US Open 2014 Review

Posted: September 16, 2014 by Dan Martin in Uncategorized

Originally posted on Sport & More:

Over 250 players took part in the main draw for one of the biggest prizes in tennis but as we know there can only be two winners at the end of the two weeks those being Serena Williams and Marin Cilic. So, what happened over the last two weeks?

CiCi Bellis

The headline maker of the US Open this year is 15 year old CiCi Bellis who was given a wildcard for the USTA for the tournament didn’t expect to find herself in the second round of the US Open when she saw she’d be playing Australian Open runner up Dominika Cibulkova. Before the US Open CiCi has been playing on the ITF circuit and has won a doubles title this year but her first ever match on the WTA tour against one of the best players in the world couldn’t of gone better with the American winning 6-7 6-4…

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Originally posted on tennistipsfromapro:

A great clip here of a jubilant Swiss Davis Cup captain, Severin Luthi and Swiss # 2 Stan Wawrinka chairing Roger Federer around the stadium following his win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini which clinched the semi-final tie for the Swiss team.

Federer has made the Davis Cup a priority this year, and has 5 singles straight set wins in a row to his credit. The Davis Cup has eluded Federer and Switzerland, and this year with a team that boasts the world # 3 (Federer) and # 4 Stanislas Wawrinka they stand just one really tough match away from adding the prized “salad bowl” to the trophy cabinet.

That one match is a tantalising Davis Cup final against France, in France, late November. The French, whilst not boasting the same firepower as the Swiss big guns, are still in with a real shot as they bat very deeply. The team…

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FINDING FEDERER

Posted: September 15, 2014 by Dan Martin in Uncategorized

Originally posted on Get Sporty:

Odes to Roger Federer are aplenty. And while his elegance, grace, aesthetic and athletic ability have all been analysed by the greatest of the great sports writers and experts, I still feel compelled to add an insignificant speck to that glitzing galaxy. That is because for all the domination he’s had over the last decade, and justly lays a claim to being the greatest of all time, I think Roger Federer’s greatest years are 2013 and 2014. Yes, you read that right – the current year and the previous one. Two years in which he has a handful of titles and exactly zero Grand Slams.

Federer’s elegance and efficiency on a tennis court and not to mention his grace (winner of the Stefan Edberg sportsmanship award every single year between 2003 and 2013 excepting 2011) are a throwback to an entirely different era. And somebody needed to keep that side…

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This Weekend’s Best Davis Cup Moment?

Posted: September 15, 2014 by Dan Martin in Uncategorized

Originally posted on LoveAroundTheCourt:

Best Davis Cup Moment?Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.46.28 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-14 at 9.56.29 PM

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Originally posted on The Grandstand:

Bob and Mike Bryan had no trouble finishing off a 3-0 sweep of Slovakia as the United States booked its spot in the 2015 Davis Cup World Group. The Bryans won Saturday’s doubles rubber in Chicago, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 over Lukas Lacko and Norbert Gombos.

They needed a mere one hour and 16 minutes to get the job done and their four games lost almost equaled a U.S. Davis Cup record (three).

“It was one of our better Davis Cup performances because I felt we were hitting in all facets of the game,” Mike explained. “Started feeling good in practice early in the week and carried that onto the match court, which was nice. Didn’t really have any difficulty out there. Just thought we started hot and just kept it up; kept our energy high. So it feels good to take care of business and get back into the World…

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Era of the Super Coach? True Beginnings.

Posted: September 14, 2014 by Dan Martin in Uncategorized

Originally posted on Aim :

lemdl and murray

A few years ago a top British sportsman took an innovative approach to a problem he had been experiencing in his chosen field. The results of that decision make it appear as if it was an easy one and that success would certainly follow. Yet at the time the decision, to appoint a new coach/manager, was not universally applauded and brought much doubt and some derision from those within the game.

Ranked in the world’s top five, our hero was unfortunate enough to live in a truly great era of the game. He had come through with staggering early success and bright things were predicted almost instantly. True, he had reached a couple of finals and the later stages of major events. He was making a good living and by most measures would have been considered a great player. Yet the big titles had eluded him, the runner up…

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Originally posted on The Grandstand:

FedererLed by Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland is looking for a place in the Davis Cup final as it hosts Italy this weekend. Federer is opening against Simone Bolelli on Friday while Wawrinka is facing Fabio Fognini.

Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Simone Bolelli (ITA)

Federer and Bolelli will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers and for the second time in Davis Cup competition when they kick off a World Group semifinal tie between Switzerland and Italy on Friday. Their most recent encounter came five years ago in the World Group playoffs, with Federer dominating on a clay court in Italy 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. The Swiss also beat Bolelli 6-2, 6-3 on the indoor hard courts of Basel in 2008.

