Tag Archives: John McEnroe

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

Food for Thought 1-10-2012

Photo courtesy of sports.yahoo.com. One of the greatest Cincinnati Reds of all time, Barry Larkin (pictured above), is heading to Cooperstown.

By Josh Kramer

Just because we have entered a new year does not mean that the sporting world is going on a break.  Actually, it feels like sports have really picked up the intensity if anything.  Often, especially during 2011, sports news has been heavily focused on the bad.  Many controversial things occurred that we all wish never would have never happened.  Today though, we focus predominantly on the good.  The state of Colorado has converted from “Mountain Time” to “Tebow Time” (thanks ESPN).  A Cincinnati Reds great has been inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.  And we are only just beginning the jam-packed week. Here are the items that have caught my attention.

Larkin heads to Cooperstown Continue reading

Isner: The “it” American tennis player

Photo courtesy of SI.com. John Isner (pictured above) is best known for an epic first round match at Wimbledon in 2010. Could he be the new American "it" player?

By Josh Kramer

It is not too difficult to get the attention of the American public regarding men’s tennis these days.  If an American goes deep into a major tournament, or dare I say wins one, they are the next American hope.  Expectations have never been lower as the American public waits for that next great American tennis prodigy.  Sadly, the future of American tennis does not look bright.

After being spoiled by the McEnroe/Connors era, and then the Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Courier era, no American has stepped up to the plate.  Different players have become the “it” guy of the moment.  The guy that many hoped could be the next great American Grand Slam Champion.  But none of the “it” guys have lasted the test of time. Continue reading

American hope for the future?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Ryan Harrison (pictured above) appears to be the future of American Men's tennis.

By Josh Kramer

19-year-old American Ryan Harrison was the talk of the tennis world today.  People just seem to really love this fiery young American.  And let’s be honest, American tennis needs a male player to carry the torch for the next decade.

As I have said before, we were spoiled all through the 90s by Sampras and Agassi.  Even in the 70s/80s, we had Connors and then McEnroe. Those days are long gone sadly.  Roddick has done all in his power to carry the torch of American’s men’s tennis.  But he appears to be heading towards the twilight of his career as well.  And with the Williams’ sisters reign appearing to be over, American tennis is really lacking. Continue reading

Isner/Mahut Part 2

Photo courtesy of boomertime.wordpress.com. Isner (left) and Mahut (right) are the talk of the Championships already.

By Josh Kramer

The draw for the third tennis Grand Slam of the year has been released.  Wimbledon, the most prestigious and historic tennis tournament in the world is just a few days away.  And already, the excitement seems to be at an all time high.  Normally in Grand Slams, there are plenty of good first round matchups.  But I cannot remember a first round matchup that has caught the attention of the entire world like the one that has the entire tennis world talking.  The anticipation for this match has the feel of a championship battle.  You would think that Connors and McEnroe were going toe to toe on Center Court the way people are talking. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-7-2011

Photo courtesy of bleedingeaglegreen.com. Plaxico Burress (pictured above) has been released from prison. How will his comeback end up?

By Josh Kramer

It has been a wild past 48 hours.  So many big time stories going on.  Plaxico, Tressel, French Open finale, playoffs, and more. The following are the main items that have caught my attention.

The second coming of Michael Vick?

If you are not living in a box, you have probably heard something about Plaxico Burress finally being released from prison.  After 21 months, the former Super Bowl champion, and one of the League’s most electric receivers will finally have an opportunity to finish his career off right.  Or it at least appears that way. Continue reading

Djokovic goes down in the semi-finals

Photo courtesy of newballs.wordpress.com.

By Josh Kramer

It’s an age-old saying, “All good things must come to an end.”  Well at the French Open today, that saying held true for world #2 Novak Djokovic.  Djokovic’s incredible 43-consecutive match winning streak ended in the semi-finals at Roland Garros.  It has been an incredible ride for the 24-year-old Serbian phenom.

Sadly for Novak, I think the pressure got to him a little bit leading to a sluggish start that ultimately was too much to overcome.  Not only was Djokovic playing in the semi-finals against arguably the “greatest player of all time,” but he was looking to take home his French Open title.  In addition, with a win today, he would secure the world #1 ranking for the first time in his career and tie John McEnroe for most consecutive victories to start a calenedar season.  Talk about a pressure cooker. 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

“A Whole New World”

7 years ago Andy Roddick, pictured above, brought home the US Open title and was ranked number 1 in the world. Since then, no Americans have won a Grand Slam Title and there are currently no Americans ranked in the top 10.

