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December 2021

Davis Cup

The final month of the year saw the closing stages of the final men’s event of the year, the Davis Cup. Great Britain faced Germany in the Quarter-Finals, and Dan Evans got Britain off to an ideal start by hammering Peter Gojowczyk, but Cameron Norrie lost out in a dramatic match to Jan-Lennard Struff, meaning that progression to the Semi-Finals went down to the doubles.

The German pair of Tim Puetz and Kevin Krawietz ultimately beat the British pair of Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski in two tiebreaks. Germany would lose their Semi-Final against Russia, and the Russian duo of Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev would fire them to victory in the Final against Croatia.

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Retiring players

This month saw two British players retire: the first was former World No. 4 Johanna Konta at the age of 30, who had a memorable run to the Semi-Finals at Wimbledon in 2017, as well as Semi-Final appearances at the Australian Open and US Open. In addition to this, she won 4 WTA titles, including the Miami Premier Mandatory Event in 2017.

The other was James Ward, a former top 100 player and Davis Cup Champion in 2015, recording an epic win over John Isner in the First Round, a match which lasted over 5 hours and was pivotal in Great Britain winning that tie and ultimately the competition itself.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year

One Brit who’s career is only just beginning, Emma Raducanu, became the first woman to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award since 2006, after she beat the likes of Tom Daley and Adam Peaty to the award. Another tennis player who has previously won the award, Andy Murray, had a good win in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi over Rafael Nadal, with the Spaniard playing his first tennis since coming back from injury.

Looking ahead to 2022

As the 2022 season approaches, one of the biggest events, the Australian Open, is right around the corner, and with it comes many interesting questions, the main one being whether World No.1 Novak Djokovic will participate.

Djokovic has on several occasions declined to disclose whether he is vaccinated. Djokovic has just withdrawn from the ATP Cup, the team event in Australia just before the Australian Open. He is currently on the entry list for the Open, but another player, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, world number 8 in Doubles, has already withdrawn from the event due to his vaccination status. If Djokovic doesn’t play, it would make the event more open as the Serb has dominated it in the past, winning 9 times. It would leave the door open for Medvedev to win his second Grand Slam tournament, or for the likes of Alex Zverev to win his first. Some big names, such as Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, and Stan Wawrinka, have already withdrawn due to injury, but Andy Murray has received a Wildcard into the main draw.

As for the women’s event, it is wide open. Notable absentees include World No. 4 Karolina Pliskova due to injury, and Serena Williams due to lack of fitness after recovering from injury. Will youngsters such as Emma Raducanu, Leylah Fernandez and Coco Gauff make deep runs here?

Will home favourite and World No.1 Ash Barty win her first Australian Open title? Or will there be another first time Grand Slam champion? 5 of the last 8 Slams have been won by women who hadn’t won a Grand Slam tournament before. It promises to be a fascinating event on both the men’s and women’s side, which should set up tennis fans for an intriguing 2022 season.

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