Plenty of surprises possible in 2005

Originally Published: January 4, 2005
By Pam Shriver | Special to
As the 2005 season begins this week, there's no way to know who could be the surprise of the year. The crucial thing is to have everyone healthy. The women finally are where the men were in the past: Any number of players have the potential to finish the year at No. 1.

In fact, the top of the women's field is crowded with players who could be No. 1 now. This year could see a major with Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, the Williams sisters, the Belgians and all these new Russian players competing.

After three straight years of dominance on the WTA Tour by first the Williams sisters, then two different countries, there's no telling what to expect. More players have Grand Slam experience, add in a couple of up-and-coming teenagers, some wily veterans and the two Martinas returning. After a "retirement" swing last year, Martina Navratilova is back again this year playing with Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. Martina Hingis is going to play a bit -- at Thailand at the end of January (which would mean I win my bet with Cliff Drysdale, so I'm looking forward to it).

Pam Shriver

Tennis analyst
A top player on the women's tennis tour for more than 15 years, Pam Shriver is an analyst and reporter for ESPN's tennis telecasts, including the network's exclusive coverage of all four Grand Slam events.