Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wimbledon draw puts Roger Federer in bottom half could face Nadal or Murray in 2nd week

LONDON - Defending champion Novak Djokovic avoided his three biggest traditional rivals in the Wimbledon draw on Friday as the other members of tennis' "Big Four" were all placed on the opposite side.

Serena Williams had no such luck in the women's draw, where she may have to get past a trio of former No. 1s - sister Venus, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova - just to get to the final.

Canadians Eugenie Bouchard, Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil will compete at the third Grand Slam event of the tennis season.

Seeded no. 12 in the women's draw, Bouchard will take on Ying-Ying Duan on China in the first round. Raonic will open against Daniel Gimeno-Traver, while Pospisil will face qualifier Vincent Millot of France.

The draw at the All England Club set up a number of intriguing possibilities for the upcoming two weeks, especially with former champions Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal all grouped together in the bottom half of the men's draw. Murray and Nadal could face each other in the quarterfinals, with Federer possible awaiting the winner in the semis.

The bottom half also includes former finalist Tomas Berdych and former semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, leaving Djokovic facing a possible semifinal against Stan Wawrinka, the man who beat him in the French Open final.

Djokovic does face a potentially tricky start of the tournament, though, as he'll open play on Centre Court on Monday against German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber and could face Australian former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the second round. Hewitt, the 2002 champion, is playing Wimbledon for the final time and has always enjoyed huge crowd support at the All England Club.

Another Australian, Bernard Tomic, could then await Djokovic in the third round, while Kei Nishikori of Japan is a potential quarterfinal opponent.

Two-time champion Nadal is seeded only No. 10 this year after a disappointing season that saw him lose at the French Open for only the second time in his career. He could face fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the fourth round.

Murray was given one of the toughest possible draws as he tries to win the tournament for a second time, with the home favourite potentially facing Tsonga in the fourth round, Nadal in the quarters, Federer in the semis and Djokovic in the final.

Federer will start his quest for a record eighth title against Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina and could face Berdych in the quarterfinals.

In the women's tournament, top-ranked Williams could come up against sister Venus - also a five-time champion - in the fourth round, Azarenka in the quarterfinals and Sharapova in the semis in a tough upper half of the draw.

Williams, who is halfway toward a calendar-year Grand Slam, opens play against Margarita Gasparyan of Russia. Williams lost in the third round last year and the fourth round in 2013.

Defending champion Petra Kvitova is in the other half, and could face Bouchard - last year's runner-up - in the quarterfinals.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza fall short of the doubles final in Aegon International at Eastbourne

Eastbourne: Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were ousted from the WTA Aegon International following a semifinal defeat to Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik, here today.

The top seeds lost 5-7 4-6 to fourth seeded French-Slovak combine in the last-four stage of the USD 31,000 WTA Premier grass court event, which is the last before the Wimbledon championships.

Sania and Hingis split USD 11,360 as prize money and collected 185 ranking points each.

Sania and Hingis had numerous opportunities but they could convert only three of the 15 break chances.

Caroline and Katarina broke them five times out of 12 in the one hour and 21 minutes contest.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Uncharted" movie gets delayed again

Sony has decided to take its upcoming Uncharted film in a new direction, prompting the departure of director Seth Gordon from the project.

According to The Wrap, the video game-to-film adaptation is undergoing some creative changes, as Sony chief Tom Rothman has opted to make some alterations rather than cut the film's budget.

This seems to contradict a report from Heroic Hollywood (which has since been confirmed by EW) which claims that the project is currently in "development hell" because Rothman proposed the film be created on a smaller budget, which conflicts with Sony's vision. "Sony was hoping this was their Indiana Jones and Rothman is looking at it like Resident Evil," says HH.

The movie was supposed to start filming early this year, but that obviously didn't happen. Sony is apparently looking for a big name star to play the lead role, though Chris Pratt has reportedly passed on the offer.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza through to semis in Aegon International at Eastbourne

Eastbourne: Top-seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis entered the semi-finals of the WTA Aegon International after coming from a set down to prevail over Hao-Ching Chan and Flavia Pennetta.

The Indo-Swiss duo got the better of the unseeded combo of Taipei's Chan and Pennetta from Italy 4-6 6-3 10-6 in an-hour-and 13-minute quarter-final contest of the USD 731000 grass court tournament, the last before the Wimbledon.

Sania and Hingis converted five out of the six breakpoints they got in the match, while their opponents could win just five out of 12 breakpoints.

In the semi-finals, the top seeded pair will take on Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza dominate to reach Aegon International quarters at Eastbourne

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis cruised into the quarterfinals of the Aegon International after thrashing Karolina Pliskova and Michella Krajicek in straight sets in their women’s doubles event in Eastbourne.

Top seeds Mirza and Hingis overcame the unseeded Czech-Dutch pair 6-0 6-2 in the opening round that lasted mere 45 minutes.

The Indo-Swiss duo will next face Hao-Ching Chan of Taipei and Flavia Pennetta from Italy in the quarterfinals.

The pair had previously won three back-to-back titles in Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston before hitting their first bump in the road at the start of the clay court season.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wimbledon plans more changes in the future

The blue print for Wimbledon's future features much more than green grass.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club announce its Master Plan for major enhancements to Wimbledon that include a new fixed retractable roof over Court No. 1 by 2019 in the first phase of the plan.

In addition to a retractable roof, the Club also plans to add two additional tiers of about 900 seats to Court No. 1, which would join Centre Court as Wimbledon's second stadium with a retractable roof, ensuring daily uninterrupted play for about 27,000 spectators on the two Show Courts regardless of the weather.

The Master Plan also proposes:

Repositioned Court 12 with permanent stands and views to Centre Court

A new southern garden with a potential for an entrance gate

A new indoor courts building

New clay-courts south of Somerset Road

An expanded Aorangi Terrace with views over the courts and Wimbledon Park

A proposed new public plaza outside the newly refurbished Court No. 1 with retractable roof

A new entrance plaza from the north of the site, including new planting along Church Road to strengthen a tree-lined boulevard

The Club released new Master Plan images of how Court No. 1 and Centre Court will look under the proposal.

What do you think of a new retractable roof over Court No. 1 and a new look Wimbledon?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cliff Drysdale on Wimbledon, rule changes & GOAT

Cliff Drysdale has been a Wimbledon fixture — as a player and a broadcaster — for more than a half-century.

The Hall of Famer has been ESPN's voice of tennis for more than three decades. Yet Drysdale's most memorable moment from The Championships didn't happen with a microphone in his hand — it featured a walk down the aisle followed by a trip onto Centre Court.

“I’ve been going to Wimbledon since 1962, and reached the semifinals twice (1965 and ’66) and three more times in doubles, but in 1968 I had the most interesting day," Drysdale recalled. "I got married in the morning in the Chelsea section of London and played on Centre Court in the afternoon. My bride, Jean, was the sister of my Davis Cup teammate Gordon Forbes. And my partner that day — on the court — was Torben Ulrich, father of musician [Metallica drummer] Lars Ulrich. We lost the match but it was a beautiful time.”

A Roland Garros and Wimbledon semifinalist in 1965 and 1966, Drysdale defeated his friend, Rod Laver, in the fourth round of the 1968 U.S. Nationals just weeks after the Aussie legend won Wimbledon and a year before he would sweep his second Grand Slam. In addition to his six finishes in the Top 10, Drysdale was a respected doubles player who partnered with Roger Taylor to capture the 1972 U.S. Open doubles title. He also played on South Africa’s 1974 Davis Cup championship squad.

As one of World Championship Tennis' "Handsome Eight", Drysdale was instrumental in the dawning of professional tennis. As a co-founder and the first president of the ATP, he played a prominent part in providing players with a platform within the politics of the sport, and maintains unique understanding of the decision-making dynamics of the game's governing bodies.

Today, when he’s not calling tennis matches, Drysdale runs Cliff Drysdale Tennis, a tennis club management services company that performs daily tennis operations and management for resorts, hotels and private tennis clubs.

The veteran of the small screen spends some of his spare time pondering tennis's big picture. We caught up with Drysdale for this Wimbledon preview interview.

Tennis Now: Novak Djokovic has been a dominant world No. 1. Losing to Stan Wawrinka in Paris denied him the Grand Slam and dropped his record to 8-8 in Grand Slam finals. Will there be any residual effect as Djokovic tries to defend his Wimbledon title?

Cliff Drysdale: I don't think it's an issue. I really don't think the French Open final loss had as much to do with him as it had to do with Stan Wawrinka. In my mind, Novak Djokovic is still the clear favorite to win Wimbledon.

TN: Novak hired Boris Becker to help him get over the finish line in major finals. No doubt, Becker has helped his game, but how can a coach help a player prepare for those critical stages in major finals?

Cliff Drysdale: You're talking to somebody who believes coaches have got some relevance, obviously. But to me, with or without Boris Becker, it's still a matter of winning a couple of points here and there. The idea that some ex-champion is psychologically gonna carry you over the hump on his shoulders — it doesn't make sense to me. It is what it is. A few things happen, a few points here or there can make a big difference and sometimes decide these matches. I am not blaming Becker for the fact his record in major finals has been less than stellar compared to his overall record.

TN: Conventional wisdom — and recent results — suggest if Roger Federer is going to win an 18th Grand Slam title, then Wimbledon is the likely place. He came very close to doing it last year, he's looked good this year. Do you believe Wimbledon is his best shot for another major?
Cliff Drysdale: I don't think there is any special advantage Federer has at Wimbledon. His toughest Grand Slam is the French and after that I give him an equal shot of winning in Australia or at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon is certainly one of those where he's got a legitimate shot of winning. So I understand about conventional wisdom, but we conventionalists have been writing him off as a potential Grand Slam winner now for years. And Federer always ends up in the last eight, most often in the last four and sometimes in the last two. So the Federer story has not yet been finished. That book is still open.

TN: When you see a 33-year-old Serena Williams dominating the sport and standing halfway to a calendar Grand Slam, a 33-year-old Roger Federer playing dynamic tennis as world No. 2, a 30-year-old Stan Wawrinka winning Roland Garros, a 37-year-old Tommy Haas coming back, a 34-year-old Martina Hingis and 41-year-old Leander Paes winning Australian Open mixed doubles are we entering the age of the senior set? Will over 30 Grand Slam champions become more frequent in the near future?

Cliff Drysdale: The answer is unequivocally yes. I've been struggling with why. And I'm having a tough time answering that question. I think it has to do with the fact that the game is now a movement of corporate enterprises. It is less easy now to say 'I'm in this for myself, this is me versus the field and I've had enough.' As Borg, McEnroe [did] etc. Today, if you stop, then you let down the hundred people that rely on you and your expertise as a tennis player. That's one explanation I can come up with, Richard. Another one is the fact players are so much more inclined to keep themselves in top physical condition that it's not really a question of physicality anymore. Because they're in spectacular shape and getting better. They use knowledge of nutrition, training technology and the like. That's the explanation I can come up with. When is a 17-year-old going to win another major like Becker did, like Chang, like Sampras at 19, like Wilander? I just don't see it happening. The age shift in the sport, that is true.

TN: Years ago, I remember talking to you in Miami and you were one of the early vocal proponents for using instant replay. Is there any other rule change you believe is imminent? Like using technology to make other calls, a shot clock, play let cords?
Cliff Drysdale: Definitely. I think you can more widely use the replay system. You can use it for foot faults, for double bounces, which I think Hawk-Eye or a replay system should be used for both of those things. And I think a shot clock is going to happen. It's just a matter of time before somebody bites the bullet and introduces the shot clock. I think that it will be welcomed by the players, certainly welcomed by the spectators and it will be welcomed by the viewers. The shot clock, I think, is just around the corner and honestly I think it's about time.

TN: What's your position on on-court coaching? Do you want the Grand Slams to allow women to use coaching? Do you favor on-court coaching in the men's game?

Cliff Drysdale: Yes to both of those things. Look, I come at this thing from a television standpoint and from making things more exciting and interesting for the viewer. I think to be a part of a conversation between a player and a coach on court — and to see and hear that unfold on television or even on the internet — to make the viewer part of that conversation, makes the game more interesting. I've seen it a few times during matches on the women's tour where I'll be damned if the viewer is not drawn in to stay with the match because of this interaction between player and coach. So unequivocally yes. The ITF always says it's [adverse to change] "to preserve the integrity of the sport." But I think it's ridiculous. I think it's time to make changes to make the sport more attractive to A. watch live and B. watch on TV.

TN: Both Andy Murray and Boris Becker have been quoted saying having microphones on court minimizes player outbursts and deters players from showing their true personalities on court because they don't want to deal with the media fall-out afterward. Do you agree with the notion that technology has created a sanitized version of the sport where players are scared to really express raw emotion? Or has it brought the curtain down a bit, brought us all closer to the action? Also, some say microphones on court really amplify the shrieking. What's your view?

Cliff Drysdale: The idea that we have to get back to the days of players terrorizing officials and/or each other in order to make the sport more attractive to view, I think, is ridiculous. If anything, I think the antics and histrionics of players, while it may get on Sports Center's play of the day, I think if anything it turns people off more than it does turn them on.

And as for the shrieking, I think that is a huge turnoff for viewers. There's not one person that has ever come to me and said 'Gee, I really love to hear all the shrieking of Sharapova and Azarenka.' Not one. On the contrary, Rod Laver told me that the first time he has watched a women's Grand Slam final [in years] was at last year's U.S. Open final [between Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki] because there no shrieking. Otherwise he just turns it off and goes out and plays golf because he refuses to listen to the shriekers. And I agree with that.

There should be a limit to the volume of noise for a variety of reasons. One, because it is very unattractive for people watching in the stadium. Two, it is very unattractive for the people watching on TV. Three, it is very distracting for opponents. And four, I really believe there are certain times when the shriek muffles the sound of the ball on the racquet, which is a negative for the opponent. As a player, you listen for the spin and what kind of spin is coming toward you. Sometimes you'll hear the miss-hit or you'll hear the different spin coming off the racquet. The sound of the ball on the racquet is a legitimate part of the game.

TN: Over the last half-century you've either played or covered the greatest players in the game. Many years ago, you told me Roger Federer was the greatest player you ever saw. Do you still regard Roger as the greatest ever? Do any current players like Rafa or Novak have a chance to claim that GOAT mantle in your mind?

Cliff Drysdale: I think overall Roger Federer is the best I've ever seen. It is hard not to give Djokovic or Nadal, if he gets himself back on track, a huge nod. And I really think with Rafa's record against Roger, it speaks volumes for where he would be in history [if he returns to form]. The question is if Novak had won the French Open and ends up winning the Grand Slam, then how can you not enter Novak into the conversation of the Greatest of All Time? It's always a tough question. I think overall I would have to give the nod to Federer for his consistency and excellence over the years. And let's not forget: He's still won more Grand Slams than anybody else.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Roger Federer feels good about his Wimbledon chances

HALLE, Germany — In a small German town tucked away from the rest of the tennis world, there is a street named for Roger Federer at a grass-court tournament that he's won seven times.

This week, the Swiss man many call the greatest of all time goes for his eighth title in Halle (pronouncedhahl-UH) near Roger-Federer-Allee, but his vision is focused beyond — to another tournament that he'd like to win an eighth time: Wimbledon.

"Wimbledon has been a big goal this season for me and I'm happy how my body is feeling," Federer told USA TODAY Sports in an exclusive interview Tuesday. "I'm still here to do well, to win tournaments, to win Wimbledon, to do all these things. We're in the grass-court season, and I'm thinking ahead. I have a clear picture for what's in store for the next month."

What once was routine is now something Federer seeks more than anything in his career: another Wimbledon trophy. The seven-time champion won five in a row from 2003 to 2007, part of his record 17 majors in tennis, the most of any man.

But he hasn't been crowned the king of any major since 2012, when he won No. 7 at the All England Club. A bad back hampered his results in 2013, springing over-the-hill and washed-up questions on the 33-year-old.

But the world No. 2 said he feels as motivated and fit as ever. He discussed embracing and facing the pressures that go along with being the sport's biggest star, and said his most valued time with his twin girls, who will turn 6 this summer, are family trips to the ski hill. (He also has a set of twin boys, born last year.)

How long will he keep playing? It's a question he doesn't think about often, he said.

"It's about just playing for the right reasons, which is No. 1 because I love it and No. 2 because I want to be successful," Federer said of his continued motivation on tour. "I mean, for me to play on the tour and make the quarterfinals every week, it's not bad, but it's not going to — after everything that I've gone through — it's not what is going to keep me on tour.

"I need to play well and feel like I can beat the best and win the biggest tournaments and as long as I feel that way, I'm clearly going to keep playing."

That has been Federer's Achilles' heel the last three years: Failing to beat his biggest rivals — namely Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray — at the majors, and increasingly falling to opponents he'd previously proven bulletproof against on the sport's greatest stages.

It's also a time that Federer has become tennis' most sought-after commodity, for fans and tournament organizers alike. He's learned to balance the adoration and the constant pressure, which has been heaped on him for a greater part of a decade now.

"I don't freak out about it like I used to when I was younger and up and coming and I felt like all the eyes were on me. I'm more laid back today," Federer said. "(At new tournaments) I feel a bit of the pressure having to perform and having to win, really for people who buy tickets and the tournament director and myself, who has high hopes."

"It's extraordinary what he brings to an event. He's a legend," said ATP World Tour President and Executive Chairman Chris Kermode.

"He feels comfortable on Wimbledon on the grass. No one can rule him out from winning a major tournament on grass. He's fully capable of doing it."

Whether he will be able to do just that will take shape when Wimbledon begins on June 29, a full three weeks after the end of the French Open, a week longer than previous years.

On Tuesday Federer sat on a wooden deck chair on a hotel's back patio here, dressed in a sporty green Nike track jacket. Over neatly trimmed hedges across a pond, fans tried snapping long-distance photos of Federer, who appeared oblivious to their ogling. Nearby staff asked him if he'd like them to quit smoking from a few tables away. When he said he didn't mind, they stopped anyway.

"Today I'm very professional to my everyday approach to tour, because I know it's a privilege what I'm going through," Federer said. "I know that many other players would love to be competing at the highest of levels at all times, and I get to get this opportunity. I don't want to waste it; I want to make the most of it."

The man who dreams of winning another Wimbledon doesn't dream at all in his sleep, actually ("No, I never dream to be honest"), but he does let himself visualize hoisting another trophy in SW19.

"Sometimes when I don't expect it, it happens to me," Federer said of the images in his mind. "I don't necessarily sit down and visualize it, but those visions do come."

The past titles help, too.

"I don't live in the past, but the past is good and no one can take that away from me. Maybe it relaxes you a little bit, but I don't want it to make me too laid back. It allows me to say, 'Look, I've had a wonderful career, whatever comes now is just great.'"

