With the ATP World Tour Finals in the books, we can finally close down the 2012 season. Looking back, it was certainly a year of memorable matches, from the near six-hour epic between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final, to Victoria Azarenka’s near-upset of Serena Williams at the U.S. Open, to Andy Murray’s breakthrough at the U.S. Open. In between the drama on the biggest stages, we had some wild matches week in and week out that produced some quality tennis, even if the sport’s biggest titles weren’t on the line.
This week’s Toss features a panel of tennis writers who spent the last 10½ months watching every kind of match — good, bad and ugly — to try to answer a seemingly simple question.
Today’s Toss: Which matches stood out as the best of the year?
Courtney Nguyen: Thanks for joining this week’s discussion, everyone. As the ATP and WTA seasons have officially wrapped up — yes, there’s the Davis Cup final this weekend, but seriously, at some point we must draw a line — the offseason has finally arrived and with it an ever-so-brief respite for those of us who have spent virtually every day of the last 11 months watching tennis. So we should obviously use this break to keep talking about tennis, right? Right.
This week I wanted to get your wise input on some of the best matches of the year. I’m not sure there’s a match that stands out as being the obvious or unanimous choice this year. We’ve had long matches, we’ve had historic matches and we’ve had memorable matches. But what exactly do we mean when we say one single match was great or even the best?