2013: A year to remember
Originally published on: 11/12/13 00:00
We've got a full rundown of accolades in the latest issue of tennishead, but to give you a taster, we've selected two to share online.
Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic. French Open semi-finals, Roland Garros, June 2013
It’s hardly surprising that Nadal and Djokovic feature so often in our end-of-season awards when they won 17 tournaments and three Grand Slams between them during 2013.
Their semi-final meeting at the French Open arguably set the tone for a large chunk of the remainder of the season when Nadal outlasted the Serb 9-7 in the fifth. The Spaniard was two points from victory when he led 6-5 30-15 in the fourth, only for Djokovic to steal a tiebreak to take it into decider. Up 4-2 on Nadal, it looked like it would be Djokovic who would prevail only for Nadal to come back from the dead.
Many would argue that victory gave Nadal the confidence and momentum to dominate throughout the American hard court summer while Djokovic was hurt by the defeat and never really recovered until he began to win tournaments once more in the autumn. "These kind of matches are very special,” Nadal said afterwards. “You don’t get to have the chance to play these kind of matches every day."
Sergiy Stakhovsky v Roger Federer. Wimbledon second round, All England Club, June 2013
Beat seven-time champion Roger Federer in his own back yard at Wimbledon and you’re a fairly hot contender for this award. Please stand up, Mr Sergiy Stakhovsky, who as the 116th best player in the world produced the match of his life to oust the 17-time Grand Slam champion on Centre Court on the first Wednesday of the Championships.
It was Federer’s earliest Grand Slam defeat since losing in the first round at Roland Garros in 2003 and marked the end of a run of 36 successive major quarter-final appearances or better for the Swiss, dating back to Wimbledon 2004.
For the full list of awards including best celebration, best excuse, shot, rally, top soundbite and soap opera, plus much more, get your hands on a copy of our January issue, out December 12