Tennis X's 2004 New Year's Resolutions
Posted on December 30, 2003
Before the drinks start flowing at the New Year's party, the Tennis-X staff throws out their Top 10 resolutions for 2004 -- what we'd like to see happen, or resolve to MAKE HAPPEN in the new year. After an exciting 2003 season, here's what's in the works to take it to the next level in 2004:
10. Play Matches Shirtless or in Sports Bras
New women fans will come for the beefcake, to see Carlos Moya, Marat Safin or James Blake play without a shirt, but stay for the tennis. The male television audience will see Anna Kournikova play in her practice court outfit of hotpants and a sports bra, and the TV ratings will be self-explanatory. Sound crazy? Reference this -- in men's beach volleyball, which seems to get more weekend TV time than tennis in the U.S., they play without shirts! Imagine! So maybe just start with outdoor tennis events. Is this a no-brainer of what?
9. Justine Henin-Hardenne gets a Teeth Bleaching
We know there are toothbrushes in Belgium, we've seen them. No excuse for attractive young millionaires to walk around looking like the "before" picture of tooth decay.
8. Anna Back on Tour
Many players hold off on retiring to get that last big win. We want Anna Kournikova back on court to get that FIRST tournament win.
7. Lleyton Hewitt back on top
If Hewitt is serious about gaining back the top spot, it will spell trouble for the dominance of the "Three Kings" in Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Plus, there's been a lack of players screaming "C'mon!" and giving opponents steely glares. Since he's gotten the marriage proposal to Kim over with, he can concentrate on the on-court business.
6. John McEnroe playing ATP Masters Series and slam doubles events
Johnny Mac tried to play it like an adult in 2003 as Todd Woodbridge tied his No. 2 all-time doubles title record (one title behind Tom Okker), but as was evident when he offered to play with Woodbridge to break Okker's record, he's not ready to go down without a fight. Mac needs to grab Club Fed or some doubles specialist and play a few events in 2004, keep Woodbridge on his toes.
5. Fill seats at the WTA Championships
Give tickets away for free, convince sponsor Porsche to give away free cars, do whatever it takes. That event is illin' -- hopefully the Williams sisters can save the game in '04. Which leads to...
4. The Williams sisters healthy
"Without us, it's a little dry," said Serena about the WTA Tour sans the sisters, and she wasn't kidding. It's a no-win situation for the sisters, who get slammed by fans for making the game "boring" when they dominate, and get begged to hurry back when they're away with injury.
3. Former No. 1s Marcelo Rios and Marat Safin healthy
Few players can straddle the line between brilliant play as intense disinterest like the Chilean Rios and the big Russian Safin. Both missed much of 2003, but in 2004 how about some Rios vs. Federer match-ups, or some Roddick vs. Safin?
2. Jim "Mattress Mac" McIngvale hosting both the men's and women's year-end championships in 2005
You loved him in the 2003 reality show "The ATP Masters Cup," but what if, in 2005, the Texas millionaire hosted BOTH the men's and women's year-end championships in Houston? Time to throw on that red, white, and blue American flag shirt and root against Kim Clijsters Mac!
1. Martina Navratilova elected Commissioner of Tennis
Tennis historically hasn't been able to get anywhere versus the other major sports with the ATP, WTA, ITF, and slam committee constantly making their individual power grabs. Time for the straight-shooting former No. 1 to take control, knock some heads and get the game on the right track.