Friday, December 21, 2012

Can Science Help You Serve like the Pros? . . . Welcome to "The Ghost"

Sport scientists working to improve athletic performance have engineered a training device called "The Ghost".

Originally developed to help blind athletes swim, it can be adapted to help tennis player performance, they say.

What is "The Ghost"? And how does it work?

It's literally a mechanized, bionic "vibrating sleeve" worn on your arm and intended to elevate your serve - perhaps to the level of the pros.

It's loaded with sensors to detect the flex and movement of your joints and muscles.

And it's programed to flash LED lights and set off vibrations, when appropriate.

Here's how it works.

The arm movement path of a top tennis professional is digitally recorded - let's say that of Andy Murray when he is performing a world-class serve.

The digital program is then uploaded into the bionic sleeve.

A practicing player wears the sleeve and tries to "ghost" or mimic the Murray serve.

Soft LED lights and gentle vibrations go off whenever the player's arm path even slightly misses the mark - namely, the path of the perfect Murray serve.

With careful and deliberate repetition by the user, the bionic sleeve smoothly guides the player's arm path into a professional level serve.

Can it work?

Benedict Topping thinks so. He's the engineer at Imperial College at London whose team developed the prototype of "The Ghost".

Referring to the serve of an Andy Murray or even the golf swing of a Tiger Woods, Topping comments: "People can train by literally copying the movements
of elite athletes."

Topping and his engineers believe it can engrain "muscle memory" - unconscious precision movement through repeated practice.



Source Credit:

Vibrating sleeve could help teach Andy Murray's serve, The Telegraph, September 02, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Photo of the Day: Victory

Photo: Sports Illustrated

July 04, 1981 - Wimbledon
John McEnroe defeats Bjorn Borg

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Photo of the Day: Desire

Photo: Sports Illustrated

January 21, 2007 - Australian Open
Unseeded Serena Williams Wins

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Photo of the Day: Motivation

Photo: Sports Illustrated

April 06, 2006 - Sierra Leone
Single Leg Amputee Sports Club of Sierra Leone
Maxwell Fornah vs.Victor Musa

Monday, December 17, 2012

Roger Federer Visits Colombia

As part of the Gillette Tour this past weekend, Colombia welcomed Roger Federer with love, respect and admiration.


Video: Roger Federer in Colombia

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tennis & The Laws of Nature: Prof. Stephen Hawking Explains

Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world's greatest scientists, explains how tennis is governed by the timeless laws of nature  . . . the same laws which drive our entire universe. 

Video: Laws of Nature - Stephen Hawking's Grand Design
By: DiscoveryTV

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Body Language vs. Facial Expression: What Gives Away Your True Colors?

Photo Credit: Reuters
In a study published in the journal Science (Nov. 29, 2012), researchers found that body language, more than facial expression, is far more revealing of a person's true feelings and emotions.

Hillel Aviezer, a psychologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his team analyzed dozens of images of elite tennis players at critical win-or-lose points at major tournaments such as the U.S. Open.

"There is lots of money involved, it's lots of egos involved, it's very high stakes. You have a lot of points in the game where people could have very positive emotions or negative emotions," observed Aviezer.

Aviezer's team showed three groups of 15 survey participants photographs of only a player's face, or only a player's body, or sometimes both. The team wanted to know if the respondents could accurately gauge if the player was having a positive or negative emotion.

Result. Observers who saw the player's body could more accurately tell if the player was happy or upset. Those who only saw the player's face were much less correct in their assessment.

The player's body was far more telling of his or her true emotions.

Bottom line: Observe carefully your opponent's or any player's body language. It tells you almost all you need to know about what they are really feeling.


For more reading:
"Is Your Partner Sad? Body Language Speaks Volumes", LiveScience

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Third Year Anniversary of Timeless Tennis

Timeless Tennis is 3 years old!

It's been 3 years, almost 300 posts, and over 60,000 page views, and my Blog is still going strong. 

