Tuesday, 22 November 2016

How Tennis Has Changed In A Year?

When Novak Djokovic won the French Open this year, he completed a Career Grand Slam and also held all four majors at the same time. With his slam tally extended to 12, including 6 since 2014 Wimbledon, the Serb was clearly in a zone. Even the best players, including Federer and Nadal had not enjoyed a phase like this.

Then came Wimbledon and Djokovic was the clear favourite but he exited the Championships with a third round loss to American Sam Querrey. The loss was somewhat expected just because of the burden of history the Serb was carrying in Paris. Next Stop was Olympics and the unthinkable happened when the Serb was sent packing by Juan Martin Del Potro in the 1st round. The Serb pounced by sweeping the Masters 1000 title in Toronto. An injury sidelined him from Cincinnati but he made his presence felt at the US Open and reached the final where he met the Big Match Man – Swiss Stan Wawrinka. A thriller of a 4 hour match ended with Wawrinka lifting his 3rd Slam title. Finally, the Serb revealed that loss of desire and motivation was behind his recent performances. Djokovic met Sascha Zverev in Shanghai Quarterfinal and after losing the first set, Djokovic was murmuring and smiling, which was a completely rare sight but still won. His Semifinal opponent was Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut who ended Djokovic’s run, beating him in straight sets.

While this all was happening, the World No.2 Andy Murray was the best performer in all the tournaments. Murray lifted Wimbledon beating Milos Raonic in the final, then did the seemingly impossible by defending his singles gold at the Rio Olympics, defeating Del Potro in the final. Then, he made the Cincinnati final but lost to an inspired Marin Cilic. Tennis pundits pitted Andy Murray to dethrone Djokovic at the US Open but Japanese star Kei Nishikori spoiled Murray’s party, beating the Scot coming from 2 sets to one down in their quarterfinal match. Murray came back strongly to win both Beijing and Shanghai titles and without dropping a set.

Vienna has been a hot spot for Murray in recent years and he proved it yet again and beat frenchman Tsonga in the final to lift another title for the year. All efforts combined proved to be a golden chance for Murray to sit atop the men’s rankings. With Cilic defeating Djokovic in the quarterfinal, the door was left open for Murray to dethrone the Serb. Murray reached the final when Milos Raonic withdrew from their semifinal match and also claimed the World No.1 ranking for the first time in his career. Murray was not done just their. On a fast Bercy surface, Murray faced American John Isner in the final. With emotions aside, Murray beat Isner in three sets to win his first title in French capital.

Though the World No.1 ranking still hangs unbalanced and it still is anybody’s game, Murray is the hot favourite heading to O2 Arena in London. With Federer and Nadal already capping their seasons long ago, it’s time for a new Tennis era to arrive, probably with Murray leading other ATP Stars on the tour.

Written by Mayank Sharma
A third year Engineering student at Delhi Technological University. An avid tennis fan and a die hard fan of Roger Federer. Loves writing articles on Tennis and developing Web pages.

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