Tennis Commentary (25)

Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:53

Roland Garros 2012 Review

Written by
Put a Lid on It
The US Open men's final has been played on the phantom 'Third Monday' of the tournament for the past four years. The French Open, already a day longer than the other three majors, must have felt the competition on its heels, and the tournament extended to 16 days, as rain pushed the men's final into Monday for just under a set.

Until these two tournaments shell out for roofs (as Roland Garros is planning to do with its new stadium construction), don't forget to save a sick day for the Monday after. I have September 9 circled in my planner.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 10:54

Australian Open 2012 Final Review

Written by
Last Things First
If you missed the Men's Singles Final, you probably already know that this one was a must-see. My first urge is to suggest that when you watch it recorded, you skip the first two, or perhaps even three sets. That would save you over three hours and cringing at some average tennis (much below par, as far as Djokovic and Nadal are concerned).

However, to truly appreciate the remainder of the match and the players' last heroic act of being able to stand for the trophy photo-op, one must go through 'the agony and the ecstasy' of the entire 5-hour 53-minute battle. In fact, in addition to watching this – the longest Grand Slam final in history – in its entirety, I also urge you to watch, or re-watch, the semifinals, particularly Djokovic's Friday night five-set defeat of Andy Murray. Then, towards the end of the 7-5 fifth set to the final, when you yourself feel like you have no energy left to keep your eyes open, you might truly appreciate the inhuman effort from both finalists.

Monday, 23 January 2012 11:51

Australian Open 2012 Midterm Review

Written by
As the first major snowstorm hit New York this weekend, it was somehow more, not less, gratifying to sit in a cozy armchair, look out onto the white snow, and look on as Ana Ivanovic was getting annihilated in the heat by the new "It Girl" of the WTA Tour, Petra Kvitova, during their fourth round encounter.

In fact, it made me feel downright nostalgic. No, not back to when the new Czech "It Girl" was Nicole Vaidisova (less than a year older than Kvitova!), or to even more recent times, when Ana Ivanovic was that "It Girl" recent Slam winner. No, my memory only extended as far back as the previous weekend, when the 2012 Australian Open was in its nascent state.

Now, sipping hot cocoa in front of a fire (all right, drinking wine out of a coffee cup in front of a space heater the previous tenants left in my apartment), I'll recall the memorable moments of Week One and wistfully look ahead to the coming late stages of the tournament.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 08:54

US Open 2011 Final Review

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After a fourth straight Monday Final, the 2011 US Open may be remembered just as much for the weather as for the tennis, even with the high-level competition produced in the closing weekend. So, checking all the patterns produced at this year's tournament, here are (no-guarantee) forecasts for some of the biggest names from the 2011 US Open.

Sunny Skies
Sam Stosur: Not since Svetlana Kuznetsova's 2004 US Open win had a first round loser in the previous Slam become Champion in the next, but in what might be called fitting of Stosur's peaks-and-valleys career, she managed just that with a courageous 6-2, 6-3 drubbing of Serena Williams. Stosur learned the hard way about the power of positive, aggressive play in her first Grand Slam final, courtesy of Francesca Schiavone. It was fair to wonder if she'd ever get a second chance at a major. But a kind draw combined with mental fortitude in moments when she may have previously cracked set the stage for a record-setting run. With the longest women's match and the longest tiebreak (albeit lost) in women's US Open history, Stosur etched her name on the Champion's trophy with power serving and aggressive second serve returns, essentially beating Serena at her own game.
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