2020 was a difficult year for professional sports, and tennis is a prime example of that. At the start of season 2021, the future seems more uncertain than ever. Here are the top seven questions we hope the new year (and season) will answer!
1. Will Novak Djokovic Continue to Dominate Male Tennis?
Despite tournament delays and cancelations, 2020 sure was a good year for Nole, minus his surprising disqualification from the US Open, of course. He embarked on an impressive 29-match winning spree that resulted in two Masters titles and one Grand Slam. Novak ended at the top of ATP yet again, but with the chasing pack getting closer, the question remains. Will Djokovic keep his No. 1?
2. Will Andy Murray Challenge the Top Again?
It’s been almost exactly one year since Andy lifted silverware and his shaky performance throughout the 2020 tennis season was far from convincing. There were glimmers of hope, however, with his defeat over Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie, so Murray’s future is yet unknown.
3. When Will the Swiss Maestro Return to Tennis?
The question on everybody’s mind, when will Roger Federer grace us with his masterful play again? The delayed 2021 Australian Open will mark a full calendar year since Federer last played a competitive match. With his knee surgery recovery and him being 39 years old, its unclear whether he will focus solely on Wimbledon and the Olympics. After all, this can potentially be Roger’s last year on the tour.
4. Is Rafael Nadal Going to Move Ahead of Roger Federer?
Any tennis lover knows the tight Grand Slam race between the Rafa, Rog, and Nole trio. It’s Federer who holds the current record, but with him out of play for an uncertain period of time, it seems possible that Nadal could overtake him.
5. Will Serena Williams Finally Win Her No. 24?
It’s been three years since Serena started chasing the elusive 24th Grand Slam title, and with 2021 offering four more opportunities, fans are hopeful the moment has finally come. On her journey to number 24, Serena lost four major finals and the US Open semi-final last year. Many pointed to her becoming a mother and the increased psychological pressure to win as the reasons for her inability to equal Margaret Court’s record.
6. Is There Going to Be a 2021 Wimbledon?
Given that Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam tournament that was canceled last year, it’s questionable whether professional tennis will be played at the notorious All England Club again this year.
7. Will 2021 Be Naomi Osaka’s Year of Triumph?
When the star first broke out, many compared Naomi Osaka to Serena Williams in her younger years. The talented Japanese player has won three Grand Slam titles so far in her stellar career, and it looks like her reign in women’s tennis is just getting started. Will veterans Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Petra Kvitova manage to challenge her? Or perhaps, it will be rising stars like Karolina Pliskova who will do it? Only one way to find out…
Although an MLB player could have a very successful career, at some point, everyone has to retire, however difficult it might be. Currently, there are some players for whom it has been speculated for some time that retirement is just around the corner.
Who Are the MLB Players Who Might Retire Next Year
Certainly, when an MLB player starts considering retirement, there must be a good reason behind it. While many retire due to an injury, some do it because they’ve done it all. Currently, there are MVPs, batting legends, and Cy Young Award and World Series winners that fans believe are on the precipice of retirement. Here are five players who are likely to retire after 2021.
Designated Hitter Nelson Cruz of the Tampa Bay Rays
Back in February, Nelson Cruz, 41, made it clear that retirement was not on his mind. However, he was playing for the Minnesota Twins at the time and has since been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. He now has a legitimate opportunity to win a World Series, and Cruz had done everything else. Fans now believe that a World Series might push him in the direction of retirement.
First Baseman Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Dodgers
After the public, ugly split between Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels, many have acknowledged what everyone was noticing, particularly that the 41-year-old does not have too much energy left in him for the game. His results have diminished since his strong days, and so has his role on the team of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether he stays in the MLB as a quality reserve or decides to retire remains to be seen.
Starting Pitcher Rich Hill of the New York Mets
The Mets’ Rich Hill has been denying having plans for retirement for the past couple of years, but he is now approaching 42. Hill has changed four teams during the past three seasons, even though he has been performing at a high level. The motivation for Hill to keep playing is to win a World Series, and he just missed an opportunity with the Dodgers and any potential he had with the Rays. If he does not join a contender, his retirement seems reasonable.
Starting Pitcher J.A. Happ of the St. Louis Cardinals
Many wonder how long J.A. Happ plans to continue pitching after he turns 39 this October. He has already won a World Series early in his career and was an All-Star in 2018. Happ has been performing well, but it is clear that he has more playing days behind him than in front. According to experts, he is probably thinking about retirement after every season. Still, he has a chance to win another MLB World Series with the Cardinals.
Catcher Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants
The legendary catcher Buster Posey, who is playing for the San Francisco Giants, has nothing left to prove after the last decade. His legacy is secure with three World Series titles behind his back and an NL MVP award. He also has four Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove. Posey is now 34 and having his best season since 2017 while playing for the best team in baseball.