After Grand Slams, you are used to our contributor Omair giving unofficial titles to players based on their performances, and for the recently-finished US Open he did the same, but with a little twist, he gave names to players inspired by animated movies. We hope you’ll like it!
SERENA WILLIAMS – RANGO
Serena not only won her 15th major, but proved again that she is not done yet with tennis by winning the second straight Grand Slam and the Olympics in between. Serena lost a total of 19 games en route to the US Open final, where she was pushed hard by Victoria Azarenka, who even served for the championship in the third set, but Serena showed her superior class and experience to bring her opponent back to earth and win her fourth US Open title. In doing so, Serena showed everyone that “No man can walk out of his own story”, just like Rango.
VICTORIA AZARENKA – VECTOR
Vector from “Despicable Me” tried in every way to let Gru down, but in the end he lost and Gru won. Azarenka gave everything she had, but she came up short to one of the best players in tennis history. Don’t take it negatively. By giving Azarenka the title of Vector, I don’t refer to the vicious methods Vector used in the movie, I am thinking of the positive side of it, that she fought with her whole heart and body, but in the end she had to satisfy herself with the runner-up trophy.
MARIA SHARAPOVA – TANGLED
Sharapova was not at her best in her last three matches, yet she never gave up, fighting hard to stay alive in the fourth round against Nadia Petrova, then in the quarters against Marion Bartoli, and then in the semis she finally got tangled in her service demons and succumbed to the pressure of Victoria Azarenka.
SARA ERRANI, ROBERTA VINCI, LAURA ROBSON – CINDERELLA
I could not come up with more appropriate titles for the three hot players of the 2012 US Open. Errani and Vinci ended their Cinderella story on a high note with the doubles championship, but they left the mark in singles as well, playing the first ever all-Italian US Open quarterfinal in the Open Era, with Errani becoming the first Italian to reach the US Open semifinals in the Open Era, while Vinci made her Grand Slam quarterfinal debut in singles.
Robson had long been touted as a great player in the making, and she took the first step in proving her believers right by defeating Kim Clijsters and Li Na back to back, to make her debut in the second week of a Grand Slam.
SAMANTHA STOSUR – RAPUNZEL
I had a tough time in giving a title to Stosur, who fought in every possible way to take Azarenka down, but just could not win the last two points of the tiebreak in the third set. She was accepting the challenge, discovering herself again and enjoying it, just like Rapunzel in Tangled gets out of the tower, enjoys it in every possible way and finds her true identity. Stosur had an up-and-down year, but the way she fought in her quarterfinal loss and the way the crowd lifted her up and chanted her name, Stosur knew she belonged to the courts at NY.
ANA IVANOVIC – THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME
Ivanovic finally made it to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, her first since her run to the 2008 Roland Garros trophy. It had been a long time since Ivanovic leapt through the first four rounds of a Grand Slam, but she fell short to Serena Williams in the quarters.
MARION BARTOLI – ONLY YESTERDAY
Marion Bartoli was at her best in defeating Petra Kvitova 6-0 in the third set and in racing to a 4-0 lead in the opening set against Maria Sharapova before rain halted her progress. Her performance made it feel like it was just yesterday when she marched all the way to the finals of Wimbledon, semifinals of Roland Garros and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
LI NA, PETRA KVITOVA – BEANS (from Rango)
Two players with the best preparation for the US Open, but both losing the hard way, one in the third round and the other in the fourth round. Just like Beans in Rango, Kvitova and Li don’t do well under pressure, and pile up errors, giving matches away. It was a very disappointing result from two of the best hitters on the WTA Tour.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA – RANDALL BOOGS (from Monsters, Inc.)
Radwanska entered the US Open at a career-high ranking, and had a manageable draw, but fell short, once again. Radwanska had a shot at the top spot in the world, but just like Randall, she failed, despite trying hard. It was a disappointing result from the Pole, considering her ranking and the fact that during the first few months of the season she lost to no player other than Azarenka. Just a note, here again I am not referring to the negative habits of Randall, I am referring to her as Randall in a positive way.
Finally, the last title for this year’s US Open goes to our retiring legend, one of the best tennis players, future Hall of Famer and the player with one of the friendliest personalities on the Tour, Kim Clijsters.
KIM CLIJSTERS – SLEEPING BEAUTY
This was Clijsters last tournament as a professional player. This was where it all started again in 2009, and this is where it all ended again in 2012, with the only difference that this time no prince charming will be there to wake her up from her sleep (retirement). It was no doubt a great way to end a great career that Clijsters had, although it could have been better. Here is to the hoping that Clijsters finds happiness, peace of mind and the right path in her life ahead.
This was just an attempt at trying to do something different with my signature awards article. Feel free to comment, share your thoughts and suggest a player you would like to have been featured.
Omair’s previous awards articles:
(photos: ©Neal Trousdale)