Have Balls Will Travel ……………… Anyone For Tennis ?

Have Balls Will Travel ……………… Anyone For Tennis ?

Well the first tennis Grand Slam event of the year has already got the ball rolling on both the Men’s and Women’s Tour . The ATP covers the men’s where the dominant factors are Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer the world number’s one and two in the ATP rankings . The Australian Open as always is the first of the four Grand Slam majors that encapsulates the French Open , Wimbledon and the US Open .

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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

On the women’s side on the WTA Tour the new number one ranked player is Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark albeit that in many eyes a grand slam tournament without Serena Williams is very much like having a four course meal without one of the main hors-d’ouever starters. But with the younger of two Williams’ sisters not a participant it will be left to Venus Williams to carry the familial torch.

Now while the eyes of the tennis world be upon the top two men in the game I’m of the belief that unless both walk into a trap then these finals will be about two pre-eminent players of their generation and perhaps the best two players in the game over the last two decades. Their joint resumes alone is most certainly a testament to that, with each having won a career Grand Slam having won each of the four majors . Nadal will now have the privilege of trying to emulate what only Rod Laver has been able to achieve twice over the course of his esteemed career and that’s to try and win the Grand Slam as it’s designated to be and that’s to win all four majors in a calendar year . There’s the idiocy being paraded out there by observers that Federer’s game is on the decline but like any other player on the circuit players will have ebbs and flows over the course of their careers never mind that they’ll also become susceptible to injuries and that’s something that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the blogs I’ve read concerning the player.

But take this as a fact Federer and Nadal have been participants in 23 of the last 25 tennis Grand Slam Finals either facing each other or another top 10 player at the time . Those being Juan Martin Del Potro and Novak Djokovic who’ve won the two Slam Finals where the names of Federer or Nadal weren’t etched on the trophy. And that’s meant to be a decline in Federer’s career as a singles player ? Less we forget also that the former Swiss number one has made it to 23 straight Grand Slam tennis semi-finals ? Am I missing something here and where what the hell have these individuals been watching and what is that they base their actual thought process on if not the facts that are in front of them ?

The earlier rounds so far for both the men’s and women’s singles competition hasn’t brought about any great surprises as of yet but you can be sure as the second week approaches at the Rod Laver Center in Melbourne , Australia we will be in for a plethora of surprises . The one thing that I feel is abundantly clear is that on the men’s side of the game the once dominant US no longer has a male player of any real note that can challenge for any of major slams on the circuit. Andy Roddick is no longer a real presence on the ATP Tour and simply going through the motions and I can only surmise that marriage and the domesticity it brings with being married to SI model Brooklyn Decker has softened the player somewhat !

If there are to be any challenges offered to the duo of Federer and Nadal then it could very well come from Novak Djokovic , Andy Murray , Fernando Verdasco , Gael Monfils to name but a few . But as I alluded to earlier that would be predicated upon either Federer or Nadal seemingly losing interest and falling into the trap of perhapos of misjudging an opponent. The reality here is given both players’ slam experiences it’s very hard to envisage that happening. Between them they have won a combined 23 Grand Slam Finals and have appeared in 27 altogether. Do you get the feeling that the two know what they’re doing when they’re on the grandest of stages in the men’s game ?

Although the top ranked Caroline Wozniacki has yet to win Grand Slam major her career has been marked with very good tournament wins and 2010 she showed a great deal of consistency and there’s justification as to why she’s ranked number on the WTA Tour. Granted the absence of Serena Williams waters down the competitiveness of the event in the women’s singles but nonetheless it now becomes something of a wide open event where you can pick a winner from amongst the remainder of the top ten in the rankings and feel there’s a cause to be made for each . Certainly Kim Clijsters , Venus Williams , Samantha Stosur and Maria Sharapova can be looked upon as a threat in the competition and perhaps deny Wozniacki the chance to win her first Grand Slam singles title. Sharapova to my mind having been injured hasn’t really played herself into match fit competition but given her experience she could derail the ambitions of others given the right set of circumstances and even with her being outside the top ten she’s still good enough to beat any of the top ranked players on her day. Caroline Wozniacki needs a Grand Slam major win to justify that top ranking on the WTA Tour as it adds legitimacy to her career also. As to whether or not she can achieve that in this tournament remains to be seen but here’s the clear chance for her to justify that to the public and for tennis fans around the globe.

Tennis if anything has its place in the pantheon of sports on the world stage and without the tete-a-tete and rivalry brought about by the likes of Federer and Nadal we’d be left with a cumulative void. There’s nothing coming along from within the US men’s game to suggest that they can regain dominance in the men’s game. And apart from the tradition of the Davis Cup a team even where there too they’ve fallen on hard times _____________ there’s not much else for them and the fans to really look forward and that’s in spite of the changes now being made at the ground level and up within the USTA to seek a change in fortunes and the nurturing of young talent at every level within the game on the domestic front.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

What thoughts if any do you have on Australian Open and how do you see things panning out in the men’s and women’s singles competition ? And as as such do believe that the US men’s tennis can once again become a dominant force on the world stage with the players that it currently has within the ATP Tour rankings ? Simply chime in with your comments .

NB Picture and slide show gallery details .

(1) Gael Monfils of France plays a stroke during his third round men’s singles match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland on the fifth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2011. Warwinka leads by two sets to nil as play continues. AFP Photo/William West _______ Photo credit should read William West/AFP/Getty Images ….. copyrighted material …… @ all rights reserved

(2) Kei Nishikori of Japan serves against Fernando Verdasco of Spain during their round three men’s singles match on the fifth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2011. Verdasco won 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 . Getty Images /Nikolas Ashfouri ………..

