"Why Tennis Players Can't Dance"—that was the title of a Tom Perotta piece for The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, and it's a thought that carries through to today. Yesteryear's missteps on dance-centric "reality" shows by Monica Seles, Martina Navratilova, and Martina Hingis seemed to confirm this, as did Justine Henin's turn in a televised song-and-dance routine. Indeed, it appears that Gael Monfils may be the tennis star with the best (only?) moves:
Even so, what were this year's greatest, or at least most notorious, displays of letting loose, with the tennis court—or the treadmill, or a public space—as a dance floor? Can't the pros just be themselves and toss caution to yonder wind? Without further ballyhoo, here are my top dances of this year in tennis:
TWERKING GIRL First, that downright notorious dance, as performed by Victoria Azarenka with her longtime aide Meilen Tu by her side, on a treadmill, no less. Vika was timely with her get-low self, milking Miley Cyrus's moment for all it was worth.
The Verdict: One word: Dreadmill.
THE RETIREE WAKES Andy Roddick, how can we miss thee if thou dost never leave? Roddick joined FOX Sports 1 as a TV personality and interviewer this year, and the results are enjoyable, specifically his interviews with Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
Then there's his own brand of busting a move. On the cusp of interviewing Justin Timberlake about his latest projects, Roddick went rampant with a "Lord of the Dance" interpretation in Las Vegas that confirmed his status as the coolest dork on the planet. Too bad JT didn't care for it.
The Verdict: A bit stilted, but liquid courage can do wonders.
DANCE OF THE YEAR The award for best post-U.S. Open flourish goes to Novak Djokovic, who went undefeated after losing to Rafael Nadal in the Flushing Meadows finale. The Djoker also wins out as the dance champ of 2013, showing off some suave maneuvers in fittingly silly fashion after winning a match in Montreal. He did it to the sound of the Spin's song of the year, too, "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell. ("Blurred Lines" what?)
The Verdict: Goofy. Endearing. Entirely Novakian.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE Nole, at the same tournament, after the same result, but with a different hairstyle and supporting cast:
(Note: Only dances for which video was available appear here. If you've got a good one to share with the global tennis audience, you can do so in the comment field below.)
Now all this begs the question: What was your own favorite dance this year by an ATP or WTA pro? What did the Spin miss?
Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.