Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Expect Federer v Murray to decide US Open again


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

Rafa Nadal has struggled to recover from the knee injuries that kept him out of Wimbledon, while a supporting cast of Djokovic, Roddick and Del Potro does not look strong enough to challenge the dominating duo on their favoured New York hard courts.

Looking just at the top two, Federer has the edge. The Swiss won his most recent encounter with Murray, in the Cincinatti semi-finals, has won three of the past four grand slam tournaments. And, oh yes, he is the five time defending US Open champion.

Federer is still the daddy


federer2All eyes will be on new dad Roger Federer at the U.S. Open next week to see if he really can combine nappy changing duties with a successful run to another grand slam title.

The five-times Flushing Meadows champion, whose wife Mirka gave birth to twins Charlene Riva and Myla Rose last month, will be aiming to become the first parent to win a tennis major since 2003.

What Laver thinks about record-breaking Federer


Rod Laver is one of the few players from down the years who might still be considered an equal of Roger Federer and the twice-calendar-slam winner, now 70, is in no mood to concede the title of Greatest of All Time to the Swiss.

The Australian Laver won 11 majors and that number might have been significantly higher had he not turned professional and ruled himself out of the grand slams for several years.

Federer settles argument about Greatest of All Time



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.

Roddick gatecrashes Murray’s Wimbledon party


roddickThe build-up to Friday’s second Wimbledon semi-final was all about Briton Andy Murray but the man of the hour was the fearless American Andy Roddick.

Sat on a packed and sunny Centre Court, the prospect of Murray’s party being gate-crashed did not take long to dawn on a crowd who did not seem sure who they should be cheering for.

Murraymania keeps on building … but Andy’s unimpressed



Andy Murray’s brutal straight sets victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero took him through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time in his career on Wednesday but while the centre court fans and the Henman Hill mob did their Mexican waves one man was singularly unimpressed by the Murraymania.

Murray himself is doing his best to let the media frenzy pass him by. He may have received notes of encouragement from the Queen, Sean Connery and Cliff Richard, and he knows he will be all over the front and back pages of the newspapers again on Thursday, but to say the Scot is staying cool would be a massive understatement. Here’s what he said after the 7-5 6-3 6-2 win over Ferrero:

from Commentaries:

Will Murray success at Wimbledon be RBS’s best return?

Royal Bank of Scotland is not best known for backing winners.


So the Scottish bank must be savouring Andy Murray's run at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

World number three Murray is one of the "sports personalities of present and past" sponsored by RBS during the heady days of Sir Fred Goodwin.

Does women’s tennis offer value for money?


lisickiNow is not a good time to compare the men’s game with the women’s and the question of value for money, both for the people who hand out the prize money and for those who buy the tickets, has come up again.

Three of the four women semi-finalists have yet to drop a set and three of the four quarter-finals — Dinara being the exception — together lasted less time than the fourth round battle between Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka under the new roof.

No rain at Wimbledon but skating aplenty


wimbledon1Leading up to this year’s Wimbledon all the talk has been about the new roof on Centre Court and the blessed reality that rain-filled days would no longer scupper everyone’s plans to watch some tennis.

Yet no one bargained for ice.

Just ask Novak Djokovic and Julien Benneteau, who provided the Centre Court crowd with thrills aplenty as both suffered some horrific looking falls on the increasingly slidey surface.

Can Wimbledon cope without Nadal?



When Roger Federer shows up at Wimbledon next week without Rafael Nadal looking down at him  from the top of the draw, it will almost feel like Laurel turned up without Hardy or Starsky without Hutch.

In an era when the Federer-Nadal showdowns are starting to become tales of Hollywood blockbusters, the Swiss will have to  go it alone for the first time since the 2006 Australian Open — which the Spaniard missed with a foot injury.