Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

Top 10 Power Rankings: Roger Federer Leap Frogs the Field at the U.S. Open 4

Posted on August 25, 2010 by JA Allen

As we get ready to head into the 2010 U.S. Open at the end of a long stretch of hard court tournaments in America, there are some traditional clear cut favorites who will claim the attention of the media and tennis fans.

Unfortunately, last year’s winner, Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, will not be able to defend his 2009 U.S. Open Championship after undergoing wrist surgery in May at the Mayo Clinic in the United States. He has just recently returned to the practice courts.  This means he will not be up to match strength, denying him the ability to compete at such a high level over an extended period.

The usual suspects head the list of favorites starting with Rafael Nadal, the No. 1 seed, as well as No. 2 seed Roger Federer who has won this tournament five times in the past six years.  Additionally, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have made the finals in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Most of the odds makers will focus on this quartet of top-ranked tennis elites.

It is also important, however,  to consider our Power Rankings, which highlight those players who have recently excelled on the hard courts leading up to the U.S. Open. These are the top ten contenders going into Flushing Meadows.

The Top 10

1. Roger Federer (Last Power Ranking: OLI; ATP Ranking: 2)

Last Four Tournaments: Cincinnati [Winner], Toronto [Finalist], Wimbledon [Quarterfinalist], Halle Germany [Finalist]

Power Ranking Points: 1359

Roger Federer won the tournament in Cincinnati just prior to the U.S. OpenPower Ranking Points: 1359

After suffering a quarterfinal loss at Wimbledon, Federer took some time off from the tour. As he resumed a rigorous practice schedule, Federer announced to the world that he would meet and work with Paul Annacone, former coach to Pete Sampras.

Their first tournament together was Toronto where Federer progressed to the final but was not able to overcome Andy Murray, losing 5-7, 5-7.  The Swiss came back, however, in Cincinnati to repeat as champion over Mardy Fish in a hard-fought three-set final.
Federer seems well rested and well-prepared to compete in his eleventh U.S. Open.

The state of his coaching trial with Annacone remains up in the air at this point with no real explanation as to why Annacone did not travel with him to Cincinnati.  Regardless, his recent play must revive Federer’s confidence heading into New York.

U.S. Open Success? Half of the time that Federer has gained entry into the U.S. Open, he has won the title.  He will remain one of the favorites going into the tournament to win it again in 2010.  That is not to say he will be without competition. Everybody enters to win. If Federer, however, plays as he did this past week, his chances look very good, indeed.

Read the rest of this entry →

Surprises Litter A Week Of Great Tennis At Indian Wells 2

Posted on March 20, 2010 by Marianne Bevis
BNP Paribas Open

Thrills and spills, big wins and surprise losses, seeds falling and new faces shining. Indian Wells has lived up to its billing as one of the biggest and best tennis events in the tennis calendar.

The venue is stunning, the crowds are huge, and the tournament began with a near-full complement of players—give or take the Williams sisters’ usual boycott and Juan Martin Del Potro’s injury.

It even attracted the very best of both current and past players in the tastiest exhibition night in living memory. As if Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal facing Pete Sampras and Roger Federer wasn’t enough, the Hit for Haiti scheduled Steffi Graf and Lindsay Davenport against Martina Navratilova and Justine Henin. Tennis courts don’t come more laden with star quality.

Even the Indian Wells draw looked set to deliver up everyone’s favorite matches during the last few days.

There was the tantalising prospect of Nikolay Davydenko outhitting Nadal for the fourth consecutive time in as many months.

There was a chance that Andy Murray could seek revenge over Federer for his Australian Open defeat.

Best of all, there was the prospect—should the cards fall right—of two mouth-watering finals: Nadal against Federer and Kim Clijsters again Henin.

However, while some of the anticipated fireworks turned into damp squibs, there were also bangers and sparklers aplenty to keep everyone on the edges of their seats.
Read the rest of this entry →

Magical Marcos Baghdatis Lights Up Melbourne Again 1

Posted on January 22, 2010 by Marianne Bevis
Marcos Baghdatis will look to continue his Australian Open magic.

Marcos Baghdatis will look to continue his Australian Open magic.

It must be something about the Australian sun that helps Marcos Baghdatis to burst into bloom in the first month of the tennis year.

And here he is again, jumping up the rankings and jumping all over his opponents, in one of the most highly anticipated come-backs of the tournament.

It was in his first Slam appearance in Melbourne in 2005 that he set the crowd alight with five-set wins in both the first and second rounds, and a demolition of No. 13 seed Tommy Robredo in the third round, before finally losing to Roger Federer in the fourth.

When he came into the 2006 Australian Open, he was newly in the top 100 but still unseeded. Again he set pulses racing with his thrilling brand of tennis and sunny personality.

He took out world No. 20 Radek Stepanek, No. 8 Ivan Ljubicic, and No. 4 David Nalbandian, all in five sets.

He managed to dismiss No. 3 Andy Roddick, in four.

Once more, he fell to Federer, but this time it was in the final, having taken the first set. It propelled him to his highest world ranking of No. 8.

Although 2007 saw him lose relatively early to Gael Monfils, Baghdatis was back to his dramatic Aussie ways in 2008, when he battled through five sets to beat Marat Safin, only to fall in another epic five-setter against Lleyton Hewitt. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
  • Post Categories

↑ Top