The historic victory of Great Britain in the Davis Cup was the brilliant climax which closed the tennis season 2015. An exciting year that will be registered for ever and in golden letters the name of Novak Djokovic.
It is hard to find something new to say about the Serbian. Commentators and analysts around the world have glossed his personality and his game from countless perspectives. His exceptional physical condition, his confidence and his mental toughness have been exalted. On his game they highlighted his strong consistency, the frenzied rhythm that he subdues to his rivals, his ability to go from defence to attack, the variety of resources that he has, his intelligence on the court and, of course, the huge talent he possesses. All absolutely true. To summarize it in one sentence, Novak Djokovic, is today, a player without cracks or weaknesses. Djokovic, unlike Achilles, has been completely immersed into his particular Stygian lake.
Although paled by the brilliance of Novak, also other players have excelled in this 2015 that ends. Murray closed the circle of the inheritance of Perry delivering the long-awaited Davis Cup to Britain. A landmark of enormous historical significance. Number 2 in the world, has managed to win the Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid and Canada. His cross has been, without a doubt, the serie of 6 defeats against Djokovic, including 3 finals. That marked superiority of the number 1 has prevented Andy reach greater achievements. It is two years now without winning a Slam, time passes and the British run the risk of staying with a smaller track record than his talent promised.
Roger Federer has again demonstrated that his extraordinary class does not care age. In the semi-final of Wimbledon against Murray, perhaps the most brilliant match of the season, he elevated tennis to an exalted category of perfection, beauty and harmony. A true work of art executed with a racket. With matches like this, Federer has reached a category that goes beyond victory and defeat. A status reserved for a select few in the history of sport, as Ali, Jordan or Pelé, freed from the tyranny of the result by virtue of their exceptional talent. For many people, the issue is not that Federer wins, but simply play. Federer is already, from that point of view, an eternal player.
Stan Wawrinka has again demonstrated that he is a tennis player that should count for everything. If in 2014 surprised everyone winning with his first Grand Slam in Australia, this 2015 made clear that this was not an accident defeating Federer first and then Djokovic at Roland Garros, just the final most wanted to win by the Serbian. An achievement which requires a fair consideration due to the enormous sporting value. Even so, it is inevitable to point out the irregularity that the Swiss has shown this season. In the Grand Slam he has been superb, semi-finals in Melbourne and New York and quarterfinal in London, apart from the great triumph in Paris. However, in the Masters 1000 his performance has been significantly lower, reaching a mark of 13 victories and 9 defeats, 59% far from 87% in the Grand Slam. It seems as if the motivation of the number 4 in the world only appear during the four biggest tournaments of the year.
Much has been said about the strange season of Rafael Nadal. Certainly, the most positive thing for him is having finished moving away, if not definitely if in a large extent, the doubts and clouds that hovered over him. Everyone is agreed that 2016 will be very different for him and this 2015 will be remained as a bad year. But there is also a general expectation to know if that notorious recovery shown in the last weeks of the year will be enough to aspire to obtain the big titles and the world number 1. A question that only time will answer.
Worthy of particular mention are the youth. For the generation of the 88-90, it has not been a good season. Nishikori, Cilic and Raonic have been unable to repeat their 2014 performance and it is difficult to imagine them displacing the Big-4. Next on the list have caused best feelings; Thiem and Sock have shown promise and have achieved good results, appearing both in the top-30. They still have a long way to go, so their evolution should be carefully followed. Dimitrov, however, has made a disappointing year, falling to number 28 in the ATP ranking (became 8 in August 2014) which means an important step back in his career where he should show progress. He will know better than anyone the causes of this downturn, although from outside could be claimed a little more concentration on his tennis. Finally, Tomic has become to have a year with ups and downs and he has not made that leap of quality that has been long expected.
The generation that has raised more expectation has been the “teens”. A large group which has shone this year and it is been predicted a great future. Kyrgios, the natural leader of this generation, already achieved great results in 2014 and certainly started better this season that ended. Sports and personal maturity are still missing as he demonstrated in the famous incident with Wawrinka, but his potential is beyond doubt. He is accompanied by his friend and compatriot Kokkinakis, the croatian Coric, who defeats Murray in Dubai, the russians Rublev and Zverev and the american Fritz. Some of them are still almost teens and they all have to mature, but there is a large consensus in considering them as the real alternative for the future. One thing is virtually certain, when they reach maturity the Big-4 there will be no longer an impassable wall, and it is even likely that a forty years Federer is retired.
Finally, we leave here some interesting facts of the season:
Numbers of season 2015:
Federer aheads Rosewall and Djokovic do the same with Nadal in the all time ranking:
Djokovic gets the best score of all time in a period of 52 weeks. From the ATP finals 2014 to the Master 1000 of Paris:
And he also beats the record of points in a year-end list since 1877. The best season ever:
Federer comes into the exclusive club of players with over a thousand victories:
Karlovic, absolute record holder of aces, displacing Ivanisevic (Davis Cup statistics are included)
Federer in the ATP Finals cut a streak of 38 wins of Djokovic in indoor:
US Open 2015: The hardest tournament of all time. A draw with the top -80 almost full:
Djokovic, devourer of marks at Masters 1000. Record of consecutive finals:
As well as semi-finals:
Also most wins in different Masters 1000:
But Nadal still holds the lead in total Masters 1000 titles:
Since Wimbledon 2009 Djokovic has always been among the best 8 of all Grand Slam tournaments played:
Another record for Nole… First player to win four consecutive ATP finals:
Federer continues extending his career … now he has the fourth-longest career in the ATP Era from the first title achieved to the last:
2015 has died. Viva 2016!!