Tag Archives: Indian Wells

2012 Sony Ericsson Open – Miami, FL

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Our tennis expert Toni Headley expects Rafael Nadal (pictured above) to flex his muscles in Miami as he takes home the Sony Ericsson Open title.

By Toni Headley

Toni Headley is a tennis expert who worked at ESPN for 10 years and has been a freelance writer there for the past 2 years.  She also previously worked at CBS Sports and has covered every major tennis tournament in the world multiple times.

Tournament Preview:

From the California desert to the beaches of Miami, tennis continues to dominate North America for two more weeks. As the players try to deal with the Indian Wells – Miami double, which is one of the toughest stretches in the tennis season, I am reminded how hard it is to win both. Victoria Azarenka, a two-time champion and the current champion is trying to do just that. She won her first title in 2009 when she defeated Serena Williams. After a dominating win at Indian Wells, Azarenka is the favorite to win here in Miami. She is perfect on the year at 23-0 and has won four titles.  She has become the convincing number one player on the women’s tour.

Roger Federer has won two titles in Miami, defeating Rafael Nadal in 2005 and Ivan Ljubicic in 2006. Federer is the definite favorite to win here after his red-hot start to the year.  He is currently on a 16-match win streak, winning three titles in Rotterdam, Doha, and last week in Indian Wells.  This was his 19th Master Series 1000 title tying Rafael Nadal for the most all time. Since a semifinals lost to Novak Djokovic at the US Open last year, Federer has won 39 of his past 41 matches. Could Roger Federer become the number one ranked player again this year? If he can continue his hot play at the Grand Slam, he very well could. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 3-19-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Marian Gaborik (pictured above) has led the Rangers to the top record in the Eastern Conference.

By Josh Kramer

Contrary to popular belief, College Basketball is not the only thing going on in the world these days.  Though it may seem that way at times, plenty of other things are going on in the sporting world as well.  The “Peyton Manning Sweepstakes” continue to heat up.  NBA basketball treks on with the “Trade Deadline” in the rearview and Dwight Howard’s version of “Gossip Girl” on hold for at least another year.  Last week was totally awesome baby with a capital A, but this week is sure to be great in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Sid “the kid” Crosby is back in the flesh.  New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh are running the show in the Eastern Conference, while the West has turned into St. Louis and Vancouver’s playground.  We are nearing the end of the regular season, with right around 10 games to play.  It is hard to believe, but I know all of you remember how exciting the NHL playoffs were last year when Game 7′s became almost a given.  This week my attention is focused on a matchup at Madison Square Garden tonight.

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers:  Who can remember the last time these two bitter rivals were relevant?  We may have to reach back to the prime of Patrick Ewing’s career.  We are living in the now though.  And though New Jersey is not a top-tier team, they still are capable of making noise in the postseason.  The Rangers on the other hand are looking to bring back some Mark Messier type of memories.  Perhaps Marian Gaborik can help make this a reality?  Both of these rivals are coming off of a loss.  Something that has been a rarity for the Rangers this year.  Don’t get used to it though.  Not only are the Rangers one of the NHL’s best teams, they also are one of the best at home.  Tonight, they will defend their home ice. Continue reading

Future American Tennis Star?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ryan Harrison (left) and Ryan Sweeting (right) are two of the players expected to help revive American tennis.

By Toni Headley

Toni Headley is a tennis expert who worked at ESPN for 10 years and has been a freelance writer there for the past 2 years.  She also previously worked at CBS Sports and has covered every major tennis tournament in the world multiple times.

As we leave Indian Wells, California for the Sony Ericsson Open, I ask myself if this will be the last time we see Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Andy Roddick, and James Blake playing here in Miami? With the slow decline of the Williams sisters, Roddick, and Blake due to injury and age, could we be witnessing the end of American tennis as we know it? All four players will be playing here in Miami, which starts in a little over a week. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 3-12-2012

Photo courtesy of Mr. Eddie Trost and Mrs. Jayne Robertson, Event Directors of the Babolat World Tennis Classic. Francesca Schiavone (pictured above) is one of many players looking to make some noise at Indian Wells this week.

