Editorials (43)

The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of ProTennisNews.net, but rather of the individual authors.

Monday, 21 January 2013 21:25

Editor's Corner: Accentuate the Positive

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If you know me or even just follow me here or on Twitter, you know that, most of the time, my brain is a cynical, sarcastic ball of skepticism (or whatever that brain shape is). I think The Secret is a brilliant scam and a miracle occurs when someone wishes for something really, really hard... and then goes to the store and buys it for themselves. But I am not a fan of adding invented negativity to our already oft-too-grey lives. And, lately, I have been struck by attempts to bring negative attention to tennis. This is probably a result of veiled, usually subconscious, attempts to make the sport more fun and interesting, and to introduce some controversy and attract fans of other sports. But tennis' appeal is not in its shortcomings, it's in the strength of the sport. The sport requires physical skills and commitment, talent, a strong mentality, extreme dedication and a certain level of intellect for players to succeed. And these assets are what we as the tennis community should focus on, not the negative minutia.

Monday, 07 January 2013 00:29

Editor's Corner: Lucky '13?

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It's a new season and, like Svetlana Kuznetsova, I am launching a comeback in 2013... to the Editor's Corner. Having recently survived the End of the World, the demise of the Novak Djokovic Invitational... I mean, the Serbia Open, and the Henri Bendel store running out of Sugarpova, I am stronger than ever.

We are now getting closer to the first major of the year, and here are seven things we've learned in the first week of the 2013 tennis season.

1. What happens when 'burrowing through the match' is your tactic
For years, every knowledgeable tennis commentator and fan has been calling David Ferrer "underrated." The Spanish World No. 5 was able to shake the moniker a bit after winning his first Masters 1000 title at Bercy last fall, but perhaps we were too quick to let go of the epithet. On Tuesday of last week, at the Qatar ExxonMobil open in Doha, David Ferrer created a hole on the seemingly unbreakable hard court surface while moving back to return a shot. Perhaps we have been underestimating Ferrer's powers after all.

2. Don't play with fire
Argentina's Leonardo Mayer burned himself playing with fireworks during a New Year's celebration. Read the warning labels on those dynamite sticks, friends!

3. You never know when a new friendship will blossom
Perhaps it'll be a coach from romantic 'Pa-ree'; perhaps it'll be a younger cute boy (from a country) next door; maybe it'll be a quirky pop star who 'works out' and loves tennis; it might be a recently re-employed star athlete who's played in several Capitals; or another sportsman who carries a big golf stick. Whoever it might be, if you're a WTA star, there's probably a dude stalking you around the Tour.

Monday, 27 August 2012 17:25

Save the Best for Last: US Open Preview

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Being the last of the four Grand Slams, the story at the US Open is always enthralling. Last year, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had virtually ruled out any chances of anybody else being No. 1 for the year, and they played a wonderful (although not great) four-setter on another Monday Night Final (why is that starting to sound so right?). On the women´s side, the story was Caroline Wozniacki´s attempt to claim legitimacy by winning her first Grand Slam, as well as Serena Williams´ comeback. We ended up instead with Samantha Stosur claiming her first Slam and 2011 having four different female winners at the Slams.

This year, it is a tad more interesting.

Friday, 27 July 2012 10:45

Not Olympic at All

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Standing over a far-away plateau on Mars, Olympus Mons tops out at 22,000 meters high, dwarfing the Earth's Mount Everest by a good 13 kilometers. Mount Olympus is the tallest mountain on any planet in the Solar System, and it will almost certainly retain the title forever. The obscure object 4 Vesta has a slightly taller protrusion called Rheasilvia, but that is an asteroid, not a planet. Thus, Mars holds the record for the highest mountain on a planet or a satellite.

It is properly called Olympus Mons. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was the residence of gods. And, unlike religions that came after, Olympus was forbidden to non-gods. After you died, you went somewhere, most likely Hades, but not Olympus. Zeus and his court were the only inhabitants there, and they were not in the habit of renting space.

Monday, 25 June 2012 13:09

Truly Weird

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Wimbledon is, despite all efforts from the All England Lawn Tennis Club to achieve the opposite, a truly peculiar tournament. (We will strive to achieve a rather understated tone in this article, to keep up with the AELTC). Below the tradition, the grandeur, the ceremonial pace of The Championships, runs a slightly odd way of thinking, something not totally wicked but slightly off. It is the way the British do things: no other country has made a vertical takeoff and landing fighter jet (the Harrier) and then tried to do a runway take off rocket.

Something about driving on the wrong side of the road, you know.

