BEST OF 2012
Top Achievements Of 2012 - Nos. 10-6
by Matt Fitzgerald|
This week ATPWorldTour.com counts down the Top 10 achievements of 2012, beginning today with Nos. 10 through six. In some instances, the achievements are based solely on performances this year, such as David Ferrer's seven titles and 76 match wins. Others, such as Roger Federer's record-tying seventh Wimbledon title, reflect a body of work over several seasons that culminated in a significant milestone in 2012. Be sure to join the discussion about our list by leaving your feedback in the Facebook commenting tool at the bottom of the page. Let the debate begin!
10. Ferrer Leads The Pack In Titles & Match Wins
It’s hard to imagine a player having his best season on the ATP World Tour at 30, but for David Ferrer, that’s exactly what was in store for him in 2012.
An accomplished and well-respected player since turning professional in 2000, Ferrer led all players with seven tour-level titles and 76 match wins to finish as World No. 5 for the second straight year. In an incredibly consistent season, Ferrer achieved several personal highlights.
Among his feats, Ferrer lifted his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in Paris (d. Janowicz) and joined Rafael Nadal as the only Spaniards to reach the quarter-finals or better at all four major tournaments in a calendar year, advancing to his first semi-final at Roland Garros, second semi-final at the US Open and first quarter-final at Wimbledon. He won titles on three different surfaces (hard, clay and grass), triumphing at Auckland, Buenos Aires, Acapulco, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Bastad, Valencia and Paris.
“I had never won a Masters 1000 [title], and I took my chance,” Ferrer said after his victory in Paris. “It is very important because it was the best season of my career, and I will try to improve my game.”
In Easbourne at the AEGON International, Roddick’s run to the title was meaningful in two ways. Along the way, he pulled double duty to win his quarter-final and semi-final matches in the same day to become just the 19th player in the Open Era to record 600 match wins, joining Roger Federer as the only active players to reach the landmark.
He made sure to make it a memorable week, dismissing reigning champion Andreas Seppi in the final. In capturing the crown, Roddick equalled Federer’s streak of winning at least one title in 12 straight seasons.
“I wanted to keep alive winning one tournament a year for 12 years. I know three or four people have done that," Roddick said. “I need to remind myself of those numbers just to [remember] this is a what-did-you-do-last-week-type sport. So looking back on that, maybe I need to look at those a little bit more and realise that I've done this for a long time pretty well.”
8. A Scotman’s Sizzling Summer
“Good things come to those who wait.”
For Andy Murray and the rest of Great Britain, patience proved to be a virtue this season. After a solid first half of the year, Murray caught fire in his home country, igniting a run of history-making achievements for his country.
At Wimbledon, he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals to become the first homegrown player to reach the final since Fred Perry in 1938. And while he would finish runner-up to Roger Federer in the final, Murray would have his chance a few weeks later to avenge the loss. Returning to the All England Club for the London 2012 Olympics, Murray emerged as one of Team GB’s stars of the Games. He beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and compiled an impressive performance to defeat Federer in three sets to become his country’s first gold medallist for tennis in 104 years. He also added a silver medal in mixed doubles with Laura Robson.
Murray completed a trio of record-setting performances by edging Djokovic in a nerve-racking five-set final at the US Open to win his first major title, ending Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion. All of his accomplishments came with coach Ivan Lendl at the helm.
“I was obviously very emotional. I cried a little bit on the court. You’re not sad; you’re incredibly happy,” said Murray. “You’re in a little bit of disbelief because when I have been in that position many times before and not won, you do think, Is it ever going to happen? Then when it finally does, you’re obviously very, very excited. But mainly relieved to have got over that last hurdle.”
7. Federer Ties Wimbledon Titles Record
Entering Wimbledon, Roger Federer hadn’t contested a Grand Slam final since Roland Garros in 2011, or lifted a major piece of hardware since the 2010 Australian Open. That all changed at the All England Club.
His run to the title didn’t come without drama. In his third-round match, the Swiss trailed Julien Benneteau by two sets, and was within two points of defeat to the Frenchman on six occasions. But like a true champion, Federer hung tough, completing the stirring comeback in five sets and in turn, sealing his destiny.
Federer would go on to beat reigning champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, before facing off against first-time finalist Andy Murray in the final. After trailing a set and feeling pressure against his serve in the second set, Federer stepped on the gas to deny Murray a major victory on home soil, capturing his record-tying seventh Wimbledon crown. In joining William Renshaw and Pete Sampras with the most trophies at the event, Federer reclaimed the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking.
“This year, I guess, I decided in the bigger matches, to take it more to my opponent instead of waiting a bit more for the mistakes,” said Federer. “This is, I guess, how you want to win Wimbledon, by going after your shots, believing you can do it, and that's what I was able to do today. It's special."
6. Blackjack! Roger & Rafa Win 21st Masters 1000 Titles
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer continued their winning ways in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 competition. Though Nadal missed the second half of the year due to injury, he maintained his record number of Masters 1000 titles, later joined by Federer with 21 trophies apiece.
Nadal’s successes came on the surface where he’s been dubbed, ‘The King Of Clay.’ In Monte-Carlo, he won an improbable eighth consecutive crown at the event and then captured his sixth title in Rome. He defeated rival Novak Djokovic in both finals.
"I am happy that I won in Rome without losing a set against the best players in the world like [Tomas] Berdych and [David] Ferrer and Djokovic," Nadal said in Rome. "I will have this trophy in my bedroom. It is a dream. [I have] the confidence I am playing well and this comes when I play at the right level. Hopefully I will keep playing like this."
Federer collected three trophies to tie Nadal’s mark. He topped John Isner to become the first player to win four titles at Indian Wells, triumphed on blue clay in Madrid over Tomas Berdych and won a record-setting fifth title in Cincinnati with victory against Djokovic.
“I've been able to win five. It's obviously incredible because I remember the first few here I struggled. Now looking back it's just unbelievable,” Federer said in Cincinnati. “Plus this was probably the best week ever here in Cincinnati for me never dropping my serve and all that stuff and beating Novak in the final. This was very sweet. No doubt about it.”
Coming Tuesday: Nos. 5-3.