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We have seen some impressive tennis in the first 5 months of 2011 that will likely result in some changes in the mens’ rankings. Djokovic dominated the hard court season and with his wins over the clay court king Nadal in Madrid and Rome, there is every reason to consider him the favorite for the Roland Garros Grand Slam. Djokovic has racked up an incredible record of 39 victories and seven tournament victories in a row and currently appears unstoppable on his bid to extend his streak.

Of course Nadal, the defending champion from 2010, also has a very good chance of repeating but my hopes for Federer, after seeing him commit an uncharacteristic number of errors on his way to early exits in Madrid and Rome, are somewhat lowered. However, one should not underestimate his mental strength and experience in Grand Slam tournaments. Del Potro, Murray and Soderling could also make for some competitive games, but I doubt they will pose a major threat to Nadal or Djokovic.

On the women’s side, the nature of the field suggests that we could see a surprise winner as we did last year with Francesca Schiavone’s victory. For the third Grand Slam tournament in a row, Serena Williams has had to cancel for health reasons, and her sister Venus has had to withdraw due to injury. Fortunately Kim Clijsters will be able to play but not having had any matches on clay will make it tougher for her. Wozniacki gave her all to reach her first Grand Slam victory and she will do well at Roland Garros, but keep an eye on some of the other highly motivated top 10 players as well like Zvonareva, Azarenka, Stosur and Sharapova. Of course, I will have my fingers crossed for the German players, Andrea Petkovic and Julia Görges and hope they can continue to build on their great achievements of recent weeks. Its really great that their success has re-awakened interest for tennis in Germany.

We can all look forward to the next 2-weeks with many great players and possible surprises. Unfortunately, I will not have a chance to be in Paris this year but I will be in Europe soon. On June 4, I will play an exhibition mixed doubles match at the Champions Trophy at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle with Kafelnikov, Leconte and Görges. This will raise some funds for Children for Tomorrow and will also be a lot of fun I am sure. In preparation for my first real game in a long time, I’m training more often right now and look forward to welcoming many of you in Halle.