Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Tomic Tries to Deny Djokovic into Semis

Knowing that Novak Djokovic is a mere one win from becoming world no1 sounds pleasant enough and makes it seem like he's continued playing like an annihilating machine like he was playing a month ago. Despite defeating Bernard Tomic (6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5) in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon today though, his performance was nothing short of shoddy and there is scope for a lot of improvement before he faces Tsonga in the semi-finals. Djokovic only managed to up his game slightly after he took back a break in the third set to level it off- before that Tomic was easily pushing him around on the nicely-kept grass. Novak also had negative words to say about himself after the match: "I need to work a little bit on my game... I hope I can perform a little bit better than I did today. That's what matters for me the most, regardless who is across the net. Tsonga came back from 0-2 [sets down]. It's amazing comeback. He's been playing great in grass-court season so far. He's very dangerous". It sounds like Nole has remembered and is fearful of what happened in the Australian Open 2010, when Tsonga came from 2 sets down to ultimately defeat him. Tsonga pushed to defeat Roger Federer in an epic five setter: 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, causing a major upset. It looks like only the Serb can avenge Roger now.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Why the Williams Sisters Cannot Win Yet

Both Serena and Venus Williams suffered losses yesterday after each lost to their opponents in the fourth round of Wimbledon in straight sets. Marion Bartoli claimed victory against the defending champion 6-3 7-6, whilst Pironkova defeated Venus 6-2 6-3. It's understandable that the girls should be out so quickly because of being out of tennis for so long. It will clearly take time for them to both reach the top again, that being if they're not past it.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Nole's New Wimbledon Kit

Novak Djokovic defeated Chardy in his first match of Wimbledon 2011 in a fashionable manner, finishing his opponent in straight sets. He sported an all-white Sergio Tacchini outfit with blue tippings and sweatbands, similar to his Wimbledon 2010 outfit (but it was finished with green instead of blue). It's mandatory that all players should wear mostly white whilst playing in Wimbledon, so it's harder for players to put their individuality into their outfits. Nole's outfit has been our favourite so far, but faces tough competition with Roger Federer's, who always fails to disappoint in the style stakes.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Djokovic to Destroy in Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic, in our eyes and his own, has never been more ready for Wimbledon as we know it. After declaring on Saturday that he feels mentally and physically fit, he went on to add: “I feel I have the strongest approach to Wimbledon that I ever had because of the confidence that I have, and because the last six months have been the best six months of my career. I don't want to turn back on what happened already. I really want to be at the present time and really do my best to prepare for every tournament that I play in. Obviously, Grand Slams are the most important events in our sport. I want to set my shape and my form as high as possible to perform my best tennis on Grand Slams. I think every player in the world has motivation more to play better and to perform better on the Grand Slams because the whole world is watching”. On Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer again being two dominant favourites to win Wimbledon this year, Novak said in the pre-Wimbledon press conference: “I guess you can always put Federer and Nadal in front of everybody else to win Wimbledon because they have been so successful on the grass courts in the past couple of years and they've been winning the past eight Wimbledons. I guess every time you expect the match between Federer and Nadal, it's always the biggest match that exists in tennis. I think they have the biggest rivalry among active players; maybe the biggest rivalry ever. So it's just great to be part of the era with those two guys”. Nole is modest, it seems there. After his amazing streak in the first half of this year, it's impossible to deny that he's not going to become one of 'those two guys' in the near future.

Friday, 17 June 2011

The 10 Most Unforgettable Matches, Ever.

Let's go back through the years with this article produced by Tim Handorf (who kindly wanted it shared with you here on 'Tattered Tourniquet'). Early July signifies the arrival to tennis's oldest and most prestigious tournament. Since 1877, Wimbledon has been where new stars emerge and already-established stars cement their statuses as the game's bests. Along the way, hours upon hours of drama have unfolded, causing patrons at the All England Club and viewers all over the world to watch each stroke intently. Before you dig in to your annual helping of strawberries and cream, relive the some of the most unforgettable matches in the tournament's history (from the Open Era).

1. Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer, 2008 Final: When the almost five-hour battle was complete, John McEnroe declared it was the best match he had ever seen — of course, McEnroe took part in a few epic matches during his day — and thanked Federer for his spectacular effort. The match consisted of all the elements needed to make it a classic — two best tennis player of an era, one of whom may be the best of all time, and poor weather and delays that made a closely-fought match even more nerve-racking. After losing the first two sets, Federer played like a champion, rallying to force a fifth set. But Nadal, who had yet to win a Wimbledon title, refused to wilt under pressure. Despite losing two match points in the fourth-set tiebreaker, he regrouped to face only one break point in the fifth, ultimately unseating the five-time defending champion.2. Bjorn Borg defeats John McEnroe, 1980 Final: As evidenced in the Nadal versus Federer matchup, it requires an unbreakable resilience to overcome a foe who simply refuses to lose. In this case, Borg, the 24-year-old four-time repeat Wimbledon champion, possessed it even though he lost a fourth-set tiebreak in which he had five match points. McEnroe, the underdog, produced great shot after great shot, winning the set 18-16 and forcing the fifth set. Borg prevailed in what would be his final appearance at Wimbledon, and McEnroe would return in 1981 to secure his first of three Wimbledon titles.3. Anne Jones defeats Billie Jean King, 1969 Final: A top-10 player for much of her career, many casual fans of women's tennis tend to forget about Anne Jones. During an era in which Billie Jean King, Margaret Court and Maria Bueno provided fierce competition, she managed to win two French Open titles and even more memorable, a Wimbledon title. With the support of the home crowd at the All England Club, she shocked the heavily favored King — who defeated Jones in the final two years earlier — overcoming a first-set 3-6 loss to win the second and third sets 6-3, 6-2. It was just one of her eight Grand Slam championships.

4. Venus Williams defeats Lindsay Davenport, 2005 Final: Lasting just fewer than three hours, it was the longest women's final in Wimbledon history, and it certainly was worth the price of admission. In the tenth game of the final set, Davenport failed to convert on a match point as Venus made a clutch save. Venus's excellent forehand winners enabled her to secure the match and win her third of five Wimbledon titles. The No. 14 seed ended her more than two-year drought without a Grand Slam title and reentered the top ten in the world rankings.5. Arthur Ashe defeats Jimmy Connors, 1975 Final: At 31 years of age, Ashe defied time and the establishment by becoming the first African American man to win the Wimbledon singles championship. Connors, almost 10 years younger than him and the favorite, fell behind after the first two sets, only to win the third set in an effort to swing the momentum. But Ashe needed only one match point on the day, and he made the most of it in the fourth set, defeating the man who sued him for libel earlier in the year after Ashe questioned his patriotism for not playing in the Davis Cup.6. Pancho Gonzalez defeats Charlie Pasarell, 1969 First Round: More so than Ashe's victory, this one was a victory for aging folks everywhere. Gonzalez, winner of the 1948 and 1949 U.S. Opens, reached the fourth round despite being 41 years old. Most remarkable is that he was able to do it after winning a first-round match that lasted five hours and 12 minutes (two days) and 112 games. What's more, if Gonzalez hadn't thrown the second set due to a tantrum, the match would've lasted even longer. The 25-year-old Pasarell was up 40-0 twice in the final set, but Gonzalez, who entered the second day down two sets, persevered and won. None other than Ashe would be the one to end his run.

7. Goran Ivanisevic defeats Patrick Rafter, 2001 Final: Played on a Monday due to inclement weather, this final featured a couple of oddities. Ivanisevic was the 125th-ranked player in the world and was given a wild card entry because he had three times reached the final before. Almost 30 years old, his career was seemingly set in stone — he was the guy who just couldn't win the big one. As it turned out, he had plenty of good tennis left in him, as his improbable run included defeats of Andy Roddick, Marat Saffin and Carlos Moya. His match versus Rafter lasted three hours, a large portion of which came in the longest fifth set in the history of the men's final at Wimbledon. Ivanisevic's service winner ended the marathon, making him the lowest-ranked player and only wild card to win the title.8. Roger Federer defeats Pete Sampras, 2001 Fourth Round: Then only a teen, Federer had yet to experience the success achieved by Sampras, winner of 31 consecutive Wimbledon matches and defending Wimbledon champ. In a closely-contested fourth-round match, the 19-year-old Federer survived a thriller that included a fourth set in which a reenergized Sampras fired one serve at 136 mph. One player who appeared invincible gave way to another who, for a period of time, became invincible. Federer would capture his first Wimbledon title two years later, and earn the praise of Sampras, who, in 2009, called him the "greatest ever".9. Martina Navratilova defeats Chris Evert, 1978 Final: It was the first of five Wimbledon match-ups for the two tennis greatest, kicking off one of sports' must-see rivalries. Navratilova's overpowering serve gave her the advantage in the match, but Evert rallied as she played some her best tennis, forcing the match into a third set. Down 4-5 in the final set, Navratilova proceeded to win seven straight points followed by five straight points, dropping only one in between. It was her first of a record nine Wimbledon singles titles and 18 Grand Slam titles.

10. Andre Agassi defeats Goran Ivanisevic, 1992 Final: Much like his countryman McEnroe, Agassi's attitude didn't mesh well with the stuffy atmosphere at the All England Club. Stuck in a slump that caused his ranking to fall to 17, the flashy star's substance was questioned by tennis fans in England, America and beyond. In a run that caught his critics by surprise, he captured his first Grand Slam title by defeating an aged Borg and an aged McEnroe before outlasting Ivanisevic in a five-set affair. The talented baseliner overcame a 1-6 fourth set defeat to win the fifth 6-4. It would be his only Wimbledon championship.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Ravishing in Red: Novak Djokovic

Welcome to a compilation dedicated to Novak Djokovic and his appearances in red. Nole is in a simple red Sergio Tacchini tee whilst practicing in Toronto 2010.Nole speaks in Rotterdam (2010), looking casual in a plain training jacket.Nole pictured here fooling around in the Rally for Relief charity exhibition 2011, in the simplest of all his t-shirts.Nole in Shanghai last year.Always one for a laugh, Nole coincidentally wears the Serbia colours in Roland Garros 2011.Nole sported a red sweatband and red/white Sergio Tacchini outfit last year in his place of residence, Monte Carlo.Nole enters the pitch as a pilot in a red tee to show his support for the victims of Japan, in Miami 2011.He looks to have made either a, a narrowly good shot, or b, a narrowly missing shot, in this red Adidas t-shirt with subtle yellow detailing whilst playing in the ATP Tour Finals, London, 2009.Indian Wells 2010.A young Nole of 2007 in Estoril is pictured with Richard Gasquet in a seemingly oversized red shirt.Nole looks joyous in a red Sergio Tacchini t-shirt with white tipping.The Serb looks innocent whilst practicing for the Davis Cup 2010.Nole clearly made a shot of victory in this victorious outfit- coordinating red/white sweatbands with a white/red t-shirt and shorts.Ever the patriot, Nole looks on with a red long-sleeved shirt with 'Serbia' printed on the back. This was shot off-court in Serbia 2010, where the finals of the Davis Cup were to take place.Nole looks small compared to Isner, as they ready themselves for the Davis Cup in matching outfits comprising of colours symbolising both their countries.Nole gets some help stretching in a Serbian red jacket, in Benidorm 2009.Christmas came early in 2009 for some people in Belgrade, when Nole dressed up as Santa for a small charity event.Nole sports an eye-catching and iconic outfit in Beijing 2010- red/black with dragons.Not too garish for our Nole- he wears a simple ST top made jazzy with red for a press conference during the Australian Open in 2010.
Nole looks to be all smiles in a red long-sleeved shirt, for a Metz press conference in 2006.On-court during his time in Montreal, 2009.The same tee had some interesting detailing at the back... but was far more understated than Andy Roddick's usual (but agreeable) check pattern.Nole was so enthusiastic for the Davis Cup (December 2010) that he had made a special Sergio Tacchini polo shirt with all the Serbia colours on it. And won the match.An interesting shot of Nole in bright red shorts, in the press conference room for the Davidoff Swiss Indoors, Basel 2010.Perhaps one of our favourite pics of Nole is this one, when he won in Adelaide 2007.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Djokovic to Participate in 'The Boodles'

