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Entries in Australian Open (33)

Monday
Dec172012

Madison Keys, Rhyne Williams Win Australian Open Wildcards

Fun weekend of pretty good tennis in Norcross, as Madison Keys repeats, and former Tennessee player Rhyne Williams wins his first Australian Open wildcard.

Keys defeated Mallory Burdette and Williams beat Tim Smyczek.

 

Saturday
Jan282012

Australian Open Day 14: Match of the Day

The men's finals featuring Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

This is the 30th meeting between these two.

The stats show that Djokovic has not lost to Nadal since the end od 2011 at the ATP Finals.

They played last year at Wimbledon, they played last year at the U.S. Open.  All won by Djokovic.

I see Djokovic winning again in this one.

He wins the big points and raises his games at the right moments.  Nadal has had an extra day's rest, but the way the courts are playing and the way the tennis has gone.  Look for Djokovic to win in 4 tough sets.

Wednesday
Jan252012

Australian Open Day 11: Match of the Day

Impossible to pick just one match today, so there are three picks that need to be made.

The first women's semi is Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka.

The second women's semi will feature Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova.

I'll go against my first instincts and take Azarenka in the first match and then hve to go with Kvitova in the second.  Both matches could be classics.

The men's match is a classic before it is even played.

What more can you say about Federer vs Nadal?

Even though Nadal leads the career series 17-9, it's hard not to like the way Federer is playing.  Let's go with Fed in 4 great sets even though it's hard to not pick Nadal.

Should be a great night of tennis.

Tuesday
Jan242012

Australian Open Day 10: Match of the Day

Novak Djokovic vs. David Ferrer

The number one player in the world against the number one fighter on tour.

Ferrer posses all sorts of problems for most players.  Novak Djokovic hopes he doesn't have that many problems in this quarter-final match.

Djokovic holds a 6-5 carrer edge over the Spaniard, and won the last meeting at the World Tour Finals in November.  This court is playing slow, but I have to give the edge to Djokovic.

It won't be easy, it never is against a player like Ferrer.

Djokovic wins in 4 sets.

Monday
Jan232012

USTA Executive Disappointed with Serena Williams' Comments and Actions

A panel discussion at the USTA Southern Tennis Association's annual meeting convened Satuday in Atlanta to discuss the state of American professional tennis and other topics related to the sport and the publicity it receives.

While topics included the fall of Andy Roddick out of the top-10 in 2011, Mardy Fish's rise into the upper echelon of the game and the number of young kids across the country now playing tennis, some comments made by the USTA's Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Gordon Smith caught me a bit off guard.

Reacting to Serena Williams' comments earlier this month that she doesn't love the sport of tennis, Smith seemed disappointed and upset that one of the greatest players in the history of the sports would make such remarks. It's not often you hear the USTA speaking candidly about current players.

"You may have seen the comments Serena made saying she doesn't love tennis, I'm disappointed and concerned how younger players who look up to Serena will take those remarks," Smith told a panel and a room of atendees. "What does that say about our sport? and those who play it?"

What Serena said should be looked at closely. "I mean, I don't love tennis today, but I'm here, and I can't live without it ... so I'm still here and I don't want to go anywhere any time soon," Williams said after her first match at the Brisbane event in Australia.

I don't believe her and apparently either does Smith. Smith says that Serena isn't a full-time tennis player anymore, she's a celebrity. Celebrities sometimes just say things.  Look at the Kardashians, they say things all the time.

I served on this panel with Smith and brought up to him what was written in the USA Today website last weekend by Doug Robson. Robson wrote about the disconnect between the Williams' Sisters, especially Serena and some young American professional female players. Robson was told by Christina McHale, who is ranked No. 42 in the world and Jamie Hamption, another young American that lost in the second round in Australia that they have never had a conversation with Serena. For some reason, it didn't surprise me.

This is a complete 180 from what happens on the men's tour when the likes of Andy Roddick, and before him, Pete Sampras and Todd Martin helped mentor younger players, even inviting them to their home to train.

"One of the problems, is Serena hasn't played Fed Cup in over four years," stated Smith. "There is a tradition of mentoring and being a hitting partner on the Davis Cup team, but Serena hasn't been there on the Fed Cup side." Smith hadn't heard of this recent article until I mentioned it to him during the discussion. he seemed saddened, but not surprised by these further developments. He also added that the only reason the Williams' Sisters have made themselves available for Fed Cup in 2012 is they have to play to compete in the Olympics.  I'm sure the USTA also was not pleased when Serena was defaulted at the U.S. Open because of threatening a lineswoman.

Smith then gave a half-hearted smile when I told him what the last sentence in the USA Today piece said. It was the most telling statement to me, as Jamie Hampton said that maybe the men would take them under their wings. I'm sure if the girls asked, the guys would help out.