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Ranking Tennis in 2010: The Top 10 Performances, Part 1 0

Posted on December 21, 2010 by JA Allen

Rafael Nadal's victory over Roger Federer in Madrid clinched his clay court supremacy in 2010.

2010 proved to be an exceptional year in tennis, as the No. 1 mantle changed owners in the men’s and the women’s game.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams who both entered 2010 ranked No. 1 dropped out of the top spot.

Roger will end the year with the No. 2 ATP ranking while Serena will end her year as No. 4 in the WTA.

But many significant performances––some for a match and some for a season––shaped a very controversial, entertaining year on the tennis courts of the world.

The ranking of these respective performances is subject to interpretation. Perhaps even attempting to put them in any particular order is a waste of time.

Regardless, all 10 are significant in assigning superlatives to the 2010 season.

Preamble: A Toast To the 2010 Tennis Match That Refused To Die

John Isner defeats Nicholas Mahut, first round, 2010 Wimbledon

2010 gave us the longest match in the history of the game of tennis.

Normally a first round match is nothing more than a formality for seeded players during a grand slam––but not always.

A case in point––American John Isner seeded No. 23 had little expectation concerning the full-scope of this match as he met his opponent Frenchman Nicholas Mahut on Court 18 to contest this opening round match.

The match, however, extended over three days lasting 11 hours, five minutes, and ended at 70-68 in the fifth and final set.

Wimbledon, you see, does not allow for a tiebreak to determine a winner if the match extends to five sets.

After this epic, there was a concern expressed regarding this tradition because these two players suffered physically for a long while after the match concluded.

The world became mesmerized by this drama unfolding daily on an obscure outside court at the All-England Club.

In fact, the match drew vast numbers to watch––people who otherwise would not have spent a moment of their busy lives watching tennis.

Therefore, the networks, and in this case ESPN, loved it.

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Wimbledon 2010: Rafa Rules Men’s Power Rankings 7

Posted on June 20, 2010 by JA Allen

Wimbledon 2010 ready to get underway on Monday June 21.

On Monday, as the sun rises offering the first view of the well-tended lawns at the All-England Club at Wimbledon, tennis aficionados breathe a deep sigh of relief, having survived the dust of the red clay and the sometimes ugly tenor of long grueling matches.

Grass is green, invigorating, inviting brisk movement and light, skipping motions across the lawns.  This is the moment the earth spins properly, as we begin to relax and drink in the panorama of spectacle Wimbledon never fails to offer.

Our pre-Wimbledon Power Rankings fail to reflect the full impact of the move to grass because, as we lament, the grass season is far too short.  It remains a tiny slice out of a season played primarily on artificial, often debilitating hard courts and the soft, forgiving but deadening spirit of the clay.

Those players at the top linger there primarily due to their success on the red clay.  Most hope to repair their strokes and adjust their footwork in time to excel on the grass of Wimbledon, the grandest of the slams.

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Reaching for the Top: Novak Djokovic Looks For Repeat Down Under 4

Posted on January 02, 2010 by JA Allen

Novak Djokovic will look to return to the form that helped him win the 2008 Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic will look to return to the form that helped him win the 2008 Australian Open.

If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score? ~Vince Lombardi

If you pay attention to the rhetoric emanating from the tennis world and note all the speculation about the upcoming “season”, you will hear endless debates about which player will survive the ATP or WTA 2010 scheduled obstacle course to wear the No. 1 mantle.

The irony is, of course, that even after a whole year of competition in 2009, when Roger Federer emerging with the No. 1 ranking, there is no consensus that he is the worthy recipient of that well-earned entitlement.

Consider Dinara Safina’s reign at No. 1, for example.  Regardless of the stats pronouncing the unequivocal bottom line, the debate continues to rage about who is “the best”.  Is it safe to assume that “No. 1” and “best” even equivalent terms?

Who should be No. 1 appears to be quite subjective. Is it a mark of greatness that you can hold the No. 1 ranking even if you have never won a “major”—like Dinara Safina, on the women’s side?  Winning isn’t enough apparently—you have to win majors.

On the men’s side, there are few besides Federer and Rafael Nadal who have accomplished that.  Then how many majors are enough to appease the perfectionists amongst us?  What criteria should be examined to determine the designation of No. 1?

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