Dec. 13, 2007 - PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

As the season has ended, TOPSPIN TOP PICKS lists the 7 players who has made 2007 tennis a good and entertaining sport

7. VENUS WILLIAMS. She proved herself as the classic champion. Her low ranking at the beginning of the season didn't hinder her from winning...and Wimbledon at that of all the majors.
6. NOVAK DJOKOVIC. Nole is not universally liked. However, no one can deny his talent and his wit. Amidst the controversies of fixed-matches, doping, poisoning...the Djoker is always there to keep tennis fun. His lethal backhand...his spot-on impersonations...his flirting with the Maria Sharapova...his shirtless victory celebrations...he is absolutely the most colorful persona in tennis now.
5. ANA IVANOVIC. Since 2005, people has perceived that it would only take a matter of time before this youngster break into the scene. But it turned out, 2006 was a letdown. 2007 was a different story however. Now ranked 4, it is nice to have a hot girl who is universally likable as well in the top 10. With the exit of Kim Clijsters, Ana is certainly the newest sweetheart.
4. MARIO ANCIC. He has been very unfortunate this season with injuries and illness. Who knows how he would have performed in French Open, Wimbledon and US Open if he was not sidelined. With the massive talent and passion, clinging on a top-60 ranking, who would not root for this guy? He will definitely start 2008 as both the underdog and the dark horse.
3. ROGER FEDERER. Number 1 for the 4th straight year...a looming recognition as the best of all time...chilling out with Pete Sampras and Tiger Woods...'nuff said.
2. JUSTINE HENIN. Hardenne or no Hardenne, everyone knows she is great. But 2007 is the year she establishes herself as the female counterpart of Federer. She dominated the womens singles. Representing a new era in WTA, the egoistic challenges of the Williams sisters proved futile against Justine.
1. DAVID FERRER. This Spaniard has been too modest with his self-deprecating claim of being the worst top-100 player ever. And with his successful run towards the end of the season, his top 5 ranking just became the sweetest. Subject to his performance next season, David Ferrer is arguably the "nice guy" version of an in-form Lleyton Hewitt.

And now...2007's letdowns:
Serena Williams - she's still a champion...but a bitter one
Marcos Baghdatis - his mobbing fans didn't help him this year
Fernando Gonzalez - has been one of the most inconsistent this year; tries too hard to impress the crowd
Martina Hingis - not a graceful exit for such an accomplished player

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