Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

A tale of two draws at Flushing Meadows

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roddickIt has been a tale of two draws at the U.S. Open, with the men’s seeds advancing full steam ahead and the women’s field in disarray.

Eight of the top 16 women’s seeds have been given the boot at Flushing Meadows, while all 16 men have strolled forward — the first time men’s seeds have marched in lock step into the third round of a grand slam.

Even more of the top-rated women could be getting the dickens beaten out of them going deeper into the tournament, especially considering the dangers that returning champions Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters pose after layoffs that pushed them down the rankings list.

Was a time that the early rounds of the women’s tournament was a yawner until the second week. Not so in 2009.

Expect Federer v Murray to decide US Open again

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federermurrayThe final grand slam tournament of the year, which begins on Monday at Flushing Meadows, will welcome the world’s two highest ranked players in intimidating form.

Two Masters tournaments, the level below a grand slam, have been played this month with Murray triumphing in Montreal and Federer in Cincinnati

Nadal loses battle of wounded knee

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Rafael Nadal will not be able to defend his Wimbledon title after losing his battle to recover from a knee injury.

“Unfortunately this year I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon,” he told a news conference.

Cold, damp and on the losing side: A British sporting summer

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If you were being uncharitable you’d call it a typical scene from a British summer: a few hundred hardy fans braving the cold, the damp and the threat of travel chaos to stay on long after the TV cameras had packed up and watch Andy Murray partner Lleyton Hewitt in a meaningless doubles match at Queen’s.

“Come on Andy!” “Come on Muzzah!” they shouted from deep within their coats and under their blankets but the chants seemed more to encourage themselves on another gloomy evening than for the British number one.

Is Federer now the G.O.A.T?

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We’ve heard what some of the great and good of tennis have said about Roger Federer’s achievements but can we now rank him as the best player ever to have picked up a racket? Here, Ossian Shine considers the arguments, while in the post below Miles Evans urges a spot of caution.

At first it looked as though the world’s tennis pundits were bickering about whether or not Roger Federer was a herbivorous bovid.

Let’s not be so quick to crown Roger the Greatest

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federerlaverAny debate about the greatest player of all time in a given event is naturally laden with ‘what ifs’.

Roger Federer’s tearful victory in the French Open final on Sunday prompted an undignified queue of pundits and former players to conclude that the elegant Swiss was undoubtedly the best tennis had ever seen. But what if…

Nadal is human too

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That’s the headline in the Spanish sports newspaper Marca tonight after Rafa Nadal’s defeat by Juan Martín del Potro in the quarter-finals at Key Biscayne.

Nadal hadn’t quite looked at his best this week so perhaps the result was not such a shock. But could this be a sign that the world number one is vulnerable? Maybe, but I wouldn’t read too much into it … not with the clay court season fast approaching.

Serena survives scare as women’s tennis continues to enthral

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serenaSerena Williams just survived a real scare against China’s Li Na at the Sony Ericsson Open here at Key Biscayne, Miami. The world number one’s bid to reach her sixth title in this event hung in the balance during a second set tie-break after she had made a dreadful start losing the first set 6-4.

Serena won that tie break to two and then cruised through the third set for a hard-earned victory in intense Floridian heat but hers would not have been the first shock at this tournament.

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