Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon revisits the 17 predictions he had made at the start of this 2017 season.
The aim of this column has always been to provide insight and analysis, often in a humorous manner, about the week that’s just passed in the world of tennis.
Most weeks, that’s not a problem, but what happens when it’s the offseason and there’s been essentially no major developments in the sport over the past seven days? Well we ask, what’s more “looking back at what just happened” than going through to our very first column of 2017 and looking how right (mostly wrong) we were on the 17 predictions we made for this upcoming season.
Sounds like a plan? Good. As you will see, the main conclusion here is: good Lord, we are so bad at this. Without further ado…
Novak Djokovic overcomes Andy Murray and finishes the year as No. 1: NAY
Wow. Oh okay, so is this where it starts? How could we have been so wrong right from the jump??? 🙁 🙁 🙁
…But he doesn’t win the 2017 Australian Open: YAY
Ah-HA! Here we go, back on track. (Not that we would have predicted a Roger Federer win in Melbourne but shhhhhh no one needs to know this.)
Andy Murray firmly establishes his legacy: NAY
Unless we meant that he would use this 2017 season to cement his legacy of injuries (e.g. we didn’t), then no we were wrong because Andy Murray really didn’t enhance his on-court legacy this year.
He wins another Grand Slam title: NAY
Not only did he not win another major title, but the Brit’s best result in the Grand Slams was actually merely a semifinal at the French Open. NEXT!
Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray at the Barclays World Tour Finals in a repeat of last year’s final: NAY
LOL! No, this didn’t quite happen the way we envisioned it. Today, Djokovic and Murray are ranked at No. 12 and No. 16 in the world.
Roger Federer is fine: YAY
More than fine even, actually!
Rafael Nadal is not: NAY
Oops hahaha! This 2017 season will possibly go down as Rafael Nadal’s last rodeo on the Tour, at least at the top.
Serena Williams finally breaks Steffi Graf’s Grand Slam record: YAY
This prediction was possibly the easiest one to make, but what we didn’t envision was that Serena Williams would only need one crack at a 23rd Grand Slam title in 2017—and that the one crack, and the one Grand Slam, was all she would have this year.
Serena Williams retires: NAY
Simona Halep finishes the year at No. 1: YAY
She still doesn’t have a Grand Slam title, and it still doesn’t matter.
Angelique Kerber follows a career season with a surprisingly successful one: NAY
Sure, Angelique Kerber won 29 of her 53 matches on tour this season, with more than $2 million in prize money, but it’s not really successful enough to give us a point here.
Petra Kvitova comes back, makes you cry in her first match back with her determination and spirit: YAY
No we’re not crying, YOU’RE crying!!!
Milos Raonic wins a Grand Slam tournament: NAY
It’s never a given that it’ll happen for anyone but, like, could it one day happen for Milos Raonic?
Eugenie Bouchard is just fine: YAY
What would that even mean in Eugenie Bouchard’s case? How about 13 wins in 34 matches with over $500,000 in prize money for the 2017 season? Sure, that’s fine enough. Whatever.
Stanislas Wawrinka does not add a title to his mantle in 2017: NAY
Ugh we were so close on this one. The formerly foremost Swiss Guy on the ATP had such a miserable 2017 season that all he could snag was the lone title in Geneva. Miserable, but it still means we were wrong.
Juan Martin Del Potro comes back: YAY
Certainly our greatest hit in this exercise. Two years ago, Juan Martin del Potro was ranked No. 590; a year ago, he was up to No. 38. And after a season where he won a title in Stockholm, made one final in Basel and just generally ruined a number of prospective winners’ chances at a number of tournaments large and small, del Potro was certainly back in 2017.
Eight different players capture the 8 different Grand Slam titles: NAY
No, really not even close.
So how did we do at this pretty silly exercise? We went 7/17, good for about a 40 per cent success rate. We had skipped this look back a year ago, but that’s pretty much par for the course: we had 4 of 15 good in 2015, and 6 of 14 in 2014.
We’re an expert in name only.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG