Each year the sport of tennis witnesses various milestones reached and feats achieved. Be it personal milestones achieved by our favourite stars or the countries they come from. Here’s a list of the top 10 milestones of the year 2015:
Britain won their 10th Davis cup title against Belgium, after a 79 year drought. The team was led by its star player Andy Murray who also became only the third player, after John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, to win the maximum eight singles matches in the tournament and also became only the fourth man to win 11 points in a tournament by competing in doubles as well. Following the victory, Murray also won the BBC Sports Personality Of the year.
Czech Republic raised their Fed Cup trophy for the second year in a row, and for the fourth time in five years by defeating Russia in Prague. The strong and steady team of Czech Republic is finally putting an end to Russia’s dominance in mid 2000s.
In his 25th season on the ATP World Tour, the 42 year old veteran Indian celebrated his 700th doubles victory on 27 May. He has now competed with 100 different doubles partner, the 100th being Marcel Granollers, at Nottingham on 24 June. As of 2015, Paes has nine Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, surpassing compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi’s record of eight titles. He is now behind only Martina Navratilova’s 10 mark.
Martina Hingis clicked with two Indian partners Sania Mirza and Leander Paes to win a total of 5 Grand Slams. With Mirza, Hingis won 10 titles and finished the year with 22 match wins, top ranking, WTA finals and WTA doubles team of the year. With Paes, they become the first mixed doubles team since 1969 to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in the same year.
Roger Federer added another feather to his cap by marking 1000 match win earlier in January 2015. He is only behind Jimmy Connors (1253) and Ivan Lendl (1071) in open era. Federer achieved this feat at Brisbane International. He has ended the year with 1059 wins.
Meanwhile, Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray have recorded 500 match wins this year at Dubai on 25 February and at Miami on 31 March respectively.
Agnieszka Radwanska and Venus Williams won the WTA finals and WTA Elite Trophy respectively. While Radwanska became the first Pole to win the title, Venus Williams won the WTA Comeback of the year award for her performance in 2015.
The Croatian has the most career aces at 10442, going past his fellow countryman Goran Ivanesevic, who retired in 2004 with 10131 aces. He also holds the record for firing most aces, 45, in a best-of-three-set match in Halle this year. He also became the only player to hit at least 40 aces in three consecutive matches at Wimbledon later on.
It was the first major final for both Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci at the US Open. Pennetta became the oldest woman in the Open era to become a Grand Slam champion for the first time. The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd had paid top dollar for tickets, in anticipation of seeing Williams have a shot at making history by winning a career slam in front of home crowd. Even the tickets were sold out before the men’s for the first time in history. The draw ended with an all Italian final, perhaps a disappointment to the American crowd, but it was a proud moment for Italy.
In 2015, the sedulous Serb became the fifth all-time player for most weeks as numero uno in the atp rankings. He ended the year at the top for the fourth time with a total of 179 weeks. He also won his fifth ATP World Tour Finals, the last four being consecutive. He ended his near perfect year with 11 titles, a 31-5 record against the top 10 opponents and the ATP World tour performer of the year award.
This year Serena won 5 titles and finished as world no1 for the fifth time in her career. She now has 21 grand slam titles, surpassing the total (20) achieved by the rest of the women’s tour. Despite battling flu during French Open and knee and elbow pain otherwise, the undeterred American dominated the whole year like a lone ranger, immune and inexorable to the whole of WTA. By winning the eminent WTA Performer of the year award, it now seems the women’s tennis should be attributed a ‘Serena vs rest’ status.