Holidays, at last ! After eleven months of travelling the world racket in hand, tennis men and women can finally enjoy a few days off. But before heading to a 2016 season which will come sooner than expected, We are Tennis has decided to reward, in its own way, those who made this season an outstanding one. In a positive way mostly, but not always.
Oscar of the player who has thoroughly defended Sunday working… Novak Djokovic
Lord’s day or not, the world number one hasn’t just sat around this season on Sundays. Logic, as when the Serb takes part in a tournament, he always wins. At least almost every time. Besides a surprising defeat early in the season in the quarter-finals against Ivo Karlovic in Doha, « Nole » has always reached the final of the other fifteen tournaments he has taken part in this season. And with eleven wins for four lost finals, Djokovic has had a fairly good time on Sundays in 2015. Apart, maybe, when he had to work on clay in Paris in early June. But that’s nothing new.
Oscar of the best farewell drink…Flavia Pennetta
She could have organized a small party with friends, but preferred to reserve the Arthur-Ashe center court to share the news with everyone. Having won, to the surprise of many, the US Open after defeating her fellow countrywoman Roberta Vinci in the final, the Italian announced her retirement, at the age of 33, during her speech : « It’s the ideal moment, my life is now perfect », she said after her first, and last win in a Grand Slam tournament. Next goal for Flavia : organize her wedding with Fabio Fognini.
Oscar of the unaware hipster…Stan Wawrinka
To caricature (just a little), the principle of being a hipster is wearing ugly clothing, but making it cool, just because you’ve decided that it’s cool to wear a pink hat, or a raincoat full of holes in it. Despite the criticism he’s faced from the ambassadors of good taste, Stan Wawrinka has always took responsibility for his improbable picnic blanket pair of shorts. Even better, he won Roland-Garros wearing it and the object has since become incredibly hip. His sponsor has even put it for sale on its website. To his credit, the pair of shorts has a considerable advantage, according to the Swiss : « you can swim wearing it ». Useful, for beachside hipster
Oscar of player who might have a cold hand…Eugénie Bouchard
The Canadian will need to quickly forget about the 2015 season. Ranked at the 7th spot in January, she’s ended the year at an odd 48th place at the WTA race. However, Bouchard has managed to draw attention to herself. After the draw of a play-off match in the BNP Paribas Fed Cup, she refused to shake hands with the Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru. « It wasn’t personal, I just don’t believe in wishing my opponent good luck before a match », said the Canadian, and never mind the fair-play ! After the incident, Bouchard’s case was only made worse, as she lost her match. A loss which, as we can imagine, made way for a pretty cold handshake at the end of the match.
Oscar of the player who was buried too soon…Benoît Paire
He ended 2014 in very low spirits, with a creaky knee and a missing tennis. Having to restart from the 149th spot, taking part in Challenger and even Future tournaments, the Frenchman can be credited with the come-back of the season. Spectacular as always and hot-headed on the court, Paire, 26, has shown himself more consistent and proven he’s not only an entertainer. Proof was given with his first tournament won in Bastaad, a place in the last 16 at the US Open and an entry in the Top 20. « I want to keep this sudden impulse », he warns. Rather good news for any extraordinary tennis lovers.
Oscar of the player who reminds us of John McEnore, without the results…Nick Kyrgios
With the Australian, the nostalgics of a less politically correct, or even rude tennis, aren’t disappointed. In 2015, Kyrgios has done it all, or almost. Throw a set against Gasquet at Wimbledon without even pretending, insulting umpires (a lot), tell Wawrinka, in the middle of a match, that his girlfriend « banged Kokinnakis », post a less than sympathetic tweet about his BNP Paribas Davis Cup captain, Patrick Rafter (« Does this guy ever stop ? »), dare the craziest haircuts and explain that in fact, he doesn’t enjoy tennis. And that last part might be the problem. Nobody minds a wind of irreverence blowing on the circuit, as long as the results follow. Oh yeah, Kyrgios is actually 41st at the ATP race.
Oscar of the player who managed to draw a lot of attention to herself… Coco Vandeweghe
How do you stand out in a season when you are ranked around the 50th spot at the WTA Race ? Coco Vandeweghe has found the answer during her win over Sloane Stephens, in the first round of the US Open. At the request of the Tv channel ESPN, the American answered the questions of the former player Pam Shriver, after bagging the first set. A first which was strongly criticized by her colleagues, starting with Caroline Wozniacki. « Did I just see Coco do an interview on court, mid match, after the first set?? Surely you would wanna focus on the game out there? No? », tweeted the Dane, astonished in front of her TV set. « I think it is a positive innovation and I don’t see where the problem is », responded Vandeweghe. Before admitting that she « didn’t really remember » what she had said. The buzz remains.
Oscar of the player branded too soon as the new Federer…Grigor Dimitrov
He’s the chosen one, the one whose talent and elegance come closest to « the Master ». After foreseeing the Top 10 last year, he was bound to settle himself there in 2015. A mishit. At 24 years old, Dimitrov might not yet be a finished product. No tournaments won, not even a final, and mixed results, to say the least (32 wins, for 22 matches lost), the Bulgarian has deceived, and has mainly been the centre of attention for his breakup with Maria Sharapova, and the end of his collaboration with his coach, Roger Rasheed. What if Federer’s boots were too big for him to walk in his footsteps ?
Oscar of the player who was in minor mode in the Major tournaments…Simona Halep
The Romanian has lived a paradoxical year 2015. Runner-up of the untouchable Serena Williams at the WTA ranking, Halep still hasn’t managed to turn another corner in the Grand Slam tournaments. She has therefore had uneven results, considering her ranking, with a quarter final at the Australian Open, and a catastrophic defeat against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round at Roland-Garros, followed by an elimination in the initial round at Wimbledon, in a game lost against Jana Cepelova. She has then recovered at the US Open by qualifying for the semi-finals…before cracking under pressure against Flavia Pennetta (6-1, 6-3). They say all in the mind, don’t they ?