When Justine Henin announcement her return to tennis at the end of 2009, I, like most tennis fans was delighted. The Belgian’s game is simply poetry in motion and so dramatically different from that of the current crop, with only few exceptions.
In her prime, she showed size didn’t really matter and - unlike players such as Martina Hingis - she was able to challenge the "big babes." It was refreshing to see that women’s tennis could be about more than just booming ground-strokes. She was the player who made me want to watch.
Kim Clijsters showed that you could return a champion after a lay-off from the game when she clinched her second U.S. Open title in 2009, so when Justine reached the Australian Open final in 2010 it seemed that women’s tennis was returning to a golden age.
As the semifinal line up at the Australian Open takes shape, I've taken a look back over the first week of the Melbourne Park tournament to pick my top ten moments of the event so far.
Fernando Verdasco of Spain against Janko Tipsarevic was one of the highlights of the opening week in Melbourne, even if the Serb tanked the deciding set. World number 49 Tipsarevic played some great tennis and had three match points as he looked to cause the biggest upset of the men’s second round. Somehow the struggling ninth seed Verdasco managed to save them all before winning 6-0 in the fifth.
Though world number one Rafael Nadal scored a straight-sets victory against Bernard Tomic, the Australian made it a very interesting third round encounter. The 18-year-old Tomic made nine-time grand slam winner Nadal work hard for the first time in the tournament. The youngster has a unique game and an abundance of confidence and, unlike so many, he did not seem particularly overawed as he battled the Spaniard in the Rod Laver Arena. It was a fun match to watch and a good test for Nadal, who passed with flying colors.
But, like the other three slams, the All England Championship has its pros and cons, which differ depending on whom you speak to.
The biggest con of the player and fan-friendly Australian Open, in my opinion, is definitely the timing of the tournament. FULL POST
So he’s gone. After just six months in charge Roy Hodgson has left Liverpool by “mutual consent.”
Mutual consent? I think not! What they really meant to say was: “Fired – you will walk alone – goodbye.”
On the day arguably England’s most successful club (a joint-record 18 league titles, five European crowns) made the announcement, Liverpool were 12th in the Premier League table and fourth points above the relegation zone. This is simply not good enough for a club of this stature at any time, least not past the halfway mark of the season. FULL POST
The last 12 months have seen plenty of memorable moments, with huge sporting occasions such as the FIFA World Cup and golf's Ryder Cup providing some unforgettable moments.
Formula One provided one of the tightest drivers' championships in history, while Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer continued their epic rivalry on the tennis court.
As we wave goodbye to 2010, CNN's Candy Reid selects her top-five sporting moments of the last year.
As the end of 2010 is upon us, I thought I'd share with you my top 10 tennis moments of the year. It has been a year of change in the sport, with the women's game more open than ever, while the balance of power has once again swung Rafa Nadal's way in the men's game.
These are my 10 for 2010 – I hope you agree with them! FULL POST
Let me clear up one thing before I get started: I am not an Arsenal supporter. Never have been, never will be … but, and please keep this on the down-low, I am a bit of a fan!
The English club's manager Arsene Wenger can be a bit of a moaner from time to time, but he is also a genius, and like very few in football these days, puts his club before himself.
Plenty of people have questioned why the Frenchman hasn’t bought bigger stars and broken the bank to bring in a reliable goalkeeper. Plenty have said that Arsenal have plenty of style but no substance. Plenty have said a five-year trophyless run should have meant the end of Wenger’s long and storied Arsenal career. They are all wrong.
CNN's World Sport will be broadcasting its predictions for 2011 in upcoming shows between December 31-January 2. In the final of a series of preview blogs, Candy Reid investigates who will be on top in men's and women's tennis.
This year belonged to Rafael Nadal. There’s no doubt about that - three Grand Slam titles and the world's No. 1 ranking. The question now is, can the Spaniard follow it up? I have my doubts.
To me he’s a bit like (but better) Lleyton Hewitt was in his prime. The Australian generally had one good year, one not so hot. And it’s much to do with the way they play. Rafa like Lleyton, fights for every single point. His desire and passion is immense, and so is the toll on his body.
Well done Serbia! A great Davis Cup final was just what the doctor ordered for a prestigious tennis event which desperately needed a shot in the arm.
Let’s face it, the Davis Cup has lost much of its luster in recent years. The top players play sporadically in the teams tournament, preferring instead to focus on their individual careers.
But now that the men's ATP Tour has announced it will lengthen the off-season in 2012, the International Tennis Federation should use the moment to also change the format of the Davis Cup or risk it falling further into obscurity.
After Wimbledon, several well-known commentators speculated that Roger Federer would never regain the number one ranking. At the time I thought it was way too early for such speculation and found such talk quite irritating. What must have Federer thought?
Arguably the classiest man in tennis - he’s given so much back to the game - treated like an also-ran after a relatively poor summer season (relative because most players would die for the results he had!)
How quick we are to write athletes off.
From his performance at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, I believe Federer could well take the 2011 season by storm. In a tournament which included the top 8 players in the world, the Swiss lost just one set throughout. That was in the final against Nadal, which in the end he won convincingly.