Golf, PGA Tour, Sports, Tennis, US Open

If I Hadn’t Heard It I Wouldn’t Have Believed It Can We Have An Analyst Out There Who Actually Knows Something About The Sport They Cover ?


If I Hadn’t Heard It I Wouldn’t Have Believed It Can We Have An Analyst Out There Who Actually Knows Something About The Sport They Cover ?

Is it me but are the so called pundits and analysts covering sports as knowledgeable as they make themselves out to be or just complete assholes for want of a better word ? For months now we’ve heard that Tiger Woods’ place atop of the world rankings in golf is in imminent danger but to date that simply has yet to happen. Both Steve Stricker and Phil Mickeson have had the chance to supplant Woods at the top of the rankings. Instead we’ve seen both players seemingly melt like butter on a hot knife. As we all know that in spite of Woods’ off the course problems and a rather lackluster season we’ve yet to see any of the players amongst the top ten rankings mount a serious challenge to Woods’ decade long reign at the top of the world rankings. But yet we hear the continued talk that Woods’ place at the top is now at an end. Well until the likes of Mickelson, Stricker or Lee Westwood for that matter show that they have the wherewithal to supplant Woods then can we have these idiots simply shut the hell up ?

Stricker needed to finish no worse than fourth to supplant the world number one and Mickelson for all of his success this season has simply proven that being number one isn’t as important to him as being loved by the adoring public. The Deutsche Bank Championship the second of four tournaments of the Fedex Cup playoff system has shown that the PGA Tour’s playoff system though not the most desirable formats out there has become something of a token gesture. At the same time it shows how devoid the season becomes once they have been played. Mundane and meaningless tournaments scheduled to create interest in a sport where unless Woods is center stage then the game itself becomes something of a meaningless spectacle. PGA Tour chairman Tim Finchem knows this to be true much as in the same way NASCAR knows that their Sprint Cup format has brought about as much interest as flies hovering around fecal matter or the carcass and entrails of a dead animal.

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Slide-show gallery for your perusal.

And now with the Ryder Cup now approaching in October and to to be held at the Celtic Manor Golf & CC in Newport, Wales. The US Ryder Cup team with Woods onboard as a captain’s pick will have its work cut out for them when they face an experienced European Ryder Cup team captained by Colin Montgomerie . The Scots man’s opposing number Corey Pavin goes in with a US team with only one player on there that actually has a winning record within the Ryder Cup format. So on paper things don’t appear to bode well for the team but as we know games aren’t played on paper but on the field of play. So as they say anything can happen and so let the games begin, as they no doubt will.

Woods’ season as we know has been subpar even by his own lofty standards for which the vast majority of the players on the Tour they would be extremely happy with. But as we know Woods himself has been twice a winner of the Fedex Cup playoff format . The only other recipient of the $10 million annuity payout has been Vijay Singh . Less we forget that this format has only been in existent for three years and it now enters its fourth year. Somehow this all appears to be lost on the commentators covering the sport of golf. Granted, the game is all about what have you done lately but considering the likes of Stricker and Mickelson combined haven’t amassed the total victories of Woods on the PGA Tour worldwide. Can one surmise that until either golfer has actually shown that they have desire to dethrone Woods from atop of the ranking the fact of the matter is he is still the world’s top golfer even if his present form doesn’t show it ?. An eleventh place finish in the Deutsche Bank championship would suggest that Tiger Woods might be back on track but until victories are back with a consistent regularity the truth is he remains number one and the challengers out there are either going to have to play catch up or simply let the status quo remain as it is .

There’s no doubt about it but the days of US dominance within men’s tennis is now over. There hasn’t been a male winner of a Grand Slam singles’ title in over seven years. And with the failure of Andy Roddick to make it beyond the third round imply shows how dire the situation has now become for USTA . Praise and hype was heaped upon John Isner’s monumental Wimbledon feat in his match against Nicholas Mahut. But t the end of the day Isner’s Wimbledon heroics simply petered out against his next opponent. Teenager Ryan Harrison now remains the US men’s sole hope in at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York. The Billy Jean King National Tennis Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium is the main venue for the finals of the last remaining Grand Slam tournament of the season.

