To celebrate the Australian Open, AXA PPP healthcare have decided to put together a list of some memorable moments in tennis history. By doing so AXA PPP healthcare hopes to highlight the importance of sport as part of a healthier lifestyle and to encourage more people to get involved in a sport that they love, like tennis!
Over the decades there has been tears, tantrums and well, sheer greatness from some of the finest ever to have graced the sport. So without further ado…….
The world’s longest match
At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships the world’s longest tennis match took place between American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. The match lasted a gut-busting 11 hours and 5 minutes and the final score was 6-4,3-6,6-7(7-9),7-6(7-3),70-68. John Isner took the spoils of the match and has been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records and has been commemorated at Wimbledon with a plaque.
Sampras Wimbledon Record
In 2000, US tennis sensation Pete Sampras entered on the cusp of greatness. Sampras could equal the amount of Grand Slam titles previously held by Roy Emerson. What was so special about this moment was that Sampras was due to pull out due to injury. But Wimbledon was no “ordinary” slam and Sampras entered deciding to skip training sessions and rest when he could. This proved to be a wise choice and Sampras went on to beat Pat Rafter in the final. This was Pete Sampras 7th Wimbledon title and he then went on to surpass Emerson’s record by winning two more slams.
Andy Roddick became quite the showman and some say he came along at the wrong time in tennis, having to meet Roger Federer in most tournaments if he was to be granted success. He almost became better known for his press conferences than his tennis. Most notably after being defeated by Federer in the Australian Open in 2007, Andy was quoted as saying “I think I threw the kitchen sink, he brought the bathtub” referring to the loss. You can check out the hilarious video here.
Latest Ever Match Finish
At the 2008 Australian Open fans were treated (sic) to the latest match ever played in tennis history. Marco Baghdatis and Australian sweetheart Lleyton Hewitt played on until 04.44 in the morning. Fans that were able to keep their eyes open long enough saw Hewitt defeat Baghdatis by three sets to two.
Nadal v Federer 2008
Its back to Wimbledon we go to a match that some say was the greatest and most competitive of the modern generation of tennis players, if not ever. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the time were arguably two of the greatest players ever to grace the court and when they were drawn together at the Wimbledon final it served up two players at the top of their game.
It did not disappoint. It had everything, magical shots, ran delay threats and great rivalry. It all added to the drama surrounding the game. The match was so evenly contested that it went to a fifth set decider where it was Nadal who took the Championship trophy and his fifth Grand Slam.
Andy Murrays Summer 2012
Andy Murray is somewhat of an oddity to the general public. Easily the greatest British players to play the game (sorry Tim) since Fred Perry but people seem to have a hard time feeling something for him. Maybe because of his dour, dry personality or his tendency to have a strop when things aren’t quite going his way; but alas this all changed this summer when Murray reached the final of Wimbledon where he played Roger Federer.
Murray played very well but was sadly overcome by Federer who was just too good for him on the day and when Murray took the microphone to congratulate his victory emotion overcame him and he cried. This display of courage and genuine emotion saw a sea change in the way Murray was seen. This couldn’t have been more evident when just four weeks later Andy returned to Wimbledon for the Olympic men’s final and this time struck gold. It was a genuinely wonderful moment for him and the jubilation felt by the whole of the UK was remarkable.
Don’t Mess with Jeff Tarango’s wife!!
In 1995 Jeff Tarango became embroiled in a war of words with an umpire and the crowd during a match with Alexander Mronz. Mr Tarango became so frustrated with not only himself during the match but also with the crowd, telling them to “shut up” as well as claiming that the umpire was “one of the most corrupt officials in the game”. After trying to get the match referee removed Mr Tarango was disqualified and not only that his wife took it upon herself to slap the referee; not once, but twice!
