Author: Mildred Shaw

Serena’s Dominance at the Australian Open

Serena Williams has only spent an hour and 59 minutes on center court during the Australian Open’s first two rounds. During the first round against Tatjana Maria, she spent a total of 49 minutes on center court, and during the second round against Eugenie Bouchard, she spent a total of 70 minutes on center court. The seven-time Australian Open champion has only faced three break points and has yet to drop a set, winning 81% of her first serves.

While Simona Halep, the current world number 1, is spending her news conferences after the match discussing how difficult it is to recover from two hour long matches, Williams is spending very little time discussing tennis at all which is primarily due to the fact that she hasn’t played a lot of tennis in this tournament, to begin with.

Serena Williams at the Australian Open

Williams commented that during the day, she has chosen to reply to emails in relation to her next collection adding, “I was playing a match this evening which meant I wouldn’t spend a lot of time with my daughter as I won’t be able to see her this evening,” Williams stated, following her second match victory. During the news conference, Williams also stated on the type of boss she is, including involved, hands-on, and opinionated but very open to suggestions. She truly believes that she can do it all and believes motherhood has managed to teach her how to delegate.

When reporters asked her about her next opponent, Williams simply replied stating: “This is a job for Patrick to inform me all about her. I will take my next opponent very seriously as she is here to win. It’s the only reason she got this far in the tournament.”

Yastremska was the highest seed that Williams had to face in the Australian Open so far, and the fact that she is speeding through her matches is far less headline worthy. Instead, she is giving the media what they want, a tennis player that is here to win. However, watching her dominancy during the second round over a player that most believed would be able to beat Williams was a reminder of something completely different: how remarkable Williams has been over her two decade reign, even against others that are as brilliant as Eugenie Bouchard.

Eugenie Bouchard

Five years ago, Eugenie Bouchard was considered the best in tennis. During her 2014 season, Bouchard made the semifinal in both the French Open and Australian Open as well as the Wimbledon final. She managed to land sponsorship deals and magazine covers and was regarded as the next big superstar in tennis. However, due to struggling from injuries, as well as a lack of motivation, she hasn’t been able to see a semi-final in the Slam since. However, she’s not alone either.

The list of next-big-things, former number 1’s, and Grand Slam champions have all been forgotten while Williams continues to dominate the sport.

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Andy Murray Is Set To Retire in 2019

Andy Murray struggled, but eventually suffered an unexpected first-round exit on what might be his final appearance at the world-renowned Australian Open after his defeat at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday in Melbourne.


Andy Murray, the three-time Grand Slam winner, who recently announced his plans to retire from tennis this season due to an 18-month battle with his hip, was struggling during his match against Bautista Agut but managed to rally and save the match by claiming tiebreaks in both the third and fourth sets.


When the match approached the 4-hour mark, Bautista Agut managed to secure consecutive breaks in the decider to claim a dominant 5-1 lead. Andy Murray enjoyed a standing ovation when he came out to serve which was possibly the last time in his career. He then managed to save a match point before holding an ace. However, there was no way back for the three-time Grand Slam winner this time, as Agut claimed the next 4 points to enjoy a phenomenal victory.


Chatting after the match on court, Murray didn’t state that he would be retiring which indicated that he might have another hip surgery to further prolong his tennis career.


“I’ve certainly loved playing in the Australian Open over the years,” Murray stated. “If this is indeed my last match, it’s an incredible way to end. I gave it my all but unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough this evening, so congratulations to Bautista Agut.


“Perhaps I’ll see him again. I’ll definitely do everything I can to try. If I want to continue playing, I will need to have a huge operation which doesn’t offer any guarantees that will allow me to come back. However, I’ll do my best.”


Andy Murray’s Final Match


Andy Murray, a finalist in the Australian Open for a total of five times, came under pressure during the fifth game. However, it took Bautista Agut nine games during the first set to finally break him. Murray couldn’t convert 2 breakpoint possibilities during the second set and looked like he was struggling. Even though he maintained competitiveness, Murray started hobbling between points as Agut managed to break again during the fifth game.


