It seems as if the end of the year has brought about the A-game of the mysterious Marat Safin. In the last couple of weeks he has taken advantage of a Federer-less field and beaten up on the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and David Nalbandian in both Tennis Masters Madrid and the Paris Masters. He has moved from ninth place to fourth in a matter of weeks, passing - along the way - Nalbandian, Agassi, Henman, Coria, and Moya. Had he been more consistent during the year he certainly would have ended up number 2 in the ATP race - and all after being in the 80'2 after an injury. If he felt like it, Safin could prove that he is playing at the top of his game, mentally and physically by continuing to beat up on the field in Houston at the year end championships. Who knows how healthy Federer is and Roddick does not seem to be at the top of his game. This is an opportunity for Safin to shine. His record this year shows his brilliance and immaturity, fighting spirit and lack of desire. Yet, at the end of the year he holds 2 tennis masters shields, an appearance in the finals of the Aussie Open and a QF appearance at the French, both gutsy performances. As for the women's side, we will see 5 Russians out of 8 spots for the finalists. Mauresomo seems to be the strong favorite and she has a chance to snatch the nuber one spot from Lindsay Davenport but not so fast my friends. Funny not to mention Serena Williams in one of these conversations. With her competitiveness, I look at her to make some upsets of her own. Plus, as we all know, Mauresmo doesn't exactly perform very well under pressure and definitley not when she is expected to do well. Her being the clear favorite is my reasoning for excluding her from the winner's circle. There that was easy. So one down, seven to go. Zvonareva is strong but still young so count her out, Dementieva can get the same criticism so she's out, and we are left with Serena, Sharapova, Myskina, Davenport and Kuznetsova. My picks are Myskina, Kuznetsova, Mauresmo and Serena to go to the semis's as Davenport tends to break down late in tournaments. If Kuznetsova plays near her best she could come away with it and if Serena can be consistent she will come away with it - so there you have it. Easy, right! Go watch some tennis!