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The best and worst of 2005 ATP Tour

ToanNguyen
11-18-2005, 02:42 PM
It's the almost the end of the season, so let's wrap it up with this article.

Best and Worst of ATP Tour in 2005
By Mert Ertunga

One more season has passed and while the top men are battling it out for the year-end Masters Cup title in Shanghai, it is time once again to look at the ins and outs of 2005 on the men's tour.

Player of the Year: Roger Federer
Under normal circumstances, Rafael Nadal's year would be considered an excellent season, well-deserving of the number one status. But where there is Roger Federer, there are no "normal circumstances."

Not only was Roger Federer the best player of 2005, but he had arguably the best ever year in the Open era by any player. Dominating on all surfaces and winning 11 titles, including two Slams is nothing more than astonishing. But if numbers mean anything, 77-3 going into the Masters Cup should be enough.

So why did I say "arguably"? Jimmy Connors in 1974 won 15 singles titles, including three Slams. He did not win on every single surface, however, he was not allowed to compete in the French Open, either, the only Slam that escaped him that year. Thus, the term "arguably." But no need to drift away from the topic. Federer ruled in 2005.

Best Match of the Year: Rafael Nadal def. Guillermo Coria
The Australian Open semifinal clash between Safin and Federer was exciting, including match points for both players. The Miami finals between Federer and Nadal had a lot of drama, including an amazing turnaround by Federer. Shot-making quality of the Madrid finals between Ivan Ljubicic and Nadal was fantastic. Andre Agassi vs. James Blake at the U.S. Open was one for all ages.

However, the finals of Rome tournament had all the above qualities multiplied by three. The match (6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 ) included three major turnarounds, last one with Nadal being down 3-0 in the fifth and looking completely exhausted. It had overwhelming drama, with each player having multiple match points. The athleticism and the scrambling ability displayed by both players drew many "oohs" and "aahs" from the crowd. Coria's whining antics were ever present. As if that was not enough, the final set tiebreaker went to 8-6, featuring match-points by each player. Did I mention the match lasted five hours and 14 minutes?

"Who is this Guy?" Award: Ivan Ljubicic, Croatia
In the beginning of the year, most tennis fans around the world could not pronounce his name. American tennis fans did not even know him. They learned quickly in March when he single-handedly took out United States in Davis Cup competition, by defeating both Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick on American soil.

He went on to lead his country to its first-ever Davis Cup finals to be played later this month. Gaining more confidence as the year went by, the big-serving Croatian went 20-3 in the last two months of the season and won two titles, which put him in the Masters Cup. Currently, he is the third-best player on the tour behind Nadal and Federer.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year: Marat Safin, Russia
This is not a knock on the entertaining Russian, injuries can't be helped. In a time where one player is so dominating like Federer, inevitably tennis world needs a worthy opponent to create a rivalry. Most all critics agree that at his best Marat Safin is the only one with a chance to give Federer a run for the number one ranking. Following a very promising start to the year by winning the Australian Open, including a semifinal win over Federer, Safin battled more injuries than opponents, playing sparsely, not winning another title and going 20-11 in the process.

Tim Henman clearly had the worst year of his career since mid-'90s, and hyped-up Croatian Mario Ancic's dismal year was upstaged by his compatriot Ljubicic's performance. Nevertheless, the "what could have been" factor makes Marat's year the biggest disappointment for the year not only for him, but also for tennis fans.

Rising Star: Andy Murray, Scotland
Last year, Mario Ancic grabbed this spot. Now that super Mario won one title only and had an average year, Andy Murray better hope that I don't jinx him in the same manner. Perhaps I read the British media too much and like them. I am guilty of overrating Andy Murray who went only 14-10 this year. But it's not just the hype. I really like his competitive spirit and the variety of shot-making that he brings to the table every time he steps on the court.

"Quiet" Performer of the Year: Lleyton Hewitt, Australia
No, no, of course this does not mean that Lleyton is a quiet guy, anyone knows better than that! It does mean however that he managed to stay under the radar most of the year. This guy finished the year ranked No. 4, reached the semis of two Slams, and reached the finals of another. He also won a title in Australia and reached the semis of three Masters Series tournaments. Considering all that, we hardly heard about this guy throughout the year. And it is not like he just came around the corner. He has been number one in two of the last five years.

"Biggest Mystery" of the Year: Roddick's Success on Grass
You take Roger Federer out of the equation, and Roddick was clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field on grass. Hey, it is not a fluke, either. For three years in a row, he has won Queen's Club Tournament and only lost to Federer in Wimbledon, reaching the finals twice. Without a doubt, he is the best grass court player behind Federer for three years.

As clueless as Roddick is at the net, can someone please explain to me how he is so dominant on grass? Would it be an exaggeration to say that some of the club players have better form on their volleys? Maybe!

The "big serve and big forehand" explanation does not cut it, either. Ivan Lendl and Jim Courier also had those, and they never solved the grass puzzle.

"Comeback" Player of the Year: James Blake, USA
Yes, nice guys do finish first sometimes. James Blake takes the cake in this category. After personal, emotional, and physical tragedies of the last two years, including the loss of his father and a life-threatening injury, classy Blake came back with a vengeance, finishing the year ranked No. 25. To top all that, he is a bright shining light in terms of an example player after whom American junior players can model themselves.

"Are You Kidding Me?" Award: ATP's New Doubles Scoring
Errr, how does this sound: Max Mirnyiand Mikhail Youzhny defeated Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko 5-1, 5-1 in the finals of ATP Kremlin Cup? There are no typos, that was indeed the real score of the match. Don't take my word for it, go look it up yourself.

As usual, let me know what you think. Maybe at the end of 2006, I will add a few more categories.

Until next time, take care, everyone!


I agree with pretty much everything he said except that the best match of the year should be the Australian Open semi-final between Safin and Federer.

LOL @ "Biggest Mistery of the Year"

jtipson
11-18-2005, 02:54 PM
"Biggest Mystery" of the Year: Roddick's Success on Grass

You take Roger Federer out of the equation, and Roddick was clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field on grass. Hey, it is not a fluke, either. For three years in a row, he has won Queen's Club Tournament and only lost to Federer in Wimbledon, reaching the finals twice. Without a doubt, he is the best grass court player behind Federer for three years.

As clueless as Roddick is at the net, can someone please explain to me how he is so dominant on grass? Would it be an exaggeration to say that some of the club players have better form on their volleys? Maybe!

The "big serve and big forehand" explanation does not cut it, either. Ivan Lendl and Jim Courier also had those, and they never solved the grass puzzle.

I'm not sure what the author is trying to prove here - he's trying to contrast Roddick with Lendl and Courier, but Ivan has quite a similar record on grass to Andy, and Jim also reached a Wimbledon final. Their problem was that they faced better grass players so they lost, and that's exactly the same issue Roddick faces.

ToanNguyen
11-18-2005, 03:02 PM
I'm not sure what the author is trying to prove here - he's trying to contrast Roddick with Lendl and Courier, but Ivan has quite a similar record on grass to Andy, and Jim also reached a Wimbledon final. Their problem was that they faced better grass players so they lost, and that's exactly the same issue Roddick faces.
Agree. I think Roddick's game is quite suitable for hard court as well as grass court. He may lack a serve and volley aspect of it but still. It's just that Roger is unstoppable on grass. If not, Roddick could have at least a Wimbleton right now.

uNIVERSE mAN
11-18-2005, 03:12 PM
Agree. I think Roddick's game is quite suitable for hard court as well as grass court. He may lack a serve and volley aspect of it but still. It's just that Roger is unstoppable on grass. If not, Roddick could have at least a Wimbleton right now.


That's Wimbledon not Wimbleton. And I doubt that's a typo, you north americans all have this same problem, I have no idea what the hell the problem is.

ToanNguyen
11-18-2005, 03:15 PM
That's Wimbledon not Wimbleton. And I doubt that's a typo, you north americans all have this same problem, I have no idea what the hell the problem is.
Well, that is actually a typo. Please don't assume things about others that you don't know. I guess unlike you, when I type fast, sometimes, I make mistake.

shotgun
11-18-2005, 03:17 PM
Tim Henman clearly had the worst year of his career since mid-'90s, and hyped-up Croatian Mario Ancic's dismal year was upstaged by his compatriot Ljubicic's performance.

:bs: Ancic reached 3 finals this year and won his first title in St. Hertogenbosch. Putting him among the biggest disappointments of the year is clearly a mistake in my opinion.

BATES
11-18-2005, 08:24 PM
Agrees. Except for the comeback of the year topic, it should be Mariano Puerta.
He was top 15 in 2000 and after a long injury and a doping case that kept him out of race for almost a year, he came back winning a tourney and reaching RG finals (among others) to become a Top 10. Awesome recovery.

alelysafina
11-18-2005, 08:27 PM
"Quiet Performer of the Year" Should have been Nikolay.

alelysafina
11-18-2005, 08:30 PM
Or Even "who is this guy?"

Rosa Luxembourg
11-18-2005, 08:31 PM
'Worst outfit' would be a toughie: Coria or Hrbaty?

