5 most heartwarming tennis moments in 2016
Here are five times tennis touched our hearts in 2016.
2016 has seen very historical moments in tennis with Novak Djokovic completing a Career Grand Slam, Serena Williams breaking Steffi Graf’s record for the most number of weeks at the top of the rankings at 386, and Andy Murray becoming the first Briton to be World No.1 in the Open Era, just to name a few.
This year also saw some remarkable comebacks and resurgences from the likes of Juan Del Potro, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Dominika Cibulkova. A number of young talents emerged this year including Alexander Zverev, Naomi Osaka, and Elina Svitolina. However, 2016 also witnessed a number of moments on the court which touched our hearts. Here are five such moments from this year where the players displayed acts of sportsmanship and kindness.
#5. Monica Niculescu winning the Luxembourg Open on her mother’s birthday
Monica Niculescu won her third WTA Singles title at this year’s Luxembourg Open on her mother’s birthday. She beat French Open semi-finalist Kiki Bertens in the semi-finals before bashing two-time Wimbledon champion and top seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-0 in the final to win the title on her third attempt after falling to Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams in the 2011 and 2012 finals respectively.
However, the highlight of the final was Niculescu’s sweet and emotional speech which even made her opponent Petra Kvitova smile and laugh. After thanking her coach whose eyes were moist, Niculescu stated that it was her mother’s birthday.
This is how she ended her speech: "Today is my mom's birthday. I'm so happy I won this title. She's not here, but happy birthday mom!" It was probably the best birthday gift Niculescu’s mother would have expected from her daughter.