Roger Federer wins 15th Grand Slam in record-breaking Wimbledon Final
The match finally ended and now we have a new leader in the list of all time Grand Slam wins in men’s tennis. Howard Fenrich on Yahoo! Sports has the story:
On and on they dueled, Federer trying for a record-breaking 15th major championship, Roddick striving for his second, in a Wimbledon final that required more games than any Grand Slam title match in the considerable annals of a sport dating to the 1800s.
“Ten games all, final set,” intoned the chair umpire. Then, “Twelve games all, final set.” And, still later, “Fourteen games all, final set.”
They were each other’s equal for four full sets and nearly the entire 30-game fifth set. Until Federer, far more experienced in such matters, finally edged ahead, breaking Roddick’s serve for the only time in the 77th and last game to close out a 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 victory Sunday.
The epic match—the fifth set alone lasted more than 1 1/2 hours—gave Federer his sixth Wimbledon title. Add that to five from the U.S. Open, three from the Australian Open and one from the French Open, and Federer’s Grand Slam total rises to 15, one more than Pete Sampras, who flew in from California on Sunday morning to be on hand.
“He’s a legend,” Sampras said. “Now he’s an icon.”
An amazing feat, congratulations to both the athletes involved, but especially to Roger Federer, who also regains his number one ranking with this victory. Now the great question in men’s tennis must be how to adjust the rankings of the all-time greats. We should take Sampras’ opinion into account, clearly he feels Federer is about the greatest ever. But is he? I still feel uncertain in that statement. Am I alone in that sentiment?
Federer, Roddick to meet in Wimbledon final
After bating Tommy Haas on Friday, five-time champion Roger Federer will face Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final for a chance at a record 15th Grand Slam title.
If Federer wins Sunday, he will be the third player to win six or more Wimbledon titles. William Renshaw and Sampras both won seven.
“I’m very proud of all the records I’ve achieved because I never thought I would be that successful as a kid,” Federer said. “I would have been happy winning a couple tournaments and maybe collecting Wimbledon. It’s quite staggering now having reached … my sixth straight Grand Slam final. Having so many things going for me now again, opportunity again on Sunday, it’s fantastic.”
If he beats Roddick, Federer will regain the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal, who beat him in the Wimbledon final last year and missed this year’s tournament with knee problems.
Federer said he is feeling less pressure this year than in 2007 when he equaled Bjorn Borg’s record of five straight Wimbledon titles. Borg was among those watching Friday from the Royal Box.
It’s a shame Nadal and Federer won’t be squaring off in the Wimbledon final again this year, but Roddick is certainly an intriguing underdog. Maybe he’ll catch Federer sleeping and pull off the upset.
Wimbledon: men’s semis are set
Each of the men’s quarterfinals match-ups took place today, and when it was all said and done, Roger Federer, Tommy Haas, Andy Roddick, and Andy Murray had advanced to the next round.
Federer, closing in on his sixth Wimbledon title, reached his 21st consecutive semifinal at a Grand Slam tournament and extended his winning streak to 17 matches with another vintage performance on his favorite Centre Court.
It was Federer’s ninth win in 10 matches against Karlovic, who was playing in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Federer’s next opponent will be Germany’s Haas, who upset fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 to advance to his first Wimbledon semifinal. The 31-year-old Haas was the oldest player in the quarters, while the 22-year-old Djokovic was the youngest.
The third-seeded Murray swept Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal and keep up his bid to become the first British player to win the men’s title since Fred Perry in 1936.
Murray will face the sixth-seeded Roddick, who served 43 aces and outlasted 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 in the day’s most competitive match. Hewitt battled back from two sets to one down, before Roddick broke for 5-4 in the fifth and then served out the match — which ended after 3 hours, 50 minutes when the Australian popped up a forehand half-volley past the baseline.
Haas led Federer two sets to love in the fourth round of the French Open, only to lose in five. He said he hopes to make amends on Friday.
“That would be nice,” he said. “I’ll give it my best shot. There’s not much he (Federer) can’t do. He’s obviously the favorite to win the title. I’m going to go out there and try to annoy him a little bit and see what happens.”
