Murray, Out

January 26, 2009

murrayAD Hall favorite Andy Murray was defeated in five sets this morning by Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, 2-6, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, failing to reach the quarterfinals in the Australian Open. Murray was a bit of a trendy pick to win the tournament as he has yet to do in any other Grand Slam event.

This has been a really weird tournament so far. There have been some really big upsets (Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Murray, James Blake, etc.) as well as really hot temperatures, fights between fans (mostly Serbs and Croats), an extraordinary number of streakers and what looks like a virus going around between players forcing retirement in several matches. I know the Australian Open is always the wildest and weirdest tournament of the Grand Slam season both because of its location (you know, Southern Hemisphere summer) and the fact that it being the first major tournament, many players aren’t yet in their best shape or focus. But this has been truly bizarre. Who knows, maybe Rafa Nadal will win it and all will be well with the world but I have a feeling the oddities are not yet done in Melbourne.

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Venus, Out in Melbourne

January 22, 2009

venus

The Australian Open tennis tournament is one of those sneaky events that is all of a sudden happening and everyone is surprised that it happens so early. Kind of like the Daytona 500.

I can’t say I’m the biggest follower of tennis (that would be my boss) but I’m interested to know who wins and often times, more interested in who loses. So I’m happy to announce that Venus Williams is out. I can’t stand the Williams sisters and Venus in particular so it gives me great joy to read that she lost to a 20-year old Spaniard ranked 46th in the world.

Everyone else of consequence has won in the first two rounds so far. And by that I mean, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, James Blake, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on the men’s side (I suppose I’m obligated to include Lleyton Hewitt since he’s a nativ Australian and always does well down there). On the women’s side I’m less sure about who’s actually good and not but it would seem that Jelena Jankovic, Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina have all moved to the third round.

There won’t be too many updates here on this tournament though if there are interesting matches down the line I’ll have at least some comment on them.


Federer Returns in Flushing

September 8, 2008

FedererAfter falling to Rafa Nadal in dominating fashion in Paris and then in excruciating fashion in London, Roger Federer regained his title as world’s best tennis player this afternoon in New York. Nadal lost to Scotsman Andy Murray in the semifinals yesterday so Federer wasn’t able to vanquish his great foe, but his straight sets victory over the young Scot proves he is still on top of his game. Reports of his demise, most notably by curmudgeon Mike Wilbon, have clearly been exaggerated. While he may have issues against Nadal, Federer can obviously still hold his own against most of the rest of the world. He has now won the last five US Opens, and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and as previously mentioned, the finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon this year. His tally of career singles titles is now at 13, just one behind the record number of 14 set by Pete Sampras.

I don’t know if Federer is the greatest player ever, but his resolve in coming back to win another grand slam event after the disaster and heart-break of the last two slams should be legendary. People take him for granted at this point, which is too bad. He is as dominating as any player in the sport has ever been, and I’m afraid that’s getting lost behind the brilliance of Tiger Woods as well as his struggles against Nadal and apparent inability to win the French.


Ivanovic – Out

August 29, 2008

With the start of college football, the NFL looming and baseball pennant races heating up, it’s sometimes easy to forget that one of the most entertaining tennis tournaments of the year is going on up at Flushing Meadows. The US Open started this week and already there is a massive upset. Super hot Ana Ivanovic, the tournament’s top seed on the women’s side, crashed out in the second round to 188th ranked Julie Coin. This marks the earliest a top seed has ever fallen at the US Open.

Obviously what we’d all love to see is a third consecutive grand slam final between Rafa Nadal, the new world’s number one, and Roger Federer, the four-time defending champion of the US Open. After the thrashing he took in Paris and the epic comeback denied at Wimbledon, Federer has to have revenge on his mind in a tournament he usually owns. Hopefully, even with America’s outrageous obsession with football, the US Open will be able to live up to it’s own lofty standards.


End of an Era?

August 19, 2008

RafaThis week Rafa Nadal took over the world’s number one position in tennis, taking the crown from Roger Federer who’s head that position since February 2, 2004. Nadal, who beat Federer in the finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon and recently won the Olympic gold medal. Nadal will be seeded first in the US Open which begins at the end of this month, a tournament Federer has won each of the past four years.

So will Nadal be able to sustain his top ranking? John McEnroe traded the top spot with Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl between 1980 and 1985, but once he lost the top spot in September of ’85, he was never able to regain the top position. Are we in for a back-and-forth Federer/Nadal series for several years as is more of the rule rather than the exception of Federer’s extraordinary run?

I think Federer is going to come back and win the US Open and reclaim the world’s number one from Nadal. Anyone think Federer is done, as Wilbon does?