Murray managed to continue serving well, finishing the game with a total of 19 aces. However, he suffered even more pressure at 4-4 during the third. During the fourth set, Murray had to fight hard to hold his position, producing his best gameplay of the match. However, during the fifth set, you could see it was Murray’s final stand while the crowd stood up to honour his effort as he said goodbye to the world of tennis at the Australian Open.


Even though this is the first exit from Murray during the first round of a tennis major since the Australian Open in 2008, it was the very first time he managed to play for more than 4 hours since the French Open semi-finals in 2017.

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As 2019 Begins, Wawrinka, Murray, and Nadal Struggle To Make Progress


Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal are preparing to challenge Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in 2019. However, even through their ambitions aren’t being compromised, there bodies definitely are.

All three tennis stars dealt with major injuries that reduced their effectiveness and playing time in 2018. Rafael Nadal, who was ranked number 1 for most of 2018, managed to hit phenomenal high notes. However, his year was severely compromised when he retired in both the US Open and the Australian Open.

The return of a replenished Wawrinka and half the Big Four should be a cause for celebration. However, so far, tennis enthusiasts have had to settle for cautiously articulated hopes and sober injury updates.

Rafael Nadal in 2019

“I started again 2 weeks ago and will be taking small steps in 2019.” Nadal informed reporters at the World Tennis Championship in Mubadala, a prestigious exhibition situated in Abu Dhabi, a couple of days ago. “I’m ensuring that I move forward as oppose to taking a few steps back this year. I am well aware that I have enough time to be on 100% in Melbourne.”

Nadal was defeated by Kevin Anderson during his debut in Abu Dhabi and then retired from the third-place match.

“I wish to do everything step by step,” Nadal stated. “I managed to spend more time on the court that I realized.”

The defeat means very little on the surface. However, the match lasted less than two hours which is nothing compared to the battle he will face in Melbourne. Rafael Nadal is a prudent man, but might be stumbling on the side of caution. On the other hand, his punishing style and age (32) as a pro for the last decade is finally catching up.

Melbourne has never been a pleasure for Nadal which is a pattern that began long before Roger Federer defeated him in the final at the beginning of 2017. The least productive major for Nadal is undoubtably the Australian Open even though he managed to play some of the best matches there.

Andy Murray in 2019

Murray might have more to be concerned about in 2019 due to the nature of his injury. Any hopes that the tennis star had for a quick and full recovery after undergoing a hip surgery was quickly lost last summer and he hasn’t made a lot of progress since either.

“There’s still loads of pain in my hip. However, I need to play a few matches to see how it feels. Once I can play around 5 matches in a row, we will see what the future holds,” Murray told several reporters as he started preparing for his debit in 2019 at Brisbane. “I merely want to get through my tournaments and compete without being restricted by my hip.”

Murray started his comeback in mid-2018 but ended his run in September where he finished 7-5 for the year. He is currently ranked 256 in the world.

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Why Final-Set Tiebreakers in Tennis Are a Problem and a Solution


The decision from Tennis Australia to go with a tie-breaker of 10 points at the start of the Australian Open in 2019 is very innovative. However, it impairs an already amazing lack of consistency among the tournaments in the Grand Slam. It also makes the scoring system more confusing to tennis fans that don’t watch on a constant basis.

The 10-point system, also referred to as the ‘Super-Tiebreaker’, is nearly identical to the 7-point system which is currently used to determine a set when matches reach 6-all. It’s also used during a third-set in doubles when it comes to matches in the ATP World Tour. The only difference is that the overall winner is required to reach 10 points as opposed to 7 points by a margin of 2.

Tennis Australia’s Decision

Tennis Australia, in a statement, splendidly declared that their decision was made following one of the most extensive consultations in the history of the tournament with officials, analysts, agents, and players. Is the confusion created behind this decision worth the difference it will have on the court or are the Aussies simply trying to reclaim the high ground they so cherish?