Both veterans made headlines at the recent U.S. Open. Federer, a runner-up in Toronto and champion in Cincinnati, saved two match points in a quarterfinal win…

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Originally posted on The Grandstand:

Some of the usual suspects like Serbia and Spain are absent from the Davis Cup World Group semifinals this time around, but the last-four lineup in 2014 is still a blockbuster one—especially in terms of individual talent. Among the players in action this weekend are Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, and Gael Monfils, Czech Tomas Berdych, and Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Switzerland is a heavy favorite as it hosts the Italians, while France is set to entertain the Czech Republic in what has all the makings of a blockbuster, tough-to-call showdown.

Czech Republic vs. France

Where: Paris, France
Surface: Clay
Czech Republic: Tomas Berdych, Lukas Rosol, Radek Stepanek, Jiri Vesely
France: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils, Julien Benneteau

Two rounds away from its first Davis Cup title since 2001, France has the good fortune of hosting a third…

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  1. Serena Williams was awesome in winning her 6th US Open and 18th major.  Let the GOAT debates intensify.  
  2. Marin Cilic dominated the final two matches at a level not seen since Federer’s 2004 win or maybe stylistically since Safin’s 2000 title run.  
  3. Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic is my favorite match-up because each guy is fast and has such a solid return that no point or lead is safe.  
  4. Kei Nishikori vs. Stanislas Wawrinka is a close second in terms of being my favorite match-up to watch. 
  5. Caroline Wozniacki is back, and at 24 she certainly can win a Grand Slam event.  
  6. Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov have been battling back forth all year as the top under 25 player in the world.  They both leave New York with a few questions that need to be answered in the coming year.  
  7. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played well enough but did not really build on his Toronto run, but Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils gave France someone to cheer as well.  
  8. I have been critical of the US Open for not having a roof (who could expect NY to keep up with Melbourne?).  However, the US Open’s combination of a surface with sure footing and predictable bounces combined with great night matches and the cultural milieu of New York makes it my favorite Grand Slam as a fan to watch from afar. Being in the same time zone helps me to be able to watch a lot of matches online or on TV.  I’d of course love to travel to Melbourne, Paris and London to see the other three slams in person.  I have been to the US Open before and enjoyed it even if I paid $18 for a burrito.    
  9. CBS’ final match at the US Open saw a ratings drop-off due to the finalists not being established names outside of the tennis world.  I am sure CBS was hoping for a 2014 Wimbledon and 2007 US Open final rematch between world #1 Novak Djokovic and #1 Emeritus Roger Federer.  
  10. Did I mention that Serena and Marin played great tennis?
  1. Novak Djokovic – Nole stays at #1, but his play in Toronto, Cincinnati and to a lesser extent New York leave some questions.  Novak did not handle the hot and humid conditions well in New York.  He struggled with the heat late in the Kohlschreiber match and against Nishikori who had played 10 sets in his previous 2 rounds to Novak’s 7 sets.  
  2. Marin Cilic – He may be too high, but he comprehensively won his semifinal and final match.  He never gave Roger Federer breathing room except for a brief 0-2 deficit in the 3rd set that he quickly erased.  He was even more stingy with Kei Nishikori.  Cilic moved exceptionally well and let his leverage advantage do damage to take his first major title.  Change since last ranking +7 (!)
  3. Roger Federer - Federer played well to reach the quarterfinal round.  He then had to dig deep to save two match points and come back from 2 sets down to Gael Monfils.  He may have been a bit depleted versus Cilic, but in all honest Federer had a few chances to keep close to Cilic and only had once chance to take command of a set.  Cilic just kept Roger from being able to dictate much of anything.  Change since last ranking -1
  4. Rafael Nadal – Novak did not put the #1 ranking for 2014 out of Rafa’s reach during his absence, but my guess is Rafa packs it in for the season.  Change since last ranking – 1
  5. Kei Nishikori – His big wins versus Milos Raonic, Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic should not be overshadowed by his one-sided loss in the final.  His run to the final was a gutsy and impressive charge through the top 10.  Change since last ranking – not ranked
  6. Stanislas Wawrinka – Stan’s testy win over Tommy Robredo and close loss to Kei Nishikori prove that his power game is more suited to best of 5 set events in which he can beat a lot of opponents into submission. Change since last ranking +4  
  7. Milos Raonic – The big Canadian has been a picture of consistency in Masters 1000 events this year, he posted his best two Grand Slam results at the two most recent slams and won Washington, DC.  His serve is also lethal as I can say from seeing it live.  Change since last ranking -3 
  8. Andy Murray - The good news is that Andy won some nice matches and reached the quarters to set up a showdown with Novak Djokovic.  The bad news is that Andy is 0-6 versus Nole, Rafa and Roger since his back surgery.  
  9. Grigor Dimitrov – Monfils played some of his best tennis in NY.  Still, if Grigor is the next great champion, he needs to win matches like that. Change since last ranking: – 2
  10. Gael Monfils – Gael entertained, won and nearly won a BIG match prior to becoming French Toast in the 5th set versus Federer.  We hope to see more of Gael playing at that level.  Change since last ranking – not ranked

Entered the Poll – Kei Nishikori and Gael Monfils

Dropped out of the Poll – David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Biggest Mover – Marin Cilic + 7