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Rome Masters Produces Another Leftie Champion: The Stunning María José 0

Posted on May 11, 2010 by Marianne Bevis
Sports News - May 08, 2010

María José Martinez Sanchez, that is, the new women’s champion of Rome. And yes, she also happens to be Spanish,  just like the male champion last week.

It’s another of those heart-warming stories that has pervaded the tennis tour in 2010.

It’s up there with Ivan Ljubicic winning his first Masters event at 31.

Or Andy Roddick reaching back-to-back Masters finals on home soil, and winning one of them, Miami, for the first time at 27.

Or Justine Henin taking the Premier title in Stuttgart just four months after her return from retirement.

Or Juan Carlos Ferrero, aged 30, reaching three consecutive finals and his highest ranking since 2004.

For the lovely Martinez Sanchez is now 27, and has just won is her first singles Premier title.

Although she had won two titles before this, both on clay, they were at International level—Bogota and Bastad in 2009. So Rome is a truly break-through moment for her. Read the rest of this entry →

World No1s Roger Federer and Serena Williams Top Rome Draws 3

Posted on April 18, 2010 by Marianne Bevis
Charity tennis exhibition organised for the victims of the Haiti earthquake before the Australian Open tennis

Roger Federer and Serena Williams bestride their respective tennis worlds rather as Everest and K2 dominate the Himalayas.

They may be just two amongst many world-beating champions, yet they remain the standard against which those others are measured.

They can be conquered by the fittest, most ambitious, most determined of individuals, just as those two mighty mountains can, but they remain head and shoulders above the rest. The rankings say it all.

Williams has topped the women’s tour since November 2009 and is currently more than 1,500 points clear of the field. Federer has topped the ATP rankings since Wimbledon 2009 and currently towers over the chasing pack by more than 3,000 points.

This is all the more striking because the two No.1s of tennis have been notable by their absence since they both reasserted their superiority over the competition on the Grand Slam stage of the Australian Open.

Take Williams. Though she is clear of the chasing pack in the rankings, she has played eight fewer tournaments in the last 12 months than the second placed Caroline Wozniacki: just 16 events. In fact only one other player in the top 20 has played fewer than Williams, and that is Kim Clijsters, who only rejoined the tour last August.

Even more remarkable, though, is that Williams has played just two tournaments this year, reaching the finals in Sydney and winning in the Australian Open. That’s just 11 matches, ten of them wins. She did add some court time to her year by playing—and winning—the doubles in Melbourne as well. But since then, she has been laid low by a knee injury, so has not played a single match since the end of January.

Then last week, Williams pulled out of the Premier event in Charleston. She was not scheduled to play at Rome either, but the good news is that she just announced she has taken a wild-card entry for the Italian Open after all.

The return will be intriguing. How will her fitness be after three months with no match-play? Will she be prepared for the sudden transition to clay after her intensive fortnight in Melbourne brought the curtain down on her hard court season? Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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