Category Archives: Tennis

Long Live The King

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This past Sunday saw Rafael Nadal win the French Open. The victory marked Nadal’s tenth French Open Title which is more than any other man in the history of the tournament. And although that Nadal has been dominant at Roland-Garros as well as clay surfaces overall during his illustrious career, there appeared to be something that was sweeter about this most recent triumph.

In recent years Nadal has been plagued by wrist and back injuries which limited his effectiveness as he appeared to be mortal. 2015 would see Nadal not make it past the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam Tournament. 2016 would not be that much better for Nadal as he couldn’t get past the fourth round of a Grand Slam Tournament, while missing Wimbledon altogether. But at the age of 31, 2017 has been a different tale for Nadal.

Nadal has a new coach in fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya who himself won the French Open in 1998, and together these two have been able to make beautiful music together.

After exiting in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open, Nadal would rebound to reach the final in Melbourne this past January before losing to his longtime rival in Roger Federer. Following that Nadal would reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells where he would again fall to Federer. But in the process Nadal showed that he was regaining the form that had made him a legend. And with the clay season right around the corner, Nadal was ready to once again seize his throne.

When Nadal hit the clay, he began to play like a man possessed as he secured victories at tournaments in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid. Nadal would make the quarterfinals of the Italian Open where he was surprisingly upset by Dominic Thiem of Austria. But even with the setback versus Thiem, Nadal showed that he was once again ready to dominate on the clay surface.

With the start of the French Open, there was the possibility that Nadal would cross paths with Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic who were the last two winners at Roland-Garros, while he could also have a potential rematch with Thiem. But what ensued from Nadal was complete and utter dominance.

En route to winning the French Open, Nadal would not even lose a set. And that dominance by Nadal would include a straight set victory over Thiem in the semis after he had entered this match flying high by knocking off Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Nadal would then have Wawrinka waiting for him in the final on Sunday which was expected to be one of the best matches of the tournament. However Nadal would turn it into a very one-sided affair as his skill set made Wawrinka who is one the top male tennis players in the world look like a novice.

And after Nadal’s straight set victory over Wawrinka, he fell to the ground to acknowledge retaking his post at the undisputed king of the clay surfaces. When Nadal would rise to his feet, the back of his shirt was covered in clay, but it didn’t matter as the sun on that afternoon in Paris was beaming down on him, while everyone in attendance emerged from their seats to acknowledge one of the greatest players in the history of tennis.

The victory by Nadal marked his tenth title at Roland-Garros, while it was his 15th Grand Slam Title which broke a tie with Pete Sampras for the second most Grand Slams in men’s tennis as he is now only looking up to the 18 of Federer. And with Wimbledon and the U.S. Open still on the docket here in 2017, there is a chance that Nadal could close the gap on his longtime rival. For the first time in a very long time Nadal is healthy, and once you factor that in along with the fact the that he has a new coach as well as the motivation to prove the naysayers wrong who spoke of his demise when he was injured, we’re seeing the rebirth of one of the greatest tennis players to have ever done it.

After Nadal’s win in Paris he is now the second-ranked tennis player in the world behind Andy Murray. And with nearly five months left in the season, Nadal could finish the year ranked number one for the first time since 2013.

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A Bitter Pill To Swallow

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For more than a decade the spotlight of men’s tennis has been shining on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic as the trio has combined to win 43 Grand Slam Titles since 2003. A man that has been working his tail off to be included in that same club is the United Kingdom’s Andy Murray. Since 2005, Murray has worked his way up through the ranks and right now he is the second ranked male tennis player in the world. In 2010, Murray would break through and reach his first Grand Slam Final, but there he would lose to Federer in straight sets in the Australian Open. Murray would continuously compete, but he was unable to get over the hump. However Murray finally did in 2012 when he won his first Grand Slam Title as he defeated Djokovic at the U.S. Open. Murray would follow this up by getting the best of Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2013 and it appeared that he was ready to get on a roll. But unlike Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal, Murray has been unable to win multiple Grand Slam Titles in the same calendar year that would put him into a different category of tennis players, and he was so close here in 2016 to accomplishing it.

After a shocking fourth-round loss to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson at the 2015 U.S. Open, Murray would finish a distant second to Djokovic in the standings. Murray’s loss to Anderson would add fuel to his determination to unseed Djokovic as the world’s top male tennis player as he worked very hard. Murray hired former tennis great Ivan Lendl as his new coach which was an interesting pairing to say the least.

