Sept. 19, 2007 - BEST RIVALRIES

Best Rivalries

This week, TOPSPIN TOP PICKS presents the top 7 match-ups of this generation. People have argued that this era is all Federer, hence a boring one. However, I believe that tennis is still as entertaining as ever with these rivalries.

7. FEDERER vs GASQUET - The young Frenchman is one of those who can put on a challenge agaisnt Roger. I wouldn't place Gasquet in the league of Monfils, Murray and Baghdatis. As far as defeating Federer is concerned, I think he belongs with Nadal and Djokovic. Besides, it is magnificent to see an exchange of the best one handed backhands in the tour.
6. SHARAPOVA vs IVANOVIC - They may not be Henin or Davenport, but they are a lot more than sorority girls. Okay, they're not the greatest players, but they're hot! What dude wouldn't enjoy watching these 2 play against each other?
5. SANTORO vs A top 10 player - This veteran, despite closing on the retirement age, still has the magic. Top 10 players can only wish to have his touch for lob shots, around the net post, between the legs, flying racket, over, up, and under almost just about anything in the court.
4. HENIN vs V.WILLIAMS - These 2 practically should be the number 1 and 2 women's player of the world. Henin is starting to become the Federer of WTA. Thus, it takes someone of Venus' calibre to give Henin a challenge. And this is a farcry from the match up between Henin and the younger (and bitter) Serena Williams.
3. DJOKOVIC vs FEDERER - Nole has been one of the few this year to defeat the undefeatable. It is so tempting to say that Batman finally found the Joker.
2. FEDERER vs NADAL - Who else has a lopsided head to head advantage over Federer? With Nadal, we can always be sure that Federer will be somewhat pushed, at least to differ from his other matches. And with consistent amazing improvements from Rafa on all surfaces, who knows how much longer can Federer own the hard and grass courts.
1. NADAL vs DJOKOVIC - I dare to say that the most exciting match up of this generation does not involve the world number 1. Instead, it's all about his 2 challengers. It's about who will rightfully inherit King Roger's throne. These 2 youngsters have the most potential to create a tenseful grandstand with brilliant exchange of all kinds of shots. Not to mention Nole's mainstay impersonation of Rafa (entertaining, but may start to get old already).

Now for the letdowns:
FEDERER vs RODDICK - so much media attention is always given to this, and yet, Roddick cannot stand up to the challenge, especially the pre-Connors days. Just look at their head to head now.
HENIN vs SERENA WILLIAMS - Win or lose, Serena's attitude is just annoying, 'nuff said.



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