As we head into the new season of 2011, the first year of the second decade of the century, it is worthwhile reflecting in hindsight on the tennis decade that has been. Just a period of ten years can witness momentous changes and shift in the power-struggles atop men's tennis - the 70s and 80s, for instance, may be said to be the decades of Borg and Connors, and then of McEnroe and Lendl, for instance. How will the noughties of this millennium be remembered?
Admittedly, that may be a silly question. Of all decades, some may say, the noughties have been the decade for remembrance - one of the most glorious eras in men's tennis, beginning with the fading lights of Sampras and Agassi, who had enacted the second great rivalry of all time, peaking and ending with the greatest rivalry of all time, between our great Misters, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. We have witnessed two men who have forever re-shaped our notions of tennis greatness, who may each be on the way towards tennis immortality.
Yet among the giants of this age were also mavericks, mercenaries, and upstarts who warmed themselves to fans' hearts, and whose achievements are also worthy of note. The history of this decade was made largely by Federer and Nadal, and I have reflected that.Yet history is not all about the great winners, but also the lesser ones. Take a look at the noughties' great moments.