With the Australian Open dispensed with, Davis Cup a week away, and the Golden Spray already dousing the courts of South America, the timing seems appropriate, or at least convenient, to release The Next Point Annual 2011.
Completely free to download, this (somewhat hefty) volume includes just about all of my articles covering the 2011 season, starting from the Hopman Cup, and, fittingly, with Novak Djokovic. I have re-edited them, but only to correct the more glaring grammatical errors, and even then only when these grew so outrageous that the intended meaning was subverted. The factual errors and the errors of judgement have been left intact. This was not an exercise in retrospective omniscience, which would be pointless anyway, given that the original pieces are all still available on this site, warts and all.
Many readers have, kindly, pointed out that my tennis writing is not like most other tennis writing. Partially this was a matter of temperament, since I’m inclined to write in a way that some might consider old-fashioned, or at least in a way that resists the innate ephemerality of the internet. Consequently, I tend not to include very many links, and I only very rarely embed video. My personal view, as a writer, is that words should be sufficient, and that if they aren’t, that it is my shortcoming. It means that compiling my various pieces into this Annual was not an especially arduous task, since they were mostly written with something like this in mind. So, aside from being a matter of temperament, it was a matter of design.
The reason I do it at all, however, is largely a matter of personal satisfaction, which is fortunate, since so far no one is paying me, and it takes up plenty of my time. Whatever the shortcomings in these various pieces – and having now re-read many of them, I can attest that the shortcomings are legion – I am confident they aren’t the products of complacency. This is hardly a revelation, for it has been a labour of love. I hope you enjoy the Annual, and thank you sincerely for all the support.
The Next Point Annual 2011 can be downloaded here.