How was 2010 : Tennis
The tennis season has undoubtedly belonged to a certain Spaniard who goes by the name of Rafael Nadal.
After retiring from his Australian Open quarter final against Andy Murray in January, Nadal started the year in a similar vein to how his previous season ended. Plagued by tendinitis, we were left wondering whether we would ever see the return of the man who knocked Roger Federer off his pedestal in 2008.
Federer took full advantage of Nadal's demise to win the opening grand slam title of the year, but had to ramp it up a gear to beat Murray, who was playing the best tennis of his life. Britain's 74-year wait for a men's grand slam champion continued.
Both Murray and Federer then suffered a spring slump; with Nadal still on the mend, Andy Roddick took full advantage. Then came the rise of Nadal. It started at Monte Carlo, gathered pace in Rome and he completed a clay-court hat-trick in Madrid - beating old foe Federer in the process.
By the time the French Open arrived, Nadal's fifth crown at Roland Garros seemed to be an inevitability. The King of Clay was back at world No. 1, and while there was little surprise at his triumph at Wimbledon, the big upset was Federer's failure to reach the final for the first time since 2002.
Surely Nadal couldn't complete a career Grand Slam? Federer and Murray were back in the hunt, but after an epic semi-final, it was Djokovic who stood between Nadal and greatness, and the great man prevailed.
On the women's tour, Serena Williams denied Justine Henin a fairytale comeback in Melbourne and, Francesca Schiavone claimed a maiden grand slam at the age of 29 at Roland Garros.
There must have been something in the water at Wimbledon, because the women's seeds fell like flies. The semi-final line-up of Petra Kvitova, Vera Zvonareva and Tsvetana Pironkova was only made believable by the presence of three-tiime champion Serena Williams, who lived up to her name as she cruised to her 13th grand slam title.
It would be the last time Williams graced the court after a nasty foot injury brought her season to a premature end.
In her absence, Kim Clijsters made it look easy as she defended her US Open title against a hapless Zvonareva.
But despite failing to reach a grand slam final, the year belonged to Caroline Wozniacki, who was crowned world No. 1 after six titles.
Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard ended the year as world No. 1 with seven titles, and the holder of three grand slams. He also completed a career Grand Slam at the US Open - not bad for a 24-year-old.
Rafael Nadal cemented his place in the history books when he completed a career Grand Slam at the US Open - only the seventh man in history to achieve the feat.
The word 'epic' is overused in sport, but there is no other word to describe John Isner's 11-hour victory over Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon. In a match unlikely to be matched, Isner hit 112 aces in a record-breaking 6-4 3-6 6-7(7) 7-6(3) 70-68 match on Court 18.
At the beginning of the 2010 season, Tomas Berdych was ranked No. 20 in the world. By June, he had broken into the world's top ten after a semi-final appearance at the French Open. As if to prove that was no fluke, he followed it up with his first grand slam final at Wimbledon - where he lost to an imperious Nadal in straight sets.
In the 2009 Wimbledon final, Andy Roddick won more points than Roger Federer but still managed to lose. Always expected to be a contender at the All England club, Roddick was sent tumbling out of in the fourth round by world No. 82 Yen-Hsun Lu. Roddick had three chances to break in the final set, but crashed to a 4-6 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 9-7 defeat.
A year ago, Dinara Safina ended the year as world No. 2, having occupied the top spot for much of the year after three titles and final appearances at the 2009 Australian and French Opens. After struggling with a back injury early in 2010, the Russian has plummeted down the rankings. The lowest point of her season came when she lost six consecutive matches - failing to win a single match between May and August. Her win to loss ratio for 2010 was 13-16.
The age-old debate re-emerged in October when Wozniacki was crowned world No. 1 - does a player who has never won a grand slam deserve to top the rankings? It was the same with Clijsters (who has since won three), with Jelena Jankovic and with Safina. But the woman she replaced had played just six tournaments all year - albeit with two grand slam victories at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Serena Williams' dominance when fit was plain to see, but with just six tournaments under her belt, was she a deserving owner of the No. 1 ranking?
Last edited by DexteR; 26-12-2010 at 07:44 PM.
Re: How was 2010 : Tennis