So after losing to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the Australian Open quarterfinals and to relatively unknown Flavia Pennetta of Italy at the French Open in the third round, Williams prepared herself for the faster surfaces of Wimbledon and the US Open.
At Wimbledon, Williams would fail to drop a single set, winning the ladies' final by overpowering and outserving her sister and 2003 Wimbledon champion Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4. Williams would finish the year by winning nine matches in a row to take titles indoors at Zurich, Switzerland and at the WTA Tour's year ending championships at Doha, Qatar.
At the US Open, Williams would say she was playing her best tennis. After watching Williams power indoors, hitting aces at will, I would agree.
Some might say the WTA Tour world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia had a more consistent year than Williams, winning four WTA Tour titles. But what is an elite tennis player without a grand slam title?
In men's tennis, world number one, Nadal raced to eight ATP Tour titles after beginning the year with a semifinal loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France at the Australian Open. At the French Open, the lefthander would lose only four games in the final match, beating world number two Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.
Then only a few days later at the Wimbledon final with light fading at the end of the match, Nadal again downed Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-7(8-10), 9-7. To cap off his spectacular year, Nadal would take gold in men's singles at the Beijing Olympics.
Among his career records, Nadal has won the French Open the last four years, never losing an attempt at Paris in his career. Nadal has also never lost a best of five set claycourt match in 43 five set matches on clay. But this year with his newfound prowess on grass and hardcourts, Nadal proved to be much more than the best claycourt player of all time.