2011 – FULL
This page was made (after 11 weeks of the ’11 season) to facilitate you and me an access to the most important events of ‘2011’ contained in my website.
Week by week:
<<< TIME-LINE >>>
January 5th – Brisbane, the quarterfinal. 38-year-old Daniel Nestor establishes a new record, beating along with his new partner Max Mirnyi, the German duo Benjamin Becker and Michael Kohlmann in straight sets. It is Nestor’s 783rd doubles win in his career, surpasses the previous record of Todd Woodbridge.
January 25th – Australian Open, the quarterfinal. In a Spanish duel David Ferrer  spoils Rafael Nadal‘s  dreams of becoming the first man since Rod Laver to win four consecutive majors. Ferrer snaps Nadal’s 25-match winning streak in Grand Slam events with a shocking 6-4 6-2 6-3 victory. “I think he played at a very high level,” Nadal says. “I don’t have to tell you about what I felt on the court because I tried my best all the time. But is obvious that I didn’t feel at my best.”
January 30th – Australian Open, the final. Third best player of the last four years, Novak Djokovic gains his second Aussie Open title outplaying Andy Murray  6-4 6-2 6-3 in a match highlighted by a 39-stroke rally which gave the Serb a set point at 5:4 in the 1st set. He later explains: “Maybe there was a turning point in the whole match, that 5-4 game. I was a bit fortunate, I kind of anticipated well and read his intentions and played some great shots and great moments.” Djokovic waited three years for his second major title…
February 10th – Rotterdam, the second round. Curiosity: Philipp Kohlschreiber  has a match point to beat Robin Soderling  for the third time in career saving a match point in the deciding 3rd set tie-break, but ultimately the Swede prevails 6-3 5-7 7-6 and a few days later gets the title.
February 17th – Memphis, the second round. 20-year-old Milos Raonic  arouses interest around himself. The young Canadian, who clinched his first title a couple days before in San Jose (becoming the first man born in the 90’s to win an ATP title), fires 38 aces in three sets against Radek Stepanek  during a 6-4 6-7 7-6 victory. It is the fourth highest number of aces delivered in a 3-set encounter (he finishes the tournament with the highest number of aces served in a 32-draw tournament).
March 5th – Zagreb, Davis Cup – the first round. Ivo Karlovic creates a new record in the fastest serve, delivering a 251 kph (156 mph) serve in a Davis Cup doubles rubber between Croatia and Germany. Karlovic along with Ivan Dodig, loses to the German pair, Christopher Kas and Philipp Petzschner 3-6 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6. Strangely enough, Petzschner almost returned the fastest serve ever without an effort.
April 3rd – Miami, the final. Novak Djokovic  rallies from a *5:6 (15/30) in the 3rd set to beat 4-6 6-3 7-6 Rafael Nadal  in a 3-hour-21-minute battle. It is the second consecutive ‘Masters 1000’ shield for the Serb, who two weeks earlier had beaten Nadal also in the Indian Wells final. “It was such a close match. To win against the No. 1 player of the world in a tie-break in the third set, it’s just incredible.” admits the in-form Djokovic.
April 17th – Monte Carlo, the final. “The King of Clay” Rafael Nadal  avenges the Australian Open loss, outlasting his compatriot David Ferrer  6-4 7-5, producing a new record of the most consecutive titles in one tournament – seven. The No. 1 in the world says after the final: “[To] win seven times in a row any where is almost impossible I think. But to win Monte Carlo, all the best players in the world are here, you always have tough matches, is impossible to imagine for me.” Nadal defeats Ferrer also one week later in the Barcelona final.
May 15th – Rome, the final. Novak Djokovic  empowers his supremacy over Rafael Nadal , defeating him for the fourth time in the year! In an almost copy of their final one week before (Madrid), Djokovic wins 6-4 6-4 and celebrates the triumph lying on the Italian clay. He knows that this win very likely may give him dethroning Nadal at the top of the men’s tennis. “I am definitely amazed with my playing,” Djokovic said. “But there’s no time to enjoy it – I’ve got to get ready for Roland Garros.”
May 29th – Roland Garros, the fourth round. Playing with cramps and extreme risk, 24-year-old Fabio Fognini  wins the most dramatic 5-set match of the season as he battles past Albert Montanes  4-6 6-4 3-6 6-3 11-9 after 4 hours 22 minutes! Fognini comes back from a *1:3 (30/30) deficit in the 4th set and fights off five match points in two service games mixing foot faults with astonishing winners. Fognini isn’t able to play the quarter-finals and gives a walkover in the last eight or onwards in Paris for the first time since 1965!
