Tennis Magazine‘s “tennis.com” web site features two articles from Peter Bodo about which Americans might step up in 2013. One is on the Women and one is on the Men. “Who among the young American women is most likely to emerge as Serena’s successor. Serena is 31 years old and has experienced more than a fair share of injuries and other tribulations. Sometime soon, somebody is going to have to take her place, just like the American men have to find a leader now that Andy Roddick is gone.”
The best among the Top 100:
Varvara Lepchenko (No. 21, age 26): She made great strides last year, starting from a ranking of No. 127. An immigrant from Uzbekistan and now a U.S. citizen, she’s a 5’11” lefty with a power baseline game. The thing she most needs to cut her ranking in half—or better—is greater consistency.
While Lepchenko has had some great wins, she’s also suffered some puzzling losses. But that’s not particularly worrisome when you look at how far she’s come, and the adjustments she’s had to make en route to being a seed-quality Grand Slam player. Lepchenko works with the USTA, and is considered a model protégé. You have to love her attitude and desire.
Sam Querrey (No. 22, age 25): Rebounding from the second major injury of his career (an elbow problem that required surgery), Querrey finished 2012 strong and may be poised to make a good run next year—if he remains healthy.
Querrey has a deceptive and at times almost goofy-looking game. He’s a big man (6’6”) who can play like a small one, mostly from the baseline despite being blessed with a massive serve. But lest that style seem like an enormous disadvantage, he’s an excellent ball striker and mover for a man his size.