Sunday, 21 December 2008

TSTB year end awards

Welcome to the TopSpinTennisBlog year end awards. We'll begin with player of the year. Over to a well known former champion who has kindly agreed to present the first prize. Boris, the floor is all

"The nominees for TopSpinTennisBlog player of the year are Andy Murray, Jelena Jankovic, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams."

Run VT: a burst of video clips showing Murray hitting the running backhand against Gasquet at Wimbledon, and Andy downing Federer in Shanghai; Nadal falling to the ground in his trademark celebaration in Paris and then Wimbledon; Serena playing Venus; and then Jelena playing Ana, and then Serena at the US.

Drum roll. Pause as Boris teases us and then reveals what we all knew.

"And the winner is, the world No 1 Rafael Nadal"

A no brainer really. Any man who can end Roger's dominance on grass, push him off the top spot, and win Olympic gold is a worthy winner. That said - and this is controversial - one of the judges couldn't help but point out that Rafa had a phenomenal 4 months rather than a great year.

The first few months of the season he was below par and nearly lost his no 2 ranking to Nole, and post Beijing he dropped away again.

OK that maybe a little churlish - there's some truth in it - but Rafa is a deserving winner.

Tomorrow, we'll reveal the winner of the David Ferrer over-achiever prize.


TopSpin said...

Hi Steve.

Agreed Nadals winning streak was closer to 4 months. But isn't that true of most 'great years' (that they involve both a ramp up as well as a period of tailing off)?

Sorry - now I'm being churlish!

I've got a couple of players in mind worthy of the David Ferrer award - but I'm going wait for your post....

freakyfrites said...

Hey Steve!

I can't wait for the David Ferrer award. No one's jumping out as a sure thing right now, although I have some ideas. Maybe Tsonga or del Potro for making it to the YEC? Or F-Lo and/or Verdasco for winning the DC final on Argentine soil? Jankovic for refusing to admit that she's not supposed to be as good as she is?

I'm wishing you a great holiday and all the best for the New Year - looking forward to your posts!

Steve said...

Hey Topspin, thanks for the comment. Yes, you're right for all but the very best, a great year is often only a matter of months.

But the benchmark for me is Roger in 2004, 2006, & 2007, where he began the year by winning the Australian, dominated throughout the season on all surfaces (apart from clay?) winning 3 slams and finishing the year with the Master's Cup.

The very definition of a great year!