June 3rd – Roland Garros, the semifinal. The former No. 1 Roger Federer  reminds his greatness stunning Novak Djokovic  7-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 in the latest match finished at Roland Garros – 9:38 p.m. local time. It is Djokovic’s first defeat of the year, and his first loss after 43 consecutive wins! “It was best five months of my life, my tennis career,” claimed Djokovic, “I cannot complain. It was definitely an incredible period. It had to end somewhere. I knew it was coming. Unfortunately, it came in the bad moment“. Longer streaks of being unbeaten in the Open era notched only Bjorn Borg (49 wins in 1978), Guillermo Vilas (46 in 1977) and Ivan Lendl (44 in 1982). “I would think it is the best match I played this year,” Federer said. “I did really well, a top start when I was able to break. But I know he has always got something in his racket to break me as well“.
June 5th – Roland Garros, the final. A record-tying in majors, Rafael Nadal‘s  fifth win on Centre Court in Paris over Roger Federer . The Spaniards saves a set point at 2:5 in the 1st set and clinches his record-tying (with Bjorn Borg) sixth Roland Garros crown with a 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1 victory. Nadal states: “It’s a big personal satisfaction to win this tournament, especially when you started without playing your best. My mind was open to change the situation, so that makes the victory probably more special“.
June 21st – Wimbledon, the first round. One year after playing the longest match in the history of tennis, John Isner  and Nicolas Mahut  meet again at the Wimbledon first round, this time on Court No. 3 (Court No. 18 a year ago). The American giant prevails 7-6 6-2 7-6. It is the eight time in the Wimbledon Open Era history that players met in the first round in back-to-back tournaments.
June 23rd – Wimbledon, the first round. The Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah serve fifteen times to stay in the match to finally beat Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 2-6 6-2 21-19 – it’s the longest doubles deciding 3rd set in the Wimbledon history. Bopanna and Qureshi squandered five match points in the process.
July 3rd – Wimbledon, the final. Novak Djokovic  two days after becoming a new No. 1 in the world (25th in the Open era), dispatches Rafael Nadal  in four lopsided sets 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 snapping a 20-match winning streak of the Spaniard at Wimbledon. “It has been the best day of my life, most special day of my life. I always dreamed of winning this tournament. I think I’m still dreaming. When you are playing the best player in the world, Rafa Nadal, who has won two of last three Wimbledons, I had to be on top of my game and I think I played my best grass-court match ever.” declares Djokovic, who never beat Nadal in six previous “best of 5” meetings. The Serb improves his 2011 record to a magnificent 48-1 – no-one before had such an impressive record after first six months of a season!
July 8th – Glasgow, Davis Cup. Andy Murray  serves a triple bagel to an unranked Laurent Bram in a tie Great Britain easily beats Luxembourg 4-1. “It was good fun, it’s nice to be back in Scotland.” says the Scot, who three weeks earlier at Wimbledon won two “bagel” sets in a row against Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
July 17th – Bastad, the final. Robin Soderling  clinches the title playing arguably a tennis of his life as he destroys two Top 10 opponents in the last two matches (loses just five games in total against Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer!). It becomes his last tournament of the season, he has to pull out of the following tournaments due to a right wrist injury.
August 16th – Cincinnati, the first round. The Kazakh Andrey Golubev  snaps an inglorious 18-match losing streak surprisingly overcoming No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6 6-4 6-1. It is the third biggest losing streak in the Open era, only Vincent Spadea and Gary Donnelly suffered more defeats in succession. Golubev slips 112 positions in the ATP ranking within the year (from No. 36 to 148).
August 21st – Cincinnati, the final. “The unbeatable” Novak Djokovic  loses the second match of the season as he is forced to retire due to a shoulder injury against Andy Murray  being a set and two breaks down. “I just could not serve. I served an average 90 miles per hour the first serve, and I could not play forehands,” says the new No. 1 in the world. Nevertheless Djokovic established a new record of the most ‘Masters 1000’ wins in a row – 31.
September 10th – US Open, the semifinals. Amazing coincidence on Arthur Ashe Stadium – Novak Djokovic  second straight year overcomes Roger Federer  in the US Open semifinal saving two match points! This time, the Serb makes it in more dramatic circumstances as he faces a double match point on return, only to fight off the first match point with an extraordinary cross-court forehand return, described by John McEnroe as “one of the all-time great shots”! Nole wins 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5 and jokes: “Yeah, I tend to do that on match points.” In the second semifinal, Rafael Nadal  beats Andy Murray  in four sets, and they join the Djokovic-Federer rivarly as the seventh pair to play matches in three consecutive majors (Nadal won all these encounters against Murray in the semi-finals).
September 12th – US Open, the final. Novak Djokovic outlasts Rafael Nadal for the sixth time (!) in 2011 after a breathtaking final 6-2 6-4 6-7 6-1 in 4 hours 10 minutes – it is Nadal’s first defeat in a 4-hour match! “I had an amazing year and it keeps going. It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of the very few players that have won this trophy throughout history.” states Djokovic, who becomes the sixth player to win three majors within a season, joining Rod Laver (won Grand Slam in 1969), Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, Roger Federer and the beaten finalist Nadal.
October 16th – Shanghai, the final. Andy Murray  wins his third tournament of the Asian swing (after Bangkok and Tokyo) beating David Ferrer  7-5 6-4. The Scot with 15 victories in a row, removes Federer from No. 3 in the world – the lowest ranking of the Swiss since July 2003!
November 12th – Paris, the semifinal. After almost 3-hour battle of two players, who served the most aces within the season, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  fights back to defeat John Isner  3-6 7-6 7-6. Isner squanders three match points leading 6:5* in the 3rd set, it is his sixth defeat of the season despite holding a match point – no-one lost so many matches of this kind since 2002 (Ivan Ljubicic). For Tsonga it is first match point-down victory at the main level.
November 20th – Sao Paulo (challenger), the final. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe  wins an inaugural ATP Challenger Tour Finals, defeating Dudi Sela  6-2 6-4 in the final, to whom he lost his first group match in straight sets. “I can’t believe it yet. I started a little weak (this week) but I kept trying to do my best and get back to my game and it worked out in the end. I was more aggressive and that’s how it should be.” states the 21-year-old left-handed German, finishing a breakthrough season (jumped 294 places within the year; from No. 375 to No. 81).
November 25th – London, ATP World Tour Finals, round robin. Heroes are exhausted after the demanding season… Sensational solution in the last day of the group stage when an alternate Serb Janko Tipsarevic  stuns 3-6 6-3 6-3 his compatriot Novak Djokovic – he joins Rafael Nadal, who was eliminated a day before – two best players in the world, champions of all majors in 2011, have lost their last two matches of the season (considering ATP tournaments)! “I had an unbelievable year,” comments Djokovic, ”Nothing can really ruin that. I will always remember this year as the best of my life. I just want to prepare well for 2012.” The Serb had a magnificent record as the US Open was finished: 64-2 (.969), but only an average 6-5 (.545) in the last quarter of the year.
November 27th – London, ATP World Tour Finals, the finals. On third straight Sunday, 30-year-old Roger Federer  met Jo-Wilfried Tsonga , whom had beaten in the last two weeks in Parisian final and in the opening match of the ’round robin’ stage. The Swiss blows a match point in the 2nd set but beats his opponent once again by a 6-3 6-7 6-3 margin, improving his outstanding record in ATP finals to 70-30. It is his 17th consecutive win and a record 6th ‘Masters’ title, surpassing Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras, who both won five titles at the season-ending event. Federer and Tsonga create a first pair to play eight times against each other within a season! Daniel Nestor becomes the first man to win ‘Masters’ with three different partners as he (along with Max Mirnyi) beats the Polish duo earlier in the day: Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski 7-5 6-3. Nestor had previously won the tournament teaming with Mark Knowles (2007) and Nenad Zimonjic (2008, 2010).
December 4th – Seville, Davis Cup, the final. Argentina loses its third Davis Cup final in the last six years as its best player Juan Martin del Potro  suffers two 4-hour defeats within three days. Rafael Nadal  gives Spain an insurmountable 3-1 lead as he beats Del Potro 1-6 6-4 6-1 7-6 in a match featured by eight breaks of serve in the 4th set. Nadal is a part of the winning team for the third time just like his teammates David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez as well as Albert Costa, who captured the first Davis Cup for Spain as a player (2000) and another two as a captain (2009, 2011). Nadal would have collected four triumphs, but was injured when Spain overcame Argentina three years ago, he contributed then anyway, winning two vital singles rubbers en route to the final.