By Josh Kramer

The greatest weekend in sports is just ahead.  It is time for some March Madness and there is only one way to describe it.  “It’s totally awesome baby with a capital A!”  I know Championship Week was fun.  But the first few days of the NCAA Basketball tournament are the most exciting in sports.  Utilize your sick days or your vacation days.   Thursday and Friday will not be days that you will want to be stuck at your desk.  Also, despite popular belief, other sports have been going on over the past week and will continue to despite the lack of attention given.  Last week was great.  But this week will be ever better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Indian Wells is still doing swell.  All eyes in the tennis world are focused in California.  Sadly, at least in the US, many potential eyes have been and will continue to be focused on March Madness.  But for all of my die-hard fans out there, it is a great time to be an American tennis fan.  First Indian Wells, and then the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami next week?  It doesn’t get much better. Continue reading

2012 BNP Paribas Open – Indian Wells, California

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Our very own Toni Headley is picking the current number one ranked player in the world Victoria Azarenka (pictured above) to stay hot and take home the title at Indian Wells.

By Toni Headley

Toni Headley is a tennis expert who worked at ESPN for 10 years and has been a freelance writer there for the past 2 years.  She also previously worked at CBS Sports and has covered every major tennis tournament in the world multiple times.

Tournament Preview:

As the biggest and brightest stars descend on the picturesque town of Indian Wells, California for the BNP Paribas Open, I am excited to see how newly minted #1 Victoria Azarenka will fare in her first big test since winning her maiden Grand Slam title in Australia.  Also, can Novak Djokovic maintain his dominant form that carried him to his fifth Grand Slam title in Australia and defend his title here in the desert?

Will the weight of being the #1 player in the world finally get to Azarenka? It certainly has not so far. After winning the Australian Open and becoming the #1 ranked player, Azarenka continued her dominance by winning her next tournament in Doha. She is currently riding a 17 match winning streak. Azarenka has had a sizzling start to the year winning three titles which includes her first Grand Slam. Let’s see if Azarenka can win here for the first time, and continue her dominance on the women’s tour. Continue reading

Tennis Night in America – BNP Paribas Showdown

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Maria Sharapova (pictured above) will be one of the stars taking center court at Madison Square Garden this evening.

By Toni Headley

Toni Headley is a tennis expert who worked at ESPN for 10 years and has been a freelance writer there for the past 2 years.  She also previously worked at CBS Sports and has covered every major tennis tournament in the world multiple times.

As a precursor to the start of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament from Indian Wells California, tennis fans will be treated to some exhibition tennis from the world’s most famous arena Madison Square Garden or “The Garden,” as it is sometimes called. Billed as “Tennis Night in America,” fans will get to see the likes of four former number one players, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Roger Federer, and Andy Roddick.

Both matches will feature a best of three format. First up will be Maria Sharapova vs. Caroline Wozniacki, which begins at 7pm on ESPN3.com.  This will be followed by Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick at 11:30pm on ESPN. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 3-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Roger Federer (left) seems to be back to his old ways after defeating Andy Murray (right) to win his second consecutive title. It should be fun to see if the former number one player can continue his hot streak in Indian Wells.

By Josh Kramer

Hoops, hoops, and more hoops.  You thought this week was great in terms of College Basketball and the NBA?  Just wait.  This week was just an appetizer to the main course.  In addition, more scandal came out in the sporting world this for a change (bounty hunting).  Last week was fun.  But this week has the makings of being any better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The NHL’s Eastern Conference has turned into a three-team race.  Go figure that two of the teams are from Boston and New York.  What would professional sports be without the good old Boston/New York hate-fest?  Yesterday, was a treat as we got to witness the Rangers flex their Eastern Conference leading muscles to a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.  I have a feeling that there is a seven-game series in store between these teams in the near future.  As always, here is my matchup of the week.

Florida Panthers at Pittsburgh Penguins:  Two of the East’s finest go to battle at the CONSOL Energy Center.  Pittsburgh’s electric offense led by Evgeni Malkin welcomes into town a Panthers team that just flat-out knows how to win.  If you asked me why Florida has been so successful this season, I couldn’t tell you.  They just have won game at an impressive rate.  Lately though, Pittsburgh has played much better hockey than the Panthers.  I expect this to continue.  Look for the Penguins to handle business at home, where they have been very tough to beat this year. Continue reading