Tag Archives: Serena Williams

2014 Year in Review: The Best of the WTA

With more twists and turns than an episode of Scandal, the WTA tour’s 2014 season was nothing less than fascinating.  From the resurgence of faded champions to the emergence of new stars, this year’s WTA tour had something for everyone.  Here are my favorite stories of 2014.

1.  Fierce Caroline

After spending the past three years as a part of Wozzilroy and contemplating family life and early retirement, Caroline Wozniacki found herself on the end of a public and abrupt breakup with Rory McIlroy on the eve of the French Open.  Yet, seven months later, McIlroy’s name hardly comes up when discussing Wozniacki’s year, which is a testament to the savvy way the Dane has rebuilt her game and her life.  Though often considered too “nice” to win the big titles, Wozniacki’s upbeat disposition served her well in 2014.  To refocus herself, and, perhaps, the press from the cancelled nuptials, Wozniacki committed to run the 2014 New York City Marathon in support of Team for Kids, and ran it in an impressive 3:26:33, despite having never run more than 13 miles in training.  She also turned a corner on the court, playing tough matches against “bestie” Serena Williams, and out-gritting Maria Sharapova, of all people, at the US Open during her run to the final.  And, she even managed to become part of a more high profile sports couple along the way.

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Time Capsule: What We’ll Remember from the 2014 US Open

As the crowds enter the Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park, most walk over a plaque in the ground without giving it a second look. For those who pause to read the inscription, they would learn that they are walking past the time capsules from the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs held at the grounds that now house the US Open.

In a time before widespread travel, satellite TV, or instantaneous worldwide connections over the internet, the World’s Fairs were a way to bring people and cultures together, and for each country to show off the best it had to offer. And, their time capsules were a way to show the people of the future – 5,000 years in the future – to see how people lived in the world of 1939 and 1964, and included items like Camel cigarettes, Life magazine, a Gilette razor, and an RKO newsreel.

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Ferocity on the WTA Tour

One of the oft-repeated laments of those observing the ATP’s golden age is that it lacks the intensity of the McEnroe-Connors era. It’s true – the quartet that has led the men’s game over the past decade is known as much for their niceness as for their shotmaking. The primary rivalry in the game over the past decade has been between two guys who spent 15 minutes giggling next to each other, and the closest thing to fireworks at the top of the game is when someone knocks over Rafa’s water bottles.

Anyone who is tired of the smiles, stomach pats, and good natured ribbing of the ATP tour need only take in a few WTA matches to find the intensity they’re missing. This isn’t about the played up, stereotypical “catfights” that have come out of the media coverage of the sport. Rather, it is the ferocity of competitors who are less concerned with popularity than with victory.

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