Archive for November, 2009

 

The Finals Finale

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Maybe I am just a tennis-starved Brit who has never quite seen anything as exciting as this come to her home soil, but I am already trawling to find the date for tickets to go on sale for the ATP World Tour Finals 2010.

The final big tennis event on the year came into London in a surprising amount of support. The BBC seemed constantly surprised that anyone turned up to the O2 when Andy Murray wasn’t playing, but I hope it proved to them the worth of following the tennis hysteria some countries can catch when tournaments sweep by.

The singles finals was broadcasted live by the BBC in England, which is an accolade in itself as Andy Murray hadn’t even made it to the semi-finals. With Juan Martin del Potro being the first so far in the competition to beat Robin Soderling, and Nikolay Davydenko having sent the world no. 1 out into the cold, it was a final match-up that no-one could have predicted (and if they did, then please point them out to me, I need to grovel at their feet). It was a little and large line-up, with Nikolay Davydenko standing 5ft 10in (1.78m) to Delpo’s 6ft 6in (1.98m). The Russian is quick, nimble, with a lot of power behind his shots he delivers at some devastating angles. The Argentinean is powerful, quick to read the game, with the arm span of a small Boeing jet.

At the end of his semi-finals win over Soderling, Juan Martin responded to a listing of his great achievements this year by gushing ‘Yes but I am still sing more »

 

ATP World Tour Finals

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Walking up to the O2 arena from the North Greenwich underground stop on Wednesday 25th November, alongside a thousand or so other fans with tickets clutched in hand, I started to get an idea of what exactly the Barclays ATP World Tour Final has done for London. Here – in a stadium that was belittled and despised as a pathetic eyesore not long ago -  tennis was coming to London in a way it never had before. It was the antithesis of the traditional strawberries-and-cream, soggy weather and knitted cardigans Wimbledon.

On the walk up to the front doors, a covered walkway is passed with ten feet high posters of all the stars appearing in the tournament. The inside is a wonderful mix of consumer sponsorship and a new, exciting world where tennis is fun and plays to an audience of 17,000. Suddenly, tennis in England is cool.

more »

 

After the fairy tale in New York…

Monday, November 9th, 2009

As the fairy dust started to settle after the climax of the US Open, those who only follow the Grand Slams switched off and started to wait patiently for the build up to the Australian Open. If anyone else has kept an eye on the various ATP and WTA tournaments since the end of September, they will know that it’s hardly been a quiet time since Juan Martin del Potro caused jaws to drop to the floor. You’d think that with all the grand slam excitement over, the rest of the season would dribble out into a quiet goodbye. Quite the opposite.

I think the best way to go about summarising the last month or so is to move through the major tournaments, looking at who flourished or dive-bombed at each. I will deal with any Davis Cup victories/defeats in later blogs.

After the drama in America, the attention turned to East Asia. In China at the end of October, Marin Cilic caused a bit of a stir by sending Nadal from the tournament in the semi-finals. The Croat giant beat the Majorcan 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 22 minutes. Rafa was beset by knee and stomach problems, something which everyone in tennis will be keeping an eye on as the end of the year starts to round up.

It was Novak Djokovic, however, who finally lifted the trophy. And despite all the effort Murray had put in during the year, his highest ranking to date was taken away from him by the Serb who reclaimed his world no. 3 spot after the win(Murray himself had to pull out of the event in China due to a wrist inj more »