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Women’s Tennis Power Rankings: Queen Serena Williams meets Queen Elizabeth 16

Posted on July 08, 2010 by JA Allen

The Queen of England visits Wimbledon and meets the Queen of the Court, Serena Williams.

Wimbledon is over––the year 2010 tucked away in the record books.  Centre Court now sports a roof and artificial lights, an abrupt departure from tradition in favor of increased revenue and pressure from major television outlets.

Most of the traditions, however, stay intact like bowing to the Queen, strawberries and cream and no tiebreak in the final set.

While the elongated fifth set has been an issue from time to time, in 2010 it became historically significant as Nicolas Mahut and John Isner battled over three days in their first round match which finally concluded after 11 hours of match play, 70-68 in the fifth set.

Neither player could play on after that match even though both tried, Mahut in doubles and Isner in singles.  For that reason alone, some sort of limit needs to be established.

Most of the talk was of the men.  Without a “suggestive” outfit from Venus, the women seemed invisible throughout the tournament.  U.S. coverage focused almost entirely on the Williams sisters––what there was of that.  As usual, the men stole the headlines and the regular television coverage.

So Serena’s amazing win, with her sizzling serve-breaking records, received less attention than usual as all the world continued the Rafa-Roger debate.  Too bad because the ladies put on quite a show!

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Reliving the Wimbledon Classic: Roger Federer Vs. Pete Sampras 2001 6

Posted on July 01, 2010 by JA Allen

Winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit––Edwin Louis Cole

Wimbledon 2001 Federer defeats Sampras in the 4th round. It marked Sampras' earliest exit from the tournament.

If you were lucky, you were there at the inception, when the first moments of brilliance blossomed.  The teenage phenom from Switzerland sporting a bandanna, his long hair swept back in a ponytail, bit at his lower lip, serving, dancing along the baseline on Centre Court.

The young challenger waited, seeing the ball as if in slow motion––coiled, poised on the balls of his feet, ready to move forward if the grizzled champion on the other side of the net returned the ball short.

Roger Federer’s main worry centered on containing his own anxiety, of staying in the moment, the point at hand and living each shot as it happened,  He could not afford to anticipate beyond the slight movement to the left or the right of the champion, Pete Sampras, who waited on the other side of the net.

From time to time the champion’s serve cracked, blasting through the court, ricocheting off service lines, often beyond the teenager’s ability to lay a racket on it.  All the while Sampras sent  an unmistakable message that he did not intend to go “gentle into that good night,” as urged by Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet.

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“Nobody Said Winning Was Easy,” Andy Roddick Admits after Wimbledon Loss 6

Posted on June 29, 2010 by JA Allen

Andy Roddick playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Andy Roddick’s result at Wimbledon Monday mirrors the state of men’s tennis in the United States––generally showy but lacking substance.  It is not enough to have a huge serve and powerful ground strokes, you must also pay the ultimate price which means putting in the compulsory hours to ensure you are mentally and physically fit to win a major championship.

The No. 1 American, Roddick, with his rocket serves and his majestic, powerful ground strokes failed to live up to his expectations, let alone his potential.  Why? Because the American skipped the most important ingredient in success on the tennis court this Spring––commitment and preparation.

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21st Century at Wimbledon: Roger Federer and the Williams Sisters Rule the 1st Decade 4

Posted on June 28, 2010 by JA Allen

Roger Federer has dominated at Wimbledon in the past decade. Last year he defeated Andy Roddick in the final.

In the first decade of the 21st Century the sport of tennis saw rapid improvements in racket technology, in preparation and conditioning of players and in style of play on the courts of Wimbledon.

As the courts slowed, players began to find success on the baseline, staying back and dictating play.  Serve and volley in its traditional form faded in effectiveness.

No longer were the middle of courts torn up as they were when players planted themselves close to the net.  Now the baselines, the back of the courts, became chewed and bare as the tournament progressed.

Roger Federer who won his first Championship in 2003 would find himself in the last seven championship matches of the decade, winning six of them.  The Williams sisters would find themselves in eight finals, winning all eight.  Roger Federer, Venus Williams and Serena Williams dominated play on Centre Court during the last decade.

Take a detailed look at the Wimbledon finals of this first decade of the 21st Century year by year.

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Women’s Top Seeds All in Action Monday at Wimbledon 3

Posted on June 26, 2010 by JA Allen

All of the women's top seeds will be action on Monday in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon.

If you have any plans for Monday, put them aside because the ladies at Wimbledon have set a most appetizing table to lure you to their courts, away from the normal more masculine fare.  To call it “Blockbuster Monday,” is to minimize its significance.

The match-ups are staggering, some significant enough to rate as “finals” in most years.  The ladies round of sixteen at Wimbledon, unfortunately, will be blended with the gentlemen’s.  As is too often the case, the ladies will no doubt be overshadowed by their male counterparts since the media selects what will be covered.  This is not meant to discount the men, but the scope of the ladies’ matches is beyond comprehension.

Here are the matches you need to witness front and center:

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The Queen Comes Calling at Wimbledon’s Centre Court… 1

Posted on June 24, 2010 by JA Allen

The Queen arrives at a 33-year absence from Centre Court at Wimbledon.

As if Andy Murray did not have enough pressure on his young shoulders, now he must worry about his bow to the Queen of England before his match gets underway on Centre Court.  There Murray will meet Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in the second round.

The Queen has come calling––her first visit in 33 years––to see young Mr. Murray and, some suspect, to pay her respects to this tournament that stands out as one of England’s finest events.  As a reluctant visitor, the Queen should serve as a good luck charm for the man from Scotland.

Along with the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen will stroll the grounds and meet tennis’ top players including the No. 1 seeds Roger Federer and Serena Wllliams––they will be on hand to lunch with the Queen.  Serena has been busy beating up on opponents and practicing her curtsy anticipating her luncheon with the Queen.

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