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The Year Ahead

Posted on February 02 2016

As the 1st Grand Slam of the year has now passed one thought I always have is whether or not the winners of The Australian Open can go on to claim the near impossible of claiming all 4 majortitles in one calendar year.

An unbelievable effort by Angelique Kerber to take Serena’s crown but with all due respect to Kerber I really can’t see this feat happening in the women’s game this year. Quite the opposite really as I think there is a huge possibility we could see 4 different champions.
One point I would like to make about their final was in which the way Serena handled her defeat – In a peculiar sort of way there was a sense of relief as well as rediculous generosity showed by Serena that it was somebody else’s turn to take the limelight – extremely classy I thought.
It sort of reminded me of a story my old coach shared with me in my junior years after having a somewhat average training session in terms of my work ethic and ‘teenage’ attitude. He talked about the great Chris Evert and what he witnessed whilst attending the French Open one year. Evert during that period was the Queen on clay but crashed out early.

There was no sign of ‘diva’ behaviour, far from it, my coach witnessed her at the players taxi rank. Considering how she felt (quite possibly) a fair few players would have expected to go straight to the front of the queue and make the quickest exit possible – not ‘Chrissy’ she waited her turn and even when people offered her to go next she turned it down ‘No, I’ll wait thanks’ she replied. Doesn’t sound much but considering how she must have been feeling that example of behaviour made my episode and me seem pretty irrelevant!!!
So, moving on the question is Can Novak Take All 4 Majors This Year..?

Historically for most players attempting this feat Roland Garros has been the tricky one (thanks to a certain Rafa Nadal) even without Novak facing Rafa last year it still proved a step too far with an inspired Stan playing the match of his life.

We all know that the margins here are all so small but if you take a look at Novak’s recent stats it’s quite amazing;

*He has appeared in 8 out of the last 10 GS finals including being present in the last 5 (winning 4 of them).

*Last year Novak made 8 out of 9 Masters series finals winning 6 of them.

*Novak’s 2015 win/loss ratio was 82-6 with 100% records against the likes of Nadal, Berdych, Ferrer, Cilic, Nishikori, Raonic.

*Ivo Karlovic the 6ft 11inch big serving Croat was the only man to get the better of him on more occasions helped along by one windy day at the beginning of the year in Doha. His only other losses were against the class acts of Fed (3), Andy (1) and Stan (1) all GS champions…

With what you would think and dare I say it Rafa’s best days over (but really until Rafa says that you never know..!) You might say that this could be the year that Novak takes all 4 – Apart from his obvious close rivals stepping up and barring ill health you would have thought the only other major threat is a big server like Dr Ivo last year or a Raonic playing off the scale but that’s still a big ask at the slow clay courts of Roland Garros I for one sincerely hope I’m proved wrong and would personally love to see Andy get back on the winning podium but if the worlds best player does it then wow!!

The tennis world awaits…

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