With Nadal out of the tournament, I assumed the final four would look something like Federer, Murray, Roddick, and Djokovic or Federer, Murray, Roddick, and Gonzalez. I don’t think anyone predicted 34th-ranked Tommy Haas to make it this far, let alone beat the fourth-ranked Djokovic in professional tennis’ most popular tournament. At 31, Haas is the oldest player out of the remaining four. He’s never made it to a Grand Slam final in his career and he unfortunately has to defeat Roger Federer if he wants to break that streak. However, he’s played well against Federer in the past, nearly taking the Swiss at the French Open before being outmatched.
You can catch the women’s semifinals tomorrow at 12 PM on NBC. The men’s semis will then take place on Friday at the same time and station.
Posted in: Tennis
Tags: 2009 Wimbledon, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Federer vs. Haas, Murray vs. Roddick, Roger Federer, Tommy Haas, Wimbledon, Wimbledon men's, Wimbledon men's semifinals, Wimbledon semifinals
Australian Open Roundup
Round 4 of the Australian Open begins today. The first Grand Slam of the tour calendar has already seen its fair share of surprises, disappointments, scuffles, and nudity. I’ve recapped the highlights below.
The top-ranked men advance
Of the top ten-seeded men in the tournament, only David Nalbandian failed to advance, losing to unknown Yen-Hsun Lu in the second round. The others, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsongo, Gilles Simon, Andy Roddick, Juan Martin del Potro, and James Blake have all made easy work of their competition. Really, things won’t get interesting until the Quarter Finals.
Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic are eliminated
It must be said that both matches in which they lost have been the most exciting matches of the tournament. Unseeded 20 year-old Carla Suarez Navarro, in only her fourth Grand Slam main draw appearance, defeated Venus Williams in the second round. It was an amazing match and both women gave it their all. Navarro, however, was able to consistently return Venus’ 192 mph serve and never seemed to tire. Williams was on the defensive during the final set and Navarro’s fine shot placement carried her to victory. The crowd congratulated the awestruck youngster with a standing ovation. Suarez has since advanced to the Fourth Round where she will face twenty-first-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues.
It was less than a surprise and more of a disappointment to watch Ana Ivanovic fall to twenty-ninth-seeded Alisa Kleybanova. For those who follow tennis, it’s perplexing that Ivanovic is ranked fifth in the world judging by the way she played yesterday. Strictly speaking, the Serbian lost because she couldn’t find her serve. It was painful to watch Ivanovic toss the ball five feet away from herself. She double faulted more than a few times and rarely was able to hold serve. All in all, the three-setter was intense, but undeniably sloppy. While Ivanovic made 50 unforced errors, Kleybanova committed 44, 24 of which came in the opening set alone. It’s time for Ana to take a break and try to get herself into the mindset that helped her win the French Open in 2008.
Serbian and Bosnian fans clash after Novak Djokovic/Amer Delic match
Last year at the Australian Open, Serbian and Croatian fans attacked each other with flagpoles, bottles, and boots. This year, the Balkan rivalry consisted of Serbians and Bosnians. After Serbian Novak Djokovic’s victory over Bosnian-American Amer Delic, fans from both nations pelted each other with chairs.
A streaker stalls a Williams sisters doubles match
Although this article claims the gentleman was out there for only 14 seconds, broadcaster Patrick McEnroe has him at nearly a minute. While Serena and Venus laughed bashfully during the incident, tournament officials aren’t taking this lightly. In 1993, a man stabbed Monica Seles on court during a match in Hamburg, Germany. Still, it looks like this guy was just having a good time.
Coverage of Day 7 will air at 7 PM ET and 12:30 AM ET on ESPN2.
Posted in: Tennis
Tags: 2009 Australian Open, Alisa Kleybanova, Amer Delic vs. Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, Ana Ivanovic loses, Ana Ivanovic vs. Alisa Kleybanova, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Australian Open, Australian Open chairs, Australian Open fights, Australian Open Quarter Finals, Australian Open streakers, Carla Suarez Navarro, David Nalbandian, Day 7 Australian Open, Gilles Simon, James Blake, Jo-Wilfried Tsongo, Juan Martin del Potro, Monica Seles, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Round 4 Australian Open, Serbians vs. Bosnians at Australian Open, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Venus Williams loses, Venus Williams vs. Carla Suarez Navarro, Williams sisters doubles, Yen-Hsun Lu
2009 Australian Open Preview
The first Grand Slam of the ATP and WTA seasons, the Australian Open, kicked off today. Though Melbourne is 19 hours ahead of New York, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN360.com will alternate broadcasting the live coverage during its two-week run.
