Serena on fire

Serena has only lost four matches in 2012



2012 US Open draw analysis

Roger is going for his sixth US Open crown.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray are in the same half, which is a disadvantage to both of them if they meet in the semis as presumably, if he makes it there, defending champ Novak Djokovic will have an easier semifinal opponent.

Top seed Federer opens against Donald Young, who just scored his first win since February on Monday. That’s a brutal draw for The Donald. I suppose that Fernando Verdasco could push Federer for two sets in R3, but the Spaniard has done little this summer so I doubt it, but the great Swiss could tested in R4 by Mardy Fish, who loves US hard courts and has taken down Federer before. That

Clash of Titans in Olympic finals

It was difficult to say just how much emotion the greats would show if they made it to the medal rounds of the Olympic Games given that the Slams still hold more weight to most players, but on Friday at Wimbledon, all four winners appeared to be truly jazzed after claiming victory.

Maria Sharapova thumped fellow Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-3 and smiled as wide as she ever has; Serena Williams focused hard and played as well as she has all year in crushing the so-called No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2; Roger Federer nearly wept tears of joy and seemed to be in another world after he outlasted Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6(5) 19-17; and Andy Murray thrilled himself and the home crowd in taking out a man, Novak Djokovic, who had shattered his hopes in Australia with a hearty 7-5, 7-5 victory.

While Sharapova and Murray have a lot to celebrate this week, both have huge tasks ahead of them in the finals. Sharapova hasn’t beaten Serena since 2004 and Murray just went down to Federer in the Wimbledon final. The men

Rome Drawn and Quartered



Berdych has taken his excellent Madrid form to Rome.

Flavia Pennetta vs. Serena Williams: The Italian has had a tough time with injuries this year and hasn’t not shown her best form until this week. Serena has been on fire of since Charleston and is either playing well and destroying foes, or not playing very well and outshining and out battling them This is the first match on Center Court and while Pennetta is a terrific mover and fine defense to offense player, Serena will be able be to find the lines with her groundies and returns and win in 2 sets.

Thomas Berdych vs. Rafa Nadal: The Czech plays Nadal very ought and nearly knocked him out in Australia, but Nadal is playing angry and quite effectively after the Madrid fiasco last week. Berdych has been quite good in taking balls early and hitting through the court, but in slower red clay, Nadal will wear him down in point in 2 sets

Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: I don’t like this match-up for the Frenchman on dirt, even though he was quite impressive in knocking off Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4 6-1. However, the Serbian will get into Jo’s backhand side, will return him much more consistently than DelPo did and out maneuver him. Take Djokovic in two.

Angelique Kerber vs. Petra Kvitova: This battle of two powerful lefties should be a doozy if Kvitova finds her form. Kerber can beat just about anyone these days, but the Czech is due to start peaking and I get the feeling it will be in Rome. PK in 3 sets.

Roger Federer vs. Andreas Seppi: Huge props to the Italian who came back from the depths to stun Stanislas Wawrinka 6-7(1) 7-6(6) 7-6(6), but having face Federer after that marathon is not a desired draw. Federer did not play great in taking down JC Ferrero, but he’s been money off the ground and his serve is much more consistent than it was last year. Take Federer in a tough 2 setter in front of a raucous crowd.

David Ferrer vs. Richard Gasquet: The Frenchman was outstanding at times in defeating Andy Murray and his sore back, but Ferrer won’t make as many errors as Murray did and will come through in 2.

Dominica Cibulkova vs. Na Li: It

When in Roma retire like some of the women do

Vika's shoulder injury is troubling.

Azarenka & Woznaciki out, Williamses survive, Sharapova vs Ivanovic; Fed’s back and Rafa’s form heal

By Matt Cronin

Remember when Victoria Azarenka couldn

Alive and Kicking

Roger kisses his wife Mirka on Mothers Day after his title run.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams show their greatness in winning Madrid


By Matt Cronin

The two greatest players of their generations, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, once again showed that why they have been able to combine for 29 Grand Slams singles title: when in good head spaces, they are resilient and able to adapt to any condition.

On Sunday, Federer took an impressive 3-6 7-5 7-5 victory over Czech Tomas Berdych, his 74th crown overall and 20th Masters titles. Serena took her seventh victory in eight tries over world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka , this one a 6-1 6-3 destruction, a clear sign that if she stays healthy that now No. 6 Williams seem destined to retake No. 1 sometime during the grasscourt season, or maybe even sooner.

Federer also grabbed the the No. 2 ranking from Rafael Nadal, who was one of the slippery blue surface’s most strident critics.

“Look, it’s been a tough tournament and tough to move but you just go on with it and try to make the best out of it,” said 30-year-old. “There was some good tennis and there was some bad tennis as well, you see that in all the tournaments, but I thought the level of play under the circumstances was very good.”

The court was super fast and did not play at all like clay, well maybe bad and dry clay, so it was a great opportunity for Federer, who is lethal in quick exchanges. He served accurately, went for his returns (even showing off a fine backhand down the line) crowded the Czech when he could and withstood his big groundless. The contest was very close and Berdych, who has showed a lot of maturation over the past three years, displayed a good amount of fight and ability, but he was lacking the confidence that Federer usually shows on the bog points.

The final statistics show the quality of the contest, with Federer hitting 44 winners to Berdych 42 and the Czech making 27 unforced errors to Federer’s 30.

“It was just about a few points and I think Roger’s experience won through today,” Berdych said “One thing I am sad that I was not able to beat him but the other one is that losing to him is something special. He just showed what a great champion he is that playing in the conditions that were here he was able to win the title.”

Serena simply lit up Azarenka, a power player who only managed six winners in the match, less than hlaf of Serena’s 14-ace total. She started slow and finished slow, didn

Bashers line up in Madrid finals

After her win over Radwanska, Azarenka showed off her 'blue' shoes in an FB post.

While much of the rest of the field slipped and slided their way out of Madrid, four players who can bang the ball on the super fast so-called clay court have reached the final.

Roger Federer, who has proved he can play on anything, anytime, anywhere, smoked Janko Tipsarevic 6-2 6-3 to set up a showdown with Tomas Berdych, who has had very consistent year and won a high quality contest over Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 7-6.

On the WTA side, the tennis world will get the match its been looking for since Victoria Azarenka won the Aussie Open and became No. 1 when she’ll will face 13-time Slam champ Serena Williams.

Federer holds a 10-4 edge over Berdych, but the Czech, who likes the high bounces on clay, did upset the Swiss ay 1010 Wimbledon. However, Berdych knocked him out of Wimbledon in the quarterfinals two years ago. Federer has won both their matches on clay, but they haven

HIT LIST, Madrid version: Federer mutes Milos

Federer is contending with the slick surface.

Roger Federer d. Milos Raonic 4-6 7-5 7-6(4): The young Canadian had plenty of chances in the contest but went one of eight on break point opportunities. The court was playing super quick so much of the contest was about big serves, Federer’s excellent volleys and frequent net approaches, and who could hold the ball in the court when sliding crazily side to side on the slippery blue clay. That man was Federer, but serving at 4-5 in the breaker, Raonic missed a sitter forehand he had been nailing all day long and then saw Federer rip an outright forehand crosscourt return winner that was unusual on the day. Raonic might be mentally crushed, but it

Ole Madrid

Federer, in his French Open Nike attire, looks to get back in mix.


On Saturday, the heart of the clay court season will really begin to beat on some controversial blue stuff at the Madrid Masters. Here

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I cannot say that I did not see Rafael Nadal