Agassi’s 1994 US Open Triumph
Andre Agassi was quite often seen as the wild man of the tour (if you have read his book then you can read it first hand) and went on to become one of the greats in American tennis. With his distinctive look and style Agassi was instantly recognisable. Having had a very unsuccessful 1993 Agassi entered the US Open unseeded, and brought with him a new coach and a new style. Agassi went onto win the Open in 1994 and became the first unseeded player ever to achieve this.
Novak Djokovic, at most tournaments, has taken to impersonating his tour colleagues. He is seen as something of a joker in the locker room whilst on tour, mimicking stars such as Nadal, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova. It has had lots of tennis fans in stitches and you can see the video here.
To top the list off there could only be one man worthy. I can’t think of anyone that had such a famous temper in any sport never mind just tennis. John McEnroe’s finest moment came at Wimbledon in 1981 where his famous line “you cannot be serious” originated. McEnroe was unhappy at a line call whilst playing Tom Gulilkson and treated the whole of centre court to a verbal tirade on the umpire. It wasn’t the first and wasn’t the last outburst from McEnroe but was certainly the most famous from “superbrat”.
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MELBOURNE—We’ve come a long way in a week. When the Australian Open draws were made 10 days ago, the consensus was that Roger Federer would have to face a murderer’s row of talent just to reach the quarterfinals…
"It's getting there … with every match you start building up for the top battles starting now," said Azarenka, who only needed 57 minutes to beat the 47th-ranked Vesnina…
Djokovic Stans Tall, Escapes From Wawrinka Clutches In Australian Open Thriller; Federer, Serena Monday
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MELBOURNE, Australia — The opponent was different, the match three rounds earlier. Still, the result gave Novak Djokovic a familiar feeling, and another chance to rip off his shirt in celebration…
Apparently, there really is no end to the ways Richard Gasquet can find to sabotage his chances of winning a tennis match. Today in his fourth-rounder with No. 7 seed and countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, he quit mid-point to issue a challenge at 30-all in the first game of a must-win fourth set.
Naturally, the appeal was denied…
Once in a while, a kingdom gets a lousy monarch. Now and then, you get a pistachio nut with a shell shut tighter than a clam. Every so often, your credit card just won’t swipe through. And occasionally you get a tennis match hardly worth the name.
Sort of like the fourth-rounder between Victoria Azarenka and Elena Vesnina, when by the middle of the second set I found myself profoundly fascinated by the technique the top seed used to make sure her French braid always curls around the left side of her neck and comes to rest in a similarly precise manner…
The third-seeded Murray easily beat Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 on Monday for his fourth straight-sets win in a row…
After the herculean performance to win the 2012 Australian Open Final, it’s hard to believe that not long ago even Novak Djokovic’s most ardent followers would have scoffed at the thought of him dominating in the men’s game as he does today. Despite becoming the first Serbian to win a Grand Slam title, and only the sixth man in the open era to hold three Grand Slam titles in a calendar year, who would dare to say that his greatest achievements are not yet realised?
Although Djokovic won the Australian Open in 2008 by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final and Roger Federer in the semi-final, the domination he was to later impose on the men’s game was nowhere to be seen. Despite 2008 ending in victory over Nikolay Davydenko for his first Tennis Masters Cup final, it was followed in 2009 with another year of encouraging tour wins and near misses culminating in the disappointing surrender of his Masters Cup title before reaching the semi-final stage. He ended 2009 as world number three for the third consecutive year, having played 97 matches with a healthy, but not world beating, 78-19 win-loss record.
Despite being world number three and having one of the best two-handed backhands in the game, there was still work to do before he would become the player we know today. Even though the serve is not the be all and end all that it was in the men’s game fifteen years or so ago, it is still the vital weapon needed to set up the point. Djokovic’s serve needed improving and his coaches, Todd Martin and Marian Vajda, set about the task. However, personality and cultural difficulties were cited as the reasons for Martin, the former men’s number 4, being dumped in favour of retaining Vajda on his own in April 2010. This followed a string of indifferent results, like the fourth round loss in Indian Wells to Ivan Ljubicic and the first round elimination in Miami at the hands of Oliver Rochus.
