Top five tennis performers in the year of 2019
The game of tennis has evolved manifolds since its inception. From wooden rackets to performance analytical tools, it has seen everything.
Technique and shot-making might have changed, but the fact that talent is the ultimate metric has not changed an iota.
Here is a look at the five best performers of 2019.
5. Novak Djokovic
What an year it has been for Novak Djokovic! The Serbian has been very successful, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Djokovic snagged a pair of majors, three other titles, more than $11 million in prize winnings and came within a few matches of finishing No.1.
Following the Australian Open success, many even thought Djokovic had a real chance at completing the 'Grand Slam.'
The Wimbledon final that he won against Roger Federer was nothing short of an epic.
Now, the Djoker heads to Australia, the event he’s dominated over the last decade. For a guy who was out of the top 20 two years back, his performance in 2019 has been great.
4. Stefanos Tsitsipas
The new guy in town who plays the game with grace and style; the right-handed one-handed backhand, the thumping baseline groundstrokes, the net play; And of course, a thunderous serve. It appears as though Stefanos Tsitsipas has it all.
The 21-year-old has had an unreal year. The way he has lit up 2019 with some blistering performances, there's every chance Tsitsipas could be tennis' next great hope.
The Greek prodigy broke into the top 100 only 25 months ago and was still competing in 'Next Gen' events as recently as a year ago.
The youngster stunned the tennis world by winning the year-end ATP Finals Championship, beating Dominic Thiem in the final.
3. Bianca Andreescu
There can be fewer greater endorsements than surviving a second-set comeback from Serena Williams in a major final in front of a raucous hostile crowd.
The teenager, Bianca Andreescu dealt with it impeccably to break the American and become Canada's first ever Grand Slam Singles champion.
Following such an incredible show of character, 2019 was in total, a testament to the power of belief and perseverance.
Self-help books, her parents and her own focus and belief helped Andreescu hone her fortitude. Once she fine-tunes the rest of her significant arsenal, Andreescu's rivals will need all the help they can get to stop her becoming the dominant force in the women's game
2. Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev’s sporting journey has been nothing but inspiring. The Russian had lost to Belgium’s David Goffin in a five-set thriller, but the journey following that has been tremendous featuring in six consecutive finals on the ATP Tour.
Medvedev won his first two ATP Masters 1000 titles: in Cincinnati and Shanghai, and also entered his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open this year, losing out in gallant fashion to Rafael Nadal.
The Russian was making his maiden appearance in a Grand Slam final. Before the US Open, Medvedev had made the fourth round of a Slam only once.
In the final he earned a rematch with Nadal. Nadal stormed into the lead, winning the first two sets and breaking in the third set. But Medvedev showed his resolve, battling hard to extend the legendary lefty to a deciding set before going down after four hours and 49 minutes.
2019 will definitely bring back fond memories for the talented Russian.
1. Rafael Nadal
The 2019 men’s tennis season did not end as it had begun for Rafael Nadal.
In January, after overcoming his latest round of injury concerns, he faced Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open and looked powerless as Djokovic ripped winners and controlled long rallies seemingly at will.
Nadal was a rare blend of sheepish and bewildered when the drubbing was over. Flash forward to right now, Nadal, after overcoming another round of injury concerns, finished off a week of remarkable tennis and leadership by clinching the Davis Cup title in front of a home crowd in Madrid.
He is now 33 and back at No. 1 at season’s end, a record 11 years after he finished on top for the first time.
Rafa won the French Open and the US Open, and was in serious form in the year of 2019.