| By Emilie Katz
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg












2012 Grand Slam Champions Crowned …
2012 Australian Open
January 16-29, 2012 at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia

Men’s Singles Final: Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5
Men's Doubles Final: Leander Paes & Radek Stepanek defeated Bob & Mike Bryan 7-6, 6-2
Women's Singles Final: Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0
Women's Doubles Final: Svetlana Kuznetsova & Vera Zvonareva defeated Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Mixed-Doubles Final: Bethanie Mattek Sands & Horia Tecau defeated Elena Vesnina & Leander Paes 6-3, 5-7, 10-3

2012 French Open
May 27-June 10, 2012 at Roland Garros in Paris France

►Men’s Singles Final: Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
►Men’s Doubles Final: Daniel Nestor & Max Mirnyi defeated Bob & Mike Bryan 6-4, 6-4
►Women's Singles Final: Maria Sharapova defeated Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2
►Women's Doubles Final: Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci defeated Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
►Mixed-Doubles Final: Sania Mirza & Mahesh Bhupathi defeated Klaudia Jans-Ignacik & Santiago Gonzalez 7-6, 6-1

Wimbledon 2012
June 25-July 8, 2012 at All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, England
►Men's Singles Final: Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
►Men's Doubles Final: Frederik Nielsen & Jonathan Marray defeated Robert Lindstedt & Hotia Tecau 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3
►Women's Singles Final: Serena Williams defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2
►Women's Doubles Final: Serena & Venus Williams defeated Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka 7-5, 6-4
►Mixed-Doubles Final: Mike Bryan & Lisa Raymond defeated Leander Paes & Elena Vesnina 6-3, 5-7, 6-4

2012 U.S. Open
August 27-September 10, 2012 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

►Men's Singles Final: Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2
►Men's Doubles Final: Mike & Bob Bryan defeated Leander Paes & Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4
►Women's Singles Final: Serena Williams defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
►Women's Doubles Final: Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci defeated Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-2
►Mixed-Doubles Final: Ekaterina Makarova & Bruno Soares defeated Kveta Peschke & Marcin Matkowski 6-7, 6-1, 12-10

2012 Summer Olympics
July 27-August 12, 2012 in London, England
Men's Singles
►Gold Medal: Andy Murray (GBR)
►Silver Medal: Roger Federer (SUI)
►Bronze Medal: Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)

Men’s Doubles
►Gold Medal: Bob & Mike Bryan (USA)
►Silver Medal: Michael Llorda & Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (FRA)
►Bronze Medal: Julien Benneteau & Richard Gasquet (FRA)

Women's Singles
Gold Medal: Serena Williams (USA)
Silver Medal: Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Bronze Medal: Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

Women's Doubles
►Gold Medal: Serena & Venus Williams (USA)
►Silver Medal: Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
►Bronze Medal: Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova (RUS)

►Gold Medal: Victoria Azarenka & Max Mirnyi (BLR)
►Silver Medal: Laura Robson & Andy Murray (GBR)
Bronze Medal: Lisa Raymond & Mike Bryan (USA)

2012 ATP World Tour Finals
November 5-12, 2012 O2 Arena London, England
Singles Final
►Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 7-6 (6), 7-5

Doubles Final
►Marcel Granollers & Marc López defeated Mahesh Bhupathi & Rohan Bopanna 7-5, 3-6, 10-3

2012 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships
October 23-28, 2012 Sinan Erdem Arena Istanbul, Turkey
Singles Final
►Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3

Doubles Final
►Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova defeated Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka 6-1, 6-4

Men's Award Winners
ATP World Tour Number One (determined by South African Airways ATP Rankings): Novak Djokovic—The 25-year-old Serbian is the first player to clinch the year-end number one South African Airways ATP Ranking in consecutive seasons since Roger Federer achieved four straight world number one finishes from 2004-07. Djokovic successfully defended the Australian Open title and reached the final at six ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, winning titles in Miami, Toronto and Shanghai. He also lifted the Beijing trophy and was a finalist at Roland Garros and the U.S. Open.

►ATP World Tour Number One Doubles Team (determined by ATP Doubles Team Rankings): Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan—The Americans finish as the top duo in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings for a fourth successive year and record eighth time overall (2003, '05-07, '09-12). They captured seven titles–their 11th straight season of winning five or more–highlighted by a record-equaling 12th Grand Slam trophy at the U.S. Open and the Gold Medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Bryans also won a pair of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Monte-Carlo and Toronto, and were runners-up at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. They have won the most doubles team titles in the Open Era with 82, and Mike Bryan broke Todd Woodbridge’s individual record when he won his 84th trophy with the twins’ victory in Beijing.

