1. Novak Djokovic is the best hard court player in tennis history
Forget the statistics and the titles, while Djokovic is closing in, Federer's numbers still have the edge. After watching Novak play Down Under, however, I suggest that no one has played better hard court tennis, not Roger, not Pete, not Andre, not Ivan.
2. Serena Williams is so good that every time she loses at a Grand Slam, it's one of the greatest upsets in tennis history
If that doesn't define greatness … well I don't know what does!
3. Martina Hingis is redefining the age at which supreme athletic achievements are possible
Martina Hingis won her first Grand Slam singles title 19 years ago at the Australian Open. At the age of 35, she is not just winning Grand Slams, she is dominating the women's doubles game. Truly remarkable.
4. The match fixing scandal is not going away
Novak Djokovic made the startling admission that someone approached one of his handlers to offer $50,000 to fix a tennis match. At that same news conference, Djokovic explained that he "Sees no evidence of match fixing." Huh? Remember back in 2007 when world number four Nikolay Davydenko of Russia was up 6-2 over journeyman Martin Vassallo when several million dollars in bets were placed on Vassallo from Russia? Davydenko retired in the third set and the bets were voided due to "extraordinary irregularities." No charges were filed however. Does tennis have a betting problem? I bet most players wouldn't bet against it.
Steve Kaplan is the Owner and Managing Director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as Director Emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and Executive Director and Founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.