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Drum roll please… it’s the 2008 Tennishead Awards


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:05

Ever since we began covering tennis online back in 1947 (well, roughly), we wrap up every year with a nostalgic review of the last 12 months and complete proceedings by handing out the Tennishead awards (not literally though the air fares would cost too much).

The double bonus is that it gives us the opportunity to spend the morning browsing our 2008 image gallery looking for our favourite shots of the year. And that means you can gawp at lovely pictures of the worlds best looking tennis pros while you count down the minutes to finishing work for Christmas.

So, without further ado, stick the kettle on, grab another mince pie and sit back and enjoy the 2008 Tennishead awards a bit like the Oscars, but without the stomach-churning acceptance speeches.

Man of the year
Rafael Nadal
Two grand slams (and back-to-back French and Wimbledon titles at that), an Olympic gold medal, the world No.1 ranking and the best biceps in tennis. Vamos!

Woman of the year
Martina Navratilova
Anyone who can spend nearly three weeks in the jungle – on reality TV – with the likes of Timmy Mallett, David Van Day and Esther Rantzen, AND come out with her dignity firmly intact deserves a lot more than one of our crummy end-of-year awards. She is a true legend.

Match of the year
Nadal V Federer, Wimbledon
As if we even have to justify this selection. Match of the year, match of the millennium, match of all-time. It had everything, including

Shot of the year
Federer backhand pass, Wimbledon mens final, fourth-set tie-break
Rarely do live images of felt on cat gut generate enough excitement to (literally) lift me from my sofa particularly after a long day looking after a two-year-old. But with Nadal standing at match point deep into the fourth set tie-break of his epic Wimbledon final against Federer, it happened. Parenting responsibilities meant Id seen little of this classic during the afternoon. I was desperate for Fed to clinch the fourth set and take the final into a decider for no other reason than with my son finally in bed, I could sit back and enjoy a fifth set with a (large) cold beer. With Rafa serving at match point, the chances of a fifth looked slim. As he approached the net behind a big forehand Fed’s chances of survival looked non-existant. But as the world prepared for Rafas victory celebrations, Roger delved into his magic box and produced the most precise of precise, eye-of-the-needle, tennis-ball-on-a-sixpence, backhand passes up the line. An incredible shot in incredible circumstances and I got my cold beer and a fifth set.

Tournament of the year
US Open
While Melbourne Park was memorable for Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Roland Garros for Ana Ivanovic and Wimbledon for Rafa, we say Flushing Meadows was the most significant slam of the year. With fans wondering whether Roger Federer would ever recover from the disappointment of losing his Wimbledon crown, the Swiss star quietly went about his business before picking up his 13th grand slam singles title. Psychologically, it was massive for him, but it was also big for the mens game too. Fed served notice to his rivals that hes still more than capable of winning major titles and with Djokovic and now Andy Murray in the mix theres a lot to look forward to in 2009. Events in the ladies singles in New York gave us hope there’s a year to remember around the corner too. The women’s game needs Serena Williams winning big titles and we secretly hope she and her big sis’ are fit (and committed) enough to make things interesting again next season.

Most bizarre match
Hewitt V Baghdatis, Aus Open
One of the best things about being a tennis fan in the UK is having live Australian Open tennis to watch every January in the morning. When Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis began their third-round clash at 11.47pm local time I never began to imagine they would finish the match that day. And, strictly speaking, they didnt. The four-hour, 46-minute contest stretched well into the next day and finally finished at 4.33am local time when Hewitt completed a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 victory. Only in Australia

Fashion statement of the year
Serena’s raincoat, Wimbledon
Our cup truly runneth over… Roger’s cardy and long trousers at Wimbledon, Maria’s “tuxedo-inspired” two-piece at Wimbledon, Elena’s shocking pink Lycra undershorts at Roland Garros and Serena’s white mac at Wimbledon. Game, set and match Ms Williams. Oh, and a special recognition award to Beth Mattek.

WAG of the year
Brooklyn Decker
The future Mrs Roddick has been a welcome addition to the VIP boxes in tennis stadia the world over in 2008. The male members of the Tennishead editorial team look forward to her next swimsuit shoot too. For WAGS click here!

HAB of the year
Fernando Verdasco
Does Ana Ivanovic have a crystal ball, or what? No sooner had the Serb beauty gone public with her relationship with more on tennis boyfriends click here.

Quote of the year
Andy Roddick on Novak Djokovics list of injuries at the US Open
A back and a hip? And a cramp. Bird flu. Anthrax. SARS. Common cough and cold. (He still lost to him though.)

Newcomer of the year
Caroline Wozniacki
The 18-year-old Dane can now call herself the worlds 12th best female tennis player and has added another four singles trophies to her bulging mantelpiece during the last 12 months. Expect a lot more from the young blonde during 2009. We say top ten and a run deep into the second week at one of the majors.

Now get the WORLD’S BEST TENNIS MAGAZINE here


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