With his victory at the Indian Wells Masters 1000, Rafael Nadal has contrived a brief return to the No.4 ranking, thereby granting men’s tennis a momentary break from the odd configuration whereby the Big Four aren’t its top four. At a stroke, Nadal has reasserted the validity of the Big Four as a concept, and realigned it with the actual rankings. Given that this was the first … [Read more...] about A Mighty Quartet: How Dominant Are the Big Four?
In the final analysis, I wonder if my desire to be surprised is outweighed by my desire to be right. Would I prefer the talented headcases to pull themselves together and grind out tough wins under pressure, or do I secretly relish seeing them cave in yet again, abject in a deciding tiebreaker after squandering match point? Under light interrogation, many fans insist that … [Read more...] about Indian Wells, Where Character is Destiny
The main draw matches at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells are scheduled to commence today, which is to say on Wednesday morning local time. Even as I write, the men’s qualifying draw – dense with fascinating matches – is slimming down to an even dozen. The women’s qualifying draw is already there. Television coverage is due to begin on Friday, provided initially by the … [Read more...] about Site Unseen: A Lament for the Untelevised Early Rounds at Indian Wells
Not all tennis tournaments are created alike, even those of allegedly equal standing. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships awards precisely the same number of ranking points as the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis last week, since both are ATP500 events. There the similarities end. Dubai awards considerably more prizemoney, offers appearance fees only … [Read more...] about If You Pay Them, They Will Come
Last Sunday afternoon, Milos Raonic became the first man to win three consecutive titles at the SAP Open, at precisely the same moment he became the last man to win one at all. This edition of the San Jose was the last, bringing the rich history of professional tennis in northern California to a close. Raonic will therefore reign as defending champion approximately forever. It … [Read more...] about The Forever Men