Tennis: Murray and Kerber seize power and eye domination

Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:38am EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Audacious coups by Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber have transformed the tennis landscape and they will begin 2017 eyeing the kind of domination that few would have thought possible at the start of a seismic year.

With the so-called big four in men's tennis crumbling, the 29-year-old Murray emerged to seize power, winning the Wimbledon title and the Olympic gold medal before a relentless late-season charge toppled Novak Djokovic from his pedestal.

Kerber loosened Serena Williams' grip on the women's game, reaching three grand slam finals and winning two of them, beginning against Williams at the Australian Open when she became Germany's first major winner since Steffi Graf in 1999.

Both Murray and Kerber ended 2016 as world number ones. Yet back in January Djokovic and Williams looked immovable.

Djokovic trounced Murray in three sets to win the Australian Open -- emulating Roy Emerson's six titles in the process.

"I feel like I've been here before," Murray quipped after a fourth defeat in a Melbourne final to Djokovic.

Djokovic downed Murray again to win a rain-lashed French Open in June, taking his haul of majors to 12 and meaning he held all the sport's crown jewels simultaneously.

What is more, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal nursing injuries and Murray seemingly under his spell Djokovic's path to the first calendar-year grand slam since Rod Laver in 1969 looked inviting.   Continued...

Tennis Britain - Barclays ATP World Tour Finals - O2 Arena, London - 20/11/16 Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates with the Year-End No. 1 Trophy Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs