February 20, 2013
Posted: 1057 GMT
Young sports fans don’t know how good they have it these days. When I was growing up in England, there was none of the wall-to-wall HD TV coverage that exists of almost every sport now.
There was no Internet, no cable or satellite, no ESPN or Sky Sports and certainly no CNN World Sport. We didn’t know what we were missing; in hindsight, the bad news was that there wasn’t much sport on TV, the good news was that you were avidly drawn to whatever there was. Saturation wasn’t anyone’s concern.
And, be it football, golf, boxing, cricket or tennis, the top performers quickly became household names.
In Britain, it was hard to avoid Wimbledon every summer and it was impossible to miss the brash, angry young New Yorker John McEnroe. Read the rest of this entry »
August 3, 2012
Posted: 2051 GMT
Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Mike Tyson, David Beckham and even Tiger Woods!
I’ve been fortunate and truly blessed to have interviewed some of sport's biggest names one-on-one, but for years there remained a glaring hole in my professional resume.
Or rather two glaring holes: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. I’d have taken some time with even just one of them, but the two of them together and the chance of a first ever trip to Las Vegas? Not something I was about to pass up! Read the rest of this entry »
June 22, 2012
Posted: 1547 GMT
Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova defend their titles when the 126th edition of Wimbledon begins next week, but the odds are against both of them lifting the trophies for the second year in a row.
Such is the competitive nature of modern tennis, this feat was last achieved back in 1986 when Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova completed the double double. Read the rest of this entry »
January 30, 2012
Posted: 1201 GMT
The contrast between the men’s and women’s finals at the Australian Open could not have been greater.
On Saturday, Victoria Azarenka thrashed Maria Sharapova to claim her first grand slam title and the No. 1 ranking. It was a result that suggested this year’s WTA season will be just as much as a free-for-all as 2011 was.
On Sunday, however, Novak Djokovic won his third successive major title as he overcame Rafael Nadal in one of the most amazing finals in tennis history. We can debate until the cows come home about whether it was indeed the greatest, but it was definitely the longest.
And what are the odds against the world No. 1 becoming the first man to hold all four grand slam titles since Rod Laver in 1969, when he goes to Nadal’s stronghold at Roland Garros in May? Read the rest of this entry »
January 13, 2012
Posted: 1912 GMT
There are two burning questions ahead of the tennis season’s opening grand slam in Melbourne: can Novak Djokovic repeat his stellar form from last year, and will the women’s No. 1 be a major winner ?
Djokovic’s Australian Open preparations have been relatively low-key again, an approach that worked last year as he launched a 43-match winning streak in Melbourne and ended the year as world No. 1 with three of the four coveted crowns.
While in 2011 he played in the non-sanctioned Hopman Cup mixed teams event, this month the Serbian made do with scooping $250,000 at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi. Read the rest of this entry »
November 28, 2011
Posted: 2010 GMT
Think Roger Federer's chances of winning another major title are over? Think again!
The 30-year-old father of two looks ready and raring to go after a fine finish to the 2011 season.
While his main rivals, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, whimpered out of the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London, the Swiss maestro sauntered through his round-robin group, beating Nadal 6-3 6-0 en route, before taking out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final for the third time in two weeks. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12, 2011
Posted: 1747 GMT
To play, or not to play, that was the question facing Novak Djokovic – or so some thought!
As World No.1, the Serb was entitled to a $2 million bonus if he played all eight World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments and $1.6 million if he played seven of the eight.
Having already missed the Shanghai tournament because of a back injury, Djokovic had to play in Paris, or else he’d end up with nothing -– but then there was that reoccurrence of a shoulder injury in Basel. . Read the rest of this entry »
September 13, 2011
Posted: 1424 GMT
Five other men have won three major titles in one year in the Open era, but none so emphatically as Novak Djokovic.
The Serb secured his maiden US Open title on Monday with his sixth straight win, all in finals, against the man who was so dominant last year, Rafael Nadal.
This latest victory took Novak's 2011 record to an astonishing 64-2 and only one of those matches did he actually lose - the other was an injury retirement in the Cincinnati final. Read the rest of this entry »
September 12, 2011
Posted: 1909 GMT
Only hardened Australian tennis fans gave Samantha Stosur a chance of beating Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open.
It seemed the rest of the world felt sure that the American, a 13-time major champion, would romp home just as she had done through six rounds at Flushing Meadows and two hard-court tournaments before that, but the 27-year old Aussie clearly hadn't read the script. Read the rest of this entry »
August 24, 2011
Posted: 1500 GMT
A number one ranking can be a blessing and a curse, just ask Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina.
It is right that praise follows an athlete who has reached the summit of their sport, but it can become a burden if this feat has been acheived without claiming a grand slam.
To the layman it makes no sense. To the critic it undermines the credibility of the rank. Since Wozniacki of Denmark became the WTA Tour’s top-ranked player, it is a question mark that has hung over her career. Read the rest of this entry »