2013 BTB Awards: Viral sensations
The Beyond The Baseline awards are our look back at the best — and worst — of the tennis season. Today, we look at videos, tweets, photos and more that captured the attention of not just tennis fans, but the sports world as a whole. Click here for our complete archive of year-end awards.
Roger Federer invites Twitter to #AskRF.
Federer finally caved and joined Twitter in May, and he didn't take long to embrace it. In October, he showed off his mastery of the medium when he fielded questions for his first Q&A session of "Ask RF." His #AskRF hashtag trended worldwide. Combined with his Reddit AMA from earlier in the year, Federer emerged as a social media maven in 2013.
And it looks like Federer will be hosting another #AskRF in the near future. Follow him, and don't miss out on the fun. (Who doesn't love that hashtag?)
Agnieszka Radwanska's outrageous hot shot against Kirsten Flipkens at the Sony Open.
This video has more than 3.3 million views, making it one of the most-watched tennis video on YouTube.
Jerzy Janowicz's and Viktor Troicki's meltdowns.
Both tirades topped our list of the worst meltdowns, but Janowicz's primal rage at the Australian Open and Troicki's comical one-man act (it even had props!) reminded even the casual sports fan that tennis is indeed still full of some colorful characters. Videos of the incidents have been viewed more than 2.4 million times combined.
Cancer survivor meets Federer at Wimbledon.
Beatriz Tinoco, a 17-year-old cancer survivor, tweeted about how the Make-A-Wish Foundation helped her fulfill her lifelong wish of meeting Federer. Even before ESPN aired footage of her time with Federer at Wimbledon as part of the network's "My Wish" series, blogs and news outlets all over the world picked up her tweets.
You can read her enthusiastic account in her own words here.
Serena Williams tweets proof of her injury.
No one doubted the severity of the ankle injury that Williams sustained early in the Australian Open, especially when it clearly hampered her play through the rest of the tournament. Seriously, she really didn't need to tweet this, but of course she did. And then we all freaked out.
Caroline Wozniacki wigs out.
The WTA Elite Eight show off their knowledge -- or not.
At the BNP Paribas Open, the WTA's top eight seeds were quizzed about each other, and the results were very funny. Sharapova's eye-rolling her way through the whole video makes it a classic.
Introducing Josh Berry, tennis impressionist extraordinaire.
It takes some skill to be able to do dead-on vocal impersonations of the international panoply of tennis players, but a British teenager was up to the task. Berry became something of a celebrity thanks to his YouTube videos imitating the likes of Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal with incredibly similar tone, intonation and vocabulary. Berry appeared on ESPN during Wimbledon and did his schtick for the Lawn Tennis Writers Association luncheon in London.
The best Andy Murray song ever written.
For all the overwrought Murray tributes that rolled out in advance of his Wimbledon triumph, none was more charming than Hey There Andy Murray by Far In Jim. The DIY ditty appropriately captured the muted enthusiasm that has always followed the man who would become Britain's Wimbledon champion.
When you win at the tennis
You make everybody happy
Then there is a pause
And we move on with our lives.
Sergiy Stakhovsky tweets a picture of a ball mark.
Before he "kicked the butt of Roger Federer" at Wimbledon, Stakhovsky was better known as (a) the most outspoken critic of equal prize money and (b) that dude who uses his phone to take pictures of disputed ball marks. Stakhovsky didn't just do it once, but twice -- first at a tournament in Munich, and then a few weeks later at the French Open. In fact, he may have single-handedly started a trend of using phones on court, because later, Bob Bryan used his phone to memorialize a ball mark, and Gael Monfils took his phone out to record the crowd going wild during one of his matches.
Taiwanese animators dissect Wimbledon.
We've been over how Wimbledon was the year's best Grand Slam, thanks to the unpredictable drama. Well, the fact that the Taiwanese animators contributed their impression confirms the craziness of the event.