The ATP is heating up at this time and currently in the middle of it’s annual summer tour of the United States.  This all leads up to the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, in Flushing Meadows, New York.  Generally at this time, Americans celebrate the grandiose achievement of their phenomenal players.  This is the time of year where the tour gains the interest of the American public in the sport.

In the past, Americans have been spoiled by legends of the game such as John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi.  Since the retirements of Agassi and Sampras, the men have not really lived up to their normal expectations of being at the top of the ATP tour.  Americans the past 5 years have predominantly “Lived on a Prayer” (Bon Jovi) that is Andy Roddick.  But when the new rankings come out on Monday, there will be no American’s in the top ten.  Ever since the computer rankings began in 1973, the US has always had at least one representative in the top 10, and generally multiple reps.

Well as the summer tour heats up in places like Washington D.C., LA, and Cincinnati, there is not a whole lot to celebrate.  There currently are no American’s in the top 10 on the men’s tour.  No American has brought home a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick won in Flushing Meadows 7 years ago.  That is a gap of 27 Grand Slam tournaments.  To add to no American men bringing home a Grand Slam Championship in 7 years, only 2 current Americans have ever even advanced to the semifinals of one of the prestigious majors (Roddick and Ginepri).  It is a sad time.

Tennis has become more global than ever.  Everything in the world is becoming more global than ever.  It sort of even makes you think about the economy and how the rest of the world has been gaining ground on the United States, and some, have even passed us in many ways.  It is truly amazing how the global nature of society seems to even spill over into the simple game of tennis.

Can American tennis save face this summer during their traditional tour of the United States?  This is the time of year that makes or breaks the popularity of American tennis?  Can America continue to “Live on the Prayer” that is Andy Roddick.  Or will they have to look elsewhere?

I do know that many Cincinnatians only watch the US Open and when the players come to Cincy.  Their whole perspective on the game is determined from these 2 tournaments.  There is an awful lot of pressure on Roddick, Isner, and others to save American tennis for at least another year.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“You Can’t Be Serious”

In the words of the famous John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious.”  In a developing story that is finally hitting the internet, Georgia Athletic Director, Damon Evans, was arrested for drinking under the influence.  This story is absolutely ridiculous.  Evan’s actions on this evening should be a manual for what all UGA athletes should not do in life.  The AD is supposed to be the face of an athletic department.  A role model of sorts.

I will state that I am praying that none of this is actually true and this is just a story that really was depicted incorrectly to the public.  But if it is true, and it probably is..

This guy is an absolute joke.  Even if he gets off the hook and UGA does not fire him, I have no respect for the man. 

– First of all, Evans was driving like a maniac forcing an officer to pull him over.  So number one, he was putting others on the road in danger.  Not to mention himself, and his “passenger.” 

– That brings me to point number two.  His passenger.  Some 28-year-old Courtney Fuhrmann.  So what is the problem with this?  Oh yeah, Evans is a married man with two children.  And to top this point off, he had a pair of red panties in between his legs. 

– Point number three, he tried to use his power and the tactic of bribery to get off the hook.  Apparently Evans repeatedly said to the police officer, “I am not trying to bribe you, but I am the athletic director of the University of Georgia. 

– Point number four, if you have a hoe, get her in check my man.  Evan’s accomplice, Ms. Fuhrmann, would not stay in the car.  She disobeyed orders from the police officer and used the same tactic as Evans toward the officer.  Fuhrmann said to the officer, “Just to let you know, it will be erased because he is the athletic director of UGA and he has that power.” 

– Point number five, do not lie even more or you will develop a Pinocchio nose.  He claims that he was just taking the girl home and was just holding her panties because she took them off.  Fuhrmann told the officer that “they had only been seeing each other for a week or so.”  Not sure what story to believe?

I know people make mistakes and this sounds horrible.  But if this guy keeps his job, I will be in awe.  People constantly are making examples and pinpointing athletes as feeling that they are above the law.  This includes both college and professional athletes.  Evans apparently felt like he was above the law on this night.

Current University of Georgia Athletic Director, Damon Evans.

Thanks for playing right into that stereotype.  I will also state I feel bad for the conversations Evans will be having with his wife and family over the next couple of days.

It will be interesting. I still feel the way that I did when I first saw this story.  I am in absolute awe and do not think that this can be for serious.

I pray that this story has been misconstrued and portrayed incorrectly.  I do not want to believe that it is true.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze