Heading into the French Open, the second major of the season, most players prepare diligently for their final hurrah on clay. It remains as probably the least understood and least appreciated of the court surfaces players endure each year.
If the truth be told, players who learn to play on clay and who embrace the surface’s forgiving nature generally become better, more successful all-around players than those who learn the game on grass or hard courts.
The typical clay court player excels in patience by learning how to develop points as well as excellent defensive skills.
For a long time it seemed that some players segregated their careers by either avoiding clay altogether or by playing exclusively on the red dirt. But with the start of the Open Era and the necessity to play on multiple surfaces, some players built successful all-court games using clay court expertise as the foundation.
These male players achieved a top ten ATP ranking, a winning percentage in excess of 70 percent on clay throughout their careers—as well as double digit title wins on clay. Most also won at least one French Open, although not all.
If you watched the match on Tuesday between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, currently ranked world No. 28, perhaps you witnessed an historic match—much like the fourth round match between Pete Sampras and Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2001.
The Swiss defeated Pistol Pete in five thrilling sets to send the American packing. Sampras would never again reign on Center Court after seven Wimbledon championships while Federer showed the world he could win the big one.
Like Federer, Dimitrov may not capitalize immediately but what the match fully illustrated was that the Bulgarian could win over the best. That critical step Dimitrov took today should instill him with enough confidence to stand toe to toe with anyone on court today. Time will tell, however, whether this match stands the test of time.
Both combatants mesmerized tennis fans around the globe as the match ebbed and flowed first in Dimitrov’s favor, then in Djokovic’s. The Serb never quit trying to will his way across the finish line. When Dimitrov took the first set tie-break, we all believed that Djokovic was in a dog-fight—but one that he would win—eventually.
The second set unfolded with Djokovic down again, figuratively and literally, as he slipped on the baseline, temporarily injuring an already tender right ankle. But Djokovic righted the ship and won the second set tiebreak.
At that point we all believed that Dimitrov had fought the good fight—but surely the world No. 1 had the momentum to finish the youngster off in the third set. But 3 hours and 5 minutes later, Djokovic was gone and a new potential champion was left standing.
Which team’s goal song will carry them to victory in the 2013 GSC?
The NHL playoffs kick off in a few hours and I really don’t think that there is a better playoff series in sports. There is nothing like playoff hockey. The tempo of the game, the physicality and the effort shown by all of the guys on the ice blows every other sport out of the water.
If you have ever been to a hockey game you know all about the goal horns that go off when a team scores. Personally, I think the horns are awesome but what I like even more are the songs that follow. Every team has their own goal song and every song, if played enough, can start to drive a visiting goalie insane.
Goal songs come in all forms. There are chants, there are up tempo songs, classic songs and songs that straight up make you want to dance. But it’s playoff time, so for 16 other teams their goal scoring days are over (at least for this season). It’s time for me to reveal my playoff bracket based on which songs are the best. I also welcome any of you to leave your comments and let me know who your Goal Song Cup winner would be.
If you are thinking about betting on a sport the excellent thing about tennis is that the outcome can only be one way or another – there cannot be a draw. With tennis, after taking into consideration the favorites – any injuries they might have and if there are any up and coming stars to watch out for, anything can happen on the day because it is a game that is as much mental as it is physical.
You need to pay attention to how the players have been performing that season in order to make a good decision about who to bet on, and also pay attention to things such as on going rivalries. Sometimes a rivalry can make a match even more predictable as it can come down to who can push through the mental barriers the most.
Betting in an online casino, or betting on sports and TV shows has become so popular and easy to do, because of the sheer convenience, that you can lose track of your bets and how much you are winning and losing. So if you fancy placing a bet on a particular sports event or just fancy playing a casino game, head over to www.iphonecasino.co.nz and enjoy the experience from the comfort of your own home. But if you aren’t careful, this can be your downfall. The best thing to do is note down and keep records of all of your bets. Include details like who the opponents were, what the venue was, what the tournament was and at what stage, the stake, the price and of course the result.
If you do this and stick to it you may even start to see patterns emerging. It could tell you what you are doing wrong, what you are doing right. And hopefully, if you see that pattern you can correct it before it starts becoming an expensive mistake and interfering with your life.
On an incredibly EMOTIONAL night at TD Garden, Bostonians, Americans & Bruins fans sang their hearts out during the national anthem. Whether you were in the building or at home watching on television, you could not help but feel overwhelmed with sorrow, happiness and patriotism.
Pat Summerall and John Madden were the most popular duo in NFL broadcasting history.
The sports world lost a broadcasting legend with the death on Tuesday of Pat Summerall at the age of 82.
Though known to generations for his work as an announcer for the NFL, U.S. Open tennis championships and Masters Golf Tournament, Summerall actually spent 10 years as an NFL player before moving to the broadcast booth.
After playing college football at Arkansas, Summerall was drafted by the Detroit Lions, but a broken arm ended his first season in the league. He was traded to the Chicago Cardinals and spent five seasons with them primarily as a placekicker.
In an era when kickers were not often as involved in deciding games as they are today, Summerall converted 41% of his field goals and 95% of extra points with the Cardinals. He also played some defense and had the only pass interception of his career along with three fumble recoveries.
Summerall joined the New York Giants in 1958 and helped lead the team to the NFL Championship Game against the Baltimore Colts, a game commonly referred to as the Greatest Game Ever Played. His 49-yard field goal in the regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns ensured a playoff for the conference title, which the Giants won.
The 1959 season was the best of Summerall’s career as he converted a career-best 69% of his field goals (20 of 29) and was perfect on extra points while scoring a career-high 90 points. He retired after scoring 88 points in the 1961 season.
Summerall began his broadcasting career working part-time for New York Giant games in 1962. In 1964 he was hired by CBS to serve as a color commentator for NFL broadcasts. He served in that role until 1974 when he moved to the role of play-by-play announcer. Read the rest of this entry →
In honor of women’s history month, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month a woman who not only was the first woman to successfully swim the English Channel, but swam the channel faster than any person (man or woman) had done to that point in history.
Having proven her swimming ability while winning one gold and two bronze medals during the 1924 Summer Olympics, American Gertrude Ederle swam the challenging English Channel faster than any human previously when she swam from France to England in a time of 14 hours and 39 minutes on August 6, 1926.