No one could dispute the talent that Djokovic possessed, but there were some obvious failings. It was noticeable that Djokovic could tire towards the end of tough matches, becoming tetchy and angry with a tendency for smashing things. With the serve now working better, what may have been the final piece of the jigsaw was found during a simple allergy test. Djokovic was found to be gluten intolerant by his nutritionist and then switched to a gluten free diet, dumping the majority of processed carbohydrates. Foods that were previously considered vital fuel for top athletes, such as pasta, were dropped completely and a starch free diet adopted.
The rest, as the cliche goes, is history. Djokovic went on an incredible 49-match-winning streak in 2011 that was only ended by a vintage Roger Federer performance in the semi-final at the French Open in June. Although his performance level dropped towards the end of the season after picking up a back injury, 2011 was a remarkable year nonetheless. Djokovic added seven other tournament wins to his US, Australian and Wimbledon titles, accumulating a record 12 million dollar prize money haul in the process. The improvement in Djokovic’s game could be illustrated to great effect with the fact that he had now beaten the former world number one, Rafael Nadal, in six finals on three different surfaces.
Now there is debate as to whether the diet itself is the answer to Djokovic’s rise. There are many who believe the diet has merely given him the belief that it was the missing ingredient and therefore had a psychosomatic effect. Others believe that his allergy may actually have unearthed a potential new way forward in athletic performance. It is believed that Andy Murray has adopted the same diet in an attempt to emulate Djokovic’s incredible success.
Whether the effect of his diet is physical or mental is, for the large part, irrelevant anyway. Djokovic has found a way to raise his game to a new level and has broken the duopoly of Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer over the men’s game. However, with a resurgent Federer reclaiming his Wimbledon crown, and Nadal smarting from a surprise early exit, the ferocious competition for supremecy is set to build as the season continues. With the US Open and ATP Tour finals still to come, not to mention the addition of the Olympics to this year’s calendar, there’s still plenty to play for.
This article is brought to you by Keith Prowse, leading corporate hospitality providers.
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Grand slam tournaments in tennis are famous for their upsets. Pete Sampras lost a match in Wimbledon, a tournament he had won seven times prior, to George Bastil in 2002, who was ranked 145 at the time. In 2008, unranked Julie Coin took out number one ranked Ana Ivanovic in the second round at the U.S.
Open. The French Open has absolutely had its share of upsets, the most notorious one dating back to only 2009, when Rafael Nadal, who had never before lost a match at the Open, took a beating in the fourth round at the hands of Robin Soderling, who was ranked only 23 at the time, and had never fared well at the Open. This year?s French Open had its share of upsets and near upsets, which in turn made it one of the most publicized grand slam tournaments in recent memory.
Azarenka Loses to Cibulkova, Top Spot
In the fourth round, top-seeded Victoria Azarenka was taken down by number 15 player Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets. The match started off in Azarenka?s favor, as she took the first game in brisk fashion. Slowly but surely however, Cibulkova managed to win six of the next seven to win the first set rather handily. The second set was closer, but ended with Cibulkova falling to her knees in sheer joy after defeating the world?s most highly ranked player, and with Azarenka breaking her racket out of frustration. Despite Azarenka?s clear height advantage (nine inches), Cibulkova played the baseline stubbornly. She took the famously powerful shots Azarenka was firing her way and was able to put them in the corner of the opposite side of the net. After the match, Azarenka sarcastically quipped that she would kill herself. The fact is she didn?t have to; Cibulkova killed her on the court already.
Errani Defeats Stosur, Continues Unlikely Run
In the semifinals, Samantha Stosur, ranked sixth in the world, suffered a defeat at the racket of Sara Errani, ranked number 24. The Australian sensation was able to take it to the final set, but Errani reigned victorious. As much as Errani?s fans would like her to take credit for the victory, the fact of the matter is that Stosur committed an abundance of unforced errors that led to her loss. Stosur uncharacteristically committed several double faults during the match, all of which Errani was able to seize on.
