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Thirteen tennis storylines for 2013

Serena Williams celebrates her singles win
by Mark Hodgkinson
Thursday 20 December 2012
Who could be doing what on the tour in 2013? Wimbledon.com explores...

1. Serena Williams taking a swing at the Serena Slam II. As the Americans say, the Californian is going to have her game face on in 2013 (as well as healthier big toes after she underwent operations during the close season). After winning The Championships and the US Open in 2012, victory at the 2013 Australian Open would put Williams three quarters of the way to the second non-calendar year Grand Slam of her career. The first Serena Slam, spread over 2002 and 2003, was fuelled by the hurt of a break-up - she thought she could get back at her ex by wining majors, as then she would be everywhere and he would realise what he was missing. The mooted second is driven by the disappointment she felt after her opening-round defeat at this year's French Open.
2. Revelations from Jimmy Connors. Jimbo has a book out in 2013. What will he write about his old rival John McEnroe?
3. Roger Federer hoping to make the Wimbledon record his own. This years, Federer put himself level with Pete Sampras on seven Wimbledon titles. Retaining the title in 2013 would make the most successful man in the All England Club's history.
4. Sweet versus savoury. The 2013 season will see Maria Sharapova continue her attempt to become a candy magnate, as she expands her sweets business across the tennis world (there will be a launch in Melbourne just before the Australian Open). And Novak Djokovic, who is reported to have bought up a fair share of the world's supply of donkey-milk cheese, will be hoping to persuade you to order some at his chain of restaurants.
5. Tennis getting its Rafa Nadal fix again. Surely even the most devoted of Rafaelites don't imagine that Rafa Nadal - who hasn't played since his second-round defeat at Wimbledon - will win January's Australian Open title. But his performances in Melbourne should tell us whether his knees will allow him to win the French Open for a record eighth occasion. It is to be hoped that Nadal can get back to his best. The men's game is a much more interesting place with Nadal in it.
6. Victoria Azarenka hoping to establish herself as the world No.1. Serena Williams was the dominant player of 2012, winning two Grand Slams and the Olympics, but it was Azarenka who finished the year on top of the computer list. If Azarenka is to be regarded as the alpha female of the women's game, winning a couple of Slams in 2013 would do her no harm.
7. The removal of the service let in a three-month experiment on the ATP Challenger Tour. If the experiment is a success, will the let also disappear at the highest level? There are also new rules in places on the ATP World Tour dealing with the punishments for stalling between points.
8. The seeded players hoping to avoid Lukas Rosol when the draw for the men's singles is made at The Championships 2013.
9. Andy Murray's attempt to become the first British man to hold the world No.1 ranking. Next season, it will be 40 years since the introduction of the official rankings in men's tennis, so there will be extra focus on the rankings. Should Murray win a grand slam or two he will be well placed to reach the top of the tennis tree and to be part of those celebrations. Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, will be hoping to end a third successive season at the top of the rankings. Roger Federer, who this year became the first man to spend more than 300 weeks at the top of the rankings, will like his chances of another run as the world number one.
10. Venus Williams, a fashion designer and tennis player, showing she can still do some damage at the Slams, that she doesn't just turn up at the majors to launch her dresses.
11. The locker room's thoughts on the new US Open schedule, with the men's final to be played on the third Monday (and not because of wind, rain and tornado warnings).
12. Which of the Bright Young Things of the men's and women's games will make the greatest impact at the Grand Slams?
13. Caroline Wozniacki's attempts to work her way back up the rankings.

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