Originally Posted by Eurosport
Tennis Spy: Thiemo de Bakker
Eurosport - Wed, 26 Aug 06:44:00 2009
Dutch number one Thiemo de Bakker has failed to deliver on his huge potential, but recent results suggest to the Tennis Spy that he is finally turning the corner.
Full name: Thiemo de Bakker
Nationality: Dutch (Born in the Hague)
Age: 20 (DOB: September 19, 1988)
World Ranking: 151
Career highlights: Winner of three Challenger Tour events in the space of four weeks in July and August 2009. Made crucial contribution as Holland beat Korea to enter the Davis Cup World Group last eyar. Made last 16 at ATP Munich and ATP s-Hertogenbosch in 2009, in the case of Munich beating world number 30 Rainer Schuettler in the process. Winner of four Futures tournaments in previous seasons. Winner of 2006 Junior Wimbledon title.
General: The great hope of Dutch tennis had a stellar junior career that culminated in his success in the 2006 Junior Wimbledon tournament. While he has not leapt into the top echelons of the world since then, he has enjoyed a steady, successful rise through the ranks - and his recent Challenger Tour form suggested he is about to go supernova.
Strengths: A lively, aggressive player who is a fierce competitor. Very good serve - he stands 6'4" and pumps out aces regularly when his timing is on. Two-handed backhand is decent without being exceptional, and he has a fantastic habit of always looking for the angle with his forehand. Loves charging the net to close points out, making him exciting to watch.
Weaknesses: Though his aggression is a real boon, he struggles to turn points around when his opponent takes the upper hand in a rally. While he's always looking for the edge with the angles of his ground strokes, he often seems to float back fairly nondescript shots with little penetrating power. His tall, gangly physique seems to get in his way, as he often struggles to get himself into position to play the right shot.
Prospects: Endured a slow start to his career and is still well outside the world's top 100, but De Bakker's recent blistering results suggest he is getting on top of his game and starting to get the best out of himself. Only managed to step up to Challenger level after cracking Futures tournaments, and now he has cracked Challenger competition he must surely feel ready to take the step up to ATP level. And the Spy has high hopes for him, for one big reason: de Bakker is not afraid to win. In a sport where mental frailty is fatal to a player's hopes, that could be the crucial factor that helps lift him above others. Mark him down now as a future top-100 player, a likely top-50 player and a reasonable bet to be a future top-20 star.
Personal: The middle of three brothers, de Bakker was introduced to the game by his mother Carlieke while visiting her club. Obsessed with sport from as early as he can remember, he was a keen swimmer and footballer. But it was his precocious tennis talent that was spotted by local coach Ruud Thijssenm who nurtured his career for six years before de Bakker went to Holland's Huib Troost tennis academy. Raemon Sluiter is his current coach.