Mag By Craig Gabriel
2017 A LOOK BACK - PART TWO
We have had a reminder of the first half of the 2017 season by checking back from January to May. Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer continue to dominate the men's game while women's tennis continues to be seen at the top. And we will close with our rankings.
We remember that the French Open certainly had the heat on the mercury and was a case of "The Decima" for Rafa Nadal as he created a modern tennis history by being the first man to win a major ten times. The only other player has won the title of Margaret Court with eleven Australian Championships.
Speaking of Court, it was the French Open that tennis was embroiled in controversy when comments were made about marriage and relationships. It was the news that dominated Roland Garros. Players suggest that Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne needed to be renamed. That was not going to happen. Mrs Court's views were well known and the place was named.
Two days after her birthday Jelena Ostapenko came back from a break in the third set to a favorite set Simona Halep to win the French Open. Ostapenko had already rallied back from 4-6 0-3 by winning four games in a row and six of seven to force it into a decision and then won five consecutive games from 1-3 in the final set to win 4-6, 6 -4, 6-3. She became the first Latvian in the Open to win a major and first unseeded champion in Paris since 1933.
Nadal meanwhile swept past Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. It was the third time Nadal did not drop a set and he lost just 35 games for the event, second in the Open at major behind Bjorn Borg. In the seedling Nadal beat Dominic Thiem, who beat Novak Djokovic, while Wawrinka beat Andy Murray in the semis in a classic match.
Also in June, probably the most ridiculous upset happened when Thiem lost to Ramanathan in Antalya.
Like Paris Wimbledon was hot and it was the latest start to the Championships since 1896. Rafa Nadal fell in the 16's to Gilles Muller 15-13 in the fifth and Novak Djokovic retired against Tomas Berdych after a set and two games and Stan Wawrinka crashed on the first day. Muguruza over Kerber and Konta over Halep. And Sam Querrey crushed local hearts when he beat Andy Murray 6-1 in the fifth.
Garbine Muguruza became the second most popular of the world. Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0, winning the last nine games of the match. Conchita Martinez who helped coach Muguruza to victory this time. Muguruza became the only woman to beat Venus and Serena Williams in the final of majors - she beat Serena in the 2015 French final.
Incredibly Roger Federer became the first man to win eight Wimbledons from record eleven finals. He defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, Cilic who had tears during the match might quit the final. He was affected by a left foot blister that leaked fluid.
Federer's win had all the "eights" - 8th title, on 8th ace on match point, lost just 8 games in the final and his birthday is on the 8th of the 8th. The Fed was even surprised with his achievements in 2017.
In Cincinnati Alexander Zverev Stopped by Nick Kyrgios in the end of a so-called NextGen final while in Montreal Denis Shapovalov continued his rise by upsetting Rafa Nadal and went on to become a winner .
The US Open got underway and the two finalists from the previous year, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, were missing and then Andy Murray joined the injured list. Serena Williams was also due to her pregnancy.
Maria Sharapova beat second set Simona Halep in the first round and maintained her perfect record over the Romanian.
Serena Williams gave birth to her daughter Novak Djokovic became a father for the second time.
Denis Shapovalov continued to make inroads by going deep and the young ones were rising because Andrey Rublev made the second week. Roger Federer lost to Juan Del Potro Martin in the quarters, Delpo then lost to Rafa Nadal.
Kevin Anderson took the lead in the final - the first South African to reach the end of a major since Kevin Curren at the 1984 Australian Open and the first at the US Championships since Cliff Drysdale in the '60s. Anderson proved no barrier for Nadal who won his 16th major.
The women's semis were all-American as Madison Keys beat Coco Vandeweghe and Sloane Stephens beat Venus Williams and then in a remarkable rout Stephens beat friend Keys 6-3, 6-0 in an all-African American final.
In Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, France and Belgium advanced to the final and in the new Laver Cup, Team Europe beat World Team 15-9; Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal played together and beat Nick Kyrgios in the decision.
The Shanghai Rolex Masters hosted the top two seeds in the singles and doubles finals. Roger Federer Rafa Nadal for the title Nadal, something he had not done before.
The BNP Paribas WTA Finals was won by Caroline Wozniacki, the biggest title of her career, beating Venus Williams in the final and later days Caro Andrea Hlavackova and Timea Babos won the doubles.
Martina Hingis announces her retirement ... for the final time, and women's tennis world No.1 for the fourth time during the year but it was the year-end ranking as well as it went to Simona Halep.
The Fed Cup by BNP Final Paribas went to the USA over Belarus. Coco Vandeweghe was the stand-out. Jack Sock was the Paris Masters and became the final qualifier for the ATP Finals.
In London at the ATP Finals, Grigor Dimitrov won the biggest title of his career by David Goffin in a tight, tight final and for the second year in a row by John Peers and Henri Kontinen won the doubles.
The Davis Cup by BNP Final Paribas went to France after a 16-year gap. Goffin gave it a go and it was decided that Lucas Pouille was on fire Steve Darcis to clinch the Cup.
And now to close things off, here is our top ten for the year:
1. Rafa Nadal
2. Roger Federer
3. Grigor Dimitrov
4. Alexander Zverev
5. Marin Cilic
6. Dominic Thiem
7. David Goffin
8. Stan Wawrinka
9. Pablo Carreno 10. Bust
10. Juan Martin Del Potro
1. Garbine Muguruza
2. Simona Halep
3. Carolina Wozniacki
4. Venus Williams
5. Jelena Ostapenko
6. Karolina Pliskova
7. Elena Svitolina
8. Sloane Stephens
9. Serena Williams
10. Coco Vandeweghe