Tag Archive | "Murray"

Rafael Nadal Answers to the Press at Sony Ericsson Open

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Rafael Nadal Answers to the Press at Sony Ericsson Open



World number one Rafael Nadal sat down with the press this afternoon at the Sony Ericsson Open.  Nadal answered questions about Roger, Federer, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and issues with his serve at Indian Wells.  On the social media front, Nadal has no plans to join Twitter at the moment. Here is his complete interview with the media.

Q. I know you’ve won almost everything in this sport, but not Miami. Is this kind of one you’d like to get? I think you’ve won 6 out of 9 Masters?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I play every tournament with the same motivation. It’s always play well and then I gonna have a good result. In this tournament I think I had two finals, another semifinal. So I had the chances; I didn’t win. Is impossible win in every place. I just accept the challenge and try to play my best tennis. That’s only way to win the tournament where all the best players of the world are playing.

Q. Is it tougher than most because it comes right after Indian Wells and you always seem to go deep into that draw?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, I don’t think so.

Q. Did you consider playing in the soccer game the other night? I know you went to watch. Did you consider playing?

RAFAEL NADAL: I would love, you know, but for me is important ‑ probably most important ‑ part of the season right now since Indian Wells until Wimbledon. I had the knees problems and seriously, I don’t want any risk right now, no?

Q. What did you think of the game? We heard that Andy Murray and Baghdatis were the best players.

RAFAEL NADAL: I didn’t see all the game, because I had to work with a sponsor in another place. But they told me, yeah. But remain the star, remain me. (Laughing.) No, seriously, Baghdatis and Murray told me ‑‑ Djokovic told me that Baghdatis and Murray was playing unbelievable. They lost 5‑2, so, anyway, important thing is not the result, is the charity of the event. I think was really good because the crowd was full there, very good atmosphere. After in the dinner with Nole, I was there supporting the dinner, too. So I think was fantastic, too. That’s important, always be active in these charity events, especially for Japan at this moment.

Q. About 10 years ago you probably would have been one of the taller players on the tour. Now you play guys like Querrey and Isner, Raonic and even Djokovic and these guys are 6’3″ and higher. Do you feel like the game is going in that direction? Just gonna get taller and taller? Is it tougher to play against these guys, too?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, but the best players of the world play from the baseline. That’s true. Djokovic is very good from the baseline. Federer is very good from the baseline. Myself. Last couple of years, my best quality is from the baseline. Murray is from the baseline. Soderling, too. Davydenko, too, Berdych, too. That’s true, is coming ‑‑ Del Potro is the only one, but he’s characteristic is from the baseline, too. Is true that the game is coming very tall guys, but at the end of the day, I think the best players of the world and the players who are in the top are players who plays from the baseline. Is true is not easy play against Isner, against Karlovic, against Raonic, but we will see if that is the right way to be in the top. I don’t know.

Q. Is there anything that you notice from your game at Indian Wells that you feel you could improve on in this tournament?

RAFAEL NADAL: A lot of things. (Smiling.) I think during the tournament I didn’t play really good. It wasn’t a good level for me. Semifinals and final I improved my level of tennis, but during the final my serve worked terrible. So that’s the first thing. I have to serve better if I want to have chances to compete against all the players. And from the baseline, seriously, I think I finished the tournament playing much better than the beginning of the tournament. So that’s always a very positive thing.

Q. Did you and Toni work on your serve? Did you find out what was wrong with it?

RAFAEL NADAL: We hope so, but we never know. (Smiling.) We gonna see tomorrow how it works hopefully better.

Q. What is it that you love about playing tennis?

RAFAEL NADAL: I love the competition. Yeah. I love the support in general, all the sports. Tennis is my sport, so I like the tennis and especially I love the competition.

Q. What is your perception of Djokovic? Over the years he was joking, doing impersonations, this and that. He’s still very funny, but he seems to have tried to tone down a little bit maybe. He’s playing very, very, very well now. What is your relationship with him? What do you think the perception of him among the players is?

RAFAEL NADAL: My relationship with him always was fantastic. We are close. I think he’s a funny guy, but he’s not playing now better because he’s not doing his imitations or these things. That’s for sure. You know, always the people, when somebody is playing very well, try to found the things outside of the tennis. Seriously, the only thing what matters is what’s happen inside the court. Outside the court you can do imitations all the day, or you can do anything. You can’t go out every night, that’s for sure, no? But you can do anything. You can have a really normal life and play very well or play very bad. That doesn’t affect inside the court.

What he’s doing well is he’s playing with confidence. His level probably is not much higher than three years ago or two years ago or one year ago. I always saw him as fantastic player. His potential always was very, very high. Everybody knows how good is him, and he can do what he’s doing now. He started the season like in 2008 and was the same. So is nothing new. We will see what’s going on. I think he’s a very complete player because he can play on all of the surfaces very good, and that’s an advantage. He started better than possible, so he’s in a very good position.
But the season always is long, and we will see what is going on.

Q. Novak recently joined Twitter. You’re very present on Facebook. Do you have any plans to join Twitter?

RAFAEL NADAL: Not for the moment. I happy with the Facebook. I don’t know. No, for me is enough for the moment.

Q. I want to ask you also about the Bacardi, the thing you’re involved in with drinking responsibly. Can you talk about that? I wasn’t at the event, but can you just tell us a little about that, the campaign.

RAFAEL NADAL: I think is a very important social campaign, especially I think for everybody, but for the young people more. The campaign is champions drink responsibly, but is a social campaign about if you have to go out, have a plan how to come back home safely. Is a campaign about if you go out, you don’t need to drink crazy. You can drink few glasses of alcohol, but drink alcohol‑free and drink water. Is important quality than quantity. That is the campaign, no? For sure I think everybody knows when you go out and you go for party with your friends, alcohol is part of that, part of the night. But sometimes seems like you go out and you have to drink like crazy. In my opinion, that’s not like this. That’s the campaign. I think it’s important campaign. I’m very happy to be the ambassador.

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Novak Djokovic Addresses Media at Sony Ericsson Open

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Novak Djokovic Addresses Media at Sony Ericsson Open



World number two Novak Djokovic sat down with the press this afternoon at the Sony Ericsson Open.  Djokovic answered questions about soccer, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Andy Roddick.  He also commented on his recent entry into the social media outlets of Twitter and Facebook. Here is his complete interview with the media.

Q. You’re awake. You must be really tired with all that’s been going on.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, well, it’s been exhausting couple of days, you know, from Indian Wells, traveling to Colombia, playing an exhibition match ‑‑ which, by the way, was amazing and great atmosphere and great reception we got there ‑‑ and then came back and we had, of course, the charity event, football match, and then the dinner that was going on. So it was a lot of obligations, but still, it was enjoyable, because it was all for the good cause; we had a lot of fun yesterday.

Q. How are you taking your first loss of the season against the Strikers?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, not great. (Laughter. We scored two goals. I mean, it’s good enough for the first time, you know. We were just discussing right now in the locker room how we need to work on our game. We are planning actually to play couple of more similar charity football games throughout, you know, the next six, seven, eight months. You know, I’m not gonna say still where and when, but we have something in our minds. Hopefully we can make that happen, because most of the players really, we love playing football, and you could see that. You know, you could see that they are enjoying playing that sport and of course being very competitive, even though it was first time that we managed to become a team. But we wanted to win badly. Yeah, but it was fun.

Q. Who’s the best player?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ah, the best player? Baghdatis. Second best, Murray. They scored both one goal and they were good.

Q. Do you worry about injuries? I mean, soccer, even if you’re playing a charity event, you could still twist your ankle or something.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, we didn’t think about that too much, to be honest, you know. (Smiling.) It was more of adrenaline rush that we had of just being there. To be honest, in the first place, everybody didn’t expect that event to be that successful. And it was incredible, you know. Big thanks to everybody who came there, and of course media and all the players, the Strikers and everybody. You know, it was a great cause obviously, and obviously and everybody felt the need to show their support. But on the other hand, it was ‑‑ you know, it was sport that we love to play, but we don’t have an opportunity to be able to play an official match with the referees. But it was great. You know, I don’t think they thought about injuries that much, but we had to sign the paper that they are not responsible for our injuries, like in States. It always works like that. (Laughter.)

Q. With everything that’s been going on, have you had a chance to reflect on what has just been an amazing start to the season?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Um, the best couple of months of my career, definitely. Um, playing really, really well on the court, feeling emotionally very stable, and I just have more self‑belief that I can play good tennis, you know, and that I can win against any player on the tour. It’s really important, you know. I always had, I think, that quality, but mentally I was having a lot of ups and downs, and I didn’t have enough confidence on the court when I played the big players in the big events. But now it’s different, you know. It took time. It took definitely time for me to come to this point where, you know, where I play, I think, the best tennis of my life. It took a lot of patience, a lot of hard work, but it all comes from that. It all comes from dedication.

Q. How did you address those mental up and downs? Was there one thing that made a difference?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s very hard to make a difference between a private life and your professional life. There were some things that affected my game, you know, from private life. It was hard, for me, to kind of, you know, show my best on the court. You know, bottom line is this is mental game. Everybody’s physically fit, and, you know, everybody’s working really hard each day. But if you’re not stable emotionally, then you’re not able to perform your best on the court. Now things are coming together, so just happy for that.

Q. Can you tell me about all your experiences in Bogota?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I cannot tell you about all the experience, but I can tell you the experience that we had on the court. (Laughing.) It has been a fantastic trip for us. Even though it was very short, it was maybe one day, but we didn’t have much sleep, that’s for sure. You know, from Indian Wells we had a long travels, and we slept for a couple of hours only that day before the exhibition event. We had a lot of activities. We had a tennis clinic with sponsors, with kids, and we had a lot of media activities, as well. And then, you know, we went back to the stadium where we played the match. It was packed. I think it was 14,000 people. It was, for me, the best atmosphere in the exhibition match that I have experienced ever. I was not aware of the popularity of tennis in Colombia, to be honest. It was amazing. The president of the country came, and we really felt ‑‑ we really felt great.

Q. With all the matches you won now, is there a danger of becoming too confident?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I guess it’s never enough to have, you know ‑‑ more confidence you have, I guess, there is no limits in confidence, you know. It’s really important to be able to have a feeling that you can win against anybody in the court. I think the bottom line is that it’s all about confidence, and only couple of points basically decide the winner when you are playing against the top players, against Roger, Rafa, you know, Murray, all these guys. It’s very high level of tennis, and, you know, if you’re able to be calm in the certain moments, to be confident, to go for the shots, you know, then you will have a success. I guess in last two, three months, that’s the state of, you know ‑‑ that’s the feeling that I have right now, and it keeps on going well for me. But it’s only a start of the year. I want to move on. I’m using the experience that I had two years ago, three years ago when I won a Grand Slam, when I won Indian Wells, and then I lost here first round. I had a lot of opening‑round losses throughout the year, and I wasn’t managing to be consistent with the success. This time I will do differently.
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Spotlight Miami: The Sony Ericsson Open Has Arrived

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Spotlight Miami: The Sony Ericsson Open Has Arrived


 
The Sony Ericsson Open singles draws for the women and men have been released.  There are a bevy of potential semifinal match-ups to salivate over.

On the ATP side, Rafael Nadal, the world number one may battle 2009 finalist Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

With Roger Federer dropping to the number three in the rankings, the Swiss could clash with Nadal in the semifinals.  Moreover, Federer may contend with defending champion Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.

If the draw plays out according to the seeding, in the bottom half, David Ferrer and Robin Soderling will be slated to meet in the quarterfinals.  However, Juan Martin Del Potro could spoil that face-off.

Also located in the bottom section is the hottest player on tour, world number two Novak Djokovic. The Serb could have a rematch of this year’s Australian Open final in the quarterfinals with Andy Murray.

