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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Federer’

Roger Federer Has Mad Skills

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Of course, seeing how he is tied for the lead in all-time Grand Slam titles, you already knew that. Nevertheless, it’s worth watching the above shot just to get an idea of just how complete Federer’s game is. He has endless range, allowing him to cover the baseline with ease. However, if you try to get him out of his comfort zone by moving him around the court, you are liable to be greeted with a winner that many consider to be tennis’ shot of the year.

Will shots like these translate into Federer’s 15th major title, breaking Pete Sampras’ record? With the absence of Rafael Nadal, probably — especially if he’s pulling shots like these out of his repertoire.

Did Nadal/Federer Resurrect Men’s Tennis?

Federer and Nadal

While I’m not sure if men’s tennis exactly needed saving, you cannot deny just how beneficial a Wimbledon final like Nadal/Federer can be for a sport. John McEnroe called it the best match he had ever seen and of course, the ESPN’s of the world have been overflowing in their praise of Nadal — and after watching him withstand yesterday’s grueling marathon featuring Roger Federer-launched bombs coming at him to win his first Wimbledon title, it’s easy to see why.

In order for Nadal to win in London’s grass courts, he had to overcome the current king of that particular castle and the now-deposed ruler was not giving up his crown without a fight all-out war. What we the fans were treated to was some spectacular tennis and two players refusing to bend to the other.

In other words, the performance was so great, it should breath life into a sport that’s been waning on the popularity scale. And if you have any doubt about the magnitude of the victory, just watch Nadal’s reaction after the winning point.

Much like soccer, tennis fans have a tendency to base their allegiances on nationality and because of that — and the distinct lack of an American men’s player in the top portion of tennis’ pantheon — interest level in the United States isn’t what it once was during the days of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi as well as McEnroe and Jimmy Connors before them. But if any American tennis fans happened to watch the Rafael Nadal/Roger Federer final and still remained uninterested and jaded because Andy Roddick failed them again, they might want to think of returning their “Tennis Fan” membership card.

And if patriotism is the motivating factor for the level of interest in a sport, the performance of the Williams sisters should have been enough to at least attract the most jingoistic of fans. Hopefully, some of those blue-bloods stuck around long enough to catch yesterday’s spectacular display of tennis and perhaps developed a new respect and admiration for the two best players in the world.

Even if they aren’t American.

If that did actually occur but you are unsure how to continue this enjoyment when the US Open comes back to Flushing, NY, Eli Gieryna has a great post outlining some of the players you should be aware of.

Wimbledon: Heading To A Williams Sisters Final?

Venus and Serena

Is this what were heading for in the women’s side of the Wimbledon draw? Judging by the way these two have played, it certainly looks that way. While the top-ranked women players are sitting at home watching the matches from home, the Williams sisters continue to slice their way through the remaining players and it definitely looks like these two will be meeting in Saturday’s women’s singles championship game.

Consider this, currently, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, and Svetlana Kuznetsova — the top four ranked women players in the world — are no longer in the tournament. The highest remaining seed is Elena Dementieva, who holds the world’s fifth spot.

However, the stage is set for the Williams sisters to meet in the final as they stand on opposite sides of the Wimbledon bracket. In Serena’s side, she’ll have to get through the likes of Tamarine Tanasugarn and the aformentioned Dementieva. On the other side of the bracket, the sixth-ranked Venus will need to dispense with players like Agnieszka Radwanska (who beat Kuznetsova) to face her sister in the finals.

The presence of the Williams sisters is fitting, especially at Wimbledon. The sibling duo has won six of the last eight Wimbledon singles titles.

On the men’s side of the draw, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal continued their march towards a Wimbledon final rematch. Both advanced to quarterfinals this afternoon and if they continue winning, will face each other in the Wimbledon finals on Sunday.

Men’s French Open Final Set

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

This is the way it was supposed to be — Roger Federer going against his clay-court nemesis in Rafael Nadal. While Federer owns him away from the French Open, Nadal has been so dominant on clay, he’s actually seeking his fourth-straight French Open title. But is this the year Federer breaks through and wins the French Open, the only major title he’s lacking from his resume?

If Federer is going to win, it’s fitting he’ll have to go through Nadal to do so. To advance, Federer beat local favorite Gael Monfils 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. As for Nadal, he breezed into the Finals handling Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Again, looking at the preceding semi-final matches, it seems like Nadal has the advantage going in. He expended less energy dispatching his opponent and, of course, clay is his dominant surface.

However, to overlook Federer’s chances her are foolhardy. I mean, he’s only been the most dominant player in the world for a few years now…

The match takes place Sunday on the Chatrier court. Oh yeah, all apologies for the quick-and-dirty NBA Finals promotional images rip-off. Although, the image does seem fitting — you know, being an individual sport, and all.