Djokovic Holds On, But Just Barely
The men have not suffered the same type of upsets, but they?ve come awful close. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had four match points against Novak Djokovic in the third set, and managed to blow every one of them. Not only that, Djokovic came back to win the match in five sets. Djokovic, ranked number two in the world, has been playing phenomenal tennis as of late, so the fact that he was in such a precarious position is shocking enough, even if he ended up winning.
The other grand slam tournaments have seen some upsets as well. Just ask Lukas Rosol, who knocked heavyweight Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon in only the second round. This just makes you wonder what?s in store for the U.S. Open.
Jerome Manson is a sports enthusiast who enjoys both watching games and writing about them. When he is not cheering on his team from the stands, Jerome is blogging about 2012 US Open tennis for selectaticket.com.
If you want to become the best tennis player that you could possibly be, you have to ensure that you have a fit body that you can move easily and powerfully all over the court.
Over the years, many different methods for burning fat and building muscle have been developed. The techniques and strategies used in these methods vary considerably but out of all of them, the most effective ones are those that make use of interval training workouts.
Interval training workouts are basically workouts that alternate high intensity and low intensity workouts for maximum fat loss and muscle growth. With a good interval training routine, your body will continue to burn calories and build muscles even after the actual workout is over.
Most athletes really enjoy doing interval training because it?s a lot like many sports. It?s not just a boring routine that will have you doing the same thing over and over again. Instead, it incorporates many start and stop movements that are very similar to what is done when playing sports. Interval training can be incorporated into most kinds of workouts, including swimming, cycling, running, or even walking.
In effect, interval training is a lot like sports because the movements are not predictable. Of course, your mind would know what you are supposed to do but your body won?t. Your muscles will be constantly surprised by the frequent changes in routine, thereby encouraging them to grow more.
There are many ways to do interval training but if you just want to have an idea of how to begin, you can use the following general guidelines, which can be applied to many specific types of training:
- Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Do 2 minutes of moderate intensity or high intensity.
- Do 2 minutes of low intensity.
- Do 30 seconds of high intensity and 30 seconds of low intensity. Repeat this step 4 times.
- Do a 60-yard sprint or 10 seconds high intensity and 90 seconds of rest. Repeat this step 10 times.
- Cool down for 3-5 minutes.
The whole world knows it as the French Open but in France, it is known as the Tournoi de Roland-Garros or Les Internationaux de France de Roland-Garros. Bu no matter what name you use to call it, there is no doubt that the French Open is one of the most significant tennis events in the world today.
It all started in 1891 and was initially called the Championnat de France or the French Championships. Only members of French tennis clubs were qualified to join; women only started playing in 1897. In these early years of the French Open, the games were held alternately in four venues with different court surfaces. There was the sand on rubble court in the Île de Puteaux; the clay court in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, the clay court at the Société Athlétique de la Villa Primrose, and the clay court at the Tennis Club de Paris in Auteuil.
At the time, there was another tournament held in France called the World Hard Court Championships and this was open to international participants. Among the winners of this event were Tony Wilding of New Zealand and Bill Tilden of the USA. It is said that the World Hard Court Championships were the forerunner of the French Open because of its openness to international players.
Indeed, it wasn?t long after that the French Championships started to accept participants from other countries. The first time that the tournament was opened was in 1925, when it was held at the Stade Français in Saint-Cloud. The following year, the international French Championships were held in Paris. When the Roland Garros stadium was built in 1928, the French Championships were moved there and had stayed there to this day.
At around the same time, four French tennis players, Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet, and René Lacoste, collectively known as the Four Musketeers, were making waves in the International tennis scene by winning the Davis Cup in the USA. The following year, they wanted to defend the title in their own homeland, and this momentous event was held in the newly built Stade de Roland Garros, named after a renowned pilot of World War I.
