2017 has been all about revivals and injuries in the ATP
A brief analysis of the ATP tour in 2017 which was dominated by Nadal and Federer.
The year 2017 has been very eventful for male tennis (ATP). There have been many touch points for tennis lovers all over the world and surprises for both punters and fans of different revered tennis stars.
One of the greatest rivalries on the ATP circuit was renewed this year as the Rafael Nadal versus Roger Federer rivalry was reignited.
It started at the Australian Open when the two greats went head-to-head in the final of the first Grand Slam of the year. Federer went on to win the match, claiming his 18th career Grand Slam title in the process.
Both men had battled serious injuries in 2016 with many suggesting that the end was near for both of them. Federer suffered serious back injuries that kept him out for six months, resulting in him missing two Grand Slam competitions as well as other tour matches.
Nadal, on the other hand, had to see off a niggling wrist injury which kept him out for large parts of the 2016 season. The fact that both players returned to the 2017 season, not just fitter but also better, is a testament to their greatness.
Though the head to head record is still in favour of Nadal, Federer improved his tally against the Spaniard in 2017, winning all four times that they met.
All four matches were played on hard courts, with three of them being finals (Australian Open, Miami Masters and Shanghai Masters) and one quarter-final, at Indian Wells.
2017 was also the year that Nadal reminded us of his excellence on clay by winning his 10th career French Open, a record-breaking feat as he is now the only player in history to ever win a single slam 10 times. He also won the 2017 US Open, beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the final.
As for Federer, the Swiss maestro made it 19 Grand Slam titles with a win over archrival Nadal at the Australian Open, and Marin Cilic at Wimbledon.
His win at the All England Club was mesmerizing as he achieved the feat without dropping a single set all tournament.
2017 though was characterized by an unusual sequence of season-ending injuries for top players.
At the beginning of the year, Andy Murray was world number one while Novak Djokovic was a few points behind him. However, on the 26th of July, Djokovic confirmed he would not return until 2018 as a result of a right elbow injury.
Stanislas Wawrinka also announced on Friday, August 4, that he would sit out the rest of the 2017 ATP World Tour season in order to recover from a long-term knee injury.
The 32-year-old Wawrinka finished the year with a 26-11 match record, including one ATP World Tour title at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open (d. M. Zverev). He also reached the finals of the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Federer) and Roland Garros (l. to Nadal).
Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray also disclosed he had been suffering from a long-term hip injury for more than a year and a half and also had to end his season abruptly to allow him to recover adequately.
The tennis faithful will be hoping that the injured stars can come back in 2018 and challenge the two legends who made tennis in 2017 all about them.