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Andy Murray’s Golden Journey from London 2012 to US Open Champion 0

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Marianne Bevis

Andy Murray finally raised a grand slam trophy with a five set win over Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open.

The signs were, if not in the stars then in the skies over London and New York.

On one side of the Atlantic, summer gave way to autumn as a nation waved its thanks and its farewells to the Olympic athletes who had filled and thrilled the six weeks of Great Britain’s summer. These were the brave and the bold who had made 2012 not just a royal jubilee year but a people’s jubilee year, and no-one would rain on their parade. Come the evening of 10 September, though, there was an autumn chill in the air, signalling the inevitable transition to a new season.

On the other side of The Pond, evening had yet to come, autumn had yet to arrive. New York’s weather had provided its usual spectacle—tornados, rain-storms, oppressive heat, debilitating humidity—and it had ensured that the biggest tennis tournament in the world, the last Grand Slam of 2012, would once again end later than planned. But this time, it could not have been planned better. This time, the sun was shining on one remaining Briton who had begun his journey back with those Olympic heroes at the end of July.

The first event of London 2012 started on the day after the opening ceremony at the sport’s most iconic venue, Wimbledon.

This had been the scene of heartbreak for Andy Murray so many times in his single-minded, muscle-burning pursuit of the Holy Grail. In 2008, he was a quarterfinalist and went on to reach his first Grand Slam final two months later in New York. The next year, he reached the semis on London’s green lawns—now it was just a matter of time.

But two more Grand Slam finals came and went, and two more semi-final losses at Wimbledon. Blocking his way at every turn was a phalanx of tennis royalty—Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal—so despite reaching the last four in five out of six of the Majors leading into Wimbledon 2012, the prize seemed always just out of reach. Read the rest of this entry →

Triple Trophies in New York: Kim Clijsters Tops Tennis Power Rankings 2

Posted on September 22, 2010 by JA Allen

Clijsters wins her second consecutive trophy at the U.S. Open.

It seems that after the last slam of the year in New York City, the tennis world slows down a bit for the top ranked women.

There are a few International Tournaments going on now but most of the top 20 players will not pick up a racket in competition until Tokyo, the China Open in Beijing or later at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Serena Williams is still the No. 1 ranked player in the world, although she was in slight danger of losing that spot if Caroline Wozniacki had won the U.S. Open.

Kim Clijsters, however, repeated her championship run in Flushing Meadows, adding a third U.S. Open Trophy to her mantle. Clijsters has now won the U.S. Open back to back in 2009 and 2010––looking to expand her major trophy count in 2011.

The power rankings reflect the most recent results on the women’s tour with most of the emphasis centered on U.S. Open results.

The women’s tour will shut down at the end of October with the WTA Tour Championships which are held annually in Doha.

Last year’s winner was Serena Williams who is expected to be on hand to defend her championship.

Read the rest of this entry →

Which Top 20 Roger Federer Records May Never Be Broken? 2

Posted on September 02, 2010 by JA Allen

Roger Federer is used to winning at the U.S. Open

Do you remember what it felt like when Emmitt Smith hung up his cleats,  no longer hustling in the Dallas Cowboy backfield?

Or how the “Windy City” sighed when the Chicago Bears could no longer rely on “Sweetness” to gain  impossible yardage to convert on a third down?

When was it that Edwin Moses no longer dominated the 400 meter hurdles at the summer Olympics or when Michael Jordan no longer jammed the ball home for the Chicago Bulls?

You see, great athletes not only impact themselves and their teams––they have a profound influence on the game itself, and its fans.

They push the limits and stretch former boundaries as peers and competitors learn that something new is possible and follow their lead.

The longer they play, the greater their record.

Their  time to excel on the playing field––whatever its boundaries––is limited by time because no player’s athletic life goes on forever, despite rumors to the contrary brought on by Brett Favre aficionados.

Sooner or later, the athlete cannot continue to improve and if you cannot continue to add to your game, the process of subtraction begins––you began to move toward “less.”  You settle for “good” rather than maintaining “great.”

