Merry Christmas to our lovely readers! We’ve had a whirlwind year and an even crazier tennis season, so let’s recap our favorite 2014 tennis moments in real holiday fashion!
On the first day of Tennismas, my 40-love gave to me…
Ok, so maybe there were (a lot) more upsets than just 12, but ‘tis the season!
In a year of great surprises, so many stand out amongst the rest. For example, there was teen prodigy Nick Kyrgios and his win over modern tennis great Rafael Nadal in a Wimbledon five-set epic. Caroline Wozniacki won our hearts with an amazing win over Maria Sharapova, landing her into her first major final since 2009.
The Rise of No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov led the pack of young guns earlier this year, but several late-season missteps caused him to drop from his highest-ever ranking of No. 8.
Though he wasn’t without his many successes. He won three titles, more than he has ever won in a year before. He exploded onto the scene at Wimbledon – where he reached the semifinal, upsetting defending champion Andy Murray en route. Despite him not matching a Cilic or Wawrinka, we can expect to see him do great things in 2015.
Also, being incredibly good looking and dating Maria Sharapova is always a plus.
Year-End No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova
Cibulkova began 2014 with a bang when she made it to the Australian Open final against Li Na. Though she lost to the recently retired tennis star, Cibulkova rode the wave of momentum through early spring, winning a smaller title in Mexico and reaching the semifinals of Miami – upsetting No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska along the way.
Unfortunately, the rest of 2014 wasn’t as good for her; she struggled to win most matches after losing in the final of Kuala Lumpur. Her first round loss to American youngster CiCi Bellis at the US Open was a professional nadir. Yet, she finished the year with her best ever ranking, and she’ll be looking to make a statement come January.
Nine Roland Garros(es)
As Rihanna would say, that Nadal reign just won’t let up. Rafael Nadal cemented his place as a tennis legend by winning his ninth French Open earlier this year.
Though his season was marred by injuries, the tennis world is eager for his return to challenging for the throne in 2015.
Eight Ferrer Bagels
David Ferrer handed out eight bagels this year, the most of any ATP player. He was award the Golden Bagel Award for this crowning achievement. Though I’m sure he’d probably like a Grand Slam title a lot more.
Fun fact: the player who gave out the most bagels in a single season was Roger Federer, with a whopping 19 bagels.
Seven Grand Slam Titles
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in a five-set match showdown – one of the best matches of the year – to win his seventh major title.
Hopefully, we’ll see Djokovic continue to show off his skills in the upcoming year. Hail to the Djoker!
Six US Opens
With her US Open win over Caroline Wozniacki in September, Serena is now tied with Chris Evert for six US Open titles.
We can expect to see Serena try for seven in 2015, as it’s the Serena showed that age is nothing but a number this year, and she’s undoubtedly gunning for more major titles in the next.
Five Five-Set Matches
From the Federer/Djokovic Wimbledon final to the Wawrinka/Djokovic Australian Open QF (noticing a pattern?), we absolutely adored the matches that left us peeking between our fingers to see who would win.
When it comes down to the fifth set, you can expect to see either some of the best tennis or complete mental breakdowns, and isn’t that what makes tennis great? Isn’t it?
Four Different Winners
On both the ATP and WTA Tours, we had four different Grand Slam Singles champions. Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic for the men, and Li Na, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, and Serena Williams for the women.
It was the first time since 2012 and 2011, respectively. Though it isn’t a super rare occurrence, it’s always nice to see the wealth spread around for everyone.
Three New Major Finalists
In women’s tennis, a grand total of three players made their Grand Slam final debuts: Genie Bouchard, Simona Halep, and Dominika Cibulkova. While they aren’t new to the tennis world, it was their first year breaking out and challenging the usual guard.
Though they all lost their Grand Slam matches to older, more experienced players, we can expect to see them coming back better than ever in the season to come.
Two Year-End Champions
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams ended the year on the brightest possible notes, each after (relatively) rollercoaster seasons. Both won only one Grand Slam title this year – quel dommage! – but Djokovic did have a chance to make it two with a runner-up finish at the French Open.
Serena’s year had an upward trajectory, as she made up for her earlier disappointment with a strong showing in the US Open and an inspiring win over Wozniacki during the WTA Finals. Speaking of…
And One Epic Racquet Smash
During that very match against BFF Wozniacki, Williams smashed her racquet. However, it wasn’t just any old stress relieving racquet smash, it was the racquet smash heard around the world.
The incident was covered by multiple media outlets, and I’m pretty sure if there was a real contest for racquet smashes, this one would be unanimously numero uno.
Merry Christmas from all of us at The Tennis Island! Stay tuned for more exciting content through the New Year!