March 2, 2014 by Parveer Mann
It’s Oscar Sunday.
As we anxiously wait to see if our favourite’s names are called, I’m going to attempt to pass the time by filling everyone in on the 2014 tennis season so far. As always there is a lot to choose from including two Grand Slam surprises, an unexpected title for Venus and the expansion of tennis in South America. But I’m going to continue a tradition started last year and look back at the first two month by awarding my equivalent of the Tennis Academy Awards.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Grigor Dimitrov. This award may be premature but it definitely indicates that Baby Fed is starting to live up to the hype. His impressive showings in Melbourne and Acapulco have vaulted him into the Top 20 and indicate that he will follow the ‘original’ Roger Federer and eventually become a Grand Slam champion.
Best Visual Effects: Roger Federer. After Gail Monfils won this award with a tweener last year at Rotterdam, Federer captures it with a dazzling one of his own in Dubai.
Best Live Action Short: Dominika Cibulkova. Sure she’s short (5’ 3”) but Cibulkova wins this award for her on-court perseverance. I had the fortune of watching most of her matches in-person at last year’s Rogers Cup and instantly noticed the energy she displays on court both in practice and during the game.
Best Original Song: Lorde ‘Tennis Court’. This almost wins by default. Tennis has never really been a sport that has inspired songs so when New Zealand sensation Lorde released this it was a big hit with TV productions across the world (including ESPN’s Australian Open coverage).
Best Actor: Stanislas Wawrinka. Not unlike the movies, there always seems to be a supporting character in sport that emerges to take on a bigger role. This year, the Australian Open became Stan’s first starring role and he won universal acclaim for it. He upended two members of the Big Four and in the process allowed everyone in on his miraculous journey.
Best Actress: Li Na. I didn’t choose Na because she would make a killer acceptance speech (she would) but her win in Melbourne was a great showcase of a player not backing down from her expectations. When Serena and Vika lost early, Li Na became the tournament favourite and she couldn’t of looked better in the role steamrolling opponents on her way to a second Grand Slam.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave. In this hotly contested year, this award could also go to Gravity or American Hustle. I think the Academy ultimately chooses Steve McQueen’s beautifully raw biopic.
Regardless who wins, this Oscar and tennis season has already been highly competitive and unpredictable. But the good thing is the tennis season keeps on going and we get to see more action all year.