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This tag is associated with 15 posts

Happy Birthday, Roger Federer!

Posing for photos

Image by mirsasha via Flickr

I may not be a big fan of Roger Federer, but I say Happy Birthday to the world’s greatest tennis player of today. Without Roger Federer, the dominance and the achievements of my personal favorite may not be as compelling as it is right now. When I started watching and following tennis, it was the time of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. And what followed is the dominance of Federer, and prevented other upstarts like Hewitt, Safin and Roddick from achieving their own dream of dominance. The record number of grand slam owned by Federer is still standing and will stand for many more years. The Swiss ‘maestro’ as he is called has collected 16 grand slams, 5 clear of the next record by an active player, Rafael Nadal. Other noteworthy achievements of this player include 285 weeks at number 1, 67 titles under his belt and $63,653,278.00 in prize money.

Federer is still active and currently ranked at Number 3 and the titles no longer come consistently but make no mistake about it. This is still Federer, and at 30 he still competes at a very high level even better than 99 percent of the guys in the circuit. To Roger Federer, happy birthday and you may have many more titles to win!

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Waiting for Wimby 2011

It’s that time of the year when tennis fans, writers and armchair pundits get into the groove and talk about the most romanticized tennis championships. It’s time for Wimbledon! This year is no different; the usual scribes are talking about the chances of one Andy Murray of winning the crown. They say that Murray had the best clay court season of his career by taking a set off Rafa Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters. So he is primed to win the crown, so they say. And then there’s the perennial favorite Roger Federer. He is considered by many as the player most likely to win the crown. This could be true, given the fact that the bulk of his grand slams were earned on the grass courts of London. Some writers are saying that Federer is on it again considering he had a confidence boost thanks to his performance during the clay season.

Former number ones Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg thought that this is Federer’s time once again. Let’s see how this event unfolds, and methinks that this one is an exciting Wimbledon. This is the reason why I need to contact my cable operator, pronto. I need to watch the drama and see how far the top seeds can go. On a personal note, I see the winner as among the Top 4. Outside the Top 4, the other players have zero to negative chances of winning the championships. Oh yes, I’m rooting for Rafa Nadal. Following the logic of some scribes that Murray and Federer will win the crown owing to their explosive performance during the clay season, Rafa Nadal will win it BECAUSE HE WON ROLAND GARROS, no? But let’s wait and see. What we can be sure of is the fact that this is one heated Wimbledon ever!

Rafa Nadal Ties Borg; Solidifies ‘King of Clay’ Status

Rafael Nadal showed why he is named the ‘King of Clay’ Sunday in Paris. The crown was taken in four sets against Roger Federer, widely considered as the greatest tennis player of all time. The score 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1 on Sunday showed how tight the match was. Though this was not an instant classic compared to their other finals match-up still the match was full of action, and suspense.

For the first few games, Federer carried over the same form that allowed him to defeat Djokovic. Up 2-5, Federer sensed weakness in Rafa Nadal and held a set-point on Rafa Nadal’s serve. But this was the turning point of the match. Rafa managed to score 5 straight points to take the opening set, and the second set. By the third set, Federer managed to return back to form but this was not enough as he was just limited to just 1 game on the fourth set, giving Rafa Nadal the crown. With the win, Nadal equaled the achievement made by Bjorn Borg of record six French Open titles, and this sealed the 10th slam of the Spaniard. He is the second youngest player ever to earn a 10th slam. With the win, Rafa extended his own record at the Roland Garros which now stands at 45-1 and he keeps the number 1 ranking. To Federer’s credit, he still showed that he is still part of the conversation. But this win by Rafa will ultimately bear down on the record of Federer. The Spaniard now leads the head to head in grand slam finals, 6-2. Federer may be the greatest tennis player of all time, but he has a losing record against Rafa Nadal, his main rival.

Rafa Nadal in Semis; Other Rome Masters Updates

It was a tiring week at the Office, and boy I’m glad that it’s the weekend. And happier that my favorite tennis stars are doing good at the Rome Masters. Here’s one- Rafa Nadal is expected to retain his number 1 ranking, well at least up until the French Open. By getting into the semis of Rome Masters, Nadal has enough points to become the number 1 at the Roland Garros. Did you know that Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet are in the semis? Gasquet eliminated Roger Federer in three tight sets. Just before that, the former number 1 mentioned that he can still capture the number 1 spot. Now this is what you call news! I wonder what runs in the mind of Federer, and what made him say that thing. Yes, he still competes for semifinals slots in major tournaments, but he has failed this year in defeating the top 2 players. If he starts winning against these two again, then yes he can still  become number 1.   I think what drives him to become number 1 again is to break that ultimate record made by Pete Sampras, the longest number 1 stay in ATP. Federer has 285 weeks at number 1, 1 week shy of the record of Sampras.

Also, it’s good to note that Maria Sharapova is making progress in may tournaments. Once again, Sharapova is in the semis after winning over Azarenka. Though it should be noted that Azarenka retired from the match. A win is a win, yes?

Rafa Nadal and the ‘Red Dirt’

It’s that time of the year when the top players in the men’s circuit descend on the clay courts of Europe. And this is the time of the year when Rafael Nadal takes centerstage. And this is the time of the year as well when I’ll be excited checking results of matches knowing for a fact that Rafa Nadal has a higher chance of winning compared to the other ranked players. Together with Justine Henin, Rafael Nadal is considered as the most successful player on clay. He is the winner of five French Open singles titles. Rafa never lost a match at the Roland Garros until May 31, 2009 and this was the time when Robin Soderling took him out of the tournament. Because of the impressive run of Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros and the many clay court events, he was named as the ‘King of Clay’. Again, this year it is expected that Nadal will strongly figure in the many events involving the surface.

