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Archive for the ‘Australian Open’


Evonne Goolagong Cawley: Tennis Mom 0

Posted on July 11, 2021 by Dean Hybl
Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Fifty years before Ashleigh Barty claimed her first Wimbledon Championship, another Australian woman claimed the Wimbledon Women’s Singles title on her way to a Hall of Fame career.

The path to tennis greatness was a unique one for Evonne Goolagong Cawley. The daughter of an itinerant sheep shearer, Goolagong Cawley was the third of eight children in an Australian Aboriginal family. Though Aboriginal people faced significant discrimination during that era, Goolagong Cawley was able to play tennis from a young age due to the generosity and support of numerous people within Australia.

She emerged on the international tennis stage as a 19-year-old in 1971 as she reached the finals of the Australian Open and then won the French Open and Wimbledon titles. She remains the only person to win the French Open women’s title in her first time playing in the tournament.

In 1972, she reached the finals of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, but did not claim any of the titles. She also played the U.S. Open for the first time in 1972 and reached the third round.

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Australian Open Goes Back in Time 2

Posted on January 27, 2017 by Dean Hybl

Much has happened since Rafael Nadal defeated a tearful Roger Federer in the 2009 Australian Open Final.

Much has happened since Rafael Nadal defeated a tearful Roger Federer in the 2009 Australian Open Final.

If you didn’t know better, you might think the Australian Open being shown these days on ESPN was a replay from 2007, not the 2017 version. With Venus and Serena Williams set to meet in the women’s final and  Roger Federer facing Rafael Nadal in the men’s final, the tournament definitely feels like Old-Timers Day.

It is hard to say which performance is the most surprising.

Given her constant physical battle with Sjögrens Syndrome, you can perhaps give the nod for most impressive performance to Venus Williams. Though she did not have to face any of the top women’s players in the draw during her run to the finals, it is still impressive that the 36-year-old Venus is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2009 and the first at a tournament other than Wimbledon since reaching the Australian Open final in 2003.

The only performance so far during the Australian Open that isn’t much of a surprise is that of second seed Serena Williams. Shooting for her 23rd Grand Slam title and seventh Australian Open crown, Serena has again been dominant and will be facing her older sister in a grand slam final for the ninth time.

Serena has claimed six of the previous eight finals matchups, including a three-set victory in the 2003 Australian Open. The last time the two met in a Grand Slam Final was the 2009 Wimbledon final when Serena won in straight sets. Read the rest of this entry →

Novak Djokovic Building His Own Tennis Legacy 1

Posted on January 31, 2016 by Dean Hybl

Novak Djokovic claimed his 11th grand slam title and sixth Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic claimed his 11th grand slam title and sixth Australian Open.

Since the turn of the 21st Century, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have won a combined total of 31 grand slam singles titles to rank first and tied for second all-time. They seemingly have been the dominant faces of the men’s tennis world, yet, at the end of the day it now looks possible that they both could be overtaken by another player who once lived in their shadow.

With his three-set victory over Andy Murray in the finals of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic claimed his third straight major championship and has now won 10 major titles since 2011 and 11 overall.

Nearing his 29th birthday, Djokovic is now tied with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver for fifth all-time in major championships. He has won five of the last seven and many think he could become the first men’s player since Laver in 1969 (the first year of the open era) to win all four major championships in the same year.

Even if he doesn’t claim all four this year, Djokovic can become the first men’s player since Laver to hold all four major titles at the same time if he can win the French Open in June.

He nearly won the grand slam last year as it was only a four-set loss to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open Finals that kept him from the amazing feat in 2015.

If his dominating victory over Murray is any indication, Djokovic is a man at the peak of his game ready for the challenge associated with achieving new heights. Read the rest of this entry →

Went To A NASCAR Race & A WWE Match Broke Out: Gordon Vs. Bowyer (VIDEO) 4

Posted on November 12, 2012 by Joe Gill

Who said all the action of NASCAR was on the track?

After some jousting during the AdvoCare 500, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, and their crews partook in a WWE Battle Royale.

Fists were flying and tires were being pushing over in the donnybrook.

Vince McMahon Would Be Proud

Vince McMahon could not have scripted it any better as Bowyer left his car and raced through the infield to get involved in the fracas.

Maybe Gordon & Bowyer could square off at Wrestlemania?

Queen Victoria Azarenka: The New Novak Djokovic of the Women’s Tour? 11

Posted on February 01, 2012 by JA Allen

Victoria Azarenka won the 2012 Australian Open for the first time.

Evidently, Victoria Azarenka finally got tired of waiting for her moment in the sun.

The new world No. 1 decided to take matters into her own hand in Melbourne—defeating both Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova consecutively to take the 2012 Australian Open crown.

Both her semifinal and final opponents had previously won the title “down under.” In fact, Clijsters was the defending Australian Open champion.  Sharapova had won the title in 2008.

Azarenka’s win harkens back to the sudden rise of  Novak Djokovic starting with the 2011 Australian Open when the No. 3 ranked Serb defeated No. 2 Roger Federer in the semifinals. Djokovic advanced to the finals where he defeated world No. 4 Andy Murray, claiming his second Australian Open title.

Djokovic had won his first Aussie Open back in 2008, again dismissing Federer in the semis. But after that lone slam victory three years ago—many feared the Serb would simply be another one-slam wonder.

Following his win at the 2011 Australian Open, Djokovic, of course, went on to win his next 43 matches, eventually losing in the semifinals of the 2012 French Open to Roger Federer. It took Djokovic until Wimbledon to overtake Rafael Nadal for the No. 1 ranking.

The Serb’s ascension marked the beginning of the Djokovic Era in men’s tennis and many predict the same sort of fortune for the newly crowned world No. 1 in women’s tennis.

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Potential 4th Round Blockbusters at the 2012 Australian Open 6

Posted on January 20, 2012 by JA Allen

Victoria Azarenka is favored to win her first major down under.

As week one at the Australian Open in Melbourne draws to a close, there are some mouth-watering matches we earnestly pray will happen. They involve top-ranked players as well as aspiring new-comers hoping to reach the summit by upsetting those at the top.

We have already seen some heart-breakers like No. 6 seed Aussie Samantha Stosur stumbling out of the blocks as well as the top-ranked American Mardy Fish going out in the second round.

But when a door closes, a window opens. These upsets might unveil a new talent preparing his or her first full-fledged assault on a major.

As we head into round four, also called the round of 16, there are some challenging matches on tap—if only all the promised ones make it through the third round staging ground.

Following are the matches we sincerely hope will happen.

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  • 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.

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