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Sports Then and Now



Greatest Kings of the Court at Wimbledon 7

Posted on June 20, 2012 by JA Allen

Roger Federer defeated defending champion Pete Sampras in the 4th round of Wimbledon in 2001.

Since 1950, the lush lawns of Wimbledon have staged some of the greatest tennis matches of all time.

Many of those battles have been waged on Championship Sunday as two finalists faced off on opposite sides of the net to determine who would claim the vaunted title that year.

Throughout the decades the champions seemed to come in waves from Australia early on, then Sweden, the United States and lately from Switzerland, Spain and most recently from Serbia.

The twelve greatest champions of the past 60 years won multiple titles after working through the draw to reach the final at the All-England Club.

Until recently, most truly successful played serve and volley tennis—a game which seemed unbeatable on grass.

Now, however, base-liners rule Centre Court.

Base-line players supplanted serve and volleyers as the seemingly less aggressive game style dominated, enhanced by new racket technology while the grass surfaces reportedly slowed significantly.

As Wimbledon gets underway in 2012 world No. 1 Novak Djokovic hopes he will capture his second Wimbledon championship.

Rafael Nadal desperately wishes to seize his third title on the grass while Roger Federer anticipates winning the Wimbledon trophy for the seventh time and, in the process, recapture the No.1 ranking.

As usual, the Wimbledon championship is eagerly anticipated with much riding on the outcome.

See whose name is added or moved up on the Wimbledon winners list once the fortnight ends.

Read the rest of this entry →

The 20 Greatest Male Australian Open Champions of All Time, Part 2 3

Posted on January 18, 2011 by JA Allen

No. 10 John Bromwich (Won 1939 and 1946 – RU 1937, 1938, 1947, 1948, 1949 ) 7 Finals, 2 Wins.

Another of the great Ausssie's to play the game, John Bromwich won in singles and doubles.

Born in Sydney, John Bromwich was an innovator who helped usher in the two-handed forehand.

Primarily a doubles player, Bromwich could also obviously hold his own on the singles court.

He won his first Australian Open in 1939, defeating fellow Aussie Adrian Quist 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.

After the war in 1946, Bromwich again captured the Australian Open title over fellow Aussie Dinny Pails 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2. It was a hard-fought contest.

Bromwich was also runner up five times in 1937, 1938, 1947, 1948 and 1949.

In 1937 Bromwich fell to his doubles partner Vivian McGrath and in 1938 to American Don Budge.

In 1947 Bromwich lost to Dinny Pails, in 1948 to Adrian Quist and in 1949, he lost to fellow Aussie Frank Sedgman.

In all, Bromwich appeared in seven Australian Championship finals, winning twice.

No. 9 James Anderson (Won 1922, 1924, 1925) – 3 Finals, 3 Wins.

James Anderson won three Australian Open titles in the 1920s.

Australian James Anderson won the Australian Open three times in the 1920s when the tournament was titled the Australasian Championships––back in the days when not many players traveled down under to participate.

Between 1919 and 1925 Anderson played in 15 Davis Cup ties for Australia and was well-known on the tennis circuit.

In 1922, Anderson defeated Aussie Gerald Patterson 6-0, 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

In 1924, he defeated Richard Schlesinger also from Australia 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Finally in 1925, Anderson upended Patterson again 11-9, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

In 1927, the tournament name changed to the Australian Championships.

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Roy Emerson: Master of the Grand Slam 5

Posted on January 13, 2010 by JA Allen
Roy Emerson was the first men's tennis player to win 12 Grand Slam titles.

Roy Emerson was the first men's tennis player to win 12 Grand Slam titles.

The best tennis had to offer chased this man for over 30 years. In 1967, Aussie great Roy Emerson won his 12th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open Championship against countryman Tony Roche.

After years of Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, and a legion more, no one equalled this mark until Pete Sampras tied Emerson’s single Slam total at the Wimbledon Championships in 1999.

The American surpassed Emerson, winning his 13th at Wimbledon one year later in July of 2000. As far as Sampras was concerned, when he took the U.S. Open title in 2002, winning his 14th and final Grand Slam victory, the record was his hopefully for another 30-plus years.

Sampras, however, was passed by Roger Federer in 2009—a mere seven years later, again setting his new record on the fabled Wimbledon lawns. Federer currently holds 15 Slam singles titles.

Emerson, born in 1936, was part of the Australian golden era of men’s tennis in the the late ’50s, ’60s, and early ’70s. During this reign of supremacy, no one contributed more to the aura of Aussie domination than Roy Stanley Emerson—a farm boy from Blackbutt in Queensland.

Considered “tall,” Emerson, at 6’0″, towered over his contemporaries, which would not be the case today. According to his biographers, who tout his milking regimen as the reason for his astounding wrist strength, being a farm boy also served its purposes.

The truth is that Emerson—“Emmo” to his friends—was sublimely fit, as he trained hard to go the distance. He loved the challenge and rigors of five-set majors. His results in Grand Slam finals show his fitness served him well.

On court, Emerson preferred to serve and volley, but he could adapt his game to any surface—as he proved by winning the French Open twice during his career. Opponents feared his quickness, his ability to cover the court and his volleying skills.

Emerson typified Aussie spirit with his never-say-die attitude, his love of partying and his simple belief that once you took the court, you were fit enough to play—no excuses allowed.

Emerson “went the distance” 28 times in Grand Slam finals, winning 12 singles titles and 16 doubles. The Aussie holds the record for the total number of Grand Slam championships for men. Read the rest of this entry →

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      September 28, 2019 | 7:09 pm
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      After years of struggling to find a consistent quarterback, the Chicago Bears now hope third-year player Mitchell Trubisky will be their quarterback for years to come. As the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month we are recognizing the best quarterback in Chicago Bears history.

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