The Tennis Space 2012 “Alternative” Awards – Part One of Four:
Shot of the year – Grigor Dimitrov’s behind the back shot. “Tweeners” – also known as hot-dogs or between the legs shots – have become so common recently in tennis that it’s almost a disappointment now when players do not manage to hit a winner from them. But though there were plenty of good ones in 2012, the shot of the year has to go to Grigor Dimitrov, the uber-talented Bulgarian, who produced a moment of magic against Viktor Troicki in Basle. Wrong-footed by a pass, Dimitrov stopped in his tracks, stuck his racket out behind his back, and played the most delicate and outrageous of half-volley drops. If you have not seen it yet, here’s your chance.
Tantrum of the year – Marcos Baghdatis, Australian Open. There were some good candidates – Novak Djokovic putting a hole in the bench during the final at Roland Garros and of course, David Nalbandian kicking a linesman (inadvertently) at Queen’s. But for sheer brutality, it has to be Marcos Baghdatis’s cool demolition of four rackets in a row during a match with Stanislas Wawrinka at the Australian Open. It took him seven slams of the first racket before Baghdatis was satisfied but the best bit about it was that for the next three, he didn’t even bother taking them out of their wrapper. Marat Safin would have been proud.
Tweeter of the year – PseudoFed (Not Roger Federer). There’s an awful lot of rubbish flying around the Twittersphere but among the dross is a real gem, in the form of PseudoFed, aka Not Roger Federer, a spoof account of the great man. Like most of the great man’s game, PseudoFed’s posts are perfectly judged, playing on his ability to say things that from anyone else would sound hideously arrogant. For whatever reason, Federer just about gets away with it but with a hashtag of #humble, PsuedoFed plays up this side of the Federer character, to hilarious effect. This is just one of many good moments: “Staff member just said: Andy has beaten you the last 2 times, what are you going to change up tonight? #yourefired.” The identity of the author remains unknown, which just adds to the fun.