(3) Melbourne , Australia ,. Rafael Nadal of Spain serves in his second round match against Ryan Sweeting of the United States of America during day four of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images …….

<p (4) Roger Federer of Switzerland serves in his third round match against Xavier Malisse of Belgium during day five of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Federer would go on to defeat Malisse in straight sets . Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images ………

(5) Andy Roddick of the United States of America shakes hands after his third round match against Robin Haase of the Netherlands during day five of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images ……….

(6) Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand in her third round match against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia during day five of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images ……..


The Australian Open Schedule & Results ——

ATP Men’s Rankings

……………………………. WTA Women’s Rankings ……

Alan aka tophatal …………………………………..

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Courtney  Black

Eye candy …………… Courtney Black and pictorial montage to follow.

Courtney parades her wares courtesy of King Magazine .

Courtney  4

Balls are meant to be played with and Courtney most definitely knows how to do that !

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U2 ………………. “One”

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14 thoughts on “Have Balls Will Travel ……………… Anyone For Tennis ?

  1. I do think Fed is on the decline, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to start losing all the time. That guy that took him all five sets has beat him twice, so in that particular match it was almost surprising to see Rodger win. I’d call it something like Kobe’s decline. He’s not as good as he was a few years ago, but he’s still above 98% of the competition…

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    1. chcappy81

      So Federer is on the decline because he’s been beaten in some meaningless tournaments ? Last year he was injured and in his losses to Soderling he’d been coming off illness and injuries. He’s won an average one Grand Slam tournament a year since his entry into the ATP Tour . Been to 24 consecutive Grand Slam semis and won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and appeared in 17 overall. If that’s what you see as a decline then I’d hate to hear what you’d deem to be a triumph ! What people aren’t putting forward as an argument is about durability and health concerns .

      Last season in the season ending ATP Championships Federer cleaned Nadal’s clock in straight sets . . If anything the perception of the chasm between the two being that great isn’t as many believe it to be. . The bulk of Nadal’s slams have been on clay courts at the French Open and it’s been only recently that his game has become an allround one.

      tophatal ……………..

      Like

    1. Chris Humpherys

      I doubt even the USTA knows who that’ll be much less when it’ll be ! The Bollitierri Academy now has more foreign students talent than it has domestic talent so that in ofitself should tell you how far men’s tennis has fallen off the map here . And even with college scholarships most really don’t take it up professionally unless they get a big time endorsement deal .

      There aren’t that many US men is top ten rankings to begin with and the likes of Isner and Roddick are now simply a passing trend .

      There’s hasn’t even been a US male winner of singles Grand Slam tournament in 7 years and that was when Roddick won the US Open. So what’s the use in asking such a question ? Better to enjoy Federer and Nadal go at it than opine on the state US men’s tennis don’t you think ?

      The main reason why Roddick gets more play off the court than on it his wife Brooklyn Decker .

      tophatal …………..

      Like

    2. al clements

      Please don’t tell me you don’t tune in when the women are playing ? I mean in light of the fact of their sexually overt groans and moans that’s got to be enough of a turn on to be watching and the fact that some of ’em are indeed very hot !

      Ana Ivanovic

      World #1 Caroline Wozniacki

      Ashley

      US sensation Ashley Harkelroad . C'mon man you've to be in it to watch and win it .

      Serena  W

      And less we forget if you like “the junk in the trunk with a rack that’s heavy” there’s also Serena Williams ?

      tophatal …………

      Like

  2. Don’t get me wrong, Al. American women’s tennis is fantastic and yes, the women in the modern game are better looking than ever before.

    That doesn’t change the fact that American men’s tennis is sorely lacking.

    Like

    1. Chris Humpherys

      As a teen I attended several Wimbledon games and even when I worked in banking and got invited by clients to Wimbledon for the games ‘tween McEnroe , Borg and Lendl. That being said since the retirement of Agassi and Sampras there has been a void that’s yet to be filled . Isner , Querrey and their contemporaries aren’t that good and they’re completely lacking in terms of actually having a personality .

      I’d rather watch the likes of Federers , Nadal and Monfils at play because those guys really bring it match in match out .

      The women’s game even with the Williams sisters is far more competitive because there’s not so wide a chasm between the top ten in the rankings .

      tophatal …….

      Like

  3. I know this dates me, but I haven’t followed men’s tennis since Jimmy Connors left the game. On the other hand I’m always up for a good women’s match, that is if the wife is away:)

    Like

    1. aero

      I don’t think it dates you at all as I can go as far back as that era as well I can remember Ashe , Newcombe , Laver and other from the late 60’s and into the 70’s to the present day. My favorite player however was Borg until Federer came unto the scene. There are idiots who write about the sport within their blogs who in essence know sh_t about the game because they simply don’t delve back into its history and just simply write about what they see today.

      They say Federer is on the decline when having not looked at his record in the Slams over the last 7 years . What’s there to suggest that he hasn’t been dominant when the guy went to 23 of 25 straight semis , has won 14 Grand Slam tournament over the last six years alone ? What an idiotic claim to make when not looking at his overall record ! He’s won at least one Slam even each of the last five years alone.

      Bjorn Borg winner of 11 Grand Slam tournaments over the course of his career .


      Borg (center) , Nadal (right) and Federer (left).

      Arthur Ashe

      And when it comes to the women’s game who’s complaining semi sexual erotic groans and moans ? What’s not to like about that then ? I’m sure you go wild when Sharapova or Serena lets loose don’t you ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      Sharapova-Maria

      Sharapova ………..don’t get too sticky with the bodily fluids mind you ?

      Serena Williams give her SI pose .

      tophatal ……….

      Like

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