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Archive for the ‘Wimbledon’


The Most Dramatic Wimbledon Upsets of the Modern Era 7

Posted on June 30, 2012 by JA Allen

Kukas Rosol upset Rafael Nadal in the 2nd Round of Wimbledon

As a society, we love upsets—when the decided underdog comes up big to knock off the reportedly sure winner. It levels the playing field for that brief moment and we all feel empowered.

So, when Lukas Rosol sent Rafael Nadal home during their second round match at the All-England Club on Thursday, it marked a true upset. One of the most startling exits at Wimbledon in recent years.

As Rosol remarked in his post-match interview, Nadal is only human.

As such, even the great Nadal has some moments when he does not play his best for whatever reason pundits can determine.

For his part, Nadal had not looked comfortable at all during his early round matches at Wimbledon in 2012; but no one suspected that the world No. 2 could be defeated at this point of the Wimbledon fortnight.

As we look back surveying previous Wimbledon tournaments, determining upsets is a matter of degrees. Whenever the unexpected happens, we call that an upset.

We will use that criteria for discussing some of the greatest Wimbledon upsets in the history of the Modern Era in tennis.

The matches discussed here are listed in chronological order.

The debate about which upset is the most shocking will be saved for a later day.

Certainly this upset of Nadal on Centre Court in 2012 ranks right up there as one of the most shocking.

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Men’s Tennis Power Rankings: Nadal Ready to Recapture No. 1 6

Posted on June 22, 2012 by JA Allen

Nadal focuses on winning during every match.

The tennis power rankings as created by Feng Rong were developed to objectively measure a tennis player’s current form. This is accomplished by weighting the outcomes so that the four most recent results count the most.

This ranking assesses the power in the men’s game as players get ready to do battle on the stately grounds of Wimbledon—this after leaving the normally dusty environment of Stade Roland Garros.

In 2012, however, dust was replaced by puddles as the rains fell profusely in Paris during week two of the Grand Slam tournament, postponing the men’s final until Monday.

Wimbledon, with its new retractable Centre Court roof, will be spared a troubled final in 2012 because the roof can be closed and lighting employed.

Who will win this year’s Wimbledon crown? No one knows, of course.

Will it be one of the top ten in our Power Listing? Only time will tell.

We survey the men’s top ten in our power ranking and speculate on their potential for winning the Wimbledon championship as well as looking at some other potential winners.

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Greatest Kings of the Court at Wimbledon 7

Posted on June 20, 2012 by JA Allen

Roger Federer defeated defending champion Pete Sampras in the 4th round of Wimbledon in 2001.

Since 1950, the lush lawns of Wimbledon have staged some of the greatest tennis matches of all time.

Many of those battles have been waged on Championship Sunday as two finalists faced off on opposite sides of the net to determine who would claim the vaunted title that year.

Throughout the decades the champions seemed to come in waves from Australia early on, then Sweden, the United States and lately from Switzerland, Spain and most recently from Serbia.

The twelve greatest champions of the past 60 years won multiple titles after working through the draw to reach the final at the All-England Club.

Until recently, most truly successful played serve and volley tennis—a game which seemed unbeatable on grass.

Now, however, base-liners rule Centre Court.

Base-line players supplanted serve and volleyers as the seemingly less aggressive game style dominated, enhanced by new racket technology while the grass surfaces reportedly slowed significantly.

As Wimbledon gets underway in 2012 world No. 1 Novak Djokovic hopes he will capture his second Wimbledon championship.

Rafael Nadal desperately wishes to seize his third title on the grass while Roger Federer anticipates winning the Wimbledon trophy for the seventh time and, in the process, recapture the No.1 ranking.

As usual, the Wimbledon championship is eagerly anticipated with much riding on the outcome.

See whose name is added or moved up on the Wimbledon winners list once the fortnight ends.

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Petra Kvitova Captures Wimbledon: Tops the Women’s Tennis Power Ranking 7

Posted on July 08, 2011 by JA Allen

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic Wins Wimbledon

Who has not heard the news? A whole new era is afoot in women’s tennis.

