March 21, 2008 |
Somewhere around 9:23 p.m. Thursday, in a tennis stadium nearly filled with perhaps 14,000, Rafael Nadal shook a giant weight off his shoulders. He got rid of an ongoing toothache, blew away a cloud that had been hanging around for some time now. Nadal, the man who makes Roger Federer's heart beat slightly faster -- probably the only one -- finally won a match against James Blake, a noted Nadal-killer.
August 26, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- The Jet Lag Open began Monday with the sluggishness you'd expect of a post-Beijing tennis major that ought to have an official Melatonin supplier. "I'm actually falling asleep right now," Jelena Jankovic said around 10 p.m. EDT, and the world's No. 2 player said that during her own news conference after beating 16-year-old San Diegan Coco Vandeweghe, 6-3, 6-1, a night match that kept Jankovic up well past her body's recent chosen bedtime of around 7 p.m. Barely had Jankovic presumably dozed off in a courtesy car when an Olympic achiever looked similarly woozy.
August 28, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- There's the usual talk at the U.S. Open about how women's tennis is in great hands, how it's better than ever because the players are stronger and hit the ball with speedier dispatch than ever before. Nonsense. All it takes is a clear head, a good memory -- and perhaps a few dusty tennis videotapes to pop in the VCR you've banished to the basement -- to see that the women's game is in trouble. Remember when fantastic play could be counted on, year after year, Grand Slam event after Grand Slam event, from the likes of Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert?
September 1, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- Not to sound like too much of a caveman, but at the halfway mark of the U.S. Open a grand theme has emerged: Men good, women . . . bad? Well, to put it more nicely, replace "bad" with "sputtering." From the women, top to bottom, there have been few truly stirring performances. Gone is the No. 1-seeded player, Ana Ivanovic, and the No. 3, Svetlana Kuznetsova. The player seeded second, Jelena Jankovic, has clunked her way through three matches, nearly falling prey to an upset herself.
May 19, 2008 |
Rafael Nadal beat defending champion Roger Federer, 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-3, Sunday to win the Hamburg Masters in Germany and add the only major clay-court title missing from his impressive collection. It was the reverse of last year's final, when Federer won his fourth title in Hamburg and ended Nadal's 81-match winning streak on clay. Nadal rallied from big deficits in the first two sets, although he lost the tiebreaker in the second. He led 4-1 in the third and held on to raise his record against the top-ranked player to 8-1 on clay and 10-6 overall.
September 8, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- A woman who at 17 won a U.S. Open and looked almost disbelieving won a U.S. Open at 26 Sunday night and commenced thoroughly hopping. So this Serena Williams hopped and hopped and hopped, seven hops in all, her euphoria suggestive of the wait it took to attain it and the struggle of beating Jelena Jankovic to earn it. "I'm sorry, I'm so excited," Williams told Jankovic as they hugged at the net after their stirring 6-4, 7-5 final that gave Williams her third U.S. Open title, her ninth Grand Slam singles title and, more poignantly, her first U.S. Open title since 2002 and her first Slam title since January 2007.
March 29, 2011 |
On the verge of victory, Mardy Fish took a lusty swing and staggered out of the follow-through, his left calf cramping and his ability to continue in doubt. Three points later he limped into the quarterfinals, the last American standing at the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla. A gimpy Fish whacked a service winner on match point to win a grueling duel against Juan Martin del Potro , 7-5, 7-6 (5). Fish is the lone U.S. player among the 16 men and women in the quarterfinals.
October 23, 2013 |
The 2-3-2 NBA Finals format is following David Stern out of the league. NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to return to the 2-2-1-1-1 format, believing the travel inconveniences that teams faced when Stern became commissioner nearly 30 years ago no longer exist. Beginning with the 2014 Finals, the higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds. The current format was instituted in 1985, Stern's first full year in charge, in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Lakers and Boston Celtics frequently meeting for the championship.
July 24, 2008 |
Somehow, in the midst of all the debris of injuries and pullouts, tennis managed to find a story line for this week's women's pro tournament in Carson. Jelena Jankovic can become No. 1 if she wins the title Sunday. There was a time when No. 1 was a huge deal. Several years ago, as Martina Hingis started to get outmuscled and outgunned by bigger, stronger players, she clung to it as her badge of honor. "I am still No. 1 in the world," she would chirp, defensively, after a loss.
August 16, 2009 |
Andy Murray defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga , and Juan Martin del Potro ousted Andy Roddick in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup on Saturday at Montreal. With his win, Murray will vault past Rafael Nadal into a career-high second in the ATP rankings behind No. 1 Roger Federer when the next rankings are released Monday. Nadal, returning from a knee injury, lost in the quarterfinals Friday night. Murray ousted the seventh-seeded Tsonga, 6-4, 7-6 (8). Del Potro beat Roddick, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. He also defeated the fifth-seeded American in a third-set tiebreaker in the final in Washington last Sunday.