July 24, 2011 |
Juan Martin del Potro embraces the idea that soon he may be considered a tennis equal of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He won't say it yet because Andy Murray is ranked fourth and spoken of as part of tennis' "Big Four," but the 22-year-old Del Potro already has something Murray doesn't. A major title. In 2009, in succession, Del Potro beat Nadal and Federer in the semifinals and final of the U.S. Open. Del Potro was then 20, and it was the way he slugged the fight out of Federer that seemed to portend a bright future and many more big wins for the 6-foot-6 Argentine who smiles easily and always wears a gold cross because, he says, "Well, I am Catholic.
June 14, 2011 |
Where are the Americans in the world's most prominent individual sports, golf and tennis? Not on the leaderboards very often. The sports' next majors begin soon — the U.S. Open men's golf championship on Thursday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., and Wimbledon at the All England Lawn Tennis Club on Monday — and there doesn't seem much reason to expect an American winner. On turf where, in the not-too-distant past, Americans dominated, they now mostly founder.
June 6, 2011 |
As I charged forward to pick up a drop shot during a heated tennis match, a "pop" went off like a gunshot in my right heel and dropped me to my knees. My Achilles tendon had snapped. After surgery to repair the tendon, I was sidelined with an array of casts, crutches and "moon" boots. Finally, after three months, I could walk unassisted. I gradually returned to my normal routine — except I gave up tennis, the game through which I had met my husband, Jim, 20 years earlier. For the next few years, I turned to gentler sports — yoga, Pilates, biking, hiking, walking around the Rose Bowl.
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.
March 9, 2011 |
Kim Clijsters, the queen of normal, was brightening the interview room Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. She enters and the lights turn up, even if the switch had been flicked hours ago. There are tennis players who live in the vacuum that the pro tour provides, almost demands. And there are tennis players who walk right through the restrictive walls of celebrity, smell the flowers on the outside and still find a way to succeed. Clijsters is the latter. She is within a couple of well-hit backhands of being No. 1 in the world, again, for a fourth time.
December 13, 2010 |
Martina Navratilova has reached the summit of her sport 59 times. That represents 18 Grand Slam event titles in singles, 31 in women's doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. But last week, she found a mountain tougher than Steffi Graf's forehand or Billie Jean King's slice serve. It stands 19,341 feet and is named Kilimanjaro. "I had no pain," she said Sunday, "but I had to retire from my match. " She was speaking by telephone to a handful of reporters around the world. She said she was sitting in the garden at a friend's home in the Nairobi, Kenya, suburb of Karen.
December 2, 2010 |
When athletes are having a good game they often talk about things moving in slow motion. A study out of Purdue University finds that altered perceptions may be somewhat universal and tied to performance. The study, published recently in the journal Perception , tried out various scenarios on tennis players and on people who played a version of the old-school video game Pong. In the tennis experiment 36 male and female tennis students at various levels were tested on their perception of ball speed.
October 7, 2010
Listen up, tennis fans, it's quiz time. That explosive, guttural grunt issued by some of the world's best-known tennis players at the moment of contact with the ball is: a) a rude, pointless and annoying vogue that should be reined in by officials of the International Tennis Federation ; b) a forceful but involuntary exhalation of air that signals fierce exertion; or c) a habit that has the effect of -- and is probably aimed at -- distracting and intimidating an opponent. If you picked a , you have a number of sympathizers on the Booster Shots staff.
September 8, 2010 |
Rohan Bopanna is from India, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi is from Pakistan, and for that reason what they have accomplished at the U.S. Open is worthy of praise. They have made it to the men's doubles finals. They beat Argentina's Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos, 7-6 (5), 6-4, on Wednesday and on Friday will play top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan, the Camarillo twins who are the winningest doubles team in history. But that isn't what matters most. It wasn't the classic movement around the court, the choreography of good doubles teams who two-step, sidestep, step up, step back to cover all the space that was good to see. It was there, sitting in the stands, side by side, the United Nations ambassadors from India and Pakistan, two countries that have fought three wars since 1947 when they gained independence from Britain.