WHICH YOUNGSTERS WOULD TAKE OVER FROM THE BIG FIVE?

With the Big Five in professional tennis aging quickly, which of the array of youngsters would take over the reins as the elite game’s leader?


Roger Federer and RafaNadal showed that they still have what it takes to play at top level even for the next two to three years. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka who have won majors and surpassed the duo, are also fast aging.

The Big Five are all in their 30s and the young stars are already getting set to take over the baton. The Federer-Nadal run was and still is incredible especially in modern day athletics. Djokovic proved to be a serious threat as they slowed down but he himself has slowed down while the Big Two picked up this season. Next season is already showing signs of a real battle for dominance as the Big Five all return to action.

Coach John McEnroe, a former World No. 1, coached a team at the Inaugural Laver Cup. There are speculations that he is gearing up to train the next generation of stars that would take over from the Big Five. Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock partnered against Federer-Nadal and it was quite a game. McEnroe showed he could motivate young guns for greater success.

Kyrgios has admitted that he could be poorly motivated at times in games and that he does not love the game that much. With McEnroe who faced similar challenges during his day, they seem to have an understanding and it is already showing in the game of the talented Australian.

Twenty year old Alexander Zverev and 18-year old rising star Denis Shapobalov are already facing immense pressure to get their game top notch and lead the next generation of stars. When they line up to play, the crowd gets enthusiastic, wanting a surprise over the veterans. For now it remains unclear who would take over from the seniors as the Big Five keep pushing.

SIEGEMUND MAKES STUTTGART OPEN FINAL

Stuttgart native Laura Siegemundhas surged to the final of the tournament for the second year in a row.


The home fans would be very happy with the development as she edged past No. 4 seed SimonaHalep. She knocked out Halep 6-4, 7-5.

Since the event was turned to clay, the German has posted victories over Venus Williams, Karolina Pliskova, and Svetlana Kuznetsova. At the Volvo Car Open, she reached the last four but she did better at the Stuttgart Open as she saw off competition from Halep. She broke twice as she battled Halep relentlessly, going up 4-0. As the game progressed,Halep fought back, winning three games.

Siegemund fought hard to win the set eventually.
As the second set started, Siegemund maintained her aggression. Halep was serious competition and the set stood at 5-4. With the crowd solidly behind her, Siegemund rallied to get the victory.

“I think it’s a combination of the support I get from the spectators and the surface. It’s a combination, and it brings out my best tennis, I think. This surface suits my game. It allows the variety you can put on clay, but also you can make the game quick and put pressure on people,” the excited tennis said her victory.

Siegemund sets up a final clash against Kristina Mladenovicat the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Mladenovic is the star that ended the run of Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova at the tournament. Sharapova returned from her 15-month absence, zooming to the last four until she clashed against Mladenovic.

The five-time Grand Slam winner defeated Mladenovic in the first set 6-3, but slipped, crashing 7-5, 6-4 in the last two sets, paving the way for a Siegemund-Mladenovic final. The German is the favourite ahead of the much anticipated game.

KERBER FAILS TO USURP WILLIAMS IN NEW RANKINGS

Angelique Kerber has failed to usurp world number one Serena Williams in new rankings after Elina Svitolina defeated her in the last four of the Dubai Championships.


The loss is the third straight one for Kerber in meetings with the Ukrainian.

Williams would likely play lesser tournaments this year. The 36-year old star is reported to likely skip the Madrid event as she tries to manage her schedule this year. After the Miami events – that ends in the first week in April – Williams might get some rest. She would likely focus on the rest of the Grand Slams for this year, Indian Wells, Rome, the WTA Finals and a few other events aside the events in Miami and Auckland, which she already played in.

Svitolina, 23, defeated Kerber 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). The 29-year old could have regained the number one spot in the WTA rankings if she had won the championships. She is the oldest player to claim the top spot when she peaked in the rankings in September 2016. She spent 20 weeks at the top before she lost it to Williams.

“I’m not thinking about this. I know how it feels to be number one. I reached it once, and for sure I will try to get back there. For me, it’s really important to be healthy, and if I play consistently the next weeks or months, then we will see what happens then. I’m not looking at the number before my name actually,” Kerber said.

Svitolina would move on to play Caroline Wozniacki who is set to play her second straight final. Wozniacki played and lost to Karolina Pliskova in Doha but she would be hoping to get a win this time around. The Dane defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-4 on her way to the final.

