Soon the huge serves, dominating forehands and blistering backhands will return.
The new tennis season is not far off (thankfully). I for one think 2010 will be a great one for both the men and the women. I will save my actual predictions for a later column, but I think both the men's and women's games are more competitive and compelling than ever.
The men's game is wide open. I think Roger Federer will start to slow down. Rafael Nadal still has some good years left in him, but injuries are always a worry with him. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro are also big contenders. Guys like Andy Roddick and Nikolay Davydenko are always dark horses to win a major and can't be completely overlooked.
With so much depth and so many possibilities the men's game should be great this year and a lot of fun to watch. You never know what might happen next or when somebody might come out of nowhere to pull off a surprise.
The women's game is even more intriguing to me. I think it's going to be a season full of surprises. I think 2010 is going to be the year of comebacks.
One in particular stands out - Justine Henin. I think the Belgian will return to the top of the game. She is in my mind the best player in the world and a lot of fun to watch.
Maria Sharapova will continue her comeback as she tries to win her first major since her big shoulder injury of 2008. I also think Jelena Dokic and Nicole Vaidisova could surprise people in comebacks of their own (but I'm also biased because they are two of my favorites).
Obviously, Serena and Venus Williams as well as Dinara Safina and Kim Clijsters are the big threats to win slams. I also think Jelena Jankovic is going to have a big year. I could go on and on, because there are so many players that could have big, big seasons.
Still for me, the smallest player is the one to watch, even though I'm not a fan. Welcome back Justine, things are about to get interesting.