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Van Sias's Articles (102)

Can Someone Please Tell Me Why Tennis Doesn't Get More Respect?

So probably the greatest thing in the world to me besides my family and friends is tennis. It's been that way ever since I started playing seriously as a teen more than 20 years ago. I mean, really, I can find absolutely no fault (pun not intended) with it. From going out to hit with a buddy, playing a USTA tournament or watching a Wimbledon final, there's almost nothing like it.

If I'm obsessed with it and hundreds of thousands of people around the world are, too, then why, why, WHY… Continue

Added by Van Sias on October 28, 2010 at 11:02pm — 1 Comment

The Comeback Conundrum, Starring Del Potro, Tsonga and Sharapova

So a lot of our favorite players have lost in the past couple of days, huh, tennis fans?

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Maria Sharapova and Juan Martin del Potro have all been early-round casualties the past couple of days in Asia. For Tsonga, it's his first event in months, while del Potro is playing his second, both returning after injury-driven breaks. Sharapova's shoulder woes almost seem like an eon ago as she's been out there regularly competing. I'm lumping all three of them together,… Continue

Added by Van Sias on October 5, 2010 at 10:02pm — No Comments

Kimiko Date Krumm and the Irritation Inducers

How does she do it?

One of the craziest comeback stories in women's tennis keeps rolling along as Kimiko Date Krumm knocked off Maria Sharapova at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, mere hours before she hits the big 4-0.

Now looking at it on paper, you'd think Sharapova would be able to blast Date Krumm off the court, but obviously that's not the case because what Date Krumm lacks in power she makes up for with flat, penetrating groundies that can give a lot of players fits in… Continue

Added by Van Sias on September 27, 2010 at 3:22pm — No Comments

THAT'S What Davis Cup Is All About!

I love Davis Cup.

However, after last year's final, for the first time, <a href="">I started to have a little doubt about Davis Cup creep in</a>. The tie between Spain and the Czech Republic was so bereft of drama that I barely tuned into it.

But this weekend, my friends, wiped out any and all concerns I had about my favorite sporting event. From the World Group semis to the playoff… Continue

Added by Van Sias on September 19, 2010 at 9:22pm — No Comments

Rafael Nadal and the Greatest Men's Slam Year EVER

There, I said it.

I've been pondering that since he clinched the U.S. Open title over Novak Djokovic, adding his name to the short list of players with a career Slam and the even-shorter list of players with a career Golden Slam. It's obvious Rafa had an awesome year at the Majors, but the best ever? You're probably thinking, "Dudes win three Slams a year all the time. How many times has Roger Federer done it? Heck, Mats Wilander even did it." Or you might be saying, "What about the… Continue

Added by Van Sias on September 14, 2010 at 8:53am — 1 Comment

There Are Still U.S. Guys in the Top 10, in My Mind

OK, here we are: quarterfinal time at the Masters tournament in and no American men made it that far. Actually, none made it as far as the 16s. This all coincides with the history-making turn in the rankings this week, where no U.S. man was in the top 10 for the first time in oh, about, forever.

But take a look at the rankings right now, where you have four players that haven't even won titles this year (Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), and three… Continue

Added by Van Sias on August 12, 2010 at 10:41pm — 2 Comments

If I Was Roger Federer ...

Well, first thing I probably wouldn't be doing is typing this blog entry: I'd be doing laps in my swimming pool filled with my millions!

Seriously, though, if I was him, you know what I would've done over the past couple of weeks? (And this may sound crazy) Played either in L.A. last week or Washington this one.

I know: Crazy, right? But not really if you look at it.

First, I know there have been some bouts with injuries this year, but his schedule's been pretty… Continue

Added by Van Sias on August 5, 2010 at 10:15am — 3 Comments

Keep It Going, JB!

That was a tough loss for James Blake to Feliciano Lopez this evening in Los Angeles.

I assume, though, Blake must be thinking that a quarterfinal run at a tournament never felt so good. With his recent run of bad form, pretty much brought on by injury, the threat of the "R" word has popped up a lot coming from him in the past few months. He's definitely one of the veterans on tour now and his body has had some wear and tear put on it. But Blake's forehand and even-slightly diminished… Continue

Added by Van Sias on July 30, 2010 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

Is Scheduling Still Keeping Nikolay Davydenko From Winning a Slam?

So aside from the tournament in Atlanta this week, the men are also playing at the German Open in Hamburg, where Nikolay Davydenko is the top seed and defending champ. He's still trying to work his way back into form after missing months out of the season due to injury.

But what I'm wondering is that instead of playing in Hamburg, should he be down in Atlanta gearing up for the U.S. Open? Or if getting a jump on the hard courts isn't his priority, should he just be taking off this… Continue

Added by Van Sias on July 20, 2010 at 7:57pm — No Comments

The Weekend That Was

You ever find yourself thinking, "Wow, a lot sure happened on the pro tours this weekend, and there wasn't even a Slam final being played"? That's where I am right now, and there was a lot that went down to provoke the old thoughts. For example:

* It was Davis Cup quarterfinal time, and tons went down in the team competition: Spain got knocked out by France (as I mentioned on my Twitter page, I think Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer are worn… Continue

Added by Van Sias on July 12, 2010 at 8:37pm — No Comments

Roger Federer? He's Going to Be OK

So, about that prediction of mine for Roger Federer as Wimbledon champ ...

Unexpectedly, or maybe not, the way he struggled from the onset of the tournament, Federer lost to Tomas Berdych today in the quarterfinals. We all know the details: the end of his finals streak there, two quarterfinal losses back-to-back in Majors, blah, blah, blah.

Despite all that, I'm far from ready to throw in the towel on him. And here's why, in two words and a number (I don't think I said this… Continue

Added by Van Sias on June 30, 2010 at 8:24pm — No Comments

The Clay-to-Grass Conundrum

Weren't we just seeing red a few days ago? Now it's on to the turf for the pros. The clay-to-grass transition always gets my head spinning, and this time it's no different. Already the first few days of the grass season have got my opinion-making machine turning, and thanks to the art of blogging, I get to share them with you!

* I was so happy to see how Rafael Nadal took it a little easier during the clay-court season than he has in years past, especially with the health concerns he's… Continue

Added by Van Sias on June 10, 2010 at 2:32pm — No Comments

The First Time in a Long Time?

And I'm not talking about blogging here!

Hey everyone, hope you've been enjoying the tennis at the French. I don't think it's shaped up like anyone really thought it would, huh? I mean, who saw Francesca Schiavone getting this far? Oh, wait: I did! : )

But aside from that, I can't recall the last time there were four semifinalists on the women's side at any Major that hadn't won a… Continue

Added by Van Sias on June 2, 2010 at 9:17pm — 3 Comments

What the Serbia Open Means to Me

The biggest thing to me, honestly, over the past week or so—if not the year—is John Isner and Sam Querrey battling through to the finals at the Serbia Open. Running a close second to that? Those two making the finals in doubles at the Italian Open.

You see, their recent runs of good form on the dirt kind of support what I was saying when I thought the…

Added by Van Sias on May 8, 2010 at 9:19pm — No Comments

Believe in Miracles!

Fed Cup: It's like the 1980 Winter Olympics all over again!

Back then, the U.S. beat Russia in hockey in the famous "Miracle on Ice" game. Thirty years later, there's a new parallel to that with the U.S. Fed Cup team beating heavily favored Russia to advance to the finals of the competition.

On paper, the U.S. should've been hard-pressed to win one rubber, much less the whole tie. But I have to tell you, the job Mary Joe Fernandez has been doing the past two years is nothing… Continue

Added by Van Sias on April 25, 2010 at 11:03pm — 1 Comment

Spanish Intuition

There's only one tournament on the ATP calendar this week, the event in Barcelona. Rafael Nadal was the top seed, but withdrew before the tournament started. Not that it really matters to him, but that's fine with me: Approaching his schedule with some caution is a good move.

I have to admit, I am anxious to see what he does his next time out after watching him completely and utterly destroy the field in Monte Carlo. Every scoreline, even the finals against countryman Fernando… Continue

Added by Van Sias on April 21, 2010 at 6:23pm — No Comments

Competition or Surface: What's the Best Way to Prepare for the French Open?

Fresh off winning her first title of the year last weekend in Ponte Vedre Beach, Florida, Caroline Wozniacki is keeping it rolling this week at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. She has to be the heavy favorite to win the title with the form she's been displaying.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the WTA calendar, Francesca Schiavone and Roberta Vinci have advanced to the finals in Barcelona, a good result for both players.

But I'm left wondering something related to both of these… Continue

Added by Van Sias on April 16, 2010 at 11:35pm — 2 Comments

Why I'm Not Worried About Rafael Nadal

The Monte Carlo Masters event has gotten well under way and a lot of the big names have been in action. Novak Djokovic blasted Florent Serra off the court and Andy Murray in turn got blasted off the court by Phillipp Kohlschreiber.

And the five-time defending champion Rafael Nadal? He demolished Thiemo de Bakker 6-1, 6-0 in an hour. Sure, de Bakker had to get into the tournament as a qualifier, but that can be a good thing sometimes because it means you've gotten some matches under… Continue

Added by Van Sias on April 14, 2010 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

This Is My Brain on Drugs

Before I turn my thoughts to the Monte Carlo Masters, I just thought I'd do a little reflecting on the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston, which ended with Sam Querrey falling in the finals to Juan Ignacio Chela.

Probably the biggest news of the event was Wayne Odesnik showing up there and advancing to the semifinals, despite the threat of what some might call (myself included) a well-deserved suspension for pleading guilty to smuggling human growth hormone into Australia at the… Continue

Added by Van Sias on April 12, 2010 at 5:15pm — 2 Comments

'Need' Is Such a Strong Word

There was this poll on another tennis blog that I thought asked one of the best questions I've seen in a long time. It was heading into the women's quarterfinals at the upset-plagued BNP Paribas Open and asked not who was going to win the tournament, but who really needed to win the most for their career. I think I voted for Agnieszka Radwanska, because what has she… Continue

Added by Van Sias on March 20, 2010 at 3:03pm — 1 Comment

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