Venus Williams always wanted to Become Business Entrepreneur

Venus Williams says starting a business was something she had always seen as a future plan even when she was really young and that’s why, she studied business administration and also took courses of designing so that when she eventually got into business, she could contribute to it and not just be limited to providing a brand name.


In Venus’ view, one thing she knew from her teenage was that sportspersons can’t drag their careers as far as the professionals of other fields can. Even if a sportsperson spends a really long time playing, it’s still a short time from a job perspective. So, she had other career goals apart from Tennis.

Venus admits that she might be able to attract the customers and the clients for her business easier because of her name, but, she believes no business runs on the name or reputation, it actually runs on quality and she also will have to show quality and be consistent with it if she has to keep her products in the market for a long time.

According to Venus, it’s her parents who developed the multitasking attitude in her as they did not allow her or her sister to just play, but, put the two of them into studies as well and asked them to pay equal attention to the studies. So, from the childhood itself, she is kind of used to multitasking and so, she does not find it hard to play the dual role and work both as a player and as a businesswoman.

Venus says business is one of the things she prioritises at the moment in her life and she even wakes up before her normal time on days when she has to spend more time in the office.

Serena Williams reckons Caroline Wozniacki has it in her

Serena Williams reckons Caroline Wozniacki has it in her to go on and win a number of Slams in the coming years.

Wozniacki, who was the top ranked player in the world a few years back, is presently not even in top 10.

Her performances in the recent times have not been up to the standard she had once shown, but, according to Serena, she’s pretty young and still has to hit her prime.

Serena was quoted as saying, “At only 21, Caroline managed to get to the top of the rankings and not only did she get there, she stayed there for a while too and that’s an indication of how much talent she has got.”

Wozniacki had a decent 2015 as far as the winning percentage’s concerned. In the low profile events that she took part in, she went well, but, what her fans would be disappointed with is that she couldn’t go to the latter stages in too many of the majors.

In fact, she just made a solitary final appearance in the majors in the whole year.

But, Serena defended her saying that it’s not easy these days to be consistent in big tournaments all the time as the competition is extremely stiff.

In the words of Serena, “She has not had a Slam yet yes, but, I am sure it would come to her somewhere down the line and not once, a number of times. She is only 24 or 25 at the moment; there is plenty of time left.”

“You will also have to take into account that in this age, there’s so much of talent around and the competition is so tough that even if you play well at times, the success is not guaranteed. But, I have no doubt that Caroline will have her time again.”

People are considering Stanislas Wawrinka’s win over Roger Federer

People are considering Stanislas Wawrinka’s win over Roger Federer in the Round of 8 in the French Open an upset and that is obvious.

Federer was the second seeded player in the tournament, while, Wawrinka was 6 positions below him in the seedings.

Also, the head to head record between the two players was overwhelmingly in Federer’s favour.

So, the maestro losing it was definitely an unexpected thing.

However, if someone puts close thoughts into it, he would realize it was not actually that big an upset.
Wawrinka is not just another bloke on the tour. He has turned himself into a quality player over the last couple of years.

Also, he knows a thing or two about Federer’s game having playing alongside him in the Davis Cup and against him in many competitions before.

Talking about the match, it ended in straight sets, but, it could have changed upside down if the third set, which went into the tie breaker, had gone in Federer’s favour somehow.
But, Wawrinka made sure he did not make any mistake during that vital phase of the match.

With this win, Wawrinka has now come up as a real contender to even lift the trophy this time around in Paris.

His fans would be hoping that his closest competitors Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have long, tiring outings in the quarters and the semis.

As far as Federer is concerned, this loss would hurt him for a while. He was not expected to go all the way, but, he would certainly feel that he should have been in the semis.
With all due respect to Wawrinka, with Federer getting knocked out, the tournament lost a bit of spark as well. His clash against Djokovic or Rafa in the final would have made a cracker.

Maria Sharapova is best Player of this Generation

It was hard for anyone to imagine even in his wildest of dreams that Maria Sharapova, one of the best female tennis players of this generation, would lose to her compatriot and 97th ranked Daria Gavrilova in Round no. 2 in Miami yesterday.

Miami has been one of the most favoured venues for Sharapova. She has had so much of success there.

She had made as many as 5 appearances in the title round there and had surely seemed in for the 6th one this time around. But, it was not to be.

And, what must have been disappointing for Sharapova was that she did not even manage to run her young opponent close.

It was a fairly easy walk for Gavrilova. The opening set indeed looks a close one in the score line as it went into the tie break, but, Sharapova was actually struggling in that quite a bit and never looked like clinching it.

And, once that tie breaker went wrong, she almost gave up.

