Andy Murray's US Open win is the highlight of the 2012 tennis season
The 2012 tennis season has contributed a great deal to a wonderful year of sport and there have been a whole host of highlights to savour. Betting-Directory have taken a look back at the past 12 months for their top-10 moments and where better to start than Andy Murray's maiden major title.....
1. Andy Murray wins US Open
Doubts over whether Andy Murray would ever win one of the four majors were beginning to gather pace and he went into the US Open final on the back of four Grand Slam final appearances and four straight defeats. However, the fifth time proved the charm, as it had for his coach Ivan Lendl during his playing career, as he beat Novak Djokovic in a tremendous final. Murray went 2-0 up before Djokovic dragged himself back into the match, although Murray was not done as he won the final set 6-2 to become the first British male Grand Slam winner since Fred Perry in 1936.
2. Andy Murray wins Olympic singles gold
Murray will no doubt look at the US Open as his greatest achievement of 2012 but it was his Olympic success which provided the springboard for major glory. Murray seemed relaxed and at home on the courts of Wimbledon during the Olympics and he swatted aside Roger Federer in the final to ensure revenge for his Wimbledon final defeat just a few weeks before.
3, Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray (Australian Open semi-final)
This was the moment that left many believing Murray would never win a Grand Slam as he lost out in a five-hour epic to Djokovic at the Australian Open. Murray had led their semi-final clash 2-1 but Djokovic romped back to win the final set 7-5 and what was to follow was even more impressive.
4. Novak Djokovic beats Rafa Nadal (Australian Open final)
The word 'epic' gets banded around far too easily nowadays but this final must fall under that bracket. Djokovic barely had time to recover from his semi-final win over Murray before he was in action in the final.... and what a final. Neither man was willing to give an inch but it was Djokovic who somehow dragged himself over the line as he came from a break down to win the final set 7-5 in a Grand Slam final that was the longest in Open era history at 5 hours 53 minutes.
5. Rafael Nadal wins the French Open
The Spaniard had a year to forget following a succession of injuries but nobody can match him on the clay courts of Roland Garros. Nadal only lost one set, in his 3-1 win over Djokovic in the final, as he romped to a record seventh French Open title and confirmed himself as the 'King of Clay'.
6. Lukas Rosol beat Rafael Nadal (Wimbledon)
Nadal was brought crashing down to earth just a month after his French Open win as he suffered a shock second round defeat to the little known Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon. Rosol was ranked 100th in the world but he defied the odds and the great Nadal to win a five-set thriller and cause one of the greatest upsets in Grand Slam history.
7. Roger Federer wins Wimbledon
There had been plenty of talk about the ageing Roger Federer's powers being on the wane but he showed he possessed all of his old magic when easing to a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon crown. The Swiss star beat Djokovic in the semis before beating Murray under the roof of SW19 in the final as he confirmed he was as good as ever on his favourite grass surface.
8. Serena Williams wins Olympic gold in singles & doubles
Serena Williams had endured a torrid couple of years with injury and life-threatening illness and few anticipated that she would ever be as good as she once was. The American star dispelled that belief though as she was back to her dominant best after winning Wimbledon a few weeks before as she won the Olympics singles and doubles, in tandem with her sister Venus, without dropping a set to become the first tennis player to win four Olympic gold medals.
9. Serena Williams wins US Open
Williams completed her remarkable comeback and a stunning few months with victory at Flushing Meadows. The American was in irresistible form as she beat Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka in the final en route to her fourth US Open and 15th career Grand Slam title.
10. Heather Watson wins Japan Open
2012 may be seen as a breakthrough year for British tennis after Andy Murray's heroics and Laura Robson's rise. Heather Watson has also provided reason for optimism as she saved four match points to win the Japan Open final and become the first British winner on the main WTA Tour in 24 years.
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