They could have been in Are you kidding me category as well ;)

artlinkletter
11-18-2005, 08:34 PM
'Worst outfit' would be a toughie: Coria or Hrbaty?

They could have been in Are you kidding me category as well ;)
Oh Hrbaty takes it hands down, no competition what so ever. That peice of ...whatever it was...was just horrific.

jazz_girl
11-18-2005, 08:46 PM
Oh Hrbaty takes it hands down, no competition what so ever. That peice of ...whatever it was...was just horrific.
I agree, no contest there! :lol:

willrock
11-18-2005, 08:48 PM
Rising star Murray?!
What about Gasquet and Monfils! :rolleyes:

sigmagirl91
11-18-2005, 08:54 PM
Rising star Murray?!
What about Gasquet and Monfils! :rolleyes:

Rising Star=Gas-K.

ToanNguyen
11-18-2005, 09:07 PM
Oh Hrbaty takes it hands down, no competition what so ever. That peice of ...whatever it was...was just horrific.
Hrbaty's shirt. OMG, I almost forgot about it. It will and always be the worst shirt ever, no matter what year it is. Wow. Now I have that image again in my head. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

robinhood
11-18-2005, 11:40 PM
Rising star Murray?!
What about Gasquet and Monfils! :rolleyes:

Agreed. Should have been Gasquet.

sigmagirl91
11-19-2005, 12:19 AM
Hrbaty's shitty mess takes it hands down.

propi
11-19-2005, 12:21 AM
Why reporters refuse to put Puerta as comeback of the year??? :confused:

shotgun
11-19-2005, 12:55 AM
Why reporters refuse to put Puerta as comeback of the year??? :confused:


1 - He came back from a doping suspension.
2 - He comes from a third world country.
3 - He's presently involved with doping rumours.

propi
11-19-2005, 06:16 PM
1 - He came back from a doping suspension.
2 - He comes from a third world country.
3 - He's presently involved with doping rumours.
From a doping suspension but come back after all :p
Doping rumors... rumors are for gossip magacines I need real facts, until these are shown Puerta is the comeback of the year :banana::banana::banana:

Deivid23
11-19-2005, 06:25 PM
The guy saw a different Rome final as I wonder when Coria had so many match-points :shrug:

lucashg
11-19-2005, 06:30 PM
Rising star should've been Gasquet. If not, Monfils. Definitely not Murray. Best match of the year? I'll take Safin vs Fed, but hey... Nadal vs Coria was second to this one and a close one at that IMO.

PaulieM
11-19-2005, 06:33 PM
Agrees. Except for the comeback of the year topic, it should be Mariano Puerta.
He was top 15 in 2000 and after a long injury and a doping case that kept him out of race for almost a year, he came back winning a tourney and reaching RG finals (among others) to become a Top 10. Awesome recovery.
while peurta's comeback is great, it's important to think of what he came back from. injury and yes a drug suspension, while it was may have been unfair and unfortunate for him that's a situation that arguably could have been prevented. a little over a year ago james blake didn't know if he'd ever walk again let alone play tennis. so to come back the way he has is way more increadible in my mind. :shrug:

R.Federer
11-19-2005, 07:10 PM
Rising star Murray?!
What about Gasquet and Monfils! :rolleyes:
Murray was not around last year so much, this was effectively his first year on Tour. not for Gasquet, so maybe the author is focussing on who "emerge" this year as a potential star for future
S/he probably say that of Gsquet for previous year

El Legenda
11-20-2005, 02:11 AM
Puerta game back from being an idiot and cheater, that should not be awarded.

Jimnik
11-20-2005, 02:14 AM
It's the almost the end of the season, so let's wrap it up with this article.


I agree with pretty much everything he said except that the best match of the year should be the Australian Open semi-final between Safin and Federer.

LOL @ "Biggest Mistery of the Year"
:ras: I disagree with almost everything he said.

case
11-20-2005, 02:50 AM
Rising Star=Gas-K.

Absolutely!

shotgun
11-20-2005, 03:16 AM
From a doping suspension but come back after all :p
Doping rumors... rumors are for gossip magacines I need real facts, until these are shown Puerta is the comeback of the year :banana::banana::banana:

Yeah, I agree with you. If you consider the numbers, Puerta's comeback was much more impressive than Blake's. The guy was ranked 440th or something and reached the top 10. Blake was ranked around the 200th place and reached the top 30, and unlike Puerta, with the massive aid of wild-cards. But most people get involved with emotional stuff and start feeling sorry for Blake's personal situation last year. And there are also commercial issues, regarding where each player came from, that helps to explain that, too.