<<< DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY >>>
King & Mental Giant: Novak Djokovic
After four years of being an eternal number 3 #, Novak Djokovic won the Davis Cup 2010 (with considerable help of his teammates) and it elevated him onto a new level of self-confidence. Djokovic started the year 2011 in a great style in Australia and maintained his extraordinary form almost throughout the season (out of gas in the last quarter, struggling with a right shoulder injury), capturing the No. 1 spot and producing one of the best winning streaks in the Open era. His awesome 2011 season is comparable only with a couple other magnificent seasons of the biggest legends of the modern game. Below comparison of the five most successful years (in my opinion) in the Open era:
1969: Rod Laver… 106-16 record (.868)… 17 titles, including all Grand Slam titles, 21-match winning streak (26 in Grand Slams)
1978: Bjorn Borg, 77-7 record (.916)… 8 titles, including Roland Garros & Wimbledon, 49-match winning streak (20 in Grand Slams)
1984: John McEnroe, 82-3 record (.964)… 13 titles, including Wimbledon, US Open & Masters, 42-match winning streak (14 in Grand Slams)
2006: Roger Federer, 92-5 record (.948)… 11 titles, including Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open & Masters, 29-match winning streak (14 in Grand Slams) *
2011: Novak Djokovic, 70-6 record (.921)… 10 titles, including Australian Open, Wimbledon & US Open, 41-match winning streak (14 in Grand Slams)
# Top 4 in the years 2007-2011:
2007: 1 – Federer, 2 – Nadal, 3 – Djokovic, 4 – Davydenko
2008: 1 – Nadal, 2 – Federer, 3 – Djokovic, 4 – Murray
2009: 1 – Federer, 2 – Nadal, 3 – Djokovic, 4 – Murray
2010: 1 – Nadal, 2 – Federer, 3 – Djokovic, 4 – Murray
2011: 1 – Djokovic, 2 – Nadal, 3 – Federer, 4 – Murray
* Federer’s streak extended to 41 matches won in a row in years 2006-07
Djokovic deserves also a title of the mental giant. He has beaten in 2011 all the biggest rivals in dramatic matches, he was two points away from losing to both, Rafael Nadal & Andy Murray, and fought off a double match point on return in the 5th set at the US Open against Roger Federer! Moreover he won the longest tie-break of the season (against Alexandr Dolgopolov).
Comeback player: Juan Martin del Potro
The 23-year-old Argentinian made one of the most impressive jumps in the ATP ranking within a season. He had suffered a severe right wrist injury almost throughout the entire 2010 year and dropped in the ranking from No. 4 (11.01.2010) to No. 485 (31.01.2011) – since then he began a permanent improvement of his ranking and finished this season as No. 11, capturing two titles, reaching final in Vienna, semifinals in Memphis, Indian Wells, Valencia, and helping his country in advancement to the Davis Cup final. Perhaps his ranking would have been even better if had had an easier draw in Grand Slam tournaments (met Djokovic in the 3rd rd. in Paris and Nadal in the 4th rd at Wimbledon).
In some sense it was a year of veterans. As many as 23 players, who turned 30 years in 2011 or earlier, finished the season in the Top 100 (R.Federer, F.Lopez, R.Stepanek, JI.Chela, I.Ljubicic, J.Melzer, N.Davydenko, M.Llodra, X.Malisse, JC.Ferrero, J.Benneteau, A.Montanes, I.Karlovic, P.Starace, J.Blake, O.Rochus, F.Volandri, I.Kunitsyn, J.Nieminen, V.Hanescu, E.Prodon, M.Russell, M.Berrer); nine more than last year, twelve more than two years ago. Lopez and Chela equaled their best Grand Slam achievements, Melzer entered the Top 10 for the first time in career. Below number of 30-year-olds in the Top 100 at the end of the last four seasons:
13 – 2008; 10 – 2009; 13 – 2010; 23 – 2011
2011 is the first year in which players born in the 90’s appeared in the Top 100. It is a breakthrough year for this generation because five players of this age managed to do this. It is a breakthrough season also for two a bit older guys – Young and Nishikori – who notched first valuable wins as teenagers (Nishikori even got his first title three years ago) but could not maintain the composure in the following years until they turned 22. Below the youngest Top 100’s, their birthdays and comparison of their rankings at the end of the last two seasons:
152 – 95, Benoit Paire (08.05.1989)
127 – 39, Donald Young (23.07.1989)
98 – 25, Kei Nishikori (29.12.1989)
375 – 81, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (09.10.1990)
156 – 31, Milos Raonic (27.12.1990)
106 – 76, Grigor Dimitrov (16.05.1991)
173 – 79, Ryan Harrison (07.05.1992)
208 – 42, Bernard Tomic (21.10.1992)
All these guys should finish their careers as players connected with the 2010-19 decade. Is there a future number one among them? I have my doubts because two best guys born in 1987 (Andy Murray & Novak Djokovic) and two best born in 1988 (Juan Martin del Potro & Marin Cilic – the youngest titelist in the previous two seasons) may play almost the whole decade on high level. I do not expect that Nadal can keep his great form in the second half of the decade because he’s been playing on the highest level since 2004 (three years longer than Murray and Djokovic) and his slight decline due to tiredness in the next 2-3 years is probable. If I had to choose either a potential No. 1 or at least a Grand Slam champion among these eight guys, I would pick Tomic. He needs to adapt to the European clay to improve his ranking visibly, which he should do next year, because of his patient baseline game. If he manages to do that, he will be an all-around player. Milos Raonic – the first man born in the 90s to win an ATP tournament – with his fantastic serve should be a serious threat in the next couple of years on the fastest surfaces, but his mechanic baseline game is distinctively limited thus at the moment I do not believe he would be a serious contender in the “best of 5” matches competing against guys like Djokovic, Murray or Del Potro.
Basically the generation of players born in the early 80s is finished, but on three different levels: I. One of the greatest players in the history of sport, Roger Federer (b. 1981) still plays on a very high level (proved it especially with a fantastic end of the season indoors) but it wasn’t enough to compete for the leadership at the top with much more younger Nadal and Djokovic. Federer did not win a Grand Slam event in 2011 for the first time since 2003 and for the first time since that year dropped to No. 4 (Autumn), he had a 10-month break between grabbing titles this season, the longest span since the time he won his 1st and 2nd title ten years ago! II. Nikolay Davydenko (b. 1981) admittedly dropped outside Top 10 already last year, after being five straight years inside, but this year his decline exacerbated. The Russian for the first time in seven years didn’t reach ‘last 16′ in majors, for the first time in eight years didn’t reach quarter-finals in “Masters 1000’. Andy Roddick (b. 1982) dropped outside Top 10 for the first time since 2002 losing abilities to compete with the best guys (he was trashed by Murray – twice, once by Nadal and Federer). III. The other former No. 1 – Lleyton Hewitt (b. 1981) – almost disappeared this season struggling with injuries. “Rusty” suffered the worst season since his first year among professionals 14 years ago! Similar thing happened to Fernando Gonzalez (b. 1980) – the worst season in 12 years. Their problems share Robby Ginepri and Jose Acasuso (b. 1982), all these guys played only a few tournaments in 2011, in a consequence Hewitt dropped outside Top 100, Acasuso outside Top 200, “G’s” outside 300! Other notable player in the previous decade, Paul-Henri Mathieu didn’t play at all this year and currently is ranked outside Top 500 (No. 12 three years ago)…
New power: Serbia
The Serbian team won the Davis Cup in December 2010, which produced an amazing boost of confidence for the players, who created the biggest success in history of the Serbian sport. Obviously 2011 was Novak Djokovic’s year, the Belgrade boy dethroned the 7-year hegemony of ‘Fedal’, but his two compatriots, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki playing “one level under Djokovic” made the best personal seasons as well. Tipsy won his first tournament, both guys achieved their best “Masters 1000′ and ‘Grand Slam’ results and advanced to the Top 20. Additionally it was a year of the first all-Serbian Grand Slam quarterfinal (Djokovic vs. Tipsarevic at US Open) and first ATP final (Tipsarevic vs. Troicki in Moscow). Their older compatriot Nenad Zimonjic (b. 1976) is still one of the best doubles player in the world. Below comparison of rankings at the end of the last two seasons of the best three Serbs:
3 – 1, Novak Djokovic
49 – 9, Janko Tipsarevic
28 – 21, Viktor Troicki (No. 12 in June)
Choker: Viktor Troicki
The Serbian had the best season in career marked by his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal and first Grand Slam fourth round, but established himself as the biggest specialist in the tennis elite of losing dramatic matches in the last two years. He has an awful ‘m.p. encounters’ record: 1-9, six of these matches lost in the last two years, there were ‘two points away’ defeats as well. Is he a material for the record holder in this category? Below his 2011 chokes:
Madrid: F.Mayer 6-4, 5-7, 4-6… triple mini-match point at 5:5 in the 2nd set, 3:2 with a break in the decider
Roland Garros: A.Murray 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 5-7… led 3:2 with a break in the 3rd set, 5:2 in the 5th set, 5:3 (30-0) on serve
Montreal: G.Monfils 6-3, 6-7(0), 6-7(5)… three match points at 6:5* in the 2nd set, *5:3 in the 3rd set
US Open: A.Falla 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7… three match points at 5:4* in the 4th set
Basel: M.Baghdatis 6-4, 6-7(8), 2-6… one match point at 8:7* in the tie-break
Troicki’s “mental” stats in 2011:
TB’s in deciding set: 1-1
MP matches: 0-3 (wasted 7 match points in total)
Match point Wasters: John Isner & Feliciano Lopez
Admittedly both “all serve guys” lost more MP-matches than Troicki (Isner six, and Lopez five defeats of this kind), but given their style of play, they are more prone to be involved in tight matches, so their results depend on luck or lack of it (one good/bad stroke here or there) more than in the vast majority cases of other players. Both Lopez and Isner lost more tight matches than Troicki this year, but they won more tight matches than the Serbian as well. On top of that, the Serb lost four matches in 2011 having a good position to win two losing sets (Lopez and Isner lost three matches of this type). Six defeats within a season despite holding a match point it’s the most since 2002 when Ivan Ljubicic was defeated in match point-up encounters also six times. It is interesting that Lopez each time squandered only one match point, and each time it happened on his return. Below their MP-defeats:
Delray Beach: T.Gabashvili 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(13) – 4 m.p.
Houston: I.Karlovic 6-7(2), 7-6(2), 6-7(9) – 2 m.p.
Atlanta: M.Fish 6-3, 6-7(6), 2-6 – 2 m.p.
Washington: G.Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(6) – 1 m.p.
Valencia: V.Pospisil 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(9) – 1 m.p.
Paris: JW.Tsonga 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-7(3) – 3 m.p.
Sydney: JM.Del Potro 7-6(5), 6-7(9), 6-7(3) – 1 m.p.
Johannesburg: F.Dancevic 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-7(8) – 1 m.p.
Davis Cup: S.Darcis 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-7(3) – 1 m.p.
Madrid: R.Federer 6-7(13), 7-6(1), 6-7(7) – 1 m.p.
Beijing: M.Youzhny 7-6(5), 2-6, 5-7 – 1 m.p.
Loser: Andrey Golubev
The Kazakh suffered a humiliating 18-match losing streak, being defeated on hardcourts, clay & grass during the nightmarish streak. Only two players before, had notched worse losing streaks at the main level. Golubev finished the season with an abysmal 6-26 record (.187). His record is even worse if we count his participation at the Hopman Cup (6-29).
Three longest losing streaks:
21 – Vincent Spadea (1999-00)
20 – Gary Donnelly (1986-87)
18 – Andrey Golubev (2011)
Cameos: Goran Ivanisevic & Dutch duo
Ivanisevic played a doubles match in Zagreb, it was his first professional match since 2004. A cameo delivered also the best Dutch doubles team in history, Jacco Eltingh & Paul Haarhuis in Rotterdam (they first match together since 1998).
Seven notable players retired in 2011. To be precise we can say that Nicolas Kiefer finished his career in 2010, but in the 2011 season, because the German player announced his retirement on 30 December 2010, it was a day when started an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi… Afterwards, their retirements announced Nicolas Lapentti, Mario Ancic and Gaston Gaudio, players who like Kiefer, didn’t play a match neither singles nor doubles in 2011. It was the last season in career of Stefan Koubek too. His fellow Austrian, Thomas Muster retired for the second time in career (previously in 1999!), the same thing had done a few months before Joachim Johansson. Below birthdays and biggest Grand Slam achievements of players, who retired in the 2011 season.
30 December 2010: Nicolas Kiefer (05.07.1977… Australian Open semifinalist)
February: Nicolas Lapentti (13.08.1976… Australian Open semifinalist)
March: Mario Ancic (30.03.1984… Wimbledon semifinalist)
March: Joachim Johansson (01.07.1982… US Open semifinalist)
August: Stefan Koubek (02.01.1977… Australian Open quarter-finalist)
August: Gaston Gaudio (09.12.1978… Roland Garros champion)
October: Thomas Muster (02.10.1967… Roland Garros champion)
<<< STATISTCIAL SUMMARY >>>
65 tournaments (22 – clay; 21 – outdoor hard; 16 – indoors; 6 – grass) were played in the 2011 season. Below the list of titlist:
10 – Novak Djokovic
5 – Andy Murray
4 – Robin Soderling , Roger Federer
3 – Nicolas Almagro, Rafael Nadal
2 – Juan Martin del Potro, David Ferrer, Marcel Granollers, John Isner, Gilles Simon, Janko Tipsarevic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
1 – Kevin Anderson, Pablo Andujar, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Nikolay Davydenko, Ivan Dodig, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Mardy Fish, Ernests Gulbis, Robin Haase, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer, Gael Monfils, Tommy Robredo, Milos Raonic, Andy Roddick, Andreas Seppi, Radek Stepanek, Ryan Sweeting, Dmitry Tursunov, Stanislas Wawrinka
Most matches won:
70 – Novak Djokovic
67 – Rafael Nadal
64 – Roger Federer
58 – David Ferrer
56 – Andy Murray
Leaders by surface:
hard (outdoors & indoors): Novak Djokovic – 43
clay: Nicolas Almagro – 32
indoors: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – 17
grass: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – 10
Longest winning streaks:
43 – Novak Djokovic
17 – Andy Murray & Roger Federer (still counting)
16 – Novak Djokovic
13 – Nicolas Almagro & Rafael Nadal
First time winners: (10)
8 – Milos Raonic (San Jose)
13 – Ivan Dodig (Zagreb)
32 – Ryan Sweeting (Houston)
38 – Kevin Anderson (Johannesburg)
38 – Pablo Andujar (Casablanca)
45 – Alexandr Dolgopolov (Umag)
55 – Robin Haase (Kitzbuhel)
140 – Florian Mayer (Bucharest)
148 – Janko Tipsarevic (Kuala Lumpur)
174 – Andreas Seppi (Eastbourne)
Singles & doubles winners: Andy Murray (Tokyo)
Wild Cards winners:
Stanislas Wawrinka (Chennai), Ryan Sweeting (Houston), John Isner (Newport)
Special exempt winners:
Juan Martin del Potro (Delray Beach)
Qualifying winners: none (finalist – Julien Benneteau in Winston-Salem)
Lucky loser winners: none (quarterfinals – Robin Haase in Nice, Mikhail Kukushkin in Basel)
Oldest winner: Radek Stepanek – 32 years, 8 months (Washington)
Youngest winner: Milos Raonic – 20 years, 1 month (San Jose)
Lowest ranked winner: Juan Martin del Potro – No. 166 (Delray Beach)
Oldest winner of a match: Rainer Schuettler – 35 years, 1 month (Wimbledon)
Youngest winner of a match: Dominic Thiem – 18 years, 1 month (Vienna)
Lowest ranked winner of a match: Dominic Thiem – No. 1,890 (Vienna)
4 hours, 10 minutes: Novak Djokovic d. Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 (US Open)
47 minutes: Andy Murray d. Donald Young 6-2, 6-0 (Bangkok)
Longest matches (best of 5):
5 hrs, 0 min. Mikhail Youzhny d. Thomaz Bellucci 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 14-12 (Davis Cup)
4 hrs, 56 min. Vasek Pospisil d. Dudi Sela 7-6, 6-7, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 (Davis Cup)
4 hrs, 48 min. David Nalbandian d. Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 9-7 (Australian Open)
Longest matches (best of 3):
3 hrs. 41 min. Carlos Berlocq d. Blaz Kavcic 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 (Umag)
3 hrs. 38 min. Viktor Troicki d. Alex Bogomolov Jr. 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 (Moscow)
3 hrs. 38 min. Rafael Nadal d. Fernando Verdasco 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 (Cinacinnati)
Delray Beach: Janko Tipsarevic d. Ivo Karlovic 7-6(14), 7-6
Queens Club: James Ward d. Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-7(14), 6-4
US Open: Novak Djokovic d. Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6(14), 6-4, 6-2
Longest tie-break in the deciding set:
Delray Beach: Teimuraz Gabashvili d. John Isner 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(13)
Most match points saved:
5 m.p. – Fabio Fognini d. Albert Montanes 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 (Roland Garros)
Most set points saved:
8 s.p. – Rafael Nadal d. Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (Roland Garros, 3rd set)
Biggest comeback in the 3rd set (best of five):
Gael Monfils d. Thiemo de Bakker 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 (Australian Open), Monfils was *2:5 down in the 3rd set
Biggest comeback in the 2nd set (best of three):
Kei Nishikori d. Robin Haase 0-6, 7-5, 7-6 (Shanghai), Nishikori was 0-6, 1:4* (15-30) down, saved a match point at 4:5*
Biggest comeback in the deciding set (best of five):
Alexandr Dolgopolov d. Flavio Cipolla 6-0, 7-5, 2-6, 5-7, 6-4 (US Open), Dolgopolov was *1:4 (deuce) down in the 5th set (also in the 2nd set)
Biggest comeback in the deciding set (best of three):
Steve Darcis d. Nikolay Davydenko 2-6, 6-0, 7-6 (Vienna), coming back from a *0:4 deficit in the 3rd set with Denko’s two service games to clinch the match [10th and 12th game]
Most aces served (best of 5):
48 – Ivo Karlovic l. Ivan Dodig 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 4-6 (Australian Open)
39 – Andreas Haider-Maurer d. Florent Serra 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 (Wimbledon)
38 – John Isner l. Paul Capdeville 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 4-6 (Davis Cup)
Most aces served (best of 3):
38 – Miloas Raonic d. Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 (Memphis)
35 – Feliciano Lopez l. Andy Roddick 6-7, 7-6, 4-6 (Queens Club)
32 – Ivo Karlovic l. Daniel Brands 5-7, 7-6, 6-7 (Zagreb)
Match point(s) saved title winners:
– Robin Soderling, saved 1 m.p. in 2R (against P.Kohlschreiber) in Rotterdam
– Mardy Fish, saved 2 m.p.’s in Final (against J.Isner) in Atlanta
– Novak Djokovic, saved 2 m.p.’s in SF (against R.Federer) at US Open
– Marin Cilic, saved 1 m.p. in QF (against A.Seppi) in St. Petersburg
Most tie-breaks won:
1. John Isner 34-24
2. Feliciano Lopez 29-20
3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 27-17
4. Nicolas Almagro 26-14
5. Milos Raonic 22-12
Best tie-breakers by percentage (at least 10 played):
1. Juan Carlos Ferrero 8-2 (.800)
2. Andy Murray 14-5 (.736)
3. Florian Mayer 15-6 (.714)
4. Tomas Berdych 16-7 (.695)
5. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal 20-9 (.689)
Most aces served throughout the year:
1. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – 825
2. John Isner – 811
3. Feliciano Lopez – 734
4. Kevin Anderson – 719
5. Milos Raonic – 637
Aces per match:
1. Ivo Karlovic – 17.0
2. Gilles Muller – 13.3
3. John Isner – 13.1
4. Milos Raonic – 12.7
5. Feliciano Lopez – 11.8
Qualifying leader: 8 – Flavio Cipolla
Biggest H2H’s: Roger Federer vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6-2 – record), Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal (6-0), Janko Tipsarevic vs. Kei Nishikori (5-0), Rafael Nadal vs. Andy Murray (4-1)
Bagels: No double bagels in the last two years but Andy Murray made a triple bagel beating Lauren Bram at the Davis Cup.
8 – Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan
4 – Max Mirnyi, Daniel Nestor, Nenad Zimonjic, Michael Llodra, Horia Tecau, Frantisek Cermak, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi,
3 – Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes, Jean-Julien Rojer, Jurgen Melzer, Philipp Petzschner, Scott Lipsky, Eric Butorac, Olivier Marach, Filip Polasek, Rohan Bopanna,
2 – Lukas Dlouhy, Paul Hanley, Marcelo Melo, Bruno Soares, Rajeev Ram, Robert Lindstedt, Simone Bolelli, Matthew Ebden, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram, Daniele Bracciali, Jamie Murray
1 – Fabio Fognini, Marcel Granollers, Tommy Robredo, Dick Norman, Jamie Cerretani, Adil Shamasdin, Rafael Nadal, Marc Lopez, Leonardo Mayer, Robin Haase, Ken Skupski, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Mikhail Youzhny, Victor Hanescu, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Santiago Gonzalez, Horacio Zeballos, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Daniele Bracciali, Alexander Peya, Ryan Harrison, Alex Bogomolov Jr, Mark Knowles, Potito Starace, Andy Murray, Andre Sa, Colin Fleming, Ross Hutchins
Most matches won:
Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan – 60
Most match points saved:
5 m.p. – Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah d. Rohan Bopanna/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 2-6, 6-2, 21-19, Wimbledon
Oliver Marach/Leonardo Mayer d. Rui Machado/Albert Ramos 6-0, 6-0, Buenos Aires
Max Mirnyi/Daniel Nestor d. Frantisek Cermak/Filip Polasek 6-1, 7-6(15), Paris
Longest super tie-break:
Mardy Fish/Andy Roddick d. Tomas Berdych/Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 2-6, [19-17], Rome
Match tie-break leaders (by percentage):
Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes 10-4 (.714)