In the statement, Craig Tiley, the tournament director of the Australian Open, stated: “We decided on the 10-point tiebreak system at 6 games all during the final set, ensuring fans will still be able to get a phenomenal finale to these frequent epic events, with the longer tiebreaker still providing that one final change or twist of momentum at the end of the tournament. The extended tiebreaker will also assist in lessening the serving dominance that prevails during the shorter tiebreak.”

Well, if the target is to provide a final twist in the tournament, why not increase it to a 12 or 14-point tiebreaker? There’s actually no end to this. The tiebreaker itself is the last twist to end the match. However, the larger problem is there is no consistency when you look at the Grand Slams.

The French Open and US Open

The only major where the final set is still played until one player wins by 2 games is the French Open. The US Open has managed to use the 7-point tiebreaker for decades when the final set produces 6-all. In October earlier this year, Wimbledon stated that they will start using the 7-point tiebreaker during the final sets in 2019. However, this will only occur when the score manages to reach 12-all in matches.

Although the French Open clay courts are conducive to long matches and rallies, the soft surface doesn’t punish a player’s joints when compared to the hard courts and it also doesn’t need as much bending and lunging as grass. Paris weather is also quite cool which is another plus. There hasn’t been any outcry in Paris for a longer final-set tiebreaker either. The players seem quite content with the US Open tiebreaker but that’s only because they had time to get used to it over the years.

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The Best Male Tennis Players for 2018


The 2018 season of tennis concluded a couple of days ago when Novak Djokovic was defeated by Alexander Zverev in London to claim a win at the ATP World Tour Finals. The 2018 season had everything, with loads of entertaining matches. The Big 3 managed to assert their dominance during the Grand Slams, a couple of unexpected tennis players climbed the ranks, and a couple of big players managed to fall further than we expected.

While the Australian Open was won by Roger Federer at the start of 2018, the French Open was won by Rafael Nadal, at the US Open and Wimbledon titles was claimed by Novak Djokovic. This allowed Djokovic to finish in the number 1 position for 2018 even though he was ranked as 22nd overall in June. Let’s take a look at the best tennis players for 2018.

Novak Djokovic

After an awful first half of the 2018 season, no one anticipated that Djokovic would be able to qualify for the World Tour Finals. He lost against Chung in the fourth round of the Australian Open and during the quarters by Cechinato in the French Open along with many other shocks by lower ranked players. However, he managed to turn things around during the second half of the year, claiming his third Wimbledon title and the Cincinnati Open. He also won the Shanghai Masters and the Paris Masters.

Rafael Nadal

Even though he missed all the tournaments following the US Open, Nadal is still ranked the second best player in the world. This is due to winning his eleventh French Open, the Barcelona title, and two Masters titles in Rome and Monte-Carlo. He managed to hold onto the number one title for most of the year until Djokovic defeated him during the Wimbledon Championships.

Roger Federer

Although he hasn’t been on top form for most of the year, Federer still managed to claim 4 titles which included one Grand Slam. He started the year by claiming the Australian Open and winning at Rotterdam, providing the number 1 spot once again. However, he soon lost this title during the Indian Wells as well as Miami. He was also shocked during the Wimbledon quarters and again in the US Open fourth round against John Millman.

Juan Martin del Potro

It’s quite unfortunate that del Porto had to sit out during the World Tour Finals as he recovered from an injury. We believe the tournament would have been quite different if he participated. He still had a phenomenal year as he reached the French Open semi-finals and the Wimbledon quarterfinals. He also managed to reach the final during the US Open only to be defeated by Djokovic.

Alexander Zverev

This exceptional German managed to continue his incredible run from 2017. However, he wanted to perform much better during the Grand Slams in 2018. His best result was during the French Open when he reached the quarterfinals. He also performed quite well during the 500s and Masters.

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Simona Halep Becomes Major Champion During French Open


Some tennis champions are transformed by pressure. They see, move, and think differently. One tennis player that reacts in this way is Sloane Stephens. When she entered the French Open, she had a record of 6-0 in her final matches. During September of last year, she managed to win the U.S Open. There’s no denying that pressure lights her up. The bigger the stadium, the quicker she is on her feet and the brighter her smile becomes.

