That’s it folks. No more ATP tennis for 2012. Challengers and exhibitions only. Having withdrawal symptoms already? Well, I’m here to help. I had fun looking back at the under-the-radar moments from the WTA season a couple of weeks ago, and so now I want to bring you 10 things about the ATP season that might have already slipped your mind.
1. Richard Gasquet actually had a very good year.
The Frenchmen quietly made four semifinals, three finals, and won one trophy (in Thailand). He also made it to the Round of 16 in all four majors, notched a win over Andy Murray, and won a bronze medal in Olympics doubles with Benneteau. All of this got him back to the top 10 for the first time since 2008.
2. He also did this.
3. Florian Mayer made it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.
I KNOW. I’m really not kidding. He beat 3 players outside of the top 100 plus Richard Gasquet to get there. Then he lost to Djokovic.
4. Marcos Baghdatis destroyed many rackets.
5. Nalbandian and Nouni squared off.
“It’s ridiculous playing this kind of tournament with this kind of umpire.”
“Eight-all, break point. Can you be that stupid to do that in that moment?”
“What does the umpire need, press, the name, his picture (in the paper) tomorrow? Incredible.”
Asked whether he felt Nouni was incapable of taking charge of this kind of match, Nalbandian said: “Absolutely. No doubt.”
“Nothing happened in the match, and in that moment, he called an overrule. I call Hawk-Eye, and he didn’t give it.”
“I have never seen something like that. So the ATP have to check what they doing for the umpires. Do they practise? I don’t know.”
6. John Isner temporarily slayed giants.
After his disappointing Australian Open, John Isner posted some phenomenal results in Febuary-April. In February he upset Roger Federer in Switzerland on clay in Davis Cup. In March he upset Novak Djokovic in the Indian Well semifinals in a third set tiebreak. And in April he upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on clay in France in the Davis Cup quarterfinals. This took him to the top 10, which was awesome. Unfortunately some people got carried away.
— Taylor Dent (@taylordent81) April 8, 2012
7. There were heart-warming tales.
So you probably haven’t forgotten about Brian Baker or Tommy Haas. But do you remember that Michael Russell made his first ATP semifinal this year as a qualifier at the age of 33 in his home-town of Houston? Or that Ricardas Berankis–also as a qualifier–became the first Lithuanian to make an ATP final in Los Angeles? It’s always nice to see players get a break-through, even if it’s at a smaller event.
8. Seppi brought Rome to it’s feet.
As I mentioned in last week’s Changeover Chat, the Seppi-Wawrinka match in Rome was one of my favorite matches of the year. It lasted three hours and twenty-one minutes, went to three tie-breaks, and Seppi fought off 6 match points as he just refused to give up in front of his home-town crowd. The final set tie-break was extraordinary and electric.
9. Bellucci served the worst (and funniest) double-fault ever.
On the other end of the “extraordinary” spectrum, I bring you Thomaz Bellucci’s double-fault down set-point against Janko Tipsarevic in Gstaad. Amazingly enough, Bellucci went on to win the match in three sets.
10. Roddick beat Federer.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to remind you that Andy Roddick won his final match against Roger Federer. Here, just watch the whole match and remember it forever.