Don’t believe me? How about that brand new roof over the main stadium, err, Centre Court? If it were for aesthetics, they would have never put up that roof. Admit it: when closed, Centre Court looks from above as if it had been manufactured by Tupperware. And then, Google the photographs for the 2008 Rafael Nadal/Roger Federer final and the Pete Sampras/Patrick Rafter final, and try to find anything more beautiful than the last photos, when the shadows were deep and the contrasts gorgeous. No, that had to go. When your ratings go down because Goran Ivanisevic and Rafter played the final on Monday, it is time to invest a few hundred million quid to get some more.
Thursday, 31 May 2012 16:24

Revolutionary Courts

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Every so often, a tournament comes around that can really make a difference. The stakes grow higher, the history that can be made is of relevance, and the set of characters who are involved in the fine details of the narrative is long and almost regal.

The 2012 French Open is such a tournament. Almost all players who've entered it have high stakes running at Roland Garros Stadium, which makes the tournament preposterously appealing.

No player entered the event with more to win than Novak Djokovic. If he can hold the trophy aloft on the Third Sunday, he will achieve several milestones.
Monday, 23 April 2012 13:35

Next of Kin

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John McEnroe said all that was needed to say about golf, as far as I am concerned, when he stated (a long time ago): “Golf is not a sport. To be a sport, you have to run sometime.”

Golf is a game, and a wonderful one. Maddeningly difficult, it is addictive. It brings a lot of mixed feelings. Any golfer that has found himself deep in the rough has had the little devil on the left shoulder saying, “C’mon, just throw it out there on the fairway. No one will notice”.

Officially, I dislike golf. But on Sunday, April 8, I found myself glued to the TV during the final three holes of the Masters, watching Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen slowly play out their drama. It was compelling, and I thought that what I experienced was maybe the same sensation that those people who do not follow tennis regularly got when they stumbled into the fifth set of the Djokovic-Nadal final at the Aussie Open (or, even better, the fifth set of Nadal-Federer at the 2008 Wimbledon final).
Monday, 02 April 2012 15:11

The Commitments

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I was introduced to the greatness of live Grand Slam tennis way back in 1995, at the Wimbledon Championships. In awe of all things related to tennis and its history, I was witness to several great days of the best tennis in the world. In those halcyon days, the era of serve and volley was slowly coming to an end (in the men's field; the women had buried it already) but the sleek grass courts at Church Road were the last stronghold of that art. Coupled with the presence of Pete Sampras, Goran Ivanisevic, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, the pace of play was fast and relentless. And amid the many things I recall I got from those two weeks was the appreciation that tennis is a sport of commitment.

Not only the type of commitment that I will dub "MACRO commitment," the commitment that every young player that dreams of tennis glory has to make early in his or her life, that particular dedication of several hours a day needed to properly hone a forehand, learn a backhand to the point of automation, and understand the geometry of a court. I refer also to "MICRO commitments," the instantaneous decisions that a player must make when he or she decides on what stroke to hit, where and how. The fast courts of Wimbledon, in 1995 not yet slowed down to increase the length of rallies, were the epitome of the fast decisionmaking process that a tennis player must go through when the ball is in play.

Friday, 17 February 2012 12:31

Simply Too Tough

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As Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic bent forward, their hands on their knees, sweat dripping from every pore of their bodies, the tennis establishment was already trying to find the adjectives to describe the nearly six  hours of pleasurable tennis the world audience had witnessed (pleasurable to watch; Rafa and Nole may have a different opinion about playing it).  A few records had been broken during that 2012 Australian Open Final, a legendary match had been played, and there was no doubt that both men had given it their all, and that they are, indeed, the best at their trade.

No doubt was left, either, that Nadal had lost the match.
Monday, 16 January 2012 18:48

The 'Ozzie' Open

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Hello, Australian Open. So glad you are rolling in. Just about six minutes ago Roger Federer won the ATP World Tour Finals, Rafa Nadal was complaining about the length of the season while winning yet another Davis Cup, Novak Djokovic was about to undergo arthroscopic surgery of the soul, and yet here you are again.

And we are glad.

Excuse me for the familiar tone, which may be misconstrued as disrespectful. But it is just that you are really not that awe-inspiring. Yes, you are a Grand Slam, and yes, you have a wonderful history, but you really have that aura that you are not stuffy or, heaven forbid, a snob.

Seriously. You are officially known as the KIA Australian Open, and, no offense - KIA makes some very good cars, but can you picture Wimbledon being named The KIA Championships? Heck, they would probably balk at being known as The Rolls Royce Championships.
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