Tag Archives: Venus Williams

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 8-20-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Dustin Johnson (pictured above) hopes to repeat as champion of The Barclays this weekend.

By Josh Kramer

In terms of preseason football, this week is as real as it gets.  Roger Federer continues to cruise as we gear up for the US Open, while Venus Williams continues to demonstrate some amazing fight.  The dog days of August baseball lead into September meaning manager firings, call ups of hot-shot prospects, and heated pennant races.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be entertaining in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Start your engines folks as we head to Bristol.  After an exciting Sunday on the track at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR heads to Bristol for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol.  The Chase is right around the corner with just three races remaining before the real party gets started at the Geico 400 on September 16th.

4.  In the golfing world, The Barclays will be the name of the game come Thursday.  After a fun event in Greensboro, the PGA Tour heads to Farmingdale, New York for the The Barclays.  After skipping out on the Wyndham Championship, Dustin Johnson will look to become the first back to back winner at The Barclays since Ernie Els accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1997. Continue reading

Venus The Star

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Venus Williams (pictured above) put on a show today at the Western and Southern Open defeating defending US Open champion Samantha Stosur.

By Josh Kramer

Last year at this time, Venus Williams was struggling to cope with a viral autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome.  She was unable to participate in either of the two major tour stops in Toronto or Cincinnati, and forced to pull out in the second round of the US Open.  Most fully expected the tennis career of Venus Williams to be about over.  A year later Venus is still dealing with Sjogren’s, but she also continues to provide inspiration for those suffering from illness (especially Sjogren’s) all over the globe.  Today, for at least one day, the Venus Williams we once knew was back.  The Grandstand at the lovely Lindner Tennis Center in Mason (Cincinnati), OH was given a show that made things seem like it was the year 2001 again. 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

Weekly Nickel 7-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tiger Woods (pictured above) leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus with PGA Tour win number 74 yesterday.

By Josh Kramer

Spain took their place among the elite teams in soccer history this weekend after taking home a third consecutive major title.  Wimbledon has had a March Madness type of feel with Venus Williams exiting in Round 1 and Rafael Nadal going down in Round 2.  Brad Keselowski was the king of the Kentucky Speedway.  And the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has opened up Season 2.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Kentucky Speedway got it right this year.  Brad Keselowski was a happy man on Saturday night as he moved into 10th in the Sprint Cup Standings.  Now the NASCAAR crew heads to Daytona to see who can take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona.  David Ragan came out victorious last year at this event, while the current leader of the Spring Cup Standings, Matt Kenseth, finished second.

4.  Tiger Woods is back in the building.  Or at least in the win column.  Woods has leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus in terms of PGA Tour wins and now ranks second all time at 74.  I am not going to get carried away though.  He is still out in the “Woods” in my eyes and the Tiger we once knew will never return.  Next stop, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. Continue reading

A major changing of the guard

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Serena Williams (pictured above) was pushed to the brink of elimination by Jie Zheng earlier today.

By Josh Kramer

First there was Venus in Round 1.  Then Rafa in Round 2.  Nearly Federer in Round 3.  And then Serena was pushed to the brink of elimination in Round 3 as well.  What is going to happen in Round 4?  These four players are all former number ones that have a combined 47 Grand Slam titles (including 17 singles championships at Wimbledon) between them and unparalleled popularity.  In a span of a mere 24 hours during Week 1, three of them almost bit the dust, while one (Venus) had already crumbled a few days earlier.

At a time not so long ago, guys like Sampras and Agassi dominated Men’s tennis, while Graf and Seles were doing similar things in Women’s tennis.  Then following short-lived reigns of a few others in between, Federer took over Men’s tennis, while the Williams sisters took over Women’s tennis.  Since, Nadal and Djokovic have had their turns on Federer’s throne, while the injury-prone Williams’ sisters have shared the wealth in recent memory as well.  Now these four superstars and former number ones are a mean age of 29.5 (30 is considered dinosaur age in tennis).

Despite the ripe age, I never thought I would see the day where all four superstars were nearly eliminated during Week 1 of a major.  Luckily, Federer once again demonstrated that he may be old, but he isn’t dead yet, in coming back from two sets down against Benneteau.  He still has the heart of a champion.  Serena also demonstrated outstanding mental fortitude in serving her way past Zheng.

So two of this fantastic four are still left standing as we head towards the Round of 16.  But how much longer are they really going to last (both here and in general)?  Venus has not won a major in over four years since handling business at the All England Club in 2008.  Serena has gone winless in the major tourneys since nabbing the title at Wimbledon in 2010.  Plus, Serena exited in the first-round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her illustrious career at Roland Garros a few weeks ago.  After winning at least one Grand Slam for eight consecutive years, Federer went Slam-less in 2011 and has not come out victorious at a major since the 2010 Australian Open.  Lastly, Nadal had participated in the finals of five consecutive Grand Slams before having his dreams of a third Wimbledon Championship dashed by little-known Lukas Rosol.

Though none of these four superstars have hinted much at retirement yet (especially not Nadal), times are changing.  Outside of Rafa at Roland Garros, none of these players are a sure bet to take home any of the major championships these days.  We have been blind to it, but this week has highlighted for us all that there is a major changing of the guard occurring right before our eyes in the tennis world.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

Food for Thought 6-26-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kevin Youkilis (pictured above) received a nice curtain call from Red Sox Nation on Sunday. Now he will take the field for baseball’s other Sox (Chicago).

By Josh Kramer

From one Sox to another Sox.  Kevin Youkilis is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.  This is a great transaction for both Sox involved.  Boston rids themselves of a potential ongoing locker room problem (Youkilis/Valentine feud), and gives rising star Will Middlebrooks a chance to spread his wings.  Chicago on the other hand gets a proven All-Star who can provide the team with a 3rd baseman who can indeed bat above the Mendoza line ( Orlando Hudson batting .194 and Brent Morel batting .177).   Youkilis could even potentially bat over .300 (he has done this three times).

After a very successful 8.5 year stint in Boston, where Youkilis helped end the curse and bring Beantown two World Series, it was time to move on.  The great thing  is Boston has a solution in young stud Will Middlebrooks, while Chicago gets a guy who is only 33-years-old.  The White Sox are looking to make a deep playoff run in the present.  As much as Boston would like to be a playoff contender, they currently find themselves near the cellar of the AL East.  It is hard to believe, but with the departure of Youkilis, Big Papi is the only member of the 2004 championship team still left in Beantown.

Chicago’s hitting has been good this year, but not great.  Youkilis has the ability to provide the production out of the 3rd base position needed to help this team reach the next level.  It is no secret that the AL Central is perhaps baseball’s weakest division.  The White Sox have a golden opportunity to make postseason baseball this year.  As we all know, anything can happen in October.  Just ask Youkilis. Continue reading