December, the month of festivities and reflections, has got underway. So, in true Christmas style, here are the players that HST Frankie considers to have stood out this year.
Garbine Muguruza: The star on the tree
Let’s say that metaphorically the tree is this season. Garbine has been pretty shiny, has she not?
There was Wimbledon in particular, where she reached the final by confidently knocking out higher seeds. In the final she didn’t crumble under the pressure or become lost in the atmosphere, nor did she feel intimated about being opposite Serena Williams.
My favourite part? When she looked down and out in the second set and used belief and strength to save championship points and battle from 5-1 down to 5-4.
Fast forward a couple of months and she secured a place at her first WTA Finals where she won all three of her round robin singles matches and (and) reached the final in doubles with Carla Suarez Navarro.
At the beginning of the year she was ranked 21. Now she’s ranked number 3.
Novak Djokovic: The reindeer gliding through the sky
Novak has just flown smoothly through the season, an aura of magic surrounding him. He wins, he makes history, he has things looking so easy. There’s a reason he is number one.
Serena Williams: Father Christmas, the one who keeps on giving
Serena gives us things to talk about (The US Open: The certainty of her winning it followed by the shock of her losing in the semi-finals), she gives us things to be in awe of (The Serena Slam, 21 Grand Slams, 8 Miami Opens etc etc), she has us in admiration (photo shoots such as this, covers such as this), and, kind of like Father Christmas, it feels like she’s been around forever and that’s totally a good thing.
Roger Federer: The snowman, keeping it cool
Ahh, Roger, it makes me happy when you prove the doubters wrong. Take Wimbledon and your overwhelming serve against Andy Murray. A hard-fought match (7-5, 7-5, 6-4) that you made look so effortless. And then there’s the SABR. Smooth Roger at his finest.
Nick Kyrgios: The naughty one receiving coal this year
With on court antics and the insulting of other players, NK has had a lot of (mostly negative) attention this year. Basically, he was subject to one of comedian Adam Hills’ dick rants and that’s not something you want to be included in.
Stan Wawrinka: The surprise
I confess. I didn’t watch all of the French Open final. When Rafa lost to Novak in the quarter-finals, I thought that was it. That Novak would be the winner. Don’t take this personally, Nole, but it made me angry. That’s just how it is when you’re a Rafa fan. It feels like the French Open crown is his forever and then, when he’s dethroned like he was this year, you kind of don’t want it to be to Novak. So I was in London for the afternoon, trying to get my broken phone repaired. When I arrived back and switched on the tv, to my surprise the match was still going. To intensify this surprise, Stan Wawrinka was in the lead and nearing championship point. I squealed. I sat at the edge of the sofa and laughed nervously, my eyes wide with love heart pupils. Ahh I just love it when the Stanimal’s in full force! (with ‘lucky’ shorts on too)
Mirza & Hingis, Belinda Bencic, Venus Williams: The hardworking elves.
2015 has been the first year of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis competing as a doubles pair. They’ve also been unstoppable. With eight titles to their name, they rounded off their year with a ninth at the WTA Finals. A natural way to end things.
Belinda has displayed admirable strength both physically and mentally for an 18 year old, most notably at the Rogers Cup in Toronto where she defeated Bouchard, Wozniacki, Ivanovic and then Serena. This quote from the round 3 press conference is still great.
And HI, VENUS. 35 years of age, now 7 in the rankings and no sign of stopping. Bring on 2016!
Hey Happy Slammers! Do you have memories you want to share? Or things that have happened in 2015 that you’d like to discuss? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org because we’d love to hear from you!