Whether it’s Del Potro, Ferrer or Soderling in the semifinals, at this stage, Djokovic seems ready to mow over all comers.

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Venus Withdraws from Sony Ericsson Open

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Venus Withdraws from Sony Ericsson Open



Citing an abdominal injury, Venus Williams has withdrawn from the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open.

Here is the official press release from the Sony Ericsson Open tournament :

VENUS WILLIAMS WITHDRAWS FROM SONY ERICSSON OPEN

MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyericssonopen.com) – Three-time Sony Ericsson Open champion and
7-time Grand Slam winner, Venus Williams, has withdrawn from the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams is forced to withdraw from this year’s tournament due to an abdominal injury she incurred earlier this year at the Australian Open. The tennis star is currently receiving ongoing rehabilitation at home and released the following statement.

“I am very sorry to not be playing in the Sony Ericsson Open this year. It is one of my favorite tournaments on the circuit, especially because it is so close to my home in South FL. I look forward to returning to the tour soon.”

“It is unfortunate that Venus Williams will be unable to play at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open. She will be missed and we wish her a speedy recovery,” said Adam Barrett, Sony Ericsson Open Tournament Director. “We hope to see her back on the courts soon.”

Despite Williams’ withdrawal fans will still be able to see exhilarating matches as the women’s field features power players including defending Sony Ericsson Open champion Kim Clijsters; current World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki; and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova.

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Can Nadal Make it Four in a Row or Will Federer Defend?  Australian Open Preview

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Can Nadal Make it Four in a Row or Will Federer Defend? Australian Open Preview


1969 was the year when Rod Laver accomplished the calendar grand slam for the second time.  Laver had done so previously in 1962.  At the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal will attempt to become the first person to hold all four majors simultaneously, although not in the same calendar year.  Like Nadal, Roger Federer has won three majors in a single year on multiple occasions, but never held all four.  With a historic sixteen majors, Federer, the defending champion, will be one of the competitors trying to halt Nadal from revising  the tennis annals.  Indeed, if the Australian Open draw holds up, Nadal’s route to his second title is fraught with red flags.

After seemingly comfortable initial two rounds, Nadal may see Marin Cilic in the round of 16.  Despite disappointing results the remainder of 2010 after a semifinal placement in Melbourne, for Cilic knowing that he’s gone that far at this major can be an inspiration.  Moreover, the only time these two met in 2009, Cilic was the victor. In the quarterfinals, Nadal also has a few pesky potential opponents to look forward to: Mikhail Youzhny, David Ferrer and David Nalbandian.  On any given day, these men can be a real thorn on any individual’s side.

The second part of the top half of the draw has Robin Soderling and Andy Murray as the top seeds.  Either player could clash with Nadal in the semifinals.  Soderling appears to have a favorable trek until the round of 16 where he will possibly collide with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2007 Australian Open finalist and 2010 semifinalist.  On the other hand, 2010 finalist Murray may get Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis or Jurgen Melzer.  Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, and Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist, would be a contest for anyone.  Whether it’s Murray, Soderling or Tsonga in the semis, Nadal will have to his hands occupied in order to reach his second Australian Open final.

To say Federer is hungry for the title is an understatement considering the implications if Nadal prevails. Could Mardy Fish or Sam Querrey trouble the defending champion in the round of 16?  Possibly.  However, with Federer’s four titles out of five his last five tournaments, it’s unlikely anyone will down him early on. Both Gael Monfils and Stanislas Wawrinka have a win over Federer, but are a combined 2-11.  Therefore, it’s inconceivable that either Monfils or Wawrinka will upend Federer in the quarterfinals.  Once again, Andy Roddick may find himself in the position of needing to go through Federer to advance to the semifinals.  Despite Roddick’s 2-20 against Federer, he is the most formidable rival who can actually put a crimp in Federer’s style.