Tennis Fool
11-20-2005, 03:25 AM
2 Qs:

1. What paper does Mert Ertunga write for? I've never heard of him.
2. Why wasn't JimmyC allowed to play the FO :confused:

Flibbertigibbet
11-20-2005, 03:29 AM
Why wasn't JimmyC allowed to play the FO :confused:

I believe he was playing the new-fledged World Team Tennis tour, which collided with the clay season, and so I don't think the officials were too keen on letting him in because of that.

Speaking on the subject of the most dramatic/best match of the year, I still wish I could see Federer-Safin and Nadal-Coria sometime.

Tennis Fool
11-20-2005, 03:31 AM
Agreed. Should have been Gasquet.
If the writer is North American, I can see why he picked Murray. In fact, I believe most NA writers would have picked Murray over Gasquet or Monfils. Why? We heard about "Murray Mount" on TV, as Wimbledon is given the 2nd most airtime after the US Open, and we love to feature the Brits who will be "the first to win since Fred Perry". Gasquet and Monfils have been given no airtime, and when time could be given, it is pulled (remember ESPN showing L&O over Gasquet's US Open match?)

rofe
11-20-2005, 03:50 AM
If the writer is North American, I can see why he picked Murray. In fact, I believe most NA writers would have picked Murray over Gasquet or Monfils. Why? We heard about "Murray Mount" on TV, as Wimbledon is given the 2nd most airtime after the US Open, and we love to feature the Brits who will be "the first to win since Fred Perry". Gasquet and Monfils have been given no airtime, and when time could be given, it is pulled (remember ESPN showing L&O over Gasquet's US Open match?)

What was so funny about that fiasco was that Ginepri - an American was the other player. I felt like laughing and crying at the same time when they pulled that stunt.

Clara Bow
11-20-2005, 07:35 AM
I don't disagree with the Murray assesment. At least from my own (and I will admit it personal) point of view.

I have heard a lot about Gasquet for around 2 or 3 years. I became very familiar with Monfils last year when he was perhaps going to get the junior grand slam- until the injuries at the time of the USO. But Murray had not heard about nearly as much. So before this year- I kind of considered Gasquet and Monfils- and Berdych and Baggy- as future stars- even if their rankings and results at that point may not have merited it. (They have since won tourneys and/or risen in the rankings.) But Murray was more of a revelation for me this year. The boy does have talent- and even more- a real fight in him. So to me he is the future star that really stuck out for me (and well Djokovic as well). This does not mean that the others don't have top talent- they do. Howver, because I was already quite familiar with Monfils, Gasquet, Baghdatis, Tomas, etc. before 2005- but Andy was the one who was really new to me and really seemed "future star" to me this year.

(Hope that makes sense- I have come back from a friends "gotta new job party" and I've had a leetle bit of drink....)

Federerthebest
11-20-2005, 08:25 AM
Doping rumors... rumors are for gossip magacines I need real facts, until these are shown Puerta is the comeback of the year

:retard:

Best Match of the Year: Rafael Nadal def. Guillermo Coria]

The Coria-Nadal final was not better than Federer-Safin AO semifinal. The quality of tennis simply was higher in the latter, and it was more dramatic to boot.

idolwatcher1
11-20-2005, 09:12 AM
I don't disagree with the Murray assesment. At least from my own (and I will admit it personal) point of view.

I have heard a lot about Gasquet for around 2 or 3 years. I became very familiar with Monfils last year when he was perhaps going to get the junior grand slam- until the injuries at the time of the USO. But Murray had not heard about nearly as much. So before this year- I kind of considered Gasquet and Monfils- and Berdych and Baggy- as future stars- even if their rankings and results at that point may not have merited it. (They have since won tourneys and/or risen in the rankings.) But Murray was more of a revelation for me this year. The boy does have talent- and even more- a real fight in him. So to me he is the future star that really stuck out for me (and well Djokovic as well). This does not mean that the others don't have top talent- they do. Howver, because I was already quite familiar with Monfils, Gasquet, Baghdatis, Tomas, etc. before 2005- but Andy was the one who was really new to me and really seemed "future star" to me this year.

(Hope that makes sense- I have come back from a friends "gotta new job party" and I've had a leetle bit of drink....)

I think the writer was reserving the "rising star" category for someone who's never previously been in the Top 50, but is rising to become a Top player...Gasquet and Monfils are both in the Top 32 already...Gasquet has been inside the Top 20 for weeks..and there's not much "rising" to do once your inside the Top 20...I don't think the NA assessment has anything to do with it, personally...

i'm not really responding to you CB...just the subject... :wavey: