John McEnroe is busy training the next group of great American tennis players. In 2010, he launched the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) in his hometown of New York City at the SPORTIME Randall's Island Tennis Center in Manhattan. His vision? Bring the buzz back to tennis--starting in his stomping grounds.
John's passion and belief is that great players can be developed in urban settings, while still having the opportunity to live at home, pursue their educational goals, and participate in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities. He is living proof. During his developmental years, McEnroe went to the Port Washington Tennis Academy on Long Island and remained involved in other activities, playing high school soccer until he was 18. He knows first-hand that training in a tennis-first environment would have been a recipe for disaster for him, and is instead trying to bring the New York urban mentality to training at his academy, while still producing spectacular talent.
Serbian Novak Djokovic the defending champ and #1 seed will play Scot Andy Murray, the #3 seed, for the Australian Open's Men's Championship on Sunday, Jan, 27th at 5:30 PM or 1:30 AM EST in the U. S. Djokovic has won 10 of their 17 matches to date with Djokovic having the last two wins in the final two ATP events of 2012. Both are right-handed 25-year-olds, and Murray at 6'3" is an inch taller. This match could go either way depending on who wants it more.
Murray earned his finals place by beating Roger Federer in the semi-finals for the first time in a major 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2 in exactly four hours. Murray did not play the tie-breakers well getting passed at one point on a wicked crosscourt backhand winner by Federer. Yet, Murray stayed with it. Possibly the 31-year-old Federer did not have the legs after back to back five setters.
Djokovic had a much easier route, or rout, to the final by soundly beating clay court specialist David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in 89 minutes. Djokovic struck 30 winners and 16 errors while Ferrer had only 11 winners with 32 errors.
Australian Open Women's Singles Final Preview: Where To Watch Online Live Stream of Victoria Azarenka vs. Li Na
The Australian Open Women's Singles final which will be played at 7:30 PM on Saturday, January 26th in Melbourne (3:30 AM EST in the States) features the defending champion Victoria Azarenka the #1 seed from Belarus against Li Na, the #6 seed from China. Azarenka has beaten Na five out of nine times, but never in a Grand Slam. Azarenka has played consistently well this past year except when her opponent was Serena Williams, and stands a good chance to repeat if her nerves don't get in the way.
Azarenka sighed in huge relief after injured Serena Williams (ankle and back) was defeated by Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals. During Azarenka's 6-2, 6-4 semi-final win over Stephens in the second set, Azarenka took a 9-minute medical time-out and left the court prompting boos from the fans in the stadium.
Azarenka had a "blocked rib" according to her video press interview after the match. "I almost did the choke of the year right now, ... at 5-3, having so many chances and I couldn't close it out. I was a bit overwhelmed realizing I was one step away from the final. Nerves got into me, for sure."
During the US Open there was talk that Sloane Stephens was the next Serena Williams or next great American champ. Wednesday or last night for those in the States at the Australian Open, Stephens pulled off a remarkable upset by beating Serena 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. Her talent shown brightly as the 29th seeded player earned a place in her first Grand Slam semi-finals against the #1 seed, Victoria Azarenka who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1.
Stephens has reached the third round of the U. S. Open before but this was her first quarterfinal appearance. Although, anxious at times, Stephens showed her quickness, mental toughness, and a better game plan than when she first played and lost to Williams (3-6, 4-6) a few weeks ago in Brisbane. Stephens attacked more, winning 18 of her 20 approaches or volleys in the 2 hour and 13 minute match.
On the other side of the net, Williams injured her back in the second set, smashed her racket, and recorded her worse statistical outing in unforced errors with 48 as compared to Stephens 39. In the Aussie press room, Williams stated that "This was my worst ever two weeks."
What Can The Combined Record of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic And Murray's Opponents Tell Us About Tennis' Greatest Era?
Having watched Stanislas Wawrinka unexpectedly push Novak Djokovic all the way in the 4th Round of the Australian Open, Federer summarily dispatch two of the game’s next hottest talents in Raonic and Tomic, and watched Andy Murray move to 39 wins and 1 losses against French players in the last few years, I was struck by the notion at how good the top four players in the world – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray, have been at dispatching their nearest competition on a consistent basis.
I decided to take a closer look at their records against ten of the best players whom they have faced – five of them current players, and five who were at their peak in the past.
I recognise that whether one includes Andy Murray within a group containing three of the greatest players of all time is controversial given his meagre success in comparison, but have included him as it has felt for the last couple of years that he truly has earned status as the fourth force. While not as celebrated as the other three, and the numbers tell this story, he has elevated himself from the chasing pack to be a significant factor in tennis’s greatest era.