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http://www.tennisone.com/Larson/Larsonnews.home.htm

Last time, we handed out the women's awards. Now it's the men's turn.

Some of these awards correspond to WTA, ITF, and ATP awards; these are perhaps suggestions to the voters. Others are our own ideas.

Player of the Year: Lleyton Hewitt
Going into the last week of the season, this looked very tough; Lleyton Hewitt (who hadn't won a title since Wimbledon) seemed to be melting down, and Andre Agassi had arguably a better won/lost record despite no Slams. But Hewitt took home the Shanghai title, and the #1 ranking, and he's the only Slam winner in the Top Eight.

Doubles Team of the Year: Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor
Even though they only won one Slam, no one else comes close. The gap is so large that we aren't even going to bother with a doubles player of the year (an award we did give on the women's side)

Most Improved Player: Paradorn Srichaphan
We can't give him "Most Impressive Newcomer," because he's 23. But he ended last year #126, having never been higher than #85, and with no career ATP finals. This year, he rose all the way to #16, picking up two titles and assorted finals along the way.

Most Impressive Newcomer with a Monster Serve: Mario Ancic
The temptation is to give this to Fernando Gonzalez, who was ninth on the ATP in first serve points won, eighth in service games won, and fourth in break points saved. But he isn't properly a newcomer; he won a title way back in 2000. Who's left but Ancic?

Most Impressive Newcomer Without a Monster Serve: Paul-Henri Mathieu
Last year, this award and the preceding were roughly equal in significance. This year, there's no doubt about which award is bigger. Mathieu won two titles, and ended the year at #39, and looks like he has much bigger things planned. At least as long as he doesn't get involved in five-set matches.

Comeback Player of the Year: Carlos Moya
It's been a long, slow grind, but Moya is Top Five again, and who else can match that? Watch out for Gustavo Kuerten and Magnus Norman in 2003.

Best Hardcourt Player: Andre Agassi
Honorable Mention: Paradorn Srichaphan.
The two hardcourt Slam winners didn't win any other titles, which would seem to leave us with Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt. Neither did anything at the Australian Open, but Agassi beat Hewitt at the U. S. Open, and won Miami as well as Scottsdale and Los Angeles. Hewitt's only hardcourt title was Indian Wells -- a very good title, of course, but it's only one. The winners at the Canadian Open (Canas) and Cincinnati (Moya) also had only one hardcourt title. So clearly Agassi was the top hardcourt player. As for Srichaphan, he didn't win any big titles, but he was probably the next-best hardcourt player, week in and week out, in the second half of the year.

Best Indoor Player: Lleyton Hewitt
Honorable Mentions: Paul-Henri Mathieu
This is another tough award, but Hewitt won Shanghai and San Jose, and the only other player with two indoor titles was Mathieu. Not really spectacular results, but good enough.

Best Clay Player: Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Honorable Mention: Carlos Moya
It can't be Albert Costa; he won Roland Garros, but that was all. The three Masters Series were won by Ferrero, Andre Agassi, and Roger Federer. Neither Agassi nor Federer did much else on clay, whereas Ferrero made the Roland Garros final. He's a pretty clear choice. As for Moya, he had three clay titles (Acapulco, Bastad, Umag), and made the Monte Carlo final. Also watch out for Gaston Gaudio, who won Barcelona and Mallorca back to back.

No award for grass; sample too small. (Though we're pretty sure Hewitt would have won had there been more events.)

Biggest Surprise: Thomas Johansson, Albert Costa, Pete Sampras
Three Slam winners with no other titles. And all three ended up outside the Top Eight.

Biggest Non-Surprise: Yevgeny Kafelnikov's reconsidering his decision to retire after Russia won Davis Cup

The Anyone-but-Patty-Schnyder Award for Best Act of Apparent Hypnotism: Petr Korda on Radek Stepanek
Stepanek ended 2001 with an entry ranking of 547. He came to Korda to ask for advice. Korda said something like, I can get you into the U. S. Open and into the year-end Top 70, but only if you do exactly what I tell you. Korda meant it: Stepanek ended 2002 ranked #63.

Player Whose Mechanics We'd Most Like to Steal: Marcelo Rios
Rios has problems, but they aren't with his shots, they're with his head.

Player We'd Most Like to Watch: Guillermo Canas
Fabrice Santoro, last year's winner, faded a little this year. Canas doesn't have as much magic, but it's a pleasure just to watch the guy grind and grind and grind.

Most Dramatic Exit: Wimbledon Second Round
George Bastl def. Pete Sampras 6-3 6-2 4-6 3-6 6-4

Need we say more?

Personal Nemesis Award: Lleyton Hewitt for Tim Henman
Last year, Hewitt jinxed Andy Roddick. This year -- well, Henman still hasn't won a grass title in his career, and Hewitt is the #1 reason why.

Worst Performance in a Retiring Role: Yevgeny Kafelnikov. If you're going to retire, at least do it!

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black Award for Stupidest Prediction: Greg Rusedski
After losing to Pete Sampras at the U. S. Open, Rusedski predicted Sampras was "slow" and that he wouldn't win another match.