Simona Halep as a Tennis Player

Things are quite different when you look at Simona Halep. Before the French Open this year, Halep was leading the final of major tournaments a total of three times and managed to lose each of them. When she accepted the trophy at Roland Garros as the runner-up a year ago, she didn’t attempt to hide her devastation. Halep stated that she was sick to her stomach due to emotion and perhaps wasn’t ready to claim it just yet. Only a handful of players have managed to speak so honestly and openly about the struggle with self-doubt.

Despite her losses, she went up against Stephens in the final of the French Open on Saturday and was the clear favorite as she was ranked number 1 in the world. During the semi-finals, she managed to defeat Garbine Muguruza, the former Wimbledon and French Open champion, controlling points from the start of the game thanks to her deceptive power and superior movement. However, when she faced Stephens, she was skittish in the beginning. She was unable to get the ball past Stephens as her fluid footwork managed to carry her to each and every ball. The first set was taken by Stephens, and continued on a break to begin the second. However, Halep soon adjusted, smashing moon balls to disconnect Stephen’s rhythm and pacing forward during short shots. In fact, Halep managed to win 8 of 10 points while she was at the net. She also starting to realize that she could survive the extremely long shots.

Halep’s Endurance to Win the Major

Stephens is one of a handful of players can that rival the athleticism of Halep. However, she was unable to match the stamina of Halep. The forehand speed of Stephens started dropping, and the effectiveness in her serve was lost. Even her footwork started slowing down. On the other hand, Halep was starting to extend points that sometimes came with unworldly retrievals. An unbelievable 55 points in the game managed to last for 9 shots or more. Although the 1-6 score line may have looked one sided, it was certainly very competitive throughout.

Halep had quality in her movement as well as something in the way she managed to lift her feet off the ground during her finals match against Stephens. Once the match ended, several chants came from the crowd, cheering “Simona”. Her dream finally came true and she was absolutely thrilled with her first ever Major at the French Open.

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The Best Tennis Courts in the World


Tennis stadiums vary in surface, style, and size. Some play host to the largest tournaments in the world, while others play host to smaller tournaments, yet still quite prestigious. Most of them feature a phenomenal and rich history that has assisted to shape the sport as we know it today. For those that consider themselves to be the ultimate tennis enthusiast, we highly recommend visiting the below tennis stadiums at least once in your lifetime.

Indian Wells Tennis Garden – Indian Wells, California

The Indian Wells Masters is hosted at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The hard surface outdoor court situated at Stadium 1 is considered the largest capacity arena at Indian Wells, seating over 16,000 tennis fans. Both the WTA Tour and ATP World Tour participate at the Indian Wells Masters which makes it the 5th biggest tennis tournament across the globe. Established in 2000, the facility is worth $77 million as is regarded as a favourite among both fans and players.

The O2 Arena – London, England

The O2 Arena situated in London, England is the largest building in the world when it comes to floor space. The hard surface indoor court played a significant role on the ATP Tour and hosted the Finals from 2009. This glorious arena can seat 17,500 fans which makes it the 2nd largest when it comes to capacity in the world of tennis.

Uniprix Stadium – Quebec, Canada

The Uniprix Stadium is home to the Canadian Open, also referred to the as Canada Masters or the Rodgers Cup. This hard surface outdoor court also plays host to both the WTA Tour and ATP World Tour. The stadium can seat an impressive 11,700 fans.

The Lindner Family Tennis Center – Mason, Ohio

Situated in Mason, Ohio, the Lindner Family Tennis Center is home to both the Southern and Western Open. The centre can seat more than 11,000 fans is an outdoor hard surface arena. The Southern and Western Open is a favourite among fans and players on both the WTA Tour and ATP World Tour.

