Hero of the Year Award:
Stood up to match-fixers and for that he’ll always be a hero to me.
Can’t think of anyone else who has done that and suffered in the way he did, despite having done the right thing. I hope he has a massive 2020, fully deserves it.
Biggest Villain of the Year Award:
Imagine if you created a new tour (sort of, anyway), that was roundly condemned by everyone involved, to the point that it was then scrapped; whilst also being responsible for drastic to changes to both the Davis and Fed Cups that were universally hated. You’d be waiting for that letter that lets you know your services are no longer required, I suspect.
However in the world of tennis that level of incompetence is rewarded with another term in office as President of the ITF.
Clown of the Year Award:
The debate over whether he is good for the game or not is silly. Of course he’s good for the game, but he’s also someone who steps over the line way too often. I like controversy and differing personalities, but things like spitting at umpires is disgusting and has to be condemned. I hope 2020 is a chance to focus on the good things he does both on and off court.
Breakthrough of The Year Award:
He’s gone from 870th last November to 78th and he’s only just turned 18. He is also really, really fun to watch.
Gingers all over the world are rejoicing.
Comeback of The Year Award
Was tempted to give it to Tara Moore after winning from 0-6, 0-5* 30-40 to wind up the Murray fans, but I don’t want the abuse.
The transition from losing to Matteo Viola in a Challenger in Mallorca in August to winning in Antwerp is a truly astonishing story.
The Feelgood Story of The Year
Plenty of candidates but I’m going with the Slovak doubles specialist. His return to the sport after nearly 5 years out is in itself an achievement, but to go on and win a Masters event and qualify for London with Ivan Dodig after only becoming a pairing in the late May is an astonishing achievement.
The Bermuda Triangle Award – this is for the man who goes missing when it matters most.
People will think I’m targeting Nick, but I’m not. He’s got weapons and the ability to make life incredibly difficult for the top guys but the stats below say it all. I hope the break from tennis focuses him on trying to do his best next year. The sport would be better off if he did because he’s a big draw for the sport.
Two ATP 500 titles, 0 second weeks at the Majors and peaked at the Masters by reaching round two twice.
Most Entertaining Player Award:
Some people would probably suggest Kyrgios, which is fair enough. However for me personally a Bublik match is a rollercoaster of tricks, inexplicably unnecessary shots, regular second serve 132mph aces and most importantly his matches will make you laugh and smile. You won’t turn off one of his matches without being entertained. Make sure you tune in.
World’s Most Pointless Comeback
Before coming back this year his last match was at the Australian Open in 2017. I’ll let the results speak for themselves.
The Gamesmanship Champion Award
His ability to just repeatedly invent excuses to break an opponents rhythm when they’re up break points is absurd. Not sure how much longer he can keep using the shoe lace excuse though. Hopefully he switches it up for 2020.
The I’m Not Crying, You Are Award:
I’m a softy really and the thought of his speech after his win in Rio chokes me up even now.
The I’m Not Sure What Award Title He Deserves But He’s Getting One Anyway Award:
He cares. He wants the sport to improve, adapt and thrive. Behind the Racquet is a brilliant creation and the Coffee Cast With Cation and Rubin is essential listening for any tennis fan. I hope more people get behind Noah and his projects, it’s coming from a good place.
I’m going to give this to two people: Mark Petchey and Mike Cation. Thoroughly enjoy listening to both. Can somebody finally give Mike a permanent tour level gig? It’s long overdue. Retire McEnroe whilst you’re at it, please.
Worst Broadcaster Award:
Slightly unfair in some respects as it’s pretty much Amazon only in the UK for tennis fans, but they have a long way to go. The delay behind the live action is unacceptable and they’ve had too many occasions where the service has stopped working. Given it’s one of the world’s largest and richest companies I expected more from them.
Least Appreciated Aspect of Tennis Award:
The quality of tennis at the ATP Challenger level! All the matches are free to watch at http://www.livestream.com/atp – I only wish more people tuned in.
Worst Blogger/Journalist/Content Creator:
It’s a lazy selection because it’s the easy one. But it’s also the correct one.
I can’t be bothered to list everything he’s done, life’s too short. Ultimately I think he’s an absolute cancer on our sport and I don’t say that lightly.
Best Blogger/Journalist/Content Creator:
I couldn’t actually narrow it down so I’ll give you a short list of some people you should be following and supporting on Twitter. They all care and love the sport and I’d love for more people to read and share their articles and watch their content to help the sport grow:
@tennisblogger1, @lwosdamiankust, @alextheodorid1s, @themagician5GS
In fairness anyone I follow is great and you should be too.
On that happier note I’ll end it there. If you happen to be offended by any of my selections please feel free to keep it to yourself because I don’t care.
If you have better suggestions and don’t take things too seriously then let me know as I’d love to hear your thoughts.