Well a quick glance at the field in Shanghai would suggest Spain and recent years' results would suggest France (I think?).
Never write off any team with super patriot Lleyton Hewitt on it, so the Aussies have to be up there. Same deal for Russia.
Then of course there's Sweden who always rise to the occasion. I wonder what they put in that blue and yellow paint?
USA is always good on paper but some reason the stars never bother to play, or if they do it seems half hearted ... if they could solve that little problem they would be top contenders for sure (no offence to Todd Martin who does turn up and play his heart out).
Well, this year Argentina returned to the Word group, and reached semifinals.... and loss to Russia for a... for.... for little.
Next year I think Argentina will win Davis Cup. We don´t have a top ten, but we have 9 players between the best 100 and any of them can play:
(US has 10 players and Spain 13, but these countries have advantage, many tournaments, money, sponsors, etc)
Argentinians won many tournaments (all of them) in many places, many times, but they are failing the big tournaments...
2002 was our best year for a long time, and we got a Masters Series (Cañas in Toronto) since 10 years more or less, and a GS final (Nalbandian in Wimbledon).
But you can see, many good players, but the last Top Ten was Alberto Mancini in 1992 (more or less).
I think (sincerly) that 2003 will be a great year for argentinians, they are being respected and feared by all the players and they are more confidente, they won Word Team Cup Dusseldord and semis in Davis Cup
They were juniors ten years ago, and we have excellent juniors now, like Brian Dabul and Luciano Vitullo, but the economic meltdown, the crisis we have here will make this good production to stop
Is is almost impossible now for a junior to take a plane for europe, the companies that were sponsors some time ago are now trying to survive, the goverment doesn´t apport a $ for sports....
They have to be from a rich family, like Vilas, Sabatini, Nalbandian, Gaudio, not like Chela, Coria, Acasuso...
I hadn't thought about what effect that would have on production of tennis players, but you are right. Overall the entire situation just sucks (and i'm not just talking tennis).
David will drop a little after Wimbledon, unless he repeats his run from this year. However he stands a great chance of getting into the top ten before then, and has lots of time to do it. He doesn't defend much untill Estoril, where he is defending.
The great thing about these guys is that they are destroying the stereotypes about Argentines, and South American players in general.
Guga has done his part, winning some big hard court titles. Now Canas has chipped in, and David is doing his part at Wimbledon and with an indoor title (where he played another S American, Gonzalez in the finals).