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Coming Down…

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

There’s always a bit of a come down after an event like the Australian Open – and I’m not just talking about the players here. It can be a draining experience for a tennis fan as well. You go all year watching limited tennis due to timezone differences then all of a sudden…BAM, 4 weeks straight, nothing but tennis 12 hours a day.

There’s bound to be a bit of a come down after that kind of committment. Sort of a smaller version of the come down a sports fan gets after the Olympics. There’s still a small vacuum in my life left as a result of the Sydney Olympics. I’m not sure that I’ll ever recover from that one. Well, not until the Olympics come back to Australia…in forty or fifty years.

So what do you do when you need a bit of a tennis fix – you jump on the internet and do a bit of browsing. And I tell you what, I may have come across the next big thing to rival tennis as the greatest racquet sport on earth. Once they get themselves a pin-up to launch a mass promotion campaign around, world domination will surely follow.

I’m talking about the burgeoning sport of…pickleball. Named after a favourite pet (aren’t all the great ones) this sport is described as a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Can you picture it yet? No, me either. But apparently it’s popularity is growing fast and it will be a feature event of the upcoming San Antonio Senior Games. Well every sport has to start somewhere I suppose.

Stay tuned, it could be coming to an X-games more »


Looking Forward

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

So the Australian Open has been and gone, but like every other Grand Slam tournament, what we saw will echo throughout the tennis year. There’s plenty of things to take away from the tournament, by players, fans and Grand Slam organisers.

One of my only concerns when looking back over the tournament has been the organisation. The organisation has been a worry to players and audiences alike in two different ways: one is the way in which the tournament itself is placed in the tennis calendar. Before the Grand Slam started, Roger Federer (President of the ATP Player Council) called for the tournament to be pushed back a bit to allow players to play in more exhibition tournaments etc before coming to Australia. Players have to make the tough decision as to how many matches they can play before they come the Australian Open; finding a balance between resting themselves and getting back into the swing of things before the first Grand Slam of the year.

The second issue I believe that the tournament needs to address, is the way in which the matches are spread. There were many occasions in which a player had to battle through a tough match whilst t more »

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