While there’s no doubt that the popularity of the men’s game has been on the wane here in the United States the rest of the world has seen the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the men’s game. The two between them have won simply dominated the ATP Tour and have made the game all the more appealing for the fans worldwide. And in terms of sportsmanship the two have made that their mantra and it is a welcome pleasure for the fans.

Now say what you will about the state of the men’s game here in the US but if the country’s greatest claim that the Davis Cup international men’s team competition is of vital importance as to the popularity the sport. If the country’s sole hope in men’s tennis is now wrapped itself around a meaningless team tournament then it suggests that the fans haven’t really a great deal to be entirely happy about. Andy Roddick now remains a lost cause and the likes of Sam Querrey and Isner are seen as the young US lions on the rise within the sport. It gives us food for thought as to where the game is now heading and how the USTA will go about making it their top priority to have US males rise amongst the rankings and be counted amongst the elite of the game. Spain now remains a dominant force in the men’s game having Nadal as the top ranked player at the US Open as well atop of the ATP men’s rankings . The country also has a ten players ranked inside the top 100 in the world and if that’s not enough to suggest how dominant they have become . It shows how far and dire the state of US men’s tennis has become and the lack of talent being developed in the lower echelons of the sport. However you’d be hard pressed to hear the likes of John or Patrick McEnroe and Mary Carillo suggest that US men’s tennis is in dire need of resuscitation. They simply rally around whatever might take their fancy at a given moment and make that their rallying cause-celebre and rallying cry of the moment. Simply wishing it to be so rather than facing the realities are entirely two different things. Unfortunately the days of McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and their successors in Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras are long gone and it it may well be several years before we see a US male player of their profound talents rise to dominate the game in the way that they’d done.

These are now lean times for the USTA and in particular for the state of US men’s tennis. It seems highly unlikely that we’ll see US male crowned champion at the tournament in Flushing , New York. Whereas on the women’s side Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki it would appear are on a collision course to meet in the women’s singles finals. But that is very much predicated upon what happens over the next four days and should the two top ranked players meet as predicted in those finals. The two have been playing a consistently high level and their play so far in the tournament has given us every reason to believe that should the two meet in those finals the fans could be in for an exhilarating spectacle.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

If as an avid sport’s fan how do you see the state of golf on the PGA Tour and that of Woods’ plight ? Do you ultimately see Tiger Woods being dethroned from atop of the rankings ? And in men’s tennis where do you see the state of US men’s tennis as it now stands ?Will there be a US male winning a Grand Slam tournament within the next five years or do you see it taking ultimately longer than that ? Do you tend to find the on air analysts far too opinionated and condescending for your liking ? If so which of them gives you the impression that they simply are way in over their heads and why ?

NB: Both Ryan Wilson and Sam Querrey the sole surviving players from the second and third rounds have been knocked out of the singles competition at the US Open. This has been the first time that this has happened where the country hasn’t had a male representative in the quarter finals of the competition since 1999. Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams are seeded number’s 1 & 2 in the women’s singles at the US Open.

For up to date results at the US Open click on the link shown. Results & news ….

Alan aka tophatal …………………… ūüôā

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Tammy

Video vixen Tammy Torres

Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Major League Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports, Tennis

Friday Is Redux Day Rehashing Some Old Pieces



Friday Is Redux Day Rehashing Some Old Pieces

Well major league baseball (MLB) was off to its usual start and the Opening Day “game” was a battle of the AL East “behemoths” the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox . The game itself was played at the “famed” Fenway Park in Boston , Massachusetts. Now as we know this the “most hated” of sporting rivalries is similar to that of the rivalry between the “Hatfields” and the “McCoys” . And as far as I know to date there has yet to be a “loss of life” between these two warring sets of baseball fans. If I’m wrong in my assumption then please do correct me on this one element.

