Friday, 13 February 2009

The Next 'Next Big Thing'...

I don't normally make a habit of missing out on new sensations - especially when they have much-touted single handed backhands. But I wasn't able to catch Nadal's third round encounter in Rotterdam with the Bulgarian 17 year old, Grigor Dimitrov. He's the reigning Junior Wimbledon and US Open Champion, and a future top tenner - a view held by no less a man than Rafa himself.

I normally take next-big-thing hollerings with a pinch of salt - it seems to me that there's too many players that remain as next-big-things-in-waiting, right through to their mid twenties, yet to have made the slightest dent at the Masters level (Reeshard's about to prove me wrong on that count this year, aren't you Reeshard?). But as it's Rafa that's put some of his weight behind the bigging-up brigade, my young gun radar will this year, be tuned more closely than normal on young Grigor.


The French women had a hard day at the office in their quarter finals in Paris - and boy were they up against it:

Williams v Loit

Dementieva v Dechy

Jankovic v Cornet

Radwanska v Mauresmo


In case you missed it they all went out, except for Mauresmo who always seems to rise up when I've stopped taking notice; and what is the deal with Radwanska these days? Cornet did put up spirited resistance in her match against Jankovic (that had an uncomfortably large number of service breaks), but went down in another close three setter, that must surely remind her of that match she played against Safina at Melbourne, where she held two match points before Dinara came storming back.

Last but not least, Mario 'serve and volleys last stand' Ancic seems to be making something of a comeback in Rotterdam. He's beaten both Simon and Youzhny and now faces Murray in the semis. I don't expect him to get through (Murray's slices are looking a little too delicious), but will I hope derive some confidence from his run here.
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