The world of tennis is in disarray

Del Potro

This last U.S. Open was both entertaining and dramatic. Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro, both underdogs, captured the Grand Slam championship in their respective competitions. Getting the most press, however, was Serena Williams’ tirade against a lineswoman. (Serena was later fined $10,000.) Tennis had been fairly stable the past few years in terms of competition, top players, and sportsmanship. As of the U.S. Open, however, that sentiment is changing:

– Roger Federer, of all people, was docked $1,500 for using profanity while arguing with the chair umpire open during the men’s final. Was the expletive in Swiss-German?

– Led by Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych, the Czech Republic have reached their first Davis Cup final in 29 years after beating Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko of Croatia in doubles.

Spain also advanced into the Davis Cup finals, only without the services of Rafael Nadal. Spain owes a big thank you to Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Robredo. To his credit, Nadal is still suffering from abdominal pain.

– Can you believe Juan Martin del Potro is only the seventh male not named Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to win a Grand Slam in the last seven years? Crazy. The others were Andre Agassi, Gaston Gaudio, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marat Safin, Andy Roddick, and Novak Djokovic. In breaking it down that means, between those 28 Grand Slams, only nine champions have been crowned.

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Del Potro defeats Federer in U.S. Open final

Per Yahoo! Sports…

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro beat five-times defending champion Roger Federer 3-6 7-6 4-6 7-6 6-2 on Monday to win his first U.S. Open title.

Australian Open Roundup

openRound 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.

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