Novak & Serena Favoured Again In Melbourne

Jan 18, 2016

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, the respective men’s and women’s world No.1 tennis players on the planet, commenced the defence of their respective Australian Open crowns today as the first Grand Slam for 2016 got underway in Melbourne, Novak and Serena are both favoured to win their respective singles championships again this year after sweeping all before them on Rod Laver Arena in 2015, Djokovic is a raging hot favourite heading into the men’s event while Williams is a warm favourite with most tennis experts and pundits alike in the women’s championship, it is certainly hard to argue with either player being installed as favourite in their respective singles events again in 2016.

Novak ended the 2015 season in superb touch and the 28 year old Serb was seemingly untouchable in all the major men’s events toward the end of last season, Serena on the other hand hadn’t played a competitive match before Melbourne since her shock loss to Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals of the 2015 US Open, the players have had somewhat different preparations coming into the first major event of the season but the one constant that remains is that both are still on top of the world and expected to do well on centre court once again.

Djokovic is in sublime form and I have never seen Nole so confident in his own ability and his own game, Williams on the other hand doesn’t exude the same confidence right now as Djokovic does, Serena could easily build into the tournament though and if she more »

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Flavia Pennetta Ends Grand Slam Career On A High

Sep 13, 2015

The 2015 US Open women’s singles champion is the Italian Flavia Pennetta, yes that’s correct, it is not a misprint or a silly joke, the 33 year old native from Brindisi has won seven matches to complete an unlikely title run in New York, she then ended her Grand Slam career by announcing that she will retire at seasons end, Pennetta toppled world No.4 Petra Kvitova and world No.2 Simona Halep back to back to reach the women’s decider at Flushing Meadows, almost everybody would have picked that Flavia would have then been playing Serena Williams in the womens singles final, but Pennetta’s compatriot Roberta Vinci caused the shock of the entire tennis season by ousting Serena in a dramatic semi-final.

Pennetta was likely a beneficiary of not having the world’s media attention on her after Vinci grabbed all the headlines by ending Serena’s quest for a calendar Grand Slam, Flavia has always enjoyed playing in New York but even she would have conceded at the start of the tournament that she was a longshot to win the title, her odds would have shortened dramatically for the final once Vinci knocked out the hot favourite Williams, the 2015 US Open women’s singles championship has been anything but the status quo, two Italian women in a Grand Slam final and both had previously never reached the big dance at a major before, the tournament saw numerous seeds falling early but it still appeared most likely that it would be William versus Halep or Kvitova in the final, nobody checked  more »

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Anderson Ends Murray’s 2015 US Open

Sep 8, 2015

The big-serving South African Kevin Anderson has produced the first major upset in the men’s championship at Flushing Meadows by ousting the 3rd seed and former champion Andy Murray in the fourth round, Anderson outplayed his more illustrious opponent in their round of sixteen match-up, with the tournament 15th seed showing he is becoming more and more comfortable playing against the big boys in men’s tennis, Anderson served strongly but it was his general play which impressed against Murray.

Anderson had almost as twice as many winners as the Brit and instead of being handed the match, big Kev took it upon himself to win the match against all predictions, the 29 year old native from Johannesburg in South Africa has been knocking on the door of breaking into the world’s top ten in recent times and his run in New York will move him closer to that elite group, Murray missed out on making the last eight at a Grand Slam for the first time in five years, the last time Andy missed out on a quarter-final spot in a major was at the 2010 US Open where he lost in the third round to Stan Wawrinka.

Anderson will now face the 4th seeded Wawrinka in the last eight, Kevin has beaten Stan the past four times they have played and currently holds a 4-3 head to head record against the Swiss, so he is certainly in with a great chance to make the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, will the South African continue his surge towards the top ten or will the current French Open champion rise to  more »

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Seeds Fall Early In New York

Sep 2, 2015

The first two days of the 2015 US Open have thrown up plenty of surprises already with twelve of the 64 seeded players in singles competition going out in the first round, most notable among the men’s seeds falling early was the 4th seed and 2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori who went down in five sets to the Frenchman Benoit Paire, the French duo of Gilles Simon (11th seed) and Gael Monfils (16th seed) followed suit losing to Donald Young and Illya Marchenko respectively, Monfils was unfortunate however suffering an injury and having to retire, the women’s singles draw however has seen plenty of carnage in two days, nine of the top 32 seeds have fallen already with the popular Czech Lucie Safarova (6th seed), Ana Ivanovic (7th seed), Karolina Pliskova (8th seed) and Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro (10th seed) being the most notable among them.

With the Grand Slam events having 32 seeded draws now, there will always be upsets which include players seeded between 16-32 but what is surprising this year in New York is the number of higher ranked players bowing out so early, three players (Nishikori, Simon, Monfils) on the men’s side and an incredible five (Safarova, Ivanovic, Pliskova, CSN, Timea Bacsinsky) on the women’s side of the draw are among the top sixteen seeds for this tournament, things may settle down and the draw could still produce most of the seeded players going deep, but I can’t recall an exodus of higher seeds in the first round like this for some time. more »

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Novak & Serena Confirm Their World No.1 Status

Jul 12, 2015

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams underlined their respective domination of world tennis again this fortnight by claiming the men’s singles championship and women’s singles championship respectively at SW19 in London, Djokovic beat the sentimental favourite Roger Federer in a high quality men’s final while Williams proved too strong for first time finalist Garbine Muguruza in the women’s decider, Nole and Serena have been the two dominant figures in world tennis this season and it looks set to maybe continue into next month also as both will head to New York as the title favourites at the US Open, Djokovic will look to win his third major title and reach his fourth consecutive Grand Slam final in New York while Serena will try and complete the tough task of a 2015 calendar Grand Slam, with the form both players are currently showing, Novak and Serena will again be hard to beat at Flushing Meadows next month.

Djokovic and Williams have been the standout performers on their respective ATP and WTA Tours this season, the Serb seems to be at the peak of his powers at the age of 28 while Serena still awaits a regular title threat at the grand old tennis age of 33, Djokovic claimed his 9th Grand Slam title with his four set win over Federer while Williams racked up Grand Slam title No.21 with her straight sets victory over Muguruza, it is hard to believe that neither player will add to their Grand Slam haul in the next twelve months, Djokovic seems to be one of the favourites at more »

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