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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:09 am

With the Masters Tennis Legends tournament finished at the weekend, I think we can safely say that tennis 2012 is now done and dusted.

Before Christmas frenzy takes over people's minds and reduces conversations to turkey and presents, let's take a look at some of the memorable moments 2012 has given us.

To start with, this year 2011 it was certainly not, although it looked like it at the beginning, for in...

Novak Djokovic won Australian Open, beating Nadal in their seventh consecutive final, yes in the record breaking nearly 6 hour long longest slam final in history.
I still haven't seen the match except for the last few points and the trophy presentation in which the players had to be brought chairs to sit on due to the sheer exhaustion.
At the time, this match caused controversial opinions: some loved the battle, grit, sweat and tears; the others hated the brutality, physicality, repetitiveness and tennis blandness.
Whichever camp, this was a match that marked both finalists' rest of season: I believe this is where Nadal's knees got ground to powder, and where Novak's will to endure similar physical efforts must have turned off a few things in his brain for good 6 months.

saw a lot of smaller tournaments take the pain off AO final and all the talk it kicked off: should the surfaces be sped up, what can we do to avoid 6 hour matches, encourage all-court tennis etc etc...
The answer came in Dubai where a fast final and tennis played during the tournament contrasted sharply the first major of the year: journalists were happy - now that for nearly 10 years afluentFedal/GOAT cash cow seemed to be wearing thin, they had something meaningful and real to write about again!
Federer won beating Murray in straight sets. At the time, nobody could forsee that this win was going to be the beginning to one of Federer's finest seasons.
In London, Novak Djokovic received a most prestigious athlete's award: Laureus Sportsman of the Year, it was all looking very much like another 2011 was unfolding...

the ATP caravan descended in Texan desert of Indian Wells where the first cracks started showing in Novak's satiated and still unrecovered from AO hunger: he lost to Isner in the semi-final who then lost to Federer. The world still wasn't realising Federer was on a roll.
Nadal was of course "injured" since he lost somewhere along the way. One thing is for sure: his ego was definitely injured as he left Player's Council in a huff not having achieved his 2 year protected ranking goal.
Murray bombed out in the first round against GG Lopez. He, too looked very much 2011: an AO spanking from Djokovic, followed by a sulk.
In Miami, it was Federer's turn to take a break, which he did, gentlemanly allowing Roddick to beat him in the second round. Nadal retired from the tournament in the semi-final not wanting to face Murray and even worse, already in the final his hard-court dominator: Novak Djokovic, who went on to defend his title successfully beating Murray in the final.
Llodra had his love-gate with a Chinese fan.

the beautiful springtime, and tennis comes home to Europe and natural surfaces. Marked by smaller tournaments and a warm-up for the biggest three months in the season, now not compulsory Federer free Monte Carlo saw many players slip and injure themselves (Monaco and Benneteau most seriously) Novak play through tears of his grandfather's death and Nadal win his 7th consecutive title, finally breaking the 7 finals loss streak to Novak. Tables are turned. Knees are fine.

Real fun begins, and in some style: on blue clay. Just what we all needed to shake things up before RG and Wimbledon. Everyone moaned. Nadal the loudest. In the middle of the tournament, it looked like it was going to be a disaster and then it all turned with Serena and Federer winning titles, finding their strong footing in that slippery clay for the rest of the season.
One man was very happy, though: Fernando Verdasco. Nobody beats Nando 13 times in a row, especially in his hometown on blue clay!
Back on "real" clay and Rome (aren't all roads supposed to lead there, anyway?) things were beginning to go back to normal: it was a Djokovic Nadal final, Nadal winning. An honourable mention - fantastic run by the home boy Andreas Seppi who heroically fended off Istomin, Isner and Wawrinka (in 3 tie-break sets in the craziest of crazy atmospheres I've ever seen) only to fall meekly to Federer in the quarters (o, Fed trounced him 6:1 6:2, Seppi was totally spent from the night before) who then fell, a bit less meekly to Novak in the semis (6:2 6:7).
Roland Garros....the birth of a Match Point Man and emerging of the No Pasarant Novak Djokovic - noone was going to stop him- Sepi, Tsonga....: so much was on the line for him, could he be the first man since Rod Laver to hold all 4 slams at the same time? Could he do something not even Federer could do before him? Again, the whole tennis world was against Nole and pressure on his shoulders. This poor fan suffered quietly sitting on a plane, humming the death tune of O Mio Babbino Caro. For I knew that 2011 was on the line and about to end. Time to pack up the wings.
The rain, Paris, Nadal, Federer fans, Laver....they all won.

and the green, green grass of tennis home. Haas beats Federer in Halle final. Nalbandian sees red at Queens and so does the line judge when he limps off the court with blood dripping off his shin.
It's Wimbledon and everyone's happy: the gore and dirt of blue and red clay is now gone. Tears and rain of RG forgotten.
Nothing must mess up immaculate haven called Wimbledon. And nothing does: Federer wins it for the the 7th time breaking Sampras's Wimbledon as well as his own slam winning record - 17 in the bag. Plus: he is number one again. It doesn't get sweeter than that at nearly 31 for Federer. Tennis age when you take nothing for granted. Tennis world is happy. Time stops for a while.
Not for Andy Murray. He endures one painful loss. So close, yet so very, very far.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot - Nadal, well, I only need mention one name: Lucas The Great Rosol. It's knees again, but also the "bump" and the goodbye/retirement from tennis.