The Jennifer Capriati Award for Best Argument For Abolishing Press Conferences
Tim Henman didn't get as many votes as Capriati, but he was the leader in this department. He's coherent, but it's one thing to be coherent and another to actually have something to say.

Worst Hissy Fit: Lleyton Hewitt vs. the ATP.
Remember the ESPN Interview that Wasn't?

Most Likely to Cause an International Incident: The Pakistani Tennis Federation
These guys tried to blow off their best player (their only player, really) because he teamed with an Israeli in doubles

Worst Davis Cup Decision: France
Considered objectively, the Pakistani decision cited above is the worst -- but Pakistan wasn't going anywhere in Davis Cup anyway. France, though -- well, Paul-Henri Mathieu had had a lot of trouble with long matches, and was playing Davis Cup for the first time -- and the French chose him over Fabrice Santoro to play the final match of the Davis Cup final against a rested Mikhail Youzhny?

Best Excuse for Showing Up Late: Andrei Pavel
Andrei Pavel's quarterfinal at Roland Garros was suspended by rain -- for two days. And his wife was in labor. He raced home to Germany as best he could but the roads were such that he arrived about ninety minutes after his son Marius was born. So Pavel spent a few hours with his family, then drove back to Roland Garros, got two hours of sleep, played the rest of his quarterfinal (he lost all three remaining games, and the match) -- and headed back to Germany once again.

The Kim Clijsters/Lleyton Hewitt Award for Couple Most Likely to Be the Result of Illegal Genetic Engineering: Goran Ivanisevic and Mario Ancic
If they had the same handedness, could you even tell them apart?

Now Why Didn't We Think Of That Award for Biggest Tournament Fix: the Wimbledon Seeding Committee
In 2001, the Committee fixed its formula to make sure Pete Sampras was seeded #1 at Wimbledon. This year, the old formula would (we believe) still have made Sampras #1 -- so they changed the formula completely (and, we concede, more accurately, since Lleyton Hewitt won Wimbledon) -- but the new standings were so close to the rankings that they might as well have given in and not bothered

Best Reason Not to Require Tennis Uniforms: Tommy Haas
Serena Williams can wear what she wore at the U. S. Open, and Haas can't even show his biceps?

Best Reason to Join a Monastery: Marat Safin.
Australian Open final. 'Nuff said. (We'll admit that the monastery might have a bit of a problem with Safin's entourage.)

Most Likely to Break the Rules: Greg Rusedski
Wimbledon seems to generate these things like mad. Last year, it was Goran Ivanisevic winning a Slam as a wildcard. This year, it was Greg Rusedski double-hitting a ball -- and not getting called for it.

Silliest Civil War: Greg Rusedski vs. Pat Cash
Has Rusedski really done well enough to justify all this squabbling over credit?

Stupidest Behavior in a Tennis Publication: Us
For the second year straight, we're giving awards no one pays any attention to.

Credits: Thanks to Michael Blue, Wendy Grossman, Kunndi, and Kamakshi Tandon for suggestions.
 

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"Personal Nemesis Award: Lleyton Hewitt for Tim Henman
Last year, Hewitt jinxed Andy Roddick. This year -- well, Henman still hasn't won a grass title in his career, and Hewitt is the #1 reason why."

Shouldnt that be given to Carlos Moya for Lleyton Hewitt?
 

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I think he picked Hewitt for Tim, over Moya for Hewitt, because Hewitt still had success despite his Moya problem.

Whereas Henman has been prevented from having success on his best surface, due to Hewitt beating him and Wimbledon and Queens. It is also worth noting that Hewitt prevented TIm from winning his first masters series.

But either would fly :eek:
 

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i thought Hewitt and Henboy were doubles partners for a bit!

i agree with Dissident -- the Major Peeler should have been given the honor!

i so agree about Rusedski! LOL!!!! ;) ;)
 

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huh, am I the only one who thinks that Greg was actually outplaying Pete and should have won that match, if not for the fact that Sampas was playing as if he was on a mission and also got favoured by some very dubious calls? :confused:
 

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REgarding Hewitt or Moya though -

Hewitt was able to ahve success and win a slam etc despite Moya's hold on him.

Henman was beat by Hewitt in the only slam he contends at, he lost to him in the Queens final, he lost to him in a masters series final...

Hewitt in a sense, single handedly prevented Tim from winning a slam, masters series, or grass court title.

Despite Moya, Hewitt still won a masters series, masters cup, slam, etc etc.
 

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Regardless of whether Greg was playing better or not, he wasnt the better player at the critical moments, while Pete was. Greg lost and acted like a sore loser, so hes very deserving of that award.
 

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LOL
 

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psychotic banana
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Pete won and Greg lost :D :bounce:
 

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Ace Tracker said:
huh, am I the only one who thinks that Greg was actually outplaying Pete and should have won that match, if not for the fact that Sampas was playing as if he was on a mission and also got favoured by some very dubious calls? :confused:
1. I don't think Greg actually outplaying Pete cos no matter who the players are, if one can outplay the other, than the outplayed one is the loser.

2. I can't recall some very dubious calls but even if there are dubious calls, these are not factors in determining the outcome of a play unless the player himself/herself lost his/her head. Then, it's not the problem of the call but the player.

3. Everyone playing in a GS are on a mission.
 
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