Throughout the 2000s, tennis has grown increasingly in popularity, which can be seen by the likes of a large number of American and international competitors entering the ATP, the Association of Tennis Professionals, Circuit.
I believe during this time period, some of tennis’s most talented competitors emerged. These players competed fiercely, refusing to ever give up.
In the early 2000s, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic saw the most success, winning a staggering combined 23 majors from 2000-2009. I think that these players dominated this time frame in tennis history and did so with elegance and grace.
According to tennisphilia.com, “From 2000-2009, Roger Federer won 15 majors, made six major finals, and spent 259 consecutive weeks ranked #1 in the world. Rafael Nadal won six majors, made two finals, and spent 46 consecutive weeks ranked #1 in the world. Andre Agassi won three majors, made two major finals, and spent 32 consecutive weeks ranked #1 in the world.”
In addition to these players enjoying great success, there was also remarkable defeats at the hands of unworthy opponents, in my opinion. According to therichest.com, in 2005, Rafael Nadal outlasted Federer in the semi-finals to win the French Open. This was a big deal for Nadal as it was the first of nine French Open titles under his belt.
Tennis Hit a New Level in the Mid to Late 2000s
In the mid to late 2000s, Nadal and Djokovic attained the most accolades with Federer, my favorite player, adding to the success as well. These players dominated both the four majors of the year: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open, as well as the minor tournaments leading up to these majors.
As these players became known, the tennis community started to favor some players over one another. This was true of junior Logan McWilliams, who claims that his “favorite player is Roger Federer.” Junior Zach Grace decided against that decision and went with fellow American Andy Roddick as his preferred player of this decade.
Major upsets came up more often than major wins; “Rosol beats Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012. Stakhovsky beats Federer at Wimbledon in 2o12,” therichest.com stated. These are just a few instances, but at the time, they were utterly shocking to avid tennis fans.
Since the players were growing stronger and more physically fit over time, the equipment did so as well. The heads on the tennis racquets were increasing in size, which allows for a larger ‘sweet spot’ for players. This was good news as players were starting to hit harder and with more top spin, which minimizes the reaction time for the opponent.
Djokovic and Nadal might have been brute forces, but Federer’s immortality on the tennis court showed to be superior in my eyes. At 34, his winning mentality has not diminished. More than five years older than each of his competitors, Federer commands respect as he has won 17 major championships in his career, the most out of any male in the history of tennis.
Speaking for myself, the 2000s have been a tremendous decade for the international tennis community thus far. This time has brought both successes and failures, which ultimately defines this game of champions. Failures helped each of these professionals grow and proved to be vital in their pursuit of greatness.
Categories: Opinion & Review