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The three game set between the Red Sox and Yankees was televised to a national audience and to a packed crowd , that is about as passionate about the game as anywhere across the entire nation. Fenway Park in all fabled history, is a place where if you to watch game you can’t but help soak up the atmosphere and that revelry that is there to be had. Alright, if you’re a Yankees’ fan in the midst of this you’re not going to be entirely happy . But then again, considering that “two teams will meet each other eighteen times” throughout the course of the regular season. You get the impression that when the Red Sox fans and the team visit Yankee Stadium in its gargantuan glory , there’s liable to be a surly welcome for the visiting fans. Unlike any other series in baseball there is a “lasting hatred” between these two sets of fans. And at times that angst that’s shown between the two teams can rival that of the volatility of in the stands ! I suppose as such it comes down to the competitiveness between the two and the very fact whoever wins the division is “guaranteed” a berth in the postseason . If you happen to finish “second” it is by no means a “guarantee” that you will be the wildcard entrant ..

The Red Sox would end up losing the series having its lone victory of the series in the opening day game with a hard fought 9-7 victory to their heated rivals. The strange this is, with the loss of the series , the Red Sox now sit at the bottom the AL East with a 1-2 record . Well it’s early days yet , so there’s no need to panic if you’re an avowed Red Sox fan. If you’re a Yankees’ fan then you can now start to gloat. Well , that’s what you guys tend to do for the vast majority of the time and throughout the baseball season. Is it any wonder that the fans around the league tend to find the Yankees’ fans , perhaps the most obnoxious in the league ?

There’s no denying that this season for the Atlanta Braves they would like to go out with that “last hurrah” for their legendary manager , Bobby Cox. And you do get the impression that the team doesn’t at all want to disappoint their manager or their fans

. And for those Braves’ fans in attendance at Turner Field in Atlanta. The thought that this is the very last season where they’ll see the “storied manager” seated in dugout alongside his assistant coaches and players will come as something of an aberration the fans. You get the impression that the Braves’ front office executives such as GM Frank Wren , Team President John Schuerholz and Chairman & CEO Terry McGuirk would like nothing more than for Cox to bow out of the game with perhaps “a real shot” of winning another World Series crown. And no doubt that sentiment is shared by their “most famous player” ever to have the Braves’ uniform Senior Vice President Hank Aaron . The Braves’ fans will no doubt share those exact sentiment of the team’s front office and its executives. However, all that stands in the Braves’ way in the NL East division are Florida Marlins , New York Mets , Washington Nationals and the reigning division champion and NL pennant title holder the Philadelphia Phillies. A really “daunting task” indeed that the Atlanta Braves will face through their schedule this season.

It will no doubt take a great deal of guile on the part of Cox and his assistants to have the Braves in contention throughout the season. But if there’s a manager within the game that’s capable of doing that and motivating a team, then “it is” Bobby Cox !

Talk is cheap and they’ll keep on talking until the “cows come home” . There are many who are now questioning the sanity of the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office and that of their coach Andy Reid . My thoughts on the matter after the trade of the team’s Pro Bowl “quarterback” Donovan McNabb to divisional rivals the Washington Redskins . Be careful what you wish for …..”as payback can be and is a real bitch” !

Whether or Reid bent or was not in favor of the trade is matter of mere speculation at this juncture. This much however we do know , team President Joe Banner had “the final say”. Eagles’ fans you can now bitch all you want because at the end of the day there’s absolutely no one but to blame than yourselves and the entire organization. McNabb was made to feel about “as welcomed” in the city as Osam Bin-Laden would have been , were he in a room filled with Hasidic Jews. And the fact that some of you are now said to be upset over the trade shows your complete arrogance and lack of understanding as to what has taken place ! You are the very same fans who “booed the player” when he was drafted by the team out of Syracuse University .