It's committed to the idea that the art of tennis teaches, inspires, and offers insights from history, and lessons for life.

The court of tennis is like the canvas of life - reflecting battles, challenges, defeats and victories. 

And showcasing the whole range of human passions - courage, despair, fear, and hope and so much more.

Thanks for reading and sticking with me.

All the best in things tennis and otherwise. 

Happy Holidays!

Video: Timeless Tennis - Third Year Anniversary
Music: One Republic "Good Life"

Want to test your tennis acumen? Can you recognize some of these players, books, magazine covers, and things tennis? Try it. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic Wins 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

London, England - November 12, 2012

In the year-end finish of the tennis season, Novak Djokovic (No. 1 SER) defeated Roger Federer (No. 2, SUI) in straight sets for the 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title at the O2 Arena in London, 7-6 (6), 7-5.

Federer sprinted to an early lead, only to be quickly blunted by the hard-charging Serb.

Remarked Djokovic, "I've experienced his aggressivity [before], really trying to put his mark on the match." 

This time Djokovic was ready with all the answers. 

Said Federer after the match, "You have to get over the finish line in the set, and obviously at the match. He was better at that today."

It was Djokovic's second year-end title at the annual Masters championship, where the top eight players finish the tennis season.

"I believe that this year [2012] has been even more successful for me [than the last]."

The same can be said for the tennis season itself in the year 2012 - even better than before.

Congratulations to all the players, fans and supporters of the ATP and professional tour. 

Thank you for a fantastic season!

See you next year!

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Evolution of the Modern Forehand - A Tennis Odyssey from Borg to Lendl to Federer

Image: OptimumTennis

Video: Borg Lendl Federer - Forehand's Evolution
By: matteodinenno 
Time: 02:55

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Year-End WTA Championships: Serena wins!

--Istanbul, Turkey on October 28, 2012

Serena Williams (No. 3, USA) defeated Maria Sharapova (No. 2, RUS), 6-4, 6-3, at the season-ending WTA Championships, winning it for the third time.

2012 was a stellar year for Serena. This year she also won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and Olympic Gold. 

Serena finishes No. 3 in the world.

Congrats to Serena, Maria, World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, and all the players on the WTA tour this year. 

2012 was a fantastic year for women's tennis.

See you next year!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Historical Greats: Pete Sampras - The King Of Swing

Image: Joe Winkler 

Let's do a quick recall of a recent American champion, regarded as one of the greatest players ever - "Pistol" Pete Sampras.

The promising junior was trained at the Jack Kramer Club in southern California, and coached by the legendary Robert Lansdorp.

He broke through in 1990 when he won the U.S. Open at age 19 years and 28 days, the youngest champion ever at Forest Hills.

He went on to build an unrivaled illustrious career over 14 years.

Sampras won a then-record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, including 7 championships at Wimbledon and 5 at the U.S. Open. 

He also finished with 64 professional single's titles.

He achieved year-end World No. 1 rank for a record 6 consecutive years, from 1993 to 1998.

And he recorded World No. 1 rank for 286 calendar weeks, second all-time.

Sampras was a world-class all-court player, with an overpowering serve-and-volley game.

His running forehand became one of the most feared weapons in his era.

The Sampras first and second serve were considered perhaps the best of any player ever.

His rivalry with the other great American champion of his era, Andre Agassi, made for some of the greatest matches in history.

And he was known for his quiet and humble demeanor, and as a player who "let his racket do the talking."

Boris Becker was quoted as saying: "For me, [Sampras] was always the most complete player. He has the power. He has the speed. He has the touch. He is the best player ever." 

Roger Federer remarked: "He was my childhood idol, and I have always looked up to him."

John McEnroe added: "I put him in the godlike stratosphere . . . "


Video: Pete Sampras - Beyond the Glory (Documentary)
By: Bill20291
Time: 41:09

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: Fear of Failure



"For pro players . . . there is no question that power, speed, agility and good technique are essential. But when these athletes compete, it can be the mind as much as the body, that determines the winner. The same holds true for weekend warriors on the court: Our mindset matters. Mindset is not some touchy, feely term that psychologists throw around. It can actually be traced back to how our brain functions to guide success, or induce failure. In short, fearing failure begets failure."

