Tag Archives: Roland Garros

Food for Thought 9-11-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Robert Griffin III (pictured above) made things look very easy in the Big Easy on Sunday. Will he continue to play this way all season?

By Josh Kramer

Sports played a prominent role in helping our country cope with the unthinkable terrorist acts that occurred 11 years ago to the day.  Our nation holds sports near and dear to their hearts on a daily basis.  The USA has grown stronger as a nation since the horrific terrorist acts of 9/11 and sports are still doing their part.

RGIII was made for DC

Maybe Robert Griffin III is football’s version of Superman.  The reigning Heisman Trophy winner put on a debut performance for the ages on Sunday, leading the Redskins to an opening day victory over the Saints.  Now sure, one could argue that Matt Ryan put up slightly better numbers on Sunday.  Or that Cam Newton threw for 422 yards in his rookie debut last September.

Let’s focus on reality though.  Matt Ryan has far more experience and an outstanding supporting cast.  Also, exactly one year ago, Cam Newton passed for an astonishing 422 yards, but he also tossed an interception, and his team lost the game.  With five rookie quarterbacks starting on Sunday, I think much of America forgot just how hard it is to be a rookie quarterback in the NFL.  By Sunday evening, everyone remembered after four of the quarterbacks went home losers and tossed a combined 11 interceptions (and just two touchdowns).

RGIII on the other hand made things look easy as he outplayed future Hall of Famer Drew Brees in front of a hostile Saints crowd. Continue reading

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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

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

Weekly Nickel 6-4-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Curtis Granderson (left) and Derek Jeter (right) are two of the main reasons why the New York Yankees are right in the thick of things in the AL East as usual.

By Josh Kramer

Can you say playoffs?  The past month and a half has been defined by playoff action.  Last week though, Grand Slam tennis in Paris was added to the slate.  Not to mention Tiger Woods tied Jack Nicklaus with PGA victory number 73.  I thoroughly enjoyed last week, but this week will be even better as we delve deeper into the playoffs and action at Roland Garros.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  A 20-minute long red flag at Dover on Sunday.  12 cars were involved in the massive collision that occurred on the exit of Turn 2.  Hopefully next Sunday will be a little less eventful at Pocono Raceway as Jimmie Johnson looks to jump Greg Biffle atop the Sprint Cup Series.

4.  It took 8,020 and games and 134 pitches from Johan Santana.  But the Mets finally have a no-hitter.  Both Roy Oswalt and Dustin Pedroia are making two very different types of comebacks.  And after a stellar career in which he posted a career .309 batting average, Magglio Ordonez is officially hanging up the spikes.  Also what is the deal in the East?  All teams are within striking distance in both the AL and NL East, with no team trailing first place by more than 3.5 games.  The matchup of the week will take place in the Bronx.

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees:  Every team in the AL East is very much in contention at the moment.  Amazingly, all five teams have a positive run differential.  The AL Central currently only has one team with a positive run differential (Cleveland).  But let’s be entirely honest.  Does anyone truly think the Orioles or Blue Jays will be in contention come October?  The AL East has been a three-team race for years now and will continue to stay that way into the foreseeable future.  The Yankees and Rays happen to be two of those three teams in contention each and every year.

As is typically the case in New York, the Bronx Bombers have been dropping bombs all year long, leading the American League in home runs.  Tampa Bay on the other hand has won in a much different fashion, relying heavily on their very talented pitching staff.  David Price and Jeremy Hellickson have both been stifling the opposition since the beginning of April.  For the Yankees, the Captain (Derek Jeter), who actually just celebrated the ten-year anniversary of becoming the Yankees captain yesterday, has turned into a modern-day version of Ponce de Leon, discovering the baseball fountain of youth.  Also, Curtis Granderson’s insane power has been another key to New York’s success.  The Rays swept the Yankees to open the season back in early April.  New York returned the favor by taking two of three at the beginning of May.  Look for Tampa to turn the tables yet again taking two of three, with Hellickson and Price starting two of the games. 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

Djokovic is the real number one now

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Novak Djokovic (pictured above) is your new number one ranked player in the world and your 2011 Wimbledon Champion.

By Josh Kramer

What better topic for my 600th post than the 2011 Wimbledon Championship match?  It is hard to believe that this is post number 600 on “TheSportsKraze,” but it has truly been a pleasure talking sports with all of you each and every day.  The support is very much appreciated.

When the new tennis rankings come out, the tennis world will have a new number one ranked player.  We already knew that this was the case heading into today’s final at the All England Club.  But despite a ranking change, without a victory, it would not truly feel like Novak Djokovic was the number one player in the world.  Well today he proved that he is truly deserving of the top spot in tennis. 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