Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Greg Rusedski blog – I can’t wait for second week of Wimbledon

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The first week of the Wimbledon Championships, on the men’s side, ended up being one of the most exciting of all time.

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.

Gred Rusedski: Nadal the best record breaker of them all

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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.

Nadal can beat Federer’s grand slam mark

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If there was any doubt before, there is now no question that Rafa Nadal can and most probably will better Roger Federer’s record of 16 grand slam titles following the Spaniard’s French Open success over the Swiss.

Sunday’s 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1 victory for his record-equalling sixth Roland Garros crown and his 10th grand slam title overall underlined why Nadal just will not lie down even when the crowd and his own initial form are against him.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Soccer Break Wednesday

SOCCER-EURO/Happy middle of the week to you all, and if like me you are in London where the sun is out and there is very little football to write about, you are forgiven for thinking the season is over and the grasscourt tennis season is about to kick in.

Don't look so worried, David (right). While the weather will probably change before I’ve finished writing this blog, the good news is it’s only March and there is plenty more football left. It's just this week it’s the international break.

Nadal fails to pull off the Rafa slam

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TENNIS-OPEN/Rafa Nadal was stunned 6-4 6-2 6-3 by fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the Australian Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, ending his quest for a non-calendar grand slam.

A leg injury contributed to the defeat but maybe the task of holding all four majors at once is almost impossible these days, despite Nadal and Roger Federer’s dominance.

Will anyone gatecrash the Roger-Rafa party in 2011?

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SPAIN/Will 2011 be the year when Rafael Nadal’s stock rises even further? Or will it be the year when Roger Federer will leave Australia with a lighter suitcase? Or will it be the year when someone finally gatecrashes the Roger-Rafa party?

There will be 126 players looking to stop the all-or-nothing battle royale between Nadal and Federer when the Australian Open kicks off in 18 days.

How important is the Federer-Nadal rivalry for tennis?

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The ATP World Tour Finals are supposed to be a showdown between the world’s eight best players although even before a ball has been hit in anger, the talk of a Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal final showdown has been gathering momentum.   

The Federer-Nadal rivalry has been the lifeblood of tennis since the duo first traded shots at the Miami Masters over six years ago but lately fans have been suffering withdrawal symptoms as the two men have locked horns just once all season.

U.S. Open final: Nadal beats Djokovic – how it happened

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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.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

What’s behind Spain’s run of sporting success?

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Spanish sports fans have never had it so good.

The Iberian nation is celebrating its latest triumphs after a month of success that local media have called a golden age.

On Sunday, Alberto Contador sealed his third Tour de France title, Fernando Alonso won the German Formula One Grand Prix, and Jorge Lorenzo roared to MotoGP victory in the U.S.

Waiting on royalty at the court of King Rafa

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TENNIS-OPEN/The sun is beating down, the Rue d’Auteuil is abuzz with vocal ticket touts, children clutch their over-sized tennis balls hoping a tennis player – any tennis player or even anyone who looks like a tennis player– will grant them a precious autograph.

The French Open is officially underway at Roland Garros but for now the leafy suburb near the Bois de Boulogne has the feel of a royal gala awaiting the arrival of a monarch. This tournament doesn’t really start until Rafa Nadal returns to the courts he once made his own.

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