NEW YORK — As he cranks up his comeback to the tennis world, Rafael Nadal admits he isn’t certain how his balky left knee will handle the upcoming hardcourt circuit.
“I’m feeling better,” Nadal said before losing to Juan Martin del Potro, 7-6, 6-4, Monday night on a hardcourt in the BNP Paribas Showdown in his first appearance at Madison Square Garden. “I have to see how the knee will answer in Indian Wells.”
Nadal, ranked No. 5 in the world, should be tested at Indian Wells, the California hardcourt event that will feature 49 of the top 50 players in the world and begins Thursday.
“We will see how [my knee] answers better next week in Indian Wells,” said Nadal, the 11-time Grand Slam singles champion. “That will be the big test for me, to play an official match.” To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — At 31 years old, Serena Williams is the oldest woman ever to be ranked No. 1 in the world.
And while that achievement is important, perhaps of more significance is that Williams is closing in on a couple of tennis legends on the all-time Majors list.
Williams owns 15 career Major singles titles and remains three behind Hall of Famers Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who won 18 apiece.
“It’s very close but it’s extremely far away,” Williams said before beating world No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-3, Monday night in the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Some of the biggest names in the history of men’s tennis are seriously concerned about the long-term health of Rafael Nadal.
Nadal hasn’t played since Wimbledon because of recurring knee problems and is not competing this week in the ATP World Tour Finals in London. His uncle, Toni, has said Nadal will return for an exhibition Dec. 28 in Abu Dhabi.
“I think be concerned,” 14-time Grand Slam singles champion Pete Sampras said at the NASDAQ Indexes Cup at Madison Square Garden. To read more of this story, click here
Here’s the ATP release:
Novak Djokovic has clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking, becoming the first player to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons since Roger Federer achieved four straight World No. 1 finishes from 2004-07.
Djokovic, who lost the World No. 1 ranking to the Swiss on 9 July following a 53-week reign, will reclaim the top spot on Nov. 5 when Federer drops his points from his 2011 title wins at the Swiss Indoors Basel, BNP Paribas Masters and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Federer will then not be able to earn enough South African Airways ATP Rankings points to finish the year ahead of Djokovic. To read more of this story, click here
Rafael Nadal says his left knee is still in pain and he has no precise timetable for getting back on a tennis court.
“I wouldn’t know,” Nadal, who last played June 28 in a second-round loss at Wimbledon to Lukas Rosol, said Tuesday on a conference call. “That’s something I will know when my knee is completely without pain.… It could take three weeks, it could take one month and a half, I don’t know.”
An 11-time Grand Slam singles champion ranked No. 4 in the world, Nadal was on the call to promote his match against Juan Martin del Potro on March 4 at Madison Square Garden in the BNP Paribas Classic. Serena Williams will also play women’s world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in a rematch of the U.S. Open final won by Serena. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — The ‘Big Three’ in men’s tennis is now officially a ‘Big Four’ and, boy, did this Golden Age just become a whole lot more compelling.
As if things weren’t interesting enough with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic winning 29 of 30 Grand Slam events entering this U.S. Open, now here comes Andy Murray crashing his way into the party by virtue of a scintillating 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Djokovic in Monday’s epic final. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK – Andy Murray exorcised his own personal demons and lifted a 76-year-old British curse by winning the U.S. Open championship Monday night.
On a windy, chilly night inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Murray’s 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory over defending champion Novak Djokovic in the men’s final gave Murray the first major of his career and Britain’s first since Fred Perry won the U.S. Championships in 1936.
The epic contest lasted 4 hours, 54 minutes, tying the longest men’s final in U.S. Open history.
When Djokovic smacked a forehand long on the second match point, Murray crouched near the baseline and covered his face with his hands. He was soon crying tears of joy and later lifting the U.S. Open trophy.
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NEW YORK — Even after Sunday afternoon’s dramatic U.S. Open women’s final, the WTA rankings will say that Victoria Azarenka is No. 1 in the world and Serena Williams is No. 4.
Yet anyone with a pair of eyes can see that Williams is not only the best player in the world right now, but more than likely the greatest ever.
“I think Serena’s playing the best I’ve ever seen,” John McEnroe said on CBS during the first set of Serena’s 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory in Arthur Ashe Stadium. “We’re watching, to me, the best female player that’s ever played this game.”
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NEW YORK – What a difference a day made for Novak Djokovic.
One day after falling behind David Ferrer in pre-tornado weather on Saturday, Djokovic re-set his game and then cleaned Ferrer’s clock, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals to reach his fourth U.S. Open final and notch his 60th match win of the season.
Awaiting the defending champion in Monday’s final is Andy Murray, the Scotsman who completed his semifinal match Saturday and is still seeking his first Grand Slam title.
“We all knew that he’s definitely a contender to win a Grand Slam title, you know, any year in last five years,” Djokovic said of Murray. “But it just wasn’t to be in the last four for him.
“Tomorrow I guess he’s going to be very motivated to win the title. But me, too. Also I will try to win the match.”
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NEW YORK — Andy Murray is sitting pretty to win the first Grand Slam title of his career and possibly become the Player of the Year in men’s tennis.
And he has the incompetency of U.S. Open officials to thank for it. Or at least their supremely questionable decision-making.
If Murray does end up winning the Open on Monday afternoon, he and his Scottish compatriot Sean Connery – the original James Bond — should consider sending a case of Scotch to tournament director David Brewer and his colleagues.
Murray beat Tomas Berdych 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7) in terribly windy and distracting conditions in the semifinals Saturday, but at least he got his match in before the rains came and play was suspended. To read more of this story, click here