Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Hopman Cup and The Up and Comer

So the tennis season is back on again, it actually started 2 weeks ago with the pre-Australian Open tournaments. The Hopman Cup was broadcast on Star Sports, and it's one of my favorite events. It's a team tournament, like the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, except this one is a mixed event where countries face each other in 3 matches, a women's singles match, a men's singles match, and a mixed doubles match. This year, Spain (with world #16 Tommy Robredo and world #5 in doubles Maria Jose Sanchez Martinez) took the crown over Great Britain (represented by world #4 Andy Murray and 15 year-old Laura Robson.) What makes this format awesome is I get to see my favorite male and female players playing together (like Roger Federer/Martina Hingis for Switzerland way back 2001, last year's Marat Safin/Dinara Safina for Russia, any team with Daniela Hantuchova or Mary Pierce.)

Anyway, the main reason why I'm talking about the Hopman Cup before I proceed with listing my Aussie Open predictions is I wanted to add the hype on Laura Robson. She's 15 years old, 5'10'', won the Wimbledon Girls title last 2008, and was the #1 ranked junior in the world last year. And although still ranked outside the top 400, she showed some serious talent (she beat #27 Martinez Sanchez in the final, and helped a lot in the mixed doubles matches.) She's a lefty who can play with lots of spin and angles and while her game isn't just about ball bashing from the baseline, she showed that she can hang with the top 100 players she played against at the Hopman Cup. I guess I'll be keeping tabs on how her career goes, since it's taking a bit too long for Arantxa Rus to make her breakthrough...

So, are hyped up with Laura Robson yet?

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