On first impression one would’ve thought that the Eagles had drafted a mentally and physically challenged individual , given the reception the player had received on the day he was drafted. Taken second overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. McNabb would go on to serve the club with distinction. Forget what you heard about the Superbowl loss to the New England Patriots in SBXXXIX – end result 24-21 . Let Terrell Owens “hold a grudge” ,have his bitching episodes and hissy fits like a female who’s on her menstrual cycle”. I don’t recall Freddie Mitchell catching a pass on the day but I do seem to remember “Fedex Safe Hands Freddie” actually dropping a few passes that weren’t even errant throws by the quarterback. And “TO” was complaining about McNabb’s performance in the loss ? And oh, by the way what has Owens since achieved after his abrupt departure from the organization ? “Fu_ck all” , I would say in terms on any tangible success !. No , “absolutely not” the Terrell Owens “reality show” doesn’t count as tangible success ! Well that’s unless you’re talking about his antics off the field in denigrating his former teammates , coaching staff, NFL owners and anyone else who doesn’t “think along” the same lines as he does ? I suppose that’s a “form of tangible success” if it makes you look like “an ever bigger as_hole” than first thought ?

Well this is merely part one of I don’t know many pieces that will take and be done consistently each Friday by myself. But hopefully this lone piece get about some constructive and interesting discussions ? And on passing note 9 time Wimbledon women’s singles champion

Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The former champion and winner of over 167 singles titles and a further 174 doubles titles from around the world is said to be cheerful and happy that the oncologist who diagnosed the cancer believes it to benign. However, to be on the safe side she will undergo chemotherapy in Paris , France while she’s there on business, as well her work with the UN and UNICEF . Anyone who has had a female relative or friend be stricken by this debilitating disease knows how hard it can be on the sufferer not just from a physical standpoint but also on a mental aspect as well.

Navritilova has said that she intends to ” beat the cancer” and then upon her recovery she will go out and assist women in a similar fight. She intends to work in conjunction with Susan G Komen Foundation , the largest women’s breast cancer organization of its kind in the United States. To date the foundation has raised in excess of $1.5 billion since the foundation’s inception in 1982. Monies raised goes not just into research but in “the hope of a cure” not just for breast cancer but it also goes towards funding other projects and issues that are causes that primarily affect young women. Grants are also provided in social areas that are of benefit to women around the world but particularly in developing and third world countries around the globe.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Navratilova and I hope that she’s able to make a speedy recovery from her illness. In her prime the ” Czech born American was the most dominant female in women’s tennis. She may well have been the most dominant female athlete the world has ever seen in not just women’s tennis on the Sony Ericcson WTA Tour but quite possibly in women’s sports bar none ! Unfortunately when it comes to dominance in women’s sports it’s not really taken all that seriously in the world of sports journalism. In reality women’s sport is still being treated with either a great deal of skepticism or in some cases just sheer downright ridicule ! It now makes one wonder if the steps taken by former women’s tennis pro Billie Jean King in getting Title IX to be fully recognized and its battle to get it legislated upon in both the House and Senate was really worth it at all ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………. ūüôā

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Picture gallery for your perusal

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Aaliyah feat’g Timbaland “Try Again” Soundtrack to the movie
…….”Romeo Must Die ” (2000) . Starring Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Anthony Anderson ,
Aaliyah Haughton , Russell Wong and D B Woodside.

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Sports, Tennis, US Open

The Hopes of A Nation Rests Upon Your Shoulders ………


The¬† US¬† Open¬†¬† tennis¬† championships¬†¬† have¬†¬† begun¬† and¬†¬†¬† there’s¬†¬† the¬† belief¬†¬† now¬†¬† that¬† should¬†¬†¬† the¬† US men¬†¬† be¬† unable¬†¬† to¬† acquit¬† themselves¬†¬† well¬†¬† throughout¬† these¬†¬† championships. Then¬† the¬† domestic¬† program¬†¬†of¬†¬† the USTA¬†¬† will¬†¬† have¬†¬† to¬† be¬† revisited¬†¬† and¬† any¬†¬† questions¬†¬† arising¬†¬†¬† out¬† of¬† their¬† investigations¬† will¬† have to¬† be¬† addressed.¬†

 

