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Rafael Nadal: On the Road to Paris for French Open Trophy No. 6 0

Posted on April 09, 2011 by JA Allen

Rafael Nadal's hold on the French Championships is almost unequalled.

There are not many who would dispute the fact that Rafael Nadal is the greatest ever to play tennis on the red dirt. At least so far.

The only man who may have been as dominant during his own era was the legendary Bjorn Borg, who walked away from tennis at age 26.

Since 2005, Nadal has lost only six matches on clay. In 2005 Nadal lost to Russian Igor Andreev in the quarterfinals of Valencia. Again in 2005, Nadal lost to Argentine Gaston Gaudio 6-0, 0-6, 1-6 during the quarterfinals at Buenos Aires.

The Majorcan did not lose another match on clay until Hamburg in 2007 when he was defeated by Roger Federer in the final. In 2008 Nadal lost to Juan Carlos Ferrrero 6-2, 2-6, 0-6 in the round of 32 in Rome. In 2009 Federer defeated Nadal in Madrid 6-4, 6-4 in the final. Then, of course, Nadal lost to Robin Soderling also in 2009 in the fourth round of the French Open––his first lost ever at Stade Roland Garros.

On clay Nadal is 175-6 to be exact. It gives the Majorcan a winning percentage of 96.7.

Borg won 30 clay-court titles before retiring at age 26; Nadal, age 24, has won 30 with surely more to be added.

Nadal not only broke the previous record for consecutive matches won on clay––he obliterated it by winning 81 consecutive clay court matches from April 2005 to May 2007.  The next closest man was Guillermo Vilas, who had a 53-match winning streak on clay.

The man who ended Nadal’s seemingly unending streak was Roger Federer, who defeated Nadal at Hamburg in their 2007 final. It was the only clay court final Nadal had ever lost to that point.

Nadal has won five French Open singles titles in six years, four consecutively. Borg won six French Open titles, four consecutively. With a win in 2011, Nadal will tie Borg’s record.

Not many bet against him accomplishing that feat. Mainly because Nadal has done it five times already, starting in 2005––five good reasons to pick him to win French Open No. 6…

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The French Open 2010: Punchlines and Pundits … 3

Posted on May 30, 2010 by JA Allen

The Tennis Channel as well as ESPN and NBC offer coverage of the 2010 French Open

In case you have not been paying close attention, the French Open is underway at Stade Roland Garros in Paris. This event, like most tennis majors, is best seen live—which only goes to prove that you must have money to follow tennis as a dedicated and deserving fan.

The predictable patter emanating from broadcast booths follows a familiar pattern, filling the airwaves with online personalities making their typical forecasts and touting the usual analysis replete with the most probable winners.  We watch on our tiny screens as the same top-seeded players go through their paces, generally walloping their lower seeded opponents in the early rounds.

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Andy Roddick’s Short Trip to Roland Garros 0

Posted on May 30, 2010 by Rob York

Andy Roddick lost in straight sets in the third round of the 2010 French Open.

Andy Roddick entered last year’s French Open having played only one clay court event, and that was on the fast courts of Madrid. Having gotten married during the clay season to Brooklyn Decker, Roddick arrived in Paris relaxed, fresh and without terribly high expectations to disappoint.

He proceeded to have his most successful trip to Roland Garros ever, winning three matches without dropping a set before falling to Gael Monfils in the round of 16. He then parlayed that momentum into a career-reviving Wimbledon run, beating Britain’s own Andy Murray to reach the finals. There, he faced Roger Federer, the main impediment to his Wimbledon dreams, but came as close as anyone not named Rafa to stopping the Great Swiss on Centre Court.

With that precedent, it was no wonder that Roddick chose to play an abbreviated clay court season again, celebrating his wedding anniversary and resting from his successful spring hard court season, where he won his fifth Masters Shield in Miami.

This year, though, his clay court preparation would be even less extensive, as he skipped the no longer essential Monte Carlo, exercised his right to opt out of Rome, then was greeted with illness upon his arrival in Madrid, leaving him with zero matches played on the dirt before Paris.

After his third round exit this week, we may consider it a strong effort that he got that far at all. He certainly had opportunities to leave earlier.
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France’s Aravane Rezai Takes the Top Spot in Tennis Power Rankings 1

Posted on May 21, 2010 by JA Allen

France's Avarane Rezai defeats Venus Williams the final at Madrid.

The ladies prepare to do battle on the red clay of Stade Roland Garros as the 2010 French Open begins on Sunday. Questions abound concerning which players are fit to play––fully recovered from injuries mentally and physically.

Further which top players are peaking at just the right moment? Who will ride the wave and find herself standing on Court Philippe-Chatrier for the final match on June 5th.

The Power Rankings will give a clue as to which players are on top of their games at just the right time––to help us see who has the right stuff to make it through to the French Open finals.

The draw will be out soon––until then, here are the latest Power Rankings for the ladies.

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Tennis Superheroes Challenge for the 2010 French Open Crown… 3

Posted on May 17, 2010 by JA Allen

Tennis Super Heroes Ride Again...

At the end of this European clay court season, we stare headlong into the promise of another blockbuster slam––the French Open 2010.

The drama of the upcoming event played at historic Stade Roland Garros has long been anticipated in the hearts and minds of tennis aficionados across the globe.

Secretly for each rabid fan, the favorite of choice has already been crowned champion.

The hit and miss performances of many players who normally claim the starring roles in these renowned tennis epics, however, continued to cause doubt.

One after another broad-based tennis pundit pondered this apparent anomaly unfolding in 2010. Their questions peppered all media outlets.

First and foremost is the quandary of which superhero tennis star will ultimately claim the leading role in Paris?

The company has yet to post the cast of characters and who might be filling them. The question of who will emerge as the champion fills the vast arena of speculation…

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Earl Morrall: The Perfect Backup
      November 16, 2019 | 10:46 am
      Earl Morrall

      In a career that started in 1956 and ended in 1976, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was never really a leading man, but he seemed to be part of the supporting cast for many huge moments in NFL history.

      The second overall pick in the 1956 NFL Draft out of Michigan State, Earl Morrall joined a San Francisco 49ers team that already included the famous “Million Dollar Backfield” of Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson.

      Morrall started four games during his rookie season, but just before the start of the 1957 season was traded along with guard Mike Sandusky to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for linebacker Marv Matuszak and two first-round draft picks.

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