As the Barclays ATP World Finals came to a close it put a cap on what should be seen as another terrific year for the sport of tennis. For the first time in quite a while we’ve seen four genuine contenders battle each other for the top honours, making for dazzling court play and supreme entertainment. With the tennis season now over it didn’t so much as leap in to the off-season but furiously backpeddle and hit a forehand smash down the court.
This competitive spirit that tennis has been cultivating over the last few years was exhibited by the two opponents who took court on Monday to decide the best player of the year. Novak Djokovic looking to win his first ATP World Finals tournament since 2008 and Roger Federer looking to add to his astonishing 6 ATP trophy haul, spectators at the O2 and at home were treated to a spectacular match that displayed the same amount of energy and feats of tremendous athleticism we’ve been witnessing throughout the year.
In a sense it was a shame it didn’t go the full three sets, such was the standard of play by both players. With Federer moving into a three games to love lead in the first set there was the slight hint that it could happen. In the end Djokovic showed his mettle, digging into his seemingly limitless amount of reserves, storming back to win the tie-break decider 8-6 before edging the second set 7-5.
…he’s managed to stay on top…
For Djokovic it has been a special year, a year in which he’s managed to stay on top despite the added competition reflected with only one Grand Slam win to his name this season (Australian Open).
In winning the end-of-season finale Djokovic said that “whenever I needed to come up with some really good shots – really focus myself and get every ball back in the court – I did that, so I cannot be more thrilled than now.”
…feats of brilliance…
On his defeat Federer elucidated that Djokovic was better on the day admitting that squandering the lead “…doesn’t matter, you have to get over the finish line in the set and then obviously the match.”
It’s been a season full of ups and downs, heartache and elation, feats of brilliance and, well…more feats of brilliance. A slight blemish on the season is Rafa Nadal’s injury that ruled him out for much of the season but in his place we had Andy Murray step up and become an Olympic and Grand Slam champion (US Open). Federer left everyone in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t go to fade away into the dark with another victory at Wimbledon. And we have players such as David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo Wilfried Tsonga all waiting looking to achieve the consistency of their peers. Next year could not come soon enough.