When the 2012 season started, I believe most tennis fans (including myself) believed that this year would be one long massive battle between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. I never expected Roger Federer to embark on one of the most impressive sports comebacks that I've ever seen to reach the top ranking in the world again. I also never believed that Andy Murray would have his Grand Slam title breakthrough in this year.
Interesting Order Of Grand Slam Champions
If you go back and look at the rankings when the season began back in January, here is how it looked:
1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Andy Murray
Now, let's look at the winners of each Grand Slam tournament in chronological order in 2012:
* Australian Open - Djokovic
* French Open - Nadal
* Wimbledon - Federer
* U.S. Open - Murray
Each Champion Fell After Their Title Victory
It's strange and ironic that the Slam winners won their Slams in the order of how they were ranked when the season started. It's more of an interesting fact to point out rather than anything that significant. After all, the rankings are completely different now. We have Federer now at No. 1, followed by Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal. We still might see more change in the rankings before the end of the year depending on how everyone finishes their season.
Another interesting thing to contemplate about these individual Slam winners is that, for each man, they seemed to never do quite as well once they won their particular Grand Slam. Djokovic played amazing tennis in both the semi-finals and the final to win the Australian Open, but he never was able to put together a series of great matches to win any other Grand Slam. It's a big reason why he ultimately lost his No. 1 ranking.
Nadal, after winning a rain-delayed French Open final, broke down physically during Wimbledon and lost in the second round. He's out for the rest of the year trying to heal up his bum knees. Federer played well throughout the year, but never so well as at Wimbledon in the semi-finals and final. He did manage a silver medal (when he was heavily favored for Gold) and won at Cincinnati, but he lost shockingly in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. No one knows for sure if he's just physically wearing down and needs a break or it was just a bad day. However, it's interesting that he had one of his worst U.S. Open finishes (not since 2003 had he failed to make the semi-finals) in a year in which he had just regained the No. 1 ranking and acquired another Wimbledon title.
We won't know yet if Murray winning the U.S. Open will be the peak of his year or if he'll take this win and drive on through the indoor hardcourt season over the next few months. He did win the Olympic Gold, so if I have to declare a winner to who won the 2012 season so far, I'd pick Murray. Either way, spreading out the Slams the way it happened this year is great for tennis and its fans. We haven't had four different Slam champions since 2003. That's how lopsided it's been at the top of the sport. Hopefully this diversity trend will continue.
Julie is a featured tennis contributor for the Yahoo Contributor Network. A lifelong tennis fan, she will spend the last few months of the year keeping an eye on the young American men's tennis hopefuls.
- Sports & Recreation
- Andy Murray
- Novak Djokovic
- Roger Federer
- Rafael Nadal
- Grand Slam tournament