Louis Armstrong Stadium – Queens, New York City

The Louis Armstrong Stadium forms part of the USTA Billie Jean Tennis Center, hosting the US Open and can seat over 10,000 spectators. The Louis Armstrong Stadium is an important aspect when it comes to the Grand Slams and features a hard surface outdoor court. It’s named after a famous jazz musician and is set to increase its seating capacity to 15,000 in 2019.

Court Philippe Chatrier – Paris, France

The Roland Garros tennis court plays host to the French Open and can seat up to 15,000 spectators. Established in 1928, the tennis complex is 21 acres in size and features 20 different courts. The clay outdoor surface is located in Paris, France and is a favourite for tennis superstar, Rafael Nadal.

Centre Court Wimbledon – London, England

This outdoor grass court plays host to the WTA Tour and ATP World Tour for the prestigious Wimbledon Championship. The stadium can seat more than 15,000 fans and comes with a retractable roof which was added in 2009.

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Novak Djokovic Returns to Stardom


After 12 months of self-discovery, tennis sensational, Novak Djokovic, stopped to reflect on the most incredible of comebacks, even after his straight-sets defeat against Alexander Zverev at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The setback obviously hurt, and Djokovic was processing that. However, the disappointment also included half-smiles as memories played back of how he managed to climb from 22nd to the number 1 position in the world in a space of 5 months which included two incredible Grand Slams as well.

Djokovic’s Journey to Glory

The lowest point in Djokovic’s career is extremely difficult to pinpoint. However, from Wimbledon in 2016 to this year’s edition, Djokovic went on a much-needed journey of self-discovery, patching his aching body back into one piece where he also rediscovered his love for tennis. Both fatherhood and age will do that to you, as well as a trip to the mountains and some perspective.

After his Roland Garros quarterfinal exit, Djokovic decided to run for the hills. He managed to climb the Mount Sainte-Victoire ridge situated on the south of France along with Jelena by his side. During his climb, he had the time to reflect on previous years experiences, such as the lowest ranking in the world in 12 years, difficulties with his personal life, coaching challenges, and unforeseen injuries. This allowed him to refocus his energy and drive for life as the best tennis players in the world.

There has to be something special in that mountain ridge located in France. It inspired Pablo Picasso to buy a property north of the mountain and provided inspiration to the work of Paul Cezanne. It also managed to spark a new flame for Djokovic, allowing him to refocus his abilities, triggering the beginning of a sensational few months that came to an end in London on Sunday.

Djokovic’s Start of 2018

Djokovic managed to miss the second half of 2017, starting 2018 with a heart-breaking fourth round loss during the Australian Open along with an elbow surgery. “I was well aware that it was going to be a difficult season as I never had surgery before. Regardless of the outcome, I knew I was going to learn a great deal this season”, Djokovic stated.

Djokovic managed to lose during the first round in both Miami and Indian Wells, event he previously dominated. Then he was defeated by Martin Klizan in Barcelona during the Round of 32 in April who was ranked in 140th position. Djokovic clearly had enough after the upset and managed to reunite with Marian Vajda which was the first time, we saw Djokovic make an astonishing return to the sport.

Over the months that followed, Djokovic scooped up US Open and Wimbledon titles and became the first tennis player to successfully secure all 9 Masters 1000 series titles after his win at the Cincinnati Masters. He created a 22-match winning streak which eventually earned him the number 1 position in the world. Djokovic is ready to continue his success in 2019 and feels motivated to take on the world.

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The Best Tennis Shoes in 2018

Play a game of tennis, and you will quickly understand that it involves more than just simply hitting a ball. Tennis is an extremely physical game that requires loads of movement and speed where your feet takes a significant amount of abuse while running around on the court. When playing in regular trainers, you will quickly realise the wear and tear after a few sessions.

It’s for this very reason that we highly recommend getting tennis shoes if you are serious about the game. However, which tennis shoes should you buy? Fortunately, we tested a wide range of tennis shoes to help you make a more informed decision and listed the top rated tennis shoes below for your convenience.

