In the men’s game, this season was very much about Novak Djokovic. He won ten titles in 2011 – three majors (Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open) and seven other titles.
Before the season, Djokovic had one major to his name and was playing second fiddle to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the top of the ATP rankings. This soon changed as Djokovic stormed through his first 41 matches with a 100% win record.
He won the first major of the season, the Australian Open in Melbourne, convincingly beating Federer and Andy Murray in the semi-final and final respectively. Federer got his revenge by beating Djokovic (handing the Serb his first loss of the season) in the French Open semi-finals but himself losing in the final against the King of Clay, Nadal equalled Bjorn Borg’s record of six French Open titles.
Djokovic then met defending champion Nadal in the final of Wimbledon, beating him to record his 50th win in 51 games and become World No 1. It was the first time in over seven years that neither Nadal or Federer were officially the top dog in men’s tennis.
Going into the US Open, Djokovic had accumulated 60 wins from 62 games. Following an epic semi-final win against Federer, he met defending champion Nadal in the final and once again, Djokovic took away Nadal’s title.
By the end of the season Djokovic finished with an impressive 70-6 win-loss record. Two of his six defeats were retirements. He ended the year at No 1 spot after he amassed over 13,600 points with Nadal, in second place, trailing by over 4,000 points.
2012 promises to be another very exciting year in men’s tennis. Federer, who won at the ATP World Tour Finals tournament, will no doubt feel he has more majors in him (2002 was the last year that Federer hadn’t won a major). Meanwhile, Nadal will earn the right to be called the greatest clay court player ever should he win his seventh French Open crown. Andy Murray, with British expectation weighing heavily on his shoulders, will be hoping for the first major of his career. Djokovic will have to fend off the challengers to his crown.
In the women’s game, all four majors were won by different players.
Kim Clijsters won in Australia but due to injury, she only played five more matches after March.
Na Li became Asia’s first major singles champion at Roland Garros. She had a strong first half to 2011 but then faded away, finishing the year ranked Number 5.
Petra Kvitova started the year ranked 34th in the world and ended it at Number 2. She beat Maria Sharapova in the Wimbledon Final to win her first major. At only 21, many are tipping Kvitova to become World Number 1 in 2012.
Sam Stosur gave Australian fans something to cheer about as she became the first female Aussie to win a major, since Evonne Goolagong in 1980. She beat Serena Williams in the US Open Final. This was a victory for tennis as Stosur, one of the most liked tennis players on the Tour, beat Serena Williams who was fined after the tournament following her bizarre tirade at the umpire during the final.
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