It was an exciting week for tennis fans with Roger Federer facing one of his fiercest rivals Rafael Nadal in Basel for the final.
We also saw a week full of upsets in the WTA Finals with Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova qualifying for the title clash with a record of one win and two losses in their round robin group.
As we speak, the last eight in the ATP Finals have also been confirmed and we now head to Paris for the last Masters tournament of the year.
In the doubles world, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis continued to rule, capturing their ninth title of the year at the WTA Finals in Singapore and the year-end No.1 ranking.
Aga Trumps Kvitova In Unlikely Final
The WTA Finals in Singapore this year were missing the services of World No.1 Serena Williams and in her absence, Garbine Muguruza and a returning Maria Sharapova lit up the courts, both winning all their three matches on the way to the semifinals.
However, both of them were beaten by two ladies who had barely made the semifinals, winning just one of their three group matches. Radwanska beat Muguruza in three sets while Kvitova too was impressive in her straight-sets victory over Sharapova. In the final, it all ended with another upset as Radwanska beat her Czech opponent in three tight sets, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
This is the first time Radwanska has won the WTA Finals and although she has been a consistent top-10 player for many years now, the big title could prove to be a huge turning point in her career.
Radwanska is now the only other player to have won the WTA Finals without winning a Grand Slam title besides Germany’s Sylvia Hanika, who beat Martina Navratilova in the finals in 1982.
Federer Rules Over Nadal in Hometown Basel
Federer and Nadal hadn’t met in the finals of a tournament for more than two years and they had never faced each other in Switzerland. Add to that, Federer hadn’t beaten Nadal for almost three-and-a-half years before this title match in the ATP 500 tournament of Basel.
It all changed for Federer this time, however, as the Swiss maestro claimed his seventh title in his hometown, beating Nadal 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
The crowd in this relatively small town was extremely happy to see possibly the two biggest stars in world tennis play each other in front of them. After the match, both Federer and Nadal personally accorded medals to all the ball boys and ball girls, who couldn’t be thankful enough even with the huge smiles on their faces.
Nadal’s uncle and coach Toni personally went to congratulate Federer’s father in the stands, another heart-warming gesture acknowledging the intense and special rivalry these two players have enjoyed over the years.
Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis Keep on Cruising
Two days after they won the trophy for the year-end No.1 ranking, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis continued to remain unbeatable, beating Spaniards Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez-Navarro in just 66 minutes (6-0, 6-3) to win the WTA Finals at Singapore.
This is the Indo-Swiss pair’s ninth title this year, including the two Grand Slam doubles titles they won at Wimbledon and US Open.
Throughout the course of the finals week, Mirza and Hingis didn’t even drop a set. Mirza now has moved to third on the list of all-time women’s doubles title winners at 50. Only Liezel Huber, with 53 titles and Cara Black with 60 tournament wins are ahead of her.
Nishikori and Ferrer Book Last Two ATP Finals Spots
After Nadal beat Richard Gasquet in the semifinals at Basel, both Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Spaniard David Ferrer ensured their spot in the elite eight of the ATP Finals at London.
The draw for this tournament will be held on November 12 while the tournament will be held at the O2 Arena from Nov.15-22. The players who have made it are Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Federer, Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Ferrer, Nishikori and Stanislas Wawrinka.
For the second year in a row, the final eight for the finals have been revealed before the last Masters tournament of the year at Paris, and the Race to London has once again been quite a boring affair.
Interestingly this year, we could see a situation where Djokovic, Murray and Nadal may be grouped together in the round robin format as they are still very far apart in the rankings.
Djokovic has been virtually unstoppable this year and he would once again be the favorite to win lest any signs of fatigue, which would make the whole tournament a bit more open, giving the likes of Wawrinka, Murray and Federer a sniff.
That’s all then. Hope you enjoyed our summary of all that transpired in the world of tennis last week. We will be back with more news and insights for you.