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.
“Opportunity” had to be the single most used (and perhaps overused) word of this year’s US Open. And certainly no one is to blame for doing so considering what took place in New York, even before the tournament started. Ultimately, while the men’s and women’s singles finals proved anti-climatic, the respective champions earned satisfying and well-deserved wins, even if one was a complete surprise and the other, though not a surprise, added yet another impressive chapter in a legendary career.
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.
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.
The 2016 US Open opened with a new roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium and closed two weeks later with two new singles champions. With neither top seed claiming the title, and with at least one Number One ranking changing hands, the question remains if this is the start of a new era, or merely a brief time out in what has been almost near domination by two of the sport’s biggest stars.
The US Open starts next week. The last major of the season is looking ahead to the future with a mixture of excitement and perhaps, reluctance. While the long awaited and much needed roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium is now in place ready for use, New York’s favorite player won’t be there to play underneath it. Continue reading
Since the clock is close to running out on 2015, here’s a very quick look back at the players and moments that stood out to me the most this year. Continue reading