Tramlines

Alternative review of the year

Tramlines

What a year it has been. Well, it has been pretty good. Novak Djokovic has led the way throughout, consolidating his status as the undisputed world number one of men's tennis with three Grand Slams.

Caroline Wozniacki remains atop the WTA Tour rankings, and Sam Stosur recorded her first Grand Slam success at Flushing Meadows, while Petra Kvitova was victorious at Wimbledon.

Oh, and Li Na prevailed at Roland Garros before encountering an astonishing slump, while Kim Clijsters roared through to win the Australian Open at the start of the year.

Of course, Rafael Nadal won the French Open, beating Roger Federer in yet another pulsating encounter, while there were frenzied scenes in Belgrade as most of Serbia celebrated Novak Djokovic's success at SW19.

But it's the funny, alternative and slightly crazy moments which are always the best remembered.

We look back on our favourite moments of the year, and invite you - the readers - to contribute yours at the bottom of the page...

Most painful press conference of the year: When Rafael Nadal keeled over and grimaced as if he had his hamstring snipered it left the media utterly bewildered, but it turns out he was just massively milking a touch of cramp.

Best imitation of the year: Caroline Wozniacki has a penchant for making light of her male counterparts' antics on Tour, and her most popular impression of the year was that of Nadal and his discomfort in that US Open press conference.

Funniest (well, okay - not) press conference of the year: In theory, Wozniacki invading a Novak Djokovic presser and pretending to ask questions would be a hilarious prank, but in reality it was a car crash of cringe as the Dane shared dismal banter with her fellow world number one.

Worst prank of the year: What better way to celebrate a Davis Cup triumph than to smear shaving foam all over a team-mate's face? Nadal embarrassed David Ferrer with an impressive piece of gamesmanship. Ferrer saw the funny side - well, in front of the cameras at least.

Epic temper tantrum of the year: For the second year in succession, Serena Williams launched an ugly tirade on an official at the US Open: "Aren't you the one who screwed me over last time?" she asked.

"I truly despise you. If you ever see me walking down the hallway look the other way. You're totally out of control. You're a hater and you're unattractive inside. Don't go giving me a code violation for expressing my opinion. We're in America, last time I checked!"

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Worst timed run of form: Murray's winning streak from US Open to Paris Masters, where he lost in quarters and then pulled out of World Tour Finals through injury

Best impression of the year: Okay, so Djokovic's impressions were good for about five minutes but quickly became rather tiresome, but Wozniacki has this impersonation of Serena Williams down to a tee.

Biggest anti-climax of the year: When Djokovic assembled the world's press for what was termed an 'urgent press conference' at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, everyone dropped everything and packed out the seminar room. What proceeded was a sheepish world number one telling all and sundry that he was fit to play and there was no news. Oh.

Most crazed scenes of the year: Some 100,000 Serbian tennis fans gave Djokovic a royal reception in central Belgrade after the 24-year-old arrived home to celebrate winning his first Wimbledon title. Djokovic, who leapt to the top of the ATP rankings in the process, was greeted by a deafening roar as he arrived in an open-top bus which took hours to reach the Serbian parliament square from the airport.

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Misery guts of the year: Andy Murray made it clear just how bad his life had become after defeat at the Australian Open. "I don't think a defeat has ever taken longer to get out of my system. I spent Christmas Day alone, running on the beach. To then lose hits you doubly hard, because of all you've given up. All that effort for not quite. Then everyone wants to console you, which is the last thing you need. By March, I simply felt terrible. I hated practising. Everything was wrong."

Unnoticed record of the year: Bob Bryan and his brother Mike jointly set a new record of 271 weeks atop the individual doubles rankings, overtaking fellow American John McEnroe, who held the mark with 270. "It's felt like 260 marriages to Kim Kardashian," Bob remarked after having achieved the feat.

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Overdue victory of the year: At the ripe old age of 27, the resplendent rock star of tennis Janko Tipsarevic finally lifted off his sunglasses and stroked his beard with satisfaction as he lifted the Malaysian Open trophy in October - his maiden title on the ATP Tour. His second soon followed at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Fan of the year: He may not have attended every tournament, but for sheer star quality and brazen disregard for All England Club security, Rory McIlroy has to be the tennis fan of the year while following around his banterous girlfriend Caro Wozniacki. Pictured (below) at Wimbledon, Rory discovers that watching tennis at Wimbledon is not all glitz and glamour as he goes unrecognised by two elderly ladies.

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What were your best moments of 2011 in the world of tennis? Post your contributions and suggestions below...

Meanwhile, Eurosport-Yahoo!'s esteemed blogger Simon Reed will be running through his review of 2011 in his offering next week. Be sure to check it out!

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Serena Williams

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