From start to finish it’s been a wild season. From records being broken to historic on-court achievements, there has been so much to smile at this year. Check out five of our favourite smile moments from the 2017 season.
What better way to kick-off the year than with a blast from the past?
Venus and Serena Williams both battled their way into the singles final at this year’s Australian Open. It was the first time they played in a Grand Slam final since 2009 at Wimbledon.
Serena would take the match in straight sets, and capture her 23rd Major title along the way, but for tennis fans it was a real treat to see two legends of the sport contesting at the highest level once again.
A few weeks later Serena announced her pregnancy and shortly after that Venus made her second Major final of the season at Wimbledon. Needless to say, it’s been a great year for the Williams sisters.
In December 2016 Petra Kvitova was attacked in her home and underwent immediate surgery to save her left (dominant) hand. Many doubted that the two-time Wimbledon champion would make a comeback at all, let alone have a winning return to court five months later.
In what was a surprising appearance at Roland Garros, Kvitova won her first round match against Julia Boserup 6-3, 6-2. With her entire team wearing “Courage. Belief. P❤️JD.” shirts in her corner, it was an emotional return that tennis fans will remember for a lifetime.
After she lost her second round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Kvitova began her grass season in Birmingham… where she won the title.
To put her comeback in retrospect – Doctors said she would not be able to even grip a tennis racquet for three months following her surgery. She then went on to win a title in only her second tournament back, six months following the attack.
No man in history has ever achieved what Rafael Nadal did this summer on the European clay courts.
After winning his tenth title in Barcelona, Nadal eyed a tenth Roland Garros crown to add to his collection, and that’s exactly what he got in June.
Without dropping a set en route to the final, Nadal stormed past Stan Wawrinka in the Roland Garros final, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. It was the third time in his career that Nadal won a Grand Slam title without dropping a set.
With the victory, Nadal became the first man in history to win 10 titles at one of the four Grand Slams. Do you want a statistic to tell you just how dominant Nadal is on the red dirt? Nadal holds a 79-2 win-loss record in Paris.
Roger Federer tied Pete Sampras’ record of eight Wimbledon titles back in 2012 and has since stressed his dream of breaking the record.
After heartbreaking back-to-back losses in the final to Novak Djokovic in 2014 and 2015 it seemed like Federer would be stuck at eight with Sampras. After losing his first Wimbledon semi-final to Milos Raonic in 2016 Federer ended his season early due to injury. No one expected him to come back as strong as he did in 2017.
After winning the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami Open, and a ninth Halle title, Federer set his sights on Wimbledon. He would not be disappointed this time.
Just like Nadal in Paris, Federer did not lose a set en route to his ninth Wimbledon title and a spot in the history books.
O Canada! Denis Shapovalov stunned the tennis world this summer.
The 18-year-old Richmond Hill native made history in Montreal when he became the youngest man ever to reach the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 event. The teenager upset two Grand Slam champions while doing so – Juan Martin del Potro and top seed Rafael Nadal.
His routing of the world’s best players almost seemed routine. In New York at the year’s final Grand Slam, Shapovalov qualified for the US Open and upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round. He would storm into the fourth round before bowing out to Pablo Carreno Busta.
Shapovalov started the year as the world no. 250 and ended the season as no. 51. He also helped secure Team Canada’s place in the 2018 Davis Cup World Group, was nominated to play in the inaugural Laver Cup, qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals and was voted the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year by his peers.