The Men’s Draw
by Thomas Conroy
The first of tennis’ four Grand Slam tournaments – the Australian Open — will take place over the next two weeks. New players on the tour will try to make a name for themselves by performing well in Melbourne. We also have some carry-over questions that might be answered by the end of the tournament: How dominant will Roger Federer be this season? Can Rafeal Nadal handle the pressure of being the #1 player week-after-week for an entire season? Has Andy Murray’s game matured enough to gain a Grand Slam title this season? Is Andy Roddick at the crossroads in his tennis career?
Federer played the majority of the tour last year with mononucleosis, and could never regain his strength until dominating the U.S. Open competition for a Grand Slam victory last September. But some skeptics feel that at the age of 27, Federer’s reign in the sport is over, supplanted by Nadal’s incredible 2008 season. Some even say that Federer’s net game was exposed for good after his subpar play last season.
The upcoming tour season will be different for Nadal than in years past, as he will not only be the favorite of his beloved French Open on the red clay but he’ll also be favored at the Australian, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open. It could become a physically and mentally draining season for Nadal, as every player will bring their A game to try to beat the top player in the world.
Murray is the wild card. He has only been twice beyond the fourth round in a Grand Slam tournament; his best performance was a runner-up finish last year at the U.S. Open, losing to Federer. He will have to control his combustible temper to win a Grand Slam title, though it should be noted that Murray has come into the 2009 season in better shape. He now realizes that stamina in a match is every bit as important as his blistering forehand shot.
Roddick has also come into the season with a couple new wrinkles: he is in better shape and, more importantly, has a new personal coach. He brought in Larry Stefanski (who helped Fernando Gonzalez to reach the Australian Open final in 2007) to replace legendary Jimmy Connors and Stefanski’s main job is to calm Roddick’s demeanor on the court. The thought of a lighter, faster Roddick reacting better on volleys has some thinking that he can go deep in Melbourne this week. His singles title at the 2003 U.S. Open seems like a long, long time ago.
It will be a tough draw for Federer, as he could face former #1 player Carlos Moya in the second round, 2005 Aussie Open champion Marat Safin in the third round, and last year’s Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a semi-final match-up. Nadal and Murray are on course to meet in the semis on the other side of the draw.
The Women’s Draw
by Christopher Glotfelty
For the top-ranked women in tennis, this tournament has more riding on it than last year. With 2000 points awarded to the winner, a new #1 player could emerge.
Last year, Maria Sharapova defeated Ana Ivanovic in straight sets to win her third Grand Slam. Unfortunately, shoulder injuries would plague Sharapova the rest of year and, due to that absence, she would continue to fall in the rankings. Still sidelined, Sharapova will miss this tournament along with Lindsay Davenport, who is having her second child.
Nevertheless, the competition remains fierce. Jelena Jankovic, while the #1 ranked player on the Tour, has yet to win a Grand Slam. Second-ranked Serena Williams, third-ranked Dinara Safina, and fourth-ranked Elena Dementieva are all less than 2000 points behind Jankovic. As a result, if Jankovic fails to make it to make it the quarterfinals, one of these women would claim the #1 position if they were to win the tournament. That’s how evenly matched the WTA is.
Given the amount of young talent on the court, Venus and Serena are already living legends. To put it in perspective, Serena has already won nine singles Grand Slams, three at the Australian Open. Her sister Venus has won seven, and though she’s never won at the Australian Open, she’s finished runner-up twice.
The other favorites (Jankovic, Safina, Dementieva, Ivanovic) have only one Grand Slam between them, with Ivanovic winning at last year’s French Open. The Williams sisters don’t have anything to prove, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of them in the finals against either Jankovic or Safina.
Posted in: Television, Tennis
Tags: Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Carlos Moya, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Larry Stefanski, Marat Safin, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams