Dan W

1. Driving down from W. Palm Beach to Key Biscayne is a total pain.

2. Richard Gasquet often doesn’t show up for matches — such as today’s against Mardy Fish.

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Jan/11

24

My McEnroe Obsession

Here is a piece I wrote about John McEnroe in early 2005 that may interest some readers. I originally wrote it for Tennis magazine, but they declined to use it.

I became smitten with John McEnroe the first time I saw him play – the famous 1980 Wimbledon final against Bjorn Borg, in which McEnroe won a wondrous fourth-set tiebreaker but lost the match. It’s the creative genius and the seemingly tortured soul that appeal to me.

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David Nalbandian’s recent run of success, which includes wins in 12 of his last 13 matches and a title at Washington, DC, is quite impressive. But as usual, he’s peaking at the wrong time.

His biggest claim to fame may be taking out both Federer and Nadal at Madrid and Paris in 2007. But as the two least important of the eight Masters Series events, those titles are arguably less important than Washington, which at least leads up to a major.

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Jun/10

15

Which man will win Wimbledon?

It’s a lot easier to list reasons for top-ranked players to fail than to win the tournament.

Nadal: While he’s shown that he can thrive at Wimbledon after winning the French before, this time around likely took more emotional energy at the French than in the past. That’s because he had the burden of avenging last year’s defeat to Soderling. Maybe that’s why Nadal lost to his countryman Lopez last week. So the World No. 1 may not have the stamina to win the event.

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May/10

28

ESPN2 Goes Dead

ESPN2 is in the midst of showing taped blowout wins by Serena and Nadal. Obviously they want to show big names, but can’t they do better than that with several interesting matches in progress?

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May/10

23

Dog Bites Man: Nadal Will Win French


I’m going to go out on a huge limb and predict that Rafael Nadal wins his fifth French Open in six years. He’s been dominant on clay so far this year, losing only two sets in the three events he’s played — all Masters 1000 events.

Jim Courier thinks Nadal won’t drop more than two sets at Roland Garros. Who am I to argue with that? Nadal would almost certainly be playing for his sixth straight French title if he hadn’t injured his knee last year. Until then, the field was totally intimidated by him in Paris and has likely returned to that state.

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Apr/10

29

Game, Set, Profit

Despite the economy, the U.S. Open may set attendance and revenue records again this year. What’s so great about tennis anyway?
While the economy has hurt many sports events, the annual U.S. Open tennis tournament, which begins today, is proving to be nearly recession-proof. During its two-week run, revenue for the New York City tournament will come close to last year’s total of $208 million, says Pierce O’Neil, chief business officer for the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), which owns the event. “If all the stars continue to align, this could be one of the best years we’ve ever had,” he says.
These days, such optimism is hard to come by in other sports. The Arena Football League, which just a couple of years ago was touted as a major success story, suspended play in December and will probably liquidate. The LPGA women’s pro golf tour has lost seven tournaments, costing Commissioner Carolyn Bivens her job.
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Apr/10

29

Post-Tour, Patrick Rafter’s Life Is ‘Like Groundhog Day’

Two-time U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter, who plays a few weeks of senior-tour tennis every year, has lately been putting more emphasis on his spiritual side than on his game.
Last month in Delray Beach, Fla., Rafter defeated John McEnroe, 7-6, 7-6, in a scintillating final, to win an ATP Champions Tour event.
Like most of his senior-tour brethren, Rafter finds playing these events more fun than regular ATP matches once were. “Here you feel a little pressure, because you’re competing to win. But if you don’t win, it doesn’t matter,” the 1997 and 1998 U.S. Open champion, now 37, says.
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