  Andy Roddick (R) of the US shakes hands with Fabrice Santoro of France after their first round match at the US Open tennis tournament on August 27, 2008 in Flushing Meadows, NY. Roddick won in straight sets.       AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Andy¬† Roddick¬† congratulates¬†¬† Fabrice¬† Santoro¬†of France ¬†having¬†¬† won¬†in ¬†a¬† straights¬† set¬†¬† victory¬†6-2,6-2,6-2¬†¬†¬†in¬† the¬† first¬†¬† round¬†¬† of¬†¬† the¬†¬† men’s¬† singles¬†¬† tournament of¬†¬† the¬† US¬† Open¬† at¬† Flushing¬†¬† Meadows in¬† New¬†¬†York.¬† picture¬† appears¬†¬† courtesy of¬† afp/getty¬† images/Don¬† Emmert¬† …………..¬†

¬†At¬†¬† the¬† National¬†¬† Tennis¬† Center¬†¬† in¬† Flushing¬†¬† New¬† York¬†¬†home¬†¬† to¬† the¬† championships.¬† The¬† tennis¬†¬† itself¬†¬†¬† will¬† be¬†¬† a¬† spectacle¬†¬†¬† for¬† even¬† the¬†¬† most¬† ardent¬†¬† of¬†¬† fans¬†.¬†¬† And¬†¬† their¬†¬† expectations¬†¬† of¬†¬†¬† homegrown¬†¬† win¬† will¬†¬† rest¬†¬†¬† soundly¬†¬†¬†upon¬† the¬† shoulders¬† of¬†¬†¬† the¬† country’s¬† top¬†¬† two¬† male¬†¬† players¬†¬† James¬†¬† Blake¬†¬† and¬†¬† Andy¬† Roddick.¬† Both¬†¬† are¬†¬† ranked¬†¬†¬†amongst¬† the¬†¬† top¬†¬† 10¬† in¬† the¬† ATP¬† rankings¬† and¬† a¬†¬† domestic¬†¬† win¬†¬†¬† by¬†¬† either¬†¬† will¬†¬† go¬† a¬† long¬† way¬†¬†¬†in restoring¬†¬† some¬†¬† cedibility¬†¬† to¬† the¬† men’s¬†¬† game¬†¬† domestically.

 

Andy Roddick, of the United States, stretches to return to Fabrice Santoro, of France, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008.

Roddick¬†¬† at¬† full¬†¬† stretch¬†¬† returns¬†¬† a¬† forehand¬†¬†¬† to¬† Santoro¬†¬†¬† during¬†¬† the¬†¬† first¬†¬† round¬†¬† of¬†¬† their¬†¬† singles’¬† match.¬† picture¬† appears¬†¬† courtesy¬† of¬†¬† ap/photo/Elise¬†¬† Amendola ……………

Blake¬† had¬† a¬† marginally¬† successful¬†¬† tournament¬†¬†¬† at¬†¬† the¬†¬† Beijing¬† Olympics.¬† He¬†¬†¬† was¬† able¬†¬† to¬† defeat¬†¬† former¬†¬†¬† world¬†¬† #1¬†¬† Roger¬†¬† Federer¬†¬†¬† in¬† the¬† men’s¬† singles¬†¬† tournament.¬†¬†¬†His¬†¬† biggest¬†¬†¬† singles’ victory¬† of¬†¬† the¬† year¬†¬† thus¬†¬† far.¬†¬†¬†¬† The¬†¬† men’s¬†¬† singles¬†¬† event¬†¬† at¬†¬† Flushing¬†¬† Meadows¬† in¬† New¬† York¬†¬†¬† hasn’t¬†¬† been¬†¬† won¬†¬† by¬†¬† an¬† American¬†¬†¬† since¬†¬†¬† Andy¬†¬† Roddick¬†¬† raised¬†¬†¬† the¬† trophy¬† in¬† 2003¬†¬† his¬†¬† sole¬†¬† Grand¬† Slam¬†¬† tournament¬†¬†¬† won.¬†

Blake¬†¬†¬† raises¬†¬† his¬† arms¬†¬†¬† aloft¬†¬†¬†¬† having¬†¬†¬† just¬† secured¬†¬† a¬†¬† hard¬†¬† fought¬†¬†¬† five¬† set¬† thrilling¬†¬† victory¬†¬† over¬†¬† former¬†¬† world¬†¬† junior¬†¬† # 1¬† ranked¬†¬† player¬†¬† Donald¬† Young.¬† picture¬† appears¬†¬† courtesy¬† of¬†¬† ap/photo/ Elise¬†¬† Amendola¬† ………..

