Off-season is a period of reflecting on the season behind us and trying to predict the year ahead based on the information we currently have. Marine of Tennis Notebook poses five big questions for the upcoming 2013 season and tries to foresee what kind of an outcome we will have. Marine discusses the challenge ahead of Victoria Azarenka in the beginning of the year, Serena Williams' No.1 prospects, the young generation, etc.
1. Will Victoria Azarenka be able to keep it up in 2013?
WHY YES: 2012 was what you’d call a confidence-boosting year for Azarenka. She managed to come out of a shadow of her peers Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova and started her own dominance. Achieving success of such scale has surely opened many doors for her, so she may have enough spirit and motivation to repeat the same next year.
WHY NOT: Her great run at the start of 2012 means there will be a lot of pressure on Azarenka’s shoulders from the very beginning. She’ll start 2013 with four big titles to defend (Sydney, Australian Open, Doha, Indian Wells), which is a total of 4370 in terms of ranking points. Will be tough…
2. Will Serena Williams become the next No.1?
WHY YES: Williams still has the upper hand over other top players, especially on the grand stages. Also, she has become more consistent, so if there is nobody to challenge her, she could surpass Azarenka quite comfortably during the Australian Open series.
WHY NOT: In 2012 Williams played a lot more compared to the previous years, which gave her opponents more opportunities to face her and study her game. Compared with other top players her schedule is lighter, therefore, if she doesn't manage to stay consistent she simply might not have enough points to reach No.1.
3. Will the Top 20 welcome a new member from the young generation (21 and under)? Read more »