No Mirza-Bhupathi at US Open

on August 29 2012 12:42 AM
No Mirza-Bhupathi at US Open

Honeymoon period is over for Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. The Indian duo will not play mixed doubles together at the US Open despite having captured two Grand Slam titles as a pair.

It seems that it is the result of the bitter fall-out from the Olympics.

Bhupathi will be partnering Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic in New York while Mirza will team up with Britain's Colin Fleming and could face each other at the last four stage.

Bhupathi-Hlavackova seeded 6th will play their first round match against American pair Samantha Crawford and Mitchell Krueger.

The unseeded Mirza-Fleming will start their campaign against wild card entrant Andrea Petkovic of Germany and Eric Butorac of USA.

Mirza played mixed doubles at the Olympics with Leander Paes after the later had demanded an assurance that only he would be allowed to pair with her.

Angry Mirza agreed to team up with Paes, but utter her discomfort in a huge press release hitting out about the arrangement, saying she was used as a "bait" to keep Paes happy, and was a victim of "male chauvinism".

Serena Williams: The US Open favorite

on August 23 2012 2:49 PM
Serena Williams: The US Open favorite

It was some 13 years ago, Serena Williams was victorious at Flushing Meadows. This was her first slam. The younger sister of Venus Williams made her mark in 1999.

After that she has not has as much success in New York as has been in Melbourne or London.

Being triumphant at the Australian Open and the Wimbledon Championships five times each, she won the US Open on three occasions, the last of those being in 2008.

For Serena, a year that began with losses to Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian Open and Virginie Razzano at Roland Garros in the first round itself was not going very well.

But Wimbledon was hers and so was Olympic gold, in both in singles and doubles, and she is the one who is again holding the title of the dominant figure in the women's game on the court.

At All England Club Serena served up 102 aces against just 10 double faults with a breathtaking 49-second, four-serve, four-ace game third set in the final against Radwanska that righted her momentum.

At the Olympics she totally devastated a shrieking and broken Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the gold-medal match.

Roger Federer Captures Record 5th Cincinnati Title

on August 19 2012 3:31 PM
Roger Federer Captures Record 5th Cincinnati Title

Once again Roger Federer prevailed at the Cincinati for a record fifth title, after clinching it in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The world number 1 posted a 6-0, 7-6 (9-7) victory over number 2 Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final at the $2.825 million Western & Southern Open.

The Swiss, with a dazzling array of groundstrokes, won the opening set 6-0 in just 20 minutes, allowing Djokovic to win just 10 points.

The Serb also looked out of sorts and threw in five double faults and countless unforced errors to compound matters.

But Djokovic is well known for his fighting qualities, finally found his range in the second, forcing it into a tie-break.

Though it was not enough to prevent the top seed from snapping Djokovic on his streak of 15 straight victories on hard courts.

Federer, conceded an early mini-break and squandered a match point.

Later a forehand winner gave the Swiss Master, in an ideal preparation for the US Open, which starts in New York on 27 August, his 76th career title, and year's 6th.

He also tied Rafael Nadal for the most ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles with 21.

Andy Murray's Olympic Destiny

on August 05 2012 1:34 PM

Andy Murray's 6-2 6-1 6-4 win over Roger Federer in the final of the Olympic men's tennis tournament caps the career of one sports greatest nearly men; and represents the complete and utter vindication of one of the biggest talents tennis has ever produced who many thought could never win a 'big one'.

Murray's rise to prominence in 2005 came on the backdrop of the careers of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski coming to a close. At British tennis's lowest ebb,  the overwhelming pressure of the British media on a gangly 17 year old who hadn't grown into his body yet and struggled mightily with fitness and endurance, he gave the tennis public a taste of what he had within him defeating 14th seeded Radek Stepanek and  advancing to Round 3 of Wimbledon before his legs gave out from under him  when two sets up against the experienced David Nalbandian; his back spasmed on the court, and he crashed out, just a boy, not yet a man.

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray - a statistical comparison the top four

on July 18 2012 10:13 AM
Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray - a statistical comparison the top four

I wanted to take a look at what it is exactly that makes the best 4 players in the world as good as they are. Unfortunately the majority of analysis and commentary on tennis, as in most sports, succumbs to a level of hyperbole and uses a lexicon that while sounds impressive, tells us absolutely nothing about the different facets of the sports we love.

The top four players in the world, for the last 4 or 5 years now, have been Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. The first two have legitimate claims to be the best tennis player of all time; Djokovic has since partially eclipsed them in their prime by putting together the best season of all time in 2011; and Murray, while not belonging in the same category of all-time greats until he wins a slam, has been a consistent member of the top 4 and a huge factor in the era.

Subsequently I created a chart with the 15 categories I consider most important in the make-up of these great players and rated each player out of 10. Some attributes are physical and tangible, some are mental and illusive, and the categories are not perfect - but it hopefully gives an illustration.