Men's Tennis: A Song Title to Describe Each Big 4 Player of 2012
With the four biggest players in the world right now winning each Grand Slam in the order of the beginning-of-year rankings, it was a rare year that wasn't dominated by any one player (not only in terms of the slams won).
If I were to give a song title to describe the entire year of the ATP, I would have to say that "Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That" by Carolyn Dawn Johnson fits the bill best.
One line in the song that is particularly appropriate for tennis is: "Well, two hearts and opposite attraction, It's just their luck." We saw this in effect many times over the course of the year, especially in the first and last slam finals, both featuring Djokovic.
But anyway, these big four have all had very different year, and in the following slides I will attempt to summarize each one's year with a song.
4. Rafael Nadal: "Summertime Blues" by the Who
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Nadal started the year off really well, getting to the final of the Australian Open, but losing to Novak Djokovic in a match that really could have gone either way (the scoreline saw the Serb prevailing 7-5 in the fifth set).
He then blazed his way to the final of Roland Garros, where he was up by two sets to love, but Djokovic came back, winning eight games in a row. When Nadal got one game, the rain began to fall hard, halting the momentum which was clearly with Djokovic.
Rafa won the fourth set and captured his seventh French Open title, passing Borg's six.
Nadal was given a good chance of winning this year's Wimbledon, but unfortunately, in the second round, his injury, as well as amazing play from Lukas Rosol, kicked him out of the tournament. This wasn't expected to be such a big thing, but it had disastrous consequences.
Rafa pulled out of the Olympics, where he would be holding the Spanish flag, and also the US Open, emphasizing how sad he was due to each pulling out.
He had a great beginning of the year but his summer wasn't so good.
3. Andy Murray: "Finally" by Fergie
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Naturally, this was the first song that came to mind.
Sure, the first two slams were important, but I'm sure Murray will be forgetting those quite soon, and 2012 will most likely be the year which he remembers as his first slam triumph. For this reason, I won't get into the first two slams.
At Wimbledon, Murray got to the final, where he won the first set but Roger Federer was simply too good for him in the next three. However, that was the first set Andy had ever won in a slam final, so this was definitely a step forward.
Next up, at the Olympics, Murray got to the final only to meet the same man on the same court, but this time, it was different. The Scot absolutely destroyed Federer, 6-2 6-1 6-4, and this was of sorts the breaking of a mental barrier.
Then at Flushing Meadows, against Djokovic in the final, Murray did play overall a better game, but not so much that it wasn't close. He managed to outlast Djokovic and won in five sets, the joy of winning his first slam apparent on his face after the game.
This is the biggest year of his career so far, and I wouldn't count out a great 2013 for him, either.
2. Novak Djokovic: "What's the Difference" by Dr. Dre
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Seriously, what is the difference between this year and last year?
Djokovic was absolutely unstoppable in 2011, winning three grand slams, with the French Open the only one to elude him.
Last year, it actually felt like there was no way to stop him. Nadal tried several different strategies, only to end up with an 0-6 record against the Serb last year.
All that changed this year.
Yes, he did make it to three Grand Slam finals, but he lost two of them. Granted, he was fantastic at the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open, but he was nowhere near as good as last year, because last year he essentially blew everyone else out of the water.
Some believe it is that his contemporaries are catching up to him due to pure motivation after last year, while others believe that he was taking steroids last year and isn't anymore, and some say that he just isn't as good.
Well, what is it?
1. Roger Federer: "Caught off Guard" by Grandfather
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He had gone nine slams without winning one; four slams without getting to the final.
He was 30 years old but Roger Federer could do it.
This Wimbledon 2012 trophy is a testament to his fitness and motivation, above all else, but can also be seen as a cherry on top of the cake.
He lost to Nadal in the Australian Open semifinal, lost to Djokovic in the French Open semifinal but for some reason, he was given the "favorite" status at Wimbledon. He made good as the Wimbledon favorite, didn't he?
He beat Murray in the final, but the Olympic gold that he had never been able to hold evaded him once again as Murray crushed him in the Olympics. But at the U.S. Open, he disappointed again, as he lost to Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Still, this was a surprising year for Federer, because the Wimbledon title came out of the blue.
We were caught off guard by that trophy!