It was the season of the resurgence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They staked their claim at the top and did so by playing brilliant tennis at the majors and the Masters 1000 events. Federer won the Australian Open, Wimbledon (no surprise), and three Masters 1000 events (Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai) and ended his year ranked at number two.
Nadal claimed his tenth Roland Garros title (no surprise) and the US Open. It was the season of decimas for the “king of clay”, who also claimed his tenth Monte Carlo Rolex Masters 1000 title as well as the aforementioned tenth French Open title and the Barcelona Open title. He also won another Masters 1000 event in Madrid and ended his year at number one.
It was also the season that saw the top ranks of the ATP Tour decimated by injuries and perhaps more important, the emergence of the new guards. This was the year that Alexander Zverev announced he was ready to compete at the top; he captured two of the coveted Masters 1000 titles (Rome and Canada) and ended his year with five titles and the number four ranking.
American, Jack Sock, made his breakthrough when he won his first Masters 1000 title in Paris and broke the top ten barrier for the first time in his career and ended his year on a tremendous high at number eight with three titles.
Then there was the seasoned veteran, Grigor Dimitrov, who finally lived up to the potential he showed when he first broke onto the scene and was dubbed “baby Federer”. Dimitrov claimed his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati and the biggest title of his career, the Nitto ATP Finals. He ended his year on an all-time high at number three.
Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov are two of the new guards who made their presence felt this season. The twenty year-old, Rublev, won his first career singles title. Eighteen year-old, Shapovalov, challenged the top players all season and managed to stun Nadal at the Coupe Rogers. His talent was recognized at the end of the season when he captured both the ATP Star of Tomorrow and the Most Improved Player of the Year awards.
What will 2018 have to offer and will the surprises top those of 2017? Will the players who suffered the abysmal lows due to injury rediscover their form and shine brightly once again in 2018? How will the new young guards handle the pressure of expectation?
SOURCE OF IMAGES: serveandrally originals