Considering the players who captured headlines and the attention of tennis pundits during the second week of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships – you quickly surmised that the usual suspects were missing in action.

Gone was defending champion Serena Williams who had held the Rosewater Dish aloft four times, hoping that 2011 would bring her five.

Another Wimbledon win would tie Serena with her older sister Venus Williams who had won the All England Club Championship five times. Venus was also no longer in the house.

Absent, too, were French Open champion Li Na, who lost in the second round in a fierce contest as well as the No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki who failed again to make the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

No. 2 ranked Kim Clijsters never checked in for Championships, still sidelined with an ankle injury.

That left the field wide open for a newly invigorated Maria Sharapova, the wide-eyed power game of German Sabine Lisicki, the finely-honed game of Victoria Azarkena and the excellent grass-court assault of Petra Kvitova.  It was a worthy fortnight – an ultimate contrast in competence and mental fortitude.

The “Power Rankings” are compiled and presented by JA Allen, Marianne Bevis and Feng Rong using . We present the periodic rankings at least four times a year.

Following are the latest top ten in our women’s tennis power rankings as determined at the conclusion of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships in London.

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Novak Djokovic Seized the Wimbledon Crown and the No. 1 Ranking 6

Posted on July 03, 2011 by JA Allen

Novak Djokovic at press conference after winning 2011 Wimbledon Championship.

New World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated defending champion Rafael Nadal in the men’s final at the All England Club Sunday, claiming his first Wimbledon championship in two hours and 28 minutes.

The Serb served up 21 winners, including seven aces as opposed to 12 unforced errors. Nadal was not far behind with 21 winners, five aces and 15 unforced errors.

The break point conversion was the most critical stat, with Djokovic breaking Nadal in five of six opportunities, while Nadal converted only three of his six chances to break serve.

Prior to the men’s final at Wimbledon, Djokovic won his last four meetings with the former world No. 1, Nadal. The four tournaments were, in fact, consecutive Masters events at Rome, Madrid, Miami and Indian Wells—all in 2011.

The Serb was enjoying an outstanding year on the tennis courts.

In fact, Djokovic managed to win 43 in a row before Roger Federer defeated him during the French Open semifinals. Now the Serb has a 48-1 winning record to build upon during the American hard-court season starting later this month.

Even though Nadal led in their head-to-head 16-11, Djokovic had won seven of their last nine meetings––now eight of their last 10.

The only other time they had met in a major final, however, was the 2010 U.S. Open; Nadal won 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

On Sunday, Djokovic responded positively to the fact of his imminent No. 1 ranking as he took his place on Centre Court. From the early going it appeared the Serb was going to anoint his ascension to the top of men’s tennis by winning his first Wimbledon Championship.

Nadal came out blazing, bouncing and ready to rumble. The No. 1 seed was serving brilliantly in the first set, getting more than 90 percent of his first serves in.

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Novak Djokovic Stakes His Claim to Number One 6

Posted on July 03, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in four sets to win his first Wimbledon title.

Thanks to the crazy system used to determine tennis rankings, Novak Djokovic was assured of becoming the number one player in the world regardless of the result of the men’s final between Djokovic and current number one Rafael Nadal. But Djokovic eliminated any doubt about his worthiness with an impressive four set victory over Nadal.

In claiming his first Wimbledon title, Djokovic now seems to have replaced Roger Federer as Nadal’s primary rival for tennis supremacy. His 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory may not have been in the classic style of previous battles between those two tennis icons, but Djokovic has illustrated that at age 24 he is reaching his tennis prime.

With his sweep through Wimbledon, Djokovic now holds two of the four grand slam titles and has lost only one match in 2011 (in the French Open semifinals to Federer).

Though he still is capable of competing at a high level, the days of Federer dominating men’s tennis are clearly over. He will turn 30 next month and hasn’t won a grand slam since the 2010 Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal is only a year older than Djokovic, but has significantly more wear on his body than his new rival, but also more overall success with 10 grand slam titles. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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