Friday, 9 December 2016

Tennis 2017 Season: What to expect? PART-1

Tennis 2017 will be a year of expectations, undoubtedly. From many comebacks on the line to possible retirements, many players are expected to raise and maintain their level when it comes to one of the most awaited seasons in the sport.

# Roger Federer’s comeback

A lot has happened since Wimbledon this year. Roger Federer was a notable absence in many tournaments after Wimbledon like Rio Olympics, US Open and the World Tour Finals. Though Federer has stated in many interviews ever since that he’s getting better and better, but only match play will indicate how healthy and match ready he actually is.

One thing Federer has done better than other athletes throughout his career is decision-making. His decisions to skip some tournaments at times has boosted his energy levels and helped him in the upcoming tournaments. The decision to call the season was tough but he made it, hoping it would help him in the future.

The season could be his last on the tour. His fans certainly hope that’s not the case but it very well may be.

# Rafael Nadal’s comeback

After losing in Shanghai, Rafa Nadal hasn’t played an official match. But the Spaniard has been the best when it comes to comebacks. After coming back (from injury) in 2013, Nadal swept titles after titles, including many Masters 1000 and two Grand Slams. Though last two years have been extremely tough for Nadal, he has given incredible performances at times, showing his old self.
Nadal has experienced a dip in his confidence, leading to a simultaneous dip in his form. Though the Spaniard remains as motivated and inspired as ever, it’s a tough call to say he will ever win a Grand Slam.

But as he has done uncountable times in his career, 2017 may see the Nadal which the fans haven’t seen for quite some time now.

# Novak Djokovic’s dilemma

Novak Djokovic has been a center of discussion ever since French Open this year. His win-loss record stood at a quite staggering 44-3 when we claimed a maiden title in the French capital. Ever since the Serb has struggled with a lack of motivation being the reason behind some unexpected losses.The remainder of the season ended with a 21-6 win-loss record. The six losses included two 4-set defeats in Grand Slams and 4 straight sets defeats. 

As the Serb’s coach for the last three years Boris Becker stated “After Paris, we didn’t know what was the next big thing which could motivate Novak”, what would be the thing now to motivate the Serb? Will it be the seventh title in Melbourne or a regain of No.1 ranking from Murray?

Only time can answer that. But the Serb was almost close to his best en route to reaching the final at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. His 6-1,6-1 thrashing of Kei Nishikori in the Semis was probably his best performance in the second half of the season. Though he couldn’t hold off an extraordinary performance from Murray in the final, the Serb will enter 2017 with lesser doubts than he actually expected.

# Andy Murray’s Dominance

Murray dethroned Djokovic atop the men’s rankings after the Paris Bercy Masters and then ensured his hold on the top spot after beating the Serb in final of the ATP World Tour Finals.  

Murray will enter a new season as the World No.1 for the first time in his career. Expectations cannot be higher. Will he finally emerge victorious in Melbourne or will Djokovic again prove that he’s the man to beat at the Australian Open. 

Murray knows getting there and staying there are two different bites of the cherry. Maintaining his hold on the No.1 ranking will take even better exploits from the Scot. But as the tennis world and loyal Murray fans know, the only one who can do this is none other than him. 

In Part 2, this discussion will be extended forward. What some players need to do in 2017 will be the main topic of the talk.

Read Part-2: click here

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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