--Sian Bellock, Ph.D.,
Professor of Psychology, University of Chicago
Author: Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To
From: Tennis Magazine (November-December 2012), "Your Worst Fear", p. 42. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: From Two Top Women Players on the first "International Day of the Girl"

Question: What advice would you give yourself as a 15-year old girl? 
Follow your dreams, always be yourself, never be afraid to show the real you and have fun. Always live in the present.
--Victoria Azarenka
World No. 1 Woman Tennis Player

 At 15, there's so many more years ahead where you'll be able to change a few things around. So don't put so much pressure in your life. There is always going to be room for improvement.
--Maria Sharapova 
Career Grand Slam Champion

Friday, October 5, 2012

Historical Greats: Bjorn Borg - The Ice Man

Image: Aldo Luongo
Let's take a brief look back at one of the all-time greats, the legendary Bjorn Borg.

Borg won eleven (11) Grand Slam titles between 1974 and 1981, and reached No. 1 in the world.
He won five (5) consecutive Wimbledon titles and six (6) French Open (Roland Garros) titles.
His career winning percentage was an astonishing 82.7%.

Before his retirement at age 26, Borg compiled a record which many experts say rank him as one of the greatest players of all time.

But Borg was much more than his statistics.

His physical conditioning was legendary.

His coolness under fire earned him the name "Ice-Borg". 

His rivalry with John McEnroe made for some of the greatest matches in tennis history.

And he was the first "rock star" in tennis, and the first to make more than a million dollars.

In the words of Arthur Ashe, "Borg was bigger than the game. . . He was like Elvis."


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Four Motivational Videos with a Timeless Message: Winning is About Giving It Everything You've Got!

Motivation: Never Give Up

When: Motivated

Powerful, Inspirational True Story

Motivation: Be Great, Powerful Beyond Measure

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Historical Greats: Rare video footage of the great Pancho Gonzales

Painting: LeRoy Neiman

"Very much his own man, a loner and an acerbic competitor, Richard Alonzo "Pancho" Gonzales was as good as anyone who ever played the game, if not better."
--Bid Collins, Tennis Historian, from

Thank you to: Lee Couillard, USPTA, Head Tennis Professional, Punahou School, Tennis Pod Pro

Video of Pancho Gonzales circa 1969

Monday, September 10, 2012

US Open 2012: Andy Murray & The Ghost of Fred Perry

Flushing Meadows, NY USA --

Men's Final
First Brit in 76 Years Wins a Grand Slam singles crown!

The ghost of Fred Perry smiled at the end of a special day at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

No British man has won a Grand Slam title since the legendary Fred Perry took the U.S. Championships in 1936 - an era when men played tennis with wooden rackets and in long trousers.

Entire generations of British fans and supporters have patiently waited and dreamed of their next champion.

When would a native son, from the land where tennis began, once again lift a Grand Slam trophy?

Today was that day.

In a dramatic and historic five set thriller, Andy Murray (GRB, No. 3) defeated Novak Djokovic (SRB, No. 2), 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 before a sold-out crowd in tricky, windy conditions at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

It was Murray's first major single's title in his fifth Grand Slam finals appearance.

The match finished at 4 hours and 54 minutes, tying the record for longest U.S. Open finals in history.

Murray, 25, recent Gold Medalist at the London Olympic Games, complimented his opponent after the match whom he outlasted: "Novak is so, so strong. He fights until the end in every match. I don't know how I managed to come through in the end."

Paying tribute to the super-intensity of his coach, the great Ivan Lendl who elevated Murray's game and watched the closing ceremony in rapt attention, Murray joked: "I think that was almost a smile."

