Where Everything Ends

The year end is here, and so is the ATP World Tour Finals. The best men of tennis from the year are back to compete for the one final prize, the trophy which will make this year and awesome one. With Roger Federer having won the title six times and Novak Djokovic four times, there is nobody else in the top ten who has won this one – well, there is nobody even in the top 200. So with eight top players ready, there were six trying to get their hands on the big prize for the first time.

The one person who really should win this title though, is Rafael Nadal. He came second twice here, and deserves to win this title to make his achievements even better. But he couldn’t go past the World Number in the knock-out stage, as Djokovic has been far ahead of the rest of the ATP throughout the year, except for Federer who could manage something against the Serbian juggernaut. Nadal could still top the group which didn’t have Federer and Djokovic who were to fight against each other early to a Swiss win.

djoko

Nadal still went past Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka without much trouble. Surprisingly, it was Wawrnika who joined Nadal in the other match of the semi-finals and not Murray. He came second by beating the last of the Big Four and David Ferrer who became the only man who could bring the fight to Nadal in that group; he will always be the greatest fighter of all time in men’s tennis. I have often wondered if he is the best player of this century never to have won a Grand Slam.

Meanwhile, in the other group, Tomรกลก Berdych and Kei Nishikori couldn’t go past the two men who won twenty seven Grand Slam titles and one hundred and fourty six singles titles between then; Djokovic lost only to Federer who made it perfect with cent percent wins, and the rest could only watch. With this tournament, Federer also has the most number of ATP World Tour Finals appearances, and he has played fourteen of these tournaments continuously until this one.

With Djokovic having an easy victory against Nadal who came nowhere close, Federer made it past Wawrinka in straight sets making the final once again a clash of the titans. Djokovic is the tree-time defending champion with this title, and last year had Federer not playing in the final due to health issues and Djokovic winning by a walkover. This final was to be a repeat of the last year’s ATP World Tour Finals match which never really happened, and so the fans were to be a lot excited.

When they went into the finals, the rivalry between the two players had Federer leading by 22โ€“21 head to head; the Swiss Master being the only person in the big four and the current top players to have a positive head to head record against the World Number One even as it is such a small lead. Djokovic actually had a great year, and even though he was defeated by Federer in the group stages, he was the favourite considering how well and consistently he had played throughout the year.

federer!

Federer couldn’t win his last three Grand Slam finals against Djokovic. This one was opportunity for Djokovic to erase the negative head to head record with Federer too, and he did exactly that. He started the favourite in this tournament and he ends it as the winner. This ends an almost perfect year for him, with only the French Open somehow keeping away from him – that was rather a surprise. With three Grand Slam wins, a Slam final and a victory in the year end tournament, Djokovic seems to be ready to dominate men’s tennis for some more time.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the two players.

TeNy

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Return of the Emperor

Roger Federer still remains the one big reason why I watch tennis, and even at this age, what he is still managing to achieve remains pretty much awesome – despite the blind fans of many other tennis stars still not willing to see the same and those who don’t know tennis failing to look at it doesn’t make it any lesser. With the most grandslams in men’s tennis and the most number of weeks as the world number as well as the most consecutive weeks holding the same, plus so many other records, Federer has got not much to prove.

Yes, this is another one of those years in which he hasn’t won a grand slam, and has reached only one final of the same, that too of his favourite slam. He was without slams in 2011 and 2013 too and compared to last year, this one is a big improvement. He was number six last year, the lowest for him in ten years, and also with the lowest win percent and having no grand slam finals – the worst year since his rise to the top.

Federer with the ballboys and girls after winning the trophy :)

Federer with the ballboys and girls after winning the trophy ๐Ÿ™‚

Consider this year though, as he is back to the world number two, gaining four spots from last year. He also has the best win percent since 2007, and could throw the miserable 2013 behind him. With only Novak Djokovic in front of him, he has also beaten the current world number one multiple times. With Rafael Nadal struggling to find form and time without injury, it is brilliant how Federer can manage it at this age.

Imagine Federer at one of our malls in front of his photo :D

Imagine Federer at one of our malls in front of his photo ๐Ÿ˜€

This year, he won Dubai Tennis Championships beating Tomas Berdych in the final, and followed it with the titles Halle Open, Cincinnati Masters, Shanghai Masters and Swiss Indoors, plus almost winning Wimbledon in a comeback which was almost not there for him. He was also close to winning Monte-Carlo Masters and Indian Wells Masters. Time to retire? I wouldn’t think so, and neither should anyone else. See how he is still evolving his game and adapting – there is more to see from him.

