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Discussion Starter #1
Well I was trying to think of a player to look some stuff up about, who isn't talked about a lot - and Schalken popped into my head somehow.

As you may recall, Schalken past the fourth round of a slam for the first time this year, posting a quarterfinal at Wimbledon, and a semifinal at the USA Open.

Wimbledon did not surprise me. He'd won a tuneup, and made the semis in another.

The US Open though DID surprise me. I was at his first round match against Mark - where Mark fell - anyhow, I was not sitting there thinking "this is a guy who is going to go deep". Perhaps this is because I was rooting for Mark, who had the match totally in control even after losing that set - before he fell and eventually retired.

So I took a look at his results from 2002, wondering how he might fare in 2003. He ended 2002 at number 20 on the entry system.

However his results are surprising (to me). As follows:


Masters Series

Total Champions Race Points - 42

That is, he earned only 42 points in all nine masters series events. He played all of them, thus recieved no 0's towards his ranking.

He had 5 first round exits, 3 second round, and one 3rd round.

What I'm saying, is that his masters series results were terrible. He defends utterly nothing, everywhere.


Slams

Total Champions Race Points - 156

140 of those points came from Wimbledon (50) and the US Open (90).

THis means, that he defends 16 points in the first two slams of the year. That is, a first round exit in Oz and a third round in France, is all he has to do to stay where he is.


Best Of Other Results

Total Points from Best 5 - 108

He won 's-Hertogenbosch and made the finals in Moscow - both results gave him 35 points.

A semi in London gave him 20, while a quarter final in Estoril and Milan made up the rest.




My point?

Well if you excuse all of his "next in" best results (seeing as his best result after the ones being counted was a second round, it's pretty much a null point anyhow) - Schalken is defending a mere 225 entry points before the grass court season begins.

He has 1525 points right now, which is roughly 500 points behind the number ten spot. That is, a masters series win, or a win in a small event plus a grand slam quarter final.

Now I"m not saying that he will make the top ten. I am saying that if he continues as he did in the last half of the season, but improves his masters results - that his ranking has no where to go but up.
 

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thats true, but he could do a Portas as well and win hardly any matches at start of year then the pressure of defending comes into play which means panic and it all goes pear-shaped.

He's got a pretty good shot at the Top 10.
How he starts the year is crucial.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
OH, that could definately happen.

But now that he has done well in acouple slams, I don't think he is going to be satisfied with a first round exit... not that he was before.

But I expect to see some improvements from him.

I think what WILL happen is somewhere inbetween - he will solidify himself has a top 15 player or so.
 

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Sjeng's weakest surface is clay, so he might have a good/consistent year on the other surfaces. He has always been in the top 30 and was often seeded in Grand slams since the 32-seeds were introduced.
He's also not bad in doubles in DC with Haarhuis.
I haven't seen too much of him, but remember some good matches at Wimbledon. He seems to lose some tense 5 setters there. Hewitt this year, against Phillippoussis last year(??) and I must have forgotten some.
When asked how he suddenly did so wel in USO he couldn't give an exact explanation. He's on the tour for years now and had never gone past the 4th round so he has been surprising.
He might be someone who reaches his peak in the latter stages of his career, like Younes el Aynaoui so maybe top 20 next year. I think top 15 is a bit too high for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well he already is top 20, but I suppose that you meant a main stay in the top 20.

For the record, Schalken is 200 points from a top 15 ranking:

15 - Guillermo Canas 1725
20 - Sjeng Schalken 1525


200 points would be say - a small tournament win, or quarters at oz, or a good masters result, etc etc
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is also worth noting that Schalken is not old. He is no spring chicken in tennis terms, but old he ain't...

He is a month younger than Carlos Moya.
 

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Schalken is as weird as his serve.
His US Open run was amazing, and came out of nowhere, as Becca said.
And in Wimbledon, he was one of the few to NOT be a surprise, in my opinion, for the same reasons said above.

He has probably the best shot of his carreer to go up in the rankings, but I dont think he will reach the top ten.
But, as I said, I also thought he would never reach the semis of the US. :p
 

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Oh, and then I dont think he will defend most of those point. :(
So he better get good use of this first half, and even more of the first of the hard court seasons. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think he can make a reasonable WImbledon run again, where the field of legit contendors is pretty slim compared to the US Open.

Lucky for him he's only really defending about 5 tournaments - US Open, Wimbledon, Moscow, London, and S-Hertogenbosch. Of course that means that if he doesn't nothing untill those tournaments, he's in big trouble.
 

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If he doesn't meet Mark or Lleyton too early in Wimbledon then he can do really well there. He's good on grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey even if he does meet Hewitt, I think that he's shown he can put himself in position to win.

Wether or not he can win is a whole other story mind you, as shown this year :eek:
 

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I can see another good run at Wimby for him next year...
 
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