After three quarters of a century waiting for Fred Perry's successor, Britain was surely ready to offer a Grand Slam welcome home for Murray.

Women's Final
Superwoman Serena Wins!

Serena Williams (USA, No. 4) summoned up her most supreme competitive fires to roar back from 5-3 down in the third and final set, and just two points from defeat, to beat Victoria Azarenka (BLR, No. 1), 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

It was Serena's 4th U.S. Open crown, and 15th Grand Slam title. It put her only 3 major titles back from the legendary Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova.

Commented her opponent Azarenka after the match: "Serena deserves the win. She showed how true of a champion she is."

Serena had just recently won the Gold Medal in singles (and doubles with sister Venus) at the London Olympic Games.

The summer of 2012 has indeed been a golden one for Serena. 

Mens Double's Final
The Bryan Brothers, Mike & Bob Set a New Grand Slam Record!

Mike and Bob Bryan (USA, No. 2) defeated Leander Paes (IND) and Radek Stepaneck (CZE), No. 5, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 without facing a single break point. 

It was their 12th Grand Slam doubles title, breaking the old record by the legendary Australian doubles team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

Remarked Mike after the match: "We looked up to the Woodies, and to steal all their records is unbelievable because we idolize those guys. They're one of the reasons we play doubles."

The Bryan Brothers, 34, were coming off of their recent Gold Medal in doubles at the London Olympic Games, and have proved that they are indeed one of the finest doubles teams ever.

Women's Doubles Final
The Italians Love New York!

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (ITA, No. 2) defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka (CZE, No. 3), 6-4, 6-2.

It was their second Grand Slam doubles crown, having won the French Open (Roland Garros) title earlier in the year.

Errani, celebrating their victory afterwards, said: "We [have] played an amazing year."

Future Hall-of-Famers Retire
Clijsters and Roddick sadly end their careers.

Former World No. 1 and U.S. Open Champions Kim Clijsters (BLG) and Andy Roddick (USA) retired after this year's U.S. Open.

Clijsters defined the big-woman's game of power and precision, and was personally well-liked by fans and peers, world-wide.

Meanwhile, Roddick carried American men's tennis almost single-handedly for most of the 2000s, consistently ranking in the top ten and possessing one of the fastest serves in history.

Good luck to them, and congratulations to all the winners, players, fans and supporters for another fantastic and historic U.S. Open.

Year 2012 continues to be a special one for the history books.

See you at next year's U.S. Open!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: Can Serena Play Tennis with the Men?

"Given that men are always quick to say that women are a lot worse . . . I'd love to see her play in a (lower level) men's tournament and see how they deal with her. It's easy to talk. On the court, it would be different . . . I've practiced with a lot of guys ranked 400th or 500th. I've never played with a man who hits as hard as she does."
--Sara Errani, 2012 U.S. Open Semi-Finalist, on Serena Williams

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Ultimate Test in Tennis: The U.S. Open

Quotes and Insights from Around the Circuit

"At the U.S. Open, only the fittest survive . . . From the concussive hard courts to the raucous crowds to the late night matches - and so much more - nothing stretches mind and body to the brink like the year's final major."
--Douglas Robson, The Toughest Test in Tennis, U.S. Open, Special Edition for USA Today, September 2012

"It's the high-maintenance Slam . . . The Open has the most stimulus, the most distraction, the most chaos."
--Justin Gimelstob, Tennis Channel analyst and former professional player

"It's always the moment you feel really tired."
--Agnieszka Radwanska, World No. 2 professional player, referring to the grueling tennis season's run-up to the U.S. Open

"I think the backed-up weekend [referring to the consecutive days on which the semi-finals and finals are played] makes it incredibly hard, which is something the players have tried to change, because with the matches being as physical as they are now, you can't physically play your best tennis if you play 2 five-hour matches back-to-back."
--Andy Murray, 2008 Finalist and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist

"The fifth-set tiebreak is one of the unique aspects of the U.S. Open . . . The tiebreak brings its own adrenaline, kind of a very exciting moment . . . That's the way we do it here at the U.S. Open."
--Chris Widmaier, USTA Director of Communications for the U.S. Open

"They all want a piece of you."
Mike Bryan of the record-breaking Bryan Brothers doubles team, referring to commercial sponsors, fashion show organizers, news media outlets, and charity & celebrity causes

"New York is loud. It's in your face. It's not only just a tennis event, it's an event in itself."
--Andy Roddick, 2003 Champion

"New York is now one of my favorite cities. I love its energy, the people, the life there. I love how rowdy the fans get. They root and cheer and are probably drunk half the time."
--Maria Sharapova, 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist

"It's definitely in people heads that it's the last Slam of the year  . . . If you can make it through New York, you can make it anywhere."
--Bethanie Mattek-Sands, USA professional player 

Video:  The 2012 U.S. Open: It Must be Love
By: tennis

Friday, August 31, 2012

Article Review: "The Art of Winning", by Coach Frank Giampaolo

Photo: adidas

"Often you and your opponent will appear similar in physical strength and skill. However, the truth is that the victory will go to the player who has developed certain hidden mental and emotional protocols. . . the art of winning [is] a learned behavior."
--Coach Frank Giampaolo, August 2012

An intriguing article is posted to this month's edition of John Yandell's site,

It's a piece by Coach Giampaolo in which he explores what the "art of winning" means for tennis players committed to what is every competitor's ultimate goal- winning the match.

Giampaolo, a tennis coach for 25 years in Southern California, has taught students who have included over 60 junior players with U.S. national singles titles.

For Giampaolo, winning is NOT a happy accident of fate, or just a random act of one player "playing better that day." It's a deliberate and learned skill set.

What does it consist of? Giampaolo challenges the tennis student to consider many thoughtful techniques, among them:

*Winners pay attention to their opponents and what they doing, and why their opponent might be winning or losing points.

*Winners, if they find themselves losing, change their pattern of play, and often switch to a Plan B or Plan C. 

*Winners identify and attack, and keep attacking, their opponent's weaknesses.

*Winners employ "between-point" rituals to do 3 things: get over a negative error and correct it, strategize the next point, and re-iterate relaxation, confidence and control

The Art of Winning is a thought-provoking piece on moving beyond luck and accident in winning matches - and methodically developing the skill set for winning.


For more information and reading on this and many other tennis topics, please explore and consider John Yandell's masterful website:

Coach Frank Giampaolo also offers a comprehensive E-Book aimed at tennis parents: The Tennis Parent's Bible

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Crown Prince of Cincinnati 2012

Photo: John Sommers II, Reuters, AP

Cincinnati - August 19, 2012

Swiss superstar Roger Federer (No. 1, SUI) swept aside Novak Djokovic (No. 2, SRB) in a glittering win 6-0, 7-6 (7) at the Western & Southern Open championship in suburban Mason, Ohio.

The 31 year-old Federer finished the match in 80 minutes.

It was the top-ranked player's 5th Cincinnati crown, and 21st Masters 1000 title.  

Remarked Federer afterwards: "This was probably the best week for me here in Cincinnati. I didn't lose a set. This is very sweet, no doubt about it . . .

"I've had a magical summer. I feel good about New York (referring to the upcoming U.S. Open)." 

See you at the U.S. Open, 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Art of Tennis in Video: "Strong is Beautiful", by Dewey Nicks for the WTA

"It takes so many elements to reach the top of such a competitive sport as tennis - strength of character, incredible discipline and will power. For me, Strong is Beautiful was able to capture the inner strength of players in a beautiful way." 
--Caroline Wozniacki, Former World No. 1 Player 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Gold Zone: Tennis at the London Summer Olympics 2012

The Gold Medalists in tennis have been decided at the XXX Olympic Games in London.

Men's Singles
Andy Murray (GBR) defeated Roger Federer (SUI), 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

Murray became the first Brit since Josiah Ritchie in 1908 to win an Olympic Gold Medal in singles at tennis.

