Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who's "The Greatest"? History's best rivalries elevate the sport. . .

On November 28, 2010, Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal at the prestigious season-ending 2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. It was Federer's fifth World Tour Finals title.

The match pitted the 16-time Grand Slam champion Federer against the World Number One and winner of 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles this year Nadal. It proved to be an epic battle showcasing once again the Swiss Maestro's tennis brilliance against the Spanish Swashbuckler's relentless drive.

Federer and Nadal are widely regarded as two of the game's greatest players ever. And their rivalry has become probably the premiere individual sports rivalry of our time. Indeed, their matches have arguably become tennis's version of the timeless battles of Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier in the 70s.

Boxing fans may remember that Ali and Frazier dueled in 3 epic boxing matches in the 70s, splitting the first two fights. Ali, then Heavyweight Champion, won the third and final fight in the trilogy: the "Thrilla in Manila".

Federer and Nadal meanwhile have met in 6 Grand Slam finals, with Nadal leading 4-2, and 22 head-to-head matches, with Nadal leading 14-8. Their duels have generated world-wide interest, even from non-tennis sports fans. And they have never disappointed.

Like Ali v. Frazier, or Larry Bird v. Magic Johnson, or Ted Williams v. Joe DiMaggio, or Jack Nicklaus v. Arnold Palmer, Federer and Nadal carry on a grand tradition in sports - great and riveting rivalries.

This tradition is especially rich in tennis history: Ken Rosewall v. Rod Laver, John McEnroe v. Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras v. Andre Agassi, Martina Navratilova v. Chris Evert, Steffi Graf v. Monica Seles.

Great rivalries such as these elevate our sport - they inspire each player to a higher level of performance and purpose. They often generate new levels of world-wide interest, even from non-tennis and non-sports fans. And the performance and style of players in such rivalries typically serve as models in their sport for the next generation of athletes.

Meanwhile, there's more to come for fans of Federer and Nadal. These two ambassadors for tennis have agreed to play two exhibition matches on December 21 and 22, 2010, in Zurich and Madrid, all for charity - proving that great rivalries can also help great causes.

Best, Gary

Federer v. Nadal: The Greatest Rivalry in Sport

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Devvarman wins historic Gold for India at 16th Asian Games

Somdev Devvarman, of India, beat top-seeded Denis Istomin, of Uzbekistan, for tennis singles gold at 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China today, 6-1, 6-3.

He also won the doubles gold with countryman Sanam Singh beating Maoxin Gong and Li Zhe of China 6-3, 6-7 (4) and 10-8 (Super tie-break).

It was India's first ever gold medal in singles tennis at the Asian Games.

Devvarman, who also won the Commonwealth Games gold medal last month, said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling, especially playing with my good friend and for my country.”

Well done!

Best, Gary

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A look back at the past champions of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

This video offers a quick review of the past champions of the prestigious year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. . .

Enjoy!

Best, Gary

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Year Anniversary of Timeless Tennis

One year ago last November, when I started this Blog Timeless Tennis, I wanted to express my thoughts and information about our favorite topic - tennis!

Thanks to all of you -- my readers, friends and supporters -- we've hit our One Year Anniversary! It's been a fun journey, and I hope to keep it going. . .

Shakespeare wrote the immortal lines: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

The same can be said about tennis.

Tennis is a stage - a platform - on which players showcase the human drama: its victories and defeats, its accomplishments and failings, its tragedies and life lessons.

Indeed, my view is that tennis may be even more than a stage. It's actually a metaphor for life itself. . . and the human condition.

And as long as we are all around, tennis - like life itself - is truly timeless. . .

Best,
Gary

Enjoy watching the first Timeless Tennis video!

PS: As you watch this video, questions for thought. 1. How many players were you able to identify? 2. Did this video bring back memories? 3. Or did it make you curious, or even inspire you, to learn more about our historical tennis greats?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Timeless Tiger tears up tennis court

Photo: Joseph P. Meier - Sun Times Media
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"Tennis is a game that can be played practically from the cradle to the grave. . . and it is apt to aid in postponing the latter many years." --- Bill Tilden, How to Play Better Tennis (1950)
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Newspaper Article Review

Credit
: "90-year old 'Tiger' tears up the court", by Donna Vickroy, Southtown Star (November 11, 2010)

90-year old Mary Jane Murphy can tear up a tennis court with serves, slices, smashes and spins. In fact, her tennis friends call her "Tiger."

She is the mother of 10, and grandmother of 30. And she plays doubles twice a week, as she has done for more than 30 years at Oak Lawn Racquet Club in Oak Lawn, IL USA.

"There's no secret", she says. "Just keep moving and don't take any pills unless you have to", she advises.

She says that she doesn't feel a day over "55 or 60".

And she remembers seeing tennis pro Bobby Riggs play back in the 70s, and even meeting and chatting with him after the match with a girlfriend. "It was wonderful", she said.

For Mary Jane, tennis is a great workout. And there are many social benefits also in meeting nice people.

Best, Gary

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Choose to be a Great Tennis Player" Video

"Your inner beliefs and notions about tennis, create, govern and become everything you do on the court." Dale LePrevost, www.newTennis.com

"Choose to be a Great Tennis Player" is a tennis lesson video by Dale LePrevost. It's about self-confidence and our own beliefs about ourselves.

The tennis player that we become may well be the one we think we can and will be. Naturally, there are many aspects of top-level tennis such as technique, strategy, practice, fitness and even raw talent and more.

Yet the notion that the architecture and content of our own thoughts help determine our highest tennis performance is intriguing indeed.

It may behoove us to watch and consider the challenging ideas in this interesting and "outside-the-box" video.

Best, Gary

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wanna Play Better Tennis? Then, visit Gotta Play Tennis!

Ron Miller (PTR Certified) is a Tennis Instructor for 20+ Years in the South New Jersey area, with a passion for all things tennis: playing, teaching, advocating and passing on its history.

And he suggests quick and fun improvements to your game in his comprehensive website: GottaPlayTennis.net (GPT)

GPT offers it readers and listeners Podcasts, Blog Articles, Slide Shows and much more, to help club and recreational players with their game.

And it's all done concisely, and often with a light touch, and with a keen appreciation of the history of the game and its players.

I was recently invited as a guest on a GPT Podcast to discuss topics on tennis, including my recent Blog Article on Quantum Tennis.

Listen to GPT's Podcast Interview of me here:
Podcast Episode 58 of Gotta Play Tennis
(November 04, 2010)


See you on the court!
Best, Gary