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Archive for January 13th, 2010


Roy Emerson: Master of the Grand Slam 5

Posted on January 13, 2010 by JA Allen
Roy Emerson was the first men's tennis player to win 12 Grand Slam titles.

Roy Emerson was the first men's tennis player to win 12 Grand Slam titles.

The best tennis had to offer chased this man for over 30 years. In 1967, Aussie great Roy Emerson won his 12th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open Championship against countryman Tony Roche.

After years of Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, and a legion more, no one equalled this mark until Pete Sampras tied Emerson’s single Slam total at the Wimbledon Championships in 1999.

The American surpassed Emerson, winning his 13th at Wimbledon one year later in July of 2000. As far as Sampras was concerned, when he took the U.S. Open title in 2002, winning his 14th and final Grand Slam victory, the record was his hopefully for another 30-plus years.

Sampras, however, was passed by Roger Federer in 2009—a mere seven years later, again setting his new record on the fabled Wimbledon lawns. Federer currently holds 15 Slam singles titles.

Emerson, born in 1936, was part of the Australian golden era of men’s tennis in the the late ’50s, ’60s, and early ’70s. During this reign of supremacy, no one contributed more to the aura of Aussie domination than Roy Stanley Emerson—a farm boy from Blackbutt in Queensland.

Considered “tall,” Emerson, at 6’0″, towered over his contemporaries, which would not be the case today. According to his biographers, who tout his milking regimen as the reason for his astounding wrist strength, being a farm boy also served its purposes.

The truth is that Emerson—“Emmo” to his friends—was sublimely fit, as he trained hard to go the distance. He loved the challenge and rigors of five-set majors. His results in Grand Slam finals show his fitness served him well.

On court, Emerson preferred to serve and volley, but he could adapt his game to any surface—as he proved by winning the French Open twice during his career. Opponents feared his quickness, his ability to cover the court and his volleying skills.

Emerson typified Aussie spirit with his never-say-die attitude, his love of partying and his simple belief that once you took the court, you were fit enough to play—no excuses allowed.

Emerson “went the distance” 28 times in Grand Slam finals, winning 12 singles titles and 16 doubles. The Aussie holds the record for the total number of Grand Slam championships for men. Read the rest of this entry →

Jason Grilli Shares Thoughts on Crying In Baseball Following McGwire Admission 0

Posted on January 13, 2010 by Todd Civin

52431735MW018_BASEBALL_STARAlthough Jimmy Dugan told me, “There’s no crying in baseball” I didn’t listen the other day. I cried a lot. So did Mark McGwire. Only the difference between me and Mark McGwire is that we cried for two different reasons.

McGwire cried because he had painted himself into the proverbial corner. Caught with his hand in the cookie jar. His lie had taken on a life of it’s own and gnawed into his belly each and every day since…well, since Tony LaRussa offered him a job as hitting coach.

His tears were contrived. His tears were the creation of some Spin City PR guy who told him that in this case, you can cry in baseball.

My tears were spontaneous tears. Real tears. Tears that I have no shame in showing the baseball world. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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