Caroline Wozniacki is No. 1?: The 10 Biggest Surprises of the 2010 Season

Candice Hare@@chare889Contributor IIIOctober 15, 2010

Caroline Wozniacki is Number One?: The Ten Biggest Surprises of the 2010 Season

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    The 2010 tennis season has been filled with many unexpected moments. 

    Not only did Serena miss the US Open after stepping on glass (or something like that), but Juan Martin del Potro missed almost the entire season after he was sidelined with an injured wrist. 

    Aside from injuries, a certain Dane named Caroline Wozniacki is officially the No. 1-ranked woman in the world and Andrea Petkovic is not only the highest ranked German woman, but she is among the top 40 women in the world! 

    The majors this season were unpredictable, as they had some of the most unexpected finalists and winners (who could have predicted Francesca Schiavone?) in recent memory. 

    Stay tuned for those moments, as well as, the rest of the top 10 biggest surprises of the 2010 tennis season. 

10. Juan Martin Del Potro Misses Most of the Season

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    Argentine Juan Martin del Potro was on top of the world after his victory at the 2009 US Open, during which he defeated both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. 

    Not only did he end 2009 ranked No. 5 in the world, but he was the youngest player in the top 10, the top-ranked Argentine, and the highest-ranked South American player on tour. 

    Aside from the US Open, del Potro won two other events in 2009 and was a finalist at the Masters 1000 event in Canada and the World Tour Finals. 

    The sky was the limit for the sport's new star, but after a poor showing at this year's Australian Open, it became apparent that the Argentine wasn't playing at his best. 

    The 6-foot-6 del Potro would later have surgery on his wrist after it hadn't healed properly on its own and he would miss nearly the entire season. 

    He wasn't able to defend his title in Flushing Meadows and as a result, his world ranking has fallen to 36. 

9. Spain Bounced in Davis Cup Quarterfinals

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    Sure, Rafael Nadal wasn't there and Fernando Verdasco had played A LOT of tennis going into Spain's Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against France, but who expected the two-time defending champions to go out so soon?

    Spain have been dominant in Davis Cup for the past decade. During that stretch they have not only won four times, but they were also the runner-up in 2003. 

    France, on the other hand, haven't been in a Davis Cup final since 2002 and they hadn't defeated Spain in the annual competition since 1923. 

    The most surprising match in the tie: Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau defeating Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez to clinch the victory for France.

    Verdasco and Lopez had been virtually unbeatable in Davis Cup doubles matches for the last few years, but the Frenchmen found a way to win the match in four sets. 

8. Rafael Nadal Wins the Career Grand Slam

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    When Rafael Nadal began his career, he was known purely as a dirtballer. 

    After he won Wimbledon in an epic five-setter against Roger Federer, who was the five-time defending champion, he began to be touted as an all-surface player. 

    The US Open, however, was always his nemesis and after the grind of a long season, he always seemed to be worn down by the time he arrived in Flushing Meadows. 

    After making an effort to better manage his schedule, however, Nadal was fresh coming into the final major of the year and it showed. 

    He was forced to play well throughout the tournament, particularly in the final against a resilient Novak Djokovic, but when his opponents raised their game, he answered.

    As a result, Nadal became just the seventh man in history to win all four major tournaments.  

7. Andy Murray Still Slamless

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    Going into the 2010 season, everyone had their eyes on Andy Murray. This was supposed to be his year. 

    Nadal was injured and nearly everyone was writing him off, and even if Federer would win a major or two, that would still leave some up for grabs for the Scot, right?

    Wrong.

    Though he made the final of the Australian Open, he was dominated by Federer and he was never able to play his best at the other three majors. 

    He was solid, as he made the round of 16 at the French and the semifinals at Wimbledon, but his loss in the third round of the US Open was shocking. 

    Given, he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka, who may have been playing the best tennis of his life, but that was a match that Murray could have won, had he not lost his cool. 

    If he couldn't break through this year, one begins to wonder if he will ever be able to get the job done. 

6. Serena Williams Misses the US Open

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    Serena Williams may not play much during the season, but she ALWAYS plays in the majors. 

    Well, almost always. 

    A few weeks before the start of the US Open, word broke that Serena Williams had cut her foot on broken glass at a restaurant. She ended up needing surgery in order for her foot to properly heal, but how serious could that possibly be? 

    Of course, she withdrew from events in Istanbul, Cincinnati, and Montreal. They're not majors, so in the world of Serena, they don't exist. 

    When she withdrew from the US Open, however, things got serious. 

    The US Open without Serena is like peanut butter without jelly. 

    She did, however, attend the Nike Tennis Primetime Knockout event just before the start of the event. 

    Tell me you weren't shocked when she came out wearing that massive boot. 

5. Who is Andrea Petkovic?

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    Andrea Petkovic aka the best dancer on tour had a breakthrough year in 2010. 

    Not only did the 22-year-old German have her best appearance in a major at the US Open, but she defeated the 17th-seeded Nadia Petrova along the way. 

    The self-proclaimed Petkorazzi is currently ranked a career-high 36th in the world and she is definitely one of the more entertaining players on Twitter and Youtube.  

    This girl has spunk. Let's just hope she hangs around long enough for us all to see it. 

4. Samantha Stosur's Breakthrough Season

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    Samantha Stosur is one of the most consistent players on tour, but prior to this season, she was unable to break through in a major tournament. 

    The 26-year-old Australian, who had been much more successful in doubles than singles throughout her career, had her best finish in three of the four major tournaments this season. 

    The French Open, of course, was the highlight of her year, as she made the finals, but her quarterfinal run at the US Open was respectable, as well. 

    In a women's game where consistency is hard to find, Samantha Stosur is a rarity. 

3. Caroline Wozniacki Is No. 1

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    Caroline Wozniacki is the latest woman to be persecuted for being the top-ranked player in the world without winning a major, but she definitely isn't the first. 

    Cue Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic. 

    Heck, look at the golf, Lee Westwood is the likely candidate to replace Tiger Woods at the top of their world rankings and you know how many majors he's won? You guessed it...ZERO. 

    Whether you like it or not, the 20-year-old Wozniacki is the top dog in women's tennis at the moment and it's not only because she did well at the majors, but she played a ton of tournaments this season. 

    21 to be exact. That's a whopping 15 more tournaments than Serena Williams. 

    Serena is great, but how she was ranked No. 1 for as long as she was when she only played six tournament this season is beyond me. 

    Wozniacki is just what women's tennis needs. Not only does she perform consistently well, but she actually plays in between the majors. Shocking, I know. 

    She's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. 

2. Jurgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner Win Wimbledon Men's Doubles Title

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    Men's doubles is packed with several tough teams as it is, so who would have thought that the unseeded team of Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner could win it all. 

    Did I mention that they hadn't even played together until this year? 

    In order to win the title, Melzer and Petzschner had to defeat the 16th-seeded Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau, which they did in straight sets. 

    Not only was it their first major title for them as a team, but it was the first win at a grand slam event for either player. 

    Not only were both players giddy while they rolled on the floor following the win, but they asked for the balls from the match as souvenirs. 

    "I said that if we win the tournament I will take the ball home with me and put it on my wall," said Petzschner. "But he (Melzer) said "what about me?" so I said we will take two balls."

1. Francesca Schiavone Wins the French Open

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    At 29 years old, Francesca Schiavone became the oldest woman to win her first major title since 1969, but it was the way she did it that caught everyone's attention. 

    The Italian veteran simply had the performance of a lifetime when she defeated Samantha Stosur in the final 6-4, 7-6 (2) and she let the crowd ride the emotional roller coaster with her throughout the match. 

    She threw fist pumps, she giggled, and she even skipped on the court. 

    It was a simple gesture after her victory, however, that won everyone over. 

    She fell to the ground, rolled over and kissed the clay. 

    It wasn't much, but for a veteran who had played her entire career without winning a major, it meant everything. 

    She was the ultimate Cinderella story and everyone was along for the ride.