Tag Archives: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

A final for the ages?

Photo courtesy of tennistournaments4u.com. Above was the site following the Australian Open finals in January. Expect the roles to be reversed on Sunday.

By Josh Kramer

Two weeks ago, the French Open could not have wished for a better final matchup than the one that is set to transpire on Sunday.  Not only are the two best players in the world participating, but they are both playing for history.  Novak Djokovic is going for the “Djoker Slam,” otherwise known has four consecutive Grand Slam championships.  This outrageous feat has not occurred since Rod Laver accomplished the unthinkable feat 43 years ago.  On the other hand, Rafael Nadal is looking to lay his claim to clay-court immortality (if he hasn’t already) in capturing a record 7th French Open title.  Also, Sunday will mark the fourth consecutive Grand Slam featuring the world’s number one and number two ranked players.

Oddly enough, the number one ranked Djokovic is a heavy underdog in my humble opinion.  Despite taking down Roger Federer in straight sets yesterday, the Serbian star is not even playing on the same stratosphere as the pride and joy of Majorca (Nadal).  Not only has Nadal failed to drop a set during the course of his first six matches in Paris, he has won an astonishing 71 of 72 service games.  In addition, he has dropped a stunningly low total of 35 games.  For my mathematicians and statisticians out there, that is a whopping 5.833 games per match or 1.944 games per set.  Djokovic on the other hand has won in straight sets just three times thus far.  He also has been pushed to five sets twice, and saved an unthinkable four match points against French favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Novak Djokovic may be the number one ranked player in the world, but on clay-courts, Rafael Nadal is without question the king. Continue reading

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Will lightning strike twice?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The anticipation mounts as the tennis world gets ready for a Federer (left) versus Djokovic (right) rematch in the semfinals of the French Open.

By Josh Kramer

Back on June 3, 2011, Novak Djokovic was riding a 43-match winning streak and taking the tennis world by storm.  He had cruised into the French Open semifinals and was set to take on arguably the greatest player in the history of tennis, Roger Federer.  Rafael Nadal anxiously awaited in the finals as he looked to capture his sixth French Open championship.  To Nadal’s delight, Roger Federer shocked the world, and ended the seemingly invincible Novak Djokovic’s remarkable streak (Nadal has always owned Federer on the clay).

Fast forward to 2012.  Novak Djokovic is the unquestioned number one player in the world these days.  He has won 26 straight matches at Grand Slam tournaments, and he finds himself just two matches away from the “Djoker Slam” (winning all four in a row).  To Novak’s disdain, a familiar opponent is awaiting in the semifinals.  Both Federer and Djokovic survived thrilling five-setters yesterday to set up a very highly anticipated rematch.  Luckily for both players, they have the luxury of two off days before they take center stage at Philippe Chatrier. Continue reading

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

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

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

Bigger shocker in New York?

Photo courtesy of thetennistimes.com. Samantha Stosur (pictured above) shocked Serena Williams today in the finals of the US Open.

By Josh Kramer

Everyone was already looking ahead to Monday’s Men’s US Open Final.  Today’s Women’s final was supposed to just be an afterthought.  We thought we had seen it all with Djokovic shocking Roger Federer, coming back from two sets down, and two match points down.  But the fun continues.

So my question for you all today.  What was the bigger shocker?  Djokovic’s unthinkable comeback or Stosur’s shocking upset?

Let me try to paint both of these remarkable and improbable events into perspective for you.

Stosur’s Shocking Upset Continue reading