Normally at the end of each year, I write up a best and worst list of all things tennis. For a lot of reasons, mostly lack of time, I’ve decided to just write a more concise year-end review with my thoughts on the players, matches, and off-court events that stood out the most to me in 2017.
Unusual. Unknown. Unlikely. Unforeseen.
These were just a few of the words starting with “un” that were used throughout the week in various media reports to describe this year’s ATP Finals in London. And one can’t blame some of the writers for doing so. After all, for those that don’t follow the ATP Tour week in and week out, the sight of some “unfamiliar” (yet another “un” word used) faces in the elite eight lineup was cause for head scratching and double takes at the lineup. Especially considering the two men in that draw who dominated the tour all year – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
At the start of the year, many wondered if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were, perhaps, past their glory days. But Federer, coming back from a long injury recovery, and Nadal, almost out of the top ten, then delighted tennis fans by reaching the Australian Open final that Federer won. Now both find themselves the most talked about players entering this year’s US Open. Despite their long history together, neither man has faced the other across the net in New York. If they do in the semifinals, it will cap off what has been the biggest, yet most welcomed surprise this year.
Serena Williams, who won in Melbourne before revealing her pregnancy soon after, will not be in New York. But her absence on the women’s tour is still very much felt. Especially with an ongoing race to the top WTA ranking that now includes eight women in the hunt. One being her elder sister Venus Williams, herself enjoying the best season of her career in some time having reached two major finals. Yet, the open-ended, unpredictable women’s tour these days has many, including one of the all-time greats, longing for the rivalries of the past.
Who will win Wimbledon, is of course, the biggest question in sport right now as the 131st Championships is about to commence this Monday. But before we find out that answer, there are a myriad of other questions that will also be answered throughout the two weeks, some of which will have a huge impact of the entire tennis season moving forward, once the final “Game, Set, Match” is declared.
In a year that most people want to forget, 2016 proved a tough one to bear for the tennis world as well, with a variety of controversies, blunders, and one very bad meltdown. While it’s impossible to go through them all, here’s a not so fond look back at some of the moments that made tennis fans cringe, moan, and cover their eyes all year.
Filed under ATP, Tennis, WTA
2016 in the tennis world was a year full of change and surprise. Here’s a quick look back at those players and highlights that stood out the most in this most memorable of years.
Top of the Charts
2016 was indeed a year of change including at the top of the tennis rankings. With breakthough, and career changing seasons, Angelique Kerber and Andy Murray closed out the year both as year-end No.1s.
Former US Open Champion and World No. 1 Andy Roddick returned to live tennis commentary via Periscope. While Roddick commentated on both the Serena Williams/Vania King and Juan Martin del Potro/Steve Johnson second round matches, it was a comment he made when answering a question about Nick Kyrgios that generated a lot of response, at least on my own Twitter response timeline after I posted the comment.
While I don’t remember the actual question, this is what Roddick said about Kyrgios.
After posting this, I received many responses to it. Debates about Kyrgios and his personality are nothing new.