The French Championships opened its doors to both amateurs and professionals in 1968, making it the first open Grand Slam tennis tournament in the world. Aside from the championship titles, other prizes are also given to participants in the French Championships beginning in 1981. They have the Prix Citron prize for the player displaying the strongest spirit and personality, the Prix Orange for the player with the best display of sportsmanship and excellent relations with the media, and the Prix Bourgeon for the player who has shown the most remarkable performance for the year.
These days, the French Open commences on a Sunday, where there are 12 singles matches held simultaneously on three separate main courts. The day before opening day, it has also become a tradition to hold the Benny Berthet exhibition games, where all the profits are donated for charitable purposes.
Recent developments in the world of the French Open include plans of moving the tournament from the Roland Garros stadium to a different venue. Also, a few years ago, the tournament started to award an equal amount of cash prizes to the winners of both the men?s and women?s division titles.
The Davis Cup is one of the largest international sporting events today, with 130 participating countries last year. But when it started in 1900, it was only meant to be a contest between tennis players from USA and Great Britain, which was then known as the British Isles.
Four American tennis players who belonged to the Harvard University team wanted to play against the British players, and so they made the necessary arrangements. One of the Harvard players, Dwight Davis, commissioned William Durgin to design a winner?s trophy and Rowland Rhodes to create it. Davis even paid for the trophy using his own money. It is for this reason that the tournament, which was initially called the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, eventually became known as the Davis Cup.
The Americans hosted the very first of these annual tournaments in Boston, where they had a formidable 3-0 win. Five years later, players from France, Belgium, Austria and Australasia participated in the tournament and after ten more years, more than 20 countries were taking part in the event.
During the first couple of decades, the Davis Cup was brought home either by the USA, Great Britain or Australasia, but that all changed in 1927 when France began a 6-year winning streak, courtesy of the so-called Four Musketeers made up of Henri Cochet, Rene Lacoste, Jacques Brugnon, and Jean Borotra. After the streak ended, however, USA, Great Britain and Australasia once again took the reins and alternately took the cup home for the next 40 years or so. In this period, Roy Emerson and Harry Hopman set respective records by winning the most titles as player and captain.
When the Open Era began in the world of tennis in 1969, an unprecedented 50 countries participated in the Davis Cup. Shortly thereafter, the Challenge Round was removed, and so the reigning champion was required to play all rounds rather than getting a direct ticket to the Final.
This was the same year that Nicola Pietrangeli retired from the Davis Cup, after setting several records in the sport, such as most rubbers played (164) and won (120). Finally, in 1974, the dominance of the three countries ended when South African took home the trophy, after which Sweden, Italy and Czechoslovakia also had a turn winning the tournament.
The Davis Cup as we know it today was introduced in 1981. It was also during this time that a 16-nation World Group was formed and a commercial partnership with NEC commenced, which meant that the winners now have prize money to take home in addition to the trophy and the prestige of the title.
The tournament continued to grow in popularity among other participating countries. Shortly before the Davis Cup celebrated its centenary, there were already 100 nations regularly joining in the tournament.
In recent developments, Spain is considered a top contender after having won 4 titles since 2000. Croatia has set a record for being the only unseeded contender to win the title, while Serbia and Russia also won the title for the first time in the last decade.
Anyone who is a bona fide tennis aficionado would be familiar with the name Suzanne Lenglen. Born Suzanne Rachel Flore Lenglen on May 24th, 1899 in Compiègne, Oise, this legendary tennis player took home an impressive 31 titles within the span of 12 years.
Lenglen was quite young when she started playing tennis, and was only 15 when she won her first championship title. Her tennis career did not last very long either and she also passed away at the young age of 39. But in her relatively short life and even shorter tennis career, she made a huge impact in the sport. Lenglen was among the first internationally famous female sports celebrities and was so loved by the media that they nicknamed her La Divine.
It is quite ironic that despite her amazing display of prowess on the tennis courts, Lenglen was actually a very sickly person, especially while growing up. She had frequent asthma attacks when she was very young and suffered from many other illnesses because of her frailty.
But instead of letting her stay confined in bed and be dependent on medications for the rest of her life, her parents Charles and Anaïs Lenglen decided it would be much better for her to get into sports and build her immunity and strength. Thus began her foray into the world of tennis.
The first game that Lenglen played was on their family?s tennis court in Marest-sur-Matz. She was just 11 years old at the time. Lenglen took to the sport right away and with her father acting as her coach and mentor, she quickly improved and was deemed good enough to join the French Championships (now known as the French Open) in 1914.
It turned out that she wasn?t just good enough but was actually one of the best players of the tournament. She competed in the Final and lost to defending champion Marguerite Broquedis. But in another tournament, the World Hard Court Championships that were also held in France, Lenglen took home the trophy just as she turned 15 years old.
Her tennis career indeed looked very promising but unfortunately, it had to stop temporarily because most sports events were cancelled at the time due to the eruption of World War I. For about five years, Lenglen did not enter any major tennis competitions but continued to play in local ones and didn?t stop with her regular practices. She would re-enter the international tennis scene when she played at Wimbledon in 1919.
After World War I was over, the major tennis events that were temporarily put on hold began once again. It wasn?t until 1920 that the French Championships were held again but Wimbledon immediately reopened in 1919. This was the first tennis tournament that Lenglen had played on a grass court.
Lenglen performed very well during the event and once again found herself in the final, this time facing 7-time champion Dorothea Douglass Chambers. Nobody could have envisioned the intensity and unpredictability of the match, considering that it was a contest between an established tennis pro and a young newcomer who has never played on grass before. Most people probably thought it was a sure deal in favour of Chambers. But Lenglen surprised them all, including King George V and Queen Mary, who were among the 8,000 spectators of the match.
Lenglen won the first set with a score of 10-8, and Chambers took the second set at 4-6. In the final set, Lenglen raced to a quick 4-1 advantage, after which Chambers made a comeback and regained the lead at 6-5. However, the rally wasn?t enough to secure her the win because Lenglen continued to charge until she finally took the third set with a score of 9-7.
This match made Lenglen an instant celebrity in international tennis. But it wasn?t just her amazing gameplay that attracted the attention of the press, but her unique sense of style, which some even considered quite risqué at the time. Her dresses had shorter sleeves and a shorter skirt length than what any of the other female tennis players were wearing and this caused quite a stir. Furthermore, the media also noted how the young, contemporary woman liked to sip brandy during game breaks.
When Lenglen competed in the Summer Olympics of 1920, held in Antwerp, Belgium, she won all but four of her games. When the event was over, she had won a gold medal for women?s singles and another gold medal for mixed doubles, where she was partnered with Max Décugis. She also won a bronze medal in the women?s doubles, where she was teamed up with Élisabethd’Ayen.
After her first Wimbledon victory in 1919, Lenglen went on to win four more Wimbledon titles consecutively. She wasn?t able to finish the tournament in 1924 because of health problems but she took the trophy once again when she came back in 1925.
She displayed a similar kind of performance in the French Championships, where she won the singles trophy every year from 1920 to 1926, and also the doubles trophy in five out of six years. In addition, Lenglen also took home the title at the world Hard Court Championships from 1921 to 1923.
During this golden period in her tennis career, Lenglen only lost once in a single match, and that was in an unscheduled game that took place in the USA. Lenglen was scheduled to play some exhibition games against Molla Bjurstedt Mallory, one of the top US tennis champions of the time. Lenglen?s arrival in New York was delayed because of stormy weather, which also caused her to fall ill during the journey.
Unbeknownst to Lenglen, it had been announced that she would play in the US Championships, which were starting the day following her arrival in the country. Although she was not feeling well at all ? it was diagnosed later on that she was suffering from whooping cough ? she agreed to play so as not to disappoint the fans.
Strangely enough, there was no seeding for the tournament and it appeared she was randomly chosen to play against Eleanor Goss, one of the top American players then. Goss defaulted, and Lenglen was left to play her second match against Mallory, who predictably went on to win the match.