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Archive for April 10th, 2008

Can Djokovic win Roland Garros this year?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Novak Djokovic Serbia returns a shot against Kevin Anderson of South Africa during day five of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 28, 2008 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) 

After all, he did win the clay title last year at Estoril. He also reached the quarters at both Rome and Hamburg where Nadal and Moya took care of him – Moya barely. And he reached the semis at Roland Garros.

That’s not bad considering how many times he has attempted:

Hamburg: Twice – quarters (Moya), second rd (Verdasco).

Rome: Once – quarters (Nadal).

Roland Garros: Thrice – semi (Nadal), quarters (Nadal), second rd (Coria).

It appears Nadal has been his main hurdle. If Djokovic is really electing to skip Estoril to prep up for Roland Garros, he might be REALLY serious and may have the belief and conviction in place, to come pretty close if not win the whole thing.

With Federer faring the way he did on hard courts and with the AO already in the bag, Djokovic is looking to go for the calendar Grand Slam if not the Golden. He has already solved the Nadal puzzle by winning two of their last three meetings in straight sets on hard courts. Although he has never defeated Nadal on clay, he may not be too far from it since the usual Nadal tactic of shoulder high ball on the backhand is not as effective against Djokovic as it is against Federer, because of the two-handed missile guided backhand Djokovic has.

Besides, any chance Djokovic has of overcoming Nadal for the move upwards to the No. 2 spot will have to take hold at this clay season, considering how huge a load Nadal has to defend those points from last year.

Tennis player Rafael Nadal is seen during a press conference in Bremen, northern Germany, Wednesday, April 9, 2008. Germany will face the team of Spain in a Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinal match in Bremen from April 11 up to 13, 2008. Spain's team captain Emilio Sanchez nominated Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez.  

Unable to make any dent in the points race for the No. 1 spot so far, Nadal is back to square one – whether to defend the No. 2 rank or to continue the assault on the top rank. With the lead ballooning from 350 points to 670 between him and Federer, and with no chance of gaining any points on clay unless Federer loses early, it’s Djokovic’s advance on the red surface that bothers him most.

Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns the ball to Andy Roddick,of the United States, during a quarterfinals match at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Thursday, April 3, 2008.  

If Djokovic lands on Federer’s half of the draw, Federer will have double trouble overcoming Djokovic and Nadal back to back to win the title. Djokovic is the loose gravel that can prove to be the spoiler, irrespective of whose half he lands in. Federer of course will be hoping that Djokovic and Nadal get into an extended battle in the semis to then take down a tired opponent in the final to win the illusive title.

But the way things stand today, Djokovic has a very real shot at the title. If Nadal is not 100 percent throughout the clay season, his No. 2 spot will evaporate for good. And if Djokovic wins Roland Garros, it will be a huge knock on Federer and the apple cart would be disturbed forever.

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Gonzalez and the Chile team.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Chile's Davis Cup tennis players Nicolas Massu, Fernando Gonzalez and Canada's Davis Cup tennis players Daniel Nestor and Frederic Niemeyer pose for photographers after the drawing for their Davis Cup match in Santiago, Thursday, April 10, 2008. 

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Swedish team with Wilander.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Sweden Davis Cup team (L-R) players Robert Lindstedt and Jonas Bjorkman, the coach Mats Wilander, and the players Thomas Johansson and Robin Soderling pose for the press as Argentina player David Nalbandian (L-back) gestures, at the end of the draw for the quarter-finals Davis Cup World Group, , in Buenos Aires, on April 10, 2008.    AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images) 

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Davis Cup clowns in pitchkers. From Brooke. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Brooke

Roddick, never make a bet with Brooklyn again:

http://www.daviscup.com/news/gallery.asp?current=9225&txtPlayerSearch=&txtTeamSearch=&sbmStatus=&galleryid=175&type=&set=2#mid

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Henman joins BBC Wimbledon team. From Louise. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Henman joins BBC Wimbledon team

Tim Henman
Henman was ranked number four in the world in August 2002

Britain’s most successful open era player Tim Henman will join BBC Sport’s team of experts for coverage of this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

“I’m delighted to be joining the BBC team this year,” said the 33-year-old former British number one, who retired as a competitor in September 2007.

