Posted on: September 8, 2008 1:50 pm

Roger may win but

the tennis world is indeed a different world than a year ago.  Last year at the us open it seemed like Roger didn't really have to exert himself to win the title.  I don't know if he even lost a set.  This year we find both finalists having lost a set in the semis.  Roger has lost 3 sets total and Andy has lost 5.  Neither seems a sure bet.

Roger may win to get within 1 title of Pete Sampras.   He could just as easily lose.  Murray is not a deer in the headlights.  This may be his first Grand Slam final but he has been expecting this for a while.  He came to this tournament to win not just show.  He bested Nadal, who at number 1, perhaps was a little worn out from Beijing.  He has a good record against Roger.  If Andy pushes into 4 or 5 sets the pressure will be on Roger.  This could be a great match.
Category: Tennis
Tags: Federer, Murray
Posted on: August 4, 2008 3:37 pm

Numero Uno

Jelena Jankovic takes over number one for the women and Rafael Nadal takes over the top spot for the men on Aug 18th.  The ranking is determined by how a player has performed between today and a year ago today.  If a player skips a tournament this year that they won last year then they will miss out on those points.  What it means is that Jankovic has been the most consistent woman on the tour for the last 12 months.  She seems to make it to the final four in most tournaments.  Maria has missed some tournaments and Ivanovic was knocked out early at Wimbledon which discounted her winning the French.  I think you will see this change hands quite a few time in the coming months. 

For the men it has been more stable.  Rafa will hold his position as long as he doesn't get knocked off early in tournaments which is hard to picture.  How balanced will that crown be on his head?  Will Roger make a comeback now that the pressure is off of him?  Will Rafa feel the pressure of being numero uno as much as he felt the challenge of being Numero Dos?  Will he keep the crown as long as Roger did, or will Novak or Murray or Roger come and get it next?  What say you?
Category: Tennis
Posted on: August 1, 2008 7:59 am

Please!!! No more post match interviews

Some sportswriter asked Roger about his dropping to number 2 soon.  His answer was "I don't care".

Some writer asked Rafa about his becoming number 1 soon.  His answer was "I don't really think much about it"

Now the writers run off and build a story around these comments.  Are you kidding me?  Just write your stinking story and leave a guy who just lost in peace.  Leave a guy who is playing the best tennis in the world alone to work on keeping it up.  Let them play while you do the writing.  No wonder Serena Williams is blistered for her comments after losing at the Wimbledon final.  I think a player after a tough loss should say, "None of your stinking business" to the dumb sportswriter who asks, "How does it feel to lose?"

Category: Tennis
Posted on: July 7, 2008 4:34 pm

Not a Bad Finale

Wimbledon this year lived up to its billing in all respects.  I personally like tennis doubles and while i was disappointed the Bryans didn't make it to the finals they still made it to the mixed doubles final and faced each other.  Mike was teamed with Ekatarina Srebotnik and was the number one seed.  They lost the final to Bob who teamed with Samantha Stosur.  The mens final was won by Zimonjic and Nestor who beat the team that topped the Bryans in the semis - Ullyet and Bjorkman.  Jonas Bjorkman is retiring and that may have been motivation enough to knock off the Bryans.

The women had plenty of drama.  Venus played Serena for the title and it was a magnificent power game.  They two have, not surprisingly, played pretty even over the years.  Venus seems to have her heart set on Wimbledon and rose to the occasion to win for the 5th time here.  Then the sisters teamed to steamroll Raymond and Stosur who are what you could call doubles specialists 6-2,6-2.

Yes, we haven't forgotten the mens final.  It has joined the ranks of tennis classics as some are arguing it was the greatest tennis match ever played.  No one is arguing that it was the longest.  Nadal pried the crown away from Roger Federer's stiff fingers as dusk began to settle on the court 6-4,6-4,6-7,6-7, 9-7.  I am thankful the majors still play best of five sets so this one could go down as one of the great matches for the ages.

All those prognosticators who picked these two to make the final must have been happy and all those who didn't pick them to make the final must have been happy, too.  It was not a bad finale.  What happens next?  I don't think this will be the last we see of these two in the final of this and other tournaments.  They both will win more majors and one or both will break Pete Sampras record of 14 grand slams.