James¬† Blake¬†¬† for¬†¬† his¬†¬† part¬†¬† has¬†¬† never¬†¬† really¬†¬†¬† fulfilled¬†¬†¬† his¬†¬† abilities¬†¬† despite¬†¬† his¬†¬†¬† undoubted¬†¬† talent¬† as¬† a¬† player.¬† Long¬†¬† thought of¬† as¬†¬† the¬† player¬†¬† most¬† likely¬†¬† to¬†¬† take¬† over¬†¬†¬† the¬† mantle¬†¬† left¬†¬† by¬†¬† Pete¬†¬† Sampras as¬† the¬† premiere¬†¬† player¬†¬† of¬†¬† his¬† era.¬† But¬†¬† this¬†¬† was¬† never¬†¬†¬† the¬†¬† case¬† as¬†¬† Blake’s¬†¬† career¬†¬†¬†waylaid¬†¬†¬†¬† by¬†¬† a¬† series¬†¬†¬†of¬†¬†¬† injuries¬†¬† that¬†¬†¬†would’ve¬† curtailed¬†¬† the¬†¬† career¬† of a¬† lesser¬†¬†¬† player.¬†¬†Back¬†¬† and¬†¬†¬† playing¬†¬†¬†¬†somewhat¬† inconsistently¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Blake¬†¬† has¬† seen¬†¬†¬† something¬† of¬†¬† a¬† renaissance¬†¬† in¬† his¬† career.¬†¬† In¬† the¬†¬† first¬† round¬†¬†¬† he¬† had to¬†¬† battle¬†¬†¬† to¬† beat¬†¬† former¬†US ¬† teenage¬†¬† phenom¬† Donald¬† Young¬†¬†¬† in¬† a¬†¬† five¬†¬† set¬†¬† battle¬†¬† 6-1,3-6, 6-1,4-6,6-4. ¬†

Ninth¬†¬† seed¬†¬† James¬†¬† Blake¬†¬† of¬† the¬†¬† US¬† returns¬† a¬†¬† backhand¬†¬† to¬†¬† his¬†¬†¬† opponent¬†¬†¬† Donald¬†¬† Young¬†¬† his¬†¬† fellow¬† countryman¬†¬†¬† in¬† the¬†¬† first¬†¬† round¬†¬† of¬† the¬†¬†¬†¬† US¬†¬† Men’s¬† Open¬† at¬†¬†¬† Flushing¬†¬† Meadow¬† in¬† New¬† York.¬†¬† picture appears¬†¬† courtesy¬† of¬†¬†¬†¬† ap/photo/Elise¬† Amendola¬† …………..

And  whilst    there  are   seveal    other   US  male   competitors   within    the    tournament.  It  is  to   Blake  and   Roddick    that   the   fans  will  be   looking   to   in  order   to   see   of    an   American   male  can  once    again   bring   back   some   luster   to  the  game   domestically.  

Andy Roddick returns a shot against Fabrice Santoro of France during Day 3 of the 2008 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 27, 2008 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Roddick¬†¬†¬† returns¬†¬† a¬†¬† backhand¬†¬† to¬†¬† his¬†¬† opponent¬†¬†¬†¬† Fabrice¬†¬† Santoro¬†¬† during¬†¬† their¬†¬† first¬†¬† round¬† match¬† of¬†¬† the men’s¬†¬† singles¬†¬† tournament.¬†¬† picture¬† appears¬†¬† courtesy¬† of¬† getty¬†¬† images/¬† Matthew¬† Stockman …………………..