Women's Singles
Serena Williams (USA) crushed Maria Sharapova (RUS), 6-0, 6-1.

Serena became only the second women in tennis history, after Stefi Graff, to achieve the Career Gold Slam -- winning each of the four Grand Slams and Tennis Gold at the Olympics.

Women's Doubles
Serena and Venus Williams (USA) prevailed over Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 6-4, 6-4. 

It was the third doubles gold for the Williams sisters, who also won in 2000 and 2008. 

Added to their respective singles gold medals, Serena and Venus became the first tennis players in history to attain four gold medals.

Men's Doubles
The Bryan Brothers (Mike and Bob) (USA) took out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Lodra (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (2). 

The Bryan Brothers added to their illustrious tennis career in doubles by notching Olympic Gold.

Mixed Doubles
Victoria Azarenka and Max Miryni (BLR) beat Laura Robson and Andy Murray (GBR), 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8). 

It was their first Gold Medal, and followed up Azarenka's Bronze Medal which she just won in women's singles.

Tennis at the Olympics

Tennis has achieved unparalleled success at these Olympic Games.  All the very best players competed for their country and showcased our sport to the world.

Congratulations to all the winners, players, and supporters at the XXX Olympic Games - and also to London for hosting the tennis competition at the legendary All England Club in Wimbledon.

Everyone at the Games deserved a medal for their proud representation of both their country and the spirit of tennis.

And their lesson for all of us is --- whatever you do in life, always "go for the gold."

Well done,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tennis at the London Summer Olympics 2012

Tennis was first played at the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens in 1896. 

It was offered until the VIII Olympiad in Paris in 1924, when policy disputes with organizing bodies forced tennis to be removed. 

Tennis returned to the Olympics as a demonstration sport in 1968 and later in 1984. 

Tennis was re-instituted permanently as a competitive medal event at the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul in 1988.

The XXX Olympiad in London this year will showcase five medal events in tennis - men's and women's in singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. 

204 countries will participate in this year's Olympics, and 172 competitors (82 men and 82 women) will compete in tennis.

The legendary All-England Club's grounds at Wimbledon will host the tennis medal events.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coming Soon! The London Summer Olympics 2012 - and Tennis Gold!

Since the days of ancient Greece, every four years, the finest athletes in the world gather to compete at the fabled Olympic Games.

In 2012, London boasts the honor of hosting this summer's Olympic Games - and showcasing the glory of sport and the heart of human competition.

And the globe's top tennis players prepare and wait for their chance at Olympic gold. 

Let the Games begin on July 27 . . . 


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: From the U.S. Supreme Court

"I like to play tennis."

-Justice Antonin Scalia, Age 76
Longest-serving justice on U.S. Supreme Court
Quoted on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight on
July 18, 2012
in response to a question about

what he likes to do when not busy working

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Tennis Net Strap

Have you ever thought about the tennis net strap when playing tennis? 

Well, it's been around since the dawn of tennis. 

But hardly ever thought about on court, unless visibly broken.

Here's an interesting and thoughtful video by Coach Paul Gold of suggesting that the tennis strap should be a vital and conscious part of your tennis rally strategy. 


Video: Federer Geometry Lesson
(The Tennis Net Strap)
By: goldyuk

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: Practice and Play

Practice like you play, and play like you practice.

-Universal quote from coaches in every sport, originating with legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi who was quoted as saying "You play like you practice"

Video: What It Takes to be Number One by Vince Lombardi
By: FocalPointCoach

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tennis Quote of the Day: The Follow-Through

"Anybody can hit a ball hard, but the follow-through gives the ball direction. Any woman can have children, but it's not where the children start, it's where they end up that is important. Anybody can start a business, but without direction, without follow-through, it will go nowhere."
-Leo Rolle
Resident Teaching Pro and former Davis Cup Player
One&Only Ocean Club, The Bahamas
Tennis Magazine, July/August 2012
Video: Justin Henin, The Backhand (Follow-Through)
By: txchou

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The King of Wimbledon

Centre Court - Wimbledon

Men's Final
His records have astonished even the tennis experts.

And today, on Centre Court under the roof after a rain-delay, was no exception.

The 30 year-old Swiss maestro Roger Federer captured his seventh Wimbledon men's singles crown, his staggering 17th Grand Slam title, and World No. 1 rank once again. 

Federer (No. 3, Switzerland) defeated hometown hero Andy Murray (No. 4, Britain), in four gripping sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Federer's seventh Wimbledon trophy ties him with American Pete Sampras (Open Era, circa 2000), and William Renshaw (Pre-Open Era, circa 1889).
His re-gained World No. 1 rank puts him at 286 weeks at No. 1 which also ties Sampras. His 17 Grand Slam titles is, of course, unequaled in history.

Murray, the first British man to reach the Wimbledon finals since Bunny Austin in 1938, carried the weight of the entire British world on his shoulders.
Britain had not seen a native men's champion on Centre Court since Fred Perry in 1936.

It was an epic, riveting battle between a still-hungry 30 year-old champion who did not make a Grand Slam final in 2+ years, against a newly-determined rising star coached by one of the all time greats, Ivan Lendl.

In the end, Federer found his vintage form, and played some of his best tennis ever in a convincing victory.

"It's amazing," said Federer. "It equals me with Pete Sampras, who is a hero of mine, so it feels amazing."

Later, a tearful Murray joked: "I'm getting closer. I'd like to congratulate Roger. . . He played a great tournament. He showed what fight he still has in him."

The ever-regal Federer proved that, as much as anyone in history, he must be regarded as "King of Wimbledon."

Women's Singles and Doubles Final
Serena Williams (No. 6, USA) fought off an inspired comeback from Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 3, Poland), 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, to win her 5th Wimbledon women's single's title, and her 14th overall Grand Slam crown. She finished with a Wimbledon tournament record of 102 aces.

Williams, age 30, was sidelined by injury and illness for almost a year, and relished her victory afterwards with her sister Venus Williams, who also holds 5 Wimbledon single's titles

"Coming here and winning today is amazing,"
 said Williams. "It's been an unbelievable journey for me. I almost didn't make it a few years ago. I was in hospital and thought I'd never be here again, so this makes it so worth it. It's so much sweeter."

Williams and sister Venus went even further, and took the women's doubles crown later that day over the Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, 7-5, 6-4.

It was their 5th Wimbledon women's double's title as well.

Wimbledon 2012 saw some other records also over the "fortnight."

Other records
*First Brit to win doubles since World War II -  Britain's Jonny Marray and Denmark's Freddie Nielsen (unseeded wild card entrants) defeated Sweden's Robert Lindstedt and Romania's Horia Tecau  in five sets, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 for the men's doubles title. Marray was the first Brit to win that crown since 1936.

*The Golden Set - Yaroslava Shvedova (wild card Kazakhstan) became the first player in a Grand Slam tournament, and the first woman in the Open Era, to win every point against her opponent in one set. Shvedova defeated Sara Errani of Italy, the recent "French Open" finalist, 6-0, 6-4 in the third round. Shvedova won 24 straight points in set one, the so-called "Golden Set."

*The second-longest match in Wimbledon history - Marin Cilic (Croatia) defeated Sam Querrey (USA) 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 17-15 in the third round. Match time clocked in at 5 hours and 31 minutes. Only the mythic John-Isner/Nicholas-Mahut match in 2010, which lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes, surpassed the Cilic/Querrey contest.

Wimbledon 2012 saw some stunning performances and record-making efforts at the All England Club grounds.

And the tennis year still has many more thrills to come - the Olympics, the US Open series followed by the US Open, and then the Master's and more . . .

It's been a fantastic tennis season so far - including at this year's Wimbledon.

See you next year at Wimbledon!