The Reuters global sports blog
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 moment he took over the reins the spectre of a player boycott has returned.
A meeting involving hundreds if players took place on the eve of the Australian Open and although talk of a walkout from Melbourne was aired it did not come to fruition.
But there is clearly dissent in the ranks, and Drewett is the man tasked with damping down what could become a firestorm in the men’s game.
When Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were engaged in a constant merry-go-round for the world number one spot throughout the 1990s, little did they know that a decade later American tennis players would have been left feeling dizzy with disbelief after they were completely wiped out from the Top 10.
Andy Roddick woke up on Monday to discover he had slid down two spots to number 11 and his little stumble meant that for the first time since the inception of rankings in 1973, the Stars and Stripes will not feature in the ATP’s top 10.
Four-times U.S. Open champion John McEnroe now works as a TV commentator for CBS network and for cable sports giant ESPN at Flushing Meadows, but the opinionated former bad boy of tennis did not hesitate airing his views to Reuters about the dubious scheduling of matches at the Open and other subjects.
McEnroe hit out particularly at the so-called Super Saturday program that calls for the men’s semi-finals and the women’s final, with the men’s championship match to follow on Sunday, providing no day of rest for the guys in between and putting the tournament’s grand finale at the whim of weather.
With hundreds of members of the international press descending on the All England Club every year to cover Wimbledon, players inevitably face a range of questions in their post-match news conferences as reporters seek to find a new or quirky angle for a story.
Most of the more bizarre questions never make it in to their final reports, but now the dust has settled on Roger Federer’s record-breaking win, here is a collection of the strangest.
Rod Laver is one of the few players from down the years who might still be considered an equal of Roger Federer and the twice-calendar-slam winner, now 70, is in no mood to concede the title of Greatest of All Time to the Swiss.
The Australian Laver won 11 majors and that number might have been significantly higher had he not turned professional and ruled himself out of the grand slams for several years.
Roger Federer’s epic five-set victory over Andy Roddick, heartbreaking for the American, has surely now settled the question of who is the Greatest of All Time.
That, at least, is the view of Pete Sampras, who was on hand to watch as Federer overtook him in the majors stakes with a 15-th grand slam title.
The build-up to Friday’s second Wimbledon semi-final was all about Briton Andy Murray but the man of the hour was the fearless American Andy Roddick.
Sat on a packed and sunny Centre Court, the prospect of Murray’s party being gate-crashed did not take long to dawn on a crowd who did not seem sure who they should be cheering for.