The Reuters global sports blog
This week in Shanghai was once again all about the top 3 players in the world. Roger Federer keeps on setting new records; by making the semi-finals this past week he guaranteed he would stay at world number 1 for at least another week. Roger’s record of 300 weeks as world number 1 will never be broken.
Right now though in the men’s game there feels like a shift in power at the very top – It feels like a new era. The Djokovic, Murray era is beginning. Novak Djokovic, barring an injury will be number 1 at the end of the year. The big battle for the rest of the year will be between Murray and Federer for number 2 in the world. Djokovic and Murray are at the peaks of their careers, while Roger is nearing the latter stages of his career and nobody knows how Nadal will be after such a long injury break. Still we have no idea when Rafa will return.
Novak Djokovic has been in sublime form all week, not dropping a set getting to the finals. The closest anyone had gotten to Novak until the finals,was Tomas Berdych who lost 6 3, 6 4 in the semifinals.
Andy Murray is now playing his best tennis when it really matters, which is the sign of a true champion. In the semifinals against Roger Federer, Murray was very aggressive and dominated Federer in all aspects to win 6 4,6 4. Andy has now won the last 5 sets played against Federer.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson rued what he called an unfortunate 3-2 defeat by Tottenham, United’s first to the North London side at Old Trafford since 1989, but the truth is that you can only ride your luck for so long.
Fortuitous wins against Southampton, Fulham, Galatasaray in their Champions League opener and especially at Liverpool, coupled with the opening day defeat at Everton, should have warned Ferguson that United’s relatively good start to the season belied their obvious weaknesses so effectively exposed by Spurs.
If the rip-roaring action from Matchday One in the Europa League is anything to go by, proposals to scrap the continent’s second-tier competition in order to expand the money-spinning Champions League to 64 teams would be an ill-judged decision.
Allowing as many as six teams from Europe’s top leagues to enter the Champions League would devalue the competition’s name as much as it would dilute its quality, with too many nondescripts trying to punch above their weight.
By Greg Rusedski
This year’s U.S. Open was about two former champions retiring, an up and coming new star in the women’s game and two great champions.
Kim Clijsters the former world number one and three time U.S. Open champion announced her retirement before the event started. Many people were hoping she would have a great run. Kim lost in the second round to Laura Robson from Britain who, at 18 years of age, was yet to live up to her hype and potential. This was a massive breakthrough for Laura to beat Kim. The entire tennis community was very sad to see Clijsters lose but she showed great sportsmanship in defeat as always. She handled her loss with great dignity and class; Kim will be truly missed from the game of tennis.
Tragedy may not have been a constant companion as it was in Vincent van Gogh’s life, but Roger Federer’s game has the genius of the maestro’s work. If the Dutch artist’s canvases had yellow as its dominant colour, reminiscent of the sun, the Swiss player’s strokes pack all the sun’s brilliance.
Both artists inspire as much awe as disbelief. From 2003 to 2012, Federer achieved what history had never witnessed: 17 grand slam singles titles and 287 weeks at the top. Now he has his sights set on Olympic glory, the one big prize to so far elude him. The London Olympic tennis takes place in the next two weeks at a familar venue — Wimbledon.
Defenders in Italy breathed a sigh of relief this week as Filippo Inzaghi hung up his boots. The bad news for them is that his new challenge is to produce the next generation of Italian goal-hanging greats as AC Milan’s youth team coach.
Inzaghi was the simplest of goal-poachers, with a bloodhound’s instinct for sniffing out a chance and the cobra-like reflexes to exploit it. He was neither a dribbler nor a passer, and his career-long battle with the offside rule reached ridiculous proportions at times, but his finishing ability was second to none.
from India Insight:
In cricket, and in life, a perfect end is a rarity.
His remarkably long international career, of almost 15 years, was tragically snuffed out when he was hit in the eye by a bail in a warm-up match against Somerset on July 9 during the ongoing England tour. He was only one short of 1,000 victims -- an unheard of feat in the 145 years of international cricket history.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Toby Melville
After two weeks of rainy, cold and windy tennis, somehow kept on schedule courtesy of early starts, late finishes and a much used Centre Court roof, the traditional tournament highlight of the Men’s Singles Final took place on Sunday.
For the first time in 75 years a Briton would contest the match. The only obstacle in Scot Andy Murray’s path to glory was the huge boulder in the shape of sixteen grand slam winner and six time Wimbledon victor, Switzerland’s Roger Federer.