Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Love Song To Young Ruben Bemelmans

I'm back! And there's tennis! And it's exciting! Time for exclamation marks!

I could talk about Abu Dhabi, but I didn't actually see it, so well done Rafa, well done Roger, keep it up. Here endeth my Abu Dhabi coverage.

But it's Hopman Cup time, and we are opening the year today with a fresh new star. This is my love song to young Ruben Bemelmans.

I always seem to discover an awesome young star at the Hopman Cup, and this year one has been thrown up in the first day. This year's Andrey Golubev is (well, apart from Golubev himself, who is also in this tournament) is Ruben Bemelmans. Sure, he didn't win his singles match yesterday, and he had a bit of a choke in the mixed doubles, but this boy is quivering with talent.

You heard it here. Ruben Bemelmans is going to grow up AWESOME.

He is hyper aggressive, which means that when he is good he is very very good (and when he is bad he is horrid, but a little experience and discipline should give him some consistency). He goes for the lines and he hits them a reasonable percentage of the time. I really like his volleys. He is a lefty so he gets some crazy angles, and his general game plan is good. All that is letting him down is execution.

He is the type of player who could catch alight and go on an absolute tear, and even though he didn't beat Lleyton today, look for him to give Djokovic a bit of a scare and do the same to Andrey Golubev (even though, as we know, Golubev is pure unadulterated awesome). Keep an eye on him this year. He is going to gain at least a hundred places this year, if not more. And in a couple of years... look for this guy in the top twenty, if not the top ten. He has so much talent he just doesn't know what to do with it.

And another person to keep an eye on, albeit for a different reason - Justine Henin. She seems a little pessimistic about her elbow, and she was a little loose against Molik today, even though she put together a very tidy win, but I was very impressed with her, in the mixed doubles in particular. If that injury doesn't get her too far down, she could put together a massive Aussie Open campaign.

Oh, and even though this is a love song to Belgium, Australia did actually win this tie. Well done. And stuff.

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