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award (voted by ATP players): Roger Federer—Fellow players voted the Swiss as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the eighth time and second year in a row. He had won the award six straight years from 2004-09 before Rafael Nadal broke the streak in 2011. Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro and David Ferrer were also nominated in this category.


Comeback Player of the Year (voted by ATP players): Tommy Haas—The 34-year-old German rolled back the years as he re-established himself in the Top 25 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, having started the season outside the Top 200. Haas had been sidelined for 14 months between February 2010 and May 2011 following hip surgery, but found top form once again in 2012. The former world number two defeated Roger Federer to win the Halle title, finished runner-up in Hamburg and Washington and recorded his 500th match win with victory in the Vienna second round in October.

Newcomer of the year (voted by ATP players): Martin Klizan—The 23-year-old has jumped 88 places in the South African Airways ATP Rankings since the start of the season to hit a career-high world number 29. The left-hander compiled a 19-15 mark, highlighted by winning his first ATP World Tour title in St. Petersburg with victory over Fabio Fognini. A few weeks earlier, the Bratislava native had knocked out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to a fourth-round showing at the U.S. Open.

Most Improved Player of the Year (voted by ATP players): Marinko Matosevic—At the age of 27, Marinko Matosevic enjoyed a career-best season that saw him finish 2012 as the number one Australian with a career-high position of world 47th. The right-hander from Melbourne reached his first ATP World Tour final in Delray Beach where, as a qualifier ranked 173rd, he beat four top 80 players before finishing runner-up to Kevin Anderson. He also reached the semifinals in Los Angeles and compiled a 17-19 match record on the year.

Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year: Novak Djokovic—The Serb joined Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Carlos Moya, former South African president Nelson Mandela and Arthur Ashe as winners of the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award, recognized for his contributions through the Novak Djokovic Foundation, his role as a UNICEF ambassador and other individual ventures. His Foundation raised $1.4 million for early childhood education through its inaugural fundraising dinner in New York in September and a week later he visited the “Beneath the Linden Trees” kindergarten, a UNICEF initiative in Lesnica, Serbia, to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood education. In October, Djokovic collaborated with UNIQLO to develop and launch ‘Clothes for Smiles,’ a new program that aims to give children of all ages a chance for a better future. The program has established a $10 million fund that helps nurture the dreams of children worldwide.

ATPWorldTour.com Fans' Favorite (Singles): Roger Federer—The 31-year-old Swiss has been voted ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite presented by RICOH for a record 10th straight year, receiving 57 percent of all votes cast. British number one Andy Murray finished second, just ahead of Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

►ATPWorldTour.com Fans' Favorite (Doubles) Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan—The Bryan twins received 40 percent of votes to be named the ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite for a record eighth time. Michael Llodra & Nenad Zimonjic came in as the second most popular duo for a second straight year, followed closely by Leander Paes & Radek Stepanek.


Retirements in 2012
Following is a list of notable players (winners of a main tour title, and/or part of the ATP Rankings top 100 (singles) or top 50 (doubles) for at least one week) who announced their retirement from professional tennis, became inactive (after not playing for more than 52 weeks), or were permanently banned from playing, during the 2012 season:

José Acasuso (born Oct. 20, 1982 in Posadas, Argentina) turned professional in 1999, reaching career-high rankings of singles number 20 and doubles 27th, both in 2006. Mainly a clay-court specialist, the Argentine took three singles and five doubles career titles, all on the surface. Playing for Argentina, Acasuso competed in two Davis Cup finals (2006 and 2008), but helped claim one World Team Cup title in 2007. Acasuso announced his retirement in February, less than a year after his last match in the French Open qualifying in May 2011.

Juan Pablo Brzezicki (born April 12, 1982 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) joined the tour in 2001, reaching a career-high ranking of singles no. 94 in 2008. Winner of one doubles titles on the main circuit, Brzezicki competed for the last time in Buenos Aires in February.

Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina leaves the sport of tennis with six ATP singles titles and three in doubles, all on clay. The 33-year-old announced his decision on his Twitter account (@ JuanIChela).Chela reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, the French Open in 2004 and 2011, and the U.S. Open in 2007. Known as “El Flaco” or “The Skinny One,” Chela is retiring with his singles ranking at 176th and career earnings of $6.5 million.

