I am not into tennis until 1997, and judging by that point of view, I have to agree 1999 is the season full of drama and excitement throughout the whole year, although some are good and some are bad press.
The year start off with MArtina winning australian and reclaim her no. 1 status after being snatched away by Lindsay Davenport. However, it is overshadow by her comment on Amelie, and it was pretty big news then I remember.<br />Then of course is the French Open and we all know what happen, and the drama of it is unbe;lievable in the final. I am sure everyone will still remember MArtina crossing to the opponent line o argue a call, sit on her seat to petition the official to change her call, and of course the infamous underarm serve at match point. Then come Wimbledon, with the upset of year by Dokic (at that time it was a huge upset) and then of course the four youngster breakthrough in Wimbledon (Lucic-remerge but unfortuneately fade again, Stevenson -still making her mark, and of course the more successful two Dokic and Clijsters), then came US Open, with all the talk of all Williams final, but then was ruined by Martina who came back spectacularly from rock bottom during Wimbledon time, to a big win against Venus in semifinal, I can still remember her shot at 30-15 in the final game, it was such an unbelievable shot given the context on the magnitude of the game. and of course the younger sister Serena winnign a grand slam first is enough a story to cover for the US press.
So that year pretty much have everything really, and really is the first year where people can truthfully said that women tennis had a much better product then men's tennis
On the men side: 1999!<br />Agassi winning the French (the emotions!!!) and the USO (confirming the come back!)<br /> <br />GO AGASSI <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> <img src="graemlins/drool.gif" border="0" alt="[Drool]" /> <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> IN 2001!!!!!!! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
On the women side: 2001<br />I'm from Belgium, you see...<br />GO KIMMY <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> IN 2001 AND FOLLOWING YEARS!!!!!!
I first started following tennis in 1996. 1996 was probably the best tennis season for me. LOL! Particularly since Arantxa did so well. The grand slams, Olympics, and chase championships were the most exciting. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
But to be fair probably the best has got to be 1998. 4 different grand slam winners and the whole year was great as a whole for all players. Youngians winning the Australian and U.S. Open and veterans winning the French and Wimbledon. I was in tears after the French, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open finals. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
I would have to say 1980.<br />Evonne Goolagong and Bjorn Borg took the titles at Wimbledon that year and it was my all time fave tennis tourney ever. I loved Goolagong and Borg. <br />1980 saw a big change in women's tennis with the emergence of Andrea Jaeger and Hana Mandlikova (who took the Aussie Open that year). But the biggest change was in Chris Evert. She was soundly beaten 3 times in 10 days (can you say round robin?) by lil' Tracy Austin and she promptly went on a sabbatical of "undetermined length". When she remerged a few months later she was refocused and once again (surprisingly) became the dominant player, beating Tracy in a dramatic US semi. Everyone in tennis said she was finished after losing her edge with Austin and Navratilova but she ended up the undisputed #1 for the year. Too bad it was Evonne.
Any year with 4 different slam winners is exciting-crazy. So 1979, 1981, 1990, 1998, and 1999 <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
1981 especially, because we had 2 attackers(Navratilova and Mandlikova) vs. 2 Baseliners(Evert and Austin). Martina has classic matches vs. Evert and Ausitn both. There was the lesbian issue to deal with in public for the first time. King and Martina were both outed in the press. The Canadian Open had controversy because Mandlikova gave a linesman the finger and Shriver cussed out Austin at the net.... To top it off, the 3 women who claimed to be #1 (Austin, Evert, and Navratilova) all came into the final year-end event WANTING to be #1. #1 really meant something then, unlike now. And in 1981-Austin and Martina told the press that, computer be damned, if they won The Colgate finals they WERE #1, as all the women had split the majors. When Austin beat Navratilova in the finals, she and Martina declared Austin #1, the computer had Evert #1, and the press and public just ate up all the quotes.
1998 was fun-revenge of the old-timers with Sanchez and Novotna getting her precious Wimbledon and Monica making her run in Paris.
Rollo, thanks for the '81 recap. That year really rocked! I was just disappointed that mandlikova played so horribly in the Wimbledon final that year (my grandmother told me i would get over it! haha.). I really thought she would win since she had just beaten Chris on a clay a few weeks earlier in Paris in straight sets.
My fave match of that whole year was the lovely Navrat/Evert US Open semi. It was a thriller and much better than some of their later match ups. That whole open was really exciting that year.
I am always perplexed by Mandlikova's ranking of 5 for most of '81. She came into the US Open with 4 straight Slam finals and 2 wins (80 AO, 81 FO). Kinda wierd. She was seeded 5 and lost to Evert in the quarters.<br />God that was a year to remember.
I'll go way back and pick 1975. You had Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong, Virginia Wade, Navratilova(young), Margaret Court, Nancy Richey, Francoise Durr, Rosie Casals and Olga Morozova in the top 10 and throw in Kerry Reid and Betty Stove, all Grand slam winners or finalists. I would love to see the 1975 semifinals of Billie Jean King and Chris Evert Wimbledon where Billie won in three tough sets. Rumor has it that Chris feel apart while leading 3-0 in the final set when she saw her on again off again boyfriend, Jimmy Connors in the stands with an Actress. Both Billie and Chris talked about this incident in their Biography's.
I only wish I had seen Goolagong and King at their best...sigh <img src="graemlins/sad.gif" border="0" alt="[Sad]" />
I'd forgotten all about the Us Open seeding controversy MaryLinda. EVERYONE thought seeding Andrea at #2 was a crock, everyone except Andrea that is! Poor Chris and Hana, having to face off in the semis. I felt the same way about the Wimbledon final (sure you're not so alter ego? LOL <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <br />I knew that if Hana could beat Evert on clay, she'd just CRUSH her on grass! What a dissapointment. Just goes to show you never can tell, which is why I love this game.
2000 was the best for me, cause Venus in that year had won her first 2 slams. And she had also won 2 Olympic golds!! She was just simply amazing, that's why I think that it was just fantastic <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">