As once again a season of tennis comes to an end, as usual, the year was filled with exhilarating matches, record-breaking events, injuries and some retirements. The new generation of ATP players was evident on the international dais, but however, the major titles were split amongst the ‘Big Three’. Roger Federer became the only man on his planet to possess twenty Grand Slam titles. Also, he has extended his title count to 99 ATP titles. Alongside him, his old friend, Rafael Nadal remains the unprecedented ‘King of Clay’. Irrespective of the impediments and the injuries which bother Nadal throughout the year, when it comes to the clay of Paris, nobody can stop Rafa.
The SW19 major witnessed the most captivating matches of the year, especially in the quarters and semis. In Canada, the 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas became the youngest player to record four top ten wins in a single event. He overcame World Number 8 Thiem, World Number 10 Novak Djokovic, World Number 3 Alexander Zverev and World Number 6 Anderson en route to his final against Nadal. At the Flushing Meadows, Juan Martin del Potro tried emulating his 9-year-old glory again in the New York City, but however, the Serbian, Djokovic clogged up. There are many other moments which have left the tennis enthusiasts spellbound across the globe and few of them are listed below.
5. The reunion of the ‘Big Four’ at the US Open:
The US Open celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Along with a newly built Louis Armstrong Stadium. The ‘Big Four’ for tennis, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray all pitched in together for a major since Wimbledon 2017. “Tennis has been waiting for this for a long time,” Zverev said. Before coming to New York, the Scotsman, Murray had a layover for almost a year. And for the first time in 12 years, he was the only one from the foursome who was not considered as the favourite face for the tournament. Also, Murray exited from the US Open in the second round.
4. Thiem reaching a Grand Slam Final:
The seventh-seeded Austrian went a step closer to the Roland Garros title this year than in the past two years. Also, Thiem reached his maiden major finals this year in Paris. He concluded the Italian Marco Cecchinato’s winning streak at the French Open, who compelled Djokovic to pack his bags in the quarterfinals of the French major. En route to Thiem’s final, he overthrew Zverev, who was playing his first ever major quarterfinal.
3. Federer starting his year with his career-best winning start 17 matches:
The GOAT tennis player, Roger Federer added more Grand Slam on his list this year. He began his year by winning all the seven matches in Melbourne and uplifting the Australian major crown for the sixth time in his career. Right after celebrating his 20th major victory he clinched the title in Rotterdam, Netherlands in the ATP World Tour 500. Later in Miami, he played an exciting semifinal match against the Croatian, Borna Coric. Federer won 5–7, 6–4, 6–4 against Coric and the packed stadium at Indian Wells included Bill Gates and Federer fan Pete Sampras. The living legend lost the final 6-4, 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-2) against Del Potro and laid out a 17-1 win-loss record.
2. Zverev winning his first ATP World Tour Finals:
The 21-year-old German, Alexander Zverev continued to dwell in the top 5 ranking throughout the year. Also, this year he won the Madrid Open by defeating Thiem in the final. He reached the final in Rome and cliched the Washington Open. He qualified of the ATP Finals in London for the second consecutive year. Zverev surpassed Federer in the semifinal and Djokovic in the final in London. He became the youngest tour champion since Djokovic to win the World Tour Finals. Additionally, he is the first German to win the season-ending championships since Boris Becker in 1995
1. The resurgence of Djokovic on the ATP Circuit:
After obtaining his ‘Nole Slam’ i.e., winning all the four Grand Slams at a stretch during 2015-2016, the continuation of the maestro’s career was a question. His split with his team in 2017, later teaming up with Andre Agassi and an elbow injury concluded with a layover in the year 2017. His ups and downs in the past have definitely made him a refined tennis player. As his resurgence in 2018 has enchanted the tennis followers globally.
Besides winning two major titles back-to-back, the Serb was declared the Golden Master in Cincinnati. He has pulled off all the nine ATP Masters 1000 events at least once in his career. Later in Shanghai, he did not drop a set nor have his serve broken during the Shanghai Masters. He won his fourth crown in the Chinese metropolis. As the season wrapped up the Djokovic reached the apex of tennis by becoming the World Number one. He has a 1,600 point lead over the Spaniard, Nadal on the second spot.