Thanks a lot to Davinia for sharing her pictures from the Madrid Open:
Photo credit: Davinia
Aiming for a 9th Roland Garros title, Rafael Nadal will be wearing a striking blue 2014 Premier Rafa Crew, redesigned Nike Premier Rafa Jacket, Nike Gladiator Premier 7-inch Shorts and the new Nike Lunar Ballistec:
Rafael Nadal will be sporting his signature Premier Crew in military blue, and grey Gladiator Premier shorts:
Flavia Pennetta def Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-1
Novak Djokovic def Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-6
Su-Wei Hsieh/Shuai Peng def Cara Black/Sania Mirza 7-6 6-2
Bob and Mike Bryan def Alexander Peya/Bruno Soares 6-4 6-3
The 32 yr old Italian defeated the top two seeds, Li Na and Agniezska Radwanska to capture the biggest title of her career. With a semifinal at the US Open, a quarterfinal at the Australian Open, her game has been really solid these last few months. Read her interview here.
She appeared ready to win a title that counts for a big step once again, but as often Agnieszka Radwanska wasn’t able to come through in a big-stage match. Injured (? – but that injury didn’t prevent her from playing in Miami and reaching the quarterfinals at the Sony Open), the 25 yr old Pole was devastated by her loss.
The Romanian, who won the first six titles of her career last year, reached her first Premier Mandatory semifinal at Indian Wells and is now the new world number 5.
The defending champion was ousted by world number 79 Camila Giorgi in the third round. With this loss she has dropped to number 7, her lowest ranking since the summer of 2011.
First title of the season for the world number 2, a much needed title after his disppointing quarterfinal loss at the Australian Open.
A resurgent Federer reached the final without dropping a set, but a couple of unforced errors in the third set tiebreaker cost him the final and the title.
Miami Sony Open
Serena Williams def Li Na 7-5 6-1
Novak Djokovic def Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-3
Martina Hingis/Sabine Lisicki def Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina 4-6 6-4 10-5
Bob and Mike Bryan def Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah 7-6 6-4
She started the tournament slowly with a three sets win over Caroline Garcia and then rolled to the title with straight sets victory over Coco Vandeweghe, Angelique Kerber, Maria Sharapova and Li Na. After a victory in Brisbane and losses in Melbourne and Dubai, she won her second title of the year, her 7th in Miami.
First Premier Mandatory final for Li Na who had set point in the first but she lost 11 of the last 12 games.
She followed her final in Melbourne with a win in Acapulco, a quarterfinal at Indian Wells, and after her run through the Miami semifinals, the Slovakian makes her entry to the top 10.
She has now lost her last 15 matches against Serena Williams, in fact Serena hasn’t lost to Sharapova since 2004 in Los Angeles! The Russian hasn’t progressed in any area of her game and she could drop out of the top 10 soon.
The former world number one teamed up with Sabine Lisicki to win her 38th doubles title, her first in seven years.
Nadal and Djokovic played each other for the 40th times. Djokovic dominated from the start and won comfortably 6-3 6-3. It is his fourth Miami title, his 18th Masters 1000 title overall. Only Andre Agassi has won the Key Biscayne tournament more (6).
Is the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry the best in the Open Era? Vote and share your thoughts.
Nadal is now 0-4 in finals at Key Biscayne, one of just three ATP Masters 1000 events he has yet to win.
Nishikori saved 4 match points to beat David Ferrer in three sets and three hours of play, but he had plenty left in the tank to upset Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately he hurt himself and had to withdraw from the semifinals.
The Scot announced his split with Ivan Lendl after two years of collaboration, 2 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic Gold medal. The announcement took nearly everyone in the game by surprise but the split was amicable. Check out my video of Lendl being interviewed at the World Tennis Day in London a month ago in which he talks about that Scottish boy.
With his win over Robin Haase in the first round, Lleyton Hewitt has become the 21st male player to record 600 match wins. Only Roger Federer (942) and Rafael Nadal (675) have won more matches among active players.
French sports daily L’Equipe celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Federer-Nadal rivalry (they first met in Miami in 2004, Nadal won in straight sets 6-3 6-3) and at this occasion they published their 5 best mens tennis rivalries. Here’s their ranking (article by L’Equipe, translation by Tennis Buzz):
1. Federer-Nadal (since 2004)
2. Borg-McEnroe (1978-1981)
Fire and ice, ice and fire. You had to choose your side: the steadfast right-handed or the flamboyant left-handed, the inscrutable one and the temperamental one. For many, this rivalry symbolizes the first golden era of tennis. Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe met only 14 times including 4 Grand Slam finals (head-to-head: 7-7), but they played that epic Wimbledon final in 1980 and the tiebreak everyone remembers (18-16 in the fourth set).
(Check out some pics and videos of Borg and McEnroe renewing their rivalry at the Optima Open here)
3. Sampras-Agassi (1989-2002)
Another opposition of styles and personalities. On one side, Sampras offensive game and underdeveloped charism, on the other side, Agassi‘s thousands lifes and looks, his sharp eye and laser-like groundstrokes. Sampras often prevailed (20-14 overall, 4-1 in Grand Slam finals for Sampras), but they played some memorable matches like their 2001 US Open quarterfinal (4 sets, 4 tiebreakers).
(Check out some pics and videos of Agassi and Sampras renewing their rivalry at the World Tennis London Showdown here)
4. Nadal-Djokovic (since 2006)
The classic of the classics (39 meetings) could climb up the rankings because they could play some other memorable matches like the Australian Open 2012 final (5 hours and 53 minutes of play), the 2011 US Open final and the semifinals in Madrid in 2009 and at Roland Garros last year. The decathletes of modern tennis have already played 6 Grand Slam finals against each other (4 wins for the Spaniard).
5. Edberg-Becker (1984-1996)
We could have chosen a more fiercy rivalry (Lendl-McEnroe ou Connors-McEnroe) but we preferred to remember the time when two pure attacking players ruled the world. Edberg opposed a wonderful technical fluidity to Becker‘s power. The German has often had the upper hand (25-10 in their head-to-head) but Edberg won 2 of their 3 Grand Slam finals, all 3 at Wimbledon.
What do you think of this top 5? Personnaly I would vote Borg-McEnroe for top rivalry because of their bigger contrast in styles, personalities and their mythic Wimbledon 1980 final.
Happy to see Edberg-Becker at number five, back in the days I really loved watching them play at Wimbledon.
Please vote and share your thoughts.
Photo credit: Bev
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