And while looking back at his career is something he tries not to do, it's something he revels in with daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, on family trips up to the ski hill.

"We dress them up and it's a bit of a battle sometimes because of all the layers, but we pack them in the car and go," Federer explained, laughing. "I love those moments just in the car, with them in their boots and helmets and I'm driving and looking back in the rear-view mirror and just thinking, 'This is so cool.' It reminds me of my own childhood. I love that about spending time with them."

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Roger Federer 8-time Gerry Weber Open Champion!

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Roger Federer further cemented himself as the grass king on Sunday at the GERRY WEBER OPEN, capturing an unprecedented eighth Halle title and 15th overall crown on the surface.

The World No. 2 overcame a strong test from Andreas Seppi to prevail 7-6(1), 6-4, claiming their third FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting of the year. Federer improved to 12-1 against the Italian, firing 14 aces and 36 winners, while staving off all four break points faced.

A day after earning his 50th match win in Halle, Federer became just the third player in the Open Era to claim at least eight titles in a single tournament, joining Rafael Nadal and Guillermo Vilas. Nadal has won nine times at Roland Garros and eight in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, while Vilas emerged victorious on eight occasions in his home capital of Buenos Aires.

"I think that I did very well here in the tie-breaks," said Federer. "I served well which you have to on the grass. I was able to mix it up, so I created a good pattern going into the tie-break. My opponent wouldn’t quite know where it’s going to go and if he knew where it was going to go it was going to be tough for him to defend. I think I did a really nice job this week on these situations.

"I think one big secret on grass is when to hit which shot and playing the score the right way. You might be playing perfect but then in one moment you take a bad decision and grass makes you pay for it all. So, this week has been great if I look at the whole thing. I don’t think I got broken anymore the last four matches I played. The first match was extremely close but I won all the tie-breaks this week, which gives obviously big confidence knowing that in the crucial moments my game was right there."

Federer was clutch throughout the one-hour and 48-minute affair, saving a pair of set points at 5-4 in the first, before racing through the ensuing tie-break. A slice approach and lunge volley gave him a 2-0 lead and he would secure the opener after Seppi netted a double fault. It was the top seed's sixth straight tie-break won this week and he would press for a break in the eighth game of the second set, but Seppi held after 10 minutes. The Italian would not be as fortunate in his next service game, and with the added pressure of serving to stay in the match, he fell behind 15/40 and was unable to recover.

One of 13 titlists aged 30 & over in 2015, Federer brings home €381,760 and 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points. He improved to 86-44 in tour-level finals and is now eight titles behind Ivan Lendl for second on the Open Era list.

Seppi, meanwhile, was bidding to notch his fourth ATP World Tour title and first since hoisting the trophy in Moscow 2012. The 31-year-old Italian drops to 1-2 in grass-court finals, having previously split consecutive title matches on the lawns of Eastbourne in 2011 (d. Tipsarevic) and '12 (l. to Roddick).

"It was a fantastic week for me," said Seppi. "A first final in a 500 tournament. I had some chances in the first set with two set points but I can be happy with the level I played and congrats to Roger for winning another title here in Halle. In the important moments he stepped up his serve."

 Happy Father's Day indeed!. #8 & #86 in career titles.  The man still astounds me :).

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Roger Federer reaches his 10th Gerry Weber Open Final in Halle

Halle: Seven-time champion Roger Federer defeated big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) to reach the Gerry Weber Open final for the 10th time on Saturday.

Karlovic had not been broken in 48 service games all week with the eighth-seeded Croat firing 45 aces on Friday, an ATP record for a best-of-three-sets match.

Karlovic relied heavily on his serve again, hitting 20 aces, but ultimately had no answer as Federer dug deep and moved a step closer to claiming his 15th title on grass.

Both players held serve until Federer made a mini-break to go 4-3 up in the first tiebreaker. The Swiss did it again and won the first set on Karlovic's double-fault.

Federer saved the only break point he faced at 2-1 in the second.

Another mini-break put Federer 3-2 up in the second tiebreaker, but Karlovic answered for 3-3. Federer correctly challenged a call that would have put the 27th-ranked player ahead and secured another mini-break when Karlovic hit a return to the net. He wrapped it up in 1 hour, 28 minutes.

The second-seeded Kei Nishikori faced Italy's Andreas Seppi in the other semi-final later. The Japanese player was hoping to reach his first ATP final on grass.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Roger Federer easily dispatches Florian Mayer to reach Gerry Weber semis in Halle

Top-seed's relentless run in Halle continues as he dominates local favourite Florian Mayer 6-0, 7-6 (1)

Roger Federer is through to a tenth Gerry Weber Open semi-final after efficiently disposing of German Florian Mayer in a little over an hour on Stadion Court 6-0, 7-6 (1).

The tournament takes on added impetus for all the players as it has been upgraded to a Masters 500 event and it looks as if the Swiss maestro is on course once again to lift the title here in Halle after producing another world-class display.

The top-seed has made nine consecutive finals in Germany winning seven of those and this victory marks the 33-year-old's 49th on the green turf in Halle. Unprecedented stats from a man who has achieved it all.

Stats were definitely not in Mayer's favour coming into today's contest as Federer had won all five of their meetings on tour, two of which had come on the same very court.

The German is still finding his way back into the tour after 12 months out with a thigh injury which has seen the once ranked 18 German fall to new depths at 487 in the world.

He won his first match at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart but since then has lost seven out of his last eight matches but something about his home tournament brings out the best in Mayer.

Four quarter-finals in his last five visits and two good wins over Jan-Lennard Struff in round one and Steve Johnson in round two had given Mayer a lot of hope and backed by a partisan crowd he took to the challenge of downing the great man.

A challenge made all the more difficult as Federer went nuts in the first set ripping through six games in a row without reply to silence the large German faithful. The Swiss was in sublime form, serving with authority and finding immediate depth and accuracy on all his ground strokes.

Mayer improved dramatically in the second set but Federer always had him at arms length. The German was rewarded for his spirit to force a tie-break but was outclassed once again winning only one point as the maestro conducted yet another world class victory.

Federer now plays the big serving threat of Ivo Karlovic in the last four in what is expected to be a much tougher test for Federer as he bids for an outstanding eighth title in Halle and a fifteenth grass court title in all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Roger Federer comfortably moves into Gerry Weber Open quarters in Halle

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Roger Federer continued the defence of his Halle Open title with a second round win over Ernests Gulbis.

The top seed was beaten by the Latvian in their previous meeting at last year's French Open, but refused to allow a repeat as he closed out a 6-3 7-5 win in Germany.

Federer, who has already won the trophy on seven occasions, was gifted a crucial break in the second set when Gulbis double faulted and he calmly served out for a place in the quarter-final.

After surviving a scare against Philipp Kohlschreiber, Federer made far more comfortable progress against a foe who had troubled him in the past.

Gulbis had won two of their four matches, extending the Swiss star to at least three sets on every occasion, but the world No 2 ruthlessly claimed the opening set after snatching a break.

He only required one more timely break in the second set, with Gulbis miscuing a serve while under concerted pressure, and Federer will next meet home favourite Florian Mayer.

The German claimed a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) win over Steve Johnson, which featured a string of thrilling rallies, and he was joined in the next stage by third seed Tomas Berdych, who overcame Borna Coric with a 6-3 6-2 win.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Roger Federer survives scare in 1st round of Gerry Weber Open in Halle

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Roger Federer got away with a close call in the opening round of his favorite Wimbledon tune-up event, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (8), 3-6, 7-6 (5) at the Gerry Weber Open on Monday.

Federer is seeking his eighth title in Halle, a grass-court tournament that is traditionally his preparation for Wimbledon, where he will be chasing a record eighth title later this month.

“We were not happy with the draw,” the top-seeded Federer said. “He could have won today and would have deserved it. I was lucky, although I’d already been thinking that this may not be my day.”

Federer mixed some spectacular moves, including a behind-the-back shot when caught on the wrong foot, with some uncharacteristic errors. He appeared irritated by a late challenge by the German and hit a volley wide to drop serve. Federer’s backhand into the net gave Kohlschreiber the middle set.

Federer wasted two match points at 5-4 in the third and trailed 5-3 in the tiebreaker, with Kohlschreiber having an opportunity to serve out the match.

But he missed with a slice and then slipped while trying to reach a shot. With the score at 5-5, Kohlschreiber hit a wild smash way out of court and then his return ended in the net, giving Federer the victory. Federer improved to 9-0 in head-to-head meetings with the German.

“I know him well, we practice together, we know each other’s game,” Federer said. “The first round on grass is always difficult and complicated.”

In other first-round action, rising Croatian hope Borna Coric defeated Donald Young of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Alejandro Falla of Colombia defeated Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in a match between two qualifiers.


Roger Federer confident he can beat Novak Djokovic on grass

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer is confident he can beat Novak Djokovic if the conditions are right at the All England Club.

Roger Federer believes he has a better chance of beating world number one Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon if the grass courts play fast.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion returns to the All England Club later this month in an attempt to win his first grand slam title since 2012, having gone 11 without triumph since that success in London.

He came close to an 18th grand slam crown at Wimbledon 12 months ago as he beat Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic on the way to the final, but Djokovic was too strong for him over five sets.

Djokovic has won three of their five meetings since, including a straight-sets victory in Rome, but Federer is convinced he can challenge the Serb in the right conditions.

"If the surface is fast, I have a better chance against him," the Swiss said. "But even on a slow surface I've played well in the past against Djokovic.

"Of course, he has become so good, especially with his footwork. But his error rate is still very low.

"He plays very consistently in the offence. His serve has improved. He is one of the best, if not the best return player on the tour.

"This is of course good for grass court, but I still have the feeling if it's faster, he's doing more difficult to control everything. If I can play offensively against him, it is of course always good.

"We are far away from each other in the draw. I believe we can meet each other only in the final. So I do not think about him. In Paris he was the favourite. Therefore he moves on. He's definitely the favourite for Wimbledon."

Djokovic was denied a career grand slam when he lost in four sets to Federer's compatriot Wawrinka at the French Open earlier this month.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Grass makes Roger Federer smile

Roger Federer ready for Gerry Weber Open title #8 in Halle Germany

Seventeen-time major winner Roger Federer said he is still benefitting from the confidence gained from his 2014 grass-court campaign.

Roger Federer said he could not believe how successful he was in the 2014 grass-court season, ahead of embarking on this year's Gerry Weber Open.

Federer became a seven-time winner in Halle after successfully defending his 2013 crown last year, and is eyeing a three-peat as he builds towards another Wimbledon campaign.

Speaking ahead of a first-round clash with local hope Philipp Kohlschreiber, Federer said he was in awe of his own form on the surface on which he has won seven majors at the All England Club.

Federer could not quite make it eight SW19 titles in 2014, losing the Wimbledon final in five thrilling sets to Novak Djokovic.

Regardless, he is confident ahead of his 2008 Halle final rematch against Kohlschreiber.

"Of course I'm surprised at how well I played here in Halle and also in Wimbledon last year," top seed Federer said.

"I never thought that I could ever play so well in my career on grass.

"It was always a dream to play such good tennis on grass or even be able to play on a grass court.

"Where I grew up, there was only sand, carpet or dirt. So a grass court was always a dream.

"Of course at this stage of my career I want to have the perfect preparation for Wimbledon.

"That means a victory here. I want to defend the title in a tough field of competitors. That's exactly what I need right now.

"I've been playing great for the last 12 months.

"I had the feeling that everything went well after I played at Halle last year, except in Australia where it didn't go so well.

"But I was confident everywhere else, so I hope I can play well here."

Kohlschreiber has never beaten Federer in eight career meetings, four of which have been on grass - three at Halle alone - but the German did win the title here in 2011.

A potential grudge match awaits Federer in the second round, as the Swiss could face Sergiy Stakhovsky - the Ukrainian who stunned Federer at Wimbledon in 2013.

Kei Nishikori is the second seed in Germany, and faces Dominic Thiem in the first round.

Third seed Tomas Berdych is up against Victor Estrella Burgos, while fourth seed Gael Monfils will take on Lukas Rosol.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Jimmy Fallon's Roland Garros grunting montage

LOL!. Bound the be a classic.  Thanks Jimmy :).  I still laugh at Schiavone's grunt, it just sounds like a sneeze :D.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Justine Henin & Andy Roddick join BBC Wimbledon coverage

Andy Roddick will return to Wimbledon this year in a new role.

“I'm honored to join the BBC team for Wimbledon," Roddick said in a statement. "The Championships will always have a special place in my heart, and I'm excited to come back to cover them."

Also joining the BBC this year will be former No. 1 and multiple Grand Slam winner Justine Henin who will be on radio coverage.

"I feel very excited," Henin said. "Wimbledon has produced a lot of memories for me and it’s great to be able to give something to the listeners.”

Roddick, who retired from tennis in 2012, reached three Wimbledon finals in 2004, 2005, and 2009.

The news of the former U.S. Open champion, known for his quick wit, joining the BBC's live coverage was hailed across social media. Praise also came from Roger Federer on Twitter.
Roger Federer

Love that @andyroddick is going to be commentating @Wimbledon this year. A-Rod is the man

. @rogerfederer @Wimbledon Hopefully it will be easier to talk about you, than it was to play against you :)

HAHA!.  A-Rod has always had a great sense of humor. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Roger Federer jumps to #5 on Forbes highest paid athlete in the world

World No. 2 Roger Federer is second to none when it comes to the title of highest-paid tennis player.

Maria Sharapova retains her title as the world's highest-paid female athlete. The 17-time Grand Slam champion earned $67 million over the past year, according to Forbes Magazine's 2015 World's Highest-Paid Athletes List, which makes Federer the world's highest-paid tennis player. 

For an astounding 11th consecutive year, Sharapova is the world's highest-paid female athlete, earning $29.7 million, which puts her at No. 26 among all athletes.

Sharapova ranks ahead of world No. 1 Serena Williams, who is the second highest-paid woman athlete with $24.6 million, and No. 47 overall. Sharapova earned $23 million in endorsements, which is $10 million more than Williams earned from sponsorship deals. The 20-time Grand Slam champion earned $11 million in prize money—$5 million more than the Russian. 

Federer, who cashed in $9 million in prize money and $58 million in endorsements, ranks as the fifth highest-paid athlete in the world in Forbes's 2015 Highest Paid Athletes List. A year ago, Federer was seventh in overall earnings at $56.2 million. 

Boxer Floyd Mayweather, who earned $300 million during the past year, leads the list followed by the man he defeated, Manny Pacquiao, who ranks second with $160 million. Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo ($79.6 million) and Lionel Messi ($73.8 million) are third and fourth on the overall list followed by Federer at No. 5. 
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who made $48.2 million, ranks No. 13 overall on the list. 

Rafael Nadal, who earned $32.5 million total, is No. 22. Nadal cashed in $4.5 million in prize money and $28 million in endorsements. Forbes reports it calculates the annual earnings figures to include "all salaries, prize money and bonuses paid out between June 1, 2014, and June 1, 2015. 

Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing fees for the 12 months through June 1 based on conversations with dozens of industry insiders."

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Stan Wawrinka denies Novak Djokovic becomes 1st time French Open Champion!

Stan Wawrinka captured his second Grand Slam championship and denied Novak Djokovic a slice of history on Sunday in Paris as he rallied from a set down to beat the Serb 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the Roland Garros final.

The Swiss was warmly congratulated at the handshake by Djokovic before climbing into the stands to celebrate with his coach, Magnus Norman – the runner-up at Roland Garros in 2000 – and his family. He then returned to the court to embrace Djokovic once more.

Three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten, who beat Norman in the 2000 final, presented La Coupe des Mousquetaires to Wawrinka. There was a special and prolonged ovation for three-time runner-up Djokovic, who was moved to tears by the reception he received on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Wawrinka was rewarded for playing lights-out tennis for much of the three-hour, 12-minute contest. He struck 59 winners, almost twice as many as Djokovic, and never let his head drop as the Serb relentlessly fended off break points. After rallying from 0/40 down in the eighth game of the fourth set – having already been a break down – Wawrinka red-lined a backhand winner to break Djokovic and served out the contest, saving break point before finishing with another lethal backhand.

Wawrinka will return to the Top 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday after joining Roger Federer (2009) as the only Swiss champions at the clay-court Grand Slam. The Lausanne native added to the Australian Open crown he won in January 2014 (d. Nadal), making him just the sixth active player to win multiple major titles.

The 30-year-old Wawrinka, who won the boys’ singles title in Paris in 2003 (d. Baker), is the first former junior champion to lift the men’s singles trophy since Mats Wilander in 1988.

Wawrinka had beaten 17-time major champion and good friend Federer in the quarter-finals before denying home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals. At 30 years and 71 days, he is the third oldest first-time Roland Garros champion in the Open Era.

World No. 1 Djokovic was bidding to become the eighth man in history to complete the career Grand Slam. It is the third time that the Belgrade native has finished runner-up in Paris, having fallen to Rafael Nadal in the 2012 and 2014 finals.

The Serb had stunned nine-time Roland Garros champion Nadal in straight sets in the quarter-finals before edging Andy Murray in a five-set semi-final that spanned two days.

Djokovic was looking to win his ninth Grand Slam championship, having opened the 2015 season by triumphing at the Australian Open (d. Murray). The right-hander suffered just his third defeat of the season and saw his 28-match winning streak come to an end; his last defeat had come against Federer in the Dubai final.

Stan is the man once more!.  Who would have thunk it?!.  Don't think many people saw this coming. 

Everyone thought Djokovic was an automatic shoe in after beating Nadal, I gotta admit I felt so sad for him this time.  

He fought so hard to finally dominate Nadal & get past Murray only to lose in the last hurdle. 

Granted Stan played outstanding & completely deserved it, but still you gotta feel for Novak.

I think everyone also thought that Stan would be a one Slam wonder for a while, but he's proven otherwise. 

Since Federer couldn't win it this year, having Stan win as the Swiss #2 makes for a nice consolation prize as a Swiss tennis fan.  It also kind of justified Federer's loss to him in the quarters.

Congrats Mr. Wawrinka on your 2nd Grand Slam title.  Once more you've proven to be one tough customer.  Well done!.  

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Roger Federer talks tennis idols

What is it like to step on the court with your tennis idol? For 23-year-old Damir Dzumhur,Roger Federer’s third-round opponent on Friday in Paris, it was out of this world.

“I was warming up, and I was still not believing that I'm playing Roger Federer,” he said. “Really, it was a strange feeling, like I'm dreaming. But then suddenly I switched when I started to play.”

Federer, too, vividly remembers what it was like to compete against Pete Sampras in their fourth-round Wimbledon epic in 2001. The Swiss was just 19 years old.

“I never got a chance to play [Boris] Becker and [Stefan] Edberg, but Pete clearly was huge, plus it was on Centre Court at Wimbledon.” Federer said. “It was just already very exciting playing against the guys you knew from TV, doesn't matter who it is.

“You just wonder: Does your game actually match up with those kind of guys? Because it's so surreal that you don't think it does, and then you realize it's so easy to win games. I thought it was the most exciting time almost in my playing career, rubbing shoulders with those guys, seeing them prepare, joke around, being one of you, and all of a sudden, you become friends with them. I think it's very cool.”

Federer would topple Dzumhur 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the Round of 16 at Roland Garros for an 11th straight year. As engaged as both players and fans were in their third-round battle, there were two spectators who may have been a bit distracted: Federer’s 5-year-old twin girls sat in the stands engrossed in a comic book and a smart phone.

“They are happy when I'm back from the matches,” Federer said with a laugh. “They are happy when I come back from practice because they like spending time with me rather than me being gone. I'm happy it's that way and not the other way, that they can't wait for me to go play tennis.

“Clearly they like looking at their books and all that stuff. I don't blame them. It's sweet that they are out with their friends, together as a family. Today they are old enough to not make any more noise and stuff, so it's nice to see them out there.”

Federer will no doubt fit in some family time as he mentally prepares for a challenging fourth-round match against the winner of Gael Monfils and Pablo Cuevas.

Stan Wawrinka becomes the 3rd Swiss player to reach Roland Garros Final

One year after a first-round exit in Paris, Stan Wawrinka has reached a second major final with his 6-3, 6-7(1), 7-6(3), 6-4 defeat of Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on a steamy Friday at Roland Garros.

The 2014 Australian Open champion is the first No. 8 seed in the Open Era to reach the championship match at the French Open. He will face off against either World No. 1 Novak Djokovic or World No. 3 Andy Murray next.

Wawrinka, who won the boys’ singles title here in 2003 (d. Brian Baker), captured a routine first set thanks to an early break. He looked to be in control in the second despite a 31 per cent first serve percentage, earning five break points on Tsonga’s service game at 5-5. Amid chants of “ALLEZ, TSON-GA”, the hometown hero would maintain his composure, holding serve and dominating in the ensuing tie-break.

The 72-minute third set featured no service breaks, forcing Wawrinka to take a two-set lead in yet another tie-break. An early break in the fourth set would give the Swiss the leeway he needed to seal victory.

At the conclusion of the nearly four-hour match, Wawrinka had served 15 aces and saved 16 of the 17 break points he faced.

"He got off to a good start," said Tsonga of his opponent. "He played well from the very beginning of the match. He prevented me from being aggressive. I couldn't control the balls very well... He was more clinical, I would say."

Of the 39 players aged 30 and over who started in the French Open draw, Tsonga and Wawrinka, both 30, were the two remaining. The duo had split their previous six meetings, including two five-set matches at Roland Garrosin 2011 and ’12.

Wawrinka has now won nine of his past 10 matches against French opposition at the Grand Slams.


With this win Stan 'the man' Wawrinka became the 3rd Swiss to reach this final behind Roger Federer & Martina Hingis.  Nicely done!.

Looks like Djokovic is having a tougher time with the match suspended till tomorrow due to weather concerns no rest in between.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza out of French Open in the quarters

Indian ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis crashed out of the French Open after being upstaged in straight sets by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in their women’s doubles quarterfinal match on Wednesday.

Top seeds and hot favourites, Sania and Martina went down to the seventh seeded American-Czech pair 5-7 2-6 in the Clay Court Grand Slam.

With this defeat, India’s campaign in the main draw of the French Open is over.

It was a below par performance by Sania and Martina, managing to win just a total of 61 points as compared to 70 by their lower-ranked rivals.

Sania and Martina simply failed to live up to their reputation as they struggled throughout the match.

Although they fought hard in the opening set, the Indo-Swiss duo could not step up the momentum when needed and lost 5-7.

In the second set, Sania and Martina turned out to be no match to their opponents. They lost their serve in the beginning of the set itself to fall behind 0-2.

Leading 2-0, Mattek-Sands and Safarova tightened the noose and the top seeds were left to play only the catching up game, which they eventually lost to bow out of the tournament.


Too bad, but Lucie Safarova is having a great tournament so it's no surprise Martina & Sania lost. 

Disappointing, but not unexpected. 

Hopefully they can do better on the grass at Wimbledon in 3 weeks.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Novak Djokovic becomes the 2nd man to end 'kind of clay' Rafeal Nadal's run at Roland Gorros

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic kept alive his dream of completing the career Grand Slam at Roland Garros on Wednesday. He defeated nine-time champion Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 - ending the Spaniard’s 39-match winning run in Paris on his 29th birthday - to reach the semi-finals.

It was Djokovic’s first victory over Nadal at a Grand Slam championship since their epic 2012 Australian Open final contest and earned the Serb a semi-final clash with either Andy Murray or David Ferrer on Friday.

Read How The Match Was Won

The 28-year-old Djokovic is bidding to become the eighth man in history to complete the career Grand Slam. The Belgrade native had been thwarted by Nadal at Roland Garros the past three years, losing to the Spaniard in the final in 2012 and 2014 and in the semi-finals in 2013.

But the Serb had too much for Nadal in their 44th meeting on Court Philippe Chatrier. He limited Nadal to just three forehand winners as he raced to victory in two hours and 26 minutes. Victory saw him close the gap to 21-23 on Nadal in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Djokovic extended his winning streak to 27 matches. The right-hander has not been beaten since losing to Roger Federer in the Dubai final in February, going on to lift the trophies at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells (d. Federer), Miami (d. Murray), Monte-Carlo (d. Berdych) and Rome (d. Federer).

Djokovic is attempting to win his ninth Grand Slam championship and also keep alive his chance of claiming the calendar Grand Slam. The Serb was victorious at the Australian Open in January, beating Murray in the final.

The 29-year-old Nadal was looking to become the first player in the Open Era to win 10 titles at a Grand Slam championship. The Spaniard has a staggering 70-2 record on the terre battue of Roland Garros, with his only other defeat coming against Robin Soderling in the 2009 fourth round.

With the defeat, Nadal is set to fall to No. 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday; his lowest position since April 2005. Should Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Stan Wawrinka and reach the final, Nadal would fall to No. 11.

I haven't always been a fan of Novak in the past, but there's no denying that he is one hell of a tennis player.  And I've found myself really enjoying watching his matches in the last few years.

