The Reuters global sports blog
In sports, the fear of loss does different things to different people. It spurs athletes to greater heights; for spectators, it often changes the topography of their nails. In some, it induces mild depression.
Its inevitability is creeping into the minds of even the most stoic spectators. Soon, they won’t have Roger Federer and Sachin Tendulkar around anymore. What will be the world like without Federer and Sachin? Surely, the sporting world will move on, for no athlete is bigger than the game. But will it be the same again? Maybe not. Federer brought to tennis a “complete game”, rarely seen before. What made it even surreal was the ease and elegance with which he wielded his racquet.
It had the precision of modern science. How could such a beautiful arc produce such a stinging down-the-line forehand? And those gorgeous volleys, with a flick of the wrist, were the stuff of legend. The only thing monotonous about Federer’s game was its accuracy: ball hitting the tape with metronomic regularity.
In cricket, Sachin exhibited batsmanship of rare brilliance. His batting combined the discipline of a monk and the patience of an angler. His innings evinced the calibrated aggression of a mercenary. If his square cut had feline ferocity, his straight drives had a delicate mix of timing and precision. And runs simply flowed from his willow — 34,273 in international cricket so far. Dancing down the wicket and hitting bowlers of Shoaib Akhtar and Dale Steyn’s stature and pace was considered a sacrilege. Sachin was often guilty of committing one.
This year’s Olympic tennis was, in my opinion, the most prestigious in history due to the fact that it was being held at the home of tennis, Wimbledon.
Roger Federer had made it his goal to try to win Olympic gold in singles for the first time, one of the very few things he hasn’t achieved in his career.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Toby Melville
After two weeks of rainy, cold and windy tennis, somehow kept on schedule courtesy of early starts, late finishes and a much used Centre Court roof, the traditional tournament highlight of the Men’s Singles Final took place on Sunday.
For the first time in 75 years a Briton would contest the match. The only obstacle in Scot Andy Murray’s path to glory was the huge boulder in the shape of sixteen grand slam winner and six time Wimbledon victor, Switzerland’s Roger Federer.
The second week of Wimbledon started with another massive upset. The world number 1 and a lot of people’s pick to win the championship, Maria Sharapova, lost in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki of Germany in straight sets.
This really opened up the top half of the woman’s draw and meant there would be a new world number 1. Victoria Azarenka the world number 2 or Agnieszka Radwanska the world number 3 would become the new world number 1. It all depended on who went further in the tournament. Radwanska took full advantage of Sharapova losing and made her first Grand Slam final.
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.
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.
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.
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.