The WTA Finals wrapped up this weekend in Singapore. Before the event began, no one could predict an outright favorite in a field of equals – these being the top eight WTA players of the 2017 season. Ultimately the event, much like the season itself, proved at times unpredictable, entertaining, and satisfying – for some yes, and for others, probably not, in the end.
“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.
The most anticipated return in tennis this year was, depending on you asked, a cause for either celebration or concern. In the end, Maria Sharapova’s appearance at last week’s Stuttgart event certainly couldn’t have come at a better time for women’s tennis. But the week itself proved it won’t be easy for Sharapova or the WTA to just simply move forward despite the lingering controversy from her nearly year long doping ban.
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
In chess, opening moves are often a key to success in winning. That’s especially true if a player employs the queen, the most powerful piece on the board, early in the game.
In the chess game of her career up until a few days ago, few would have disputed that Maria Sharapova was a master tactician. Every decision, especially in her lucrative off-court dealings, appeared planned down to the manicured minutiae of perfect timing for optimum result.
But Sharapova’s most recent first move to date may be the most important of her career.
2014 certainly had its highlights. But here’s a look back at some of those less than stellar moments we’d like to forget. And yes, there’s a reference to a famous outburst from tennis in the above track if you listen long enough. Continue reading