Editor’s note: This week, we will unveil our top moments from the 2022 season. Here’s a look at the categories:
- Monday: Top match
- Tuesday: Biggest upset
- Wednesday: Top rivalry
- Thursday: Most unexpected champion
- Friday: Best celebration
You have the spin and dance, the kiss and wave and, of course, the leaps of joy. But what was our favorite celebration of the year?
Here are our top picks:
Yulia Putintseva, Rome
In Rome, Yulia Putintseva told me: "I'm like a gangster on court, but an angel off court." The very next day, the pugnacious Kazakh triumphed in a tempestuous three-setter 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 against Garbiñe Muguruza, pulling off an unlikely comeback from 6-3, 5-3 down.
Demonstrating her trademark tenacity, Putintseva was unafraid to orchestrate the crowd on winning particularly impressive points; by the third set, she was hitting dropshot return winners for fun. And on sealing match point, she channelled her inner Jay Z, brushing the dirt off her shoulders with a satisfied smile.
A close second -- on the same day in Rome! -- was Putintseva's doubles partner Danielle Collins blowing air from her racquet after blasting yet another *chef's kiss* winner past Simona Halep. -- Alex Macpherson
Caroline Garcia, WTA Finals Fort Worth
Surely nothing feels better than coming out of the final match of the year as the victor, and for Garcia, the emotions of taking home the season-ending championships were written all over her face.
Collapsing to the floor in Fort Worth in sobs, running over to celebrate with her team, embracing her parents who have been present every step of the way, it was the culmination of what was probably the most surprising year of her career, where in the span of five months she skyrocketed back to her career-high ranking of No.4 after a couple of seasons in the rankings wilderness.
Garcia’s trademark #FlyWithCaro celebration was nowhere to be found at that moment; the enormity of her accomplishments instead took over her body, leading to something more spontaneous and poignant. It was the manifestation of the tennis community deeply exhaling as another exciting season went in the books. -- Jason Juzwiak
Ashleigh Barty, Australian Open
The Queenslander left her most cathartic, exultant, and iconic celebration for her last. Few knew for certain that the Australian Open would be Barty’s final tournament, but looking back at how the then-No.1 reacted to winning her third and final major to end Australia’s 44-year drought on home soil, it’s clear that she was saying goodbye.
When she won her first major at the French Open, Barty reacted with complete disbelief. When she came through to fulfill her childhood dream of winning Wimbledon, she crumbled to the grass in tears. But after playing a perfect tournament in Melbourne, which saw her win all 14 sets she played, Barty fired the final forehand winner of her career and matched the partisan crowd with an uncharacteristic roar of her own. -- Courtney Nguyen