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Archive for the ‘Davis Cup’

Bogdanovic Set for Davis Cup Return 1

Posted on February 22, 2011 by Thomas Rooney

Alex Bogdanovic is competing for a spot on the English Davis Cup team.

British number six Alex Bogdanovic will compete for one of two singles spots in the Great British Davis Cup team  for the match against Tunisia next month. The Great Britain squad are slight tennis betting favorites after winning their last tie.

Bogdanovic has been absent from the team since 2008, but with Andy Murray declaring himself unavailable for the tie, he will compete against James Ward and Jamie Baker for a spot on the squad. The doubles specialists Colin Fleming and Jamie Murray complete the five-man squad for the tie in Bolton, which starts on the 4th March.

Having been dropped from the team at the start of 2009 after not winning a singles rubber since 2003, he declared himself unavailable later that year to concentrate on improving his world ranking. The world number 378 has seemingly had a change of heart as he contends for a spot on the team for the Europe/Africa zone group II. Read the rest of this entry →

Great Men of Tennis: Gottfried von Cramm 7

Posted on April 05, 2010 by Claudia Celestial Girl
Barbara Hutton

In this series we’ve talked about how tennis in the early days (late 19th and early 20th century) was a game for elite members of society. Dwight Davis, a Harvard student and tennis innovator was wealthy enough at the age of 20 to purchase from his own funds an enormous sterling silver ‘pot’ to serve as trophy for the Davis Cup. Fred Perry was the son of a leading member of the British Parliament, and self-made 1930s-style British millionaire. An exception – Don Budge was an unassuming middle class kid who learned to play tennis in a public court in Oakland California. (If you’ve never been to Oakland, it is where the docks associated with San Francisco Bay are actually located. Few would confuse Oakland, California, with … San Francisco.).

No elite athlete in tennis’ long history probably had a loftier pedigree than that of Baron Gottfried Alexander Maximilian Walter Kurt Freiherr von Cramm. He usually dropped the ‘Baron’ and the ‘von’ when interacting with his peers – asking people to call him ‘Gottfried Cramm.’ He was the third son of Baron von Cramm, a title inherited by his eldest brother, Aschwin in 1936 associated with a Saxon region of Germany in what is now the county of Lower Saxony (created by the British after WWII).

In the 1980s, the late Jack Kramer listed Von Cramm as one of the 21 greatest tennis players of all time. And Von Cramm played perhaps the greatest tennis match in history in 1937 in front of the British King at Wimbledon, representing of all things, Nazi Germany in a Davis Cup final (WWII broke out in 1939). He was devastatingly handsome, he was blond, he was athletic, he was aristocratic (ever the gentleman on court). Though he was everything the Aryan race was supposed to be (and his wins are listed next to a Nazi flag on websites such as wikipedia [see Fred Perry]), von Cramm was anything but a Nazi. Read the rest of this entry →

Is the State Of GB Tennis To Blame For Andy Murray’s Loss of Confidence? 2

Posted on March 28, 2010 by Marianne Bevis
Sony Ericsson Open - Day 2

It’s been a shameful few weeks for British tennis.

Since the Davis Cup defeat by Lithuania, barely a day has passed without one media outlet or another revealing a new twist in the story.

First, it was the ritual analysis of the work of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). 
Before long, John Lloyd resigned from the worst job in tennis, and began to cast his vitriol in assorted directions.

Eventually, attention turned to Roger Draper, the chief executive of the LTA since 2006, who has commissioned an internal review following the Lithuania tie.

Draper himself also had some explaining to do to a group of MPs and peers chaired by Baroness Billingham. He was been summoned to explain how the LTA spends the £27 million of public funding it receives from Sport England for grass-roots projects.

But never far away from the war of words that breaks out after each Davis Cup tie is the name of Andy Murray.

One moment he is pilloried for deserting the Davis Cup team in its hour of need, and the next he is being consulted on what needs to happen to turn things around.

Well it’s time to call a halt and face a few home truths. The mire in which British tennis finds itself is not of Murray’s making. Indeed, it might be argued that, without his presence, this furore would all have come to a head far sooner.

Who is Responsible for Great Britain's Poor Performance in Davis Cup?