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Roger Federer Beats Rafael Nadal for His Fifth ATP World Tour Finals Title

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Roger Federer Beats Rafael Nadal for His Fifth ATP World Tour Finals Title


Today, Roger Federer claimed his fifth year-end ATP finals title with a superlative performance over a defiant, but defeated world number one, Rafael Nadal, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

In the 22nd meeting of an illustrious rivalry that will leave a great legacy for the game for years to come, Nadal and Federer captivated audiences world-wide with a final that sparkled with explosive shot making, drama and as many twists and turns as a Shakespeare play.

The world number one and two are polar opposites with one thing in common; an extraordinary will to win. While many began to question Federer’s mental strength following his failure to capitalize on two match points against an often mentally fragile Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the US Open earlier in the year, Federer seemed to have shrugged off any niggling doubts of his own authority in matches in the run up to the final.

Questions have also been raised about Nadal’s physical problems.  A shoulder injury in his serving arm caused Nadal to take a five week break before the ATP Finals and his recurring knee problems are always a concern.  Many wondered how Nadal’s body would cope after a grueling three set match against Britain’s Andy Murray in the semi-finals.   The tennis world waited with baited breath to see how the latest act in tennis’ greatest rivalry since Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras would play out.

In the opening set, Nadal described Federer as “unplayable” and it was evident from the outset that the Swiss Maestro was back to his absolute best. The players went tactically toe to toe until the seventh game when Nadal’s continued tactic of playing to Federer’s backhand backfired spectacularly.  With a superb cross court winner from that wing, Federer gained the break of serve.  Then, the former world number one closed out the first set 6-3 with a forehand winner in just 32 minutes.

But, with a dramatic swing of momentum, like an incensed lion released from its cage, Nadal characteristically pounced on Federer’s drop in form in the second set.  By switching tactics, Nadal secured a break of serve in the fourth game through working the Federer forehand with spectacular success. Federer took a tumble in the fifth game following an unkind net cord for Nadal and so did his form, allowing the Spaniard to pull ahead with a comfortable 4-1 lead.

The remainder of the second set went with serve.  Nadal held his nerve after losing the first point when serving out the set at 5-3 by finishing Federer off with a wonderfully executed backhand slice right at the master’s feet. Game on.

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Nadal and Federer Headline ATP World Tour Finals in London

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Nadal and Federer Headline ATP World Tour Finals in London


Intense anticipation is building for the year-end climax to the men’s professional tennis season whereby at The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals the top eight singles players and doubles teams in the world will compete for the crown at London’s imposing 02 Arena.

The Finals kick off in spectacular style on Sunday, 21 November, with home grown, Brit, Andy Murray taking on in-form Robin Soderling in the first Group B singles match.

The players have been competing all season long for South African Airways ATP Rankings points in a bid to earn a coveted place in the final eight and a chance to win the $1.6m prize money on offer to the winner.

Competition for places was fierce in the run up to the finals, with Fernando Verdasco narrowly losing out to Andy Roddick, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych for the remaining three spots.

This year, world number one, Rafael Nadal faces a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic, Czech, Tomas Berdych and plucky American, Andy Roddick in Group A, while five-time finals champion and world number 2, Roger Federer faces the prospect of in-from Robin Soderling, Britain’s Andy Murray on home turf and diminutive Spaniard, David Ferrer in Group B.

All eight players were greeted by Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron – an avid tennis fan – at a reception held at 10 Downing Street on Thursday 17 November to signal the start of what bodes to be an incredibly exciting week.

“It’s fantastic that the ATP World Tour Finals tournament is back in London for the second year running. It’s great for London and great for the country,” Mr Cameron said.

The PM himself gave Murray a warm up in the dining room with a series of volleys back and forth, and the young Scot hopes to have the home crowd on his side on Sunday.

“Every tennis player will tell you when you play at home it really helps you to have the crowd behind you,” Murray said at a press conference in London.

Last year, despite winning two out of his three group matches, Murray failed to qualify for the semi-finals on game difference, but what are his chances now?