The Russian legend, who is one of the highest earning female sportspersons going around right now, blamed her own self for the loss saying that she was not focussed enough.

Speaking in the presentation ceremony following the match, Sharapova said, “I was the favourite going into it for sure, but, this is the beauty of the game you know. You might have an upper hand or you might be the better player, but, it’s important for you to go and play properly and get the job done. Unfortunately, I could not today. That’s the way it goes.”

“I should have been a little more patient perhaps and should have bided for my time. But, I tried to show a bit too much of aggression and that backfired I guess.”

Cowan says Murray must be cool in pressure situations

Barry Cowan has made an appeal to Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray to control his emotions on court after the number one ranked British threw away his chances in the Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic after losing his cool.

The Scot appeared to be getting a strong footing on the match in the third set when he broke the Serbian to race away to a 2-0 lead but his opponent’s injury break made him los focus as he went on to lose the match in four sets in Melbourne.

Murray has been very composed when it comes to Grand Slam finals in recent years, showing that he can be cool when things get heated up during the US Open and Wimbledon finals but according to Cowan, signs of the old vulnerability flared up again during his loss to Djokovic.

The Sky Sports expert said that it is easier to be composed from the comfort of one’s arm chair but in the heat of the game, it becomes very difficult to control one’s temper, especially in such a high octane match. He added that it felt as if the red mist had descended on Murray.

He added that no football manager would want his big game players to get sent off in a match and he would prefer them to be keeping their composure and that is the same for Murray. Cowan mentioned that it is something that he needs to address if he plans to win any more Grand Slam titles in the future.

Cowan mentioned that the likes of Roger Federer have all been so successful because they have never let the heat of the match get into their minds and mess up their focus and Andy Murray needs to do the same from now on and he needs his coaches to support him.

Roger Federer famous in Asian Sub-Continent

Despite the fact that tennis is not such a popular game in the Asian continent especially in India, Roger Federer is still a superstar in that part of the world.

The Switzerland international has to play a few matches in India next month and the tickets for those matches have already been sold out.

In India, Federer will actually be participating in the International Premier Tennis League.

It’s not a singles tournament. It’s a team event which will go on for duration of two weeks.

All the matches will not be played in India. The first leg will take place there and then, the action will move to other Asian countries.

The team which Federer is a part of in IPTL is the Indian Aces.

It’s the first international tennis tournament of which India is a host.

The people associated with IPTL were a little unsure about the response from the public. Nobody knew if people would show interest or not, but, if the first round of ticket sales is a hint, the tournament would be a success.

Yesterday, an organizing committee member was quoted as saying, “This is unbelievable response. The Indian people seem to be all set to cheer for the legends of the game some of whom are travelling to the country for the first time.”

“With top players in the world coming, the standard will be high and the spectators will surely get their money’s worth. We have kept the ticket prices rather low to make sure that people from all sections can afford to buy it.”

The players who are going to be the teammates of Federer at Indian Aces are Pete Sampras, the American legend who is not active on the tour anymore, Ana Ivanovic, the female player from Serbia and the local superstar Sania Mirza who is a doubles specialist.

Apart from these names, there are some other superstars as well who will be seen in IPTL.

Williams Paired With Hingis For First Time

Venus Williams has done almost everything on the tennis court, but, yesterday night, she did something for the first time. She paired with Martina Hingis of Switzerland in a doubles match of the ongoing World Team Tennis competition. Both these legends represented Washington Kastles and ended up winning.
This was the first time that Venus and Hingis were playing alongside each other at the professional level. They have been up against each other numerous times, but, not together before this. They used to share intense rivalry during the peak days of their careers.
So, it must have been an entirely new experience for both of them to play as a unit, but, it seems they thoroughly enjoyed it. The coordination between the two during that doubles match was impeccable.
Speaking afterwards, Venus said, “We have fond memories of those intense battles between us. We used to provide each other that extra bit of motivation.”
“Obviously, for me, the matches that I won were more enjoyable. You don’t tend to remember your defeats, do you?”
“That was an amazing time. Both of us were at our pomp and were playing as well as anyone. Recalling those days gives me a lot of pleasure.”
It was expected earlier that Venus might not be able to form a potent pair with Hingis in the doubles because her style of play is very different from the Swiss woman, but, that wasn’t the case to be. The two of them adapted to each other’s game pretty well.
When asked if it was tough playing alongside Venus, Hingis said, “Initially, it was, a little bit, but, I got used to after a few games. We two really had a great time out there.”
The total number of slams won by Venus and Hingis are 7 and 5 respectively.