This was an outstanding performance, highly competitive & highly entertaining.  Not to mention extremely impressive.  

Only one other man has been able to beat Nadal in Paris & he had to do it in 4 grueling sets. 

Novak Djokovic has now done something not even Roger Federer is capable of, and as a life long Roger fan that's a form of the highest compliment. 

So well done Novak.  You've definitely proven above and beyond why you belong at #1. 

Andy Murray is next. That will definitely be another tough test for Novak, should be equally fun to watch.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

French Open provides another chance to savour Martina Hingis

I suspect like many others, my tennis fandom is best described as "casual" except for those intermittent stretches when it swells into a feverish bout of devotion. In other words, my tennis fandom notably increases during the Grand Slam tournaments.

In some ways tennis is reminiscent of how I consume cricket ODIs. There are so many tennis tournaments, basically every week somewhere in the world, dotting the calendar that it’s hard to be enthused by all the matches, especially those with little significance.

Just as ODI cricket’s popularity boons at big events such as the World Cup, tennis is thrust into the spotlight during the Grand Slams with the focus primarily on the singles format and the superstars who double up as some of the most celebrated athletes in the world.

As tennis’ peak season is set to start at the French Open, with Wimbledon closely following, it’s a timely chance to monitor Martina Hingis’ latest renaissance on the grand stage.

Hingis, ranked two in the world in women’s doubles, has formed a devastating partnership with Sania Mirza – who recently became the number one ranked women’s doubles player and the first Indian to achieve that lofty status.

Since pairing earlier this year, Mirza-Hingis have compiled an outstanding 18-3 record winning in Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston. Last week, they reached the final of the Rome Masters clay court event in preparation of the French Open.

The pair will be a strong contender at Roland Garros, which presents an ideal opportunity for Mirza to win her first women’s doubles Grand Slam. For Hingis, it is another opportunity to add to her burgeoning trophy cabinet – she has won 16 career Grand Slams, including nine in women’s doubles.

For tennis fans, even those who dismiss the doubles format, it is an opportune chance to marvel at Hingis, who is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant strategists ever to have played the game. At a modest 5'7" (170cm) and lithe, Hingis represents a throwback to a bygone era when smaller statured players were still capable of dominating tennis.

Due to the utter domination of the Williams sisters, women’s tennis this millennium has increasingly gravitated towards the big-hitting power game. The prototype player now is tall, strong and can relentlessly slug from the baseline. Hingis is the antithesis of those ideal characteristics. She’s a quaint figure trading on high intelligence and versatility as the backbone to her game.

Hingis’ crafty arsenal includes a gorgeous deft drop shot, savvy volleying, cunning slices and pinpoint placement. Not lightning quick around the court, Hingis dictates through her strategic brilliance.

Reminiscent of a snooker champion, Hingis has the foresight of knowing where the ball is travelling a few shots in advance. Her tremendous variety coupled with innate smarts has always made Hingis compelling and such a treat to watch.

In a sport renowned for producing prodigies, Hingis – who was named after 18-time singles champion Martina Navratilova - was perhaps the ultimate wunderkind. She won five Grand Slam singles titles before turning 19 and spent 209 weeks as world number one.

Her absolute peak was in 1997 when the then 16-year-old Hingis went 27-1 in majors with her only loss coming to Iva Majoli in the French Open final. It was one of the most remarkable calendar years in tennis history and suggested Hingis would have a prolonged reign as the best women’s tennis player.

But big hitters like Lindsay Davenport started challenging Hingis’ supremacy before the Williams sisters emerged as irresistible forces. While it was refreshing watching Hingis at her pomp, inevitably her domination at the top was fleeting.

After persistent ankle injuries, Hingis retired in early 2003 at the tender age of 22. She hadn’t won a singles Grand Slam title for four years, which left some cynics believing Hingis was consigned to the realisation she couldn’t compete with the powerful elite anymore.

Despite boasting the congenial moniker the "Swiss Miss", due to being brought up in Switzerland, Hingis had a dubious perception because of her occasional temperamental and petulant behaviour, which most infamously reared during her 1999 French Open final meltdown to Steffi Graf when she served underhand much to the derision of the crowd. It was easy to forget Hingis was still only a teenager, and that her immaturity was probably fuelled by the intense scrutiny.

Once poised to dominate throughout the 2000s, Hingis’ retirement abruptly halted one of tennis’ most promising careers. But Hingis re-emerged to the WTA circuit in 2006, where she became a crowd favourite during her Grand Slam comeback at the Australian Open. It appeared many had forgiven her earlier indiscretions, and most notably, had longed for diversity in a women’s game that had become stilted stylistically.

Although she was a regular top 10 player, Hingis was unable to legitimately contend at Grand Slams, as it appeared the speed and power of the women's game had passed her by. Her career seemingly ingloriously ended when she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon in 2007.

She received a two-year ban from the International Tennis Federation, although Hingis has always maintained her innocence despite not contesting the charges.

It appeared Hingis’ professional career was over and her destiny lay at the lucrative exhibition circuit for former champions.

Michael Jordan-esque, Hingis surprisingly made a second comeback in 2013, albeit solely in doubles.

For all her success in singles, Hingis' prowess was best utilised in doubles. She famously spearheaded a highly successful partnership with the maligned Anna Kournikova, much to the delight of gawking admirers. Hingis can better leverage her genius in doubles, and her weakness in strength can be covered by a partner powerful on the baseline.

Hingis paired with the indefatigable Leander Paes to win this year’s Australian Open mixed doubles; similar chemistry was hoped with Mirza. So far, the Hingis-Mirza combination has been an irresistible pairing. They complement each other perfectly; Hingis is adept with the backhand juxtaposing nicely with Mirza’s lethal forehand. With her forceful backcourt abilities, Mirza sets up points allowing Hingis – highly skilled at the net – to finish off.

Hingis has hinted at playing until next year’s Rio Olympics but, as she approaches 35, she may be one injury away from permanent retirement. Undoubtedly, it is an opportunity to saviour Hingis.

Watching Hingis tap into her magical bag of tricks, it’s hard not to think what her legacy could have been without the injuries or if she had played a generation earlier. During her latest reincarnation, Hingis appears to be far happier and content on the court; perhaps her comeback is more about catharsis than silverware.

It’s pleasing one of tennis’ most intriguing players and personalities has the chance to re-write the final chapter of her beguiling career, after two misfires previously.