Season Update: Serena Out, Tennis at Love Back

It has been a while since I have posted to the blog. This blog when it began seemed to lack a direction. The original purpose of setting this blog up was my love of watching tennis. I wanted a place for myself to post my thoughts about what was going on in the tennis world. It then became an exercise of needing to post daily, and just became facts of what happened that day of interest to me. Unfortunately, due to school, work, and other events in life, it became neglected. Fortunately, however, as a part of a course on digital journalism, the blog is revived. The new purpose, to commentate more on the major news and events in the tennis from a personal pursuit of finding out what is happening, and why it is important. Right now it will be more personal, but I hope to reach out to people, and organizations to bring a greater perspective on the world I love.

Since I last left off the Davis Cup final has been set between Belgium and Great Britain. And in Fed Cup, the final will be contested between the Czech Republic and Russia, with Maria Sharapova expected to make a rare appearance in Fed Cup competition. Both of those competitions will take place after the season is over in November. Until then, there are still several weeks to go before the WTA Finals in Singapore, and the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Also since my last post, Serena Williams did not win the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open this year losing out in the semifinals to Roberta Vinci. All the commentators on TV used the same word to describe what happened: unbelievable. It seemed like a mortal lock at that point in the tournament. On September 30th, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou told ESPNW she may not play again this season due to her disappointment. The next day she withdraws from both Beijing and Singapore. This leaves only two players qualified so far for the even, which is only three weeks away. Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova might have to wait a couple of weeks before finding out who will join them this year in the top 10.

In the U.S. Open championship matches, Novak Djokovic showed the world why he is number one in the world on the men’s side, with a victory over Roger Federer in the final. On the women’s side, Flavia Pennetta won and announced her retirement, but only after the season is over. With all the points she collected she has a great opportunity to join Halep and Sharapova in the finals.

The men have not had any tournaments since the U.S. Open with big name players due to the Davis Cup, and the women have had Tokyo and Wuhan. Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland won in Tokyo, while Venus Williams, Serena Williams sister, won in Wuhan. This week is the Premier Mandatory tournament for the women in Beijing. Some of the men will join them for the ATP 500 tournament there, while others will play in Tokyo. The season is almost over, but not done yet.

Wimbledon Wrap-Up, Part 3: Gentlemen’s Edition

The semifinals featured three of the top four players but the draw did not go exactly to plan. There were several upsets in week one including Rafa Nadal’s loss in the second round. That was not entirely a big upset as he had lost to Dustin Brown before, and grass is his worst surface.

All the top rising stars saw very little success this year at Wimbledon with last years semifinalists Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic going out in the first week as well. Nishikori was forced to pull out due to a calf injury, but it begs the question if he will ever be able to get to the top with all of his injuries. This was not a tournament for the young guns.

This was a tournament for the seasoned veterans with Djokovic, Murray, Federer, and Gasquet making the semifinals. Wawrinka, who won Roland Garros just a few weeks before was downed by Gasquet in five sets in the quarter finals. Overall, the Big Four (plus Wawrinka, minus Nadal) was the story of the Gentlemen’s draw this year at The Championships.

Wimbledon Wrap-Up, Part 2: Ladies Edition

This year’s Wimbledon featured many upsets, especially on the ladies side. Top 10 seeds Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard were both knocked out in the first round. It was not as surprising as one might expect for Bouchard. She had come in to Wimbledon with an 8-13 record, including a 1-3 record on grass. I expected her to go out early, and was not surprised that she lost in the first round. Halep was a little different. She has also been known to be struggling in the later part of tournaments but she still is winning matches. It was not so at wimbledon this year.

The defending champion, Petra Kvitova, seemed to be having an easy draw through to the semi-finals where it was projected she would meet Halep. After breezing by the first and second rounds, she was defeated in a 3-set comeback win by Jelena Jankovic. Kvitova seemed to lose control of her shots near the end of that match and it cost her the opportunity to defend her Wimbledon title.

In the same section of the draw as Kvitova, there was the crafty Aga Radwanska, who had been having a less than stellar year with her worst loss coming in the first round of the French Open. Her win-loss record was 15-13 after that defeat. She played two warm-up tournaments, and wimbledon bringing her grass court record to 12-3. Her resurgence on grass put her back in the top 10 after an abysmal clay court season.

The surprise of the Championships was the rise of Garbiñe Mururuza, the 21-year-old Spaniard. She made her first Wimbledon or grass court final, defeating the likes of Kerber, Wozniacki and Radwanska en route. Muguruza previously stated her dislike of grass, but has really come into her own on it.

Other players with success were Victoria Azarenka, making it to the quarter-finals, losing in three sets to Serena. Maria Sharapova also made a semi-final, also losing to Serena. Madison Keys is another rising star who made the quarter finals, losing in a thrilling 3-set match to Radwanska. Overall, the new top 10 has Aga back in it, and Muguruza as a new face. It was a successful Championships.

Wimbledon Wrap-Up, Part 1: Champions Edition

For the first substantive blog post I will give you my take on the events that have occurred the past fortnight at the All-England Club. It was an exciting Championships with many twists and turns.

This big news is the completion of the Serena Slam by Serena Williams. She had to endure several three set matches, but in the end she came through and is on track to win the calendar year Grand Slam. She started slow in the final match but came back to show Muguruza and the world that she is the champion.

After a disappointing end to his Roland Garros campaign, Novak Djokovic came back in style. After a testy fourth round match against Kevin Anderson, where he came back from two sets to love down, he cruised to the finals. The first two sets of the championship match were tight, but Djokovic was able to gain a crucial break in the third set and maintain it to take the set. The fourth and final set was also relatively routine.

In days to come, I will be writing more about the Championships.