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Can Another Outsider Spring a Shock at the US Open? 0

Posted on August 31, 2015 by Andre Smith
Could 17th seed Grigor Dimitrov be the next longshot to emerge with a major tennis title?

Could 17th seed Grigor Dimitrov be the next longshot to emerge with a major tennis title?

The fourth and final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, is perhaps one of the favorites for the neutral tennis spectator as it throws up the potential of a shock winner.

For so long the men’s singles game has been dominated by the ‘big four’ of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, but with Marin Cilic winning at Flushing Meadows last year – and Stan Wawrinka’s famous victory over Djokovic on the French clay in June – it is fair to say that this tournament is wide open.

And that’s why this even is so intriguing; and why it is well worth keeping an eye on the US Open betting odds to see if you can pick out a potential surprise winner.

The Contenders
What was incredible about Marin Cilic’s victory in this tournament last year was that he wasn’t expected to even reach the latter stages, let alone lift the trophy, as the 14th seed. He’d only reached one Grand Slam semi final in his career up to that point, at the Australian Open in 2010, and had only ever gotten to the last eight at Flushing Meadows twice in five attempts.

But something just clicked in the Croatian’s game during that fortnight, and his straight sets wins over Kei Nishikori (another surprise) in the final and Federer in the semi-final, show that there can be demons in the hard courts of America for the more fancied players.

So who are the players to watch at this year’s event? Read the rest of this entry →

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.

Read the rest of this entry →

Roger Federer and Other Tops Seeds Advance In Paris 2

Posted on November 10, 2010 by JA Allen

Roger Federer faced crowd favorite Frenchman Richard Gasquet in Paris.

Will Paris continue to sizzle? Unveiled in France this week is the last Masters event of 2010 before the year-end finals begin in London.

A few players are hanging onto the hope that they can make the final field of eight for the Barclays WTF. One is Fernando Verdasco who must make the semifinals in Paris in order to chance booking a flight to London.

Jurgen Melzer only has a prayer to make the field by winning this Masters event in Paris. That makes Melzer’s chances as one of the longest of long shots.

In the third day of action, the biggest names in the draw were on court for the first time.  Several of the contests on this day offered interesting and even inspiring performances by the top seeds.

No. 1 Roger Federer vs. Richard Gasquet

Federer faced crowd favorite Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first evening match.

The No. 1 seed broke the Frenchman early during Gasquet’s first service game. Then Federer held on to win the opening set never allowing Gasquet a peek at a break opportunity.

Federer continued to dominate by breaking Gasquet during the Frenchman’s first game of the second set. That one break of serve was again all the Swiss needed.  The Frenchman never earned a break point on the Federer serve during the entire match as the Swiss won 6-4, 6-4.

One of the announcers described Federer’s play as poetry in motion.

In the end the commentator admitted that Gasquet did not play a bad match but was powerless against the Swiss.  It was indeed, a master class conducted by Federer in his opening match of this tournament.

The Masters in Paris remains one of the few that the Swiss has never won. Will this be the year?

Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Tony Oliva: Hall of Fame Worthy
      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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