The Scot began the year in fantastic form reaching the Australian Open final, only to lose to his nemesis, Roger Federer. The psychological impact of this loss caused Murray to incur mixed fortunes and an inconsistent season which saw him overtaken by Robin Soderling in the world rankings. However, in reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon, Murray proved that a home crowd could play a significant role.

Soderling is arguably the man to beat. Currently riding high on the back of his victory over Gael Monfils to claim his first Masters title in Paris in November, coupled with his penetrating ground strokes indoors, many are tipping Soderling to win the year-end title.

After a break following tendinitis in his arm, world number one, Rafael Nadal, despite having a fantastic season, winning three out of the four majors and completing a career grand slam, is not favoured to do well, but anyone would be mad to bet against him.

Nadal, who failed to win a single match at the O2 last year, appeared relaxed outside Downing Street on Thursday, but insists he has put no pressure on himself.

“This tournament is a more difficult one for me because of the surface, because of the opponents,” he said.

Andy Roddick was forced to watch the 2009 World Tour Finals from the stands, after suffering from a knee injury earlier in the season. Roddick will want to prove his critics wrong, after many believed he would not even make it to London this year. Many feel he could well cause an upset this year, starting with his huge opening match against crowd favourite, Rafael Nadal, in his opening match on Monday.  At their last encounter in Miami, Roddick defeated Nadal at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Not only did David Ferrer look out of place, being the only player in a grey suit when meeting Britain’s Prime Minister, many have written off the diminutive Spaniard’s chances. However, it would be wrong to dismiss him. His victories against Andy Murray and Robin Soderling this season, as well as a string of consistent performances in the past few tournaments, including his impressive win at the Valencia Open at the start of November, suggest he is in good form.

The 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, Tomas Berdych from the Czech Republic, will be experiencing his first World Tour Finals, after rising to a career-high six in the world this year. However, the 25-year-old has faltered in recent weeks, failing to progress past the third round of any tournament. But could the buzz of London help him to end his season on a high?

Last but not least, anyone would be crazy to write off the 16-time Majors Champion, Roger Federer. But, despite his success at the recent Swiss indoor event in Basel, throwing away several match points to the unpredictable Gael Monfils in November’s Paris Masters semi-final has thrown a shadow of doubt over his invincibility.

The Bryan brothers are clear favourites to retain their doubles title from last year.

Follow Melina Harris’ coverage for MiamiTennisNews on twitter under the username @thetenniswriter

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ATP’s Rollercoaster Ride in 2009

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ATP’s Rollercoaster Ride in 2009


img_2928From Rafael Nadal winning his first hardcourt major in Australia, to Roger Federer completing the career grand slam, to the emergence of a new major star Juan Martin Del Potro at the U.S. Open, 2009 was a year replete with ups and downs on the men’s tour.  Here’s a flashback.

At the Australian Open final, despite a marathon semifinal match, Nadal had adequate reserves to stare down Federer in another five setter.  With that victory, Nadal seemed well positioned to achieve the calendar grand slam.  After sweeping every clay court tournament, Nadal was halted at the Madrid Masters by Federer days prior to the French Open. For many analysts, fatigue may have been deserving of an assist as Federer defeated Nadal in straight sets to capture his initial title of 2009. As such, Nadal was still considered the outright favorite for a fifth consecutive French trophy.

While everyone may have discounted Robin Soderling in the fourth round at the French Open, the Swede who played a contentious match with Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007 had visions of victory dancing in his head.  Soderling upstaged the best clay player in circulation, handing Nadal his first defeat at Roland Garros.  Soderling rode this euphoric wave all the way to his first final at a major where he was ultimately stopped by Federer. In addition, Soderling was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open.  At his initial ATP World Tour Finals, Soderling was a semifinalist and with that result jumped to a career best ranking of 8th after commencing 2008 at 17.

