I don’t know about you, but to me, 2013 seemed like it was only about 3 months long. One minute everyone was doing the Harlem Shake and the next, they moved on to something called twerking. It felt like just yesterday that I was writing my 2012 year in review. Weren’t we just talking about Rafael Nadal’s comeback? But here we are, at the end of the 2013, less than 1 month away from the 2014 Australian Open. And Rafa’s knee, much like Miley Cyrus, appears to be alive and well.
These past 12 months can be summed up in 2 words: Rafa, Serena. Both had spectacular seasons and both went into 2013 with question marks. Rafa with his knee and Serena with her age (which, at 32, is considered “over the hill” in tennis years). And yes, let’s not forget that this was the year Andy Murray got the monkey, well, more like Godzilla, off his back by winning Wimbledon.
With 2014 quickly approaching, let’s not waste anytime. Here are the awards:
Best Point. The “They Aren’t Human!” Award
Djokovic vs Nadal @ US Open
Wawrinka vs. Djokovic @ Australian Open
Stepanek vs Starace @ Rome
Nadal vs Del Potro @ BNP Paribas Open
Azarenka vs Serena @ Cincinnati
Raonic vs Tsonga @ BNP Paribas Open
Ferrer vs Djokovic @ Paris
Winner: Djokovic vs Nadal @ US Open
Best Match. The “Get Your Popcorn Out” Award.
Wawrinka vs Djokovic in 4th round of Australian Open
This was shot making at its best. Wawrinka came out firing and continued to do so through the 5 sets. Fitting that match point was such an epic rally. It was too bad one of those men had to lose. But tennis won because of that match.
Rafa vs Djokovic in semi-finals of French Open
Not too many people in the world can make The King of Clay fight, scrap and dig for every point on clay. But Djokovic is one of those people. Two shot makers making ridiculous shots for 5 amazing sets. But in the end, Nadal showed why he’s won Roland Garros 8 times.
Lisicki vs Serena in 4th round of Wimbledon
This was supposed to be another routine win for Serena. Lisicki had other plans. She has the firepower few on the WTA possess to hit past and through Serena. And that she did.
Winner: Wawrinka vs Djokovic
Best Shot. “The dadada-da-da-da” Award
Federer vs Dodig @ BNP Paribas Open
Djokovic vs Murray @ Australian Open
Kirilenko vs Zheng @ Beijing
Radwanska vs Flipkens @ Miami
Tsonga vs Wawrinka @ Madrid
Gasquet vs Djokovic @ Montreal
Nadal vs Wawrinka @ ATP World Tour Finals
Winner: TIE: Radwanska vs Flipkens @ Miami and Gasquet vs Djokovic @ Montreal
Player of the Year
This was not supposed to happen this way. Players aren’t supposed to sit out for 7 months with a knee injury to come back and just dominate the field. Isn’t there supposed to be an acclimation process? Shouldn’t there be signs of rust? Apparently not for this man. Who, since his comeback has:
– Compile a 75-7 record. Not reaching the finals only 3 times.
– Regain the #1 ranking
– Take home $14.5 million in prize money
– Win 10 titles
– Win 8th Roland Garros title
– Win 2nd US Open title
– Become only the 3rd person to win Cincinnati, Montreal and US Open in same year. (all on hard courts by the way)
Should we be surprised by anything Serena does anymore? She’s 32 years old, which is the same age as Roger Federer. And many people consider him over the hill. But for Serena, this is her prime. And the gap between her and the rest of the WTA tour is only getting larger. Don’t believe me? She finished more than 5000 points ahead of the #2 player, Azarenka. Just a few of her accomplishments this year:
– 78-4 record
– Won 11 of 16 tournaments. A career high.
– 34 match winning streak
– Won 2 majors: French and US Open. Now has a total of 17 Grand Slams
– Won $12.4 million in prize money
– Fun fact: Serena has hit more aces (480) than either Federer, Djokovic or Nadal.
Winner: Rafael Nadal. But sooooooo close.
And as usual, we’re looking into our crystal balls and making fearless predictions for 2014.
ATP: Juan Martin del Potro catches fire and wins the Aussie. Baby Fed (Dimitrov) wins
more titles than Roger. Dimitrov and Vasek Pospisil firmly establish
themselves inside the top 20.
WTA: Simona Halep is top 5 by the end of the year. Sharapova wins a major
and finishes #2 behind Serena. Watch out for Garbine Muguruza, especially
in the second half of the year.
ATP: Novak Djokovic will finish the year as No. 1. Rafa will have a very
strong year and the two will split the majors. The UK will beat the US in
the first round of Davis Cup in San Diego.
WTA: Wozniacki will replace Azarenka as World No.2 with Serena still
dominating the tour. Marion Bartoli will make a come back.
ATP: Richard Gasquet will hold it together for two weeks and win a Slam.
Rafa will finally win the World Tour Finals.
WTA: Sloane Stephens enters the top 5, boosting US women’s tennis. On the
flipside, Venus Williams retires.
ATP: Juan Martin del Potro’s will break into the top 4. Andy Murray will
win back to back Wimbledons and make history. Rafael Nadal will NOT win
French Open but win another slam sometime during the year.
WTA: It will be a year of new blood as youngsters such as Eugene Bouchard,
Sloane Stevens, and Madison Keys all make a big impact in the slams.
Serena might start off a little slow but will finish the year strong with
a sweep of US Open and the year end championships. Marion Bartoli will
come out of retirement and start playing tournaments again.
ATP: Milos will finally make his impact on the ATP and win a major (think: US
Open)! Federer falls out of the top ten and eventually retires. Sam Querrey revives American tennis.
WTA: Petra will win another Wimbledon! Serena will be number 1 for the whole year of 2014. Madison Keys breaks into the top15 and will win either the BNP or Miami.
ATP: Someone, anyone besides the Big 4 will win a Slam. The Boris Becker/Novak Djokovic relationship won’t go past the Australian Open.
WTA: Genie Bouchard will break into the top 15. Serena will win 3 of the 4 Majors. And in the 1 Major she doesn’t will, she’ll lose in the 2nd round.
ATP: Raonic will break into the top eight and qualify for the year-end ATP
championships. Murray will win Wimbledon again this year.
WTA: Serena will end the year as No.1 again. Li Na will win a Grand Slam.
That is it for the 5th annual T Dubbies! Do you have any nominees you want to add to a category? Comment below! Have a happy new year!
Cheers to 2014!