Tag Archives: ATP

Weekly Nickel 4-16-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rafael Nadal (pictured above) took home the title in Monaco last year. He hopes to repeat this week.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to mid-April.  NHL Playoff action is in full swing.  The NBA regular season is wrapping up.  And the MLB is part of the daily sports routine.  There is so much going on in the sporting world.  I hope you enjoyed the last week.  This week will be a good one in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Let’s go to Monaco.  We all wish right?  Well the ATP is heading to Monaco for the 106th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.  And though this is a non-mandatory event for the tour’s top players, the majority of the world’s elite will be there.   This includes Rafael Nadal, who would love to defend his title in Monaco. Things in the tennis world are ready to heat up as players prep for the year’s second Grand Slam in Paris (French Open).  Make sure to keep an eye on this always highly competitive and entertaining event. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-27-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tennis season is getting ready to heat up. Is it time for Andy Murray (pictured above) to break through?

By Josh Kramer

So the dunk contest was a joke.  Ryan Braun somehow defeated the system.  RGIII once again proved that he is fast.  And College Hoops did not disappoint (I mean when does it at this time of year).  Last week was jam-packed.  But the week ahead should be pretty good in its own right.

5. One of the best tournaments in tennis (outside of the 4 Grand Slams) is just one week away.  I am of course referring to the BNP Paribas Open at lovely Indian Wells.  But before the tour makes the anxiously awaited stop in California, the players have to take advantage of the two tune-ups provided this week. Djokovic, Federer, and Murray will all showcase their abilities at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, while the ATP Abierto Mexicano Telcel will also be taking place in Acapulco, Mexico.  Though most will not hold their breath in regards to these two tournaments this week,  they should.  Just like in any sport, the hottest players are the ones that take home the big-time tournaments.  Winning a tune-up typically signifies a “Hot-Streak.”  Who will get hot this week? Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-16-2012

Photo courtesy of latimesblogs.latimes.com. Kobe Bryant (pictured above) has shown no signs of aging after putting up 40+ points for a fourth consecutive game on Saturday. Can he lead the Lakers to a victory in Miami on Thursday?

By Josh Kramer

The clock finally struck midnight on “Tebow Time,” or at least for the time being, and the globe is still spinning.  “Lob City” staked their claim to Los Angeles.  And the 49ers won against an outstanding Saints team in a game that will go down as one of the all-time greats.  The past week, or even the past day for that matter, was classic.  This week should be pretty fun in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Pitchers and catchers start reporting in 33 days (February 18th for a lot of teams).  MLB baseball is just around the corner.  And the Yankees finally broke their silence on Friday in a big way.  Who else is already very excited for the 2012 baseball season?  Keep an eye this week on what happens with marquee available players such as Prince Fielder, Rick Ankiel, and many more.  Will your favorite team pick up the piece they need to make a deep run in October?

4.  Kobe Bryant has now put up 40 or more points four straight games.  So much for the 33-year-old wearing now.  Any chance he will eclipse his nine-straight games of 40 or more points back in 2002/2003? Continue reading

Australian Open Preview

Photo courtesy of sportige.com. Roger Federer (pictured above) won in Melbourne back in 2007. Could it be deja vu five years later?

By Josh Kramer

Though you may find it hard to believe, the year’s first Grand Slam is set to begin tomorrow.  Doesn’t it feel like we just got done in Flushing?  But I digress.  Both the ATP and WTA Tours are as exciting and unpredictable as ever.  Sure the Women’s tour has turned into a Nancy Drew novel, but who doesn’t like a little unpredictability.  I remember last year at about this time, I was discussing how the “Tourney Down Under” had seriously lost some of its thunder.  You won’t hear me saying that this year.

Here are some questions to ponder as we head into the first Grand Slam of the 2012 season.

-Can Djokovic repeat his memorable run of 2011, or at least remain on top of the tennis world (70 and 6 record, 3 Grand Slams)?

-Will an American on the Men’s side bring the US its first Grand Slam title since 2003?

-Does Federer have a 17th Grand Slam Championship left in him?

-Can a player such as Tsonga, del Potro, or dare I say Mardy Fish break up the “Fantastic Four” party atop Men’s tennis?

-Will Caroline Wozniacki finally break though at a Grand Slam or will a dominant force of some sort emerge in the Women’s game?

-What do the Williams’ sisters have left in the tank? Continue reading

US Open Preview

Photo courtesy of lawntennis.org. Novak Djokovic (left) and Maria Sharapova (right) are my picks to take home the 4th and final Grand Slam of the year.

