Tag Archives: Maria Sharapova

US Open Preview 2012

Photo courtesy of halestormsports.com. Roger Federer (pictured left) and Serena Williams (picutred right) came out victorious at Wimbledon back in July. Expect the same result in New York.

By Josh Kramer

Starting on Monday, all eyes in the tennis world will be focused on the Big Apple for two whole weeks.  The year’s final Grand Slam is just around the corner, and as is typically the case, there are plenty of questions to be answered in Flushing.

-Will Andy Murray finally capture the elusive first Grand Slam?

-How will New York respond to a Nadal-less field?

-Will Roger Federer leave with #18?

-Will Kim Clijsters’ farewell party be one to remember?

-Does Venus have a Jimmy Connors 1991-esque run in her?

-Will Serena leave with #15? Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 8-13-2012

Photo courtesty of zimbio.com. Dwight Howard (pictured above) is the latest great big man to suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers.

By Josh Kramer

Happy Monday to you all.  It wasn’t easy, but Team USA went all the way and handled Spain late in the fourthAbby Wambach and Co. handled business.  Tiger Woods, well you know the drill (at least Rory was good).  And Andrew Luck demonstrated that it wasn’t “luck” that he was drafted number one in his professional debut.  Last week was a great one, but this week should be fun in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Marcos Ambrose came out victorious in a wild race at the Glen.  The countdown to the Chase is down to four.  There are just four more races before the big boys battle it out for the Cup.  This Sunday, the gang heads to Michigan International Speedway as Kyle Busch looks to defend his crown at the Pure Michigan 400.

4.  The history is well-documented:  George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal.  Add Dwight Howard to the list.  I am not sure how the Lake Show pulled this blockbuster deal off, but Kobe Bryant’s chances at number six improved immensely when Superman signed with Jack Nicholson’s favorite team.  Watching Team USA bring home gold at the Olympics was exciting, but the prospects of a LeBron/Kobe finals matchup has me even more excited.  It may only be August, but the 2012/2013 NBA seasons is shaping up to be a memorable.  Plus, the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has finally come to a close. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Johnny Cueto (pictured above) is the biggest snub this year in terms of the MLB All-Star Game.

By Josh Kramer

The “smartest” man ever to step foot on a baseball diamond strikes again.  This time, he is playing for keeps.  Despite being retired, Tony LaRussa is still going after his bitter rival, the Cincinnati Reds.  Now I am not naive enough to think that snubs don’t happen every year in regards to the All-Star Game rosters.  Due to a flawed selection system, this is inevitable.  But it is very atypical to see a particular “city” get snubbed like this. Continue reading

Wimbledon 2012 Preview

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Novak Djokovic (left) and Maria Sharapova (right) are the favorites to take home the third Grand Slam of the year.

By Josh Kramer

We are less than a day away from the best tournament in all of tennis.  London is the place to be in sports these days.  First there is Wimbledon.  Then there is the Olympics.  Out of the four major tennis tournaments, Wimbledon holds the most historical significance and is widelyy considered the most prestigious tournament of them all.

Men:

The last nine Grand Slams have been won by one of two men.  They also happen to be the current number one and number two ranked players in the world.  Ironically, the last player not named Nadal or Djokovic to take home a Grand Slam championship has won at the All England Club on six different occasions (Federer).  Lastly, 28 of the last 29 Grand Slam titles have been captured by Djokovic, Nadal, or Federer.

Champion:  Novak Djokovic Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 6-11-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will Rafael Nadal (pictured above) make history today and break Bjorn Borg’s record with a 7th French Open Championship?

By Josh Kramer

Thank you, may I have another?  So I’ll Have another was unable to compete in the Belmont Saturday.  As usual, the race did not disappoint nor did the entire week in sports.  The playoffs are all about the finals now as there are only two teams remaining in both the NBA and NHL playoffs.  Plus the French Open is not quite done yet.  Last week was great, but this one will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Rain, rain, go away.  Or keep the French Open going another day.  Maria Sharapova became the tenth woman to complete the career Grand Slam on Saturday.  Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are all looking to further stamp their imprint on history as the fourth set of the Men’s final continues this morning.  I would highly recommend waking up and checking this out now on NBC. Continue reading

French Open 2012 Preview

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rafael Nadal (pictured above) is looking to make history in Roland Garros with a seventh French Open title.

By Josh Kramer

Paris.  Roland Garros.  Philippe Chatrier.  It is time for the year’s second Grand Slam.  Though this is not typically a favorite tournament for Americans (last Men’s winner was Andre Agassi in 1999, Women’s winner was Serena Williams in 2002), people love parity in sports.  This is the closest thing that the tennis world has to March Madness.  Before Rafael Nadal came along as the “Clay Court King,” the French Open had nine different men’s champions in a ten-year period.  Despite Rafa’s dominance, this tournament is always scintillating as the clay court specialist come out in full force and enjoy their time in the sun. On the Women’s side, there have been four different winners the past four years.  Strap in, and get ready for a little taste of Paris.

ChampionRafael Nadal

How could you pick against this guy in Paris?  He is the “Clay-Court King” for a reason.  This will be the year that the one they call “Rafa” surpasses Bjorn Borg as the greatest clay court player of all time with his seventh title at Roland Garros.  Coming off of a huge victory against Novak Djokovic in Rome, not even the world number one holds a mental edge on the star from Majorca.  If I were Bjorn Borg, I would give Djokovic and Federer some serious advice on how to thwart Nadal on the clay. 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

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

The “Woes” of Wozniacki

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Once again Caroline Wozniacki (pictured above) has disappointed at a Grand Slam event. This time, it will result in loss of her number one ranking.

By Josh Kramer

When the next WTA rankings are released, there will be a new world number one in Women’s tennis.  How many of you out there are actually aware of who the current number one player on the WTA tour is?  I am sure for the vast majority of my casual fans; you had to really think about that one.  Well I will give you a hint.  She has been ranked number one for 67 of the past 68 weeks.  That probably did not help.  Here is the giveaway hint.  She is currently dating rising PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy.   I bet every one of my casual fans can name the top four players on the ATP tour in the present though.  Who doesn’t know about the “Fantastic Four?”

As I have said on this blog before, the WTA tour has turned into a Nancy Drew novel. Continue reading