Stan Wawrinka: there’s a new champ in New York. The Swiss struggled to get past the first rounds, losing a few sets here and there and saving a match point in the third round. But he stepped up in the semifinals against Nishikori and outplayed Djokovic in the final. 3 Grand Slam finals, 3 titles.
Karolina Pliskova: before this tournament, she had not passed the third round in her 17 previous Grand Slams appearances. She took down Venus Williams and top-seeded Serena Williams to reach her first Grand Slam final.
— Karolina Pliskova (@KaPliskova) September 11, 2016
Caroline Wozniacki: she’s two years younger than Kerber but it seems she’s been on the circuit for ever. She beat Svetlana Kuznetsova and Madison Keys en route to the semifinals.
“I came into this tournament ranked No. 74 in the world and probably people ruled me out, but it’s nice to prove people wrong once again.”
Lucas Pouille: he reached the quarterfinals after 5-sets marathon wins over Chiudinelli, Bautista Agut and Rafael Nadal. He seems to be the only French player to have both the game and the attitude. A player to watch out next year.
Laura Siegemund and Mate Pavic: they had never met before this tournament. They teamed up to win the mixed doubles title defeating CoCo Vandeweghe and Rajeev Ram in the final.
“It’s really kind of a blind date.”
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares: they joined forces at the beginning of the season and won 2 Slam titles (the Australian and US Opens) since then.
Garbine Muguruza: the French Open champion was knocked out of the tournament by Anastasija Sevastova in the second round.
“Today was just very difficult. Everything I was trying to do she was coming back and doing incredible shots.”
Aga Radwanska: overpowered by 18-year old Ana Konjuh in the quarterfinals. The question is no more “when will she win her maiden Slam” but rather “will she ever win a Slam”.
Andy Murray: beaten by Nishikori in a bizarre match, he seemed mentally tired. He’ll now focus on the Davis Cup semifinals against Argentina.
“I tried my best. I fought as hard as I could with what I had. I didn’t let anyone down — certainly not myself. I pushed myself as hard as I could over the last few months, and I’m very proud of how I have done.”
Milos Raonic: a shock defeat to qualifier Ryan Harrison in the second round. His explanation: cramps due to nervousness, (nervous to play Ryan Harrison?).
Marin Cilic: the 2014 champion looked like a title contender again but surprisingly fell to Jack Sock in the third round.
Gaël Monfils: what on earth was he doing against Novak Djokovic? Not sure he knows it himself. What a waste of talent.
Bernard Tomic: nothing to add.
She started the year ranked number 10 with a large defeat to Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Brisbane tournament. A couple weeks later she stunned Azarenka and Serena to win the Australian Open.
Fast forward 8 months Angelique Kerber is now the new number one and took home a second Slam trophy.
Is it the beginning of a new era for women’s tennis?
Photo credit: Satoshi Tsuboi
I don’t remember much from the final game to be honest. Playing in front of a home crowd is not something that tennis players get to do often, let alone playing at a home Olympics. What I do remember though, as soon as I had hit the ace to win the match I felt this incredible sense of pride like I had never experienced before.
It had been a difficult couple of weeks after losing the Wimbledon final, and finally I felt like I could hold my head high again.
It was a different feeling to any tournament I had won before. After the disappointment I had suffered on Centre Court at Wimbledon against Roger Federer, it was an incredible feeling to be able to turn the tables and win through. After losing that Wimbledon final, I began to accept that I might never win on the big stage, which sounds pretty negative but it actually helped me mentally.
I remember playing in the Olympic tournament with a completely different mindset. Particularly before the final, I remember being relaxed. To this day it’s one of the best performances of my career and the pride of winning such a prestigious event in front of a home crowd is something I will never forget.
I remember being unbelievably excited. I should have been shattered after playing both the singles and the mixed doubles finals but I wasn’t. After my match I had a lot of media to do, but after that we all went back to the Athletes’ Village to celebrate. The mood, particularly around Team GB, was incredibly positive. It was the day after Super Saturday [when Great Britain won three athletics gold medals] and everyone was incredibly excited, there was a lot of celebrating going on, it was a lot of fun.
It’s still an incredibly special feeling. It’s different to the Grand Slams, we have opportunities every year to win those; the opportunity to win gold only comes around every four years, so I think among the players it’s a pretty special occasion.
It’s definitely up there as being one of, if not my favourite victory of my career. Wimbledon was incredible in 2013, but winning a gold at a home Olympics in front of one of the loudest crowds I’ve ever played in front of is something I will never do again and I’ll never forget it.
I remember most walking out onto Centre Court on the day of the final. The noise was deafening, I’ve walked out onto Centre Court a lot, and I have never experienced an atmosphere like that. The national pride that was around Great Britain during the Olympics was incredible and I think it’s something that a lot of people, not just the athletes, will remember for a long time.
Lining up next to my brother Jamie to play doubles for Great Britain will always stick with me. It’s always a huge honour to play for my country but there’s something special about representing your country alongside your brother; we had done it before in Beijing but being at Wimbledon in that atmosphere, it was just a bit special.
My medal didn’t really change much for me to be honest. I’ve lived in the public eye for a long time so although the media attention after I won the gold medal was intense, it eventually died down. What winning did give me though was a lot of confidence heading out to America for the US Open. I went on to win the final and capture my first Grand Slam title.
I hope people don’t view me differently because of it, I’d like to think that people will always just see me as the hard-working player I have always strived to be, whatever my results on the court.
I was awarded an OBE [Queen’s honour] in December 2012 after I had won both the gold and the US Open. I was fortunate enough to be presented with my OBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace. He’s a really nice person and he enjoys his sport, and plays a bit of tennis. It was a great day and it was an incredibly humbling experience to be recognised.
The Olympics is the perfect place for upsets, you see a lot of personal bests and a lot of records broken. My best advice to other players would be to give everything you can and see what happens on the day. Being at the start line or the opening match in an Olympic Games is different to anything you’ll ever experience, so make sure you give it your all and try and enjoy it.
Source: ITF Olympic book
— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) January 30, 2016
Andy Murray was in the stands to watch his brother’s victory:
— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) January 30, 2016
Photo credit: Darren Nunis
“I was part of the tie when we lost away to Lithuania in Group Two, and that proved to be John Lloyd’s last match as captain.
Then, Leon came in and we played Turkey in Eastbourne. The pressure was on because if we had lost that, it would have been Group C, which is a totally different format, and not where we would want to be at all. The tie went really well, we won 5-0, then next up we played Tunisia in Bolton, and I remember Leon doing a presentation to the guys in the team hotel.
The main theme was that we were on a journey back to the World Group. At the time, it seemed quite ambitious and optimistic, but it has proven to be a reality. Andy coming back on board has been a key thing. It makes a huge difference having him there, but it is amazing the journey from those days. It would be unbelievable to end it by winning the Davis Cup.
Obviously, the team struggled for a while without Andy. There is no doubt about it, but it gave certain people a real chance to step up and play. Over the years, a few people have proven themselves in this arena. James Ward, obviously, while Dan Evans had some amazing Davis Cup results too.”
A look at Team GB’s journey from World II group to Davis Cup final:
Britain defeated the other three Grand Slam nations (USA, France and Australia) to reach their first final since 1978. Let’s have a look at Murray’s and co road to the final:
1st round: GREAT BRITAIN – USA 3-1, Glasgow, indoors
A rematch of last year’s first round, and an similar scenario. James Ward is the hero of the tie: he comes back from two sets down to beat US number 1 John Isner in five sets, whereas Andy Murray wins both his singles matches.
Andy Murray defeats Donald Young 6-1 6-1 4-6 6-2
James Ward defeats John Isner 6-7 5-7 6-3 7-6 15-13
Bob and Mike Bryan defeat Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-7 9-7
Andy Murray defeats John Isner 7-6 6-3 7-6
QF: GREAT BRITAIN – FRANCE: 3-1, Queen’s Club, grass
Brothers Andy and Jamie Murray propel into the semifinals for the first time since 1981. After Andy’s win over Tsonga on day 1, the Murray brothers win the crucial doubles rubber over Tsonga and Mahut. Andy then gets the job done on Sunday with a win over Simon.
Gilles Simon defeats James Ward 6-4 6-4 6-1
Andy Murray defeats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 7-6 6-2
Andy and Jamie Murray defeat Nicolas Mahut/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-1
Andy Murray defeats Gilles Simon 4-6 7-6 6-3 6-0
SF: GREAT BRITAIN – Australia 3-1, Glasgow, indoors
Another 3-point performance by Andy Murray puts Great Britain into the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1978. The Brits will next face Belgium, in a rematch of the 1904 Davis Cup final. Britain won 5-0 back then and will be the favorite again in November.
Andy Murray defeats Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3 6-0 6-3
Bernard Tomic defeats Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 6-7 6-4
Andy and Jamie Murray defeat Sam Groth/Lleyton Hewitt 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-4
Andy Murray defeats Bernard Tomic 7-5 6-3 6-2
Britain secured its place in World Group II with a 3-1 win over Tunisia. Andy Murray then made an emotional return to Scotland (first time he played there since the 2006 Davis Cup against Serbia) to help his team defeat Luxembourg in Glasgow. Murray and co then earned a promotion to Group I with a whitewash over Hungary.
That’s four wins in a row for Leon Smith’s team.
GROUP II EUROPE/AFRICA 1ST ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – TUNISIA 3-1, Bolton, hard
Malek Jaziri defeats Jamie Baker 4-6 6-3 7-5 6-2
James Ward defeats Sami Ghorbel 6-0 6-2 6-0
Colin Fleming/Jamie Murray defeat Slim Hamza/Malek Jaziri 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4
James Ward defeats Malek Jaziri 3-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 8-6
GROUP II EUROPE/AFRICA 2ND ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – LUXEMBOURG 3-1, Glasgow, hard
Gilles Muller defeats James Ward 6-3 7-6 6-1
Andy Murray defeats Laurent Bram 6-0 6-0 6-0
Andy and Jamie Murray defeat Laurent Bram/Mike Vermeer 7-5 6-2 6-0
Andy Murray defeats Gilles Muller 6-4 6-3 6-1
Photo credit: Dave
GROUP II EUROPE/AFRICA 3RD ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – HUNGARY 3-0, Glasgow, hard
James Ward defeats Attila Balazs 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-4
Andy Murray defeats Sebo Kiss 6-0 6-2 7-6
Colin Fleming/Ross Hutchins defeat Attila Balazs/Kornel Bardoczky 6-3 6-4 6-4
Photo credit: Roger Sargent