THE NICE LIST:
Rafael Nadal - Was there any doubt he'd be on this list? With a 75-7 record on the year, 10 titles including 2 majors and almost $15 million in prize money; I'd say he had a pretty decent return after a 7 month layoff. Rafa silenced critics by making the final of almost every tournament he played and by adding hard court championships at Indian Wells, Montreal, Cincinnati and the US Open. He also regained the #1 ranking.
Novak Djokovic - Yes he had some tough losses to Rafa this year ( French Open, US Open). But it's hard to fault a guy who finished the year 74-9 with 7 titles. He also went on a 20+ match win streak after the US Open and beat Rafa in back to back events to close the year. Novak is one of the best at stoking his competitive fire and he demonstrated that with his late season charge.
Andy Murray - First man from great Britain to win Wimbledon in 77 years. Enough said.
Serena Williams - There is simply nobody else on the WTA that opponents fear as much as an in form Serena. 78-4 on the year with 11 titles. She also collected major titles at the French and US Opens. It is a true sign of dominance when you are the tournament favorite by simply entering the draw.
Marion Bartoli - It doesn't even matter what she did before Wimbledon or that she retired immediately after. Marion Bartoli accomplished a life long goal by taking the title in London. She exhibited class in the face of tremendously unwarranted criticism after the tournament as well. Rarely a trendy pick to accomplish big things, Marion showed the world the heart of a champion.
THE NAUGHTY LIST
Roger Federer - The Swiss Maestro fell to his lowest ranking since 2003 this year. he finished the year 45-17 with just 1 title. That is actually not a bad year but it falls short of the standard expectation everyone has for Fed. He makes my list more due to the confidence issues he seemed to be experiencing. Racquet testing, coaching change and just generally being defensive all indicate a crisis of confidence in 2013. I am curious to see how he rebounds in 2014.
Bernard Tomic - This kid just continues to be a dumpster fire. He has immense talent and absolutely zero drive to maximize it. He seems perfectly content to be mediocre and live off of his tabloid exploits. He has a tremendous amount of work to do in developing the mindset it takes to be a champion. Oh and to top it off, his father/coach was banned form the tour until the middle of 2014 for after assaulting Bernard's hitting partner. The epitome of
Petra Kvitova - Petra is a very confusing player. She seemed poised to breakthrough after winning Wimbledon a couple years ago. But her best result in a major this year was the quarters of Wimbledon. She just seems to be on a constant roller coaster from event to event. She is a tremendous ball striker when on her game and a stack of unforced errors when she's not.
Victoria Azarenka - She makes this list solely based on the fact that I have to mute my TV every time she is playing.
Who would you put on your tennis naughty and nice lists for 2013?