But the problem is that Rafa is facing a different scenario. If in the past he contends with Federer and Soderling, this time around he will need to battle it out with hot Novak Djokovic.

 

Rafael Nadal Defeats Slumping Federer

Forgive me, I can’t resist writing this. It gets me excited knowing that Rafael Nadal has defeated rival Roger Federer in the semifinals of Key Biscayne. With the win, Rafa Nadal earned the right to face the hot and streaking Novak Djokovic, currently number 2 in the world. The score is 6-3 6-2, a score you would not expect coming from these two players. Rafa Nadal, I read started hot and served well but Federer was the one who failed to bring in the goods. Just before this match started, the press raved and was excited knowing that this was supposed to be a ‘clash of the titans’. But the the dream match fizzled as Federer easily wilted. I expected Rafa Nadal to win because he is my favorite, and because I have this personal belief that Federer is on a slump and will never reach number 1 again. But still, Federer can still make a good showing in many Tier 1 events and slams since he is still the 3rd best player right now. And all other pretenders in the men’s side are all erratic, and having their own mini-slump as well like Andy Murray, Robin Soderling and Del Potro.

Pic courtesy of this site.

The Slow Decline of Roger Federer

As always it comes with age, and Roger Federer is no exception. This year, Roger Federer will continue his slow fall from top form and by January the Top 2 rankings will be beyond his reach.  Just imagine, the usual Roger Federer who can easily meet the challenge of Novak Djokovic cannot muster the same old brilliance. The result? Djokovic found a new whipping boy in Federer, which was impossible to think a year ago. But here we are, Federer exiting 3x in major tournaments in the hands of the new Serbian star. Imagine, even the great Martina Navratilova has a thing to say about the decline of Federer in the game. I say ‘amen’ and yes, Roger Federer will no longer reclaim the number 1 spot.

Of ‘Tsunami’ Alerts and Indian Wells

This week, tennis fans are glued to the Indian Wells. Almost all of  the top men and women in the tour have showed up for Indian Wells and all are fighting it out for the Championships. Safina (remember her) is playing under the radar, and currently in the pursuit to enter the semi-finals. And I like the chances of Rafa Nadal in Indian Wells. But what was that I read that Rafa Nadal is not interested in defending his clay points? For a Nadal fan, this could be alarming. If he fails to defend his clay points then this will cost him the number 1 ranking. His claim to the number 1 ranking is anchored greatly on the clay tournaments he won last year. Rafa Nadal has offered a hazy explanation as to why he is not that pumped up to defend his clay points.

Where were you during last Friday’s ‘tsunami’ emergency in Legazpi City? Everyone panicked, traffic wherever you go and some people are crying and has evacuated. I even saw families walking with their packed bags and babies on their arms. People rushing to terminals in order to catch the van going out of the city. And by 6pm, I noticed that the city center was almost empty! Malls and stores have closed earlier at 4pm. The concern was legitimate since Legazpi is a coastal city, but that did’nt pushed me to over react knowing that the waves, if indeed it will reach this part will be just minimal. But you can never fault people in trying to secure themselves the way they did last Friday. It was both funny and alarming to see people react that way. I think what made the situation alarming was the announcement of the governor that classes and work are suspended, and footages of the destruction in Japan was seen on television. While everyone was rushing out, alarmed and panicking, I was simply walking home enjoying the early time out from work. It was good.

Tennis Round-Up

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With all the attention focused on the efforts of Rafael Nadal on Monte Carlo and Barcelona, it is expected that some tennis fans like me has failed to monitor the other results of other events that are played the same week. For example, there’s the BMW Open in Munich, and as expected this event wasn’t televised. But what to expect? Even the Barcelona event wasn’t carried by my cable provider. So that was an expected win for Rafa Nadal on the Barcelona event. Facing compatriot David Ferrer, Rafa ceded the second set but came back strong in the third set to bounce Ferrer, 6-1 4-6 6-1. It was Nadal’s fourth Barcelona crown after winning his record fourth Monte Carlo crown.

On the BMW Open, it was Gonzales’ turn to collect his 10th tour title. He defeated Simone Bolleli of Italy 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 6-3. This was Gonzales second tour title for the year. By winning the Open, Fernando Gonzales pocketed $92,000 and a sports car. The event was sponsored by BMW.

Federer, Mercedes-Benz (China) Partnership

Roger Federer

Roger Federer, the World’s top ranked tennis player since 2004 has partnered with Mercedes-Benz China. The two camps have entered into a multi-year advertising and strategic marketing partnership. This isn’t the first time that a well-known tennis player has signed contracts with an auto manufacturer. In fact, Spain’s Rafael Nadal also partnered with Kia and Maria Sharapova partnered with Land Rover.As part of the deal, Federer is set to join ‘Swing for the Stars’ a Junior Tennis Development Program that was launched by Mercedes-Benz in cooperation with the China Tennis Association. Federer in a statement said;

It’s exciting to work with a top brand like Mercedes-Benz in China. I look forward to helping them grow their business while increasing the popularity of tennis in China.

The project of the Mercedes-Benz, the ‘Swing for the Stars’ Junior Development Program is designed to help improve the skills of junior players and the coaches’ teaching level, so that they may be developed and in the long run help the development of tennis in China in the future.

Federer just recently won his first title for the year in Estoril, a clay court event. He also participated at the Monte Carlo Masters in Monte Carlo, where he lost to Rafael Nadal 5-7 5-7. Federer and Nadal has been ranked number 1 and 2 for many months now.