Federer and Sampras the most prolific, not greatest, of all-time

Well, he’s the best, the greatest, the champion of all time, the legend. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Let the babbling commence.

NBC couldn’t stress the fact that Federer is the greatest of all time any more than I’m stressing the word “fact.”


Safin-Federer a Tale of Two Matches

There were two tennis matches played late Friday night in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, and I’m not including Jelena Dokic’s three-set thriller over Caroline Wozniaki.

The marquee match, the rematch, whatever you want to call it, between former world number one Roger Federer and former world number one Marat Safin was both matches: the awful first two sets and the remarkable third one. In the first set, Federer played sloppy-but-consistent while Safin was erratic on nearly ever other point, missing wildly on his serve, backhand, and especially forehand. But the third set was a different breed: a showcase of two of the most talented players of all time playing the type of tennis that at one point rose both to the top.

And if we really want to know all that Friday’s match was about, we need to ignore the first two sets.

Federer jumped out to a quick, devastating two set lead, converting three of his four break chance opportunities and only twice falling behind 15-30 or worse on his serve. Safin never had a break point.

He closed out the first set with a break at love followed by hold at love. He was nearly as dominant in the second set, breaking Safin in Safin’s last two service games.

Those two sets took merely 59 minutes.

And then Safin turned it on.


Tennis Power Rankings – Week 2

Each week, I will rank the top 15 male singles tennis players as I currently see them and give a sentence or two about him. I will also select two players not currently in the top 50 of the ATP Rankings who have the talent to move up and two players in the top 25 of the ATP Rankings that are dropping and dropping fast.

The first week of official ATP events resulted in a few stunning upsets, as Gael Monfils defeated Rafael Nadal in Doha, Qatar, and Ernests Gulbis knocked reigning Australian Open champion and world number three Novak Djokovic in Brisbane, Australia.

Andy Murray beat Roger Federer, again, dropping the first set in a tie-breaker before controlling the final two sets, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2, on his way to the championship at Qatar. It’s reached the point now that if Federer beats Murray on a hard court, I’d consider that an upset.

Two-time NCAA Champion Somdev Devvarman returned to his birth country and made a stunning run to the finals at Chennai. He’ll meet Marin Cilic in Sunday’s final.

The Brisbane final features Radek Stepanek and Fernando Verdasco. Stepanek upset Robin Soderling and Richard Gasquet in three sets each on the way to his first final since last February. It is the first hard court final on the ATP Tour for Verdasco.

And in the star-filled tournament in Qatar, Andy Murray defeated Andy Roddick in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, for his ninth career ATP Tour title. It was his eighth title in past 23 months.

That said, let’s take a look at’s inaugural tennis power rankings.


Roger Federer: A Courageous- Stupid Prediction

Sometimes I keep my mouth shut even when I want to say something. In journalism, you have to. In this case, however, I should have spoken.

Watching the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s singles final, which I wrote was the greatest sporting event I ever had the pleasure to see, I refrained from mentioning my observation that Roger Federer did not want to win the match before the middle of the third set. Yes, I saw it, as painful as it was. Federer clearly did not care for half the match if he won or lost.



There were some clichés I never thought I would say. Near the top of that list was “both men deserved to win.”

Maybe I didn’t fully understand the implications of such a statement; maybe I thought it couldn’t capture reality; maybe I avoided it because it was a cliché. None of that matters now. After watching the gentlemen’s singles finals at Wimbledon Sunday, there is no saying that has more truth that I have ever come across.