Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Roger Federer’s Quest: 8 Tennis Records Out of His Reach? 16

Posted on March 21, 2012 by JA Allen

Roger Federer continues to add to his tennis record totals.

Roger Federer possesses many, many ATP records.

Because he is the man many consider the GOAT (Greatest of All Time), that fact should surprise no one who has been following tennis since Federer began his assault on the record books.

Turning pro in 1998, Federer announced his arrival at the top of the men’s game in February of 2004 when he captured the No. 1 ranking for the first time.

From 2004 through 2007 Federer dominated, often winning three slams in a season. He held the No. 1 ranking a record 237 consecutive weeks.

But after winning slam No. 16 at the Australian Open in 2010, Federer’s pace slowed considerably.

Of late, however, Federer has once again been advancing upon long-held tennis records—those many believed safely chiseled in stone for the ages.

Federer has lost only two matches in 2012—to Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open semifinals and to John Isner in a five-set Davis Cup match in Switzerland.  The world No. 3 stands at 22-2 having just won his last three tournaments in Rotterdam, Dubai and most recently at Indian Wells.

But no one individual can own all tennis records—can he?

Following are eight tennis milestones which many be beyond the Maestro’s reach.  Or are they?

Number of Titles Won in the Open Era

Ensconced ahead of Federer for the record for the Most Titles Won in the Open Era are three tennis giants.

Federer, who remains active and able to add to his totals, has his work cut out for him if he hopes to end his career as No. 1 in this category.

By the end of 2011, Federer had won 70 titles since his first triumph in 2001. On average, the Swiss wins over six ATP titles a season

At age 30, however, and leaning toward the end of his career, winning six trophies a year might be a stretch, although you never count Federer out of any challenge.

Read the rest of this entry →

Classic Match: Nikolay Davydenko Vs. Juan Martin del Potro at 2009 WTF in London 4

Posted on November 19, 2010 by Marianne Bevis

2009 winner Nikolay Davydenko, runner-up Juan Martin del Potro

It’s London 2009, in the gloomy chill of November, and the British are about to see tennis in a whole new light.

Since O2 had transformed the Millennium’s ugly duckling dome that squatted alongside the Thames into a swan, it had become the place to perform: for Prince and Springsteen, for Kylie and Led Zeppelin, and for Rafa and Roger.

Because 2009 had marked the transfer of the Masters Cup from Shanghai to the newly-titled World Tour Finals in the original capital of tennis: London.

But this was a far cry from Wimbledon. This was modern cityscape replete with light show, soundtrack and glamour, determined to bring the best of Shanghai to London’s unlovely Docklands.

As if to celebrate the occasion, the end-of-year climax had secured the top eight men in tennis for the first time in years. The finale in Shanghai was missing Rafael Nadal, injured before it began. It lost Andy Roddick, injured in practice and replaced by Radek Stepanek at the last minute.

The first year for the WTF in London with loaded field.

And Roger Federer was only there by the skin of his teeth, having pulled out of Paris, mid-tournament, two weeks before with a back injury. In the event, he barely made it through the round robins, so debilitated had he become.

But London welcomed the crème-de-la-crème. Even a limping Andy Roddick, who was replaced at the last moment by Robin Soderling, turned up to watch. And the tennis-mad home crowd quickly adjusted from English to British and embraced Andy Murray as one of their own.

Read the rest of this entry →

Great Men of Tennis: “Jack” Kramer, Father of the Modern Game 7

Posted on October 04, 2010 by JA Allen

Jack Kramer was more than a tennis player-he was a visionary of the modern game.

John Albert Kramer, better known as Jack Kramer, did more than play a mean game of tennis.

He initiated a style of play more reminiscent of the serve and volley of John McEnroe than of Pete Sampras––though both games reflect the prowess of Kramer on court.

Off court, Kramer forced the evolution of the structure of modern tennis. He drove the bus that finally arrived in 1968 when amateur and professional tennis blended into one tour, finally allowing players to gain control over their own careers.

The Beginning

“Jack” Kramer was born on August 1, 1921 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and died September 12, 2009 at the age of 88.  His father worked for the Union Pacific railroad. Naturally, the family never accumulated the finer things of life as resources were always lacking.

Shortly after Jack was born, the family moved to the Los Angeles area. But young Kramer had natural athletic ability. He soon found his way into tennis after the family moved to the San Bernardino area, where Kramer was privileged to watch a match played by the great Ellsworth Vines. He became inspired by the brilliant play of Vines and dedicated himself to playing tennis.

Read the rest of this entry →

Miloslav Mecir: The Man Who Could Have Been King of Tennis 11

Posted on May 07, 2010 by JA Allen

Miloslav Mecir played tennis in the 1980s--known as the Swede Killer.

You have to admit that there is a huge difference between sultry singing in the shower and performing live at the Met to a packed house filled with critics.

This has implications beyond being able to carry a tune…and being fully clothed.

Besides the necessity of possessing outstanding vocal abilities, you would also need to overcome performance anxieties as you stood in front of an impressive audience thinking it knows exactly what you should be doing—never hesitating to point out your perceived flaws.

The same is doubly true on the playing field.

Monday-morning quarterbacks exist in all fields of endeavor. For example, the tennis player who exhibits all the talent and ability in the world must still overcome his or her own internal jitters in order to win.

This series will highlight tennis players who should have made it to the top of the game but who failed in big moments to win the most critical matches because of (1) nerves, (2) belief, (3) prolonged injury, or (4) the special category belonging to those who won a major but could never repeat the feat.

Miloslav Mecir

The “second-best” player who stands out most in my book is the Big Cat, Miloslav Mecir. The Slovak had an uncanny ability to annoy players from all corners of the globe during the 1980s, but he never made it all the way to the top.

Read the rest of this entry →

Great Men of Tennis: Big Bill Tilden – Tragic Hero? 13

Posted on February 22, 2010 by JA Allen
Big Bill Tilden was Americas first great champion.

Big Bill Tilden was Americas first great champion.

Like many tragic sports figures, “the fault lay not in the stars but in himself” for tennis legend William “Bill” Tilden.

Loving the limelight, the footlights and the spotlight, Tilden shunned real life for the artificial, constructing a world he could not inhabit. No one could. Born into wealth and privilege, pampered by an over-protective mother, and held at arm’s length by a grief-stricken father, Tilden was forced into tennis at his father’s insistence.

Tilden showed promise at an early age, but he did not care for the game. Later on he avoided life by playing tennis, finding the soothing rhythm of its point, counter-point a barrier against outside emotional distress.

Big Bill reigned supreme during the 1920s in America, often sharing sporting headlines with notables like Babe Ruth, Bobby Jones, Red Grange, and boxer Jack Dempsey during a time referred to as the golden age of sports. Tilden won every major tournament he entered for six years, including six U.S. Nationals (now called the U.S. Open). Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • 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.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Which NBA Team Will Win More Games in 2019-2020?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top