What did we learn from last week's tennis?
Ana Ivanovic is back. The Serbian won the WTA title in Linz after the shortest final of the year. The trend of which I spoke at the US Open is becoming more and more obvious: having Heinz Gunthardt, Steffi Graf's former mentor, by her side brings her the essential emotional balance she was lacking. Ana is improving and building confidence.
In the Osaka final we had a battle between the old guard: Kimiko Date Krumm and Tamarine Tanasugarn. It ended with the younger player's triumph. The Japanese was obviously hampered by her tough matches earlier in the week and also by the Asian tour, which she competed on a lot. However, at 40, Date Krumm is on her way back into the top 50 after 12 years without picking up her racquet.
Aravane Rezai, ranked 15 in the world, is still the French number one and playing in Luxembourg this week. German Andrea Petkovic reached the semi-finals in Linz and is improving while becoming known for providing thrilling matches. Still young, she has plenty of room for improvement.
Julia Goerges reached the quarter-finals and continues to progress - her ranking last year did not reflect her skill-set. She's also young and slowly but surely gaining confidence in her game and in her ability.
Marion Bartoli is still to qualify for Bali, which she won last year, at the end of the season. She needs $220,000 in 2010 to make it but failed to cross that threshold this week in Osaka, losing in semi-finals to Tanasugarn.
Novak Djokovic is scaring the French ahead of the Davis Cup final. He dealt with Gilles Simon in Beijing then with Richard Gasquet in Shanghai; both were punished heavily. He also sent Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga packing in doubles.
Roger Federer has moved up to number two in the world by reaching the Shanghai final. It remains a surprise to see him play in Stockholm this week, a $600,000 tournament. Bale, Bercy and the Masters Cup should follow: a packed schedule for someone trying to lighten his calendar and state of mind.
Thomas Muster has been given a wildcard for the ATP tournament in Vienna.
Recent US Open junior finalists Daria Gavrilova and Yulia Putintseva of Russia have been given wildcards for a WTA event this week - their first professional dates. The former plays in Moscow, the latter in Luxembourg.
Young French hope Caroline Garcia, 17 years of age, reached the semi-finals of the $25,000 Limoges event after a victory over the top seed. She then lost in the quallies of the Luxembourg tournament against Chanelle Sheepers. She's now ranked 312 in the WTA and catching Kristina Mladenovic (264), who has often been injured this season.
On the boy's side, Grigor Dimitrov (19 years of age) and Henri Kontinen (20) are playing in the Rennes challenger; Alex Kuznetsov (19) and Milos Raonic (19) are in Tashkent; Ryan Harrison (18) plays Tiburon.