, we are seeing that even players ranked around 80, or 60, for example, are starting to consistently be aggressive against the best. The role of the underdog is changing, and 2011 in particular, will be interesting to see how the underdog utilises tactics.

-> What can Paul Annacone bring to Roger Federer’s game?

-> Can Justine Henin stay injury free?

-> Will a teenager finally break into the top 100 in the men’s game?

Finally, what will the injuries be like in 2011? It seems that even the big stars, like Williams or Nadal, are often injured and miss Majors; will a new, better regime, help tennis players out?


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