Arnaud Clément (born Dec. 17, 1977 in Aix-en-Provence, France) became a tennis professional in 1996, peaking with a singles ranking of 10th in the world in 2001, and doubles of eighth in 2008. In singles, Clément won four titles, made the quarterfinals at all majors but one (the French Open), and reached one Grand Slam final at the Australian Open (2001, losing to Andre Agassi). In doubles, he collected 12 titles and made two major finals with Michaël Llodra, winning one at Wimbledon and losing the other in Australia (2008).

Brian Dabul (born Feb. 24, 1984 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) turned professional in 2001 and reached a career-high ranking of 86th. His highest doubles ranking was 88th. He won only one ATP titles in doubles in Viña de Mar in 2009, partnering with Pablo Cuevas. He played his last singles match in Guayaquil on Nov. 21, 2011.

Juan Carlos Ferrero (born Feb. 12, 1980 in Ontinyent, Spain) joined the main circuit in 1998, and reached the world number one ranking in singles on Sept. 8, 2003, holding the spot for eight straight weeks, and finishing three straight seasons in the top 10 (2001-2003). Ferrero won 16 singles titles during his 14-year career, including four Masters events, and one Grand Slam trophy at the French Open (2003). A one-time semifinalist at the Australian Open (2004) and two-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon (2007 and 2009), the Spaniard also made two additional major finals at the French (2002, lost to Costa) and the U.S. Open (2003, lost to Andy Roddick), and reached one year-end championships final (2002, lost to Lleyton Hewitt). As part of his country's team, Ferrero took part in three victorious Davis Cup campaigns (2000, 2004, 2009). The Spaniard retired after playing in Valencia in October.

Fernando González (born July 29, 1980 in Santiago, Chile) joined the main tour in 1999 and reached his best singles ranking, number five, in early 2007, finishing two seasons in the top 10 (2006-2007). A junior world number one, winner of the boys' doubles at the U.S. Open in 1997 and the boys' singles and doubles at the French Open in 1998, González won 11 singles and three doubles titles on the pro circuit, and gathered three medals at the Olympics: The bronze in singles and the gold in doubles (with partner Nicolás Massú) in 2004, and the silver in singles (lost the finals to Rafael Nadal) in 2008. The Chilean reached the last eight at every major, making three quarterfinals at Wimbledon (2005) and the U.S. Open (2002 and 2009), one semifinal at the French (2009), and one final at the Australian Open (2007, lost to Roger Federer). Struggling with injuries for more than a year before deciding to retire, González played his last event in Miami in March.

Mark Knowles (born Sept. 4, 1971 in Nassau, The Bahamas) joined the pro tour in 1992 and reached a high singles ranking of 96th in 1996. Knowles reached the doubles world number one ranking in June 2002, keeping the spot for a total of 65 weeks between 2002 and 2005. Partnering with Daniel Nestor for most of his career, and later Mahesh Bhupathi, Knowles won 55 doubles titles, including one year-end championship (2007), and three Grand Slam trophies (all with Nestor). He retired after competing in the U.S. Open doubles in August.

Ivan Ljubicic (born March 19, 1979 in Banja Luka, Yugoslavia) turned professional in 1998, peaking at third in the world in singles in 2006 and ending two seasons in the top 10 (2005-2006). During his career, Ljubicic won 10 singles titles, including one Masters at Indian Wells (2010), and went past the fourth round twice in Grand Slam tournaments. Playing for his country, the Croatian partnered with Mario Ancic to win a Bronze Medal in doubles at the 2004 Athens Olympics Games and took part in one successful Davis Cup campaign (2005). Ljubicic played his last tournament in Monte Carlo in April.

Peter Luczak (born Aug. 31, 1979 in Warsaw, Poland) joined the main circuit in 2000, peaking at 64th in the world in singles in 2009. Competing mainly on the ITF Men's Circuit and the ATP Challenger Tour during his career, Luczak's best result came with a Gold Medal in doubles (with Paul Hanley) at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games. The Australian retired from the sport after losing in the second round of the Australian Open doubles last January.

Andy Roddick (born Aug. 30, 1982 in the United States) turned professional in 2000 and became the sixth American player to be ranked number one in the world in singles when he reached the top spot on Nov. 3, 2003, holding it for a single spell of 13 straight weeks. Roddick finished nine seasons in the ATP Rankings singles top 10 (2002-2010), including one year as number one (2003), and also reached the 50th ranking in doubles in 2010. As a junior, Roddick took two singles Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and the U.S. Open in 2000, finishing the season as junior world number one. Over his 12-year pro career, Roddick collected 32 singles titles, on every surface, among which five Masters and one Grand Slam title, at the U.S. Open (2003, defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero). Roddick's other best results in majors came with four semifinals at the Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009), three finals at Wimbledon (2004, 2005 and 2009, all lost to Roger Federer), and another final at the U.S. Open (2006, lost to Federer). In doubles, Roddick won four titles including one Masters trophy. Part of the United States Davis Cup roster for 25 ties over 10 years, Roddick helped the U.S. Davis Cup team to a final in 2004, and a title (the country's 32nd) in 2007. The American retired in September, after losing in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

