Archive for the ‘US Open’ Category

 

The Murray Mystery

Monday, September 12th, 2011

This story is getting boring. I’ve written it heaven knows how many times. I’ve read the articles and I’ve heard the opinions, I’ve watched the matches and I have formed my own. And although I am never, ever surprised, I can hardly be forthcoming with my reasons as to why I’m not shcked. Perhaps it’s just because I find the guy very unlikeable as a player, but there is something more than that. I still don’t know what it is. But whatever I or anyone else feels, the results are always the same; Murray can’t turn excellent effort into grand slam wins.

Following his defeat to Rafael Nadal in the semi finals, the usual voices came out of the following silence to stymie the flow of questions. The advice of pundits and his supporters became desperate excuse-making long ago. Now it is just plain strange. Andy Murray is Britain’s number one and is in the number 4 position worldwide. That has just never translated into Grand Slam wins. It has been years since everybody earmarked Murray as a top contender. No results to show for it in terms of Grand Slam all these years later, and there is definitely trouble afoot. Why is it happening though>

Mental attitude? That might be a problem. Murray has the weight of a nation on his shoulders, a nation known for being unbearably oppressive, overzealous, and not actually that genuinely supporting. There is nothing as cold as a British cold shoulder.

Coach? That has also been an issue. But, it has been an issue that has risen and then more »

 

Serena surpassed by superb Stosur

Monday, September 12th, 2011

What would a final involving one of the Williams sisters be without a bit of controversy? Well, well done Serena; your petulant display of bad sportsmanship has all but stolen the headlines from Stosur, who earned every moment of her victory and deserves to have a little more recognition for her amazing performance. It was only in 2009 that Serena threw her toys out of the pram last time, which pretty much landed her with the same result that she sees now. Anyway, it hardly seems fair to give her the attention.

Instead, let’s talk about the way in which Sam Stosur broke down the hot favourite to take her first Grand Slam victory. The Australian seemed enormously calm considering that she had a mountain ahead of he to climb. There have been a few pretenders to the Williams’ sisters thrown at the US Open, and some have succeeded. However, it only took Stosur 1 hour and 13 minutes to receive the trophy at Flushing Meadows, and considering she had only been in one grand slam final before this is an achievement in anyone’s book.

If anything, it is her mental strength that needs praising. Over recent years, a few lower ranked and unknown players with enormous talent have climbed to the final, only to be blasted aside in a rather quiet affair in the last match of the tournament. Stosur seemed to sideline the enormous odds, the press touting of Williams as the favourite, Williams’ own record at Flushing Meadows,  the enormity of the game, and on top of all of that manage to kee more »

 

Day 9 dawns – and then retreats

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Day 9 has gone out with a damp fizzle, after heavy rain blighted Flushing Meadows and meant that a whole day’s schedule was washed away. The heavy rain has been predicted, but the organisers saw not a single rain break in the weather reports they were given, and so decided to remove the day’s schedule completely.

For anyone who has followed the US Open recently, this really isn’t a surprise. It means, for the third year in a row, that the final will be on Monday. Surprise, surprise, there have been the usual calls for the American tournament to invest in a roof. These will only increase as the delays start to back up.

Seeing as I have been seriously absent of late – which I can only grovel for forgiveness for – this round up may take a while, but here are some of the major things that have been going on since the start of the US Open. In fact, so many, that I am going to crack out the bullet points… more »

 

King Rafa

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Grass?…check.

Clay?….check.

Hard courts of Australia?…check.

Hard courts of the USA?…check.

Rafael Nadal has become one of only seven men who have achieved a career Grand slam; they’ve won every Grand Slam on the calendar. Clay, grass, hard court, they are kings of them all. Let’s face it, no-one is surprised that Rafa has achieved this kind of accolade. If there is anyone out there who can match the likes of Agassi, Federer, Rod Laver and Fred Perry, it’s our man from Majorca.

So, not many of us were surprised by his victory over Serbian Novak Djokovic lastnight. Novak is no push over, but this is Rafael Nadal. Nothing but losing an arm and a leg would keep him off the tennis court or from achieving what he wants to achieve. Look at Wimbledon; years of being beaten on grass by Federer, years of trying to break the mould of being a ‘clay court player’, and he eventually got his reward in 2008 in one of the most epic finals of all time.

The match started off tense but even in promise; Djokovic appeared to be in for the long run in the second set, capitalising on some uncharacteristic Nadal mistakes to get the second set. The third swung from the favour of one man to another; bursts of intense play from Djokovic left Rafa hitting mid-air, then suddenly it was a Nadal master-class in how to win points, and Nole was left to take his frustrations out on his racket. Rafa’s serve was a force to be reckoned with, getting him out of many a sticky situation.  more »

 

Queen Clijsters

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

In a repeat of last year, Kim Clijsters scooped up her little girl Jada in one arm and her US Open trophy in the other. It only took 59 minutes this year for her to brush aside Vera Zvonareva for the title; her third at this tournament. Clijsters is Queen at Flushing Meadows and the crowd were more than happy to welcome her back to the throne.

Unfortunately, the final was a decidedly one-sided affair, although it doesn’t tarnish anything from Clijsters exemplary game. More than anything, it makes one’s heart leap out to the young Russian, who had in the past played so well against Clijsters and had been having such a good run; in Wimbledon alone she beat Clijsters and made it to her first Grand Slam final, and that wasn’t the only time she has beaten Kim in the past. For Zvonareva, the swiftness of her second Grand Slam final only echoes her premature appearance at Centre Court in this year’s Wimbledon. In that final she was also batted aside with little difficulty, that time by Serena Williams. This must have made being beaten so swiftly all the more painful.

After a few disappointing opening games and points, most assumed Zvonareva would pick herself up quickly and the battle would begin, but Clijsters was just too good and blasted away at her opponent repeatedly, leaving her little time to catch her breath. There were moments where the crowd were cheering on Zvonareva, but only in an encouraging manner after she managed to staunch the flow of games and got the score  more »