Supernova: "A rare celestial phenomenon involving the explosion of most of the material in a star, resulting in an extremely bright, short-lived object that emits vast amounts of energy." Who here remembers Kent Carlsson? He crashed onto the scene as a 17 year old Swedish clay-court phenom, the second wave after Borg and Wilander. In just 3 1/2 short years on the tour, he earned 9 titles and 8 runner-ups. By 1988, at age 20, he appeared to be seriously challenging Wilander as the premier clay-courter of his time. In that year, he won five titles (Madrid, Hamburg, Kitzbuhel, St. Vincent, and Barcelona), compiled a 50-8 match record, and rose to #6 in the world...And then within less than a year, he was gone, forced to retire at 21 with chronic knee problems. He had an intense grinding style, huge topspin strokes, one of the best kick serves I've seen. He first hurt his knee playing on the hard-courts at Indian Wells, and on doctor's orders played the rest of his short career almost exclusively on clay. If Carlsson had stayed healthy, he would have almost certainly triumphed at Roland Garros in the early 90's, probably multiple times. Of course, thinking about comparisons to today, Nadal comes to mind, another young, intense, topspin grinder, prone to injury, disdainful of the hard-courts. Is Nadal destined, likewise, for a short career? I don't know. But unless Nadal retires tomorrow, Carlsson will remain, for me, the ultimate supernova.