Over this past weekend the 2013 French Open started with early round play. I always associate this tennis tournament with the start of summer and love the clay court matches that have players running back and forth giving everything they have. If the appeal of this sport isn’t apparent, perhaps you should take a closer look at some of the men invited to play in the tournament. There are so many handsome, articulate players that even the most shallow among you will find reasons to watch and cheer for this years players. For example, this handsome German, Daniel Brand, played a near flawless two sets before Rafa Nadal was able to rally to win a second set tie break and then cruise on to a first round win that was anything but typical.
The French Open is being broadcast on ESPN2 and NBC in the U.S.
Long time readers of this blog know I am a tennis fanatic. While I love the international flavor of the sport, there have been very few new Americans who look as if they could win majors like the Australian Open, which is currently being played in Melbourne.
However, that all changed last night when I watched 19 year old Sloane Stephens defeat her idol, Serena Williams. Sloane moves as quickly as Serena and matches her power. What she lacks is experience but her quarterfinals match in Melbourne yesterday gave her plenty and hopefully that perspective will help her when plays the Women’s top seed, Victoria Azarenka in the next round.
Source: Getty Images
If you are not familiar with Stephens it may be because she’s so young and has not been a seeded player in a major until now. WTA rankings show Stephens has risen quickly, in ’09 she was ranked 802; in ’10 she was ranked 198; in ’11 she was ranked 97 and last year she was ranked 38. With her win over Serena Williams she is now ranked 25 in the world.
Who can say what Stephens’ future will bring, but I have my eye on this soft spoken young woman with the powerful serve and killer slice return. Her poise while playing Serena Williams is admirable and more than one would expect from a 19-year old. I’ll be cheering from my couch when she plays her next match and watching her all year long. Trust me – you’ll love her game.
The 2012 French Open concludes this weekend so I thought I’d share a photo of Juan Monaco, a handsome Argentine tennis player who lost earlier this week to Rafa Nadal.
Perhaps this image of Juan Monaco will help you suddenly develop an appreciation for the sport of tennis.
More seeds fell in the second round of the 2012 Australian Open. Not only did the US lose their highest ranking seed, Mardy Fish, but perhaps the most famous American male tennis player still active, Andy Roddick, had to retire in the third set of the second round. I won’t list all the seeds that dropped but here are a few men who won’t be gracing ESPN 2 in later rounds of the tournament.
Mardy Fish from USA – Ranked 8
Nicolas Almagro from Spain – Ranked 10
Andy Roddick from USA – Ranked 15
Alex Bogomolov from Russia – Ranked 32
Long time readers know that I’m a huge tennis fan. I’m so excited that the 2012 Australian Open has finally started. This is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events. Even though the first round play in Melbourne is not quite finished there have been a few upsets with a handful of seeded players.
Say goodbye to the following.
Fernando Verdasco from Spain – ATP ranking #24
Juan Monaco from Argentina – ATP ranking #27
Ivan Ljubicic from Croatia – ATP ranking #30
As you can see, you need not know much about tennis to enjoy watching.