Sunday, January 1, 2012

Brief Tennis Year-In-Review

Happy New Year to all, but especially fellow tennis fans who will be glad to have new tennis matches already underway to obsess over. Of course, the tennis offseason is notoriously short to nonexistent, but before we dive headlong to the new year, let's take a quick look back at the year that was via a couple of its most notable players...

Novak Djokovic - He went on a historic and undefeated run for most of the year and compiled an unreal 10-1 record against Nadal and Federer. He won 10 titles including 3 Grand Slams and earned more money than any tennis player ever. He faded a bit in the end, but

Petra Kvitova - She ended the year as the player to beat, rising to #2 and beating the best at the year-end championship as well as leading her Czech team to a Fed Cup win. On top of all of that, she also won her first major at Wimbledon.

Kim Clijsters - Started out the year very well winning her first non-US Open Grand Slam at Melbourne then reaches the top ranking soon after becoming the first mother to ever hold the top spot. She dropped off the rest of th year skipping Wimbledon and playing her last match in Toronto.

Rafael Nadal - Won his sixth French Open title and made the finals in two others, but the big story this year for him was his inability to beat Djokovic in every surface including his beloved clay. He went out on top though by leading Spain for their 5th win.

Roger Federer - He didn't win a Grand Slam title for the first time since 2002, but he was the only person to defeat a fully healthy Djokovic and ended his year on a great note going on a 17-match run winning his 6th year-end championship for his 70th title in 100 career ATP finals.

Li Na - Not only did she become the first Asian player to reach a Grand Slam singles final (at the Australian Open), but she became the first Asian Grand Slam champion at Roland Garros after taking out defending champion Francesca Schiavone.

Caroline Wozniacki - She ended the year at no. 1 two years in a row and while she won the most matches and tied with Kvitova for the most titles won, she was still slam-less. She didn't even reach a Grand Slam final all year.

Sam Stosur - She won only one title last year, but it was for her first Grand Slam championship at the US Open taking out Serena.

Andy Murray - Won the second most titles on the ATP and reached the Australian Open final for the second time, but still slam-less and still ended the year ranked as #4.

Serena Williams - Out for most of the year due to illness and injury, she won Toronto and reached the US Open final only to lose to Stosur on 9/11.

Venus Williams - Like her sister, she was out of the year due to illness and injury and was eventually diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease.

What will 2012 bring to all of these players? It's an Olympic year, of course, so all of them will have that on the back of their heads for most of the year especially since it'll be held at Wimbledon. Kvitova and Federer are hoping their late-season momentum continues through the new year while Djokovic and Wozniacki hope to play well enough to keep their top ranking. But simply they all just want to win. We won't have to wait very long to see how they all handle the big tournaments. The Australian Open begins on January 16th!

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