I keep hearing that the tour needs Justine Henin. I disagree. Does the tour miss her? Yes! Do fans miss her? Yes! But--again, in my opinion--all this talk about how terrible things are without a dominant player means nothing to me. If anything, I think it's all more fun without a dominant player. And should one of my favorites become dominant, would I change my mind? Maybe, but since I have more than one favorite--maybe not.
Victoria Azarenka's win in Brisbane took her out of the Hantuchova zone and turned her into a different player. Given her skills, and with this new mentality, I now consider her to be the elite player among her contemporaries. 2009 could be a very big year for Azarenka.
Bethanie Mattek says that she wants a regular doubles partner and has found a couple of potential candidates. I have been turning this over in my mind, but I don't really have any good guesses about who these candidates are. Mattek is a fine doubles player, and whomever she taps will be lucky.
Marion Bartoli has already taken two days off from blogging from Melbourne. This turn of events makes me think of her 2007 Wimbledon run. During her matches, when she was usually behind, she would take naps during the many rain breaks. Someone would then have to wake her up to tell her to go back onto the court, at which point she would dismantle her opponent. Bartoli trains hard, and she should indeed be careful she gets enough rest.
Abigail Lorge believes that Jelena Dokic is so satisfied to have achieved so much in the Australian Open that she will offer Dinara Safina little resistance in their quarterfinal match. I think that Dokic may not have a lot left to give, but I can't imagine her being complacent.