French Open: Men’s Final Four Set

Roger Federer

Like the women, the men’s French Open Final Four is now set as unranked Frenchman Gael Monfils just defeated the fifth-ranked David Ferrer from Spain to advance to the semi-finals. Monfils’ reward?

Roger Federer.

While it’s highly likely Federer will be the favorite, Monfils will certainly have the backing of the French crowd. Will Roland Garros provide a large enough home-court advantage to rattle the likes of Roger Federer? That’s doubtful.

However, a pro-Monfils audience can help energize the Frenchman as he faces one of the best tennis players ever. Also, the clay court conditions could work in Monfils’ favor. While Federer normally has no problem advancing deep into the French Open, he has never won its title — although, he does have seven titles from other clay-court tournaments.

Perhaps clay isn’t Federer’s problem after all. Maybe it’s just Rafael Nadal.

Of course, what would a modern-day Men’s French Open semi-final be without the appearance of Nadal? Lacking, that’s what. However, there’s no need to worry about what’s missing because after smoking Nicolas Almagro , 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, Nadal is making another appearance in the French Open semi-finals. In fact, Nadal has been so impressive during the Open, some think he’s a shoe-in to four-peat.

Aside: while a four-peat in any major sport is impressive, isn’t it time for Rafael to win a major NOT played on a clay court?

In order for Nadal to complete his quest for four-straight French Open titles, he’ll first have to beat third-seeded Novak Djokovic from Serbia. Earlier this tennis season, Djokovic won the Australian Open. This means Nadal will probably have his hands full.

The Men’s semi-final matches are scheduled to take place on Friday.

Intentional Upset: Federer Goes Down

Roger Federer

The Australian Open continues to provide upset fodder, but this time, it happened to Roger Federer, who is probably the most dominant athlete active today; more so than even Tiger Woods. The first leg of tennis’ Grand Slam was supposed to be another step towards Federer’s coronation as the sport’s best player; instead, Federer finds himself doing something quite foreign: watching a men’s singles finals in the sport he has so thoroughly dominated.

Speaking of domination, Federer found himself on the short end of that particular stick by losing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6. Unlike Nadal’s slip, Federer at least lost to a ranked player. Djokovic is ranked third overall.

Federer was seeking his third straight Aussie Open title and looking to get one step closer to Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles. The defeat is also the first straight-set loss for Federer since the 2004 French Open (I guess he surrendered). The quest for tennis supremacy wasn’t the only streak derailed by Djokovic.

Until last night/this morning, Federer had reached ten straight Grand Slam finals. He had also won 19 in a row in Australia until he took the court with Djokovic.

Intentional Upset: Nadal Ousted From Aussie Open

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

While we aren’t all over professional tennis like some of the others, when Rafael Nadal gets dusted out of the Australian Open semi-finals in dominating straight-set fashion, it’s hard not to notice. And with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory, that’s exactly what Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did.

Before the match began, Tsonga was already receiving accolades for being an unseeded player in the semi-finals and for being the first Black male to be in the semis of a major since MaliVai Washington in Wimbledon, 1996 and with him defeating the world’s number 2 in such dominating fashion, these should only continue has Tsonga prepares to play the winner of the Friday’s semi-final match between the world’s number 1 in Roger Federer and 3rd ranked Novak Djokovic.

If Tsonga goes on to beat either of these two (most likely, Federer) to with the Australian Open, he certainly won’t be in the unranked pile for much longer.

Speaking about his defeat, Nadal, who had just 12 unforced errors, offered these thoughts, “I was playing fine,” Nadal said. “He played unbelievable. Congratulate him.” In beating the world’s second, Tsonga used a strong serve (17 aces) and great baseline play to launch himself into the final pairing. Tsonga had 49 winners and didn’t face a break on his serve until the third set, making his performance all the more dominating.

In other upset news, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Phoenix Suns for the second time this year by the score of 117-107. Powered by Al Jefferson’s 39 point, 15 rebound performance, the Timberwolves got just their seventh (7-34) win of the season as opposed to the 30-13 record of the Suns, making the Minnesota beatdown all the more surprising…

Over at Bright Side of the Sun, they were feeling the same sense of surprise after watching Minnesota dismantle the Suns, a team that has hopes of reaching the NBA Finals… something that won’t happen if performances like this continue:

“Ok, how about the simple answer. The Suns in the back to back forgot to pack their “give a damn” in the gym bags and rolled out on the floor ready to stomp a JV team and instead got schooled by the cheerleaders in the powder puff game. “