By Josh Kramer

All eyes in the tennis world will be focused on the Big Apple starting on Monday.  The year’s fourth and final Grand Slam tournament begins with many question marks.

-Can Djokovic continue his remarkable run?

-Does Federer have another Grand Slam in him?

-Can Mardy Fish bring America it’s first Grand Slam title in eight years?

-Without Clijsters in the  draw, who is the front-runner?

-Can either Williams’ sister regain their old swagger?

-Is Maria Sharapova the best player on the WTA tour? Continue reading

Djokovic is quite the jokester

Photo courtesy of ontennis.com. In a recent commercial for Head tennis rackets, Novak Djokovic (right) impersonates women's tennis star Maria Sharapova (left).

By Josh Kramer

Novak Djokovic has continued to make good on his number one world ranking as he heads into match play today with an astounding 55 and 1 record on the year.  This record includes a crazy good 31 and 0 clip on hard courts (his US Open chances continue to look better with each victory).

Over the years, many complained about the lack of personality from former number one ranked tennis players like Pete Sampras and Roger Federer (I did not agree with these complaints).  Well have no fear people, the very outgoing and fun personality of Novak Djokovic is here.  Over the years, Djokovic has been known as a “jokester” for his impersonations of other players on the tour and comical interviews.

Well in this recent clip, he continues to live up to the name via a hilarious impersonation of the lovely Maria Sharapova.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

American golf in the woods?

Photo courtesy of currentlyhot.com.

By Josh Kramer

Tiger Woods has been in the “woods” for nearly three years now.  The once most iconic figure in all of sports (yes a golfer) has hit rock bottom.  Today, arguably the greatest golfer of all time finished off the 2nd round at a +10 clip and missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods is now 35 and does not look to be close to regaining his old form.  Could the days of the dominant Tiger we once knew be over?

We all are more than aware that American tennis has struggled for a good five plus years now following the retirements of Sampras and Agassi.  Well now, the other lifelong sport, which is typically dominated by American players, is not looking so great.

Americans are in the midst of their longest drought at the majors (6 without a title).  Luckily for golf, there are four Americans ranked in the world top ten at the moment.  In addition, Tiger could play the worst round in the history of golf, and he would still get more attention than the leader on that particular day.  Tiger is as close as any athlete has ever come to being bigger than the game itself  (Brett Favre and LeBron James should take notes).  In tennis, there is just one American cracking the top ten.

The top of the leaderboard is littered with American hopefuls.  Eight of the top ten at the end of Round 2 are Americans.

Will an American come out victorious come Sunday?  Or has American golf gone into the “woods” with Tiger Woods?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

Weekly Nickel 8-1-2011

Photo courtesy of prorumors.com. Ryan Braun (pictured above) and the Milwaukee Brewers have a huge series against division rival St. Louis this week at Miller Park.

By Josh Kramer

Just like the rest of you, I am trying to recover from arguably the wildest week transactions wise in sports that I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.  The NFL returned.  Then the MLB Trade Deadline came like a world wind.  Plus there was big time soccer in the US and the X Games.  So after catching your breath, take a look at what is in store for this week.

5.  Following the always exciting Brickyard 400, NASCAR heads to Pocono on Sunday.  Jimmie Johnson is right in the hunt as usual, but has not won a race since his victory on April 17th at Talladega.  Winning in Pennsylvania could go a long way in helping Jimmie Johnson accomplish an amazing six-peat, as Sprint Cup Series champion.  In each of his previous five Sprint Cup Series titles, Johnson took home at least five first place finishes.  He only has one thus far this year. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 5-17-11″

Last August, the Reds and Cardinals had a bench clearing brawl (pictured above). Sunday, there was a shouting match. What will happen next in one of baseball's best rivalries?

What a crazy past few days in sports.  Playoff action galore.  MLB excitement.  Clay court tennis.  And so much more.  Here are the main items that have been catching my attention.

Best Rivalry in Baseball? Continue reading

“Strange Days in Australia”

Great Britain is placing a lot of faith in tennis star Andy Murray's right arm Sunday in Melbourne. Can Murray end Great Britain's over 70 year drought in Grand Slam tennis?

So I wrote about the “Major Down Under” losing some of its thunder last week.  And I am not going against this statement.  But what a weird tournament it has been.  On the women’s side, the finals, semifinals, and quarterfinals were “Williams-Less.”  On the Men’s side, we will miss out on watching Mr. Federer or Mr. Nadal in the finals.  Are we witnessing a change of the guard or are things just strange down under this year? Continue reading