The Reuters global sports blog
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.
Rosol played old-fashioned grass court tennis to beat Rafa in five sets. Rosol played the match of his life and everybody was getting very excited by the Czech player. In the tennis community it was considered a one-off and everyone predicted Rosol to lose in the next round which he did. This result could go down as the biggest shock ever at Wimbledon due to Rafa’s form coming into the championships and also because the top four never lose before the quarter-finals on a worst case scenario.
This loss will hurt Nadal, but I expect him to bounce back and get a medal at the Olympics at Wimbledon this summer. With Nadal going out in the second round, everyone now believes Andy Murray will make his first Wimbledon final. Murray made it through to the second week but had a lot of things go his way in week one.
This year’s French Open was all about making history and breaking records. Roger Federer broke Jimmy Connors’ previous record of most Grand Slam match wins, which was 233 wins. Federer broke Connors’ record when he won his 2nd round match and will continue to extend this record.
Novak Djokovic was trying to be the first man in The Open era to hold all four majors at the same time and win his first French Open title; the last man to do this was the great Rod Laver in 1969.
The Monte Carlo Master Series is a good indicator for who is in good clay court form early during the run up to the French Open. Rafael Nadal has won this event the last 7 years in a row, which has never happened before on the ATP Tour.
This year it looked like his streak could come to an end because World Number 1 Novak Djokovic, who missed last year’s event, was in the draw. The only player missing in the top 4 was Roger Federer who needed a little break this week.
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.
Djokovic even took a shining to the hallowed Wimbledon turf, describing his post-win snack as “well kept”, but in all seriousness the Serb is winning fans left right and centre and on Monday will be confirmed as world number one for the first time.
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.
My first visit to the French Open has so far been an eye-opener and not just because of Rafa Nadal’s first round struggles.
I’ve been to Wimbledon and all I remember is vast queues and too many people in a small area. I expected Roland Garros to be similar given it is the smallest grand slam venue but so far there have been no problems in that regard.
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.
Rafa Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in four sets to win the U.S. Open title for the first time and complete the career grand slam, only the seventh man to do it. Here’s how it happened.