The Roger Federer Foundation - beautiful stuff :)

The Roger Federer Foundation – beautiful stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

The ATP World Tour Finals is yet to come with four hundred points to defend for Federer, and an year end number one is quite far away with Djokovic in nice form. But being the world number two itself is an achievement. Whether some miracle strikes and makes him the year end number one again or not, this year has been big for Roger Federer, and it is not based on slams or the number of finals he has won, it is based on how well he has played among his younger opponents.

Players with Wilson racquets - theres Simona too :D

Players with Wilson racquets – theres Simona too ๐Ÿ˜€

There is also the Davis Cup World Group Final coming up, with France vs Switzerland as Federer’s home country look forward to their first title, and France looking for another title to add to their long list. As Federer teams up with Stanislas Wawrinka (finally a worthy partner from home) to who he had lost his Swiss number one spot which he has now regained, it is certain that there will be a lot to cheer for as far as the fans are concerned – this is going to be good.

Meanwhile, IPTL (Indian Premier Tennis League) is coming up, and Roger Federer is coming to India. He will play for Indian Aces teaming up with Pete Sampras, Ana Ivanovic, Gael Mofils, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Fabrice Santoro, and sparks are going to fly for sure. It is known that the tickets for Federer’s matches in Delhi were sold in twenty minutes, and that is the beauty of having the maestro here, and that was despite the ticket prices being so high. Federer is not done yet, know that! *All the photos are from Roger Federer’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Federer).

TeNy

Of a Romanian Beauty

I have been watching tennis for quite some time now, and I have watched and admired many players, but none so much as Roger Federer, who redefined my days of watching that game which I have never played and might never play. I have spent hours just watching the maestro play, and have watched almost all the grand slams he has won, mostly as live action and sometimes in the form of highlights.

I have also admired Novak Djokovic with his game on a lot of occasions, and has considered him a worthy successor to the number one title which he is holding now. When coming to the women’s tennis, it has never had a clear favourite player in my list, as there used to be Maria Sharapova, replaced by Caroline Wozniacki who still remains one my big favourites, Agnieszka Radwaล„ska who is there forever, and Eugenie Bouchard whom I occasionally root for as part of another army – Genie Army.

Roger Federer and Simona Halep, my choices for every Grand Slam :D

Roger Federer and Simona Halep, my choices for every Grand Slam ๐Ÿ˜€

Then there is Simona Halep, whom I have been supporting for months now as the latest addition to that list. Along with supporting Roger Federer, I have been wishing that she had one the women’s division too. I might still name my cat Agnieszka who have been the fan favourite player for the last consecutive years (and mine too), but the admiration for Simona has been something that has been growing like a vampire’s fangs. She is not screaming and doing all those strange actions on the court like some of the other players who overdo the same.

It is a feel-good moment when she wins those points :)

It is a feel-good moment when she wins those points ๐Ÿ™‚

Ever since reading Dracula, I have always wanted to visit Romania, and support the nation in something, and Simona is the answer to my prayers to find something for the same cause. Yes, another reason to love Romania here, and I was actually surprised at how much she has come up in the rankings all of a sudden and how well she has improved her game. Well, it is still safe to say that not many people from this part of the world knows her yet, and that is rather a disgrace to all kinds of sports.

Always looking good whether on the court or off-court!

Always looking good whether on the court or off-court!

The twenty three year old from Romania has jumped in rankings and has arrived and settled inside the top ten of WTA Rankings, and now sitting steadily at number three below veterans Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. She looks small, but has such an intelligent game to take on the stronger opponents. This was achieved after being a rather less heard name in Women’s tennis, which with frequent serve breaks, has been such an unpredictable side compared to the men’s tennis which has had the big four of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

Hope she wins the next grand slam and more :)

Hope she wins the next grand slam and more ๐Ÿ™‚

She came so close to winning the Roland Garros this year too, but there is a thing about the French Open, as it is too elusive for the best players and those who play beautiful tennis. After having not that much of a good record in the grand slams, she could rise to the occasions this year reaching the final of the French Open and the semi-final of the Wimbledon in an year which saw her rise which also lead to the demolition of Serena Williams in the WTA Championships even as she lost in the final to the same opponent.

Not difficult to find Simona here :) (Pic from Simona wiki page)

Not difficult to find Simona here ๐Ÿ™‚ (Pic from Simona wiki page)

Among the players who are doing so well in the WTA, I would vote for Simona Halep this time, and the player who recently turned twenty three and at 5 feet 6 inches among the shorter top players, seems to be the rising star for the future of women’s tennis. Lets hope that she continues to play the wonderful tennis that she is producing and keeps us admiring her talent. *All the photos in this post except one are from the official Facebook page of Simona Halep (https://www.facebook.com/simonahalep)

TeNy