In January, Murray would reach the Australian Open Final for the fifth time of his career, but Djokovic got the best of him in straight sets. When the spring rolled around and the eyes of the tennis world were on Roland-Garros for the French Open, Murray would make the final there for the first time, however Djokovic who had been a finalist in Paris three times over the last four years would finally get his taste of the title. The loss was very tough on Murray as he was annoyed due to the fact that the crowd favored Djokovic who had been so close in the past, but he kept on grinding.

In July, Djokovic would suffer a surprising third-round loss at Wimbledon which opened the door for Murray to win for the second time at the All-England Club. Murray would keep his momentum going as he took home a gold medal at the Summer Olympics last month, and it appeared that he was ready to begin stringing together multiple Grand Slam Titles.

Murray entered this year’s U.S. Open as one of the odds-on favorites to win it all. Murray came to Flushing as the second seed in the tournament, and with Federer out for the rest of 2016 with a knee injury, Nadal still fighting back from a wrist injury, and Djokovic in a funk of his own, there was no better time for Murray to win a second consecutive Grand Slam Title.

Murray was cruising along at the U.S. Open until the quarterfinals where he would tango with Kei Nishikori. Nishikori and Murray would battle back and forth in a classic confrontation that went the distance. And after giving the fans in Queens their money’s worth and then some, Nishikori would squeak past Murray which is a bitter pill for him to swallow after all of the hard work that he has put in.

Djokovic on the other hand is not currently playing his best tennis, but after a walkover match, a pair of early retirements which included Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quaterfinals, and a cakewalk over Gael Monfils is the semifinals, he his primed to win his third Grand Slam Title of 2016.

Murray is only 29-years of age, and with Federer and Nadal past their respective primes, he must find a way to get past Djokovic, while also taking care of other players such as Nishikori, Tsonga, and Milos Raonic when the big money and prestige are on the line. Murray has had a strong 2016 which will more than likely see him finish second to Djokovic once more in the rankings. But for Murray to be recognized as one of the all-time greats, he is going to need to string together multiple Grand Slam Titles in a calendar year which makes 2017 that much more important for him. Getting to the finals is one thing, but winning under the spotlight is what makes legends.

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A Man On A Mission

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For tennis star Andy Murray, his best triumph on a tennis court came in 2013 when he defeated Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon. Murray is a native of Scotland, but he now resides in England and he always has a ton of support from the folks there that wave the Union Jack. Murray was on cloud nine after winning Wimbledon in 2013 as it marked the first Grand Slam Title of his career. But since that time Murray has been a bridesmaid and not a bride as he has been close to claiming another title, however it has just been out of his grasp. This past January, Murray reached the final of the Australian Open only to be turned back there by Djokovic. And it was the same situation last month in Paris at the French Open where Murray would reach the final, but Djokovic was too much for him as he lost in four sets.

But after having to settle for second place at Roland-Garros, Murray decided to change things up as he went back to Ivan Lendl as his coach and the dividends have paid off immediately.

Murray entered Wimbledon as one of the favorites to win the tournament and he breezed his way through the competition. Through the first six rounds at Wimbledon, Murray only lost two sets as he was pushed in the quarterfinals by Jo-Wilfred Tsonga who was able to stretch it to a five-set match. And when Djokovic fell in the third round, it opened a door for Murray that he was more than happy to step through. This past Sunday, Murray walked on to centre court at the All-England Club to face Milos Raonic in the Wimbledon Final with the support of the United Kingdom behind him. This marked the first final of a Grand Slam Tournament in Raonic’s career and it showed as Murray went through him in straight sets to claim his second Wimbledon Title, but this one might be sweeter than the first one.

Frustration reigned supreme for Murray last month at the French Open, as after winning the first set against Djokovic, he sensed that the crowd was more for Djokovic than him. Djokovic had been so close to winning at Roland-Garros, but it always slipped through his hands as the French Open was the only Grand Slam Title that eluded him. And Murray would use that frustration in Paris to motivate him which led to him being able to triumph in London.

And now after Murray has once again conquered Wimbledon, he can now set his sights on potentially adding more hardware to his mantle.