Novak Djokovic has announced that he will take part in an exhibition match on 16th June, in Stoke Park, England. The venue is called 'The Boodles', described as a 'unique mix of an intimate English garden party and a select field of the world tennis elite preparing for Wimbledon creates a viewing and entertainment experience that the big tournaments just can’t match'. We expect this exhibition match is partly to get Nole warmed up for Wimbledon which is due to start on the 20th June. Make sure you don't miss it.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Rafa's Still Top, but Nole's Top Dog

The ATP ranks have been updated today, and the changes are quite noticeable. Rafa is still at the top, after his success at defending his Roland Garros title yesterday, with 12,070 points. Superficially this sounds like a far cry from the next, but no. Novak Djokovic is a mere 45 points behind with 12,025 points, and could be looking at becoming world no1 very soon. Ideally, if Rafa is to fail at defending his Wimbledon title, Nole has a great chance at stealing the Spaniard's coveted rank. Roger Federer is in third place, with 9,230 points, so it's safe to say he's not a threat to Rafa... only if Rafa defends his 2,000 points successfully at Wimbledon. Andy Murray is too far out for any of the other three mentioned to be worrying about (6,625). Let's just hope Rafa can spice things up by tripping in Wimbledon this year.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Rafa Claims Roland Garros for 6th Time

Rafael Nadal won his tenth grand slam and 6th Roland Garros title after defeating Roger Federer 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1 today in Paris. This means that Rafa has retained the points he had to defend and has defended his no1 rank. If the outcome was different, Novak Djokovic would have become no1 tomorrow. The match wasn't an epic one and did not serve the term 'Fedal' justice. The first two sets, we felt, were one-sided, only having a brief turnaround when Roger broke Rafa late in the third to claim the third set. The crowd however, were undoubtedly on the Suisse Maestro's side, repeatedly chanting his name throughout the match. "When I went into the rain delay, I was down basically two sets almost. I almost saved myself, but I'm very competitive, and I thought he was getting tired throughout the third set and also in the fourth. It was unfortunate I couldn't take my chances early on in the fourth. Rafa played well and deserved the win today," said Federer after the match, "today was a very good match. Overall obviously I'm very happy about the tournament. Obviously you should be disappointed after losing in a Grand Slam final. Obviously I feel that a little bit today. He's a great champion on clay especially, and I am happy with my tournament". On a positive note, Roger's jacket was undeniably stunning, it's just a shame that the outcome of the match wasn't different. Today we were reminded that we're Federer fans over Nadal, anyday.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Djokovic Defeated, & Bows out of Queens

It feels like the end of an era today, as Novak Djokovic's winning streak of an astonishing 49 wins (including byes) was concluded by Roger Federer in the semi-finals of Roland Garros. The Suisse, who is currently behind Novak in the rankings, won 7-6 6-3 3-6 7-6, and will face Rafael Nadal in the final in a bid to win his 17th grand slam. Should Federer win, Novak Djokovic will be the true winner, as he will become the world's no1 for his first time ever. Nole's performance today was a far cry from what we've become accustomed to, but let's give the guy a break; Roger Federer is one to lose such a streak to. Nole has also pulled out of Queens, which is due to start next Monday, stating: "I am very disappointed that I will not be playing in the AEGON Championships at The Queen's Club this year. It is a great event, I wish the organisers and the fans a fantastic week of tennis and I hope I will be back next year". His reason for withdrawal is that he has patellar tendinitis, which hopefully is not as bad as it sounds. The icing on the cake can only be now for Roger to be the champion of Roland Garros 2011, to ensure Nole secures his no1 rank. Djokovic may have been defeated today, but we're still proud.