That may be what Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was thinking when he went out to play the most celebrated guy in tennis, Roger Federer, at Wimbledon. Cut in on Roger, who has won the championship six times, plus 10 other majors?
Ridiculous, right? Especially if you are Jo Tsongas of France, ranked No. 19, 1-4 against the Lord of the Swings – Roger – showing off his brilliance on his favorite patch of grass. continue reading »
“ ROGER! ROGER! ROGER!” over and over so boisterously it may have been heard in Switzerland. They were mighty roars from most of the 13,800 throats, but not the usual sounds of commendation. No. It was midway through the second set, and his people were sending a message. The cheers were a mixture of love, respect, great memories and belief. continue reading »
It was the day the Australian Open lost its leading man very unexpectedly – Rafa Nadal. And professional tennis lost one of its most appealing champions. For good, this time – Justine Henin.
Put them together and it was a huge, staggering hit for the game. There would be new champions. Roger Federer would fall to a confident Novak Djokovic (as he did in the U.S. Open semis), and the mysterious Serena didn’t make the starting line. continue reading »
Yes, she won the crowd of 15,000 at the Australian Open. And she won the praise of her colleagues, foremost among them No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. But it was time to go home for the Italian pixie, Francesca Schiavone, the end of one of the more adverturous runs at a major title. continue reading »
Spain, of course, has a king, Juan Carlos I, with a palace in Madrid. A good fellow, we’re told. But the real monarch today is young Rafa I, whose roundhouse knockout punches on a tennis court are massive left hooks that leave no doubt of his being No. 1 in his world-circling profession. continue reading »
Gone? Roger Federer on his way home? But there he was, headed for the door. This wasn’t supposed to happen at a tennis court called Arthur Ashe Stadium, but was really a cauldron. A madhouse as a kid from a sliver of a country – Serbia – wrecked today’s final that everybody wanted: Federer against his chief rival, Rafa Nadal. continue reading »
But one thing is clear. Roger Federer, the man who owned the green room – Centre Court at Wimbledon – will not be the centerpiece Sunday. After seven straight years of believing that this tennis court belonged to him, he was rudely evicted by a guy born in the Czech Republic village of Vallasske Mezerici and lives in Prostejov. Anybody who can spell or pronounce them should get a prize. (Like many other athletes, Tomas Berdych visits his money in Monte Carlo.) continue reading »