Andy Murray, Ivan Lendl

Just like Murray left Paris frustrated last month, the same can be said about his venture to Flushing, New York for last year’s U.S. Open. Murray was upset in the fourth round there by Kevin Anderson and he knows what it takes to win in Queens being that he won the crown there in 2012. Murray knows that he is one of the best male tennis in the world, and now it is time for him to do what the other members of the big four in Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal have been able to do which is to win multiple Grand Slam Championships in the same calendar year. But Murray was able to overcome a huge hurdle for him at Wimbledon, and with Lendl by his side, the sky is the limit for him.

 

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A Tough Hill To Climb

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2016 won’t go down as a banner year for tennis star Maria Sharapova. A few weeks after being eliminated by Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, Sharapova admitted that she failed her drug test during the tournament. Sharapova tested positive for meldonium. The drug which is prescribed for heart conditions was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency on January 1, 2016. Sharapova admitted to using the drug for the past 10 years, but now she finds herself in the midst of a public relations nightmare as the International Tennis Federation has given her a two-year ban from the sport. Sharapova will be $375k, along with the points that she earned in the Australian Open. And the icing on the ill-tasting cake that Sharapova must now consume is the fact that she’ll be unable to compete for her homeland of Russia this August in the Summer Olympics. Sharapova intends to appeal the ban, but she has an uphill battle on her hands as the court of public opinion has already deemed her as a “cheater”.

In recent years the sport of tennis has attempted to get all of its ducks in a row as there have been rumors of rampant doping. But Sharapova is the sport’s first star that has failed a drug test, and the International Tennis Federation has decided to make an example out of her as a scare tactic to the rest of the players. However in the meantime it will be hard for Sharapova to make a living.

One of Sharapova’s sponsors, Tag Heuer has already cut ties with her, while Porsche is waiting to see the results of the appeal. Nike, Evian, and Head, are sticking by Sharapova, but this news comes at a bad time for her at this point of her career.

Sharapova is 29-years of age, and these are the prime years of her career which if she loses her appeal, she will never be able to get back. Sharapova finished 2015 as the fourth-ranked female tennis player in the world, and there was a good possibility that she would have finished in the top ten this year as well.

The chances of Sharapova getting her suspension overturned are slim, but there is a possibility that it could be reduced. However the International Tennis Federation wants to send a strong message to its athletes that they intend to crack down on doping. Sharapova didn’t helped her case when recently she posted a photo on Twitter while wearing a shirt that read “Back In 5 Minutes”, which was posted just days before the announcement of her suspension.

Sharapova’s team will more than likely claim that the International Tennis Federation was not clear enough on their wording about banning meldonium. The drug was banned on New Year’s Day, and according to Reuters.com, the drug can stay in a person’s system for quite some time. So if Sharapova took a dosage of the drug just prior to its ban, then she was definitely going to fail her drug test at the Australian Open.

But now Sharapova must ready herself for a legal battle that is unlike any intense volley that she’s had to endure with Williams, Victoria Azarenka, or any of the other top female tennis players in the world, as she is now battling for her reputation. And once Sharapova’s tennis career is able to resume, the pressure will be on her as her critics will cite every mistake and loss in her game to drug use. Sharapova now finds herself down love-40 as she’s been fined, suspended, and ridiculed. However let’s see what Sharapova has up her sleeve in order to clear her name and potentially resume her career.

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Pure Domination

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Periodically in sports we find a team or an individual player that dominates their respective sport and we’re seeing that right now in women’s tennis with Serena Williams. This past Saturday, Williams defeated Garbine Muguruza to win her sixth Wimbledon Title. The Wimbledon victory by Williams was her 21st Grand Slam Championship and she only trails Margaret Court and Steffi Graf on the all-time win’s list for most Grand Slam Titles by a female tennis player. Williams has won the last four Grand Slam Tournaments and she’s completed the “Serena Slam” as far as winning four consecutive Grand Slam events for the second time of her career. And if Williams is able to win the U.S. Open this September, she’ll become the first female tennis player since Graf in 1988 to win all four Grand Slam Tournaments in a calendar year.

