Archive for July, 2010

 

Coaches and glass

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Davis Cup

There’s been a lot of Davis Cup matches going on since the end of Wimbledon, with the matches heating up as it comes closer to the culmination of the year. Serbia have reached their first Davis Cup final after a tense battle with Croatia. Novak Djokovic eventually got to celebrate with his team mates after sealing a 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory over Marin Cilic. The match took place in the Croatian city of Split, and the final clash was between Janko Tipsarevic against Croatia’s Antonio Veic, with the Serb winning 6-2 7-6 (7-5). France have also made it into the semi-finals after a 5-0 battering of the defending champions Spain (admittedly with a very diminished team). Giles Simon got the score to 4-0 and Julien Benneteau took the final defeat against Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-3) 6-4. The Czech Republic has also made it through the semi-final after beating Chile. Argentina will now face France, after their close win against Russia in Moscow. In Eastbourne, Great Britain trumped Turkey 5-0 in therirDavis Cup Europe/Africa Group II play-off…well, at least it’s something.

Delpo ‘expected’ at US Open

Good news for all of us Delpo fans, Juan Martin del Potro is ‘expected’ to return to Grand Slam tennis at the US Open. He hasn’t played since leaving the Australian Open back in January, and the 21 year old had at first downplayed the idea of him coming back to defend his title, wanting to take the healing process slowly. But according to hi more »

 

Looking forward to the US Open…

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

So for the next Grand Slam, the players will be making the pilgrimage to America, where the US Open starts on 27th August. Who will be the ones to watch, and what things should we be looking out for, when the tournament gets under way?

1. Star appearances

You can always guarantee the stars will be out in force whenever there’s a top player on the court, particularly in the final stages. Maybe the big man himself Barack Obama will grace Flushing Meadows with his presence? Or maybe not.

2. Kids Day

Talking of stars, which stars will elect to appear at Kids Day, the fun and games opening to the tournament? Big names in tennis, comedy and acting do their best to make the day special for the kids lucky enough to get tickets to the event. Maybe Barack Obama can umpire a match of McEnroe verses Federer? Again, maybe not.

3. Absent del Potro

It’s sad to say, but the one person we won’t be seeing at Flushing Meadows will be last year’s champion. Juan Martin del Potro is still recovering from a wrist injury; even if at the last moment he decides to play, he has barely played since the beginning of the year. Last reports suggest he hopes to be back for the Paris Indoor tournament not long after the US Open. It’s a shame when a defending champion cannot actual partake in any defence of his title, but as Rafa showed at Wimbledon just because you have a year out of a tournament doesn’t mean you’re done for good. Del Potro lingers at  more »

 

Best Bits of Wimbledon 2010

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Best Bits of Wimbledon 2010; the top ten of everything good and entertaining at this year’s Wimbledon.

1. The Longest Match in History

Unfortunately Juan Martin del Potro could not attend Wimbledon, but a replacement Big Friendly Giant could be found in the just as lovely (and even taller) John Isner. He, along with Frenchman Mahut, played the longest match in tennis history;  a match that spanned 3 days, and a jaw-dropping 11 hours and 5 minutes. No wonder Isner went crashing out in his next match, I was surprised his legs didn’t fall off before he managed to put away the winning point on that 11 hour match…

2. The Latest Day at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic and Olivier Rochus finished their match at 10.58pm thanks to the new roof over Wimbledon, the latest finish in Wimbledon history. It is written in the planning permission for the new roof and for Wimbledon, apparently, that no match can go beyond 11pm. Of course, the All England Tennis club could simply just decide to pay the fine for doing so, but thankfully none of that was needed.

3. The Djoker’s Back…

As a fan of Djokovic, it was nice to see him back to his more cheery self during the tournament. Ripping his shirt off at the end of his winning matches seemed certainly more like the old, carefree Djokovic that won the Australian Open in 2008. Good to have you back Nole.

4. …so is Rafa…

Rafael Nadal is certainly back on the form that gave hi more »

 

Rafa’s Back…

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Today on Centre Court, The Raging Bull from Majorca was just too strong for the tricky 24 year old from the Czech Republic in this year’s Wimbledon final. Bjorn Borg predicted 4 sets to Berdych, Jonh McEnroe 4 sets to Rafa, but both turned out to be run; despite the fight of his life, Berdych went down in three sets to the returning champion.

Yes, he’s back. After a year blighted by injury and having to miss Wimbledon, Rafa looked completely back at home on the green grass of SW19. It hadn’t always looked that way; he dropped a number of sets before his final match, but as it got closer to his potential final appearance his game was back to impeccable Rafa standard. Like a key change in a cheesy boy band ballad, suddenly Nadal’s game had gone up a gear and the crowd were on their feet as the champion returned. His victory over home favourite Andy Murray was a strong omen for what was about to come.

Berdych was infallible as the game started; whatever nerves and shakes he had about appearing in his first Grand Slam final were invisible. Wimbledon isn’t your normal Grand Slam final either; the whole tortuous process of the long, long walk from the locker room, down the shining staircase into that glass-and-polished-wood lobby where the names of former champions look down on you. And then there’s crossing under that archway, emblazoned with the famous words from the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling, that embody the Wimbledon tournament: ‘If you can meet with triumph and di more »

 

Women’s Finals

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Once again, Serena Williams made it clear why the Williams family are treated with such respect and awe when it comes to tennis. Out of the past 11 titles taken at Wimbledon in the women’s tournament, 9 of those have been won by a Williams sister. Now that is an impressive statistic.

The finals match against Zvonareva was over in just 66 minutes, but it was undoubtedly the biggest 66 minutes of the Russian’s life. She came a cropper at 6-3 6-2, but she battled in a way that certainly justified her place in the women’s final. She did good not to go with a lower score, managing to see off a break point to level 303 in the first set. Williams missed the second break point, but she took the next with some true Williams style.

She also remained incredibly calm, managing to keep any emotion that would bring her game under any more pressure. But at the end of the match, she was disappointed with her form. It must be difficult to go out in a final with a scoreline of 6-3 6-2, even if it is against one of the most brutal players on the women’s circuit. On match point, she could only watch forlornly as a smash flew past her into the back wall and Serena took the title.

Admitting that she was disappointed and hadn’t played her best, it was still a remarkable achievement for a player that underwent surgery just last year, and ranked 21st in Russia. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how fantastic a run you have, coming up against Serena Williams in a final at a tournament that is s more »

 
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