Rainer Schüttler (born April 25, 1976 in Korbach, West Germany) turned professional in 1995, reaching a career-high singles rankings of fifth in 2004, and doubles ranking of 40th in 2005. Schüttler won four singles and four doubles titles during his stint on the main circuit, his best Grand Slam results coming with a final at the Australian Open (2003, lost to Andre Agassi), and a semifinal run at Wimbledon (2008). Alongside countryman Nicolas Kiefer, the German also took the Silver Medal in doubles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, losing the final in five sets. Schüttler last played at the Australian Open in January.

Alexander Waske (born March 31, 1975 in Frankfurt, West Germany) turned professional in 2000 and reached a career-high ranking of 89th in singles and 84th in doubles. He won four ATP doubles titles and played his last doubles match on Oct. 15, 2012 in Vienna, partnering with Janko Tipsarevic.

Women’s Award Winners
WTA Player Award Winners
WTA Player Awards were voted for by the international media.

Comeback Player of the Year: Yaroslava Shvedova

Newcomer of the Year: Laura Robson

Doubles Team of the Year: Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci

Most Improved Player: Sara Errani

Player of the Year: Serena Williams

WTA Player Awards
►Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award: Kim Clijsters—As voted upon by WTA tour players, this award recognizes professionalism, attitude and sense of fair play.

Player Service Award: Venus Williams—As voted upon by WTA tour players, this award recognizes the player who has done the most to support fellow players through the WTA Players' Council and other initiatives.

Fan Favorite Awards
►Fan Favorite Singles Player: Agnieszka Radwanska—Though there were 13 players to choose from, a whopping 42.8 percent of the votes went to Agnieszka Radwanska (Li Na came in second with 27 percent).

Fan Favorite Doubles Team: Serena Williams & Venus Williams—There were five teams to choose from, and it was the Williams Sisters who finished first with 36 percent of the vote (Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova came in second place with 25.5 percent of the vote.

Fan Favorite Twitter: Caroline Wozniacki—There were five Twitter pages to choose from, and it was Caroline Wozniacki who finished first with 42 percent of the vote while Serena Williams came in second with 24.9 percent.

Fan Favorite Facebook: Agnieszka Radwanska—There were five Facebook pages to choose from, and it was Agnieszka Radwanska who finished first with a whopping 46.5 percent of the vote, while Maria Sharapova came in second place with 24 percent of the vote.

Fan Favorite Video: Agnieszka Radwanska & The Bee—There were five videos to choose from, and in the most dominant Fan Favorite victory of the day, it was Agnieszka Radwanska's battle with a bee that won, earning 48.7 percent of the vote.



Retirements in 2012 …
Kim Clijsters (born July 8, 1983 in Bilzen, Belgium) turned professional in 1997, reaching career-high rankings of world number one in singles and doubles. Clijsters has won 41 WTA singles titles and 11 WTA doubles titles. She has won four Grand Slam singles titles, three at the U.S. Open, in 2005, 2009 and 2010, and one at the Australian Open in 2011. She has also been runner-up in four Grand Slam singles tournaments, and won the WTA Tour Championships singles title in 2002, 2003 and 2010. In doubles, she won the French Open and Wimbledon titles in 2003. Clijsters has retired once before in 2007, but almost two years later, on March 26 2009, she publicly declared her intent to return to the WTA tour for the 2009 summer hard court season. In only her third tournament back, she won her second U.S. Open title, becoming the first unseeded player and wild card to win the tournament, and the first mother to win a major since Evonne Goolagong in 1980. Clijsters announced in May that her second retirement would occur after the completion of the 2012 U.S. Open.

Gisela Dulko (born Jan. 30, 1985 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) turned professional in 2001, enjoying an 11-year career before announcing her retirement in November 2012. Despite having a moderately successful career in singles play, winning four titles on the WTA tour and reaching a career-high ranking of 26th in 2005; Dulko experienced more success on the doubles tour, winning 17 titles over her career, including the 2011 Australian Open and the 2010 Year-End Championships, both playing with Flavia Pennetta. In addition, Dulko spent 24 weeks as the top-ranked doubles player from Nov. 1, 2010, including seven as the joint number one with Pennetta.

Emilie Katz