TOP TEN STORIES
1. Roger Federer, 36, came back from six months off the tour and promptly won the Aussie Open, Wimbledon, Indian Wells, Miami, Shanghai, Halle and Basel, thank you very much. His seven titles were his highest total in a decade and the most won by any man this year. He lost just one final, reached No. 2, and completely wowed the tennis universe.
2. Not to be outdone, Rafa won his 10th French Open, and the US Open for the first time since 2013, plus three other tourneys. And yeah, he again became No. 1, for the fourth time in his career. Olé, olé, olé!
3. Sloane Stephens went from Fresno to big dough, from being in a boot to earning big loot. The Californian bounced back from her No. 957 ranking to collect $3.3 million as the US Open’s shock winner.
4. WTA diversity: Last year, five different women – Serena, Angie Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza and finally Simona Halep – were No. 1, and four – Serena, Jelena Ostapenko, Muguruza and Stephens – won the four Slams.
5. Serena won her record 23rd Slam Down Under, had a child and got married.
6. The winds of change stir: the brilliant, innovative Laver Cup, seeding rules at the Grand Slams, the ATP’s Next Gen tourney, new Davis Cup rules, courtside clocks and coaching.
7. Tres bien: Inspired by the charismatic Yannick Noah, France edged upstart Belgium to claim its first Davis Cup title in 16 years, merci beaucoup.
8. American women rock: Sloane, Serena, Venus, Madison, and Coco (who led the US to its first Fed Cup since 2000) sizzled.
9. Next Gen drought: Roger and Rafa resumed their stranglehold on Slams.
10. Rarely dull Maria Sharapova returned and stirred the milkshake.