Melbourne was the site where Fernando Verdasco at last  lived up to his talent.  After surprising Andy Murray the hottest player on tour in the fourth round, Verdasco was involved in a dogfight in the semifinals with countryman Nadal.  Hands down, the best match of the tournament and one of the most scintillating of the year, the two Spaniards went toe to toe for over five hours.  Although Nadal was triumphant, Verdasco’s run in Australia galvanized him the rest of the year.  Verdasco reached the quarters at the U.S. Open and was instrumental in Davis Cup play. Verdasco participated in his first ATP World Tour Finals and ended 2009 at number 9.

After an horrendous start to the season, Federer’s year turned around after beating Nadal in Madrid in May. After avoiding a sleuth of pitfalls to get to the French Open final, Federer grabbed the elusive brass ring and tied Pete Sampras’ record of 14 majors.  With a knee injury placing Wimbledon defending champ Nadal out of action, the impossibility of a Federer-Nadal duel could have been deflating for the championships.  To the contrary, Andy Roddick stepped up to the plate and in facing Federer, the two had a final to rival last year’s epic.  Federer had to out ace Roddick, required 95 minutes and 30 games in the fifth set before coming away with the victory and a record setting 15 majors.  In July, Federer supplanted Nadal at the top of the ATP’s ranking list.  Brimming with confidence, Federer appeared unstoppable and was a shoe-in for a sixth consecutive  title in New York.

At the U.S. Open, Federer battled Del Potro in the final.  With this being the latter’s maiden major final, jitters were more likely than not to play a pivotal role.  In spite of his youth, Del Potro demonstrated that he is a quick study.  After a devastating lost to Federer in the French semifinals, down two sets to one, Del Potro carried a tiebreaker and showed up Federer in the fifth set to capture his initial major. Del Potro closed 2009 as the world’s fifth best player and is a definite threat to take over the top spot in 2010.

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The U.S. Open’s Wild First Week

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The U.S. Open’s Wild First Week


img_3407At the majors, the unpredictable can happen. The early rounds of the U.S. Open have proven not to be the exception providing lots of fireworks particularly on the women’s side.  Here’s a half time synopsis and a look at the week ahead .

If one thought her ousting of Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon this year was a fluke, Melanie Oudin said think again. The17 year old American Fed Cup heroine bounced back after dropping the first set to defeat a trophy favorite world number 4 Elena Dementieva in the second round. On Saturday, Oudin duplicated that result by ousting 29th seed Maria Sharapova.  In the round of 16, Oudin will take on her fourth consecutive Russian Nadia Petrova.  Moreover, in the quarterfinals, Melanie may have a shot at claiming another Russian big scalp, Svetlana Kuznetsova. Speaking of Jankovic, the 2008 finalist was eliminated in the second round by Yaroslava Shvedova.  Another jaw dropper was the exit of  8th seed and  reigning Sony Open champion Victoria Azarenka sent packing in the third round by Francesca Schiavone.

Despite teetering on the brink of disaster, Dinara Safina had managed to record a W. However yesterday, Safina was ultimately pushed over the cliff in the third round by Czech teenage talent Petra Kvitova. The world number’s one performance has ignited the debate as to the relevance of the computer ranking system.  Since Justine Henin’s retirement, there’s been a conspicuous vacuum at the top of the ladies’ game.  Safina’s inability to embrace the big occasions while Serena Williams has flourished in that setting has fueled the discussion.  Unlike Safina, the defending champion has shown little compassion for her opponents in reaching the round of 16. In contrast, sister Venus’ performance has been a mixed bag with injury thrown in as a factor. Venus’ colossal test comes in the fourth round as she faces Kim Clijsters whose form appears unaffected by her sabbatical.  Unless Venus tidies up her game, the Belgian will foil her much anticipated semifinal with Serena. The free fall continues for 2008 French open winner and former world number one Ana Ivanovic as her stock took another hit with her first round departure. In all 21 of the 32 women seeds have failed to move pass the fourth round.

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Andy Murray Trains in Miami

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Andy Murray Trains in Miami


This month’s video provides a look into Andy Murray’s physical training.   The video is provided via Andy’s official website and was shot in Miami at the end of July as Murray prepared for his upcoming appearance at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.  Make sure you catch the medicine ball distance throw at the end of the video.

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