https://pmcfootwearnews.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/wimbledon-serena-williams.jpg?w=1024Williams is doing this while she has a huge bullseye on her back. Williams has been so dominant that she sometimes doesn’t get the credit that she fully deserves and because of that and her age of 33, her critics are quick to jump on any minute notion of faltering. But Williams hasn’t given her detractors an opportunity to criticize her this season as she hasn’t lost and in the process she’s continued to solidify her position as the top female player on the Women’s Tennis Association circuit although she doesn’t get the full credit that she deserves. In previous eras of women’s tennis, rivals such as Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert pushed each other to be top player of their era. But in this current era of tennis, Williams has been so dominant that she makes good players look ordinary. Maria Sharapova is currently ranked second in the world behind Williams. But in head-to-head competition, Sharapova is just 2-17 versus Williams including losing in straight sets last Thursday in the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Williams will be 34-years old in September and I don’t see her walking away from tennis until she surpasses Court for the most Grand Slam Championships in women’s tennis history. Ever since Williams turned pro in 1995 and won her first Grand Slam Championship in 1999 at the U.S Open, she’s been out for greatness. Williams was quickly able to emerge from the shadow of her older sister Venus who is a good tennis player in her on right and now she’s out to re-write the record books. What Williams is currently doing doesn’t come down the pike that often and as she’s revered off of the tennis court, she should be doubly respected off of it.

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The Wind Was Taken Out Of Djokovic’s Sails

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Novak Djokovic has eight Grand Slam Titles to his credit and 2015 appeared to be the year in which he would get the one that has always seemed to elude him. Djokovic is currently ranked as the men’s top tennis player in the world, but he has never finished first at the French Open. Djokovic previously reached the French Open Final in 2012 and 2014, but there he was never able to overcome Rafael Nadal. What made Djokovic’s 2014 loss that much more difficult was that he had beaten Nadal in Monte Carlo which was the tournament that preceded the French Open.

But in 2015, Djokovic has been sharp. Djokovic won the Australian Open for the fifth time and he has been virtually unbeatable as he has gone through the likes of Andy Murray and Roger Federer. As for Nadal, he is playing, but he is still in the process of recovering from a wrist injury which has taken away from his typical dominance. And when the pairings were announced for the French Open, it would be Djokovic that earned the top seed that has generally been reserved for Nadal as he has won in Paris nine times.

Djokovic was the top seed of the 2015 French Open, but he would have his work cut out for him. Instead of meeting Nadal in the semis or in the final, Djokovic had to face the undisputed “king of clay” in the quarterfinals. And after losing to Nadal in four sets in the 2014 French Open Final, Djokovic was able to dispose of him in straight sets last week. Djokovic would then face Murray in the semis and after winning the first two sets, he appeared to be making quick work of the Brit. But the match was suspended due to inclement weather. And when it resumed the following day, Djokovic was now facing a revived Murray who took him to five sets before losing.

So now the only thing that stood between Djokovic and his first French Open Championship was Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. Since winning the Austalian Open in 2014, Wawrinka has been a mystery man as he has been a surprising early exit at most major tournaments. But this past Sunday at Roland Garros, it was Wawrinka that dictated the pace and with his four-set victory, he denied Djokovic the one title that has eluded him.

This was the perfect time for Djokvic to win the French Open as he is in the prime of his career while Nadal is still shaking off the rust and Federer is getting older. Djokovic has claimed eight Grand Slam Championships and he is still the best tennis player going right now, but his detractors will be quick to point out he has also made eight major finals and lost.

The loss in Paris this past Sunday could bother Djokovic as he could have won all four Grand Slam events this year, but he can take solace on the fact that when Wimbledon begins next month, he will be defending his crown there. Nadal will more than likely enter Wimbledon as the top seed and if he’ll be able to win at the All-England Club, he will join an elite list as only seven men would have won more Grand Slam Titles that him. But as good as Djokovic has been, he will still hear about not being able to win the French Open.

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The Legend Of Roger Federer

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To some people the age of 33 may seem like dinosaur years in the tennis world. But good luck explaining that to Roger Federer. Federer is 33-years of age and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The Association of Tennis Professionals season is two months old and Federer has two tournament wins to his credit. In January, Federer defeated Canadian Milos Raonic in three sets. Last week Federer met longtime rival Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships where he got past the Serbian in straight sets.¬†Federer hasn’t won a Grand Slam event since 2012 when he won Wimbledon, but he is still in the conversation as one of the best male tennis player on the court as he currently ranked as the second best tennis player in the world.