For Roger Federer, proving he is moving forward, adding to his game, means increasing the distance between himself and everyone else on tour.  He must add to his already staggering records to bounce back to glory again.

How many of these records are reachable by anyone currently playing tennis today, including Federer himself?

Can Federer himself improve on perfection??

Read the rest of this entry →

What Have Been the Greatest Upsets in U.S. Open Tennis History? 1

Posted on August 19, 2010 by JA Allen

Night Sessions at the U.S. Open are momentous occasions.

Looking at the modern era or from 1968 forward, how many times has the number one seed or one of the top seeds gone down to defeat unexpectedly in New York during the U.S. Open?  Here are some of the most famous upsets listed here in chronological order.

1975 Jimmy Connors (1) vs. Manuel Orantes (3), Finals

Ornates won 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. In 1975 Jimmy Connors, the No. 1 seed defeated his arch rival Bjorn Borg in the semifinals while Spain’s Manuel Orantes defeated the No. 2 seed Guillermo Vilas in a very difficult match to reach the final, facing Jimmy Connors.  The Open at Forest Hills was being played on clay in 1975.

Connors was having a bad year, for him, losing his Australian Open crown to John Newcombe and his Wimbledon trophy to Arthur Ashe.  His back was against the wall as the American faced the Spaniard Orantes, trying to retain his hold on the No. 1 ranking.

The clay surface obviously benefitted Orantes.  But Connors had defeated the Spaniard in six of their last seven meetings and felt confident going into the match that he would win again.

Orantes never let the American into the match.  The Spaniard played slow, denying Connors pace, never allowing him to establish a rhythm. Orantes lobbed and passed Connors at the net with amazing accuracy.

Read the rest of this entry →

Wanted: New Coach To Guarantee Success for Federer and Murray… 1

Posted on July 30, 2010 by JA Allen

Roger Federer, ranked No. 3 and Andy Murray, ranked No. 4 are in the market for new coaches.

What is happening?

Andy Murray decided to split with Coach Miles Maclagan shortly after Roger Federer announced that he would be teaming up on a trial basis with former Pete Sampras coach Paul Annacone.

Something is definitely in the air.  Just what is the significance of these seemingly disparate actions by two of the tennis world’s top four?

If you are paying attention to the subtle signs, you get the feeling that the top players are girding up, preparing for an all-out assault on the hard courts where they figure to be playing for all the marbles in 2010.

Think about it.

This is the season when the current No. 1 player, Rafael Nadal is most vulnerable.  While no one can overtake the Majorcan in the next few months, the player who advances his standing by adding to his own ranking points may be laying the foundation for his tennis future.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Greatest U.S. Open Tennis Champions of the Modern Era 4

Posted on July 22, 2010 by JA Allen

The United States Open has hosted some of the greatest matches in tennis history.

In a another month we will be heavily invested in the last grand slam tournament of the season, the 2010 U.S Open to be held in Queens, New York, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Last year’s winner of the U.S. Open men’s trophy, Juan Martin del Potro will not be on hand to defend his championship.  The Argentine has been sidelined most of 2010 after surgery for a wrist injury.

The question remains whether Roger Federer will reestablish his dominance in the event or if a new champion will crowned as the next U.S. Open winner.

Some believe Federer’s era has past. But most have adopted a “wait and see” attitude.  Time will tell whether the Swiss continues to add to his impressive record at the U.S. Open, moving him up the ladder on the list of greatest champions.

An examination of  the top U.S. Open champions since 1968 should focus on both the number of finals won plus the total number of final appearances.  If those totals are equal then consider the total winning percentages of the respective players.

Of all the tennis professionals who have participated in the modern era at the U.S. Open, the number of men who have multiple wins is few.  It is a very difficult accomplishment––making it to the final of a major and then winning the tournament––most of all, doing it more than once.  The following men are great champions.

Read the rest of this entry →

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