By claiming her 17th grand slam singles title at the U.S. Open, Serena Williams now sits just one major title behind legends of the game Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, and five behind Steffi Graf, who holds the Open Era record of 22.
It now seems inevitable that she will at least tie and perhaps even surpass the numbers set by Navratilova and Evert, solidifying her place in the debate over who is the greatest of all time, but just how many more can she win? FULL POST
After his worst summer in a decade, Roger Federer now stands at the unfamiliar intersection between one of the greatest careers in tennis history, if not sporting history, and a precarious future as a potential also-ran in the upper echelons of the game.
After his historic record-setting run of 33 straight quarterfinal-or-better appearances at grand slams came to an abrupt end at this year’s Wimbledon, the former world No. 1 was expected to cut back his schedule, spend more time with his family and ease into the final phase of his career with one eye on his impending retirement.
However, the Swiss star decided to double down and push forward, dismissing any and all questions about stepping away from tennis. By doing so, the 17-time grand slam champion risks diminishing his historic legacy - a prospect further raised by his fourth-round defeat against Tommy Robredo at the U.S. Open. FULL POST
Heading into the 2013 U.S. Open, 35-year-old American twins Bob and Mike Bryan stand on the verge of a feat rarer than any other in tennis, as they attempt to complete the first ever men’s doubles calendar grand slam in the Open era.
Since grand slam tennis went professional in 1968, calendar grand slams - winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles in a single year - have been achieved in men’s singles, women’s singles, and women’s doubles, but never in men’s doubles.
You have to go back all the way to 1951 when Australians Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman ran the table at the majors for the one and only time this feat was accomplished.
Sixty-two years later, the Bryan brothers head into the U.S. Open with an opportunity to make history, having already claimed the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon championships.
And yet, during this remarkable run, which also includes the 2012 U.S. Open and Olympic games, barely more than a match or two has been broadcast on television.
More often than not, television coverage will jump into a Bryan brothers match at match point, and to that extent, on a time delay to ensure that the point in question was indeed the final point of the contest.
Sadly, this doesn’t flow against the tide of tradition when it comes to doubles on television. Simply put, doubles just doesn't get the attention or TV coverage it deserves. FULL POST
Since Fred Perry defeated the German Gottfried von Cramm in a one-sided 6-1 6-1 6-0 final to claim his third successive men’s Wimbledon singles title 77 years ago, Britain has pinned its hopes on a procession of native challengers, each of whom have come and gone without success.
Andy Murray finally ended that interminable wait by beating Novak Djokovic on Sunday, but the wait has been so long there has been talk of curses and jinxes.
But was there ever really a curse?
In truth, in the seven decades since Fred Perry’s three-peat as Wimbledon champion, Britain has never produced a legitimate Wimbledon contender - with the exception of 1939 runner-up Bunny Austin. FULL POST
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. FULL POST
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! FULL POST