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Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Most Memorable Tennis Moments of 2010

I wrote yesterday that I was done with 2010, but not so fast. I am always so busy when other tennis journalists are looking back on the year that the new year has begun before I get to reflect on the one just concluded.

There were hundreds of outstanding junior and collegiate performances throughout the year that are in no way diminished by not being on this short list. These are just my highly subjective and very personal (I think that's redundant, but I'm keeping it for emphasis) most memorable moments of 2010, in chronological order.

Whitney Taney hits a drop shot winner on match point to give the University of Michigan women’s team its first-ever win over a Top 5 opponent, a 4-3 victory over perennial powerhouse Baylor. Taney was down a set and two breaks in the second set of her match with Taylor Ormond before coming back to steal the victory.

Wild card Krista Hardebeck loses the first set 6-0 to No. 8 seed Sachia Vickery in the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships final in Carson, but comes back to win her first ITF title 0-6, 6-3, 6-2. She then took the Easter Bowl title the following week, beating top seed Lauren Davis in the final, her 12th win in 12 days.

In the most dreamlike setting imaginable, first-year coach John Roddick’s Oklahoma Sooners upset No. 3 Texas 4-2 to reach the NCAA Elite 8. With fog descending on the remote back courts of the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, the Sooners and Longhorns played past 1:30 a.m. in a rain-delayed match clinched by first-semester freshman Lawrence Formentera.

Freshman Mallory Burdette withstands the pressure of being the last match on for an NCAA title--and her sister Lindsay’s full-on tackle afterward—-as Stanford claims 4-3 win over Florida.

Former Georgia Bulldog John Isner and Nicolas Mahut of France will be forever paired after participating in the improbable 70-68 fifth set at Wimbledon. I wasn’t there in person, but it is simply one of the most remarkable athletic contests I’ve ever witnessed, its revelations transcending not just tennis, but sport.

Jack Sock saves three match points in USTA 18s National Championship quarterfinal victory over Dan Kosakowski, goes on to win Kalamazoo, and, the following month, the U.S. Open boys title.

Lee Duckhee of Korea cannot hear or speak, but those disabilities don't keep him from capturing the Eddie Herr boys 12s title.

Playing in her 18th match in 21 days, Lauren Davis lets two match points slip away in the second set tiebreaker in the Dunlop Orange Bowl final against Grace Min. The mental and physical fatigue after playing for two and a half hours in such an important, high-quality match, only to be extended to a third set could have been overwhelming. But not for Davis, who won the third set 6-1, a win that gave her a mind-boggling Yucatan-Eddie Herr-Orange Bowl triple. A week later, she cruised past CoCo Vandeweghe to win the USTA’s Australian Open wild card.


tennis guy2894 said...

Colette... I was at the Michigan/Baylor match on that wintery night last February and many say that win against Baylor might have been their biggest win in the history of their program as they catapulted up from there. It was a fun match to watch!

just saying said...

Hard to not remember the Harrison Stakovsky match at the U.S. Open. Thats a glaring oversight.