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Roger Federer Confirms His Legacy With Another Wimbledon Title 1

Posted on July 16, 2017 by Dean Hybl
A month shy of his 36th birthday, Roger Federer has claimed his eighth Wimbledon singles title.

A month shy of his 36th birthday, Roger Federer has claimed his eighth Wimbledon singles title.

In case there was any question entering this year, with his performance winning both the Australian Open and now Wimbledon in 2017, Roger Federer has clearly cemented his place as the greatest champion in men’s tennis history.

Memories in sports can be very short. While seven years may seem like just a blip in time for most of us, in sports it can be an eternity.

Even though it has just been seven years since the end of the dominant run that saw Federer win 16 of 25 major titles and reach the finals in six other, the fact that others (most especially Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic) had overtaken him at the top of the tennis rankings made his run sometimes feel like ancient history.

So when injuries knocked Federer out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2002, most were beginning to talk about how long it would be before he retired.

Certainly, few were expecting him to return to the top of the game and build on his record number of major championships with his first grand slam titles since last winning Wimbledon in 2012.

However, when Federer returned for the 2017 Australian Open he looked like someone who had been drinking from the Fountain of Youth. Read the rest of this entry →

The Highest Earning Tennis Stars of All Time 2

Posted on July 11, 2017 by John Harris
Roger Federer is looking to add to his career earnings and to post his 19th Grand Slam title during Wimbledon 2017.

Roger Federer is looking to add to his career earnings and to post his 19th Grand Slam title during Wimbledon 2017.

It’s no secret that tennis players earn a considerable amount during their careers. Wimbledon 2017 has just begun and the total prize money this year has risen to a staggering £31.6 million. Although players compete for the championship title, and the single’s prize fund of £2.2 million, every player that competes receives money- even if they don’t win. Some players have reached the $100 million mark in their career earnings.

Novak Djokovic

The Serbian player has been listed as the highest earning tennis player for the past few years. His total career earnings from prizes come in at $109,320,581 to date. His income is owed to his extremely successful career, which has seen him win a total of 775 matches. His worth could be set to increase if he is successful at this year’s Wimbledon championships, where he will compete against some of the world’s best players. Djokovic is sponsored by leading companies such as Adidas, Uniqlo and Head.

Rodger Federer

Federer has been sponsored by luxury brands such as Nike, Rolex and Mercedes-Benz for several years. The 35 year old, who plays tennis for Switzerland, has only recently been overtaken by Djokovic as the highest earner. His career prize money totals $104,002,250 and he has won a huge 1,099 matches since he began playing professionally in 1998. In 2016, he was the oldest player to make a Grand Slam final although he hasn’t shown any indication that he plans to retire soon. Read the rest of this entry →

Chris Evert Was Hard to Beat on Clay 2

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Chris Evert won a record seven French Open Women's Singles titles. The first two came back-to-back in 1974 and 1975.

Chris Evert won a record seven French Open Women’s Singles titles. The first two came back-to-back in 1974 and 1975.

With Serena Williams not competing in the 2017 French Open due to her pregnancy, the women’s field is wide open and includes only two past champions (2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza). It is a far cry from the 1970s and 1980s when every year you knew there was one female player who would be pushing for the title.

With the possible exception of Rafael Nadal, who is aiming for his record 10th French Open title, no tennis player, man or woman, in the modern era of tennis has been more unbeatable on clay than Chris Evert.

Between August 1973 and May 1979, Evert won an amazing 125 consecutive matches on clay while losing only seven total sets.  After losing a third set tiebreaker to Tracy Austin in the semifinals of the 1979 Italian Open, she rebounded to win her next 72 matches on the surface.

She won seven French Open Championships and three of her six U.S. Open titles came while the tournament was played on clay.

Even though Evert was particularly tough to beat on clay, it wasn’t like she didn’t also display dominance on other surfaces.

Easily the most consistent player in women’s tennis history, Evert won at least one grand slam title in 13 consecutive years. She reached at least the semifinals in each of her first 34 grand slam appearances and 52 times out of 56 total appearances in the four biggest tournaments in tennis.

While her total of 18 total grand slam singles titles is tied for fifth in women’s tennis history, it is likely she would have won considerable more titles had she participated in all four majors every year during her career.

Instead, Evert participated in the Australian Open only six times (winning twice).  After winning the French Open in 1974 and 1975, she skipped the tournament for three years before returning to win the title five more times between 1979 and 1986.

Her overall career singles record of 1,309-146 (.900) ranks as the best of any player in professional tennis history. Read the rest of this entry →

Shocking Tennis Moments That I Never Expected Would Happen 1

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Aleksandra Udovenko

McEnroe-umpireTennis is full of shocking moments and memorable matches. With a full calendar of Open events and major tournaments this year, we can expect to see more madness before 2017 is over. Here is a look at some of my favorite moments in tennis history.

I like a good marathon match. Nothing beats the excitement of a tied game in which one competitor needs to win by two match points. With players so evenly matched, this format can lead to some interesting and time consuming tie-breakers.

Take the 2009 Wimbledon Grand Slam Final, in which Roger Federer played Andy Roddick for a whopping 4 hours and 17 minutes, then the longest men’s singles grand slam final in history. Federer eventually went on to win his 16th grand slam title, but it was by no means easy.

If you thought it couldn’t get any more tiring than that, then just look at the Australian Open match between Hewitt and Baghdatis in 2008. The pair played from midnight until the following morning.

In the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, a match between Isner and Mahut took a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes to play over the course of three days. The match is considered the longest in history. Legendary! Frenchman Nicolas Mahut finally went on to win the match, but how the pair survived such an intense game is beyond me.

Tennis has had some fine marathon moments and epic showdowns, but it has also suffered from bad publicity at times due to the sporadic behaviors of professionals throwing tantrums. Read the rest of this entry →

Australian Open Goes Back in Time 0

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 →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • George Musso: From Longshot to Hall of Famer
      August 5, 2017 | 4:52 pm
      George Musso

      George Musso

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month went from small college long shot to Pro Football Hall of Famer.

      When George Musso finished his college career at Millikin College in 1933, Chicago Bears coach George Halas offered the 6-foot-2, 265 pound lineman a tryout and eventually a $90 per game contract, but had serious doubts whether he could make the transition from small college football to the NFL.

      It took a year for Musso to adjust, but by 1935 he was an All-Pro tackle. Two years later, he moved to guard and again earned first team All-NFL honors. He became the first player in NFL history to earn first team All-League honors at two different positions.

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