At¬†¬† present¬†¬† it’d¬†¬†¬† appear¬† to be¬†¬†¬† just¬† a¬†¬† two¬†¬† horse¬†¬†¬† race¬†¬† for¬†¬†¬† the¬† major¬†¬† Grand¬† Slam¬†¬†¬† tournaments¬†¬†¬† with ¬†the¬†¬† last¬†¬† two¬†¬† Grand¬† Slam¬†¬† tournaments¬†¬†¬† having¬†¬†¬† been¬†¬† won¬†¬† by¬†¬† Spain’s¬†¬† Rafael¬†¬† Nadal¬†.¬†¬† Who¬†¬† in¬† defeating¬†¬† Switzerland’s¬†¬†¬†¬† Roger¬† Federer¬†¬† at¬† Roland¬† Garros¬†¬† for the¬†¬† French¬† Open¬† and¬†¬† finally¬†¬†¬†¬†debunking¬† the¬†¬† myth¬† that¬†¬†¬† Federer¬† was¬† unbeatable¬†¬† at¬†¬†Wimbledon¬†¬†¬† by¬†¬† defeating¬†¬† him¬†¬† there¬† also.¬†¬†¬† In¬† achieving¬† this¬†¬† and¬†¬†¬†¬† with¬†¬† his¬†¬†¬† gold¬†¬† medal¬† win¬†¬† at¬† the¬† Olympics¬†.¬†¬†¬†Nadal¬†¬†¬† wrestled¬†¬† away¬†¬† the¬†¬† number¬†¬† #1 ranking¬†¬† on¬† the¬† men’s¬† ATP Tour.¬†

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns a backhand to Germany's Bjorn Phau at the 2008 US Open in New York. Reigning Olympic champions Nadal and Elena Dementieva have started their US Opens having faced stiff challenges from unseeded challengers.

Newly¬†¬† anointed¬†¬†¬† world¬†¬†¬† #1¬†¬† Rafael¬†¬† Nadal¬†¬†¬† returns¬†¬†¬† a¬†¬† double¬†¬† handed¬†¬† backhand¬†¬† in¬† the¬† first¬† round¬† against¬† Germany’s Bjorn¬† Phau.¬† Nadal¬†¬†¬† won¬† his¬† match¬†¬†¬† 7-6(7-4),6-3,7-6(7-4)¬†¬†in¬†¬† straight¬† sets¬† finding¬†¬† very¬†¬† little¬†¬† opposition¬†¬† from¬† his¬† opponent.¬†¬† picture¬†¬† appears courtesy¬† of¬†¬†¬† ap/photo/Elise¬† Amendola¬† ……………..¬†¬†

And¬†¬† as¬†¬† much¬†¬†¬†as¬†¬† we’ve¬†¬†¬† all¬†¬†¬† wanted¬†¬†¬† the¬† existence¬†¬† of¬† a¬†¬† rivalry¬†¬†¬†¬† on¬† the¬† men’s¬†¬† tour¬†¬† to¬†¬†¬† create¬† the¬† interest¬†¬†¬† we¬†¬† once¬†¬†¬† enjoyed¬†¬†¬† when¬†¬†¬† Agassi¬† ,¬†¬† McEnroe¬†¬† ,¬† Lendl¬†¬† and¬† Sampras¬†¬†¬† graced¬†¬†the¬†¬† courts .¬†¬†¬†¬† Nadal¬†¬† and¬†¬†¬† Federer¬†¬†¬† has¬†¬†¬† provided¬†¬†¬† that¬† and¬†¬†¬†¬† a¬† great¬†¬† deal¬†¬† more¬†.¬†¬†¬† Nadal¬†¬† has¬†¬† now proved¬†¬† to¬†¬† be¬†¬†¬† the¬†¬† thorn¬†¬†¬† in¬† the¬†¬† side¬†¬† of¬† Federer¬†.¬†¬† And¬†¬†¬† Federer¬†¬†¬† for¬†¬†¬† his¬† part¬† must¬†¬† now¬†¬† question¬†¬†¬†¬† whether¬†¬†¬† or¬†¬†¬† not¬†¬†¬† he¬† has¬† the¬† ability¬†¬†¬† and¬†¬† the¬† intestinal¬†¬†¬† fortitude¬† to¬†¬†¬† chase¬†¬† after¬†¬†¬† tennis¬†¬† immortality¬† and¬†¬† surpass¬†¬†¬† Pete¬†¬† Sampras’¬†¬†¬† slam¬†¬† record¬†¬† of¬†¬†¬† 14¬† singles’¬† tournament¬†¬† victories.

