What on earth is going on with Emma Raducanu at the US Open?
The 18-year-old Brit was a wildcard at Wimbledon, ranked just 343 in the world.She got to the fourth round, where she finally dropped her first set of the tournament, before retiring against Ajla Tomljanovicwith what appeared to be a panic attack — hardly surprising after the intense press and public scrutiny. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end.
And now she’s doing the same at the US Open in Flushing Meadows — but even better. She not only got through three rounds of qualifying, but has now reached the semi-finals without dropping a set. This makes her the first female qualifier in American tennis history to get to the last four. In fact, the scores in those sets have mostly been a breeze – 6-1, 6-0, 6-2— and, like many people, I’ve been confused as to how this has all been happening.
One thing that seems to have helped her is that her opponents appear to have been riddled with nerves against what now seems to be a carefree youngster. She came out onto the main stadium for her match against the home favourite, Shelby Rogers, smiling and waving at the crowd. And then she breezed through in a 6-2, 6-1 whitewash. Rogers had beaten the number one seed, Ashleigh Barty, in the previous round — so this was pretty unexpected.Read More
Wimbledon was a fascinating tournament this year, except that it all went out with a bit of a whimper. Matteo Berrettini, the 25-year-old Italian heart-throb, won the initial set at his first Wimbledon Singles Final appearance, polishing off the tie-break with a thunderous serve down the tee. Initially, his opponent seemed a touch nervous. But anyone who thought he was in for a chance at winning the title against Novak Djokovic was dreaming. Novak got his act together and more or less breezed through to the finish line, winning in four sets by 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
Get the Serb on an off-day over the best-of-three sets in a lesser tournament and you might just stand a chance. Dan Evans managed it in Monte Carlo, an event more about the country club’s spectacular scenery and glamorous reputation, where the tennis appears to be somewhat secondary,
Novak Djokovic believes players don’t get a big enough cut of the revenue from grand slam tournaments.
OPINION: So, Novak Djokovic called a meeting of players to discuss, well we’re not really sure what exactly … there have been rumours of boycotts, breakaway unions and demands for more prize money.Read More
So, Wimbledon 2021 bids farewell to Roger Federer. It was a sad spectacle, really: spraying ground shots, missing easy volleys, being constantly passed and completely outclassed by the Polish player, Hubert Hurkacz, a 6’5” powerhouse whose game belies his gentle and shy nature.
With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer choosing not to play, Novak Djokovic decided to travel to New York for the US Open. Here was his golden opportunity to win another Slam and get closer to Federer’s record of 20.
He hadn’t lost a match this year. How could he not win this tournament?
The world of professional tennis is in chaos right now.
The US Open grand slam, held over two weeks, is due to start on August 31. It’s going to be a very strange affair. No player entourages, definitely no ballboys handling players’ towels and, most significantly, no spectators. Read More
There was some debate as to whether the tournament would actually take place this year. The air was thick with smog from the bushfires during the qualifying, causing problems with breathing and one player even withdrawing part way though her match.
Have you never heard of Claire Fahey? Well, that’s probably because she’s at the top of the somewhat obscure game of Real Tennis, the predecessor of the sport that we see today at Wimbledon.
Real Tennis was invented in around the 12th century by French monks and the rules are fiendishly complicated.
The balls are hand-made and heavy, rather like a cricket ball but covered in felt. The rackets are not entirely symmetrical and are made of wood. Graphite is banned since the game would simply be too dangerous with those heavy balls.