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Rafael Nadal: Will He Win More Hard Court Majors?

Published: February 12, 2011

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Rafael Nadal missed a chance at history when he fell short at the Australian Open, one short of having won four Grand Slams in a row. He’s in good company, though; in the 42 years since Rod Laver’s 1969 season, a long list of greats from Jimmy Connors in 1974 to Roger Federer in 2006-07 had fallen short of that same designation. It’s hard to imagine Nadal playing any better than he... 

Retooled Novak Djokovic Has Hall of Fame Career Ahead

Published: February 6, 2011

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Precise time frames escape me, but at some point in the past 18 months, my good friend Rajat Jain compared Novak Djokovic to Pete Sampras. Both men had won their first majors at a very young age (Sampras was 19, Djokovic 20) and spoke frankly of wanting to be No. 1. However, both of them soon found that Grand Slam glory brings a new weight of expectations, and both soon found themselves beset with... 

The Talent Gap: Why American Men’s Tennis Suffers

Published: October 3, 2010

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Andy Roddick’s quarterfinal appearance in the Australian Open will not be remembered as one of the finest moments in his career. He has, after all, won the US Open, on three occasions been a Wimbledon finalist, and has twice been one round further at the AO. It was a noteworthy event for another reason: It was as far as any American advanced in any of the four majors of 2010. Sam Querrey reached... 

U.S. Open 2010: After Historic Win, What’s Next for Rafael Nadal?

Published: September 14, 2010

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With Monday’s victory over Novak Djokovic in the US Open final, Rafael Nadal joins Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, and Roger Federer as the only Open era players to have won the career Grand Slam. He and Agassi, Federer, and Jimmy Connors are the only men to have won majors on clay, grass, and hard courts. With nine major titles, he moves past Connors, Agassi, and Ivan Lendl in terms of the number of... 

Novak’s Back! Djokovic To Face Rafael Nadal in 2010 US Open Final

Published: September 12, 2010

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Novak Djokovic hasn’t made it easy—not for himself and not for those who backed him from the start. It’s been three years since he lost his first major final at the 2007 US Open to Roger Federer, who actually said that the straight-set result belied the match’s competitiveness. Only months later, Djokovic had finally pulled through, winning the Australian Open and beating Federer... 

2010 US Open: Can Robin Soderling Break the Cycle?

Published: September 8, 2010

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Something funny has happened to Robin Soderling over the past year and a half: He has become reliable. His serve got more consistent, he started hammering those forehands more authoritatively, and he began believing that he could beat the best. Furthermore, he believed he could do it at the game’s most recognized venues. Go back to the start of 2009 and you see a pattern emerge: Something, perhaps... 

U.S. Open Tennis 2010 Schedule: Key Storylines To Watch Tuesday

Published: September 7, 2010

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The list of players in both the men’s and women’s draws is thinning rapidly, with the most intriguing matchups ahead. As the men’s side plays half of its fourth-round matches and women start their quarterfinals, Tuesday features both the top male player and the women’s defending champion in action. Among those and the many other singles and doubles matches on tap, the most intriguing... 

U.S. Open 2010: Five Reasons Andy Murray Can Finally Break Through

Published: September 2, 2010

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2008 US Open finalist Andy Murray is through to the second round of this year’s event. After his routine victory over Lukas Lacko in round one, Murray is now set to face Dustin Brown of Jamaica in the second. Murray, one of the favorites to win this title based primarily on his win at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, is yet to win his first major. He’s known good results in New York, however,... 

Looking Back 2002: Pete Sampras Proves a Point

Published: August 31, 2010

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Americans love a prizefight, even when the sport isn’t boxing. Tennis is one of those rare experiences that can offer that one-on-one contest of physicality, skill, strategy, and endurance—all without the combatants having to get punched in the face. Watch closely enough during this year’s US Open and eventually a match, probably in the men’s draw, will eventually be described... 

U.S. Open 2010: James Blake Struggling, But Still Excited to Play

Published: August 28, 2010

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James Blake has not had a good year on the tennis courts.  It started promising enough, when he pushed last year’s US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro to five sets in the second round of the Australian Open, but since then he has compiled a record of 11-14 for 2010, having been forced to spend three months recovering from a knee injury this spring. He is currently ranked No. 111. Off... 

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