What say you?
Category: Tennis
Posted on: July 1, 2008 4:52 pm

Wimbledon Update

I really meant to post a message every day of Wimbledon - Alas duty calls.
It looks like the Williams sisters are cruising to the final and playing their usual power brand of tennis.
Dementieva and Jie will have their hands full.

On the mens side both Roger and Rafa have very interesting matches coming up tomorrow in the quarters.
Sure everyone expects them to meet Sunday for more than dinner, but tomorrows opponents shouldn't be counted out already.
Ancic is the last one to beat Roger on grass back before Churchill made his first speech.  Mario has been playing well and
you never know he could do it again.  Rafa, on the other hand, will be facing the latest British hope in Andy Murray.  Murray also has been playing well and he will surely have the crowd behind him.  This is the most drama in a quarterfinal to come along since perhaps Gasquet's dispatching Roddick last year.

If Roger and Rafa move on to the semis (most bets are on it) Roger will have another challenging time with Marat Safin.  Stating what may be the obvious, if Roger can beat Ancic, Safin, and a red hot Nadal then he will earn every bit of the reputation he has.  You could say - he came by it honestly.
Category: Tennis
Posted on: June 25, 2008 9:07 am

Funniest First Round at Wimbledon

Hrabaty is one of 3 men who have a winning record against Roger Federer.  He was 2 and 0 till yesterday.  Apparently Daniel is recovering from injury so he got into the draw based on his pre injury rank rather than his current rank which is plus 200.  He seemed to realize that he was over his head against Roger this time as Roger broke Daniel's serve at the beginning of the first two sets.  Then during the changeover before Roger was to serve for the match Daniel broke the etiquette of the tournament by coming over and sitting beside Roger and sharing a few laughs.  They both knew the outcome of the match was pretty much decided.  There was no mike on them to know what was said but their laughing and knowing this wasn't the thing to do during the match made it look pretty funny.  Roger is a class act and the backhand smash he made in the second set was one of many great shots.  Hrabaty made a highlight shot himself with his back to the net chasing down a lob which he flicked down the line.  Tops in entertainment was this match.
Category: Tennis
Posted on: June 9, 2008 1:47 pm

When it is OK to be number two

For over 150 weeks Rafael Nadal has been the number two tennis player in the world. This is the same world that only seems to respect number one. No one likes to lose. Avis years ago claimed to be number two, but everyone knew it was just a ploy to try to unseat Herz in the rent-a-car business. I think it was Lombardi who said 'winning isn't everything, but it sure beats everything else.' Nadal, however, is proving to be the exception to the rule. He is number two, but he has a following that continues to grow. On clay he fits the description of a sure bet. He has now won the French open four years in a row. Even more is the shellacking he just gave to Roger Federer in the final, 6-1,6-3,6-0. It was so bad he apologized to Roger afterward. This was no more a match than Marie Antoinette against the guillotine. If that's what the perennial number two does against the greatest player of all time then being number two isn't all bad.

Now we have a new debate on our hands. Is Nadal the greatest number two of all time? Is he better than most number ones in the past? Is he the greatest clay court player of all time? When you think about, the simple fact we can debate about the greatness of todays number two is amazing in itself.
Category: Tennis
Tags: Federer, Nadal
Posted on: April 23, 2008 11:02 am

Federer on the Ropes

Numero Uno Roger Federer looked like an old prize fighter being hammered against the ropes in the 12th round by the young up and comer.  He was down 5 to 1 in the third and had to come back with 5 straight games and then win the tie breaker.  It was a good rally.  No, this doesn't spell the end for him.  He could look shaky all the way to the final and then put on a display of his magic.  This is clay - not his best surface.  He doesn't fear clay like an American does but he is not the maestro of clay.  He only loses to Nadal regularly on clay.  This year you just don't know about Roger.  55 unforced errors in this one.  What is really being tested here is his confidence.  Confidence is the life blood of the tennis player.  Without it even superman begins to look like he swallowed a dose of kryptonite.  This time the prize fighter lashed out and decked the kid with a right hook that kept him going in this tournament.  What will happen next time?
Category: Tennis
Tags: Federer
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