Archive for August, 2010

 

Men’s Draw Surprises

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

First, let’s admit it: Aiur probably has it right: the four semi-finalists are going to be Nadal, Murray, Roddick and Federer.  And, yes, probably it will be Murray and Federer in the final.  I think Murray wins that one if it happens.

But  let’s assume that conventional wisdom is wrong for a moment and consider the possibilities.  Rafa will probably have little trouble with Denis Istomin, or with the Simon/Kohlschreiber winner in the third, though both matches contain elements of danger for Rafa.  If Rafa wins those two, he has a virtual walkover in R16.  That’s when it gets tricky, friends.  He gets whoever comes through of Verdasco, Ferrer and Nalbandian.  No problem, you may say: Rafa owns the other Spaniards.  True enough, but Nalbandian is Argentine, and I think he makes it through to the quarters with a nearly even shot against Rafa.

Murray will waltz through to the quarters, where the only thing that can keep him from meeting Berdych would be a miracle recovery by John Isner followed by a great serving day in R16.  Personally, I’m hoping that occurs, but I’m not exactly holding my breath.  In all likelihood, it’s Murray over Berdych in four sets, but if Murray were having an off day serving and Berdych were able to overcome his nerves, an upset could occur.

Roddick will roll over Monfils in R3.  He has only the Davydenko/Gasquet winner to worry about before the quarters.  Once again, there it gets dicey.  He will meet the winner of Djokovic/Fish.  This is abs more »

 

US Open Preview

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Well ladies and gentleman, it’s late August and for a tennis fan that can only mean it’s US Open time. The last ‘Slam of the year, hosted by America’s most famous city in a time of transition. Back to school for the kids, Summer passing the torch to Autumn. In this time of transition, however, there is one constant. Every year at this time the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center springs to life for one last grandiose event of the season. One last event for someone to make history, to turn a good season into a great one or a bad season into a spark for next season. So, with the tournament only a few hours away, the questions on everyone’s minds are simple: who are the tournament favorites, who is most likely to be upset and of course, who will be the cinderella story. Well, without further ado, let’s get into those topics.

Starting with the men’s field, let’s delve into some of the favorites.

1. Rafael Nadal – Rafa will get another chance to tackle the only ‘Slam that has eluded him in his young career. Nadal comes in with a sparkling hardcourt record on the season, but he has had trouble finding his game in Toronto and Cincinnati. Is it possible Rafa is out of gas, much like he has been at the US Open in the past? Final prediction – Semis

2. Roger Federer – 5-time champion Roger Federer will look to become King of New York again after a stunning defeat last year. Federer comes in riding high, winning the more »

 

Here it comes….

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Yep, it’s that time of year folks. We move from the leafy greens of Wimbledon and the achingly hot clay of France and move to the hard courts of the good ol’ US of A. The draws have been released and for the first time we get an idea of what this year will have in store for us. Of course things are constantly changing throughout an Open, but for now here are a few truths we can assure ourselves of going into the final Grand Slam:
No Delpo
For those that were holding their breath and crossing all things that could be crossed that Juan Martin del Potro will be back in time for the US Open (as I was), then there’s some unfortunate news. Del Potro, as defending champion of the US Open, will not be able to compete and defend his title in this year’s tournament. His wrist injury has kept him out of tennis almost since the beginning of the year, and after two weeks of easing his way into the game he has decided that his wrist cannot stand up to the task of a tournament. It’s such a shame after seeing a player reach a career high of fifth in the world, for him to then suffer such a debilitating injury that has pervaded throughout the whole season. One can only hope he keeps his spirits up during the time off; he will need his mental strength when he comes back in the game so he can claw his way back up to the top.
Other Absente more »

 

Round up of news

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Doubles Distress

It seems that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have a little way to go before breaking the world of doubles: at the Rogers Cup in Toronto they fell to a surprised defeat against Canadian wildcards Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic. The two were expected to do well considering their singles ranking and history in the game of tennis, but it just proves that doubles is not just a case for two world class singles players to step into lightly: just because you can play singles, does not necessarily mean you can play doubles. Particularly at the top levels, doubles is highly specialised, and the partners live and breathe each other’s game for years to be able to gel and climb their way up the rankings.

Still, the event made a little bit of tennis history: it’s the first time in 34 years that two top singles players have joined together to try to create a tennis ‘Dream Team’.  The last two to try were Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe, who reached a quarter final and a final. Comparing their success to Nadal and Nole’s failure seems a tad harsh, however: the doubles game, like the singles, has changed drastically, and become much more of a speciality. It breeds a new type of player; no-one would ask a sprinter from a cycling team to win the day by winning on a mountain stage, now would they?

Of course Serena and Venus Williams knocks that theory right on the head, being champions in both singles and doubles. The except that proves the rule.

more »