Coming Down…

Feb 8, 2009

There’s always a bit of a come down after an event like the Australian Open – and I’m not just talking about the players here. It can be a draining experience for a tennis fan as well. You go all year watching limited tennis due to timezone differences then all of a sudden…BAM, 4 weeks straight, nothing but tennis 12 hours a day.

There’s bound to be a bit of a come down after that kind of committment. Sort of a smaller version of the come down a sports fan gets after the Olympics. There’s still a small vacuum in my life left as a result of the Sydney Olympics. I’m not sure that I’ll ever recover from that one. Well, not until the Olympics come back to Australia…in forty or fifty years.

So what do you do when you need a bit of a tennis fix – you jump on the internet and do a bit of browsing. And I tell you what, I may have come across the next big thing to rival tennis as the greatest racquet sport on earth. Once they get themselves a pin-up to launch a mass promotion campaign around, world domination will surely follow.

I’m talking about the burgeoning sport of…pickleball. Named after a favourite pet (aren’t all the great ones) this sport is described as a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Can you picture it yet? No, me either. But apparently it’s popularity is growing fast and it will be a feature event of the upcoming San Antonio Senior Games. Well every sport has to start somewhere I suppose.

Stay tuned, it could be coming to an X-games near you very soon.

In other (proper) tennis news

Former Spanish Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez has launched her new tennis tournament in style by signing some huge names including Serena Williams, Amelie Mauresmo and Jelena Jankovic. The Andalucia Tennis Experience will be played in Marbella, Spain in April and is not part of the the top tier of tournaments. So to sign these players, who can only play two tournaments a year from this tier, is quite a coup.

Jo-Wilfired Tsonga has bounced back strongly from his quarter final exit at the Australian Open to claim victory of the South African Open in Johannesburg by defeating compatriot Jeremy Chardy in straight sets. Chardy and Tsonga are regular hitting partners on the tour, so the match was played in good spirits with Chardy gettig his first experience of playing in an ATP final.

I think this final, and the performance of the French men at the Ausiie Open are a strong indicator of what we are going to see over the next couple of years from Les Bleus. They seem to have been gifted with a golden generation of players and it is only a matter of time before one of them breaks through for a major win. It may not come this year with Nadal & Federer in such good form early on, but these guys are all young and are pushing each other hard, both in training and on the court.

It is an exciting time for French tennis

Written by: Crooksy

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