Roger Federer

After a tough 2013, Federer began to make adjustments to his game as some skeptics felt that his best days as a tennis player were in the rear view mirror. First, Federer switched to a new tennis racket which has greatly improved his game. Second, as an older and wiser tennis player, Federer has learned to become more craftier and he has been using all of the tricks in his arsenal. Where some of the younger tennis players may attempt to win with power, Federer is going about things with finesse. Federer’s drop shot and slices are legendary as when he is on with them it is the equivalent of watching Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux toy with opponent’s at home plate during his Major League Baseball career.

The revival for Federer began last March when he reached finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. There Federer would face Djokovic who was expected to cruise to an easy victory. Federer won the first set that day 6-3 and made Djokovic work for the hard earned victory. And even in defeat the fans in attendance and Djokovic alike had gained some more respect for Federer’s grit as they saluted him. Djokovic and Federer would meet last summer in the finals at Wimbledon. And just like it was at Indian Wells, Federer made Djokovic work for every point as he took him to five sets before bowing out at the All England Club. Last summer in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, Federer would lose the first two sets of his match against Gael Monfils of France. And just when things seemed bleak, Federer rallied to win the next three sets to the cheers of the fans in New York City. But unfortunately for Federer, the five set victory over Monfils took everything out of him as he didn’t have anything left and he fell to the eventual U.S. Open winner Marin Cilic in the semis in straight sets. After his run at the U.S. Open, Federer would win the Shanghai Masters last fall before reaching the finals of the Barclays ATP World Finals before an injury forced him to withdraw from another meeting with Djokovic. To top it all off in 2014, Federer helped Switzerland win the Davis Cup. And just when some people thought the 2014 would be Federer’s last day in the sun, they were thoroughly mistaken as he has gotten off to a good start here in 2015.

There was a time when some people thought that Federer was winning too much. In 2004, 2006, and 2007, the French Open was the only Grand Slam event that Federer didn’t win. Federer won five consecutive U.S. Open’s and at Wimbledon along with claiming three consecutive Austrailian Open Titles. Federer would finally win the French Open in 2009 joining an elite list of male tennis players to win each Grand Slam event. It appeared to be too easy for Federer, but now in the next stage of his career he has become more of a fan favorite due to the fact that he is now somewhat of an underdog. With Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray currently in the prime of their respective careers and youngsters such as Cilic and Raonic looking to make a name for themselves, things are tougher for Federer. It is the classic example of the young lions attempting to knock of the old lion. But in this case the old lion (Federer) isn’t still fighting off the pack. There is still plenty of exciting tennis action on tap this year and I don’t see the native of Switzerland in Federer getting lost in the shuffle.

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England’s Favorite Son Won on England’s Biggest Stage

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The year 1936 was a long time ago. The United States was five years away from getting involved in World War II and Lou Gehrig was the pride of the New York Yankees. That was also the last year that a native of Great Britain won Wimbledon as Fred Perry defeated Gottfried von Gramm of Germany. The British were spoiled at first as from the tournament’s beginning in 1877 until 1906, only that native son’s were the ones who Wimbledon. Since then the people of England have had to sit back and watch Wimbledon dominated over the years from players such as Rod Laver of Austrailia, Bjorn Berg of Sweden, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras of America, and Andy MurrayRoger Federer of Switzerland. That finally changed yesterday as Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic of Serbia in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 at the All England Club.

Murray came into the tournament as the second seed while Djokovic was the top seed, but it was Murray that dictated the pace yesterday and the usual laid back crowd at the All England Club was loud enough that the match appeared to be going on at Wembley Stadium.

Murray knows how to please the home crowd as he previously did it in the 2012 Summer Olympics at the All England Club by defeating Federer in straight sets to capture a gold medal.

This is the second time in less than a year that Murray and Djokovic met in the final of a Grand Slam event. Murray and Djokovic met in the finals of the 2012 U.S. Open. Murray won the first two sets before Djokovic rallied to send the match to a fifth set before Murray won the championship. In an era that has been dominated by Federer and Rafael Nadal, it is promising to know that we have a new rivalry between Murray and Djokovic on the horizon. Djokovic leads 11-7 in head-to-head matchups with Murray as the two had an epic match that lasted nearly 5 hours at the 2012 Austrailian Open that was won by Djokovic. Djokovic had his day in the sun at Melbourne that day, but with the eyes of a nation watching, Murray shined brightest on England biggest stage.

