A hug is a sign of love, friendship, admiration or sympathy. A hug needs no translation – it doesn’t matter what language you speak, you know what it means. We saw a lot of hugs this year that we’ll never forget. They came at times when often words just wouldn’t do the trick and the only thing to do was hug. Here are the top 12 hugs of the year:
Honorable Mention – NovAndy: After Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the Australian Open semifinals, stopping Andy in his tracks yet again for a Grand Slam title, the two old friends shared a loving embrace.
Honorable Mention – Changing of the Guard: Laura Robson defeated Kim Clijsters 7-6, 7-6 in the second round of the US Open, thus ending Kim’s 22-match win streak at the Open and sending her into singles retirement.
Honorable Mention – Amici: Sara Errani defeated friend, compatriot and doubles partner Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Italian woman to reach a semifinal at the US Open. The two shared a warm hug at the net and then days later went on to win the US Open doubles title.
12. Pick Me Up: Unseeded Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek defeated the Bryan Brothers 7-6, 6-2 to win the Australian Open doubles title. And they celebrated in style.
11. Solo Nuzzle: Who says a hug needs two people? Serena Williams hugged her championship trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka to win the US Open women’s singles title.
10. Support For Support : After winning the Olympic Gold in London, Andy Murray lept into the stands to be congratulated by his team of supporters. The most memorable hug caught on camera was that to his longtime girlfriend Kim Sears. Love is lovely, isn’t it?
9. Amis Amour: Their match took two days but finally Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 3-6, 4-6 in their fourth round match at Roland Garros. The close friends shared a long hug at the net.
8. Armada-dorable: Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez defeated Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi to win the ATP World Tour Finals doubles title. The Spaniards vamos-ed, shared abrazos and were adorable while doing so.
7. Rafole: Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in an almost six hour epic final at the Australian Open. The two could barely stand at the end, but they could hug.
6. A Loving Send-Off: Juan Martin del Potro defeated Andy Roddick 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth round of the US Open, the final match of Roddick’s career, and the two shared a very loving moment at the net before Andy turned to the crowd to say goodbye.
5. HIS7ORIC Hug: Rafael Nadal had just won his record 7th Roland Garros title. He jumped up to his box to hug his family and friends, including NBA star Pau Gasol. Gasol’s beso on Rafa’s head was truly one of the most heart-melting moments of the year.
4. Your Time Will Come… Soon: Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to win Wimbledon and his 17th Grand Slam title. Few remember what Roger said to the crowd after his win, but almost everyone can remember the tear-jerking speech Andy gave. We all needed a hug after that one, as did Andy, and Roger was there to help.
3. Sister Success: Venus and Serena Williams had just defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka to win the Women’s Doubles Gold at London 2012. The two sister shared an excited hug, but the best part was the expression on Venus’ face – sheer joy.
2. Shoulder to Lean On: Roger Federer won his way into the Olympic singles final and a guaranteed medal with his victory over Juan Martin del Potro, winning the match 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. At 4 hours and 26 minutes, it was the longest three-set men’s match of the Open era. Despite there being a loser in the end, there were no losers in that match. Even so, a sad and drained Delpo found himself needing some consoling from the man who just broke his heart.
1. Hug From Great Britain: Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer to win Olympic Gold. While Andy handed out hugs to his box of close friends and family, Henry Caplan, age 11, raced down through the stands at Wimbledon’s Centre Court from row Z to give Andy something on behalf of all of Great Britain: A hug.
Henry told BBC Essex: “As soon as Andy Murray won I was crying with joy and hugging my dad. I told my dad to get off and the next minute I was gone. I was down by the royal bit in front of Federer’s mum and dad. Then I hugged Andy Murray. I just thought I had to be there. It was cool.”
It was pretty cool. The hug was caught on camera and broadcasted worldwide with everyone wondering who this young boy was. Was he related to Andy? How did he get there? Questions were later answered and knowing his ordeal to give his favorite athlete a hug after he won a Gold medal makes the hug even more touching.
(Photos: Roland Garros, Getty Images, Reuters, AP)