Over on my blog, Tennis Talk, Anyone?,
I recently wrote a posting about the players who drive me up the wall sometimes with their results. In the wake of talk of that most-frustrating player of all, Marat Safin, retiring after his latest dismal loss, I thought I'd post the list here, too.
So here's the five that make me want to just bang my head against the wall when I hear their latest results. Any guesses as to who will top the list? I'm counting down to the leader, so don't look ahead! And if someone I didn't list drives you crazy, feel free to list them.
5. Andy Roddick: I'm a big A-Rod fan, but man, does he drive me crazy sometimes! I know expectations for him have been high from a lot of people, and you can't win every match, but still: Losses to Philipp Kohlschreiber and Janko Tipsarevic in Slams is nuts. I'll always root for him, but I just don't know what I'm going to get: except for a concussion one day for ramming my head into the wall one too many times! I would love for him to win Paris this week.
4. David Nalbandian: Like Roddick, he's just made the quarterfinals of the Paris Open, but you just never know what you'll get with him: One tournament he's knocking off Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in a row, the next he's losing to Jeremy Chardy. He's the defending champ in Paris and if he defends, OK; if he loses his next match, OK. I'm gonna pad the furniture just in case I feel like knocking my head against something!
3. James Blake: Let's take a look at this year, shall we? The former world number four has only made two finals in '08 and lost both of them: to Kei Nishikori in Delray Beach and Marcel Granollers in Houston. These losses might look OK in a couple of years if or when those two make it big, but for a top guy near his prime, they're pretty bad. Also, journeymen galore have made it to Slam semis, but Blake hasn't: a bad result for someone of his stature.
2. Monfils: Guys that almost win the Grand Slam in junior tennis shouldn't only have one career title playing with the big boys, but that's where Gael is. Making the finals recently in Vienna was a decent result, but losing to a 24-year-old just cracking the top 100 and playing in his first final almost negates that accomplishment.
1. Safin: Come on, who else could it have been? I don't even know where to begin. Earlier in the year, after he made a couple of quarters on clay, I thought that could kickstart a run to the top 10 before the end of the year. Then, that Wimbledon run only confirmed it for me. But I guess I should have known. Well at least he got to a final a couple of weeks ago, but I'm left with a lump on my forehead after banging it into a desk after seeing he lost! I'll learn one day!