2nd week

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When 18-year-old Bernard Tomic [64] reached Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2011, it seemed “the big 4” would have a strong contender in the near future. However, Tomic profoundly disappointed last year, losing several times at early stages and dropping 10 places … Continue reading

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| Australian Open 1988 |

Just 6 out of Top 20 guys participated in the first edition at Flinders Park. Nevertheless Mats Wilander‘s triumph is fully legitimate because the best player for three years – Ivan Lendl – was there, also second best at the time & two-time defending champion Stefan Edberg, as well as national hero Pat Cash, whom Wilander beat in one of the most entertaining finals in the Open era. Read more…
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1st week

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The new season kicked off with an enforcement of a rule considering time for preparation between points – since first tournaments of 2013, a time violation between points (25 seconds) has been penalized in the first instance with a warning. … Continue reading

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| Australian Open 2008 + 2006 |

Those events have something in common: spectacular run to the finals of little experienced players at the time:
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marcos Baghdatis – the former was just playing 16th main level tournament, the latter 17th of this type…
The blue dislodges the green as the new Plexicushion surface replaced the Rebound Ace, which had served since the Melbourne inception 20 years before. Roger “self-created monster” Federer’s record of 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals was finally snapped by a new power in men’s tennis embodied by Novak Djokovic. The tournament featured fascinating third round, consisted of five 5-setters, including the latest finish of a match in history, between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis. Read more…
federer_laver_ao06The last Australian Open without the hawk-eye system, and extremely emotional one… An unheralded Marcos Baghdatis, stunned four seeded players, including three Top 10ers in a row during night sessions at Rod Laver Arena! ‘Baggy’ delivered an inspired tennis with a grin, which generated for him an enormous support from the Australian crowd (especially the Greek colony). He was stopped in the final by Roger Federer, who collected third consecutive major and cried like a child as he received the trophy from the legendary Rod Laver. Dominik Hrbaty became the fourth man to play four consecutive 5-setters in a Grand Slam event. Read more…
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Australian Open 1990 + AO summary (1969-79)

The tournament is associated with John McEnroe’s default – the first Grand Slam disqualification in the Open era. Boris Becker’s 18-match winning streak at majors was snapped by a rejuvenated Mats Wilander, for whom it was a “swan song” though. In some sense we can relate it also to Ivan Lendl; the Czechoslovak djokovic_abu dhabidefended his title, but left the throne a few months later (after a 5-year hegemony). An American teenager, Pete Sampras, won the longest Australian Open match at the time, and proclaimed himself as a real deal. Read more…
I’ve also prepared an Australian Open summary given the years 1969-1979. I will make similar pages considering Wimbledon and US Open soon.
***
First blood of the new season: Novak Djokovic defended his title in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, on December 29, 2012 beating Nicolas Almagro in the final. Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament as well as from Doha and Australian Open. He won’t play in January at all which means his sabbatical is going to be prolonged at least to seven months (resemblance to John McEnroe’s sabbatical in 1986).
All scorelines of five editions of the tournament
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Wimbledon 2003

fed's1stSlamWe’re approaching 10th anniversary of Roger Federer‘s first Grand Slam trophy (simultaneously it was Rafael Nadal‘s Grand Slam debut). The Swiss had been considered as a major title contender since Wimbledon 2001 when he stunned the 7-time champion Pete Sampras, but must have waited another 24 months to fulfill the expectations. He scraped through seven rounds in impressive style losing just one set in the fortnight… When the draw was made, the top half of if looked very interesting because there was a huge probability that the defending champion (Lleyton Hewitt) would meet a former champion (Richard Krajicek) in the second round. The latter withdrew though, calling time on tennis career; in turn the former suffered the most sensational loss of 2003 (one of the biggest upsets of the Open era too), which virtually finished his two-year reign in men’s tennis. Read more…
It’s my last entry this year, I’d like to thank all people visiting my website in 2012, I hope you’re going to do the same next year. Best wishes for 2013, see you!
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Roland Garros 1981 + longest winning streaks

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After nearly two-month absence from competition (shoulder injury) and rumors about quitting the game because of the will to become father, Bjorn Borg for the first time since 1975 wasn’t an overwhelming  favorite to get the title. Nevertheless he confirmed … Continue reading

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US Open 1994 + Wimbledon 1986

The most shocking US Open of the 90s. All main favorites were eliminated before quarterfinals, including defending champion Pete Sampras, who came back in action after a 6-week injury break. His injured ankle was already fine, but he wasn’t prepared physically and lost in the 4th round to one of the shortest players of the Open era – Jaime Yzaga, who had eliminated the 1993 finalist Cedric Pioline in the previous round (Yzaga in both those matches won fewer points!). Andre Agassi became the only unseeded champion in the tournament history, defeating five seeded players (no other U.S. champion had even beaten four before)! Read more…
The first use of yellow tennis balls at Wimbledon and first all-European men’s semifinals since 1922, three players from non-existed currently countries (Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, West Germany)… 18-year-old Boris Becker won his second straight Wimbledon beating all opponents quite easily, and seemed like a potential best player ever. In the final he overpowered Ivan Lendl, for whom it was first Wimbledon final (he had played all other major finals in years 1981-83). Read more…
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Chela’s farewell

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There were four players to claim a title in their debut at the main level, five others won maiden tournament not having won a match before, Juan Ignacio Chela [176] is one of them (along with Butch Walts, Karel Novacek, … Continue reading

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Roland Garros 1985 + Wimbledon 1982

The best Americans born in the 50s (John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors) wasted their last reasonable chances to win in Paris. It was a tournament that seemed to be fully controlled by Ivan Lendl – the Czechoslovak had been winning during the fortnight set after set easily but it was finally snapped in the final and he lost three straight sets to Mats Wilander. The 20-year-old Swede entered the event not having won a tournament in 1985. He captured his second Roland Garros title in a different style than he did it in 1982 when he’d based his whole game on regular ground-strokes. In 1985 it was a mix of solid baseline strokes and finesse at the net. Read more…
The first Wimbledon in nine years without Bjorn Borg, who played finals in six previous editions grabbing five titles. It created a unique opportunity for Jimmy Connors’ resurgence because he had lost four matches to Borg at Wimbledon in five past years… ‘Jimbo’ claimed his 6th major – the first one since 1978, beating fellow American John McEnroe in a tight, but rather ugly 5-set battle, despite committing 13 double faults not having served an ace. The only Wimbledon in which all fourth round matches were concluded in straight sets. Read more…
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