Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

What’s happened to Roger Federer?

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A great moment for Latvian sport but Roger Federer’s limp exit at the hands of Ernests Gulbis at the Rome Masters was one of his worst defeats in recent memory.

It was drizzly but otherwise Federer had no excuses. He just did not look interested half of the time and even after nervous Gulbis wasted six match points, Federer could not fight back.

“Sometimes when you are winning, it seems too easy. When you lose you realise how tough it is to dominate the tour. So I won’t get carried away with the defeat,” Federer said.

Clay is not his favourite surface but after finally winning the French Open last season, he might have been expecting an easier ride.

Clay King Nadal back with a bang

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TENNIS-MEN/MASTERSClay King Rafael Nadal is back. And if his knees hold up it’ll take a miracle to stop him winning a fifth French Open title in Paris starting next month.

The Spanish world number three was on breathtaking form at the Monte Carlo Masters, dropping just 14 games in his five matches, and became the only player in the Open era to win a tournament for six straight years.

Can Federer complete a calendar slam?

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Received wisdom heading into the Australian Open was that the combined effects of fatherhood and a record-breaking number of grand slams would reduce Roger Federer’s hunger for success to the point where mere mortals on the tour need fear him no longer.

Instead, the message remains: Beware of the GOAT.

The possibility no one seems to have considered is that the Wimbledon title that saw him overtake Pete Sampras as the most successful player in grand slams, coupled with the certain knowledge he now possesses that there are far more important things in life than tennis, might take every ounce of pressure off his shoulders and make him a more formidable opponent still.

Can Murray end Britain’s 74-year wait?

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TENNIS-OPEN/Is there a more notorious and oft-bemoaned sporting drought than Britain ’s long – and very far from tantalising – wait for a men’s grand slam tennis champion?

In the week the New Orleans Saints finally threatened to shed their unofficial moniker of The Aints because of their lack of Super Bowl success, Andy Murray is doing his level best to get the biggest monkey in world tennis off his back.

Federer settles argument about Greatest of All Time

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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.

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.

What the future holds for Wimbledon

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OK, we still don’t know whether Nadal will defend his Wimbledon title but we do know what the All England Club have in store following the redevelopment of centre court.

We were lucky enough to get an interview with the club’s chief exec Ian Ritchie this morning at Wimbledon. Here’s a brief taster of the interview…

Spain’s sporting state of grace

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pauPau Gasol’s triumph with the LA Lakers has prompted more articles in the Spanish media celebrating the country’s incredible run of sporting success.

Gasol was a vital cog in the Lakers machine this season and joins a long list of Spanish champions in individual and team sports.

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…

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