Tag Archives: Nicolas Mahut

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

Food for Thought 6-21-2011

Photo courtesy of USAToday.com. Albert Pujols (pictured above) will be out at least a month. St. Louis will really miss their star and will struggle to remain in contention without his big bat.

By Josh Kramer

A 22-year-old just made a mockery of one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments.  The best tournament in tennis just began.  And the NBA Draft is set for Thursday.  There is so much going on in the sporting world.

Here is what has caught my attention.

Lack of the “Machine” spells trouble for St. Louis Continue reading

Welcome to the 2011 Championships: Wimbledon Preview

Photo courtesy of tennispanorama.com.

By Josh Kramer

The best tournament in tennis is just a little over a day away.  Wimbledon is the tournament that really embodies tennis. It is the only one of the four Grand Slams played on grass.  Many historic matches have occurred at the All England Club.  Expect many more to occur this year.

Of course, as I mentioned yesterday, the talk of the tournament at this point revolves around the Isner/Mahut part II match set for Tuesday. 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

“French Open: The Tennis Version of March Madness?”

The 39th ranked player in the world John Isner (pictured above) pushed Clay Court King Rafael Nadal to the brink of elimination today. It would have been an upset for the ages.

Earlier today, Rafael Nadal, the uncrowned King of Roland Garros, was pushed to 5 sets in his first round match by American, John Isner.  Nadal has won the French in five of his six appearances at the Grand Slam Event.  He has turned Roland Garros into his 2nd home.   Court Philippe Chatrier has become his playground of sorts.  They may as well give Nadal a throne to sit on during changeovers.

In his quest toward tying Bjorn Borg for the most French Open titles ever at six, he was pushed to the brink in his first round match.  Surprising yes.  Shocking?  No.  The French Open, year in and year out, is the most unpredictable of the year’s 4 Grand Slam Tournaments for a reason.  Clay court tennis is grueling.  It is highly unpredictable.  And it is highly entertaining. Continue reading

“An Untraditional Wimbledon”

The beautiful grass court sanctuary that is Wimbledon.

Wimbledon is the sanctuary of tennis.  The complex is the tennis version of heaven.  It is the most prestigious tournament in the world with the most history.  This tournament defines tennis greatness.  It is the only Grand Slam played on a beautiful grass court surface.  The players all are decked out in all whites.  Everything is done in an extremely proper fashion.  Even the fans are typically more polite and behaved than at the other tournaments.

This year though, many odd occurences have occurred.  First of all, American John Isner and the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, played an unforgettable first round match that spanned over 3 days.  A match that was nearly 5 hours longer than any other match in tennis history.  A match where the 5th set by itself lasted longer than any other full match in tennis history.  A match for the ages.  And it was just the first round between a wild card and a guy ranked right around 23rd in the world.  This was just the beginning of the insanity.

 Andy Roddick, a 3 time finalist on the grass court haven was upset by the 82nd ranked player in the world, Yen-Hsun Lu.  A day later, another American, Venus Williams, who had made 8 of the previous 10 finals here was upset by the 82nd ranked women’s player in the world (Tsvetana Pironkova).  Then perhaps the most surprising result of the tournament and probably the entire year occurred in the men’s quarterfinals.

Mr. Wimbledon himself, Roger Federer, the 6 time champion, and the man who had made 7 consecutive finals here, was defeated handily in 4 sets.  Tomas Berdych, the 12th ranked player in the world, and a man with endless talent, handled the great champion with ease.  Roger Federer after making 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals, has now exited 2 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments in the quarterfinals.  It was getting to the point where Wimbledon should have been considering naming Centre Court, Federer Court.  Similar to how Roland Garros should look into naming their Centre Court, Nadal Court.  But Goliath went down.

The only sanity going on in this tournament is the continued dominance of Serena Williams solely.  She heads into the finals against the 21st ranked Vera Zvonareva as a heavy favorite.  Zvonareva has never been past the 4th round at Wimbledon and has never played in a Grand Slam final.  She is the 2nd lowest ranked female player ever to make the finals of this most prestigious of tournaments.  It is shocking to think that she will be taking on the mighty Serena Williams on the big stage.  But at this year’s version of Wimbledon, there is no holds bar.  Anything can happen and the little known Zvonareva could slay the mighty titan, Serena.

The men’s side still has 3 of the top 4 seeds, which seems ordinary.  But a Federerless semifinal is way out of the ordinary.  I guess to cap off this untraditional tourney, Andy Murray, the British native, would need to capture the crown.  It would be the first time since 1936 (Fred Perry), that a Britishman captured the Wimbledon crown. 

In this year’s version of Grass Court Mayhem, anything could happen.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze