The Record Breaking Start to 2019
The first two and a half months of 2019 have been very exciting for tennis fans. Djokovic cemented his comeback from injury with his third straight grand slam title, Naomi Osaka backed up her win at the US open with an epic victory over Petra Kvitová in the Australian Open final, Ivo Karlovic became the oldest player to make an ATP final since 1977, and Nick Kyrgios upset three top ten players on his way to winning an ATP 500 title in Acapulco.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the season so far, however, is that in the thirty two tournaments that have been played so far between the ATP and WTA tour, we’ve seen thirty two different title winners. Let’s take a look at each tournament from this year and its winner.
|Doha (250)||Roberto Bautista Agut|
|Brisbane (250)||Kei Niskikori|
|Pune (250)||Kevin Anderson|
|Sydney (250)||Alex de Minaur|
|Auckland (250)||Tennys Sandgren|
|Australian Open (Grand Slam)||Novak Djokovic|
|Montpellier (250)||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga|
|Sofia (250)||Daniil Medvedev|
|Córdoba (250)||Juan Ignacio Londero|
|Rotterdam (500)||Gaël Monfils|
|New York (250)||Reilly Opelka|
|Buenos Aires (250)||Marco Cecchinato|
|Rio (500)||Laslo Đere|
|Marseille (250)||Stefano Tsitsipas|
|Delray Beach (250)||Radu Albot|
|Dubai (500)||Roger Federer|
|Acapulco (500)||Nick Kyrgios|
|São Paulo (250)||Guido Pella|
|Indian Wells (1000)||Dominic Thiem|
- Seven players won their first ATP title this year.
- France, Australia, Serbia, United States, and Argentina each have two title winners.
- Medvedev, Pella, Federer, and Tsitsipas are the only players to have made multiple finals.
- Pune, the Australian Open, and Marseille were the only tournaments won by the first seed (Nishikori was seeded second in Brisbane even though the first seed, Nadal, withdrew).
- Six tournaments: Sydney, Auckland, Buenos Aires, Rio, Marseille, and São Paulo were each won without the winner dropping a set.
|Brisbane (Premier)||Karolína Plíšková|
|Shenzhen (International)||Aryna Sabalenka|
|Auckland (International)||Julia Görges|
|Sydney (Premier)||Petra Kvitová|
|Hobart (International)||Sofia Kenin|
|Australian Open (Grand Slam)||Naomi Osaka|
|St. Petersburg (Premier)||Kiki Bertens|
|Hua Hin (International)||Dayana Yastremska|
|Doha (Premier)||Elise Mertens|
|Dubai (Premier 5)||Belinda Bencic|
|Budapest (International)||Alison Van Uytvanck|
|Acapulco (International)||Wang Yafan|
|Indian Wells (Premier Mandatory)||Bianca Andreescu|
- Three players won their first WTA title this year (Kenin, Yafan and Andreescu).
- Czech Republic and Belgium each have two title winners.
- Petra Kvitova has made the most finals with 3.
- Sofia Kenin is the only player to have won a title without dropping a set.
- Shenzhen and Budapest were the only tournaments won by the first seed.
Has this ever happened before?
The short answer is no, this has definitely never happened before—we’ve never had zero multi-title winners nineteen tournaments into the year. If we have a look back we’ll discover that there’ll always be someone that jumps above the rest and secures multiple titles early in the year. Let’s take a look back at the last twenty years of the ATP and see which player was first to hit two titles.
|Year||Player||Title 1||Title 2||Date of second title|
|2018||Roger Federer||Australian Open||Rotterdam||18-Feb|
|2017||Jack Sock||Auckland||Delray Beach||26-Feb|
|2016||Novak Djokovic||Doha||Australian Open||31-Jan|
|2014||Stan Wawrinka||Chennai||Australian Open||26-Jan|
|2012||Milos Raonic||Chennai||San Jose||19-Feb|
|2007||Xavier Malisse||Chennai||Delray Beach||4-Feb|
|2006||Roger Federer||Doha||Australian Open||29-Feb|
|2005||Gaston Gaudio||Vina del Mar||Buenos Aires||13-Feb|
|2003||Andre Agassi||Australian Open||San Jose||16-Feb|
|2002||Davide Sanguinetti||Milan||Delray Beach||10-Mar|
|2001||Gustavo Kuerten||Buenos Aires||Acapulco||4-Mar|
|1999||Yevgeny Kafelnikov||Australian Open||Rotterdam||21-Feb|
To see this list as far back as the beginning of the Open Era, check out sellyme’s post on Reddit here.
- Never in the open era has men’s tennis gotten eighteen tournaments into the year without a dual title winner.
- Lleyton Hewitt has been the fastest to achieve two titles by winning titles in the first two weeks of the year in 2000.
- Davide Sanguinetti’s two titles to begin the year in 2002 were the only two titles of his career.
- The only member of the Big 4 not to appear on this list is Rafael Nadal.
- In only two years, 2001 and 2006, did the player who first won two titles finish the season with most or tied for the most titles.
- In 1988 Mats Wilander was the first player to win multiple titles in the ATP and didn’t win his second title until the 27th of March—however this was only the sixteenth tournament of the year.
We’ve really never seen a year start off like this, and it’s exciting to think that so much has happened in just the first two months. It certainly looks like there’s an exciting year ahead of us as we hit the first couple of Masters 1000 events and then swing into the clay season.