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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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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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The Best Tennis Racquets of 2018

A tennis racquet is essentially just an extension of your arm. Choosing a tennis racquet greatly depends on your skill level. For instance, a beginner will need to look for an improved racquet to further develop their stroke, while an intermediate player will look for a racquet that will help them win more games by primarily going for a racquet that will play to their strengths.

On the other hand, advanced players will have the most freedom when it comes to choosing a racquet as they have the experience and have been playing for years. Advanced players will look for a racquet that perfectly suits their playing style as well as their unique weaknesses and strengths. Below you will find the best tennis racquets for 2018 which are categorised for beginners, intermediates, and advanced tennis players.

Beginner Tennis Racquets

Babolat Drive 115 – This is a terrific option for beginners as it offers a larger head size, giving a bigger sweet spot, which makes it more forgiving when ground strokes are taken. Power and spin comes easily, and it makes it easier when volleying.

Wilson Ultra 108 – This is the perfect choice for club and recreational players who want the most out of their tennis session. Plenty of power and easy manoeuvrability, combined with a bigger sweet spot, will provide a phenomenal experience.

Wilson Hope Lite – This is a perfect racquet for beginners due to its lightweight and over-sized head. It plays quite smoothly and is extremely forgiving when you don’t hit the ball 100% thanks to the bigger sweet spot.

Intermediate Tennis Racquets

Babolat Drive Lite – This is a very user-friendly racquet which provides loads of speed along with easy acceleration. It is ideal for intermediate players, but beginners will also find it quite appealing. The Cortex system together with the Woofer technology will minimise vibrations and offer a lively and smooth feel.

Wilson Burn 100S – This racquet offers fantastic comfort from the baseline. It accelerates quite smoothly and is fairly powerful. Those with two-handed backhands will greatly appreciate the shaft, featuring increased feel and leverage.

Head Graphene Touch Instinct S – This racquet absorbs shock extremely well along with reduced vibration due to the Graphene material. It also offers a huge sweet spot and loads of power and manoeuvring.

Advanced Tennis Racquets

Wilson Blade 98 Countervail – This racquet offers a low, dampened vibration feel along with loads of spin and power, making it one of the best racquets for advanced players that want to dominate directly from the serve.

Babolat Pure Drive Wimbledon Edition – This is the perfect choice for intermediate and advanced tennis players. It provides fantastic control and power, which is vital for any baseline player. It’s also highly recommended as its one of the most user-friendly racquets currently available.

Wilson Pro Staff RF97 – This racquet provides a classic feel due to its thin leather grip and includes a braided graphite layout along with a light head balance. There’s a reason this racquet is used by Roger Federer as its one of the best on the market.

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Wimbledon 2018 Update

Currently, Wimbledon 2018 is on day five of the highly anticipated tennis tournament. Although, day five has held more shocking revelations and results that viewers were not expecting in the least. Despite the events of day five, Nick Kyrgios is still the leading name in headlines while Serena Williams alongside Roger Federer is gaining momentum in the courts during their spectacular and attention-grabbing matches.

Here are the top five events that happened on day five of Wimbledon

1. Roger Federer impresses the spectators against the match with Jan-Lennard Struff

All through this Wimbledon, Roger Federer has been impressing people left and right with his flawless skill on the court. It also seemed too flawless since no matter what the German native, Struff threw at Federer – he always seemed to have the best reaction. While the Swiss player, Federer needed another hour and 34 minutes to win the match, he seemed to be bouncing with excitement as he increased his ongoing winning streak to 29 during this Wimbledon.

2. Venus Williams is the latest tennis star to fall short during the tournament

During this year Wimbledon tournament, Venus Williams, Serena’s Williams sister who was another top seed has fallen out of the tournament. Meaning that currently, after Venus Williams fell out, eight out of the top 10 seed players in the women’s singles did not make it through the last 16. A former Aussie semi-finalist has commented on this development by stating that one of the major reason for this is due to the players not having adequate planning when the match isn’t going as desired. While Venus may be out of the Wimbledon, the other Williams sister, Serena is still in the competition.

3. Serena Williams is Showing Constant Improvement

While her competition may be falling behind, Serena is showing that she knew how to hold her own in a competition. Trough each one of her matches, she is showing that she definitely deserves her place as one of the higher level seeds in the tournament. Despite doing so well, Serena has commented that her making it to the round of 16 twice during the competition is not a bad deal. Although, the star player knows that she can do better if she tries a bit harder and pushes herself a bit more.

4. Serena Williams makes her way into the fourth round

As Wimbledon reaches its fifth day, the fourth round of matches is ending. While Williams is playing a singles woman match during this year’s tournament, she is becoming one of the few remaining as eight of the top ten has already been dropped. Williams other competition, such as the doubles matches with Cameron Norrie and Jay Clark. While the duo may not have been as successful as originally planned, watching them stay energised during a five-hour match proved to be one of the most exciting parts of day five.

5. Nick Kyrgios is the Headliner of the Day

During last year’s Wimbledon, Kyrgios caused a bit of online controversy due to his harsh remarks. The same behaviour is taking place this year as the player, he has received a code violation for using foul language, has been in a heated twitter exchanged against James Keothavong. Despite this, not much has been happening with the player as he awaits his next match.

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Serena Williams is Back on the Tennis Court

Serena Williams has made waves throughout her career as a professional tennis player. She is internationally known and has an unofficial title of being a champion at her sport. Although, after taking some time off last year to have a baby and experience motherhood, Williams will be seeded 25th during the singles draw at Wimbledon according to an announcement made this previous Wednesday. The high status regarding the player was the only notable deviation from the seeding committee, which is compiled of the host and referee of the tournament, representatives of the Lawn Tennis Association, and representatives from the All England Club.

While the seeding is considerably higher than someone who has Williams word ranking, which is 183rd in the world, it can still bring along some demanding challenges for the returning tennis player. Seed who have ranked anywhere from 25th through 32nd are demanded to face one of the top eight seeds during the third round in a highly anticipated and randomized match. Currently, the top eight players are, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbiñe Muguruza, Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova, Carolina Garcia, and Karolina Pliskova.

Williams Not Expected to Beat Kvitova

Many are betting that Kvitova, a well-known Wimbledon champion in both 2011 and in 2014, Is the current favourite in who is estimated to win the tournament overall. Although, Williams is a second favourite and one player that will create an interesting match. If Williams was placed at a higher seed ranking, namely at 24th, she would have been forced to face the seed players that are ranked 9th through 16th in the third round. Although the drawing for this took place on Friday morning.

The Wimbledon seeding will start the following Monday, announced following the Grand Slam event making the announcement that they will begin to adopt more measures to protect female players during the seeding process after returning to the court after a break for giving birth. Despite this, many players have been on the fence if they truly believed that Williams deserved a place during the seeding process. This is accompanied by another pressing issue in the tennis world if pregnant players should have special accommodations when they step aside. Due to Williams taking time off she was dropped in her world ranking while also losing her first two tournaments. Although, at the French Open last month she played with her heart but sadly had to redraw from the tournament due to an injury she received.

While Williams will be forced to face a new challenge, if she wins or loses will be up in the air as the competition is fierce. Despite that, many players have voiced their opposition to her playing as they do not see it as far. Although, the committee has spoken out about their choice to seed Williams and expressed that the decision came from the committee wanting to create more balance as Williams has won Wimbledon in both 2015 and 2016 after her seed was adjusted.

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Nature Valley International Wildcard Goes to Andy Murray

Andy Murray accepted a Nature Valley International Wildcard wildcard as he continues his comeback after a hip injury that kept him out of action for almost a year. Murray suffered a loss in three sets as he returned on Tuesday to face Nick Kyrgios at Queens. After the match the three-time Grand Slam, 31-year-old champion said he was unsure of what would be the best way forward in his return. The Scot remained positive and said it was good to be back at Queens and that he was hoping to build on that in the next week.

Wimbledon starts on the 2nd of July and therefore the Nature Valley International held at Eastbourne is the final warm-up event available to Murray. He had surgery on his hip in January, and the former number one in the world has since moved the 156th on the rankings list. Before slipping to defeat, Murray was on the court for well over two-and-a-half hours in his match against Kyrgios. He is now looking forward to the opportunity to get more time on the grass courts.

Stan Wawrinka Also Accepted A Wildcard into Nature Valley International

Murray played in 2010 in the Davis Cup at Eastbourne and already knows that the facilities, as well as the courts, are excellent. Another former world number three has also accepted a wildcard into the events after suffering an injury, which is Stan Wawrinka. In the women’s event featuring Heather Watson and Johanna Konta, the top seed is Caroline Wozniacki the Australian Open Champion.

Murray to Experience the Competition Heat Once More Before Wimbledon.

According to BBC’s Russell Fuller, Andy Murray could have decided to play in one of the Wimbledon exhibition events, although he opted to accept the wildcard and play at Eastbourne. By playing in the Nature Valley International, Murray can look forward to playing a considerably weaker field. The top 20 players in the line-up are Diego Schwartzman and Kyle Edmund only, although all players who received entry are inside the top 60 of the world.

