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Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Resolutions for the 2009 tennis season

You might not believe in New Year's resolutions, and probably for good reason. Chances are, if you've ever made any, you've also broken more than a few. But when you take away the special name, they're really just goals, and we're always supposed to set goals for ourselves, right? With that in mind, here are a few goals -- or resolutions, if you will -- for 2009 for those of us in the world of tennis, whether we're players, coaches, fans or members of the ever-excitable media.

Novak Djokovic: I'll forget about all the talking I did about becoming No. 1 at the beginning of 2008 and get back to just winning matches and tournaments. The rest might take care of itself.

Larry Stefanki: As Andy Roddick's new coach, I'll do what I've said I'm going to do, which is beef up his return of serve. After that, I might just take a look at that forehand volley grip.

John McEnroe: I'll follow my gut by staying in the booth and keeping my tediously angry act off the court.

David Nalbandian: Now that the Davis Cup has been blown, I'll show up for the rest of the season.

Jelena Jankovic: Now that I'm No. 1, I'll forgo the ranking points and try to peak for the four tournaments that a No. 1 is supposed to win.

Roger Federer: I'll begin conserving late-career energy by keeping points shorter.

Rafael Nadal: I'll begin conserving midcareer energy by … keeping my fist-pumps shorter?

Ana Ivanovic: Where's that old T-shirt of mine, the one that read, "No time for love"? I might need to remember that in 2009.

Fernando Verdasco: I will burn that shirt.

Serena Williams: I'll be more superstitious than ever. You see, I won the Aussie Open in 2003, 2005, 2007 -- and now …

Venus Williams: Wherever I play, I'll wear all white and pretend there's nice green grass beneath my feet.

Nicole Vaidisova: I'll start with a smile and go from there.

Richard Gasquet: I'll try not to be so damn smooth all the time. Maybe I'll play a little tougher.

Andy Murray: I'll keep doing whatever it was I've been doing, right down to my close morning shave.

Dinara Safina: I will not, repeat, will not succumb to the drop-back-to-earth syndrome that so clearly awaits me this season.

Gael Monfils: I will not, repeat, will not be scared of Mardy Fish ever again.

Marin Cilic, Sam Querrey, Juan Martin del Potro, Ernests Gulbis: I'll be the first of the baby giants to make it to the net. (But don't tell any of the other guys.)

Tennis fans and members of the media:

We will not write off Nadal in the middle of March.

We will not forecast the imminent freak-out and retirement of Federer after his first loss.

We will learn to stop worrying about the Williams sisters' post-loss comments and begin to appreciate them before they're gone.

We will watch more doubles (you're going to break one resolution, so you might as well give yourself an easy out).

Most of all, we will, in this time of worldwide gloom and onrushing depression, be happy to have tennis back for another year.