Minor tournaments for lesser ranked players and a well-earnt short respite for the top ones, for 2012 was an Olympic year and the games are just around the corner in London. Two Wimbledons in one year.
Novak carries the flag for Serbia proud and tall.
It is happy 3 weeks of summer for Britain and Britain's best: Andy Murray who wins gold medal in singles and silver in doubles. Beggars can't be choosers. Just ask Delpo 2012: Done and Dusted! 1071211947

Back to the dreary, soulless grind of American hard-courts and the prep for one last push at the last slam of the year.
Novak wins Rogers Cup. Federer and Nadal are not there. Neither is Murray after Raonic dispatches him in round 3.
In Cincy, Murray takes a break and Federer wins defeating Novak in the final.
USO... remember, Nadal was MAYBE going to play there?
Well, he doesn't. But wind does. A lot. Especially in the semi-final and the final. Federer gets knocked out by Berdych in the quarters. Novak, as usual had less time to rest. Despite being the defending champion.
Well, it had to be done, I suppose. Everyone had had enough of The question. The fans, the pundits, the journalists, the "legends". Even Murray. Thank you Nole.

is a quiet month with everyone recovering from a very long season, not quite finished still, though. Tsonga, Gasquet, Monaco and a new name - Klizan all won titles in 250 events. Davis Cup semi-final was played and we all looked forward to the final, it was going to be played on fast indoor courts in Prague and Czech Republic was going to host Spain. Nadal was practising and getting ready to play for Spain.

Asian swing starts: Nole wins Beijing & does a gangnam dance for the persistent host. Nishkori wins Tokyo beating Berdych in the final, resorting to gamesmanship en-route. Nothing we haven't seen before, tough. Can't wait to see Berd annihilate him in their next match.
Shanghai masters, and all the big names are back, Federer receives death threats from a lunatic fan. Novak wins beating Murray in a memorable final. A season defining win for Nole.
Paris Bercy....unfarily scheduled back to back with World Tour Finals in London sees all top seed flee in early rounds and emergence of a wonderful new young player Jerzy Janowicz, who has a phenomenal run to the final (having to play qualifying matches, as well) where he loses to Ferrer who wins his first ever 1000 Masters event. Ferrer clearly enjoys his 15 minutes of fame, not yet to know that he will be named Spanish player of the year back home a few weeks later. Nadal still fine for WTF ....and Davis Cup final.

yes, it's the end of the season and it's pushed back by two weeks. Everyone is suddenly realising off-season is going to be longer than before determined they are going to enjoy this last tournament of the year and make a statement!
Who is going to win it? It's all Federer, Murray talk, but in the end it is Nole the Best who does the walk 2012: Done and Dusted! 4006036031. he puts in a fantastic performance and salvages his 2012 by winning year end title unbeaten, despatching Murray, Del Potro and Federer on the way to lifting the trophy.
And ends the year as Number One. Again.
The Czechs win Davis Cup and the season finally ends.

And that's the end from me here. I'll leave you to choose your own favourite memorable moment.

For was this 2012: Done and Dusted! 2774444739

2012: Done and Dusted! Djokovic_shirt_450_17ibpsb-17ibptd

Last edited by noleisthebest on Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:45 pm; edited 4 times in total


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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:11 am

That was a lot of typing....can someone make me a nice cup of coffee, pleeease!
I just hope there aren't too many typos etc, I just can't bring myself to editing it right now... 2012: Done and Dusted! 2500761665


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Post by Tenez on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 pm

Wouaah! Good memory for such details.

For me there are just a few events to remember from 2012.

1- Federer beaten again by Nadal in AO...despite creaming him a few weeks before in the WTF.

2 - Federer doing well till Madrid where he gets injured spoiling his clay season.

3 - But most memorable of 2012 is Fed's Wimbledon win he manages to grab after nearly losing oin his way to final due to a bad back. recovering his world nber 1 ranking and breaking the Sampras record.

4 - Murray winning his first slam final as a few factors came to help him a bit.

5 - 2012 will also be the year Federer and Nadal might win their last slam and start a slide down the ranking with Nadal slipping faster than Fed most likely.


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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:57 pm

I nearly forgot!
Serbian open and Benoit Paire playing his first final there. Hope to see him in top 20-30 next year.


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Post by luvsports! on Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:13 pm

good summary, soz to be a nitpick a bit but:

murray withdrew b4 toronto match with raonic and nishikori beat raonic in the final in tokyo he beat bird in the quarters i think.

but gd stuff!


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