During the 2-hour 39-minute match against Kyrgios, Murray mentioned some stiffness in his lower back. He was positive that he could play the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne, but not yet at Wimbledon as in his opinion, five-set matches will be detrimental at this stage of his recovery.

Murray told reporters that Tuesday was an emotional day for him as he waited eleven months to return to the action, after losing to the Australian player Nick Kyrgios. Murray gives his recovery priority and has learned that taking care of his body comes first, and he has decided to do whatever it takes to look after his body to ensure a speedy and complete recovery.

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Rafael Nadal Defeats Dominic Thiem – Wins French Open Final

Nadal entered the Phillipe-Chatrier court by acknowledging the screaming fans by dropping his bag, then taking off his jacket he did a little jig that previously had the full house crowd at his feet. Dominic Thiem broke Rafael with a forehand in round three and to his credit, he did bring his biggest shot to the game.

For Nadal or any other professional tennis player, winning 11 titles is not even a dream, it is simply unbelievable. Nadal raised his arms in celebration as he turned towards his team, it was indeed celebration time as the 2-hour 42-minute French Final ended.

Rafael suffered from cramps during the third set, which made victory so much sweeter, the cramps he explained, is what happens when you as a player are really pushed, in a match. In the final Nadal triumphed 6-4, 6-3 and 6-2 against Dominic Thiem.

Dominic Thiem Waited Since His 11th Birthday to Play Rafael Nadal in a Final

Played under heavy skies the final ended on a high note for the 32-year-old, while the 24-year-old Thiem continued to fight until the end. Dominic Thiem later told the press that he watched his first final on television when he was only 11 years old. He also watched the match in which Nada won his first Roland Garros title on television in 2005. It was his dream to one day, play a final against Rafael Nadal.

Dominic Thiem feels what Nadal achieved is amazing. In total, the Spaniard has 17 major crowns, each as special as the one before it and he wept as the 80-year-old legend, Ken Rosewell presented him the Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Rafael Nadal Applauded Dominic Thiem for Great Play

The eleventh time champion, Rafael Nadal went home with €2,200,000 for this victory, after he praised and applauded the young Dominic for great play. He also ensured the young opponent that he’ll be a big winner. Nadal shared that Dominic is not only a fantastic player he is even a greater person.
World number one Nadal earned his 17th grand slam, which only three adrift of that of the all-time men’s record holder Roger Federer. In Grand Slam totals the last six were win by either Federer or Nadal.

While Thiem had few answers to the brilliance of Nadal, the 7th seed used both his mental resilience and athleticism during the match, after he did show some nerves as he failed to find his rhythm in the opening game.

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Wimbledon Place at Risk for Andy Murray After Injury

It is a race against time for Andy Murray after he had to pull out form another warm-up session this week, while Novak Djokovic also admitted that he too might have to miss out on this year’s event starting on the 2nd of July.

The Libema Open was supposed to be the big comeback for the Scot, although he had to withdraw again from the event in Hertogenbosch in Holland. It was the withdraw that Djokovic confessed that he might not be able to play on the grass this year, following being dumped out of the French Open by Marco Cecchinato.

Andy Murray has been out for the past year after he had hip surgery in January. He regretted not being able to play in Hertogenbosch as he was excited to finally play at the Libema Open, although he realised that he was still not ready to return yet. Murray wants to be 100% in shape when he returns and is still planning to play in the coming weeks.

Murray Hopefull to Participate at Fever Tree Championships

He is hoping to participate in the Fever Tree Championships starting next Monday at the Queens Club, which is the last event he could play, the only other alternative is Eastbourne, which is only one week before Wimbledon.

Neither Murray nor his team expected him to be out of tennis for almost a year, but recovery is slow, and now finally he is getting closer to participation, and hopefully, thousands of fans will see him back on the grass court this season. With his training schedule already planned, Murray had a bit of a setback in April, which delayed his practising on the court by over a month. Last year Murray had no choice but to pull out from the US Open, followed by the Brisbane International taking place in January and then the Australian Open since he had his operation in January in Melbourne.

Murray has not participated in an event since his last year’s quarter-final defeat by Sam Querry at Wimbledon which means he is no longer in the world top 150 after he had 42 weeks in number one, just before his hip injury worsened.

Depending on his progress over the next week, Murray might still decide to play at Eastbourne one week before Wimbledon to gain some competitive match time. In order to build-up his match fitness, he needs matches as he realises he won’t come back and start immediately where he left off. The only thing he can do is to listen to his body and let how he feels guide him as at the end of the day he is the only one that really knows how he feels.

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