Tennismash’s 2017 ATP awards

Published by Tennismash

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Who are the winners and losers in men’s tennis in 2017? The Tennismash team give out some awards…

The ATP season is officially over and what a bizarre year of tennis it was.

Let’s dish out a few awards to make sense of it all.

SmashDebate: Roger or Rafa for Player of the Year?

Player of the Year

Trollope: Roger Federer – pretty much every time he stepped on the court, he won. Four of the game’s seven biggest titles and a 4-0 record over Rafa didn’t hurt, either.

Rogers: Based on consistency over the full season, Rafael Nadal deserves it.

Briscomb: The Bull of Spain, Rafael Nadal.

Player of the Year Not Named Federer or Nadal

Trollope: Until the ATP Finals I would have said Zverev. But now I’d go with Dimitrov. Victories in London and Cincy plus his AO run were fabulous.

Rogers: Based on consistency, no-one else is deserving.

Briscomb: Two Masters (Sascha) vs One Masters & ATP Finals (Dimi) crown. Grigor gets the nod for semi-decent Slam results.

Best Player Not Enough People Talked About

Trollope: Probably Goffin. Quietly consistent and at times brilliant. What a finish to the season.

Rogers: Diego Schwartzman. The Argentinean might be small in stature, but he has a big heart. Only eight players won more matches this season.

Briscomb: Lucas Pouille. Only player to win a title on all three surfaces.

Best On-court Outfit

Trollope: Rafa at the US Open – any time the Spaniard opts for the all-black kit, it’s a winner. (I’m ignoring that highlighter-pink jacket)

Rogers: Alexander Zverev’s Indian Wells-Miami outfit was simple, yet still vibrant and fun.

Briscomb: Sascha’s Borg-esque outfit from Pharrell’s Adidas Statement collection was phenomenal.

Most Improved Player

Trollope: For me, it’s a tie between Goffin and Jack Sock.

Rogers: Grigor Dimitrov. Four titles, including winning his first Masters and ATP Finals on debut, is a mightily impressive turnaround for a player ranked No.40 in mid-2016.

Briscomb: Zverev.

Comeback Player of the Year

Trollope: I was impressed with how Kevin Anderson rebounded from an injury-plagued 2016, and even his struggles in the early stages of 2017.

Rogers: Kevin Anderson. After falling to a ranking low of No.80 in January after a horror injury run, the 31-year-old’s return to make a first Grand Slam final was remarkable.

Briscomb: Juan Martin del Potro.

Related: Tennismash’s 2017 WTA Awards

Next Big Thing

Trollope: Denis Shapovalov. What an exciting find! His performance at the Montreal Masters – and that victory over Nadal – was pretty special.

Rogers: Russian Andrey Rublev. He’s determined, talented and refreshingly humble.

Briscomb: Heart says Shapo, head says Rublev and my gut says Hyeon.

Best Match

Trollope: Del Potro’s five-set comeback against Thiem at the US Open. Epic.

Rogers: Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal, Australian Open final. The anticipation and build-up was something else – and the two champions delivered an unforgettable match.

Briscomb: Nadal vs Dimitrov, Australian Open. I felt exhausted just watching it.

Player You Most Enjoyed Watching

Trollope: Seeing Roger back to his highest level, with a more potent backhand, was lovely.

Rogers: Nick Kyrgios. He brings an exciting level of unpredictability to every match – and at his best, his tennis is simply sensational.

Briscomb: NK Rising. Always NK Rising.

Most Memorable Interview

Trollope: Rafa’s iconic quote, when asked YET AGAIN to talk about what makes Roger so great: “I don’t want to look like I am gonna be his boyfriend.” Laughter ensues.

Rogers: When Next Gen star Alexander Bublik turned interviewer and spoke to stars like Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Bublik’s wit is as sharp as his game.

Briscomb: Watching Roger take over coaching duties from a comatose Bjorn Borj at the Laver Cup was so unintentionally funny. 

SmashDebate: Can Genie return to the top ten? 

Player Who Disappointed You the Most

Trollope: Most of the players in the top 20. But Dominic Thiem especially.

Rogers: Milos Raonic. I thought the Canadian was ready to step up and deliver on his Grand Slam potential.

Briscomb: Kyrgios. What the heck is this man doing outside the top 20?!

Best Rivalry

Trollope: Nadal v Kyrgios. They’ve had better matches than their meetings in 2017, but you genuinely don’t know who’s going to win before each match, and they’re polar opposites in every respect.

Rogers: Alexander Zverev v Nick Kyrgios. Their four meetings in 2017 were hotly-contested and featured some brilliant shot-making. It’s exciting for the future.

Briscomb: Roger vs Rafa.

Coach of the Year

Trollope: Carlos Moya. The former world No.1 joined Nadal’s team in December 2016 and from the get-go Rafa looked more invigorated and aggressive. A great addition.

Rogers: Ivan Ljubicic. Roger Federer’s revamped backhand sparked an incredible revival that has redefined history.

Briscomb: Ivan Ljubicic coached a 36-year-old to two Grand Slams among many other titles.

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