  • The Lawn Tennis Association (60%, 3 Votes)
  • Team Manager John Lloyd (20%, 1 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (20%, 1 Votes)
  • British Snobbery (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

Loading ... Loading ...

Read the rest of this entry →

Indian Wells’ Garden of Delights: Rivalries, Comebacks, and Roger and Rafa 1

Posted on March 12, 2010 by Marianne Bevis
BNP Paribas Tennis in Indian Wells

Not one, but two Masters tournaments, the firsts of the year.

The only ATP events of the month, both centered in the sunshine of the United States.

These are the last hard courts before spring ushers in the clay. No more of the artificial, punishing surfaces until the tour heads back to North America in late July. Many, indeed, will postpone their transfer from the all-too-brief grass season until August.

So it is little wonder that Indian Wells and its Miami sister two weeks later draw the big names, the big crowds, the big coverage.

Indian Wells, in particular, is set like a sapphire in the Californian desert, a jewel in the tennis crown. More people soak up the tennis at this tournament than anywhere outside the Grand Slams.

It’s a place drenched in blue, wholly in tune with its watery origins. This most favored stop on the tennis tour, attracting the very best from both the ATP and WTA tours, offers a serene mountainous backdrop, cloudless skies, dry heat, clear air. It’s as close to paradise as wealth can bring to the desert.

More than 300,000 flock to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. It overflows with tropical flowers, trees, and fountains, and the courts themselves sit like miniature Aegean Seas within their grass-green surroundings.

The pale violet and blue peaks of the distant Santa Rosa range provide a glorious setting as this oasis bursts into flower with a bouquet of wonderful prospects. Read the rest of this entry →

David Ferrer Takes 24-carat Tennis From Latin American to Davis Cup Victory 5

Posted on March 09, 2010 by Marianne Bevis
2010 Australian Open - Day 4

Everything about the climax of the tennis’s “Golden Swing” glowed.

It was played out in the Mexican heat, under brilliant floodlights, on the deepest of orange backgrounds.

It brought together two golden-skinned Spaniards in their second final in six days.

And it delivered up a treasure chest of outstanding tennis.

But start with the protagonists: David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Not just compatriots: They both come from the Valencia region of Spain.

Not just Davis Cup team mates, but business partners: They jointly back the newly-branded Valencia 500 tournament that moved to the stunning Agora building in 2009.

Not only two of Spain’s most successful tennis players: They are close friends who play and practise together.

These numerous bonds made for not one but two helpings of fast-moving, sporting, and intense tennis on the clay of Latin America in the final days of February.

For drama, the match could not have promised more. These are two men who have been around the block a few times, have seen their fortunes ebb and flow, but have both expressed their desire to get back to the top 10.

Ferrero, who turned 30 just days before winning the Brazil Open three weeks ago, has reached an ATP final in every year since 1999. He won titles every year between 1999 and 2003, including four Masters and the French Open, which took him briefly to No 1 in the world. It was another six years before he claimed his next title: Casablanca last year.

Now, coming into this closer of the “Golden Swing,” he could boast not one new title but two in consecutive weeks. And here he was, aiming to add a third.

Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer

Ferrero has worked hard on his fitness and stamina off court in order to taste success on court again. It has reaped riches. From a ranking of 115 during that Casablanca tournament, he has now reached his highest ranking—14—since October 2004.

Then there is the back story for Ferrer.

He is two weeks shy of his 28th birthday, and has reached an ATP final in every year since 2002, bar one. What he has lacked in Ferrero’s shot-making flair he has made up for in terrier-like determination.

Hard-working, a power-pack of muscle and energy, he came closest to touching pure gold in the finals of the Masters Cup of 2007. His last ATP title was back in the spring of 2008, and he’s won only one ATP 500 title in his career.

Ferrer’s main victories in 2009 were in Davis Cup ties: He won all six matches he played. But since last spring, aside from those ties, he has experienced a real slump in what seemed to be a devastating loss of confidence. Now, though, he’s almost back to his No 16 ranking of a year ago—just two short of Ferrero.

The positive side to his narrative is that, with an upturn in form, he can rake in the points throughout this year.

Their first meeting was in Bueno Aires. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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