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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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Novak Djokovic Edges Roger Federer for Top Spot in Tennis Power Rankings 0

Posted on March 08, 2010 by JA Allen

The U.S. hard court swing is underway this week as players compete at the ATP Masters Series Tennis Tournament in the desert at Indian Wells followed by another sunny outing at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

Last year’s champion at Indian Wells, Rafael Nadal, has been sidelined with injuries since the Australian Open.  No. 1 seed Roger Federer has also been absent from play since the Australian Open with a lung infection.

As the top players vie once again for supremacy, look for the rankings race to heat up as the lull is set aside and the summer season beckons.

The Top 10

1. Novak Djokovic (Last Power Ranking: OLI; ATP Ranking: 2)

Last Four Tournaments: Dubai [Winner], Rotterdam [Semifinalist], 2010 Australian Open [Quarterfinalist], ATP WTF London [RR 2-1].  Power Ranking Points: 382

Novak Djokovic takes the victory in Dubai from Mikhail Youzhny

Novak Djokovic takes the victory in Dubai from Mikhail Youzhny

Taking over the top spot this week is the Serb Djokovic who just repeated as the champion in Dubai overcoming Mikhail Youzhny in the final.  Even though Djokovic was not playing his best tennis, he found a way to win this event and cement his No. 2 status on the ATP tour.

This weekend Djokovic played Davis Cup for the Serbs against the U.S. and even though the U.S. team came back to win the doubles match, ultimately the Serbs prevailed thanks in part to Djokovic’s dual wins in singles.

Last year at Indian Wells Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals to American Andy Roddick 6-3, 6-2.  This year as the No. 2 seed, Djokovic will expect to do much better.  Much will depend upon the draw which is to be released shortly.   The current state of tennis mastery will become much clearer once the two ATP hard court Master Series events are concluded at Indian Wells and Miami.

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Serena Williams Sitting Pretty Atop the Women’s Tennis Power Rankings 6

Posted on February 15, 2010 by JA Allen
Day 13 - Serena Williams wins the Australian Open

Serena Williams is back at the top of the Power Rankings.

Serena Williams reigns once again as we launch the season’s inaugural Women’s Tennis Power Rankings.  With the first major completed, the 2010 season is officially underway.

There are several questions that need to be answered in terms of the WTA rankings on the women’s side of the equation now that this year’s Australian Open is in the history books.

Questions like what effect will the return of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin have on the women’s tour?  Will Dinara Safina find her courage this year?  Will Svetlana Kuznetsova be able to defend her crown at the 2010 French Open?

Will Maria Sharapova ever tame her toss so that her serve is effective once again?  Will one of the youngsters break through and will Serena Williams loosen her grip at the top?

The Power Rankings will give you the hottest players at the moment as we keep you apprised of the latest movers and shakers on tour. Read the rest of this entry →

Men’s Tennis Preseason Power Rankings: Looking For Supremacy Down Under 1

Posted on January 19, 2010 by JA Allen
2010 Australian Open - Day 2

Nikolay Davydenko will look to move past the traditional men's tennis powerhouses in Melbourne.

Parity has found its way into men’s tennis.  In terms of pure talent and potential, the field at the Australian Open seems wide open.

Oddsmakers, of course, factor in experience and past performance—but in Australia, in the land of sunnies and amber fluid anything is possible.

As we unveil our preseason power rankings consider the ramifications of the next two weeks upon the state of men’s tennis as the first grand slam of 2010 gets underway.

The Top 10

1. Nikolay Davydenko (Last Power Ranking: 1;  ATP Ranking: 6)

Last Four Tournaments: Qatar [Winner], London [Winner], Paris [R16], Valencia [Semifinalist].

Power Ranking Points: 316

Everyone is curious.  Has the wiry Russian changed his diet, his training regimen, or his racket?  All of a sudden he has become, if not everybody’s choice to win the Australian Open—at least everybody’s dark horse.  At age 28, Davydenko appears to be playing his very best tennis.

As the Australian Open gets underway, many expect Russia’s “Invisible Man” to become “Mr. Invincibility,” taking this title to win his first major.  His quickness makes Davydenko dangerous on the hard courts.  He is in Federer’s quarter so there may be a potential matchup.

If so, can Davydenko win three in a row over the man he had never defeated until the ATP World Tour Finals when the Russian took out Federer in the semis? He followed that in Doha with a semifinal victory again over Federer and a win over Nadal in the finals. Davydenko is hot, hot, hot!! Read the rest of this entry →

Women’s Tennis Preseason Power Rankings: Elena Dementieva Dominates Down Under 1

Posted on January 19, 2010 by JA Allen
Elena Dementieva, Serena Williams

Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams sit atop the women's tennis power rankings.

A new face at the top of the power rankings may lead many to believe Elena Dementieva’s presence is a harbinger of changes to come.

There are myriad story lines adding to excitement of the first major of the year for the women’s tour: Along with the resurrection of the tennis careers of the Belgian duo of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, there is the attempted return of Maria Sharapova.

There are also many questions about the promise yet to be realized for Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina as well as the scalability of newbies Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, and big-serving Sabine Lisicki.

Add to that the staying power of the Williams sisters.

The preseason power rankings borrow a little from 2009 and a lot from 2010. Here is how they stack up early in the year…

The Top 10

1. Elena Dementieva (Last Power Ranking: NR; Current WTA Ranking: 5)

Last four tournaments: Sydney [Winner], Doha [RR 2-1], Beijing [Quarterfinalist], Tokyo [R32].

Power Ranking Points: 518

On her way to the finals in Sydney, Elena Dementieva defeated No. 2 seed Dinara Safina, No. 6 seed Victoria Azarenka, and No. 1 seed Serena Williams to collect her first tour championship of the season.

Unfortunately for Dementieva, she was drawn into the most contested quarter of the draw and can expect to meet reborn Justine Henin in round 2.  The quarter also includes No. 3 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 15 seed Kim Clijsters.  This quarter is jam packed with potential champions.  It will be a real test for the Russian to find herself standing in the quarterfinals.

If Dementieva gets past Henin, it will mark a major hurdle.  But it would still only be round two.  There remains a mountain of matches left to win before the finish line. If the Russian makes it there, she may retain her No. 1 power ranking at the conclusion of the Australian Open.

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    • 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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