We have a guest write today, that follows tennis. I played tennis in high school and used to follow the sport closely. So it is good to see it get some coverage. As you know here at AllSportsDiscussion you write it, we’ll post it.
Adam Robinson is a writer with a particular interest in tennis and golf. You can read his musings at the Youwin blog
In a year when the four Grand Slams were won by each of the top four tennis players, it was fitting that world number 1 Novak Djokovic should win the season ending ATP World Tour Final in London against Roger Federer 7-6, 7-5.
At the start of the year, Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open in a 5 hour 53 minute marathon, the longest ever grand slam final. The Spaniard gained revenge beating Djokovic in the final of Roland Garros in early June.
Meanwhile Roger Federer recorded his seventh Wimbledon title in July, with victory over the home favourite Andy Murray; with the Scot gaining some revenge when he beat Federer in the final of the Men’s Tennis at the Olympic Games to take Gold for Great Britain.
Murray’s excellent form continued with a five set victory over Djokovic in the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows in September, recording Briton’s first Grand Slam victory dating back to Fred Perry back in 1936.
With the 2013 tennis season only weeks away can Novak Djokovic make it three successive years as the world’s top tennis player? After his all conquering performances in 2011, the 25 year old Serb wasn’t quite as impressive during 2012, losing the finals at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows and being beaten by Federer at the semi-final stage at Wimbledon. But Djokovic still remains the man to beat and will be looking to retain the Australian Open for a third successive year.
The ever popular Roger Federer had an excellent 2012 winning his first Grand Slam title in two years and ending the year ranked second in the ATP World Rankings.
Once again Federer proved that he is the master on grass and with the 31 year old playing a reduced schedule in 2013, it appears that he understand the need to play less tennis if he is to remain competitive for the rest of his illustrious career.
After a second half of the season wrecked by a knee injury, Rafael Nadal recently resumed training. Nadal had a great start to 2012 claiming his seventh French Open title; but a shock 2nd round defeat to Czech Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon proved to be his final game of the year.
Nadal who dropped to fourth place in the ATP World Rankings is expected to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi at the end of December, before heading to Australia, where he will compete in the opening grand slam tournament beginning in Melbourne on 14th January. Assuming that the Spaniard can maintain his fitness, there is no reason to suggest that he cannot reach the latter stages of the tournament and who would doubt that the King of Clay will not retain his French Open title where he has a remarkable 52-1 record.
Despite losing to Roger Federer in the semi-final of the ATP World Tour Finals in London; Andy Murray rightfully claimed his position among tennis’s elite, finishing the year in third place in the ATP World Rankings. Under the guidance of Coach Ivan Lendl, the Scot has shown far greater maturity and mental strength and is already being touted as a possible winner of the upcoming Australia Open.
Murray will have his sights set higher and will aim to win that elusive Wimbledon title for the first time as well as retaining his U.S. Open title on the way to the number one spot; however first Murray will need to overcome Nadal, Federer and Djokovic along the way.
But if any of the top four should slip up, there are a number of players capable of breaking into the leading group, with Spaniard David Ferrer finishing the year only 290 points behind fellow countryman Nadal.
Ferrer played the best tennis of his career in 2012, winning 76 matches and picking up seven titles. Whilst his favourite surface is clay, he showed his adaptability by winning titles on every type of surface.
In the crucial Davis Cup final between Spain and the Czech Republic, Ferrer’s outstanding straight sets (6-2, 6-3, 7-5) victory over world number six Tomas Berdych helped to level the tie; which Spain eventually lost when Radek Stepanek beat Nicolas Almagro in the deciding rubber.
If 30 year old Ferrer can maintain his excellent form going into 2013, then he has a real chance of breaking into the top four and to perhaps reach the final or even win his first Grand Slam tournament.
The highlight of Tomas Berdych’s season would have been victory for the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup. The hard-hitting Czech had a consistent 2012, helping him qualify for the season ending ATP World Tour Final.
Berdych reached the quarter final of the Australian Open, where he was eventually beaten by Rafael Nadal and later in the year at the U.S. Open he made the semi-final, beating Roger Federer along the way, before losing out to eventual winner Andy Murray.
Just behind Berdych in the rankings is the 24 year old Argentinean, Juan Martín Del Potro, who also reached the ATP World Tour Final in London beating Roger Federer along the way, before being knocked out in the semi-final by the eventual winner Novak Djokovic.
Del Potro, whose sole Grand Slam title saw him beat Roger Federer at the final of the U.S. Open in 2009, fell at the quarter final stages of three Grand Slams in 2012, losing to Federer in Melbourne and Paris and to Djokovic in New York.
But two consecutive victories over Federer at the end of the 2012 season will no doubt provide Del Potro with plenty of confidence going into the 2013 season.