The Reuters global sports blog
This year’s Olympic tennis was, in my opinion, the most prestigious in history due to the fact that it was being held at the home of tennis, Wimbledon.
Roger Federer had made it his goal to try to win Olympic gold in singles for the first time, one of the very few things he hasn’t achieved in his career.
Andy Murray on the other hand, was trying to win gold on home soil after a painful loss to Federer in the Wimbledon finals.
The world number 1 Novak Djokovic was also desperate for gold. The only disappointment on the men’s side was the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, who did not play due to injury and then subsequently also missed the rest of the season.
I cannot remember a year with more British sporting success. Andy Murray has had the best year of his career, becoming the first British man to win a major in 76 years. On top of that, he won Olympic gold at Wimbledon in singles, silver in the mixed doubles and also reached the Wimbledon singles final.
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.
The second week of Wimbledon started with another massive upset. The world number 1 and a lot of people’s pick to win the championship, Maria Sharapova, lost in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki of Germany in straight sets.
This really opened up the top half of the woman’s draw and meant there would be a new world number 1. Victoria Azarenka the world number 2 or Agnieszka Radwanska the world number 3 would become the new world number 1. It all depended on who went further in the tournament. Radwanska took full advantage of Sharapova losing and made her first Grand Slam final.
There were major upsets, epic matches, and conspiracy theories. The biggest upset in over a decade happened in the second round of the men’s singles when Rafa Nadal, many people’s pick for the championship, lost to the unheralded Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
Djokovic will most likely face his first test in the quarter-finals against Richard Gasquet. While Federer’s first test could be Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter-finals as well; expect Djokovic and Federer in the semi-finals this year.
By Martyn Herman
Andy Roddick on Friday insisted that tennis players must adopt “one voice” to push through changes to the ATP Tour but that may not be as easy as it seems despite the general feeling of solidarity.
Pity Brad Drewett, the new chief executive of the men’s Tour, who has the job of trying to keep everyone happy, grand slam champions, journeymen, tournament organisers, sponsors and TV.
The end of season for the top players can be a tough time because of fatigue; all their work is based around peaking for the slams. With Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both out of action (neither have played since the last Davis cup tie) the top two seeds were Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray for the Shanghai Masters Series.
Murray has been playing really well having won in Thailand and Tokyo leading into the Shanghai event. Murray has made a concerted effort to play more aggressively, also the courts are faster and so it actually forces him to play more aggressively which is a good thing.
The Williams sisters found the going tough and their so far impressive comebacks hit the buffers, while women’s number one Caroline Wozniacki’s route to a first grand slam title also came unstuck, but in the men’s draw there were no real dramas as the top four all hit their straps and made the quarters.
Novak Djokovic’s 26-match hot streak dating back to the end of last year when he helped Serbia win the Davis Cup shows no sign of cooling and even Europe’s slow red dirt will hold no fears for the 23-year-old Serb this year.
Djokovic is certainly no rookie on clay, as his 2008 Rome title underlined, but whereas Rafael Nadal usually chomps his way past rival after rival, Djokovic finds the surface takes a little of the sting out of his game.