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot against Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina during Day 2 of the 2008 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, on August 26, in New York City. Federer won 6-3, 6-0, 6-3.

Roger¬† Federer¬†¬† returns¬†¬† a¬† crosscourt¬† forehand¬†¬† against¬†¬† his¬†¬†¬† first¬†¬†¬†round¬†¬† opponent¬†Maximo¬†¬† Gonzalez¬† of¬†¬† Argentina.¬†¬† Feder¬†¬† won¬† his¬†¬† match¬†¬† in¬†¬† straight¬†¬† sets¬† 6-3,6-0,6-3 .¬† picture¬† appears¬†¬† courtesy¬† of¬†¬† afp/getty¬† images/ Andy¬†¬† Lyons¬† ……………¬†¬†¬†

Federer’s¬†¬†¬† nemesis¬†¬†¬† now¬†¬† in¬† the¬†¬† guise¬†¬† of¬†¬†¬† Nadal¬†¬† has¬†¬† provided¬†¬†¬† him¬†¬† with¬† an¬† adversary¬†¬†¬†¬† that¬†¬† demands¬†¬† his¬† complete¬†¬† attention¬†¬† now¬†¬† on¬† any¬† surface¬†¬† that¬†¬† they¬† meet.¬†¬† No¬†¬† longer¬†¬† does¬†¬† Federer¬† has¬†¬† the¬† comfort¬†¬†¬† grass¬†¬† as¬†¬† his¬†¬† his¬†¬†¬† own¬†¬† personal¬†¬† domain.¬†¬†¬†¬† Nadal¬†¬† for¬†¬† his¬†¬† part¬†¬†¬† has¬†¬†¬† proven¬† himself¬†¬† more¬†¬† than¬†¬† adequate¬†¬† now¬†¬† on¬†¬† all¬†¬† surfaces.¬† In¬†¬† securing¬†¬† his¬†¬†¬† first¬†¬† Wimbledon¬†¬† grasscourt title¬†¬†and¬† with¬†¬†¬†four¬† slam¬†¬†¬† titles¬†¬† to¬†¬†¬† his¬†¬†¬† resume’.¬† It¬† can¬†¬†¬†¬† be¬†¬†said¬†¬† that¬†¬†¬† Nadal¬†¬†¬† can¬†¬† no¬† longer¬†¬† be¬†¬†¬† described¬†¬† as¬† one¬†¬† trick¬†¬†¬† pony¬†¬†¬† whose¬† comfortable¬†¬† on the¬†clay¬†¬† courts¬† alone.¬†¬†¬†¬† If¬† anything¬†¬†¬† he’s¬†¬†¬† now¬†¬† proving¬†¬† himself¬†¬† to¬† be¬† equally¬†¬† adept¬†¬†¬† on¬† all¬†¬† surfaces.¬† And¬†¬† this¬† will¬†¬† test¬†¬†¬† Federer’s¬†¬† resolve¬†¬†¬† now¬†¬†¬† as¬†¬† he¬†¬† embarks¬†¬† upon¬†¬† surpassing¬†¬† Sampras’¬†¬†¬† record¬† and¬† supplant¬†¬† him¬†¬†¬† as¬† the¬†¬† greatest¬†¬† player¬†¬† of¬†¬† the¬† modern¬†¬† era¬†¬† .¬† If¬†¬† not¬†¬† the¬†¬†¬† best¬†¬† male¬†¬† player¬†¬† of alltime.

abritishman¬† …………