Unfortunately 2003 didn't end *quite* how we'd like (after the USO who would've thought we'd see Andy have trouble with qualifiers ranked below 200, lose his last SIX tiebreakers, lose at home in Houston on an outdoor hardcourt twice, the crazy-angry Andy returning periodically, go 2-3 after becoming #1), BUT all good things must come to an end, and the summer was just totally unreal.
Fortunately, there are tons of positives (in addition to the obvious achievements): his backhand, much better. his volleying, much better (even the serve-and-volley sometimes
!!!). The comebacks all year long, amazing. The physical endurance, also amazing.
Even though the only place his ranking can go is down, his tennis can only get better. Hopefully this new psycho-hard regiment that Brad is supposedly going to put him on will help so he won't have those little injuries like he had early on this year. If they keep working on his groundies and shot selection, he should improve significantly on clay and if they keep working on the net game, he should improve even more on grass!
Everyone's saying Andy will lose his #1 very early on in 2004 but aside from Australia, he has less to defend than anyone even close to him. So I figured it out mathematically through the FO.
I used CR points just b/c it's easier, but if you multiply by 5 it should be the same for the Entry System.
Andy: 138 (mandatory points + 64 best 5) = 202
Roger: 148 (+130) = 278
JCF: 409 (+86) = 495
Andre: 351 (+71) = 422
Now of course the second half of the year is pretty much all Andy LOL
But considering these #s I don't see how he'll lose it that fast as long as he plays well in Australia and improves on clay and in the spring US TMS tourneys.
Anyway.... LOTS to look forward to... including my personal fave... the OLYMPICS! You gotta like Andy's chances with the same court and ball as the USO!
So, express your optimism too