In less than two hours, Andy Murray routed Novak Djokovic in the Association of Tennis Professionals’ final in the last official tennis match of 2016, and secured the year-end No. 1 ranking in the world. It is one of those achievements that will last forever, or at least as long this world lasts, which given recent elections all over the globe, I’m no longer so sure about.
Technically, it was not the last official match on the professional tours. For both the men and women, tournaments sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation are being played through the end of December, and a women’s tournament one level up from that is taking place in my adopted state of Hawaii this week!
These tournaments are bread and butter for players ranked outside the top 100. If they survive a few rounds, they cover their travel and training expenses and gain valuable ranking points to move into the next higher tier.
But from most spectators’ point of view, the match between Murray and Djokovic was the grand finale. Having been a devoted tennis fan for decades, I honestly have to say it was not thrilling. For me, players are too cautious these days. They reach every inch of the court with great power but also with constant topspin and very few forays to the net. I long for a Jimmy Connors or Pete Sampras, but as readers of this blog know, I’m thrilled we have a Stanislas Wawrinka who takes all kinds of risks and makes unpredictability exciting and riveting.
So here we are already at the official end of the tennis calendar year. Tennis is one part of this blog, and always wonderful to write about in addition to Trisomy 21 and sharing life together with all of you, dear readers. It’s too early to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, but I am thankful to all of you who have encouraged me to keep going with the blog for at least a year.