Tag Archives: tennis

“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

“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