The WTA has finished releasing it's best of list for 2012.
Player of the Year - Serena Williams
Newcomer of the Year - Laura Robson
Comeback Player of the Year - Yaroslava Shvedova
Doubles Team of the Year - Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani
Most Improved Player of the Year - Sara Errani
The above list comes to us courtesy of the professional Tennis Writers.
Then there are the awards voted on by the players:
Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award - Kim Clijsters
Player Service Award - Venus Williams
Fans voted too.
FAN FAVORITE SINGLES PLAYER - Agnieszka Radwanska
FAN FAVORITE DOUBLES TEAM - Serena Williams & Venus Williams
FAN FAVORITE TWITTER - Caroline Wozniacki
FAN FAVORITE FACEBOOK - Agnieszka Radwanska
FAN FAVORITE VIDEO - Agnieszka Radwanska & The Bee
So, Laura Robson, who finished the year ranked #53 gets "Newcomer of the Year". Sloane Stephens finished the year ranked #38. Heather Watson finished the year ranked #49. Who the hell voted for Robson? Was the ballot stuffed or weighted by British tennis writers who see Laura, not Heather Watson, as the second coming for British women's tennis even though Heather ended the year ranked four places ahead of her? And what about those slackers in the American tennis hierarchy? Sloane finished at #38, 11 places ahead of Watson and 15 places ahead of Robson. Right now I have nothing against Ms Robson but she's been the darling of the Brits since forever.
I wonder if the voting went like this: The Yanks got the top spot so we deserve the next most prestigious place. Sure Laura was born is Australia but we gave her British citizenship and the Aussies are part of the Tennis Axis Powers so it's all good. Heather? Where is her mother from again? Papua New Guinea? We don't even know where that is. Laura is our girl. You say it didn't go that way? I'm still trying to figure out how she got the award over two newcomers who finished higher in the rankings.
I'm skipping over the awards Clijsters and Venus won. If their peers voted for them there's nothing else to say.
And whoa to the Aga Radwanska Fan Club. You guys did your player proud.
ATP This and That
Grigor Dimitrov is no longer being coached by Patrick Mouratoglou.
John Isner has parted with long time coach Craig Boynton and will now be coached by Michael Sell. Sell, who once coached Monica Seles has worked with the USTA since 2003.
Sergei Bubka who sustained multiple fractures after a three story fall in Paris is standing and taking hesitant steps. He underwent 9 hours of surgery to repair his injuries. I wish him the best of luck in his recovery.
Speaking of recovery Mardy Fish has withdrawn from the Australian summer swing due to issues related to his heart problems that were diagnosed last year. He's looking to come back for the US spring hard court swing.
I'm tennis'd out. I've been tennis'd out since late spring. Yes it has a lot to do with my favorite player being out but it goes deeper than that.
I'm a blogger, not a journalist, and I've been doing this for awhile now. I've never wanted to be part of the in crowd. I want, and continue to want, to be someone who can speak free encumbrances to a press organization or professional organization.
My interest picked up at the big events - the tennis season is hardwired in my brain - but I remember staying up to see the fall Asian swing. Not this year. Coming to my senses? Perhaps.
But when you look at the decision made by the WTA re it's television rights, the fact that my cable company hasn't made Tennis Channel available since September 2011 (or was it 2010? It's a blur) and Tennis TV, something I pay for, is blacked out more often than not forcing me to rely on sometimes shady live streams out of Europe it's become very difficult for a fan like me to actually watch live tennis. The ultimate frustration for a tennis fan is watching a stream and the person decides he or she is bored and changes the channel. If you're lucky you'll get a Eurosport stream that is clear and has decent announcers.
If I want I can watch UEFA, Serie A, Spanish or British football any time I want. How many of us here in the States saw Ibrahimovic's fantastic goal from a couple of weeks ago? Yet to see a tennis match I have to jump through hoops no other fandom does. Maybe the tennis establishment wants it like this. They want to control the commentary, fan attitudes towards players, and deem which players are worthy of fans adulation.
That is the only conclusion I can reach based on the antics of the tennis establishment this past year.
Will I stop watching tennis? Of course not. Come the end of December I'll be watching whatever I can online however I can. I like American football, baseball and basketball but I love tennis. I think it's time that tennis stop pretending it wants to be a sport everyone can relate to since it continues to make it difficult for a fan to be a fan. If tennis is serious about becoming a big deal, especially in the States, it's time for it to stop behaving like the niche sport it presently is.