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
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. FULL POST
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? FULL POST
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. FULL POST
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. FULL POST