“It’s exciting for me to return to Wimbledon in a non-playing capacity.”

He reached number four in the world in 2002 and will work as a commentator and studio analyst from 23 June to 6 July.

BBC TV executive producer of Wimbledon Paul Davies added: “Tim was an incredibly popular player and the success, drama and passion he experienced at Wimbledon has created a unique connection with both the Championship and British tennis fans.

606: DEBATE
Who are your early Wimbledon 2008 favourites?

“Returning to SW19 with the BBC team seems the perfect fit and his on-court experience will add a fascinating dimension to our coverage.

“We hope this will be the start of a successful partnership between Tim and the BBC.”

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Tsonga out of US DC tie. From Louise. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Louise 

Davies Cup Tsonga out of US tie

France’s Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was ruled out of this weekend’s Davis Cup quarter-final against the United States because of a right knee injury.

“Tsonga felt pain in his right knee which was similar to the pain he felt playing doubles in Miami last week,” said the French Tennis Federation.

shesshh how gutting!!

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Wanna funny photo?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Have a funny photo – tennis or non tennis? Wanna share it with lunatics around the world? Leave it here.

Pants Down

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The one body part of Nadal’s that never gets the rest.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

David Ferrer, left, and teammate Rafael Nadal gestures during a press conference in Bremen, northern Germany, Wednesday, April 9, 2008. Germany will face the team of Spain in a Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinal match in Bremen from April 11 up to 13, 2008. 

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Worldwide TV coverage crisis should be solved at ATP not at individual countries.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

If it’s all about the money, why not go to the agency that pockets the most money from tennis tournaments: Freaking ATP.

It behooves ATP to step in and take care of the fans that provide all of the cash flow to enable them hold these tournaments worldwide. For starters, ATP should mandate that every tournament provide good quality live streaming of the entire tournament for FREE. It does not involve the rating and money hungry networks, subsequently lending greater flexibility to broadcast the events.

What’s the point in providing live stream of Grand Slams? It does help but the real problem, at least in the US, is other events like the Masters Series. How pathetic it was that even players couldn’t watch the matches of the event they are participating in at Miami?

It is ATP’s responsibility to find a way to extend the coverage with whatever means that are available instantly. Free live streaming is the answer to fix the problem at least temporarily right away, while negotiating contracts with Tennis Channel and other affiliates.

More coverage translates into more dollars for everyone involved. You think better and easier access to tennis coverage can result in stimulating greater interest in the game amongst younger generation? You bet!!!! Why would anyone even elect to play tennis in the US if even the Masters Series level of tournaments cannot be watched at the venue they are being played at?

And morons at USTA are focusing on developing new players by putting the cart before the horse. If you can get more people to watch tennis tournaments, it’s logical to assume more kids are likely to pick up the sport professionally, resulting in a bigger and wider pool to choose the real big hitters for grooming and scouting.

If you are increasing your efforts to find future prospects, while denying the development of the sport at the grassroots level, you are dead even before you take a step. By providing wider TV coverage, you not only stimulate interest in the sport which in turn results in more people taking up the sport, you are helping yourself by getting a greater opportunity to find a bona fide and legitimate star by casting a wider net.

With current formula, it will not be long before the well will eventually and inevitably dry up leaving all your efforts and big money useless. You are like a blind squirrel. You might find an acorn, but it will be more out of luck than anything else.

Conversely, if you first dedicate your efforts to stimulate interest in the sport by providing greater visibility, touting other benefits that the sport enjoys over other major sports like fewer and less severe injuries, monetary payoffs, worldwide audience, world travel etc. you are more likely to attract not only quantity but quality too.

And once you find a star, the ball starts rolling. Connors, McEnroe, Sampras and Agassi are all living examples. It’s the numbers game and the first step to increase those numbers is to increase the sport visibility, not to set up organizations to find the next big thing, by pure chance.

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Surgery through vagina, mouth and rectum? What’s next? Penis? Oouch!!!!

Posted by tennisplanet on April 10, 2008

Click here for more.

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