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The Dominance of Rafael Nadal

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The French Open has been around since the late 1800’s and it has been one of the biggest events in the sport of tennis. The venue at Roland Garros in Paris, France might soon be renamed for Spain’s famed tennis player Rafael Nadal. Nadal’s straight set victory yesterday over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer was his fourth consecutive French Open Championship and his eighth in nine years. We haven’t seen this kind of dominance on the men’s side at the French Open since Sweden’s Bjorn Borg won six titles between 1974 and 1981. Nadal’s eight French Open Championships tie him with France’s Max Decugis for the most titles in the history of the event.

The French Open is played on a clay surface and most of the better tennis players over the years have never been able to master the surface. As good as International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras was during his illustrious career, he was never able to win at the French Open as the furthest that he ever advanced at Roland Garros was to the semifinals in 1996. At the other three Grand Slam events, (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open) Sampras won at least two championships at each event.
Nadal’s dominance at the French Open is something that should be respected. After not participating in this year’s Australian Open due to an illness, Nadal got back on track at Roland Garros. Now Nadal will look to carry this momentum over to Wimbledon which begins at the end of this month. As of late, Wimbledon has been dominated by Switzerland’s Roger Federer who has been Nadal’s chief rival during this era of tennis. Since 2003, Federer has won seven Wimbledon Championships, but Nadal was able to win at the All-England Club in 2008 and again in 2010 after falling to Federer in 2006 and 2007 in the final there. In four of Nadal’s eight titles at the French Open, he defeated Federer in the finals which was highlighted by an epic five-set battle in 2011.
At the age of 27, Nadal isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as he is the “King of Clay”.  
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The Year of Serena

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Professional tennis star Serena Williams is only 30-years of age, but it seems like she has been around for a long time. Williams turned pro at the age of 13 and by the time that she was 17, she had defeated Martina Hingis who was ranked no. 1 in the world at the time for her first U.S. Open Title. Over the next few years Serena along with her older sister Venus would go on to take the tennis world by storm. From 2001 to 2003, The Williams sisters would meet six times in Grand Slam finals with Serena defeating her big sister five times.

When you’re at the top of your game, people will always look for a way to bring you down. While her critics would boast of other female tennis players, Serena would just mow them all down. Whether it was Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, or Maria Sharapova, Williams has defeated all of them when the bright lights are shining on the tennis world which included Williams defeating Davenport at the 2005 Australian Open.
Williams went through a spell from 2005 to 2009 that included mounting injuries and controversy. After her Australian Open victory in 2005, Williams would struggle with a knee injury that hampered her play. Williams was then forced to withdraw from The Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open in 2005 due to a shoulder injury. Serena also suffered an ankle injury which forced her to retire from her quarterfinal match at The Bausch & Lomb Championships that year as well. The ultra-competitive side came out of Williams at the 2009 U.S Open when she was penalized for unsportsmanlike-conduct during an on-court tirade that included her slamming her tennis racquet to the ground in a match against Clijsters. Williams would lose the match and she was fined and suspended by the Grand Slam Committee. With the injuries taking a toll on her body and the speculation being ignited by her critics that the sport of tennis had passed her by, the Serena Williams version 2.0 is once again setting the gold standard in women’s tennis.
In 2009 and 2010, Williams would go on to win two majors in each year as she won consecutive Australian Opens and Wimbledon Championships. Williams got back in the conversation as being the best in the world and by 2012 she was ready to thrust her game into fifth gear as she has now left the competition trying to catch up.
This year, Williams won her fifth Wimbledon Title as she defeated the third-seeded Agnieszka Radwaska of Poland. Williams would also win the doubles crown at Wimbledon with her sister Venus for the firth time. Williams would return to The All England Club in London at the end of July as a member of The United States Olympic Team. Williams would defeat Sharapova in straight sets for her first individual Olympic Gold medal. Williams would then hang around in England to win her third Gold Medal in doubles with Venus. Williams then capped The Grand Slam portion of the tennis year by winning her fourth U.S. Open Championship this week as she defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in straight sets. 
With 15 Grand Slam Championships in singles competition, Williams is in an elite category. Only Martina Navratalova, Chris Evert, Helen Wills Moody, Steffi Graf, and Margaret Court have won more Grand Slam Titles than Williams. The native of Saginaw, Michigan who grew up in Compton, California undoubtedly has a fiery passion about tennis, but her innate ability to take her game to another level is what leaves people asking how good can she be? As she is currently ranked no.4 in the world, the book on Williams is far from the conclusion and like any other good book, it will only get better every time that it is viewed.
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