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Sports Then and Now



Shocking Tennis Moments That I Never Expected Would Happen 1

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Aleksandra Udovenko

McEnroe-umpireTennis is full of shocking moments and memorable matches. With a full calendar of Open events and major tournaments this year, we can expect to see more madness before 2017 is over. Here is a look at some of my favorite moments in tennis history.

I like a good marathon match. Nothing beats the excitement of a tied game in which one competitor needs to win by two match points. With players so evenly matched, this format can lead to some interesting and time consuming tie-breakers.

Take the 2009 Wimbledon Grand Slam Final, in which Roger Federer played Andy Roddick for a whopping 4 hours and 17 minutes, then the longest men’s singles grand slam final in history. Federer eventually went on to win his 16th grand slam title, but it was by no means easy.

If you thought it couldn’t get any more tiring than that, then just look at the Australian Open match between Hewitt and Baghdatis in 2008. The pair played from midnight until the following morning.

In the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, a match between Isner and Mahut took a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes to play over the course of three days. The match is considered the longest in history. Legendary! Frenchman Nicolas Mahut finally went on to win the match, but how the pair survived such an intense game is beyond me.

Tennis has had some fine marathon moments and epic showdowns, but it has also suffered from bad publicity at times due to the sporadic behaviors of professionals throwing tantrums. Read the rest of this entry →

3 Reasons You Can’t Miss the U.S. Open 1

Posted on July 21, 2015 by Jeremy Biberdorf
The 2014 U.S. Open finals included unfamiliar faces in Kei Nishikori and champion Marin Cilic.

The 2014 U.S. Open finals included unfamiliar faces in Kei Nishikori and champion Marin Cilic.

The 2015 US Open is around the corner, and one thing is certain – it’s a can’t-miss experience for both diehard and casual fans alike. Grab your tickets now – they are going fast.

These are the top 3 reasons that you can’t miss out on the 2015 US Open.

1. The tennis is electrifying.

Have you ever seen Serena, Roger or Rafa play, their talent and shot-making on full display? Now, imagine seeing them live and in person. There’s nothing like it. It’s exciting, it’s intense – and it’s impossible to fully appreciate through a television set.

2. The celeb-spotting opportunities are endless.

At the US Open, the stars are on the court and in the stands – oftentimes sitting right next to you.

The US Open is an event to see and be seen. Alec Baldwin is a regular and several other celebrities have made appearances in years past.

3. The food is really good.

Ranking the Most Successful Male Clay Court Players of the Modern Era 1

Posted on May 17, 2013 by JA Allen

rafafrench2008Heading into the French Open, the second major of the season, most players prepare diligently for their final hurrah on clay. It remains as probably the least understood and least appreciated of the court surfaces players endure each year.

If the truth be told, players who learn to play on clay and who embrace the surface’s forgiving nature generally become better, more successful all-around players than those who learn the game on grass or hard courts.

The typical clay court player excels in patience by learning how to develop points as well as excellent defensive skills.

For a long time it seemed that some players segregated their careers by either avoiding clay altogether or by playing exclusively on the red dirt. But with the start of the Open Era and the necessity to play on multiple surfaces, some players built successful all-court games using clay court expertise as the foundation.

These male players achieved a top ten ATP ranking, a winning percentage in excess of 70 percent on clay throughout their careers—as well as double digit title wins on clay. Most also won at least one French Open, although not all.

Read the rest of this entry →

Maria Sharapova Claims Career Grand Slam 5

Posted on June 09, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Maria Sharapova joined elite company with her French Open title.

With her dominating victory in the 2012 French Open finals, Maria Sharapova became just the sixth player in the open era of women’s tennis (10th all-time) to claim the career grand slam. However, while each of the other five posted double digit victories in each tournament, Sharapova has yet to win any of the championships more than once.

Since emerging on the scene as a 17-year-old with a victory over Serena Williams in the Wimbledon Finals in 2004, we have been waiting for Sharapova to become the dominant player in women’s tennis.

The 6-foot-2 inch Sarapova certainly has the size and power to be a dominant player, but injuries and an inability to maintain her game at the highest level has kept her from being consistently dominant.

She won the 2006 U.S. Open and 2008 Australian Open before a shoulder injury hampered her over the next two years.

Sharapova reemerged as a top five player in 2011, but was unable to win a grand slam title. She reached the semifinals at the French Open and finals at Wimbledon, but lost both matches in straight sets. Read the rest of this entry →

Andrea Petkovic Pulls Out of the Australian Open 50

Posted on January 12, 2012 by Pete South

Andrea Petkovic will be unable to compete in the Australian Open due to a stress fracture to her lower back.

With the first round of the Australian Open proper now just days away from getting underway the last thing the women’s draw needed was the withdrawal of another popular, highly ranked player.

Unfortunately for the Australian tennis fans preparing to hit Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the new season, that’s exactly what has happened, with world number 10 and great German tennis hope Andrea Petkovic forced to pull out of the event after suffering a stress fracture to her lower back. Anyone Betting on Australian Open Tennis can remove her from the equation.

The news will come as a devastating blow to a woman just starting to make her mark in women’s tennis after a run of Grand Slam quarter-final appearances last year. Petkovic ended 2011 as the first woman of German nationality to finish a season in the top 10 since Steffi Graf dominated the tennis scene back in the late 1990s and was optimistic that the fading fortunes of the likes of Venus and Serena Williams would allow her and another few young talents on the WTA circuit to break into the big time. Those following the online tennis betting should remember this.

The player stated after the news broke that she is “really disappointed” because she loves Australia, but is already “looking forward to coming back to Australia” in 2013.

Should Petkovic use the next six to eight weeks of rest and recovery back home in Germany to refocus and come back even stronger both mentally and physically, 2012 could still turn out to be a great year for the 24-year-old, but there’s no doubt that her quest for her maiden Grand Slam title has now been made that little bit more difficult.

Roger Federer Looks For More Grand Slam Glory 2

Posted on April 29, 2011 by Pete South

Over the last year the road has gotten a little tougher for former number one Roger Federer.

The question on many people’s lips this summer will be whether Roger Federer can get himself back amongst the Grand Slams, and add to his 16 titles so far. The Swiss Maestro hasn’t won a major tournament since the Australian Open at the beginning of last year, failing to reach a single final since that victory in Melbourne.

During his spell out of the spotlight, Federer has only been able to sit back and watch as Rafael Nadal has dominated the Grand Slams, with Novak Djokovic’s impeccable form making it hard to see how Federer will be able to break back into the top-two. While it is near impossible to see Federer stopping Nadal notching up his sixth French Open title next month, the Swiss star will once again fancy his chances of doing something at Wimbledon and lifting his seventh title, although the Wimbledon betting 2011 suggests he faces a tough challenge.

For Federer now though, he needs to start believing he can still mix it with the best and get back amongst the trophies, despite a poor run in the Grand Slams for the majority of last year and the beginning of this season. Thomas Berdych sprung a surprise at the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon last year to put Federer out and the former world number one will be looking to repay his loyal fans that turn up at the All England Club in such numbers each year.

A decent month on the clay-courts will give Federer that spark of confidence that he needs to get back onto winning form. Another disappointing year and Federer would face a mammoth task to get back amongst the younger top players.

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    • Joe Cronin: Player-Manager
      October 1, 2017 | 8:21 am
      Joe Cronin

      Joe Cronin

      In recognition of the start of the baseball playoffs, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month a man who managed pennant winning teams in Washington and Boston and spent more than decade as a player-manager.

      When the Boston Red Sox acquired Joe Cronin following the 1934 season they didn’t just get an All-Star player, they also got a new manager.

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