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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Novak Djokovic's Swagger: Why He is a Champion and Does Not Get the Respect He Deserves

What makes Novak Djokovic a champion also may make him less likeable to tennis fans across the globe. More so than probably all of the top players on the Men's ATP tour, fans either love or dislike Djokovic. Why? He has amazing skills, conditioning and mental toughness. Novak wins when he should and has proven himself to be a champion. He also has been gracious in defeat. Djokovic should be considered a proven champion with the likes of Nadal and Federer.

Detractors of Djokovic will tell you that their dislike started early in his career. They talk about tanks, breathing problems, medical timeouts for less than appropriate reasons, and cockiness as evidenced by his post-match emulations of tennis stars' routines prior to serving. Certainly Djokovic taking a medical timeout prior to Murray serving out this year's US Open will only add fuel to their opinion.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Maria Sharapova Imposes Her Will to Win at the US Open

Maria Sharapova showed us the power of attitude in her 4th round match at the US Open versus Nadia Petrova. In a back and forth match, Petrova split sets with Sharapova and went up 2-0 in the third set. Petrova was on a run and Sharapova was in deep trouble. The US Open has not been her best tournament. Sharapova has a history of losing earlier at the US Open than in other Grand Slams. This includes memorable matches where she was a huge favorite like her defeat to Melanie Oudin.

With a history of first week losses at the US Open weighing on her like a 500-lb. gorilla Sharapova refused to give in. She was fortunate that the rains came and gave her a chance to refocus and talk to her coach. Her coach and father told her to keep fighting. And, that is exactly what she did. Sharapova came out of the one-hour rain delay with energy, intensity, and purpose. She was striking the ball clean and immediately broke Petrova to 2-1. Sharapova would roll from there and win the match. She can thank her comeback to her legendary focus and tough-minded attitude.
Learn more about developing a Game Plan for Rain Delays

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Confident Sam Stosur Guts Out Win over Robson

Defending US Open champion Sam Stosur of Australia gutted out a two-set victory today at the US Open. Stosur overcame giant-killer Laura Robson who had sent Kim Clijsters in to retirement and then defeated Li Na. Despite losing serve while serving out the match, Stosur hung tough and got the job done on Sunday. The post-match interview details the thought process that kept Stosur believing and staying composed despite losing a number of match points (from

Q.  Were you thinking on those match points that she really rose to the occasion?
SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Yeah, I mean, I think out of the, what, nine that I missed, I didn't do too much wrong on at least half of them.  So that being the case, I think you got to just take it for what it is.  Okay, it's another point.  You're hopefully going to get another chance if you keep doing what you should be doing.  Kind of what I said to myself on the change of ends. Doesn't matter.  See where it gets you.  Disappointing not to have gotten in one of those other two games, but I still felt I was in a good position.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Andy Roddick's Retirement and His Career in Perspective

Andy Roddick announced Thursday that he would retire after the US Open. The announcement created a flood of polar opposite reactions, just like Andy and his game did for more than a decade. Some tennis enthusiasts will miss Andy as the stalwart of American men's tennis since Andre and Pete retired. Others will not miss him because they either think he did not live up to his potential, did not like his game, or did not like his swagger and biting wit.

For me, I will miss watching Andy Roddick after this Open. In multiple ways I feel Andy was a victim of his timing in American tennis and does not fully get the credit he deserves. Hopefully, he will be seen as a champion and get his full appreciation over the next few days. This certainly seemed to be the case in his match versus Bernard Tomic of Australia last night.