Jonas Bjorkman: Aged: 25. Ranking: 4. Davis Cup record: Singles 6-2. Doubles 11-2.
One of the best returners of service in the game, particularly on the backhand, and a smart match player. Has surprised me with his progress, but winning his first tournament of the year boosted his confidence and he hasn't looked back. Brilliant doubles player.
Thomas Enqvist: Aged: 23. Ranking: 28. Davis Cup: Singles 10-5.
Hit by injury this year and short of confidence. Has the game to beat Sampras because he's very strong physically and has powerful groundstrokes. He's like a robot: if everything's working fine, he's unstoppable. If not, then things can fall apart.
Niklas Kulti: Aged: 26. Ranking: 153. Davis Cup: Singles 5-3. Doubles 5-2.
A great junior but not quite lived up to his potential yet. He can raise his game for the big occasion as he showed last year, though he lost to Boetsch in the final rubber. Big serve, sound volley and a good team man, able to play singles and doubles.
Magnus Larsson: Aged: 27. Ranking: 25. Davis Cup: Singles 10-3.
A very relaxed sort of guy. Nothing seems to bother him, which is great for the team. Just wish he could be more organised on and off court. He's not the most fluent mover but he can surprise you with his speed and hurt you with his forehand. Good hand speed.
Pete Sampras: Aged: 26. Ranking: 1. Davis Cup record: Singles 13-5. Doubles 3-1.
The most complete player ever to grace a tennis court, in my opinion. Earlier in his career, his backhand was a weaker stroke and his mind was not as strong. But he has worked on both aspects of his game and on his day can play near faultless tennis. An underrated doubles player too.
Michael Chang: Aged: 25. Ranking: 3. Davis Cup: Singles 8-2.
Very strong and a guy you have to beat. He won't self-destruct. A great mover and counter-puncher, but he's been struggling for form this autumn and was beaten by Bjorkman in Hannover. Runs round his backhand to hit a forehand, but I think his backhand is the better stroke.
Todd Martin: Aged: 27. Ranking: 81. Davis Cup: Singles 9-2. Doubles: 1-2.
Struggling for fitness for much of the year. Only played 20 singles all year. Not a great mover, but once he gets there he is a powerful hitter, especially on the forehand. The key is to keep him moving.
Alex O'Brien: Aged: 27. Ranking: 98. Davis Cup: Singles 1-0. Doubles: 0-1.
I'm not sure I ever played him, but he's a fine doubles player and was good enough at singles to win a tour tournament last year. Pretty solid all the way round and a good returner. Could play doubles with Sampras.Reuse content