Diadora Speed Blushield Fly AG – $140

These remarkable tennis shoes are the complete package. They feature a small angle bootie, supporting and protecting both your ankle and heel. They are also extremely comfortable once you lace them up. The show cushion is perfect, providing a soft plush insole and comes equipped with a padded tongue for superb comfort. The shoe sole is developed specifically for hard or clay court surfaces, offering sensational grip when you change direction. They are extremely comfortable and lightweight as well.

New Balance 996 V3 Tournament – $134

New Balance is renowned for creating beautiful footwear. The 996 V2 received a phenomenal makeover in 2018 and looks better than ever, to be honest. The upper knit completely wraps around your foot, creating a comfortable, flexible feeling, while the padded heel provides remarkable ankle support. The sole is low profile, offering fantastic traction when changing direction.

Yonex Power Cushion Eclipsion 2 – $138

This tennis shoe is well-built and sturdy, supporting your feet perfectly in all the right places. The shock absorption on the court, created by the Power Cushion, is definitely noticeable and the company claims that there will be at least a 25% increase on the original model. The lace pattern and the elasticated tongue will offer sensational stability and keep your foot firmly in the show at all times. You will also experience incredible traction when making directional changes on the court.

Adidas Barricade Boost – $165

These tennis shoes are widely known for their stability and durability on the court for several decades when it comes to tennis. It’s worth mentioning that these shoes provided the most durability from all the tennis shoes listed in this section. We tested them on several surfaces over multiple weeks, and the wear was very minimal. The 2018 edition is more comfortable and lighter than previous models and comes equipped with an added boost for better overall performance.

Asics Gel Solution Speed 3 – $153

These tennis shoes weigh a mere 331grams, making them super lightweight when compared to other tennis shoes in this section. The shoes come equipped with gel cushioning, making them extremely soft on the heel for added comfort. The only downside is that your feet might get a little sweaty due to the gel solution incorporated into the shoe.

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Alexander Zverev Beaten by Novak Djokovic, Reaches Semi-Finals

Novak Djokovic, the world number one also became the first male player to reach the ATP semi-finals after a clinical win. His win over Alexander Zverev. After an extremely close and physical first set, the German had to accept that the Serb beaten him 6-4 6-1. After chasing the chance to play in the ATP Finals since as far back as 2015, Djokovic reached it after John Isner was beaten by Marin Cilic, he had to admit that it wasn’t exactly a breath-taking match, yet it was a win.

Novak Djokovic About the Match


Novak Djokovic felt he played well through the second set and served well during the start and second set, while he also recognises that his opponent did make several unforced errors, which counted in his favour and assisted him to achieve a win. It was Zverev’s double fault that basically handed the win to Djokovic in the first set and looking back at the match a total of thirty-three unforced errors is what hugely contributed to the downfall of the 21-year-old.

Novak Djokovic Remains the Favourite to Win

Novak Djokovic is by far the favourite to claim his sixth title by winning the seasons tournament, and he had a remarkable year, this includes him recovering from elbow surgery and then to go on to win the US Open and Wimbledon, while also returning to the top rankings after two years.

Rated Number One in Singles Tennis in the World

The Association of Tennis Professionals, currently ranked Novak Djokovic as the number one in the world of singles tennis. His successes include thirty-two series titles in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, fourteen Grand Slams, and he is known for holding the number one ATP spot for more than two-hundred weeks.

Novak Djokovic All Court Player with Precision

With an emphasis on aggressive play, Djokovic is an all-court player, while his groundstrokes are penetrating, deep and consistent from both wings. His backhand is regarded as the best it has precision and great pace and then Djokovic is also a fantastic mover on the court with impressive court coverage, superior agility and major defensive ability, allowing him to continuously hit winners from what appears to be defensive positions. His extroverted personality makes him a favourite right through the world, and his fluency in numerous languages never fail to impress. The Novak Djokovic Foundation assists disadvantaged children to develop and grow up in safe and stimulating environments. The foundation was founded by Djokovic in 2007. It partnered in 2015 with the World Bank and promotes education to children in Serbia, and after Djokovic’s Australian Open he donated $20,000.00 to the early childhood education of disadvantaged children to Melbourne City.

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